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Naw eempawcible.
> The mass of cooler air poured through the mountains towards the Pacific Coast, sweltering in a heat wave at the time, whipping up a windstorm that acted “as a giant bellows.” In Oregon, the relatively small Beachie Creek fire grew from just 500 acres to more than 131,000 acres
I never voted for it.
But those who did carried the state, apparently.
Also this:
> Eight people who refused to wear masks in Indonesia have been made to dig graves for those who have died after contracting coronavirus, according to a report in The Jakarta Post. “There are only three available gravediggers at the moment, so I thought I might as well put these people to work with them,” said Suyono, the district head responsible for the punishment. “Hopefully this can create a deterrent effect against violations,” he added.
It's being just terrible all over the place.
We've got a baseline national infection rate at around 40,000 new cases a day, and around 1,000 deaths. That's a terribly high baseline. And it's only going to get much worse from there: it will be six months before we again see this much light. That angers me, but railing against the darkness does not banish it.
1:24 AM
If I thought praying would do any good I'd get down on my knees.
It's curious how reflexively the mind retreats in times of terror beyond words to repeating the ancient memorized psalms and prayers of one's extremely distant youth long after all spiritual affiliation has fled.
Pavlov, perhaps.
It's a reflex, like calling for your mother.
Or too many Godspell shows.
Yeah, I long ago realized there's nobody up there who likes me enough to save my bacon.
Like so many mantras repeated again and again, the repetition of familiar patterns may have its own powers over the mind. It stops you from babbling wildly and unattended.
1:38 AM
Well, except when it doesn't.
Cure for evil earworms.
They made it easy for you, though, by using Brazil not Portugal.
I'm getting one in ten words from the Catalan, with 50% confidence on even those.
Yeah. Italian is easier. French easier still but only because I studied it for real like.
And here's what Portuguese weather forecasts really sound like:
I never studied French but I somehow get it easier than other languages. Like that weather forecast, I had much greater understanding, certainly, than I did the Cataloan.
Compare that with the Brazilian one. Really different. And remember they're all trying to be speak clearing.
If you listen to some program from Portugal just once, it feels like you're missing a lot. Then if you read a transcription, you go wait seriously that's all it was? Why didn't she say it like that!
The Spanish is the only one that clicks in my brain and I hear every word and know what he's saying without thinking or even paying attention. But that's the accent I lived in, so it's the easiest one for me.
The others come through in various clarities, save for Romanian which is hopeless. I'm not Russian.
1:52 AM
The Spanish mother tongue sounds crisper than, say, Colombian Spanish, and more front-of-the-mouth all the way around.
Although Colombia is said to have the clearest Spanish of the New World. It's not Cuba.
The "set" of the mouth is somehow crisper. Not sure if it's the more dental T's and D's, or the THs, or the way the S is apical nor laminar like ours.
The R and RR come out nice, always.
Mexican seems broader, more relaxed.
Yes, the mouth seems more relaxed there.
In Spain it pecks at you the same way Italian does.
"Pecks" is a good word for that.
Reminds me of a bird somehow.
Te pica más en España.
1:57 AM
Plus TV weather folks speak in an ungodly hurry.
The Portuguese is nice there, too. I like to listen to it, for some reason. It's not sing-song.
Notice how the ends of her words just drop off.
"grupos" is basically just "grupsh". The o at the end is gone.
But that's a variable effect, the unstressed vowel reduction.
At least the -o kind. The -e kind of dropping is more solidly predictable, like in French.
Like all the "tranquilidade" type words always end exactly the way they do in Spanish: there is no -e you can hear in Portugal.
But in Brazil they all become something that sounds like the end of your pronunciation of "dodgy" in English.
Actually, the whole of dodgy. :)
So the surname Mendes doesn't like a Mexican would say Méndez. It sounds more like some English word menge if it existed.
It becomes a clattering of consonants smacking into each other with nothing in between, and SH and ZH sounds everywhere, and here and there a nasalized vowel -- if you're lucky.
So you know that sapo means toad and rana means frog, right?
You'd recognize them in Spain every bit as well as you would in Mexico. And sapo at least in Brazil sounds the same. But in Portugal it's just sap(u) with a little dropped-off unstressed and reduced until it's almost only a mental u.
If you make them say it slowly and carefully it comes out like sapooh. :)
Many now would say rana with what sounds to your ear like a French r there. Some still have the Spanish one, but not many these days.
@Robusto Run go look outside at the moon: is it orange for you?
2:37 AM
@tchrist It's white. Well, gray and mottled. Yours is orange?
Q: What are the "garment thin" and the "prize" in the song "The Ballad of the Shape of Things to Come"?

CopperKettleFrom the song "Shape of Things to Come": Triangular is the piece of pie I eat to ease my sorrow Triangular is the hatchet blade I plan to hide tomorrow Triangular the relationship which now has ceased to be And triangular is the garment thin That fastens on with a safety pin To a prize I had no ...

@Robusto really orange here
3:17 AM
[ SmokeDetector | MS ] Few unique characters in answer, repeating words in answer (173): What is a word that describes the start or opening of a conversation? by Amanda Kaspar on english.SE
2 hours later…
4:48 AM
Q: Has China eliminated local transmission of COVID-19 within its borders?

Obie 2.0Many sources assert that China appears to have eliminated COVID-19 within the country, except for the odd imported case or cluster, which is quickly isolated and eliminated. For instance, Worldometer's coronavirus tracker, based on data provided by each country's government, shows no new cases fo...

5 hours later…
9:45 AM
If you don't trust the official sources, what would a good answer look like? What evidence could we provide, either way? — Oddthinking ♦ 3 hours ago
I suspect the OP is looking for validation of their particular political stance. Not a true skeptic.
(according to the more strict definition of the word)
> Reporter: Win, lose or draw in this election, will you commit here today for a peaceful transferal of power after the election?
> President Trump: We're going to have to see what happens... Get rid of the ballots and we'll have a very peaceful — there won't be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation.
10:02 AM
is that an example?
Haha no. The dot separates two unrelated things!
oh :D
I was trying to figure out an example, but I am struggling to think of one
@MattE.Эллен If you're looking for an example, maybe this is one.
so it's an example whether or not I'm looking for it? I think I get it.
Yeah it doesn't logically follow. But there's some contextual link.
10:10 AM
Cool. Thanks :D
"If you want to stop for petrol, there's a garage coming up"
10:27 AM
Word of the day: shul (synagogue in Idish, cognate with "school")
10:44 AM
My sister several days ago was perusing a Jewish database for the village where my Jewish grandmother originated, and came across people with surnames of my second grandmother. It might turn out that I'm not 25% Jew but 37% Jew. Probably my father-line grand-grandma married a Jewish man.
We thought she bore a Polish surname, but turns out it was a modified Jewish surname.
@CowperKettle Glad you cleared that up. I thought Idish was a lazy version of ido.
@MattE.Эллен I am unable to upvote or comment on questions?
@skullpatrol on EL&U?
All of SE
@Færd It's just that in Russian this language is called идиш, in Russian the spelling is simpler (but has its peculiarities too)
10:52 AM
@skullpatrol have you tried the old reliable reboot?
Then try the new and unreliable one ))
It has been this way for awhile, but I never got to mention it to anyone @MattE.Эллен
@skullpatrol It might be worth checking Meta Stack Exchange for people having the same issue, and if not, post a bug report there.
Ok, thanks pal @MattE.Эллен
10:56 AM
no worries
@M.A.R. agreed
How do I re-frame "I was first introduced to...." to eliminate the personal pronoun?
A first introduction to...
@skullpatrol But it wouldn't capture that I was introduced to the subject right?
I need the full sentence please.
You are correct
11:07 AM
@skullpatrol I was first introduced to subject X through my undergraduate course Y.
Need to eliminate the personal pronouns.
An introduction to subject X was provided by subject Y
that's passive voice and it's frowned upon too :(
Undergraduate course Y introduces subject X
@Archer "I was introduced to ..." is already passive
@MattE.Эллен I just feel this doesn't highlight that I was the one who got the introduction. This feels like it could be anyone.
@Archer but we can't use any personal pronouns...
11:14 AM
yeah there's that
Use your name.
Undergraduate course Y introduced subject X to Archer
@skullpatrol jinx :D
@MattE.Эллен sounds weird for an academic essay ig :/
Being first introduced to subject X through my undergraduate course Y is common
Ussually students are first introduced to subject X through undergraduate course Y as was my case.
11:23 AM
> The UK could be the first country in the world to carry out Covid "challenge trials" - where healthy volunteers are deliberately infected with coronavirus to test possible vaccines. bbc.com/news/health-54275096
@Archer yeah. sometimes it's got around by replacing your name with "the author"
it's really awkward, but it's pretty much your only choice if you're not going to use "me"
@CowperKettle "covid challenge" will be the next youtube meme :p
University challenge will be replaced by Covid challenge :P
or combined with!
Jeremy Paxman coughing on students
don't know if he's had it, but it would be entertaining either way
11:29 AM
He's a fire breathing dragon
add in coV and he could run for PM
@CowperKettle WTF, that's super unethical
It's one thing to volunteer to test a drug, another to give people money to infect them
where are you going to find volunteers for free?
@M.A.R. aye, but this is the UK. "ethical" is whatever the middle class will stand, not what you could get signed off by an ethics board. Over half of us want to go back to our coloniser days.
12:09 PM
@skullpatrol That's not the point
I feel like I'm being gaslighted @_@
Well, I didnt expect to find a discussion about ethic principles i guess.
Hello there
@Syralia Hi
Welcome (?)
@M.A.R. Thanks, first time to be in chat since I started this stackexchange account
We talk about anything and everything here
Ah, good to know
12:23 PM
Grand Canyon, whether rap is music, biscuit conditionals, and Portuguese weather news.
I didn't even go back 24 hours
So it will never get boring here
Unless no one's chatting, which might happen often
A: Is there any evidence to support the claim that English grammar is unusually straightforward?

TristanWhen Eddie Izzard, and many other lay people, talk about complexity of a language's grammar, they usually refer specifically to the number of distinct inflections present in a language. As English is pretty isolating, it is certainly pretty straightforward by this metric. Unfortunately this persp...

It's more useful to treat SE chats as a collaborative collection of post-it notes.
@M.A.R. Mh i see
That said, I need to take a nap
@M.A.R. enjoy it!
1 hour later…
1:36 PM
Pevek, the northernmost town of Russia
@CowperKettle I would expect russia to look lise this , its awesome. It kinds of reminds me of the first avatar book when aang and katara explore the lost ship
In Siberia, cities look like this in the winter when it's cold
When it's cold, the wind is often very quiet or absent, and the fog mixes with car exhaust
@M.A.R. that's just your imagination. everything is fine
2:17 PM
@CowperKettle What a sad-looking basketball court!
Even the net and backboard are drooping, as if in surrender to winter.
2:28 PM
@Robusto Out of an Indie apocalypse movie with terrible effects
Was Shakespeare mocking Marlowe with Romeo and Juliet?
3:23 PM
Computer tries Finnegan's Wake: dev.to/marcellothearcane/comment/157k8
3:44 PM
A: What is the difference between /ʌɪ/ and /aɪ/ in English?

tchristThe notations /ʌɪ/ and /ɑɪ/ represent a contrastive phonemic difference that some native speakers of English produce and perceive between certain minimal pairs. For those speakers, the following are minimal pairs differing only in that the first word has the /ʌɪ/ phoneme but the second word has t...

@tchrist shire–shyer // lyre–liar confusing but true.
The latter two sort of have another syllable according to me.
Ditto with hire–higher.
But "syllables" are a nebulous concept here with rhotics in the coda, so those of us with Canadian raising are more likely to use vowel height to perceive them as distinct words.
The poet would in all those words freely elect either the one- or two-syllable interpretation for all of those for the sake of the poetic meter in that line.
Metri causa justifies many an oddity.
4:41 PM
@tchrist what exactly does rhotics in the coda mean?
@marcellothearcane An "r" at the end of a syllable.
@tchrist poetry interpretation is off topic on this site :P
I think (but have no clue what I'm talking about) I end those words with a schwa
Does that sound right?
@marcellothearcane Say them repeated with an "and" between them, so like "X and X" and then figure out whether there's an R sound right before "and".
Ah yes I see
higher and higher
4:45 PM
That's a bit French-like
Yes. It's what non-rhotic speakers are wont to do.
In a way, it's like what we do with "an apple".
So a rhotic speaker would say "higher" the way I say "higher and"?
And also the word "newt"
Dunno on newts.
4:46 PM
Which was "an ewt"
But turned into "a newt"
an orange was a norange.
So I am led to believe
a nickname was an ekename
4:47 PM
Yes, I'd forgotten that
But non-rhotic speakers often have an intrusive R, howsoever the very idear of it annoys me.
I see what you did there
And yes, I do that
So North America go in for rhoticity?
There are several extremely notable non-rhotic accents in North America, however.
That was a broad statement, admittedly
Like Boston, various New York burroughs, Southern American English.
4:51 PM
@tchrist Which ones?
Oh those
I know very little about American accents
pahk the cah Joahge.
Other than strong R sounds, which I suppose this is
vs Park the car George.
@tchrist I don't even know how to enunciate that
The Westcountry and Scotland retain some rhotic speakers.
4:52 PM
How about t' Irish?
Especially older ones whose accents formed before widespread mass-media inundations flooded the land and drowned regional accents.
Yes, many Irish accents are rhotic.
That's why the actor Andrew Scott "sounds American" even when he isn't trying to do that. It's his native accent.
Of course, he has a lot of subtle characteristics unique to Northern Ireland as well, but most people don't notice all those.
Just going to have a listen to his accent
Oh no he's definitely Irish
To be sure
How does that intrusive R happen, by the way?
It's a sandhi effect for linking.
It's to avoid stopping the glottis.
It's so that two adjacent vowels do not fuse.
4:59 PM
Why does "idea of" have it?
And other things I bet
Because the first word ends with the same vowel that the next word begins with.
There are actually rhotic speakers in New England who nonetheless have intrusive R as well, which the rest of us do not.
For me, "of" starts a with different sound to the end of "idea"
The tongue is down and back
In connected speech, they're both schwas unless you're being extremely careful.
Said in isolation in citation form, "of" has the "nut" vowel not the "above" vowel.
But it's "never" stressed, so devolves to schwa.
The run of his life.
Which is where could've could of confusion comes in I suppose
5:05 PM
Re Andrew Scott, his pronunciation of "numbers" is noticeably un-American
What's that sound called?
And why do Irish people not pronounce "th", as in "three"?
If you point to a clip of his that has "numbers" in it, I might be able to tell you. I bet he's saying /nʌmbɚz/.
There's a wee little bit of rrr on the schwa but almost none.
ɚ is the rhotacized mid-central vowel.
The funny thing is that Colbert had to become a rhotic speaker so that he could shake his regional accent in people's minds.
He says "character" and "otherwise" with Rs.
Not super strong, but it's there.
Almost none on "dark".
"alter boy" has R.
That's normal in rhotic speakers but not in others.
Colbert grew up in South Carolina, and on an island no less. So he probably didn't start out as a rhotic speaker.
What's happening with the TH from (some) Irish speakers is an interesting thing.
Irish Rs are here.
> The phonemes /ð/ (as in the) and /θ/ (as in thin) are pronounced uniquely in most Hiberno-English. /ð/ is pronounced as [d] or [d̪], depending on specific dialect; and /θ/ is pronounced as [t] or [t̪].
That little bridge there under the T or D means that it is the dental variety more like in Italian, not the alveolar one the rest of us have like in German.
@tchrist yes, I thought something was odd
It is. Trust me, it is.
This might be from contact with Gaelic. I don't know.
5:21 PM
How is non-rhotic speech regarded by Americans that are rhotic, generally?
@tchrist dental - is that with the tongue on the back of the tongue? Or with the teeth together?
@marcellothearcane That mostly depend on which region it comes from. Each region variously perceives each other region, and indeed its own, with positive or negative bias.
I did very lightly study this at school, but it was never in enough detail for my liking
@marcellothearcane Back of the teef.
It also depends on that person's familiarity with the speech of other regions.
Fair enough. I suppose by what you said about Andrew Scott being regarded as American, rhoticity is generally seen as American by British speakers at least.
Once in a teleconference, a person from Mississippi confused me mightily because he kept talking about eras not errors.
Or so I misperceived.
5:25 PM
Hah I have things like that when speaking to American customers
Try growling a bit.
But once my brain recognises that it's an American person and I do an American accent in my head, it's fine
Then it's just a problem of working out the different words they use.
@tchrist what would that do?
To us it sounds like you're adding another syllable.
@tchrist which words?
@marcellothearcane It's a really hard thing to do. But far more British actors can pull off an American accent these days than the other way around, so perhaps it's not so hard as I imagine.
5:28 PM
Yes well American media is ubiquitous
I know a six year old that sounds American
It's a real shame!
@marcellothearcane To us, cure something has only one syllable in the first word, but when non-rhotic speakers say it, this sounds like they're saying "cue a something" with two syllables in the first word, making two words in this particular instance. This is really hard for us.
That's true, it does. It's like liar and shyer
"Lie a" etc
Drives us nuts.
Well, maybe not with those.
Those two normally have two syllables, kind of.
Hilarious, I never knew
But if you say "shire" with two syllables, we think you tried to say "shyer".
Same with hire, higher and all the rest.
5:32 PM
Yes I see
And because you don't have Canadian raising, we're even more sure you said the other word.
What is Canadian raising?
When the "ai" and "au" diphthongs have their first vowel changed from that of FATHER to that of STRUT in certain environments.
The former is nearly ubiquitous in North America, but the latter is mostly only in Canada or up near the border.
Canadian raising is an allophonic rule of phonology in many dialects of North American English that changes the pronunciation of diphthongs with open-vowel starting points. Most commonly, the shift affects (listen) or (listen), or both, when they are pronounced before voiceless consonants (therefore, in words like price and clout, respectively, but not in prize and cloud). In North American English, /aɪ/ and /aʊ/ usually begin in an open vowel [ä~a], but through raising they shift to [ɐ] (listen), [ʌ] (listen) or [ə] (listen). Canadian English often has raising in words with both (height, life...
That writer/rider thing is confusing
Only the vowels differ for us.
Not the consonants.
5:37 PM
How do you tell? Is it only context?
No no, they're pronounced differently.
But but
They don't sound very different
Rider has the same vowel as ride, but writer has the same vowel as write. And those two are different.
Especially if you're in a hurry
Well, I didn't say VERY different. Just a little.
The one in write, writer is raised. The other one is not.
5:41 PM
Thinking about the word "shire", I suppose it's more prestigious to say it as "shaa" rather than "shai-uh"
shahy uh
Now I'm saying "shower" in a posh accent
I dunno. I don't have a problem saying my R's. :)
Murder squirrel.
Hardly an R in sight there
What happens about people that can't pronounce R?
Wound and wound the wugged wock, for instance?
You jist weave Wossie outta dis, Elma Fudd!
5:47 PM
Lost on me, I'm afraid...
Jonathan Ross is Wossie.
Now I understand 😄
What an unfortunate surname
A bit like how lisp is an awful word if you have one
Someone was taking the pith
6:29 PM
@CowperKettle Lantern Waste.
8:07 PM
Wow, if you think you have a shit job, have a look at this: Police confiscate more than 300,000 used condoms being washed and sold as new.
I wonder if they have project teams and scrums and all that.
1 hour later…
9:27 PM
@marcellothearcane I can't really pronounce R. I don't think it's had a significant effect on my life.
9:43 PM
@Robusto but why?
@marcellothearcane Why did police confiscate them or why are they being recycled?
I can't answer either of those questions.
@FaheemMitha That's fair enough. My great-uncle can't, and it's not a problem really. I was wondering if it would be regarded as rhotic or not :)
@Robusto well now you mention it, both are equally thought-provoking
Were they all used by one person? How would you collect that many?
Beats me.
I wonder at what point the police decided that weighing them was the quickest option.
a “monthly input of used condoms from an unknown person,”
I just thought that would be a terrible job to have. Gathering them, cleaning them, or confiscating them—who would want to be involved with any of it?
9:48 PM
That's fantastic
What a world, eh?
The Belgian Minister of Health.
Isn't she formidable?
1 hour later…
11:00 PM
@Cerberus quivers
This is curious:
> 1a. That wreck isn't light enough to rise because for the wreck to rise, it has to be light enough.

1b. That wreck isn't light enough to raise because to raise the wreck, it has to be light enough.

1c. That wreck isn't light enough to raise because for someone to raise the wreck, it has to be light enough.
> 2a. That trickle isn't wet enough to drink because to drink the trickle, it has to be wet enough.

2b. That trickle isn't wet enough to drench because for the trickle to drench, it has to be wet enough.

2c. That fox isn't thirsty enough to drink because for the fox to drink, it has to be thirsty enough.
> 3a. That tree isn't big enough to fall because for the tree to fall, it has to be big enough.

3b. That tree isn't big enough to fall because to fall, the tree has to be big enough.

3c. That tree isn't big enough to fell because to fell the tree, it has to be big enough.

3d. That tree isn't big enough to fell because for someone to fell the tree, it has to be big enough.
> 4a. That chick isn't old enough to lie down because to lie down, it has to be old enough.

4b. That chick isn't old enough to lay eggs because for the chick to lay eggs, it has to be old enough.

4c. That chick isn't old enough to lie because to lie, she has to be old enough.

4d. That chick isn't old enough to lie because for the chick to lie, she has to be old enough.
Some of the transitives are ambiguous as to whether the second word in the sentence is going to be subject or the object.
My orderings aren't as consistent as one might wish, but the point remains. This started when I realized that if a tree is old enough to fall, that tree would be the one doing the falling, but if the tree is old enough to fall, somebody else would be the one felling the tree.
This happens only in the "to cause to X" ones, not in the "to come to X" ones.
Like how felling a tree is causing it to fall and laying something is causing it to lie.
And raising something is causing it to rise.
If a man is poor enough to steal, this isn't the same as when a man is rich enough to be stolen.
But with a painting valuable enough to steal, it wouldn't be the painting doing the stealing.
Just because a book reads well doesn't mean it's well read or that it can be well read.
Like wines that drink well.
They can't be drunk well.
Well, maybe they can but it's different. :)

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