« first day (4707 days earlier)      last day (59 days later) » 

12:01 AM
The two stressed vowels are unalike.
@alphabet Well, what reason was there to go out anyway.
Even the people who skip the first R have [ˈfɛbjuˌweɹi]. Why can't the OED write our vowels the way we say them?
We have no SHOULD/PUT/BOOK vowel there.
Maybe there's a nested word "brew" but that has no SHOULD vowel either.
The PUT vowel is a checked vowel.
It can't go there in the syllable.
You can't drop the final consonant in put, could, book; the phonotactic rules forbid it. You'd have to change the vowel so it could dangle.
@alphabet Whatever happened to frolicking in the autumn mist, to nibbling in the brume?
12:19 AM
"What Are The Benefits Of Smoking Meat In Butcher Paper Vs Tin Foil?" for one, tin foil is harder to light
@tchrist This is a job for Officer McGruff, the Crime Dog.
@Mitch Hear, hear.
Overarching: do you pronounce it /ˈoʊvɝˌɑɹtʃɪŋ/ or /ˈoʊvɝˌɑɹkɪŋ/ ?
Famous Russian physicist made headlines when he arrived at the Presidential Awards ceremony in the Kremlin wearing a hazmat suit. He had been invited there in recognition of his recent discovery that despite the accelerating expansion of the Universe, the Hague is getting closer, for some mysterious reason.
@tchrist I usually say [ˈfɛb.jəɹ̈.i], with just three syllables
I think maybe I alternate between that and [ˈfɛb.ju.ɛəɹ̈.i]
Not sure about that [ɛə], the Mary/marry vowel confuses me
Also: is it just me, or is the /b/ there not actually a plosive but actually some sort of approximant or fricative? My lips don't actually close all the way. Hrm...
12:47 AM
> When Mao unleashed his Cultural Revolution in 1966, he needed no fewer than nine categories to snag his millions of enemies: ex-landlords, “rich” peasants (three pigs were enough), counter-revolutionaries, bad elements, rightists, traitors, foreign agents, capitalist roaders and the “Stinking Ninth”: intellectuals.
Q: How do I determine subject and subject complement in "A side-effect is the spread of commercialese to other domains."?

Cerberus - Reinstate MonicaConsider this example: Commercialese is an instrument of art, designed to enrich and invigorate our language—surely you will all agree with this—, and we should encourage newcomers to learn it. However, a side-effect is the spread of commercialese to other domains. This we must obje...

@Cerberus Also rats, flies, mosquitoes, and sparrows. Good thing China didn't have raccoons.
That wasn't the actual reason of my quotation!
> Bones, nerves, and veins, and flesh, are covered in
By this opaque transparency of skin,
Precisely that we should not see within.

The corpse is hid, that Death may work its vile
Corruption in black secrecy; the while
Our saddest graves with grass and fair flowers smile.

If you will analyse the bread you eat,
The water and the wine most pure and sweet,
Your stomach soon must loathe all drink and meat.
1:19 AM
@alphabet No, it's just the normal voiced bilabial stop [b], not the corresponding fricative or approximant in that series, as it would be in Spanish cava or faba. Perhaps you have loose lips.
@alphabet Barely; the Old World's ailurids and the New World's procyonids are reasonably close cousin clades under the musteloids. But you knew that already.
@tchrist I don't think I pronounce that word with a [b]; there's no actual stop and my lips don't close all the way.
If I try to make that sound in isolation it does sound kind of like [β]. It's definitely not an ordinary [b].
@alphabet Reprobate? Leprosy? Deprecate? Febrifuge? Leprechaun? Rubricator?
Marginally related but, Korean used to have [β]. Now it has assimilated to [w] in the standard dialect.
Grr, now this is bothering me. Some sort of weird phonetic thing that only I do, apparently.
1:34 AM
@CowperKettle A new kind of terza rima! :)
> The longe nightes, whan every creature
Shulde have hir rest in somwhat as by kynde,
Or elles ne may hir lif nat longe endure,
Hit falleth most into my woful mynde
How I so fer have broght myself behynde
That, sauf the deeth, ther may nothyng me lisse,
So desespaired I am from alle blisse.

This same thoght me lasteth til the morwe
And from the morwe forth til hit be eve;
Ther nedeth me no care for to borwe,
For bothe I have good leyser and good leve;
Ther is no wyght that wol me wo bereve
To wepe ynogh and wailen al my fille;
Another pro-Russian fighter/blogger quotes his longtime favorite poem in English.
Shelley’s Ode to the West Wind also works there.
He says the printout used to hang above his working desk in the battallion's repair shop in Moscow
A pro-Russian fighter/blogger poking fun at the lack of modern tanks in the Russian army. "Russia's latest T14 Armata tank with a camouflage cover making it look like an old Soviet T-55"
Frank Hewlett invokes Theodore Geisel, but only with rhymes not bellic sentiment.
@DannyuNDos As Wiki notes, some English speakers pronounce /v/ as [β] after labial consonants. Some sort of assimilation. Affects words like upvote.
1:59 AM
> Ukrspecsystems, a company in Kyiv that makes fixed-wing reconnaissance drones, said in a statement that supply chain issues with China had led it to look beyond the country.

“Today, we virtually do not use any Chinese components because we see and feel how China deliberately delays the delivery of any goods to Ukraine,” it said.
What a coincidence.
China is doing what it can while avoiding anything risky.
1 hour later…
3:19 AM
@CowperKettle this is like a restatement of Buddhist canon
with the suggestion that you should go ahead and look
3 hours later…
6:06 AM
A few minutes before sunset (two days ago).
6:18 AM
@Vikas Nice!
Entrance to a subway station in Iran
6:43 AM
How do you pronounce the coda cluster in "fifth" [fifθ]? Does the [f] release before the tongue tip touching the gum?
(Aw shoot, the vowel is not [i], it's [ɪ].)
@CowperKettle Very nice.
Why can't we have that?
7:52 AM
@Cerberus Yes, it's beautiful
@Vikas Here where I live, that would be "an hour before sunset"
And back in my hometown, that would be "several hours before sunset"
8:22 AM
@CowperKettle Oh. In my case I guess it took about fifteen minutes for the sun to disappear feom that position.
Maybe if atmosphere is very clear it could be visible for couple of minutes more.
Now I'm not sure "fifteen minutes" would be considered "a few minutes" or not.
8:46 AM
How do you hyperlink in comments? I can't ever remember.
8:58 AM
It's easy: like this
@Mitch Because they don't know when it is…sometime in the middle of T-days…no one is exactly sure.
Thanks. I will try…
9:17 AM
9:38 AM
OK, I think I got it, kinda, in a nutshell… 1. Descriptive grammar is CamGEL, basically, and allows for dialects and such. 2. Prescriptive grammar is about rules and more rules, for children or non-natives who need them. 3. Generative grammar is hung up on the NP VP (NP) analysis, and they're upset about Wh-movement, like the Grinch about Whoville before his heart grew.
@HippoSawrUs Even a ChatGPT couldn't have put it better!
LOL! IDK. I'm tying though…
@CowperKettle Good morning or good night, wherever you are. I've really enjoyed your posts and poems.
not *tying, trying
@HippoSawrUs Oh! Thank yoU!
9:52 AM
My friends, please tell me if this sentence sounds fine to you?

The moral of the story: patience is not a sign of weakness.
3 hours later…
12:46 PM
Phrase of the day: Autopoietic Enactivism
1:23 PM
@tchrist I ain't there yet! ^_^
#Worldle #618 2/6 (100%)
Not my best day.
🌎 Oct 1, 2023 🌍
🔥 47 | Avg. Guesses: 4.29
🟧🟥🟥🟩 = 4

Wordle 834 3/6

Daily Quordle 615
Daily Octordle #615
Score: 60
Daily Sequence Octordle #615
Score: 67
2:26 PM
I knew a woman who set fire to all her outstanding bills.
Her name was Bernadette.
2:38 PM
Let's reopen this question - with a good answer from @Alphabet
Q: Syntax of "What's going on at work these days that you're always on the phone?"

TimRThe syntax below is grammatical in colloquial American English and I'm wondering how the sentence is analyzed grammatically. What's going on at work these days that you're always on the phone?

@Araucaria-Him Voted to reopen for purely selfish reasons. I'm not sure what sort of "research" you'd be supposed to do here--it's hard to Google grammatical constructions.
@alphabet Any chance you could help with this one?
Q: What are the roles of ‘can’, ‘do’, and ‘is’ in ‘All a man can do is smile back’?

ali hashemiWhat roles (Subject, Head etc) do the words can, do and is each play in this sentence in terms of its syntactic grammar, either individually or as a group? Death smiles at us all, but all a man can do is smile back. If we use to before the verb smile, as in: Death smiles at us all, but all a m...

> “Without Wikipedia, generative A.I. wouldn’t exist,” says Nicholas Vincent, who will be joining the faculty of Simon Fraser University in British Columbia this month and who has studied how Wikipedia helps support Google searches and other information businesses.
So, I have created generative AI.
> One conclusion from the conference call was clear enough: We want a world in which knowledge is created by humans. But is it already too late for that? nytimes.com/2023/07/18/magazine/wikipedia-ai-chatgpt.html
In 1998 I read this story by Asimov, and could not understand the title. I could only understand "Thou", but I could not understand "art", so I approached my English teacher at the University after a lesson, and asked. She also could not guess what "art" meant there.
Before the next lesson, she said to me that she had looked up, and it was the second-person form of "are", it had turned out.
2:59 PM
My social media feed has more and more posts now which have been generated by AI. I guess it's just the beginning. "Traditional" posts will disappear.
@Vikas I've been reading a Reddit sub, a Russian-language sub populated clearly by schoolkids. One of them wrote a post like "What's up with the AI? A year ago nobody cared about it, and suddenly it's everywhere".
There are schoolkids who had Wikipedia and torrents and YouTube their whole lives, they could barely imagine a world without this.
But AI is something new for them.
But there will be soon kids for whom AI "has always been around"
At school, our math teacher used to say: "Don't you get used to your pocket kurkulators!" (she mockingly garbled the world). "They won't always be near you! You have to train yourself to do mental calculations!"
@Araucaria-Him Yes. Opinion-based? How?
We've been having some discussion on this channel about how to deal with overzealous close-voters.
@DannyuNDos I'll let someone who knows more about phonetics answer this, but I pronounce fifth as just [fɪθ], omitting the second /f/ entirely. I'm not sure how common that is.
@HippoSawrUs Generative grammar is this approach that Noam Chomsky started. Prof. Lawler is a fan. Pullum has accused Chomsky of starting a personality cult; I secretly suspect that CGEL is his attempt to start his own, competing cult. Both are descriptive grammar, since neither is inventing rules that you should follow (e.g. "don't split infinitives").
@HippoSawrUs CGEL's approach to dialects is...imperfect. Mostly they just ignore the existence of nonstandard dialects; they occasionally mention AmE but sometimes even ignore AmE/BrE differences.
@MichaelRybkin Sounds fine to me.
3:30 PM
@alphabet "Opinion-based" strikes again. IMO, it's vastly overused. I suppose you'll be hearing the full rant eventually since I plan to post it to meta at some point
@Vikas ELU chat has been all bots all the time from the beginning.
Was the last message you saw 'STAND BY'?
If so then your a bit too.
Welcome to self consciousness!
Two words of the eve: teen and threne
> Titanic from her high throne in the north,
That City's sombre Patroness and Queen,
In bronze sublimity she gazes forth
Over her Capital of teen and threne,
Over the river with its isles and bridges,
The marsh and moorland, to the stern rock-bridges,
Confronting them with a coeval mien.
Word of the day: goober. Per EtymOnline: from an African language, perhaps Bantu (compare Kikongo and Kimbundu nguba "peanut")
When did "goober" stop meaning "peanut" and start meaning "stupid person"? Or do people still refer to peanuts as goobers?
3:46 PM
@Mitch your a what?
@alphabet Yes, a long-standing problem.
Noun: goober-grabbler (plural goober-grabblers)
  1. (Southern US, dated slang) Synonym of Georgian.
1 hour later…
5:09 PM
@Vikas OMG joke ruined from typos. "Then you're a bot too"
@CowperKettle Are all the leaves off your trees already? Has it snowed yet?
2 hours later…
7:09 PM
Wordle 834 4/6

@alphabet thank you
you have to be ai or crazy to see the fnords
why does baseball have ups and football have downs
7:42 PM
> The Mekan traditionally participate in a unique festival known as Ka'el, during which the Mekan women sexualize the process of Mekan men gaining weight, and assist and encourage them in becoming as fat as possible. Mekan women will often select partners during this festival, typically from among the men they assisted in becoming larger.
@Mitch No, leaves are falling, but many are still there :)
First snow usually occurs here on October 14
@Mitch Denver saw 91 yesterday.
8:01 PM
@Mitch Bot how
Welcome to October BTW. My favorite month.
8:32 PM
@CowperKettle Aren't you aware that prayers to Allah are bound by gravity and so follow an arc around the Earth?
8:48 PM
@tchrist Well, partially there. These things have been true for a while:
> Young women and men shown on TV as world famous, you’ve never heard of. New idioms leave you baffled. You are Rip Van Winkle without having fallen asleep.
Wordle 834 3/6

Daily Quordle 615
Daily Octordle #615
Score: 65
Daily Sequence Octordle #615
Score: 76
9:06 PM
@CowperKettle OK that sounds like what I would expect from what I hear about east of the Urals (= Siberia = frigid to me). Whenever you show pictures of the weather there it seems almost just like here (Boston area) which is supposedly more maritime than continental.
Here it's like the leaves don't even know that winter's coming, all still green, but raggedy around the edges).
and 70s (= 20-25C) this week
but next week it'll be jacket and sweater weather.
but no -real- snow until January. maybe a weird one-off snow in November.
@Robusto It's easy nowadays to be connected to one source of stuff and not hear the others.
#waffle618 2/5


🔥 streak: 3
@Robusto Indeed.
Then there are all those "new idioms" that don't so much baffle you as irritate and exasperate you.
> I hear you
Let's parking lot this
See if the juice is worth the squeeze
Let's circle back
Out of the box
We're a family
Let me pick your brain
In email signatures, "Best"
Quick question
Take it offline
Do the needful
Set the expectations
Low-hanging fruit
Doesn't pass the smell test
"Can we do ... ?" when everyone knows you mean "you do this"
Ping me
Land the plane
Let's unpack that
The art of the possible
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask
9:27 PM
Something I never thought I would see in NYC.
@tchrist and probably -5 the next. Hopefully no more fires?
@tchrist 'learnings' makes me quest. But I've never heard a good replacement/what we used to say in stead
@Vikas snort
9:44 PM
@Mitch Classes. Courses. Workshops.
@tchrist 'things we learned'?
You mean what we were taught?
@tchrist Hey. I sign emails with "Best." I know someone who signed emails with "Warm regards," which is just...ick.
"We're a family" is vaguely dystopian though.
I am so tired of the new-but-already-shopworn "There's a lot to unpack here."
"Let's put a pin in that" always bothers me.
9:53 PM
Yes, makes me think of bursting a child's balloon.
Quite malicious with those overtones.
@alphabet Background for your goober question. This song was sung by soldiers during the Civil War:
10:24 PM
TIL from Wikipedia: 64.3% of native English speakers are in the US. Higher than I'd have expected but obviously makes sense if you do the math.
@alphabet Just like I thought, it's an allusion to hand grenades. Do you not find your conversations utterly dull when you don't pepper them with allusions to tools of war?
Also, some amount of English is a mandatory part of public education in a huge number of countries: uwinnipeg.ca/global-english-education/…
Q: What is the origin of the idiom "Put a pin in it"?

Will S.Does anyone have a definitive origin for the phrase/idiom "Put/stick a pin in it/that" used to mean "let's delay, come back to something later"? I searched the site, but didn't see this asked or answered. Possible origins I've found or considered: Urban Dictionary (sorry) offers a WWII origin o...

@alphabet Well, crap, that's what I get for not spending more than 30 seconds on google with it
(I even see my name as an editor on the top answer lol which means I really should have known better)
Even in China, English instruction is compulsory in public schools. Rates of fluency are low, though; presumably they don't actually aim to make people L2 speakers.
It's probably similar to proficiency levels of Spanish in the US
PS don't talk to me in Spanish
10:45 PM
@Laurel I salt all my speech with 💥explosions.
@alphabet they're all meaningless. I can't ascribe any difference to any of those. Best, warmest, wishes, whatevers you just choose something to say this is the end.
@Laurel ¿Qué?
@Mitch Muy mal
@alphabet Not strictly mandatory in France but 96% of primary students and 99% of secondary ones study English at school, so I would say it's de facto mandatory.
@Laurel ¡Muy bien!
(which is what google translate tells me to say)
11:01 PM
@Laurel A las güenas :-)
@Laurel Where in the States is Spanish-language education mandatory, outside of Puerto Rico?
(Despite Spanish being spoken here longer than English has.)
@tchrist It's not mandatory but so many kids take it at school and then promptly forget it as soon as the last test is over. Sometimes before that
I don't know for sure that you can ever really learn a language in school.
There was only one kid I remember who left Spanish class with some Spanish competency, but that's because he was a Spanish native speaker that for some reason was allowed to take a Spanish as a second language class
I don't know if he snuck in or why nobody stopped him
He would point out errors in the textbook
1. Pre-highschool instruction.
2. High school instruction.
3. College instruction.
4. College major.
5. College major a year overseas in an immersive program in that language.
That's in increasing order of the normal retention period for all of those levels of schooling. Many factors can affect it, but really only the last one gives you much that lasts at all. Which tells you that you still have to live the language to learn it, and the degree may not be as important for that.
I can't remember where I read that now, but I really did.
11:10 PM
The best I can do with a foreign language is that I can struggle my way through French webcomics with what I learned in high school plus google translate
Chinese kids who come here only for grad school never get rid of their mistakes and accent. They're a little too old by then.
You'd learn far more French than you learned in high school simply by wandering the French countryside for a month, talking to people.
I don't know why but here even people who do a pretty good job learning Spanish or French in high school or even college can manage to do so without ever getting their mouths to "do the right thing". They forever sound like gringos, and it's like nail files scratching chalkboards to natives.
I think because written tests only test writing.
You're never actually taught to speak or listen, or not very well.
And you're never tested on whether you can speak without sounding too gringo.
@tchrist I wish I could do that lol but I don't think I could
Get a trusty native guide. :)
Or go roving in bands.
I don't think I can afford to do it T.T
It also seems like you would have to be pretty good at planning, which I'm not
@tchrist Right, I learned more Spanish a la playa than at school.
11:20 PM
@Laurel You have to be 19 and stay at youth hostels and get a rail pass. :)
@tchrist I look enough like I could be 19 but I'm not sure that would count
@Laurel For a Eurail pass you just have to have an int(age) <= 27 || >= 60.
11:54 PM
@Laurel 30 seconds on Google can unravel the secrets of the universe.
@Laurel I've just sent you mail containing a rich data artifact for you to mine to your heart's content, or nearly so.
@tchrist Well, to be fair, Athabascan was spoken here before either of them.
@tchrist No. You only learn about a language in school. The rest is up to you.
@Robusto By around a century. The Navajo's migration down from Alaska to New Mexico was like 14th century, wasn't it?

« first day (4707 days earlier)      last day (59 days later) »