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01:00 - 19:0019:00 - 00:00

1:18 AM
Q: What does "if and when" mean, and is it the same as "when and if"?

Ryan ReichRather than trying to describe my beef with this idiom, I will give a bunch of successively objectionable examples. None of these are taken from real life. (in an argument) If and when you admit defeat, I will be gracious. (planning a war) If and when this country is invaded, we must be ready ...

Peeving in the form of a question?
Ugh. Too long.
2:21 AM
@Robusto Well, yeah, but it's still a question.
5 hours later…
7:05 AM
4 hours later…
11:14 AM
Q: Gender question

IvanI'm writing a paper about markets and mention several times providers and their offers. The problem is when I use the singular, since I'm not sure if I should use a male or female pronouns. For example, is it a provider and his offer or a provider and her offer?

It's Duplicate City out here!
Anything that takes your fancy, you can have for free —
Wine, women and dancing, but you’ve got to sell your soul to me.
’Cause once you are in, you’ll never get out from Duplicate City!
@RegDwight Oh don't lean on me, man, cuz you can't afford the ticket / I'm back in Duplicate City!
Meh, Windows is telling me to restart. bbl.
11:32 AM
Now that our fine city has an anthem or two, let us have a flag.
Sorry to interrupt, but can I ask you something quickly? What's that "accept rate" below the user's name?
It's the percentage of questions that they've asked for which they have accepted an answer, I think
Minus CW questions, minus self-accepts.
Aha, danke.
A: How does accept rate work?

TheTXITaken from the blog entry: The accept rate is the percentage of answers accepted based on the questions asked by the user. The accept rate is calculated on questions that are older than 3 days. The accept rate is heavily cached and can take 24hrs or more to update. The accept rate is only calcu...

Actually it doesn't mention self-accepts... Hm.
Oh well, we don't have that many of those anyway.
11:40 AM
You mean you answer your question and accept it as best answer or what?
This won't push your answer to the top, though. (Unlike with "normal" accepted answers.)
All answers will be sorted by votes in that case.
Got it, thanks a lot.
And of course you don't get +17 reps for self-accepting. :P
@RegDwight Wouldn't the flag for Duplicate City depict a diatomic molecule?
Wait, it doesn't?
I suck at reading pictograms.
Or heraldry.
Or what have you.
11:47 AM
I have a back yard. Or have you forgotten?
You are very proud of it, innit?
I mean, you keep mentioning it over and over again.
You are yet to mention your kitchen a single time.
Usually you're the one who brings it up.
Well, I like your bandwagon, what should I say.
Q: What is the meaning of "if only as"?

blizpastaI can only intuitively grasp the meaning and usage of "if only as". It seems related to "if only" at this other question: What does "if only" mean? However I don't feel they're quite the same. Hence I would like to know the meaning of "if only as", and whether an how it's related to "...

Was ist ein Bandwagen? Some kind of marketing gimmick, no doubt.
11:50 AM
Another dupe ::pauses for anthem::, though the original has crap answers.
@Rhodri Now you, sir, you are just mean.
@RegDwight Naturally. Browsers are refusing to play my perfectly formed video streams, therefore meanness is in order.
Also, I can't figure out which of @Reg and @Robusto is jealous of which.
Both. Also, September.
I gave the doggy a quick upvote if only to sneak it in before the hammer falls.
Um, you can upvote closed stuff all you want.
Closed != locked.
11:52 AM
@Rhodri — If only as for between us two.
But then also!
@RegDwight — Sorry, I'm new around here.
Welcome to the site.
Are you a communist?
I'm not sure. What's a communist?
I see.
So you are saying you are not sure. Why do you ask what's a communist?
11:55 AM
If it is a citizen of the Worker's Paradise who participates fully in controlling the means of production, then I'm like totally in, dude — er, tovarich.
Means around these parts are fully controlled by Rhodri, our main meanie.
But the ends don't justify the means. So Rhodri is behaving in an unjustified manner.
Q: Whats the meaning for "six words away" ?

bubbleWhats the meaning for "six words away" ? I heard it repeatedly in movie coach carter.

Not constructive.
Not destructive, either.
Not anything.
11:58 AM
Boring. That's something.
I am still waiting for "what's the meaning of 'meaning'" and "what's the etymology of 'etymology'".
What is the meaning of "what"?
It depends on what the meaning of "what" is.
What's the what?
You are what.
12:00 PM
What what
Punctuate this sentence: What what what what what what what what what.
Sure. What: what; what... what-what!!! what? what = what + what.
You googled it. Cheater.
Take what!
Only nine whats. That's not very bright. (Copyright The Goon Show)
12:01 PM
I think high-rep users should have access to a tool that would ROT-13 all stupid questions.
What is the difference between a what and a normal hat?
Is it shaped like a W or something?
George W. Bush wore it.
Putting on my what...
In your what, everything you say sounds kinda dumb. But maybe I'm misunderestimating you.
I can't stand your whatery prose.
12:04 PM
But my when can lay eggs.
And my who really puts out.
Wireless hen?
More to the point, a wireless ho?
Sometimes called WiFryer.
That's too wihigh for me.
Anyway, "who" is the opposite of "how". Or maybe the converse. Not sure.
More like the transpose.
12:09 PM
3I isn't citing his sources again.
Do we have a policy on that?
Kill with fire.
A: origin of "zero"

Ham and BaconAs you said yourself, the word's origin came from the Arabic word ṣifr, and the etymology can be traced here: In 976 AD the Persian encyclopedist Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Khwarizmi, in his "Keys of the Sciences", remarked that if, in a calculation, no number appears in the place of tens, then a ...

And did I miss something here?
A: origin of "zero"

Rauf NicoleThe digit 0 is discovered by the Great Indians.

Is "Great Indians" a euphemism for Big-Endians?
@Robusto A bit of a hopeless answer, despite being correct.
You should turn your comment into an answer.
@Robusto I should. I need to pretend to work for a bit, though.
12:14 PM
@Robusto The best part is the "discovered"
I am tempted to downvote just for that.
Or the "is discovered" ...
That's the second-to-best part.
"I am rafting down the Ganges one day, when my skiff is nearly overturned by a big 0 floating just under the surface of the water."
Is that you, Mr. Peterman?
Someone machine-gun-down-voted 3 answers here... Or well, 3 is the number I can tell... Maybe even more.
A: Is there a polite alternative to "No thanks, I'm full"?

Ham and BaconA polite way of saying that you're full, at the same time being easily understood, would be: Thanks! I'm satisfied. Meaning to say that you've had enough to eat.

12:25 PM
@Alenanno At least one of them deserved downvoting. Not yours, though.
I noticed...
Well, I better get moving, a long and cool afternoon at the library is waiting for me sighs
Have fun.
Yeah sure
12:50 PM
What does indexical mean? (I have checked my dictionaries, they say “of, or relating to, or resembling an index,” which I am having trouble applying to the contexts; and the question is too basic for the main site I think)
That's a new one to me, I think.
“Indexical errors”; “This structure gives values for organisms an intrinsically indexical quality”; “Indeed, fitness ‘interests’ cannot be properly assigned to such a high-level entity as a person but are indexical to sets of genes inside the genome”
Q: English news or articles with audio

scdmbis there any website with news or articles in English with text and exact audio for this text? I mean something like this http://www.dw-world.de/dw/0,,2469,00.html . There are published daily news in German and with audio file with someone who reads it.

Totally OT.
Killed by The Triple R Team.
@Vitaly I must admit I can't make heads or tails of the last two quotes. And the tails I can make of the first one are probably not the right kind of tails.
Don't mess with 3R.
12:55 PM
Q: What's the meaning of "six words away"?

bubbleWhat's the meaning for "six words away"? I heard it repeatedly in the movie Coach Carter. Edit: In the scene in a bus, when the coach blasts the team for sneaking out to a party without informing him, he says "you are six words away from getting kicked off the bus" or something like that.

Déjà lu.
I can't believe I just looked up movie transcripts for such a crap question.
@RegDwight — The first quote is an example from a dictionary, so it probably means “errors in the index [of a book etc]”
@Vitaly That's how I read it, yes, but judging by the last two quotes that's not necessarily right.
I am thinking that the 2nd quote might be rephrased as “This structure causes values for organisms to be arranged in a precise order with respect to each other” and the 3rd quote could mean “…but each of them corresponds to a specific set of genes inside the genome,” but I need a proficient English speaker to confirm
As I am not sure that sounds right
1:01 PM
@Vitaly — Those two phrasings sound clear to me.
@Robusto — But do they match what the authors of the quotes intended to say?
11 mins ago, by Vitaly
What does indexical mean? (I have checked my dictionaries, they say “of, or relating to, or resembling an index,” which I am having trouble applying to the contexts; and the question is too basic for the main site I think)
10 mins ago, by Vitaly
“Indexical errors”; “This structure gives values for organisms an intrinsically indexical quality”; “Indeed, fitness ‘interests’ cannot be properly assigned to such a high-level entity as a person but are indexical to sets of genes inside the genome”
@Vitaly: careful, you are introducing specificity into the third one.
"sets of genes" becomes "a specific set of genes", which can't be right.
Oh, right
“This structure gives values for organisms an intrinsically indexical quality” ... feels like something is left out here.
The values get an indexical quality?
That's the whole sentence, Robusto
1:04 PM
I feel like it's very poorly written, or at least jargonesque.
What do they mean by "this structure"?
I can't figure that out either; here is some preceding context:
> Because of the structure of natural selection, social organisms are regularly in social conflict, so that the objective states of the world that are preferred by some are aversive or neutral to others (e.g., that this individual and not that should get the contested food, mating opportunity, territory, parental effort, status, grooming, and so on). This structure…
I don't think they refer to “the structure of natural selection” :D
What's with all these superfluous rooms?
@Vitaly anything to do with the semiotics kind of indexicality? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indexicality
@aedia — No, that has nothing to do with linguistics whatsoever (except that maybe later in the book where they discuss the origins of language; the book is about evolutionary psychology).
1:31 PM
@Vitaly Here's my attempt - I think this is kind of what they're saying: This structure (the natural conflict) causes sorting-out like an index, where each organism gains different advantages or prefers different states. However, it would be a mistake to say the high-level organism (like a person) is the thing we can easily sort; rather, the sets of genes are what we could index to different behaviors.
@Vitaly I think that's basically what you'd come up with before, though. Not sure I helped any.
Glad I'm not trying to read the whole of whatever that is.
Under what circumstances could a native English speaker learn to use the word indexical like that anyway?
@Vitaly — Only in academic or scientific situations. I myself never even heard the word before today.
@aedia — I'm not saying you're wrong, but I'm not sure that covers it completely. The parallel structure between organism and "higher-level entity" doesn't really work, because the last part denies such a relationship exists.
This reminds me of one of those reading-comprehension questions on the GRE.
1:48 PM
@Robusto — Yes, but where did academic or scientific language get the word from originally? Someone had to be the first person to use it like that.
Could you say the timestamps give an indexical quality to this chatroom?
Well, -ic and -al are awfully productive, just ask Kosmonaut.
@Vitaly: I think indexical in this context refers to something like an associative array in programming. Each object has a key and a value, and the value assigned to each key is random and not qualitative based on the key (or index).
A: Why is it *geometric_* but *theoretic_al_*?

KosmonautOrigin The suffix -ic comes from Greek -ikos, while -ical is a combination of -ic and the French suffix -al. Originally, -al was suffixed to scientific nouns ending in -ics, e.g. mathematics - mathematical. Eventually, the -ical portion of those words was reanalyzed as being a single unit. Th...

@Vitaly — Yes, I think you could say that.
An index is merely a pointer to a thing.
In fact, index comes from the word meaning to point with the finger, or the pointing finger..
@Robusto Hmm. I think you're right, but now I've confused myself and I have no idea whether the genes or the people or whatnot are indexical. God, I need more coffee.
1:52 PM
@aedia — This is why I didn't go into science. My son is studying biology and neuroscience and I almost can't believe he's mine, because he totally gets that stuff.
@Feral Oink: I reposted my question on meta about comparing English and American usage in an ngram fashion over at the main site, where you can post an answer there.
@Robusto But theirs is an extrinsically indexical quality. We're discussing intrinsically indexical qualities. Sheesh. Haven't you learned anything from this discussion?
@aedia — I feel so ashamed.
Whoawhoawhoa, hold on, we're supposed to learn from discussions in this room?
Apr 15 at 14:14, by RegDwight
Hey, I'm only in for the gin. I'm only here for the beer.
But I actually learn things from gin and beer.
1:55 PM
Mind = etc.
Etc. = blown
What is the opposite of ceterum?
Thus, it should be
Aretecte = blown.
@RegDwight's cover = blown
2:00 PM
@RegDwight I'm only frisky for the whiskey?
@Robusto For the fifteenhundredth time, it never existed.
@aedia I dunno, are you?
Euuwww, you've been uncovered this whole time?
23 hours ago, by RegDwight
Wait, what? You are clothed?
@RegDwight It's not as good as tequila, but for the life of me, I can't think of anything that rhymes with that.
2:02 PM
And "I'm only gerbil-in for the bourbon" sounds frightening.
I'm urban for the bourbon.
ooh, good one
I'm secure for the liqueur.
Peter Urban (born 14 April 1948 in Bramsche, Lower Saxony) is a German musician and radio host. Since the 1997 Contest, Urban following Jan Hofer has been the German commentator for the Eurovision Song Contest. Due to illness in 2009, Urban was unable to commentate on the 2009 Contest, with Tim Frühling filling in, however returning to commentate on the 2010 Contest. Urban has also commentated on the Eurovision Dance Contest since the 2007 Contest. Currently he hosts the radio programmes: "NDR-Info-Nachtclub" and "NDR-2-Soundcheck Neue Musik" for the German regional broadcaster Norddeuts...
Where on earth do you live that chinchilla rhymes with tequila?
2:03 PM
Sometimes I'm impure for the liqueur.
@aedia — He won't tell you.
I've got an eyeball for the highball.
/ʧɪnˈʧɪlə/ /təˈkiːlə/
Stop speaking India Pale Ale.
Where on earth do you live that 'ɪlə doesn't rhyme with 'iːlə?
@RegDwight Yeah, see, the I and the i, not so rhyme-y
Oh my. But impure and liqueur are??
2:06 PM
@RegDwight — Slant rhymes, @Reg. Slant rhymes. You should have your people look into it.
But that's what I am saying!
He's not objecting to your slant rhymes!
@RegDwight — But you're slanting the wrong way.
Yeah, right. The US argument again.
"You are wrong, us is right. USA! USA!"
Besides, either you can slant or you can't. You can't acquire that skill.
I am slanty by nature.
Natural born slanter.
2:10 PM
ɪmˈpjʊə , lɪˈkjʊə
That Slant.i.am, that Slant.i.am,
I sure do like that Slant.i.am.
those are the pronunciations I thought of so that's why @Robusto's rhymes and yours doesn't, @RegDwight :P
@aedia /təˈkiːlə/ /təˈkiːlə/
Those are the pronunciations I thought of so that's why mine rhymes and his doesn't.
but that's two tequilas and no aminals! you can't rhyme tequilas alone.
That's just sad.
No, that's chinchilla vs. tequila.
If I pronounce them identically, they rhyme.
2:14 PM
Chinchilla is pronounced "chin-chee-ya" ...
You won't believe how many people in Germany think that tequila is pronounced "te-ki-lya".
Idiots are everywhere.
Q: If Christopher is a "carrier of Christ" then what is Jennifer carrying?

gbuttersI was told in a Latin class that the name Christopher has Greek roots that mean "one who carries Christ". I assume that the Latin connection here is fero, which is the verb to carry. With that in mind, does the name Jennifer have a similar derivation? If so what would she be carrying?

What? What... is that?
Surely the different spelling gives it away for once.
Gwenhwyvar. Genevière.
God, there's even a dedicated site, Jencyclopedia.
@RegDwight — “but it was in existance as early as 1796”.
2:26 PM
I am fairly certain that in 1796 that was the proper spelling. :P
> 1796, reprinted from 1384 Chaucer H. Fame i. 266 Allas what harme dothe Apparence Whan hit is fals in existence.
That's 1384.
Try again.
BTW, you know what? If the Jennifer question gets only a few upvotes in the next few minutes, it will get autocollidered.
@Vitaly Oh you sneaky Russian.
That is still 1384.
My Dal dictionary has all kinds of funny spellings. It even uses letters that don't exist.
2:45 PM
Q: Can Iran put someone on the moon by 2025?

Brian M. HuntIran has claimed that it intends to put someone on the moon by 2025. I speculate that Iran doesn't have the necessary resources to accomplish such a mission, but I don't know. Does Iran presently have the wherewithal (financial, political, economic, scientific, engineering, etc.) to accomplish s...

Sure, by paying the Russians a few million bucks.
They will shoot anyone off the face of this planet for money.
3:04 PM
@RegDwight — Yeah, but they haven't really been to the moon yet, now have they?
Well, that's because they wanted their people to return.
That question, on the other hand, only mentions putting Iranians on the moon.
You give me enough money, I will put them on the moon.
Dead or alive.
@RegDwight — How much money, exactly?
This much.
You should be able to see it from where you are.
Then I will spend 5 bucks on Polonium for that Iranian guy, and build myself a house on the Moon. With Blackjack and hookers. In fact, forget about the house and the Moon.
@RegDwight — Blackjack? Really? No LEGO?
Right. Forget about Blackjack, too.
3:20 PM
"If Christopher is a “carrier of Christ” then what is Jennifer carrying?" I was so tempted to comment: "I dunno, herpes?"
That would've been so funny, dude. Like, huhuh.
Maybe it's USS Jennifer, and she's carrying actual aircraft and 20.000 men.
@Robusto Didn't we have some Lucifer question just a little while back? It's definitely the anti-christ if this is a joke.
Ain't seen no lucifer questions round here.
Like, a devil's name one.
Only Lucifer himself, but he goes by the name anon271334.
3:29 PM
This awful one
Q: What is a good synonym for "devil"?

nicholas ainsworthIf a person is very evil some would say he is a devil. Can anyone give me another word—devil sounds a bit strange to me.

Oh my, it's that late. Gotta go. CU.
4:08 PM
@aedia — That was on 666.SE, I think.
4:39 PM
WOAH. we have 13 questions that got while i wasn't looking
4:50 PM
all gone now. thank god there was nothing under
@JSBangs This curating must be a demanding task. I see there's no english or language either. Phew.
@JSBangs How do you make them look like tags? Mine didn't go all pretty.
you have to do [tag:$name]
@JSBangs like this: tag:ampersand?
you'd want [tag:ampersand]
@JSBangs but but I tried, I thought!
5:05 PM
"tag" is literal. what follows the colon is the name of the tag
your first one is right, but don't add a link
the link is automatically generated
5:07 PM
@MrDisappointment Hey there. We were just discussing what a shame it is there aren't lots of questions about ampersands.
Really? How many can you think of?
for all of you who are ampersand-curious
@JSBangs As much as I am, .. ah, never mind.
@JSBangs My work has blocked it. If I wasn't ampersand-curious before, I am now. Bookmarking on phone to read later...
@Martha Just arrived? If so, I missed you float from nowhere, if not, how the frack did you get to the front of the 'active' list? Hmm.
5:10 PM
Hi Martha!
I did, indeed, just arrive. Hi IPU!
Well, welcome back, regardless.
@MrDisappointment Doesn't everyone float from nowhere and pop into the front of the list before settling into place?
@aedia i find it hilarious that your work prevents you from reading subversive articles about the history of the ampersand
Or is that not how it works?
5:12 PM
Q: How were key positions on the typical QWERTY keyboard chosen?

drm65It's hard to know where to ask this question, but I decided to ask it here because of how uniquely the keyboard relates to the language being typed. The keyboard appears to be English-specific, but I'm not experienced enough to tell for sure. Were the key placements chosen logically, or randoml...

@aedia Affirmative. Evidently, I'm not quite fully focused today - I could excuse it, but I won't.
Is this about English language & usage in any way?
@JSBangs There's dirty, dirty octothorpes too.
@Martha Nope.
@Martha voting to close
5:14 PM
Can't wait until my name shows up as one of the instigators in what has to be one of the most disappointing actions to be subject to on SE - closing your question!
6:06 PM
I need an attitude check.
//looking around
Nope, no checks here, neither attitude nor reality nor even the plain old money kind. Sorry.
6:21 PM
Good evening everyone
Where is everyone :D
@Martha — You're just prejudiced because the question wasn't asked about Dvorak keyboards.
@Robusto Eh? Dunno if I've ever met a Dvorak keyboard in my life.
6:31 PM
@Martha — You poor thing.
Hey, is today the summer solstice?
yeah, I think so
Yes indeed!
@Robusto Didn't you see the frightening Google Doodle?
I think we should have a summer solstice party, maybe sacrifice a virgin or two. But it's safe for you folks to come. Well, with one or two exceptions.
I discovered this phenomenon by accident today.
I'm a little scared to search any further. I don't think we want that bear at the solstice party.
Preved () is a term used in the Padonkaffsky jargon, a meme in the Russian-speaking Internet which developed out of a heavily-circulated picture, and consists of choosing alternative spellings for words for comic effect. The picture, a modified version of John Lurie's watercolor Bear Surprise, whose popularity was stoked by emails and blogs, features a man and a woman having sex in the clearing of a forest, being surprised by a bear calling "Surprise!" with its paws raised. In later Russian adaptations, the bear shouts "Preved!" (a deliberate misspelling of privet, – "hi!"). In keepi...
6:45 PM
man, i don't need to pollute my head with russian internet memes now
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