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01:00 - 16:0016:00 - 00:00

1:18 AM
2:06 AM
@Cerberus — 'Lo.
Semi-date stood me up for the third time... can you believe this! It is a good thing I am too drunk to realize. Sort of.
It'll come to you in the morning. With the hangover.
Yes it shall!
I can feel the alcohol ripping through my brain cells... ahh so very purifying!
2:09 AM
I drank half a bottle of wine but I'm not drunk.
Yeah that is quite OK.
Was it decent wine?
Yes. Zinfandel from Napa Valley.
Hmm that sounds good, even though I have no idea.
Did it bring you unforseen insights into the human language organ?
Nah. I don't get insights from wine. I just have fun.
A remarkable attempt at modesty and exquisiteness in a single website.
2:13 AM
Anyway, Ravenswood is a decent, affordable wine. It ain't Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, but neither is it box wine. Somewhere in between.
I believe you! I have never seen it around these parts.
But I do seem to see more bottles with black labels, that is, black backgrounds, white text.
"seem to see"... don't even bother commenting! I know how ugly that looks...
Sehr hässlich !
Do you always speak foreign languages in italics?
I'd have to speak in italics all the time...
2:19 AM
Yes. I italicize everything except Italian. Ciao bello!
Thanks! But your italicising English does kinda suck, then.
I mean, the angle must be so subtle as to be indistinguishable.
Weiß ich nicht.
Aber ich weiß es doch. Das reicht aus.
Du hast recht.
E&U.SE has gotten so boring lately. I wonder why.
I know!
It seems all good questions have already been asked.
I was going to ask a question about U in America... think that would be an OK question?
2:27 AM
The letter U?
U English v. Non-U.
I mean, surely it must exist. Emily Post wrote about it.
You have me at a disadvantage, sir.
Meh the problem is that group-specific usage statistics would be needed.
Ah. That kind of U.
It is similar to asking about anthropologist jargon or the like. Would be interesting to know, but how to get the stats.
2:33 AM
Stats. Are. Boring.
Not all stats!
Yes. All stats.
Really? Even... say, rep points?
There are two ways to dislike a subject that is all about language. One is simply to dislike it, and the other is to turn it into numbers.
Rep points especially are boring.
Good point.
2:39 AM
When I had a goal it was a game, now it's just a habit.
I know the feeling. Except that usually long games bore me long before I reach their goals...
Victa iacet virtus.
I'm gonna go to bed and read. TTYL.
Nighty night!
Read something good.
8 hours later…
10:40 AM
@Robusto I have some stats right here saying that 32.7–78.4% of all stats are not boring.
@Cerberus A remarkable and quite successful attempt at fail, if you ask me.
1 hour later…
12:06 PM
Does anybody have a copy of "The three piglets" in Esperanto?
La tri schweinetoj? (^_^)
You have it! ;-)
No, I only have a copy of La tri porketoj. Must be a mistranslation.)))
(Counting in Esperanto: unu, du, tri, kvar, kvin, ses, sep, ok, naux, dek. Yes, tri is a number.)
I can only imagining to read in it Esperanto. :-)
Maybe I would find more interesting a book about how to make porketajxo from a porketo. :-)
What the heck! I could use a porko!
(Isn't nice to be able to correct a post without any time limits? ;-))
@kiamlaluno How do you say "men at work" or "children at play" in Italian?
Can you use the Italian equivalent of "at" with activities? I forgot.
12:22 PM
Uomini al lavoro seems a nice translation.
Ah yes. So that's more of an "on" than an "at".
If you mean what we use in street sign, then we say lavori in corso.
Nah, I'm asking because of this question:
Q: Why use "at" in this way?

PurplegoldfishI always see signs such as Men at work or Children at play I was wondering why we use "at" in this way. Is it just a formal way of saying Men Working / Children Playing? Saying "At Lunch" seems sensible, yet even so I would only use this if I were out of the office etc, I wouldnt sa...

It's difficult you read uomini al lavoro.
Uomini al lavoro could be understood as "men at the working place."
That is an interesting question.
I mean, it's interesting the question you asked about how we say "children at play" in Italian.
@RegDwight — You're so ... static.
12:28 PM
I think we would probably say "children in area" or "place where children play."
Hey @Robusto, can I have your thoughts on this:
A: Why do we say “Japan earthquake” and not “Japanese earthquake”?

SnubianI'm not sure there is necessarily a rule for this type of situation - that is, when to use the name of the country and when to use the adjectival form. I think in many cases it's decided almost unconsciously based on what rolls off the tongue the easiest. The 'n' at the end of 'Japan' flows nicel...

I am very skeptical about this answer, as you can read in my comment.
Yes. I can see the problem.
For one thing, the way the main question is phrased is an example of the fallacy of complex question.
The fact is, we don't call it "the Japan earthquake"; we either call it the earthquake in Japane or the Japanese earthquake.
The thing is, like you, I would say "the California earthquake" instead of "the Californian earthquake" ... puzzling.
I would also refer to an earthquake in Chile as "the Chilean earthquake" — God, am I inconsistent!
That's actually quite interesting. Let's have some more examples, if you don't mind. What about other -ia's — India, Russia, Malaysia, Australia, Polynesia, Georgia, Armenia?
i'd use -an with all of those
euphony seems to win there, as the adjectival ending -an avoids the hiatus that would otherwise result from *India earthquake"
Indian, Russian, Malaysian, Australian, Polynesian, Gergian, Armenian.
12:40 PM
India tsunami seems less marked... but I think I still prefer Indian tsunami even there
so it's not just euphony
The thing is, both Japan and Japanese end in a consonant.
I think it's maybe about countries vs. American states. I cannot think of a case where I would refer to a quake in a state with an "-an" ending
@Robusto I was thinking about that, too. What's with North Carolina vs North Carolinian and all that.
The Florida hurricane, the Texas tornado, the Missouri earthquake ...
12:42 PM
Another thing to consider might be that the noun adjective is on the rise: I believe noun adjectives are generally used more than, say, a century before.
@Robusto But not the Bavaria earthquake?
Although I think "Alaska/Alaskan" could go either way.
If it was in Canada, it would be Canadian.
Not Texan Tornado?
But if it was in Manitoba, I think I would call it "the Manitoba earthquake" ...
@Cerberus — No way. That would be over-familiar.
12:43 PM
interestingly, there is a species of goose which is properly known as the "Canada goose", but which everyone refers to as the "Canadian goose"
suggesting that whatever's going on here, it's able to override the proper nomenclature
at least for geese. no word yet on earthquakes
Yeah I suspect that several complex factors are at work here.
If there were an earthquake in Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) I would call it the Ivory Coast earthquake, though.
Ivory Coastian? Puh-leeze!
@Robusto Ivorian?
i sure as hell wouldn't call it the Ivorian earthquake. but that's just because Ivorian sounds stoooopid
But would you ever use that adjective at all?
12:47 PM
no. never say Ivorian. listening to NPR back when there was that brouhaha over the president of the Ivory Coast was excruciating because all of the announcers insisted on using that eardrum-piercing word
(i'm so glad that peeving isn't off-topic for chat)
@RegDwight — No wayian.
No it ain't!
I still feel that the noun adjective sounds more modern in general, the true adjective more literary or something.
that may be the case
It could be more modern, but you don't say "Italy food."
@JSBangs — If peeving were off-topic for chat, this place would dry up and blow away.
12:51 PM
ah, but that's a different matter. Italy food isn't just located in Italy, but is actually Italian in origin and ethnicity
whereas the Japan earthquake is not of Japanese descent
i think that for food, clothing, language, etc. there is close to 100% preference for the adjective form
Here's another fun example: "The Japanese earthquake came close to causing a nuclear event that could have brought about the China syndrome."
The China Syndrome is a term that describes a fictitious result of a severe nuclear meltdown in which molten reactor core components penetrate their containment vessel and building. However the term is misleading, since molten material from such an event could not melt through the crust of the Earth and reach China. History and usage Nuclear power plants ordered during the late 1960s raised safety questions and created fears that a severe reactor accident could release large quantities of radioactive material into the environment. In the early 1970s, a controversy arose regarding the ...
Yeah a famous myth.
But note that I said "Japanese earthquake" but "China syndrome" ...
I do think the fact than Chinese is longer might be a factor.
12:53 PM
@Cerberus — No, that's not it at all.
But the China Syndrome is already a fixed phrase.
No, why not?
i think there is a hierarchy of factors, some morphological, some semantic, some phonetic.
for places ending in common toponymic suffixes such as -ia, there is a strong preference to always use the adjective -ian
These factors might exist in some tree-like model, or they might be cumulative...
12:54 PM
for states, there is a preference to use the bare state name--even in when this conflicts with the preceding rule
By state you mean country?
for foreign countries, there is a milder preference to use the bare name, except in the -ia case
for state i mean US state, as discussed above
sorry for my americo-centric perspective :)
(Quick question, which is better: Politico-Philosophical, or Political-Philosophical?)
Politico would be my choice...
1:00 PM
Probably if I were writing a paper and wanted to sound smart I would write politicophilosophical.
Really? No hyphen? Interesting.
hyphen maybe
I was focused on the morphology.
But hyphen would be a style preference.
For example, we have terms like morphosyntactic.
I think socio-economical is standard, isn't it?
Yes, for some reason morphosyntactic looks more "normal" without a hyphen.
1:02 PM
Well, there you have two vowels in a row.
But I presume you would not use social-economical?
With or without hyphen.
No; socio-economical is established. And I think socio- is itself well-established.
But using the hyphen is more of an art form in English.
But isn't there a tendency to change the first -al in any al-al compound adjective into -o, if I may phrase it like that?
I know, hyphen use is hard to pin down.
1:05 PM
@Cerberus Yes, I think there is a tendency.
Also any al-ic compound adjective.
I am helping a friend with her PhD and we were considering politico-philosophical v. political-philosophical. Both forms exist.
Yeah, perhaps any al-x adjective?
Personally, I think politico-philosophical is absolutely PhD-ish :)
Then we are agreed.
Q: "...and the fire from the stove engulfed him" or "jumped on him" or "covered him" or "devoured him" or what?

brilliantWhich verb should I use here? He opened the stove and the fire from the stove [engulfed/jumped on/covered/devoured] him. "Help! Help!" - he shouted at once. "I'm on fire!"

i vote for move to writers.se
1:08 PM
I voted it as off-topic.
Wow, RegDwight never lets me have any fun.
I couldn't migrate it in time.
He can be a meanie.
so did I... can't we get a "belongs on writers.se" sub-option for off-topic posts?
Do we get many of those?
more than anything else
1:10 PM
Can people vote to migrate at a certain rep level?
@JSBangs When it gets out of beta, yes.
How is writers.SE doing, getting-out-of-beta-wise?
@Kosmonaut People can pick a site from the "off-topic" list, which can have up to five entries. Ours has just one right now: meta.ELU.
I can't vote to migrate.
Right, meta is there.
1:11 PM
@Kosmonaut Okayish to worrying.

Beta Q&A site for authors, editors, reviewers, professional writers, and aspiring writers

Currently in public beta.

@Cerberus There isn't such thing like voting to migrate: you can only vote a question as off-topic, and then you could select which site better suits for the question.
If writers.SE doesn't make it... where will we send all of this stuff? :)
@JSBangs Previously discussed here:
A: Extend the list of SE sites presented when a question is being closed as off-topic.

RegDwightWriters is still in beta. Migration paths are only added to graduated sites. For example, there was no migration path from StackOverflow to Programmers until the latter went out of beta, even though many, many people wanted to have one right away. See e.g. here and check the top answer by Shog9: ...

@Kosmonaut /dev/null.SE
@Cerberus Alternatively, you can flag for moderation attention.
@Kos: Right, that is what I suspected.
1:12 PM
i think that writers will make it... it's been trending upwards since launch
it's just been moving slowly
@JSBangs Thanks to our help!
We have quite a few old questions that could use migration to Writers. Alas, they are too old.
Q: Please check the language rules, spelling, and sentence structure; prove my essay

firdausI choose to study geology because I am interested to study about the earth. My father is the inspiration for me to choose this course. He encourages me to get involve in this area because he as geologist has gained valuable experience and know a lot of information about this jobs. At young age, I...

so far writers doesn't show any of the signs that have doomed other closed proposals: poor focus, lack of experts, uncontrolled subjectivity
The biggest problem is low activity, is that right?
yeah, and that's a problem that takes care of itself with time
at first it was really worrying, with less than 1 Q/day
@JSBangs Except when it doesn't, see Atheism.
1:15 PM
@RegDwight i was never really sure why atheism died
aside from the fact that they pissed God off, of course
@JSBangs I would link to that answer by Robert Cartaino, but it was on meta.Atheism.
Xblast time here, afk!
I think that writers.SE can do it. The other site where users can ask those questions is english.SE, but we are migrating questions there, when they better suit there.
Atheism died, but it lives on in spirit.
To be honest, I just didn't get what people would want to discuss about atheism. They all believed it anyway. I have posted a few answers there but I drifted off too.
@Kos: Starred and vice-thwacked.
It's quiet different with drupal.SE, as users who already ask questions on SO keep to ask them there, even if they are questions about Drupal.
1:18 PM
@Cerberus i have a somewhat similar problem with skeptics.se, which doesn't seem to have any core group of "experts" that can contribute to it. so far it mostly seems like a wikified snopes.com
Hmm lemme see...
Yes, I see a similar problem I think.
It's just a bunch of like-minded people huddling together, their shared culture being "no".
Denying something doesn't seem to be the kind of subject that will generate much content. But perhaps I am wrong.
Greetings, Great Mushroom.
gah! must ignore chat and go back to work...
Good luck...
Gah! I must ignore work and go back to chat.
How excruciating!
1:24 PM
Work keeps interfering with my fun.
@Matt Ellen: Your question was just deleted as I was inches away from finishing my answer
Can't see it!
It was about why idea and identity are pronounced with an [ɑɪ] at the beginning.
Also isobar, island, ivory, and any number of others.
I was going to explain the transition of the "i" vowel from [i:] to [ɑɪ].
1:32 PM
And, for some, Italian. :)
Iran and Iraq
For some
Gah. My answer even had a chart.
Shall I ask it again?
I would have to rewrite it anyway.
Oh you didn't save it...
Why was it deleted anyway?
Someone made a comment that pointed out several other words like it, then the author lost his nerve and deleted it.
1:36 PM
Oh! I see.
Oh well.
Do we have questions on the vowels shifts anyway?
We have a general one on the Great Vowel Shift.
This answer would have tracked "i" specifically and in more detail.
I believe the i>ai shift is part of the Great one?
Yes, it is.
1:40 PM
Or is it i<ai... yes that is it, right?
I would have written i: -> ɑɪ :)
The < and > symbols kinda suck in linguistics because they have some overlap and some contradiction with the mathematical symbols.
And, more importantly, they operate contrary to arrows if you write just >, am I right?
The shorthand you are talking about is pretty much used in dictionaries and stuff, and I avoid it because it is confusing.
I suppose you can't go wrong with -> ?
I still see < 90% of the time, alas.
At least people never(?) write such phonological changes counter-chronologically, so that it basically doesn't matter which symbol they use.
Or do they...
No, they do!
That's it.
That's why it can often be confusing.
Sometimes they first note the form they want to talk about, then add its origin as an afterthought.
When space is not an issue, better to just use something more explicit.
1:46 PM
@Robusto It is, when you mean "Hai!-talians."
Agreed. And space shouldn't be much of an issue any more with digital texts.
2:03 PM
Whoops! I wrote drupal.english.stackexchange.com, instead of meta.drupal.stackexchange.com; I guess I was trying to merge the sites.
2:35 PM
@kiamlaluno — I never mean that. Not ever.
@Robusto I know you didn't mean that. I was just making a "play on words" with "Ah, Italians!"
3:17 PM
Q: Is the term "Move Over" an official English Idiom? And if so is it only American English?

Ehrann MehdanIs the tern "Move Over" is an official English Idiom known worldwide?, I would like to know: Is it an Official English Idiom (not slang or colloquial)? Is it known outside of the US (e.g. in the UK, Australia, India etc)? Does it have any multiple meanings? Does it have any ambiguousness? How l...

that one is quite funny
Yeah... I don't understand the obsession with "official English"
Is that an ESL thing?
it's a reasonable question if you're going for formal writing
Then ask, "Can I use 'move over' in formal writing?"
though non-native speakers tend to overestimate how much precision there is in specifying standard vs. non-standard usage
@MrHen yeah, good point. there's no list of "official English idioms" to check
@JSBangs I wonder how close "official idiom" is to being an oxymoron...
3:24 PM
Even many native speakers think there is an "actual" English out there.
I guess I haven't looked up the strict definition of the term in a while.
@Kosmonaut They are taught matter-of-factly by their teachers. It makes sense that the teachers are getting their answers from somewhere.
(I guess the OP didn't hear the song "Move over.")
@MrHen Yes, they get them arbitrarily. Sometimes reflecting usage, sometimes not.
@MrHen English is not my first language, but I have never asked about "official" English.
@Kosmonaut Learning that is akin to discovering Santa is a myth. "What?! They were just picking stuff arbitrarily?"
@kiamlaluno A better way to word the question: "Are people who learn ESL more likely to ask about an official English?"
3:30 PM
I would not even ask about official Italian.
Q: Why is this show called Singapore Idol, not Singaporean Idol?

ItiIn other cases, a [country] Idol show titles use the demonym: American Idol, Malaysian Idol or Indonesian Idol. Why is this show called Singapore Idol, not Singaporean Idol?

Am I having a deja-vu?
@kiamlaluno How are we supposed to know the answer to that?
@MrHen Which answer?
Q: Why do we say “Japan earthquake” and not “Japanese earthquake”?

Dave BriccettiIsn’t earthquake a noun and the preceding word an adjective? Isn’t “Japanese” the adjectival form of “Japan”?

@kiamlaluno Why the Idol franchise chose a particular name for their show.
We just ask to who created that show.
@kiamlaluno That seems far outside of the scope of this site.
3:39 PM
The next question will be "why do we say Italian food and not Italy food?"
"Why do we say Ninja Turtles and not Ninjan Turtles?"
@kiamlaluno We (as the site) can answer that. We cannot account for the decisions of a series of TV shows.
@kiamlaluno I don't understand where you are going with this.
@MrHen I didn't mean we would account for the decisions taken from anybody.
@MrHen The last question asked is repeating the first one.
(By the way, you don't say ninjan, do you?)
@kiamlaluno I don't say Ninjan Turtles. But ninjan turtles sounds cool.
Anyway, the last question was trying to be a joke.
Ninja Turtles are cooler (until you don't make a soup)!
@Kosmonaut I was hoping you'd have a clue on this question.
3:50 PM
Well, I think if you made up a list of monosyllabic words containing stops, the list would be quite huge.
Even ones containing voiceless stops.
Is there any common feature of profanities?
They are... profanities.
I know what I'm saying is probably totally wrong, I was hoping someone would able to take the germ of question and guess what I was getting at.
Phonological feature, I meant, kiamlaluno.
@Billare I know.
@Kosmonaut Um, I think @Billare's point is not that most words with feature X are profanities, but that most profanities are words with feature X.
3:57 PM
I get that. But what I mean is, if it is likely for any monosyllabic word to have feature X then it isn't so significant.
The extreme case being that they all have a vowel.
Ah. Yeah. Totally.
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