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12:08 AM
@tchrist haha what is that. I didn't know we had that. Awesome.
@RegDwigнt Ain't it? It's not documented anywhere. Grace told us about it once, I think, or maybe Adam.
So how do I read that, did a whopping 23 people actually say the flag was "meh" before I went in and just said "invalid"?
Or the dev who did that.
Isn't that freaking bizarre?
12:10 AM
Fucking lazy Russians. Always saying "meh" to everything all the time.
Or maybe it was fucking lazy Americans who looked at that and said "meh, that's not a language even".
Maybe that means "I can't read Russian".
Yeah that.
Isn't that some sort of maternal copulation command in Russian?
Also, the other interesting thing that I noticed was that Evan Carroll is still a thing.
Or whatever he is.
Probably a thing.
12:13 AM
Well I only just dropped in before going to bed, but it was totally worth it.
The things I've learned!
Think of all the things.
I'd say he's more Thing One or Thing Two from The Cat in the Hat than he is Cousin It from The Addams Family.
Nobody ever thinks of the things!
dolce far niente
ni una cosa nuestra
So on that cheerful note I'm taking my leave for today. Lest I spend another second on the Internet and regret it.
12:15 AM
12:39 AM
@Cerberus Why don't you like it? It sounds perfectly idiomatic to me.
@RegDwigнt Well, as he says himself, "I AM AWESOME" ... and I assume you'll take his word on that.
2 hours later…
2:33 AM
@Robusto Umm to be in the lead makes me think of a race or competition?
You don't agree?
3:17 AM
@Cerberus There are different meanings for lead. It's not uncommon to have someone called the "tech lead" or "lead developer" in a dev group. That's just the way it is.
But "be in the lead"?
Perhaps it is a sports metaphor now penetrating other realms.
3:42 AM
Sure. That's inescapable. But in usages like "lead developer" I don't sense any sports redolence.
5 hours later…
8:35 AM
Hello! I'm very confused by this sentence... could you please help me?
I thought I (knew/ had known) what you were asking for.
I feel we should use "knew" but could you please tell me if it's correct and why? Thanks a lot :)
8:55 AM
She gave him everything he (/had) wanted, but still he (/had) never really loved her.
Here also, I think "had" should be used but I'm not sure which event happened before which. Please help me understand this. Thank you sooo much :)
@tchrist no, not about eternity. I'm just (very) confused about some grammar rules.
9:21 AM
@tchrist head asplode
1 hour later…
10:40 AM
A: How do the tens­es and as­pects in English cor­re­spond tem­po­ral­ly to one an­oth­er?

RobustoA visualization of what we mean in English by the various tenses:

both constructions are valid, but they mean different things
@MattE.Эллен hello! Thanks for telling that. Could you please tell me a little example when I should use the "had been" version?
@user8718165 you can see that in the answer I linked above
@MattE.Эллен Okay I'm reading it now. Thanks
no worries
10:56 AM
@Robusto that assumption is entirely correct, for who else's word could I possibly take. He knows himself very well. Us — well, as I was saying, some of us don't even know that he's a thing that exists.
Question for the main site: should it be "who else's", "whose else", or "whose else's". Fight.
@MattE.Эллен I would say that nine times out of ten you want knew there.
The rule for using Past Perfect is the same as for using a semicolon. If you're not sure whether you should use it, then you should not.
@MattE.Эллен hi. I think the sentence is I think I had known [at a point in time earlier than the time of conversation] what you were asking. Please tell me if my interpretation is correct. I read the answer. Thanks.
@RegDwigнt Thank you :)
11:16 AM
@RegDwigнt that's fair.
Could you please help me with my second sentence?
It is the same situation
what do you want it to mean?
you probably want to not use the hads
although here the sentence comes out meaning the same thing, I think
with the hads it sound more old fashioned
@MattE.Эллен I want it to sound something like- she gave him everything he wanted throughout the period of their relationship... I mean not like he had asked for sth before, and she did it for him at a point later in time... I want to talk generally.
I'm sorry, I went away for a while.
If the relationship is over, I'd go with "She had given him everything he had wanted, but he had never really loved her." because you're talking about a thing that finished in the past
11:42 AM
@MattE.Эллен Thank you so much for your assistance... I just have one last doubt...can I ask please?
11:54 AM
yes, go ahead
12:06 PM
okay :) He said, "I didn't realise it was midnight." In reported speech can we say He said he hadn't realised it had been midnight. or should we use it was midnight ?
Good moring
Does anyone know what the following part from the song "Shallow" means
I'm off the deep end, watch as I dive in
I'll never meet the ground
Crash through the surface, where they can't hurt us
We're far from the shallow now
I can't get a vivid picture for the scenario that it describes
@MattE.Эллен Many have told that both "was" and "had been" are correct but the perfect is way more formal. But I've seen "was" written in a similar example in Cambridge dictionary. Why didn't they use the formal version? Don't they generally use the more formal version? Here's the link. The very first example.
@Tim Good Morning :)
1:14 PM
Hello! Anybody around ?
@user8718165 in my opinion, keep the tenses the same as the speaker. "he said he didn't realise it was midnight"
"I didn't realise it was midnight"
"What did he say?"
"He said he didn't realise it was midnight"
@MattE.Эллен hello. Thanks for telling. Your version seems very natural to me and I'm pretty sure I'll use it in speech.
But will my teacher accept it in a test? I think in the test I'll have to use the past perfect version (as the rules say) in both the cases. What's your opinion sir?
1:48 PM
@user8718165 Yes, that seems fair. I'm afraid I've never had to take an English test :D
2:03 PM
@MattE.Эллен thank you so much for your kind assistance and bearing with me :)
I'm confused about the editing process on SE sites. In this current edit of a question, @tchrist has apparently replaced words with themselves. [See above]
I mean, in some cases he's replaced spaces with CRs, but mostly words have simply been replaced with the same words. I don't get it.
2:28 PM
@user8718165 you're welcome
@Robusto no idea. very weird
@Robusto actually, I thin kyour version had invisible characters in the edited words
if you click on the "source" link for version 11 and version 12, then copy "aspects" into the javascript console, you'll see the difference
version 11
@MattE.Эллен Maybe @tchrist inserted a bunch of soft hyphens?
That could explain it.
2:55 PM
I am too lazy to check. Also I'm preparing for a guitar lesson in half an hour.
But with that out of the way, I wouldn't expect tchrist to insert soft hyphens in words that begin a paragraph.
Unless he's gone completely bananas.
You'd have to make your window like 5em wide for them to kick in.
I think he was taking them out
@MattE.Эллен :)
i don't know how they got in there, mind you
Probably a CIA operation.
most likely explanation
3:01 PM
@RegDwigнt Well, he would likely just run them through a Perl program wholesale. I can't see him doing them one by one.
Or maybe Rob wasn't sure how to spell those words, so he painstakingly copypasted each from a dictionary that had soft hyphens embedded.
Yeah, that must be it.
I would applaud that kind of effort.
@Robusto I can't see him doing anything not in Perl.
He probably washes his hair and cooks his spaghetti in Perl.
@MattE.Эллен No, IIRC the new versions are the ones with soft hyphens.
My executive summary is that someone is bananas.
Not that I mind people going bananas, I'm an ananas myself.
3:04 PM
@RegDwigнt You just copy-pastated that from any executive summary ever.
yesterday, by Robusto
Of course.
Btw, guitar lesson? You're going to be a mile wide and an inch deep (1.6 km wide & 2.5 cm deep for all you metricists) in your skills.
Teaching not taking.
Also, whatcha mean "going to", I am already.
Mission long accomplished.
I am using nautical miles, tho.
Nautical miles may only be used on a large body of water. While you yourself may be mostly water, that still doesn't count.
You are forgetting just how large my body is.
3:09 PM
Not large enough to make you that kind of outlier.
Also, it's just my heritage.
@Robusto sorry, you are right
My dad uses nautical miles, and so that's what I do now.
do you use nautical Fahrenheit, too?
Aug 3 '18 at 21:00, by RegDwigнt
These are the ships he built most recently.
@MattE.Эллен our thermometre at home had Celcius and Réaumur.
3:12 PM
@MattE.Эллен Nautical Fahrenheit is the best, especially in the southern latitudes.
I know all about latitude. I wrote a song about it once.
With lyrics!
@RegDwigнt whatever works, I guess. so long as you note everything down in Kelvin
I always preferred Hobbes.
Gas hobs, or electric?
@RegDwigнt All songs have lyrics, except those misguidedly named "Song Without Words," which is a misnomer.
3:16 PM
@Robusto but what about that one song from The Swan Lake?
Obviously you've never been to the Internet, where every piece of music ever is a song.
The Internet doesn't exist. The world is merely crazy.
I've given up bitching about it on YouTube. Focusing my efforts on MuseScore now.
Literally nobody on there knows what a song is.
Unless they expect a singer to reproduce rifflings along an accordion bellows.
Looking at their writing, musical or otherwise, they do not expect anything.
They are just here to exist and then die.
The fate of all living things.
3:19 PM
Well yeah. But we're not talking fate, we're talking expectations.
Which are sort of direct opposites.
My expectation of all living things is not opposite of that.
I did not expect that.
Just like I never expected that if I went to a site for sheet music and clicked on the Community tab, all I'd ever find there would be politics, religion, and hangman games, and the only thing I'd never find there would be music.
And it's not even proper politics, like. It's US politics.
@RegDwigнt And your experience of EL&U isn't exactly like that?
And most users' profiles begin with the words "I am 13 years old, I am homeschooled and I believe in the Bible".
@Robusto there are very few 13-yo homeschooled Christians on here.
On MuseScore I shit you not. Everyone is.
Anyway I must be off to teach guitar. See you on the other side.
@RegDwigнt In that case, you should expect nothing more than what you see on MuseScore. You should be surprised, in fact, that they can put any words or musical notes together at all, much less coherently, cogently, or in anything like an edifying manner.
1 hour later…
4:32 PM
Well, it's about time!
Kuru is a terrible way to die.
2 hours ago, by Robusto
@MattE.Эллен Maybe @tchrist inserted a bunch of soft hyphens?
Care to comment?
5:02 PM
use TeX::Hyphen;

my $hyp = new TeX::Hyphen  leftmin => 2, rightmin => 3; #  "hyphen.tex";

while (my $line = <>) {
    chomp $line;
    for my $word (split /([^’\w]+)/, $line) {
        if ($word =~ /\w/) {
            print $hyp->visualize($word) =~ s/-/\N{SOFT HYPHEN}/gr;
        } else {
            print $word;
    print "\n";
@Robusto Vide supra
I probably piped the result through the fmt program, too.
1 hour later…
6:30 PM
@Robusto Yes absolutely.
I am not one bit surprised by the quality of the output given the producers.
What I'm saying is that it caught me off-guard to find out that these were the producers.
There are quite capable people on MuseScore, but they keep to themselves. Impossible to find on purpose, very hard to stumble upon even by accident.
They don't participate in discussions, they don't post on the help forums, they don't comment on others' scores, even on scores by others just like them. They don't follow anyone, and don't give two shits who follows them.
They don't add their stuff to groups or categories.
They just post it to their profile and go back into hiding. No-nonsense people just getting shit done.
Those are the ones I seek out.
The rest are just stupid children.
Who are stupid not because they are stupid but because they are children. People at a point in their lives where they haven't yet said or done anything of value or consequence. Let alone something profound or unique.
Some might or might not have potential. Some might or might not capitalize on that potential one day. But none have so much as shown it just yet.
2 hours later…
8:51 PM
Q: What's the correct punctuation for text between direct speech?

KratosI've had to proof some work recently and have come across several different styles for punctuating words between speech – some from writers, some from editors – which has made me doubt what I think is correct. Which of the following is the correct punctuation? Where the spoken sentence is meant...

Another perplexing question of the variety "if you have to ask that, stop writing and start reading".
Doesn't even have to be a book. Can be a newspaper. Can be a YouTube comment. Anything at all really.
1 hour later…
10:00 PM
@tchrist I kinda thought it would be something like that. Nice.
One question, though: What's the purpose of printing a newline character after each iteration? It doesn't seem strictly necessary since a "line" is really only a quantity (80?) of characters and most web containers word-wrap to a changeable width anyway.
@RegDwigнt Which is what makes teaching such fun.
@Robusto It's so when I pipe it through /usr/bin/fmt it wraps each long line into its own paragraph separated by a blank line.
No, wrong, it's because I had chomped.
So there isn't a newline there in my data stream by then.
This way it guarantees that the output file will be well-formed even in the face of mal-formed input files.
Even if the last line is missing its terminator, I'll restore it.
A text file is contains zero or more lines of text. A line of text contains zero or more characters followed by a newline.
Therefore a file that contains only foo\nbar\noops is a problem.
How many lines is that?
It's neither 2 nor 3.
If I process a mangled file like that, I restore the final newline that some clod neglected.
chomp deletes a trailing newline if present, and leaves the data alone if absent.
chop always shortens the data by one character no matter what it is.
Postel's Law applies.
"Be liberal in what you accept but conservative in what you produce."
@Færd How’s your world?
10:15 PM
@tchrist Sick and sickening. Otherwise good. And yours? :)
@Færd Same but for how those conditions are a month or three in my future.
Well I hope it gets better with the rise in the temperature
We don't yet know whether it will do that.
So hope is all we can do.
True. That's not nothing. You've got to keep the spirits high if you want to fight.
Iran appears to have many, many, many more cases than they have reported.
10:19 PM
And I'm sure your government will handle it better than ours. Although that's a low bar.
Otherwise it has to be 8 or 20 times more lethal there than elsewhere, which I find difficult to countenance.
@tchrist True. That's obvious from the mortality/confirmed ratio.
@Færd I'm unaware of how badly yours has done so, or at least of any particulars. But it sure seems like some sort of post-peregrination diaspora from Qom has set the entire region aflame with fever.
If it started from Qom, yes. But maybe it started everywhere all at once.
They were extremely careless with China after the breakout there.
I was mentioning one possible element. I have no reason to think it only occurred in Qom.
Meaning that Iran was extremely careless with humans going back and forth between the China and Iran after the breakout in China?
10:24 PM
But pilgrimage destinies are especially likely to exacerbate the spread.
That's why I mentioned Qom.
@tchrist Yes, for a while.
When your officials said that it might be in every city in your country already, I knew that it was much, much worse than any official numbers suggested.
And then they lied that the airlines were not working between the two countries, when they actually were.
@Færd WHAT?
10:26 PM
They said there weren't flights but there were? Why would they do that?
To calm people down. But they are beholden to China. They can't just refuse all collaborations.
Passenger flights were possibly all called off. But there were planes which did go to China and come back.
It's possible that your country may be able, at great cost, to treat the worst stricken and dampen the spread, but I cannot imagine what's going to happen to Afghanistan and Pakistan or Iraq. They won't be able to do that.
@Færd When the authorities over them continually lie to their own people, those people eventually replace those authorities.
I think the casualty counts may be higher in those countries, but the blow will be felt more strongly in countries that boasted a reliable health care system that will be now paralyzed.
@tchrist We've been trying.
I know.
You have a very large class of young, educated people in the professional classes, or at least in the middle classes. This makes you unlike those countries.
Lying to the peasants is not the same as lying to the doctors and lawyers. They take not kindly to it, and they see through it.
10:32 PM
True. But that makes for a wider chasm in the society. The establishment doesn't even understand, much less recognize, the concerns of those people.
Funny how much this all reminds me of the Meta Stack Exchange pseudo-drama since last autumn.
The youth are chafing in agnoy under restrictions that to the regime seem all but justifiable and necessary. The explosion may be catastrophic.
My country's current executive branch is disastrously ill-prepared to cope with this.
@tchrist I didn't follow that. A recap maybe?
@tchrist I could imagine.
@Færd Firing community moderators and community managers, and then lying to us about why.
10:35 PM
You get people in power whose first reaction to anything is to lie about it. Also their second and third.
@tchrist Must be alienating to diligent community members like you.
You don't build communities that way. You destroy them.
China has a tighter lock on its masses than Iran does.
But in all cases, the people are sick — and tired of the lying.
I heard the Chinese are also very angry at their government and openly expressing it in their social media.
Our current administration is of that same ilk.
@Færd They're trying.
Not getting very far. Lots of spooky things going down.
10:38 PM
Hold your elections sooner before corona hits.
I cannot imagine how that could happen.
> In the United States, Election Day is the annual day set by law for the general elections of federal public officials. It is statutorily set as "the Tuesday next after the first Monday in the month of November" or "the first Tuesday after November 1".
First, there's a law. Second, the people in power would never accept it, and so would never change the law.
Ah too bad then. I was just kidding tho.
You can't get somebody to pass a law hastening their own loss of power.
Or diminution of wealth, for the same reason.
Of course he wouldn't abdicate the presidency unless kicked out of office.
Oh, I don't think he'll leave on his own power no matter what.
And I don't know how that's going to play.
10:42 PM
He's close to a tyrant now.
By definition.
It was sad to see the American democracy not able to stop its own crumbling at the hands of this administration.
Few checks and balances left, if any.
@tchrist I wouldn't worry. If he loses the election, he won't be able to withstand the public pressure.
He'll say he didn't lose.
Just like he did last time.
And he'll stir his followers into mass civil unrest.
It's a standard tactic from tyrants.
10:45 PM
Other candidates have followers too, no less energetic and enthusiastic.
It's true that if it gets violent, the thugs will prevail.
But it won't. The fabric of your society is still strong.
They ran a survey about changing the rules to allow him to stay in office for a third or fourth etc term. Something like 25 or 40% of the Republicans were ok with it.
The Republican Senate is no longer a functioning democracy.
Nor are many of the state legislatures where they hold power.
@tchrist Even if that doesn't happen, your still likely to lose elections to republicans for years to come: nytimes.com/2020/01/28/books/review/…
I know. It's awful.
We're fucked for my lifetime.
But I think if the Democrats unite behind their front-runner and make defeating Trump their priority you could beat him this time.
It's going to be Mr Sanders, and that's going to be so many kinds of problems I don't even want to go there.
10:52 PM
He may even win, but quite possibly he shall not.
Is there a more electable candidate in your mind?
The problem is that he's a lightning rod for hatemongers.
Any of the current candidates would be a better choice than the current officeholder.
Did you know that Mr Sanders has never been elected as a Democrat?
The Powers That Be really hate him for that.
Yeah he's always been independent.
There are some in the Democratic establishment who are more terrified of him than Trump.
They're likely part of the problem.
Putin wants Sanders to be the nominee.
Whether just for the chaos or so that he'll lose more easily, I don't know.
10:57 PM
Hmm. Why would he?
Remember Putin's goal is to fragment and shatter the western alliance. He's already scored two of the most incredibly major wins. He's not stopping now.
It's to make us stop believing in ourselves, and to fight amongst ourselves.
Internecine squabbles in the west allow him greater freedom to expand his own power.
Well if he's exploiting existing fissures in Western societies like the US, then those societies might want to start sewing up those fissures instead of papering them over.
Like, closing the gap between the government and the people, for example.
We're all too distracted. Or self-interested.
Anyway, a lot depends on this election, and not just in America. Another term for Trump means an unavoidable war with Iran, for one thing.
I have to drive downtown now. Nice talking to you. Please try not to get sick. Or hurt.
War with Iran is nearly the stupidest thing I can imagine. Only nuking Russia or China would be worse.
11:01 PM
Enjoyed the conversation very much. You take good care of yourself too.

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