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4:00 PM
Let's take a poll. All the Americans in this room, right now: is Obama preferable to Palin as POTUS?
I would vote for a box of detergent for president before Palin.
@Kosmonaut Okay; if you should ever find it again, do let me know!
That's my feeling as well.
@Kosmonaut Oh, you mean using some phonetic alphabet instead of our Latin one? Yes, agreed.
4:02 PM
It wouldn't even have to be a box. It could be a cup, or a few spilled granules on the laundromat floor.
I think Obama is the best president you've had since—I don't remember.
@Cerberus There could be something more phonetic or more consistent than what we use now, but yeah, it would be bad to have a truly phonetic alphabet.
Obama ain't perfect, and I'm disappointed with a lot of his crap, but there are far worse alternatives out there.
@Robusto Agreed.
4:03 PM
Q: What is the equivalent of "noughties" and "tweens" for 1900-1920?

soulBitI have often heard the period between 2000-2010 called the "noughties", and the period between 2010-2020 as the "tweens". Was there an equivalent of this in the 20th century (or earlier!), or is this a modern invention? Should we be using another, "correct" term?

Obama's left Gitmo open, left the Bush tax cuts in place, failed to put in single-payer healthcare, lobbied for an Internet kill switch, passed Hollywood's laws, opposed any drug reform, opposed Assange's freedom of speech, etc.
Do we need a "Who the f*** cares?" button?
@Robusto Nobody calls them the "noughties".
@Kosmonaut True; as for consistency, letters like c and q could be dropped, and schwa added; as for phonetics, it'd be best if we just destroyed English spelling in its entirety.
@Kosmonaut — Yeah, makes no sense to me. This is the Sarah Palin of EL&U questions.
4:05 PM
@Cerberus The biggest thing is that we need vowels for all of our vowels. That would fix a lot.
@Jez Well at least I think he did what he could without committing party-political suicide...
i doubt it. he could've achieved a lot more.
@Jez — So we should vote for a Tea Party candidate on that basis? That's like saying "Hey, I wear glasses, so I might as well just poke myself in the eye with a sharp stick."
@Robusto I believe that is "general reference".
@Cerberus — Ah. Forgot about euphemisms.
4:06 PM
@Robusto a good case could be made that you shouldn't vote until the US political system is totally reformed and corruption removed.
@Jez — Umm, and what Utopia do you live in where you vote in such a system?
all political parties should be 100% taxpayer funded; lobbying is evil
@Kosmonaut Hmm do you lack so many vowels? What if I threw you a schwa and let you use existing vowels in an entirely new spelling?
@Robusto well I don't. the UK's is crappy. scandinavia's systems aren't bad
@Cerberus I think we actually could do without schwa — it basically shows up in unstressed vowels.
4:07 PM
Indeed, American campaigning is pretty bad.
We need ʌ, ɔ, ʊ, ɪ, æ, and so on.
@Kosmonaut Okay, I suppose we could.
what is this, the department of NewSpeak? :-)
Hey, wait a minute! I can't go a single day without at least two or three hundred schwas!
At any rate a phonetic spelling reform would destroy many of the visual links to older and foreign words.
4:09 PM
@Cerberus The reason I say that is because we don't want to spell these stress things differently: if we had θʌ for "the", then we don't want to sometimes write it as θə when it is unstressed.
@Kosmonaut Couldn't we do those with digraphs?
digraphs you mean?
duck = a
father = aa
man = ae
@Cerberus — We ain't gonna get spelling reform. It just ain't gonna happen. We'll all be typing on Dvorak keyboards before we get spelling reform.
@Kosmonaut Right, digraphs.
4:10 PM
@Cerberus Technically, but if I am creating the system from scratch, then I like the one-to-one letter-to-sound correspondence.
I think US English would be better if it reintroduced /ɑ/
can't and can would be distinguishable like in RP
What about double consonants? Dump those as well?
@Cerberus Yes.
Use θ, ð
Although I think we would want to keep our two affricates as single letters.
@Robusto True. And even if some official reform got passed as a law, everyone would resist.
ð is actually a nice letter to have back.
Why θ? I'd prefer the old letter, what was it called, the one that led to y in *ye olde shoppe?*
Can't forget ʃ
4:13 PM
Oh, wait.
That's different, the y.
Voiceless palato-alveolar sibilant
ʃ would be nice.
I am not actually advocating the forms. Just the sounds having single letters.
We might want to make sure to maximize the distinctiveness of each new letter
To minimize confusion of similar letters.
So ʃ might not be so good in that regard, form-wise.
Yes. ʃ is just an s.
Damn I want this IPA program...
@Jez I think they do that in the Massachusetts dialect...
4:15 PM
@Kosmonaut — Stop typing little boxes. I'm at work, with no access to odd characters.
@Cerberus I asked a colleague and he reminded me it was IPA Palette. But the site seems to be down.
@Robusto Aww. Even I can see them!
@Kosmonaut Oh! Let's see...
the cot-caught merger loses the distinction between those words but probably introduces one between caught and court
@Robusto ಠ_ಠ
whereas in RP you have the cot-caught distinction but not caught-court
4:16 PM
Oh, it's for Mac only.
@Jez In my dialect, we have a caught-cot-court distinction.
a caught-cot distinction is rare in the US
@Cerberus what did you mean with "Yes. ʃ is just an s."?
It's not universal but it's not that rare.
so how is caught/court distinguished? thanks to the rhotic pronunciation of court?
4:19 PM
@Alenanno ʃ is just how you could write an s between, say, 1200 and 200 years ago.
A: What is the equivalent of "noughties" and "tweens" for 1900-1920?

Sri AtluruThe decade of 1900 to 1909 was known as the aughts. The noughties were the result of referring to zero as O (oh) or nought in many countries. I am not sure about the period between 1910 to 1919 though. I have not heard of the tweens being used for this decade either. I am of the opinion that ...

They were called the aughts? Really?
@Cerberus From an handwriting point of view?
@Jez Yes, they aren't even close.
Both in manuscript and in print.
@Kosmonaut and do you say 'vehicle' or 'vee-hickle'? :-)
4:20 PM
@Cerberus Actually it was ſ.
But the most common non-end s was like ʃ but straight down below.
@Jez No "h" pronounced.
@Kosmonaut That's the one I mean, except that it would usually go under the line in manuscript.
@Cerberus Oh, ſorry.
4:22 PM
In print, it was usually above the line, though.
Pretty messy distribution.
Cryoopon vs Coopon ahah
And why didn't they ask anyone in a boat on Lake Michigan?
The Lake seems poorly represented.
4:24 PM
Ahah you're right lool
surprisingly wide distribution for "i drug her lifeless body out of the pool"
Probably a repressed drug obsession.
Pantyhose are so expensive anymore that I just try to get a good suntan and forget about it. huh?
I like the crayfish/crawfish/etc. one; I come from the part of the country where we say "crayfish" (because we are sophisticated of course) and my wife is all the way down to where they say "crawdad"
Hey, does anyone know how to exclude a Greasemonkey script from a specific domain, while keeping the rest of a range of domains?
I want *.stackexchange.com, but not chat.stackexchange.com.
4:30 PM
Positive anymore is the use of the adverb any more in an affirmative context. While is typically a negative/interrogative polarity item used in negative, interrogative, or hypothetical contexts, speakers of some dialects of English use it in positive or affirmative contexts, with a meaning similar to or . Positive anymore occurs in North American English, especially in the Midlands variety spoken in parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, and Missouri; its usage extends to Utah and some other western US states. Positive anymore also occurs in parts of Ireland and North...
@Cerberus It is hard to exclude greased monkeys from anything, on account of their being so hard to catch.
Are you talking about DSK?
@Kosmonaut That just sounds so wrong to me.
I thought he only did the other thing on her...
@z7sg You just did it!
What? What did I do? Should be an adverb?
4:34 PM
You used positive anymore
"Pantyhose are so expensive anymore"
I just copied it from that illiteracy map thing
Ohhhhhhhhh, haha
Now I get it.
Should have quoted it but anyway, I got my explanation.
Sorry, I was a bit slow.
I was just thinking wtf does this mean?
4:36 PM
My parents use that.
It basically means "nowadays"
You can substitute "anymore" wherever you might say that word.
Yeah, we already have other words for that.
The examples in the Wikipedia article are conflating some completely different usages of "anymore".
Can I substitute "anymore" for body parts?
@Cerberus I was railing that ho and when I busted my anymore, she started hollering something fierce.
It won't provide you the same meaty sustenance.
4:38 PM
@Martha You think so?
@Kit Busted you are so not female! >:(
And not married!
@Kit But you used it quite poetically.
I do have a predilection for prostitutes, but I assure you I am simultaneously female and married.
What's your ring look like?
And does anyone know how old the tradition is to give a ring with a stone to one's fiancée? We don't do that in Holland.
Just a plain gold band.
White gold.
4:44 PM
ISTR that the whole diamond engagement ring thing is a DeBeers marketing trick.
@Kit Nice.
@Martha Oh, is it even supposed to be a diamond?
The diamond was the center stone from his grandmother's fortieth anniversary band.
@Kit Nice!
Would've been titanium, but it doesn't shape well.
Why not just give her a fake diamond? She will never notice the difference, it is a good way to prepare her for the rest of the marriage.
4:45 PM
We wanted durability over preciousness.
@Cerberus Yes, most certainly.
He it's just a plain gold band that costs, what, € 700?
Apparently, people of the female persuasion are supposed to be able to tell the difference between a fake diamond and a real one. I think I was missing on the day they were passing out that knowledge, though.
@Martha Maybe you have the double recessive.
@Martha I think 99.9 % of both males and females were otherwise engaged on that day.
4:47 PM
I think I do.
Must be - I don't much even like diamonds. They're so... cold.
Understandable. Just like champagne, they have something nouveau-richy now...
@Martha I don't like them either, and neither does my husband.
Unless it's an old diamond, of course.
I don't mind a few tiny diamonds to give the jewelry some extra sparkle, but the main stone needs to be pretty in its own right.
4:48 PM
He gave me his grandmother's because it belonged to her, not because it was a diamond.
@Kit That is a good reason.
If I were a woman, I'd probably prefer opals or something.
My sister's engagement ring is a drop-dead-gorgeous Ceylon sapphire. Bro-in-law "did good", as they say.
Did it cost him six months in down payments on their new house?
Or is that a cheap stone?
I don't know. It's not exactly polite to ask.
It is look-uppable...
4:51 PM
Well, sapphires are definitely gemstones, i.e. not semi-precious; but they're much less expensive than a similarly-sized diamond would be.
The semi-precious, we wants it! More or less...
Stones can be pretty. Too bad only women can wear them.
Reportedly, my sister never actually got around to saying "yes" - all she could say was "it's blue!" while bawling.
@Gollum, go back to your cave.
@Martha Haha, sweet.
Can men wear gems? How? Where?
By that I mean on what body part.
In the Western world.
4:53 PM
(I'm the red twin, she's the blue twin. Something about a set of cereal bowls when we were, like, 2.)
Mother of pearl is all I can think of.
Cerberus, well, you could join the whole gangsta-rap scene and adorn yourself with all sorts of bling...
...but 'bling' in that context seems to mean "diamonds".
Does it?
Well, that's not really my thang...
I have m-o-p cufflinks.
At least men can wear gold. But who notices the difference?
Ruby cufflinks used to be an "in" thing, but who wears cufflinks nowadays?
Classy people
Cufflinks are totally pimpin'.
Bling is anything shiny, I think.
@Kit They are. My other half got them as a gift for his groomsmen, I think wood-inlaid ones. I wanted some, but there were no buttonholes in my dress.
@aedia How did you get into it then?
Did they just sew it onto you?
@Kit Tee hee! It had some sort of elaborate lacing mechanism in the back. I don't know if you call those loops button-holes or not.
I was so excited to get to 3k rep, now I'm totally bumming. I've missed out on almost 200 rep today because I hit the cap.
Peaked too soon.
Prematurely some might say.
@aedia No, there's a name for that.
5:09 PM
@Kit, for what it's worth, I've been holding off voting on your stuff today, because I know you're already capped.
They are actually quite in vogue here.
Everybody wears them.
@Kit Eyelets
@Martha Really? Thanks.
Well, not everybody.
5:10 PM
@Martha Yes! Eyelets! Thank you. I used to be a dressmaker; you think I could remember that word.
@Kit More people suffer from that. It happens. Don't worry about it.
Ok, folks, I gotta go do some actual, like, work. (We're so swamped it's not even funny.)
Good luck!
Have fun, play nicely, don't burn the place down!
Thanks for having shared your swampedness with us.
5:13 PM
Bye! Work hard! :)
@Kit Wow, I'm impressed. I can barely dress myself.
Speaking of work, which sounds like more fun: preventing the user from entering a record that begins before the last ends, or preventing the user from entering an ending before the previous record?
The first one.
No actually do both.
Don't let the user enter records at all. They will undoubtedly screw it up somehow.
Users. Who'd have 'em?
@z7sg Well, I'm getting to that part. But I have to do this part first.
5:26 PM
@Kit Show them their valid choices and make them choose instead of inputting anything? Unless you have to let them input something, in which case, it's hopeless
@aedia Uh, that's kind of what I'm doing. I wrote a stored procedure to find the end date of the last intervention, so they can't put a date earlier than that.
Also just wrote one to find the most recent record date or the most recent start date of any given intervention so that they can't end the intervention before it starts or before records were entered.
@Kit Ah, that makes sense.
Just saw this over at Dictionary.com:
What is “Mrs.” short for? The answer may make you blush (or at least laugh)
It's short for mistress. I know that without reading it.
Why would that make me blush?
Or laugh?
'Mistress Kit'
of Knight Industries Incorporated
Helloooo, Michael :-)
5:44 PM
@Kit I think normal people find different words funny.
After working with health-related stuff I'm pretty much immune to all anatomy jokes. It's not as great as you would think. Those seem to make up a large portion of jokes.
@aedia Diagonal band of Broca.
@z7sg I have no affiliation with Knight Industries.
@aedia Piriform gyrus.
@aedia choroid plexus
Wow, you really are immune.
@Kit Um. HA HA!
Actually that's pretty scary right? I think?
Eeek almost time to go be trained on being ethical or something. In case I forgot from last year.
See you later, alligator my non-rhinocephalic friends.
6:00 PM
@z7sg — I thought a "mistress kit" was something you could build yourself for entertainment purposes.
@Robusto My comment on your litotes answer was because of your last sentence.
My last sentence arrives at a positive, which is what litotes ultimately arrives at. Otherwise it would be stating a negative as a negative, which is not litotes.
"the person who responded is suggesting that using a simple JScript application is a good choice."
They are not saying it is a good choice. They are saying it is not a bad choice.
Which is a way of saying it is a good, or preferred, choice.
No, it doesn't mean it is preferred,
It means it is not discouraged.
6:03 PM
Q. What do you think of that swimsuit model?
A. Not bad. Not bad at all. [Translation: *drool*]
What do you think of that fur bikini?
I could do worse than that.
I thought it was a botched wax job.
I think it means it's acceptable, but not remarkable.
@Robusto Ha ha ha.
Something that is acceptable is better than something that is not. By comparison, it is a good choice.
Better than bad?
That makes it good?
Like Log™?
6:06 PM
@Kit I'd say it was better than acceptable. It's understated approval, really.
@Rhodri — Thank you. Litotes is also known as "heroic understatement" ...
A: Usage and example of the word "litotes"

RobustoWard Farnsworth gives this definition: Litotes (lye-tuh-teez) occurs when a speaker avoids making an affirmative claim directly and instead denies its opposite. Often this amounts to a double negative. He gives a whole host of examples in his book Classical English Rhetoric. Here is one usi...

I believe you about litotes; I'm not arguing a definition here. I still think "you could do worse" is rather non-committal. Not a ringing endorsement.
@Robusto I heard that.
You all must just never have gone shopping with a gaggle of chicks before.
@Kit — Not after I was old enough to flee, no.
6:45 PM
Q: "A" or "an" before parentheses

Sadeq DoustiWhich of the following sentences are grammatically correct: It's an (almost) perfect way to ... It's a (almost) perfect way to ... Here, "an" is correct if you consider the word in the parentheses (i.e. almost). On the other hand, if you don't consider "almost," the correct choice is "a", sin...

Whoop whoop! I got my first close vote.
For dupes, I assume we should use the original, and not one of the other closed dupes, right?
I am glad @Alenanno came up with that one. I was searching for it, but it was hard to find.
Are you excited for me now?
Wow. I typed "invisible to the rider" when I meant "invisible to the reader" ... mind = gone
22 hours ago, by Robusto
@Kit — Dude, we totally can't even remember when we were 3K. Not even @Cerberus can.
@Robusto Thinking about Knight Rider again?
It's only Thursday.
@Robusto Yoikes! It's gone. At least I got my vote in.
6:55 PM
OP deleted it. You need 10K to see those.
@Robusto Cripes. That's another few months of my time. Comes with shiny prizes though. Hmm.
7:17 PM
Out. Later.
See you.
Sweeeet. Got the whole chat room to myself.
Why won't people look at the suggested questions when they type one? Or simply search before posting...
I guess I don't have the chat room all to myself anymore.
Hi @Alenanno
Then again, maybe I do...
Pretty sure Billy Idol keeps a zombitrix chained in his bedroom for the purposes of sexual relations.
7:44 PM
I kind of wasn't here
Oh, ah. Hi.
Well I'll go offline now xD so I'll leave the room to you, administer it properly
Right. OK. Thanks?
1 hour later…
9:03 PM
Wake up wake up everybody!
I'm all alone!
Why is work still happening to me?!?!
@aedia You are in the wrong timezone.
It's 22:06 here and work finsihed hours ago.
@z7sg It's only 17:00... and at this rate I will be working till my 22:00 cries
Unicorn tears are highly prized!
What are you working on?
Fighting with a terrible report in PowerPoint, editing requirements, and redesigning a webpage wireframe. I think that's it right this moment.
I think I'm supposed to be a writer or something, but I write very little; I mostly do all the things no one else can do.
Ah powerpoint.. i do feel sorry for you. I hate that program.
I am supposed to be a software developer but I have to spend a lot of time wrestling with the crap other people have made.
It's tempting to spend my time helping to answer ELU questions instead.
9:17 PM
Ain't this a better fit for Writers?
Q: How can I reword this sentence such that it is not as redundant?

Nick If the table contains more than 10 entries, only the first 10 will be displayed. Is this correct? It seems redundant to me.

You know how grumpy they are when they get what they perceive as ELU 'overspill' questions.. hehe :D
@z7sg I sympathize!
@RegDwight I think so, but it seems like it's asking two different things (the title asks for style/rework help, but the body asks if it's correct).
9:53 PM
@z7sg They used to be grumpy, yes, until I reminded them that they only get the good overspill; the bad overspill stays here with us. For every question that gets migrated to Writers, ten others just get closed.
10:49 PM
Testing IPA: /hɪəː/.
Not sure I need the ː but I was testing.
1 hour later…
11:59 PM
A very interesting flow chart of US energy consumption and distribution, from source to end user and between:

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