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12:41 AM
@Randal'Thor I'm sure @Tsundoku will have a great answer too, but that doesn't mean the existing one doesn't deserve a bounty. I agree that user has been providing really noteworthy answers.
Happy Int'l Women's Day, ladies! I guess it's a bit late for most of y'all but @bobble and I still have several hours of it left.
Whereas I am looking through old Unanswered questions because that seems to be the only way I can help ><
@CowperKettle ooh nice. I wonder whether Margaret Atwood has been translated into Belarusian.
@bobble how odd
@Randal'Thor chouette! 🥬😎
1:01 AM
@bobble ? You help in a lot of ways.
Help with answering, I mean
I do feel bad for not answering, sometimes I think I am just annoying people with edits
@bobble you've provided some great answers? Like the one about the timeline of the bunny saga
and your edits are good trouble
The timeline answer was a bunch of scut work. Digging up the details by a close re-reading. No analysis or deep insights, like in your or Tsundoku's or Rand's or <insert great answerer here>'s answers. Granted, it was very fun scut work.
Forgive me, I am being sad here because I have now gotten two college rejections and no acceptances yet. Not fair to you to take it out in moping here. I know that other people value my work.
2:06 AM
@bobble I'm sorry about your college applications. I hope and trust you will get good news from some other school soon.
Q: What classic mystery novels and stories led to "the butler did it" becoming a cliché?

verbose"The butler did it" is a common trope indicating a hackneyed solution to a mystery. I have read several classic mysteries from the 1920s and earlier (Poe, Conan Doyle, Christie, Sayers, etc.) but do not recall a single instance of the butler's actually being the criminal mastermind, let alone eno...

2 hours later…
4:22 AM
Would an author interview explaining their thoughts on a certain line, be a valid thing to cite in an answer to a question about that line?
5:10 AM
Q: Was authorial intent ever taken seriously in academic literary theory?

TsundokuWhat does the author mean? and What does the author want to say/convey/express/...? are questions we heard countless times during literature classes at school. In other words, it is a common didactic device. However, in the 1940s, W.K. Wimsatt and Monroe Beardsley, both representatives of the New...

Q: How much weight is given to authors' intentions in literary analysis?

user111When people analyze literature, one of the first things people seem to do is look for interviews or quotes from the author where the author describes the meaning they intended their text to have. My question is: when academics and professors of literature analyze texts, how much weight do they ...

Q: How much weight should we give authors' declarations of their intent after the fact?

EJoshuaS - Reinstate MonicaVery closely related: How much weight is given to authors' intentions in literary analysis? Related (as an example of what I'm talking about): Is there any textual evidence to support that Dumbledore was gay? Loosely related: Should Go Set a Watchman change our view of Atticus defending Tom Rob...

Q: The author of a literary work disagrees with critics about meaning—who's right?

Aurora0001I've just come up with a conjecture on what a piece of literature means, but the author has said that they didn't mean for their work to suggest that. For example, Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 is often considered an iconic book about censorship, but Bradbury says that he didn't write the book a...

Should I take it as a positive thing that I have already read three of those questions? Or should I be worried for my priorities if I've spent that long reading old questions?
Uuuuh definitely the first
Are you guilty as well?
I mean I read them when they were posted, but... yeah
The next group of questions I'm tacking for retagging is the old, old ones - from private beta there are a bunch of questions that don't have the best tags
So I will probably end up reading a lot of them
5:16 AM
Yeah private beta was a mess
As far as I can tell private beta was a crazy free-for-all with a bunch of nerds throwing questions around like there was no tomorrow
sounds accurate
Because if you don't ask tons of questions, there is no guarantee that there will be a "tomorrow" for the site at that stage
I much prefer coming in later when rules and customs are a little more... existent.
I've been involved in a few private betas. They're fun, although hectic.
IPS's was possibly the most challenging one I participated in.
I have nearly asked an IPS question more times than any other site I don't have an account on
5:50 AM
@Randal'Thor I hit "submit" on an edit to the Invictus question about a second after the "another edit has been made" indicator popped up... we made basically identical edits. Discarding mine now.
Q: Invictus William Ernest Henley meaning in detail

ajayrameshhttps://poets.org/poem/invictus - except last two lines, I am not able to understand properly, can someone explain in detail ? Out of the night that covers me, Black as the Pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumsta...

Heh, that seems like a bug
Migrated over to us a bit ago
Q: William Ernest Henley's "Invictus"

ajayrameshI am not able to understand William Ernest Henley's poem "Invictus" properly, except the last two lines. Can someone explain in detail the meaning of this poem? Out of the night that covers me, Black as the Pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. In the fel...

6:39 AM
H'm I'm not sure this is actually an answer. It's just speculation. I don't want to VTC because (1) it's my own question and (b) I've crossed swords with the answerer before (see the comments).
It would be a good comment on the question though
7:15 AM
by VTC I meant delete of course. sorry
4 hours later…
10:58 AM
@bobble The author's thoughts about a work's meaning is a valid source. It's just not necessarily the last word on that work (or line).
Q: "such a face— ’im, yet not ’im—like a sudden..." - meaning of a sentence from a short story

John VI would really appreciate some help here because I am absolutely clueless regarding the meaining of the phrase in bold (a ghost story by A. Blackwood http://algernonblackwood.org/Z-files/Deferred_Appointment.pdf): At length everything was ready, only the flashlight waiting to be turned on, when,...

@bobble I can't speak for the others, but I didn't learn that overnight. It's the result of years of reading literature and reading some stuff about literature. When I was still at school, I wasn't able to write the sort of answers I write now (except perhaps for the simpler ones). So give yourself time to absorb more literature.
@bobble That is something I only half understand: that you need to apply and get rejected. When I finished secondary school in Belgium, I just went to the nearest university, told them what I wanted to study and got enrolled. That was it. At the time, only civil engineering and medicine had entrance exams. So best of luck with your next application.
11:26 AM
@Tsundoku Wow
3 hours later…
2:29 PM
I want to post a question about a comic that has a separate writer and illustrator. My question is about the meaning of a sentence in the dialog, so it concerns the writer. Should I use a tag for the writer only, or tags for both the writer and the illustrator? The questions about the Astérix have both, but that's not a good precedent, because Udzero was actually the writer in later comics.
2:51 PM
@bobble Great pun, made even better because I can't tell if it was intentional or not.
@bobble There were 80 questions posted on the first day of private beta, many of them getting tons of upvotes despite not-good quality and no HNQ in private beta.
@Randal'Thor alas, it was unintentional
@Tsundoku I've learned a huge amount about analysing and studying literature just from being on Lit.SE and open to learning from others around me. When this site was created, the only relevant experience I had was EngLit GCSE and a few years on Sci-Fi "Google Up Some Quotes" Fantasy SE. (Four years later, I still don't think my knowledge or answer quality comes near yours or Gareth's or verbose's. But hey, there's always more to learn.)
@Tsundoku I have sent off all my applications months ago. I will hear back from the other schools (7) in mid or late March
Back when college applications weren't done through online portals, when you got a rejection letter you could at least trust someone human had to package it, send it. Both rejections have been an email saying "check your portal for updates", then a few clicks to arrive at a standardized rejection message.
3:10 PM
@Tsundoku As a mathematician, I've mostly encountered engineers as the butts of jokes, but I understand it's often seen as a prestigious bachelor's discipline :-)
@b_jonas Eek, I don't really know how tagging works for . Maybe @Gallifreyan or @Mithical can advise you.
Hello everyone
Hi! I'm in high school too, so I'll give it a year's time before I find myself in your boat.
It's weird to think I'll be leaving my high school this year. Hopefully I can actually go to university and it isn't all online
I hope they give you a ladder to leave your school, if it's that high.
3:16 PM
I have indeed seen the hidden ladders to go to the roof or up to the top of the theatre
@Randal'Thor Ours had stairs. And an elevator, which was supposedly reserved for teachers and required a key.
3:29 PM
@Randal'Thor I like 'Sixth Form' too. There's the image of pupils sitting on one massive bench.
> August Wilhelm (after 1812: von) Schlegel (/ˈʃleɪɡəl/; German: [ˈʃleːgl̩]; 8 September 1767 – 12 May 1845), usually cited as August Schlegel, was a German poet, translator and critic...
Permission to change to ?
3:47 PM
@bobble As far as I know, nobody says August Schlegel.
I usually go off Wikipedia for this stuff
@Tsundoku I have a question that might be better suited to The Language Lab. It's about French.
I was reading Le Petit Prince the other day and I was quite taken aback by the number of types of verbs.
So far, I've only learnt the present and passé composé.
Would you recommend reading it any further just for the vocabulary or should I go back to grammar?
@bobble August Wilhelm Schlegel (Wikipedia).
@Soyuz42 That really depends on whether you have difficulty understanding what is going on.
If you want to expand your vocabulary by reading, the advice that I have read (specifically from Paul Nation) is that at least 90-95% of the words should already be familiar.
3:55 PM
@Tsundoku I understand, but only if I have the translation on the side :)
@Tsundoku oh
But that advice does not take grammar into account.
But if there is a verb form and you can't even figure out what verb it is derived form, I would count that as unknown vocabulary.
Incidentally, you can't get books from the libraries here again.
My guess is that it will be two months of break again.
@Tsundoku Ah, but even if I looked up the verbs in a dictionary, I can't place the actions in the appropriate time.
@Soyuz42 I can't remember what other tenses Le Petit Prince uses. Probably also the imparfait, perhaps also the passé simple.
And the plus-que-parfait
3:59 PM
Ah, of course.
I might plan a very ill-advised cover-to-cover reading of Le Bon Usage
Whether you want to continue reading depends on bit if you want to do extensive reading (cf. Nation above) or intensive reading (looking up stuff etc.).
I've been learning English for three decades, longer than I've had glasses, and I still have no idea how English tenses work.
French tenses seem saner in some ways but strange in other ways.
French tenses are definitely more complicated, I believe.
I remember reading some pages of the CGEL
Something about verbs in English having six(?) lexical forms.
French tense formation is definitely more complex than in English. Correct usage is a different matter.
4:02 PM
@Tsundoku I'm talking mostly about correct usage, picking which tense you use.
Which is rather different in French vs English.
French has a difference between imparfait and passé composé, which is somewhat reasonable to understand, and a stylistic difference between passé composé vs passé simple which I admit I don't understand at all, but you can mostly ignore it in everyday conversation.
I agree that English tenses don't make sense and I'm lucky to speak English natively; choosing tense is instinctual.
(Plus there are other less important problems with auxiliary verbs and a few of the unusual exceptions that use indicatif vs subjonctif in a non-intuitive way.)
@Soyuz42 That may be a bit over the top. You could take a look at Grammaire progressive du français - Niveau intermédiaire (A2/B1) if that's your level.
Whereas English uses simple past, past continuous, past perfect in some weird way that I get wrong multiple times in every page I write.
@Tsundoku The very book I'm going through at the moment!
4:07 PM
On SE, sometimes an editor fixes those tenses in my posts to more idiomatic choices, but even after that I have no idea how they chose those tenses.
@Soyuz42 Ah, I suppose you've looked at this page ;-)
Actually, my teacher recommended it to me.
@b_jonas There is a logic to it but it requires careful explanation.
And then sometimes it's just "here's an exception because of <insert weird historical/linguistic reason here>"
Oh, do you have an example?
4:10 PM
I wanted to understand the functioning too (mainly because some of the intriguing jargon at english.stackexchange.com) so I started going through the CGEL
And then I thought "what an absolute waste of time this is" after 100 pages.
Not at the moment, no.
But for anything in English grammar there will be at least a few weird exceptions
I have never looked at the CGEL. The library doesn't have it and it costs an arm and a leg.
@Tsundoku archive.org is your friend.
At least, it used to be there. It seems to be taken down now.
Well, yes, I can't imagine that would have been uploaded legally.
If you want a really detailed grammar that can be read by mere mortals, take a look at Cambridge Grammar of English by Carter and McCarthy.
I found Lehr- und Úbungsbuch der deutschen Grammatik on there yesterday
I have absolutely no time for learning German
But I did it because I can :)
4:15 PM
@Soyuz42 That's also a classic. I own two editions now. One I bought as a student and one I bought over a decade later.
Simply known as "the yellow one".
Is that the Übungs-?
For yellow?
Exactly. Recent editions also say "Die gelbe aktuell" on the cover.
gelb = yellow
Is it yellow because it's published by Longman and Longman uses yellow as their theme color?
So we've covered grammars for French, English and German. Any other languages we should cover? ;-)
@b_jonas I meant Lehr- und Úbungsbuch der deutschen Grammatik, which is yellow and published by ... Hueber, I think.
Yep, Hueber.
scifi.stackexchange.com/q/153134/4918 is one such case, on Sci Fi, a short post where an editor edited the tenses, and I've no idea how he chose which tense to use where
4:25 PM
> Sirius Black checked immediately after he found out that Peter Pettigrew has disappeared from his house, and “saw their house, destroyed, and their bodies”.
> Sirius Black checked immediately after he found out that Peter Pettigrew had disappeared from his house, and he “saw their house, destroyed, and their bodies”.
For the "has/had" thing, the verb tenses should all agree with each other. You start out the sentence with "Sirius Black checked", so "had" is better than "has"
The "he" thing ends up being personal preference, either way is fine
Yes, but it's difficult to say what is 'agreement'. One is past simple and the other past perfect.
I'm not sure why the agreement works like that, but my grammar-brain immediately jumped onto "something is not right here" and then offered "look it didn't agree" as an explanation
Personally, this is akin to explaining how to swim.
I'm monolingual, but the only time I seriously tried to learn another language was Japanese where the tenses make much more sense than English. :D Sorry about my terrible explaining skills
(technically my parents sent me to Chinese school but I don't recall learning grammar there, just memorizing endless lists of words)
Oh you're quite alright. I speak Malayalam (spoken by Keralites, from the South of India) at home, but I can neither write nor read very well in it.
4:32 PM
@Soyuz42 No that's different. I'm actually getting worse at swimming, whereas I don't think my English is getting worse.
I think just about everyone's getting worse at swimming now.
Okay, most of the changes there are personal preference
Apart from the haven't learned to hadn't learned.
It should be singular, I suppose.
And haven't is plural.
@Soyuz42 I started to get worse even when I could go swimming.
At least six years ago.
4:37 PM
"have not learnt" would be acceptable if I was saying "I have not learnt how to side-along Apparate".
You could also say "Amos has not learnt how to side-along Apparate", but that is a different meaning than your sentence is trying to convey
Actually, huh
It's a very similar meaning
Although, the 'it is' to 'it's' correction is just silly.
However, I can't think of any scenario where you could say "Amos have not learnt". Not sure why. It screams "wrong" to my brain.
Because Amos is singular?
Maybe? I don't recall ever formally learning tenses or plurality of verbs and such.
My grammar is all from reading lots and lots and lots of books
Names are generally singular
4:44 PM
If Amos refers to a tribe of some sort than haven't would be fine, I think.
Although then you'd generally put a "The" beforehand.
"Americans have not learnt how to deal with politics". That works? I think so.
That's referring to multiple individuals, not the country
"America has not learnt how to deal with politics"
And now you're back to singular. (:
4:46 PM
"The Tuareg have controlled several trans-Saharan trade routes"
5:04 PM
Not using punctuation correctly can have strange consequences: "Let's learn how to chop, marinate, and cook friends."
Q: Shouldn't "fidgety about not being left" have been "fidgety about being left" in "The Markenmore Mystery"?

Ahmed SamirIn "The Markenmore Mystery" (1922) by J. S. Fletcher, Harry was talking with his neighbour about his ill old father and the possibility of his death at anytime: “Well, I must go,” the neighbour said. “You’ll be sure to let me know if there’s anything I can do? But you say Sir Anthony’s not in im...

@Tsundoku My favourite: We invited the strippers, JFK and Stalin.
That's also an old one.
5:22 PM
Wow, 106 new messages in here since I went AFK.
Mostly grammar
And I made several new friends!
Welcome to the den! :-D
Glad to be here.
Did you say your pronouns?
5:29 PM
He/him, but you can also call me sir or m'lord.
I'm she/her, Mithical/Mith is they/them, and as far as I know everyone else is he/him
@Soyuz42 While we're on the subject of grammar, those are titles or honorifics, not pronouns. :)
Sob :(
I still haven't finished Inkdeath because I keep forgetting to stick it in my bag when I leave the house.
@bobble Since this refers to today, I expected "Have you said your pronouns". At least, that's what I would expect in British English. But American English is a bit diffferent.
5:35 PM
My brain thinks that both are equally fine
British English is obsolete and less commonly used
India still uses it; that's some percentage of a billion for BrE
I thought Indian English was separate?
They have the "doubt" = "question" thing at least
India doesn't use British English. They use a distinct variation.
We mostly take after the British
5:38 PM
It's based on British English, but the syntax often differs.
If there is any distinct variation, it is usually formed by butchering any sort of english.
I mean... it's a mostly standard dialect, isn't it?
@Mithical flagged
@Randal'Thor Britain is obsolete. The world has progressed past the need for Britain.
@Mithical Dialects? I don't know, we don't have any peculiar grammatical conventions
I know of only some words that are different in India
5:40 PM
@Mithical I saw (and voted to reopen) a good question on ELU about this yesterday:
Q: What are the differences between Indian English and other (native) varieties?

user366312From my observation, I can identify some differences. Indian speakers use some Hindi words which are not found among native speakers. Indian speakers pronounce 'w' and 'v' interchangeably. Indian speakers put strong stress when pronouncing 'd' and 't'. When constructing a complex sentence, India...

@Soyuz42 There are grammatical differences between British English and Indian English.
Such as, 'boot' in BrE is a funny word called 'dicky' in Indian English
Such as using "have" in the continuous form when it is not an auxiliary.
Do you mean as in 'have checking'?
or 'have swimming'.
@Tsundoku And using "until" to mean essentially opposite things.
5:44 PM
Ooh, I know one that drives me crazy.
"until X" in Indian English often means "until not X" in British English.
It's using 'the same' in every single e-mail.
I received this somewhat infuriating e-mail for a textbook I ordered:
"Please note the same has been forwarded to the concerned person for further details .

Once we receive the same will be shared."
@Soyuz42 "I'm not having my book ..."
@Tsundoku You may be right, considering that I automatically read this in my mind in an Indian accent.
1 hour later…
6:48 PM
Work or author/illustrator tags needed for this question? (calling people who know guidance)
(and that answer should probably be expanded, at least with a link to where one could verify for themselves)
7:14 PM
Q: The original bad baronet

mikadoAccording to W.S. Gilbert, "All baronets are bad" (Ruddigore). This sounds like it had become a stereotype of Victorian melodrama (e.g. Sir Percival Glyde, in Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White) but is there an original "Bad Baronet"?

@bobble See what I mean about crappy answers from private beta? :-)
The link in the comments is broken
The answerer seems to not be gone - "Last seen 16 hours ago" - worth a poke with a comment, you think?
Also, that thing you put in your suggested edit for the tag wiki, that was actually a question here!
If I can find fun little tidbits like that in the Wikipedia pages I usually add 'em in
@bobble Meh, IIRC that answerer has received a number of pokes to improve answers over the years. But always worth a try.
I'm still the only person to have downvoted that answer.
7:25 PM
Would the comment be NLN as its link is broken?
Might still be of value, e.g. if someone knows how that site has been rearranged (or even has the time to hunt down within that site where the relevant info can now be found).
Another question from day 1 of private beta where the top two answers aren't that good. The third one is much better, but also much later and languishing in votes.
*squints* what was Shog doing there
he's watching you
he was
...I mean, I know that, but what does that have to do with deleting random NaAs
7:34 PM
Helping out with some initial moderation while the community was on a private beta high?
That was long after private beta
@bobble It wasn't at that time though.
In private beta it'd make perfect sense for CMs to be deleting stuff, when mods hadn't been appointed yet.
That's why Robert Cartaino still has such a high review count in Suggested Edits, because a bunch of us were suggesting loads of tag wiki edits and only he could review them back then.
(oh, not as high as I remembered)
8:09 PM
Norton Juster, author of The Phantom Tollbooth, passed away yesterday at the age of 91. RIP.
@Mithical Want to make an RIP post on SFF meta? (since it's fantasy, and we haven't done that here so far)
will do
Wait, what? Norton Juster wrote a mathematical love story and I'd never heard about it before?
@Bookworm I'm not sure what tags to use, anyone help?
8:36 PM
@bobble might give you an idea ;-)
1 hour later…
9:57 PM
@b_jonas I'd most likely go with only the writer in this case. If it turns out the illustrator had an input on the dialog, one can always retag.
10:23 PM
@Randal'Thor Perhaps I should post my answer after you have awarded the bounty, then.
11:18 PM
@bobble Wow that's a sweeping statement.
as far as I know, the other regulars in here are he/him
anyone who isn't is free to correct me on that
There was a script somewhere that displayed every chat user's preferred pronouns next to their screen name here
@Gallifreyan Ok, thank you.
Q: Pronoun Assistant

Glorfindel Screenshot / Code Snippet About It's hard to miss these days - the Code of Conduct is about to change. It will emphasize the importance of using the correct pronoun when referring to a user in third person. This most often comes up in chat, and some users already have information about w...


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