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6:34 AM
@RegDwight Did you try using that tool to look at the one we were concerned with? Or does it only show you YOUR deleted comments? (Easy enough to test. Comment and delete :)
 
 
3 hours later…
9:43 AM
@Caleb Ayup, that was the one I was looking at.
Very funny.
 
@RegDwight I laughed at least once, but I don't think everybody was amused by the whole affair.
 
I am certainly amused, because that entails 3i finally getting his well-deserved punishment.
 
Well, at least now we know where the 3 comes from.
May 11 at 11:37, by Third Idiot
I'm part of a trio called the Three Idiots. When we do anything, there's a crazy element.
 
10:02 AM
@RegDwight <chuckle> Aye, I rekon so.
@Vitaly I'm not sure it's that easy. Something has happened because 3i's rep just got recalculated and went down a few hundred. But the smurfing issue is one thing and seems to be on a pretty small scale. The plagerising answers to fix his own wrong ones and general attitude are long standing issues. I looked through some sample up/down vote history and edits the other day and it looks like he's mastered the art of being wrong but riding the rep wave in anyway on other peoples corrections.
The RG user dissapered and it seems several accounts have gotten merged into 3i.
-1
Q: Origin of "zero"

Ham and BaconDictionary.com gave the origin as: 1595–1605; < Italian < Medieval Latin zephirum < Arabic ṣifr cipher I'm just wondering who coined the actual English term 'zero'? I know that sometime in history there was a man who achieved a mathematical breakthrough, and came up with the id...

"As you said yourself."
 
10:21 AM
@Caleb — Hahahahahaha!
 
<tongue in cheek> Should that be edited to read, "As I was saying..."?
 
Kit
11:22 AM
@Caleb I figured there must be at least one more, with enough rep for him to down-vote. What was the other one?
 
@Kosmonaut — Itadakimasu (いただきます or 戴きます) is what one says before one is served a meal. It is a formally polite and well worn statement indicating that one is gratefully ready to accept the food. Not necessary in restaurants, btw, but if you are being served at someone else's house it is customary.
Afterwards it is customary to say gochisousama (ごちそうさま or ご馳走さま), meaning "it was a feast," to express gratitude again.
 
@Kit I can't remember the other account names but if you look through 3i's most recent questions there is a whole rash of them that are self-answers that weren't that way the other day, and I'm pretty sure memory serves me they were not all RG either. With them being merged there is no way to pull back and see what the previous account names were unless you remember.
But the rep drops on his account today happened in at least 2 separate stages about 15 minutes apart.
 
Kit
@Caleb Yes, I see. I was trying to remember. RG only had two questions, I think, so that just blew up in his face.
 
@Caleb — Is this the most-downvoted-but-accepted answer we have so far? It has to be, right?
 
Kit
Yes, I think that's what Reg meant by "now we know where the 3 comes from."
@Caleb How long ago?
 
11:28 AM
@Kit My memory is the same. Do you remember Ham's question count before today? That -2 would tell us how many more questions got merged from other accounts.
Over the time I was chatting with RegDwight, so a couple hours ago.
 
Kit
@Caleb It was pretty high. Maybe I can find one I remember, or a response to a comment with a name mismatch.
So he's not banned, then? He asked a question a half hour ago.
 
@Kit That might work since at-replies are just text not meta objects.
 
Kit
Sounds like he's the Shinto of our generation.
 
@Vitaly — What kind of punishment?
 
@Kit — :(
 
11:29 AM
Oh ya he's on the site answering away as we speak, has been all day.
 
Kit
@Caleb It's how I tracked who he was when he switched from Third Idiot to Ham and Bacon.
@Caleb Good to know he's learned his lesson then.
 
@Kit Not something I would have asked given that particular junction in his history.
 
@Caleb — Every morning it's The Pork Show around here.
 
Kit
@Caleb I don't follow?
 
@Robusto — I hope that he can be forced to read a few thick textbooks on evolutionary biology. But a ban would do.
 
Kit
11:32 AM
@Vitaly Facts can't change the faithful mind.
 
@Kit You saw he asked a question half an hour ago. Did you see what the question was? I don't think questions about male pigs would have been on my question asking agenda if I'd just been caught smurfing.
 
He smugly edited one of my questions and put a bounty on it. I think just to provoke me.
 
Kit
@Caleb Oh, I see. I thought you were talking about my question, not his.
@Robusto Makes me think that he's probably cheating a whole lot more than he got caught for then.
 
I just rolled back his edit.
 
Kit
@Robusto F*ckin' yeah, dude!
 
11:34 AM
@Vitaly Just for the record, I'm a creationist too but that doesn't make 3i's behavior acceptable. It's deceptive and and an embarrassing witness. It's hard to be taken credibly when people making the same claims as you aren't credible.
 
Yes. I've seen him on questions where he regurgitates my answer and screws it up, then gets the check mark. I call him on it and nothing happens.
 
Kit
I think he had 87 questions yesterday, and 93 right now - 2 for RG - 1 for boar, that's 3 for some other account. Maybe.
 
Does anyone know a list of choice-based questions about evolution for creationists, in which some choices are what creationists think they know about evolution, and the correct choice is something evolution actually is?
 
4
A: Can 'area' be called 'plot'?

Ham and BaconNo, "area" cannot be replaced by "plot" in mathematics. There are two reasons: "Area" in mathematics refers to the specific surface within a specific boundary. Plot, in common usage, refers to an indeterminate amount (abstract and without bound) of area i.e. plot of garden bed. "Plot" in Mathem...

And check his edit history as well.
 
@Vitaly I've seen such tests actually :)
@Robusto Ya it doesn't take a historian to figure out how that went down. Sorry mate.
 
Kit
11:40 AM
@Robusto Maybe Templar is one of his alter egos.
 
Yeah.
 
Or I could just ask a creationist to tell me what they think they know about evolution.
 
@Vitaly — And the answer will be: The Bible.
 
Except that most of them would probably refuse to do so.
@Robusto — Word.
 
Kit
@Robusto Also, you didn't actually define mathematical area (although it is in a link in the question).
 
11:42 AM
@Vitaly True. Also most of them couldn't. But the theory itself has itself evolved so you have to cut them some slack for not keeping up :)
 
I figured the OP knew what mathematical area meant.
 
Kit
Now, now, let's not get rabid about evolution v. creationism.
 
@Kit — Well, I am not in the mood for trying to explain how gravity is a fact and how the Earth is not flat, sorry mate.
 
Kit
@Robusto I agree. I just meant for completeness's sake. It's the only thing I can think of that I might ding you on if I were a teacher. Which I'm not.
 
@Vitaly — I tend to dismiss out of hand the arguments of fundamentalists. It is not worth engaging these people in discussion.
 
Kit
11:44 AM
@Vitaly I'll reiterate: Facts can't change a faithful mind.
 
@Robusto, @Kit — Well, sometimes it's fun. For me.
 
Kit
There's no point in trying to explain something to a brick wall.
 
And it's good English practice as a pineapple.
 
@Vitaly — It's fun if I'm in a pissy mood, but it's more about venting hostility than actual enjoyment.
 
Kit
@Vitaly Ok, then. Suit yourself.
I prefer to spend my time trying to figure out the other alter ego.
 
11:47 AM
@Robusto I'm sorry.
 
@Caleb — For what?
 
@Robusto A) That the only "fundamentalists" you've had the opportunity to engage with weren't worth it. Unfortunately I agree it's a lot of them. B) That you dismiss things out of hand without due consideration.
 
B): What would convince you that creationism is nonsense, @Caleb?
 
Kit
-1
Q: Difference between "listen" and "hear"

Ham and Bacon Possible Duplicate: Which of these is the correct usage of the words “listen”, “hear”? i can't seem to make out when to use "listen", or when to use "hear". Basically, what is the difference between these two words? I looked up the dictionary, but the definition...

Anyone remember who wrote this one originally?
 
@Caleb — You assume I haven't given these arguments due consideration. I only dismiss them out of hand because they are always the same and because they don't listen to the other side. The merely wait to reassert that the only truth is given in the Bible. I'm bored with that. Sorry if that offends you.
 
11:53 AM
@Vitaly A different planet for one. And I don't mean finding another one somewhere, I mean this one you and I share would have to be a good deal different. I see it and the things that fill it and the way it functions as evidence as much or more than evolutionists.
 
Kit
Or this one?
3
Q: origin of expression 'at the double'

Ham and Baconme maw used to say to me 'at the double', meaning for me to come as quick as possible. just wondering today, what was the origin of this saying? it seems to me that the words don't apply to anything really specifically, so can some one provide a feasible explanation?

@Caleb Now that's an odd argument against evolution.
 
@Caleb — How exactly would it be different if evolution were true? In other words, what sensory experiences do you anticipate if the statement “evolution happened” is true?
 
@Robusto LOL, it takes a lot more than that to offend me! (I live in the middle east and preach in Turkish about Jesus Christ being God's son to Muslims, so somebody being BORED with my beliefs is the least of my concerns.)
 
Well, it must be interesting to say "it's in the Bible" and hear the counter-argument being "it's in the Koran" ...
 
Half the reason I started following English SE is because my English was getting rusty.
@Robusto Actually it's a lot more interesting than that.
@Kit Odd? Why would it be odd to use the things we see, hear, touch and can measure and manipulate to make deductions about the source and history of those things?
 
Kit
12:02 PM
@Caleb Not odd in that sense. Odd because those things are not appropriate for differentiating between the two arguments.
 
:125401 I partially agree, but isn't that exactly the argument most evolutionist try to level against creationism -- that it doesn't fit the empirical evidence and their theory does?
 
Kit
@Caleb Probably. But we're not having that argument. I'm making an observation.
 
@Vitaly As a whole I would say it would be un-recognizably different, so we would have to take that in small steps. There are lots of aspects to and assumptions behind the theory and each one would have specific effects. TL;DR version: I would expect a less order and more chaos. (less=none; more=complete).
 
Kit
As far as I'm concerned, there's nothing to argue. There is no provable point on which the two diverge.
 
I do need to jet for the time being, but I don't bee a stranger.
 
12:11 PM
@Caleb — Less order as in the retina in the human eye being backwards, the visual nerve routed through it (so we have a blind spot), the recurrent laryngeal nerve taking an absurdly circuitous route, et cetera? Or do you mean something different?
Ok, later.
 
Kit
@Vitaly You can argue the futility of the argument with me, if you want.
 
If the human eye was created by divine intelligence, why do I wear glasses?
 
Kit
@Robusto Because God hates you.
 
If you miss me, bacon* is always a welcome care package in these parts. <sub>*My apologies to ham-ster.</sub>
 
Kit
For masturbating.
 
12:13 PM
D'oh. Glasses were created by the same divine intelligence.
 
"God Hates Us All" — Hank Moody
 
That's like asking, why did Rockefeller give away oil lamps for free...
 
So basically, the divine intelligence in question wasn't very smart, or else had a sick sense of humor.
 
Kit
@Caleb Tchuß
 
You get crappy eyes for free, so you get to pay for the glasses.
 
12:14 PM
Why do large pebbles on a beach get sorted away from smaller pebbles? Surely there must be an Intelligent Designer doing that! How else are you going to explain that perfect order?
 
Capitalism. I knew it.
 
Kit
No, no. It's a punishment.
 
@Vitaly Well, what would you be doing after 6000 years of boredom?
 
Kit
You'd have perfect eyes if you were a perfect believer.
Also, whales wouldn't have vestigal paws.
 
Says who?
 
Kit
12:15 PM
They weren't on the Ark, so obviously whales are evil.
duh
So are fish and ducks.
 
Again, says who? A non-perfect believer? A perfect non-believer? Why would I even listen to either?
 
Creationists argue that chance cannot have come up with our unique world, but they are wrong. Do you know what the odds of getting a royal flush dealt in your first five cards in poker? About 625,000 to one. Know what the odds of getting any other unique hand are? The same.
 
Kit
@Robusto But the argument is pointless.
 
Not to mention that evolution doesn't work by chance.
 
@Robusto But that's the thing. If everyone knew that, Las Vegas wouldn't exist.
You can't convince people that chance doesn't have a memory.
 
12:17 PM
That's basically a strawman for people who don't understand evolution by people who don't understand it either (or are just abject liars like Ken Ham).
 
Kit
Is that the farting preacher?
 
Jimmy Swaggart. One of a long line of hypocrite evangelicals.
 
Kit
Anyway, your time would be better spent thinking up how to differentiate between the two points of view in a provable fashion.
@Robusto Yeah, I know. I just wanted to mention the farting preacher.
 
@Kit — That's what I was aiming for when I asked my question about what differences Caleb expects.
 
Kit
12:18 PM
But that's not something you can prove.
 
0
A: In what region is "thou", etc. used in dialect?

user10505i dont know in which region this word is used.i jst know that thish word was used by SHAKESPEARE in his books.

 
"When you come to look into this argument from design, it is a most astonishing thing that people can believe that this world, with all the things that are in it, with all its defects, should be the best that omnipotence and omniscience have been able to produce in millions of years. I really cannot believe it."
"Do you think that, if you were granted omnipotence and omniscience and millions of years in which to perfect your world, you could produce nothing better than the Ku Klux Klan or the Fascists?"
— Bertrand Russell
 
Kit
 
@Robusto But the thing with evolution is, you can't be sure that fascism ain't its ultimate goal.
 
Kit
@Robusto To be fair, to creationists, it's only several thousand years.
 
12:22 PM
@RegDwight — I thought communism was.
 
Whatever. My point is that we are not the pinaccle of evolution.
We are only a tool, a step.
 
Kit
@RegDwight Wha—? What is wrong with people?
 
@RegDwight it is possible, however, that we represent a local maximum in intelligence. even an absolute maximum, at least with regards to this planet
 
"[Christ says] says, "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that which thou hast, and give to the poor." That is a very excellent maxim, but, as I say, it is not much practised. All these, I think, are good maxims, although they are a little difficult to live up to. I do not profess to live up to them myself; but then, after all, it is not quite the same thing as for a Christian. "
 
@Kit Nothing wrong, just funny.
 
Kit
12:24 PM
@RegDwight I am so glad they shared with us this morning. It makes me warm and fuzzy.
 
@JSBangs That's just as speculative as the non-existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
 
Kit
@JSBangs Dolphins (evil) and monkeys (not evil) are in competition for intelligence maxima.
 
@JSBangs — We sure do not represent the local maximum in physical strength.
Nor the local maximum in natural night vision.
 
@RegDwight of course. i was merely reasserting the principle that evolution does not drive towards maximization of intelligence, and so it's not inevitable that species coming after us will be more intelligent than us
 
Why are we talking about maxima to begin with?
Why can't the goal of evolution be blowing up this stupid solar system from another galaxy and be done?
 
Kit
12:26 PM
Evolution has no goal.
 
Precisely.
Then you can't say that maximum has any meaning.
 
Kit
Creationism does?
 
It has. And the goal is a species' adaptedness to its environment at a given time.
 
Kit
@RegDwight Maximum in terms of bigness has meaning.
 
@Vitaly If there are no species around, nothing has to adapt to anything. Easy as pie.
 
Kit
12:27 PM
@Vitaly Evolution is a process.
 
what does creationism have to do with it? i was just saying, by way of making conversation, that while we are not the "pinnacle" of evolution, it's possible that we are nonetheless the smartest thing that will ever walk this planet
 
@Kit — It can be argued that the goal of the process of an apple falling to the ground is the local minimum in potential energy.
 
"The whole conception of God is a conception derived from the ancient Oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men. When you hear people in church debasing themselves and saying that they are miserable sinners, and all the rest of it, it seems contemptible and not worthy of self-respecting human beings. We ought to stand up and look the world frankly in the face."
 
Kit
@Vitaly skeptical
 
12:28 PM
More Russell.
 
@JSBangs Hey now, I'm just making conversation as well.
 
The whole of "Why I Am Not A Christian": users.drew.edu/~jlenz/whynot.html
 
@JSBangs Hi, the only way I can see that this might be true is if we are just intelligent enough to transform this planet in a definitive desert.
 
@JSBangs — And isn't that a depressing thought.
 
Kit
@Robusto Isn't that his teapot speech?
 
12:29 PM
«Всё о жизни» — книга Михаила Веллера, впервые изданная в 1998 году. Отрывки из книги читались в 2007 году на Радио России. В 2003 году на РЕН ТВ выходила авторская программа Веллера «Всё о жизни», продолжающая тему этой книги. Краткая аннотация Эта книга прямо и внятно отвечает на вопросы, которые каждый задаёт себе с юности. Так что такое любовь? Почему человек так часто несчастлив? Чего ради мы страдаем? И в чём же, наконец, смысл жизни? Михаил Веллер описывают свою жизненную философию, названную позднее, в книге «Кассандра», энерговитализмом. Ещё через два года, в сборнике «Б. Ва...
 
Kit
@RegDwight Huh?
 
@RegDwight — Make me unsee it.
 
@Kit — " Russell delivered this lecture on March 6, 1927 to the National Secular Society, South London Branch, at Battersea Town Hall."
 
@Vitaly Sure.
Says basically the same thing.
 
@Kit, evolution has a goal: Maximization of efficiency.
 
Kit
12:31 PM
@Robusto Oh, I thought that was the one where he presented his teapot argument. Guess not.
 
@AlainPannetier I disagree. it's not inevitable that later species will continue to specialize in intelligence. it's just like physical size: the dinosaurs were the biggest land animals to ever exist, and animals coming after them did not just continue to get bigger and bigger
 
Kit
@AlainPannetier Goal implies mindfulness.
 
This is true each time there is limited resource and therefore competition.
 
Right, then I'd say teleonomy if that's a word.
Teleonomy is the quality of apparent purposefulness and of goal-directedness of structures and functions in living organisms that derive from their evolutionary history, adaptation for reproductive success, or generally, due to the operation of a program. The term was coined to stand in contrast with teleology, which applies to ends that are planned by an agent which can internally model/imagine various alternative futures, which enables intention, purpose and foresight. A teleonomic process, such as evolution, produces complex products without the benefit of such a guiding foresight. Evo...
 
12:34 PM
Oh hey @AlainPannetier. How's it going?
 
So that evolution has, supposedly, no teleology but can be suspected of having some sort of teleonomy.
Hi. I see that my retribution for being unfaithful to this forum is that you guys are having plenty of interesting discussions...
 
@Alain, well, it's just today
yesterday we didn't talk about anything interesting
 
@JSBangs thx, I'll try to believe that.
 
Hey we have a believer among us!
 
12:37 PM
@RegDwight, even less than @Vitaly
 
interesting... deleted answers don't show up in chat
 
Well, they are deleted.
 
Have you had a chance to start that book yet, @Alain?
If you had, I am interested in your thoughts about what you have found there so far.
 
@Vitaly, not yet, I got it though - in English. At the moment I'm reading Indo European studies and I dug up plenty of interesting books from the British Museum, I had bought back in 97...
 
12:40 PM
Oh, ok.
 
Kit
@AlainPannetier Yes, that mollifies me.
 
I've just changed job and taken a mandatory leave. Hence my abscence from EL&U.
@Kit, I knew I could... ;-)
 
Kit
@RegDwight One of my faves.
 
@RegDwight thank you for reminding me why i don't watch Family Guy
 
I'm here to remind.
I know that you're all into American Dad.
 
12:44 PM
@RegDwight — Wait, I thought you were here to help. Reminding isn't helping. It's a form of reproach, or at least it can be.
 
I'm here to reproach.
I'm here to can be.
 
You have to proach before you can reproach.
 
Hi @Mvy, why is your gravatar all over Paris?
@Robusto Similarly, you have to cock before you can cockroach.
 
Don't cock that roach unless you mean to shoot it.
 
12:47 PM
@RegDwight silly people. a significant number of those are pacman ghosts, not space invaders
 
@JSBangs — What, no Ms. Pacman?
 
What the heck is this, and why didn't I see this one?
 
1
Q: Differences among expression and idiom, as well as colloquial and vernacular

Anderson SilvaBoth an expression and idiom and colloquial and vernacular used interchangeably, albeit incorrectly. Would you please advise on differences in meaning and recommend a proper usage.

Gen ref?
 
12:52 PM
Differences among beer and whiskey, as well as yesterday and tomorrow.
Too broad.
Quite a few of Anderson's questions set off with "X and Y are used interchangeably", while the answers and comments to them go "Um, no, they are not".
0
Q: What is the difference between 'tell' and 'said'

Anderson Silva Possible Duplicate: “Nothing to tell” versus “nothing to say” Both words seem to be used interchangeably. I generally don't differentiate between them and intuitively pick one over the other. Is there a standardized way to distinguish between two?

 
@RegDwight — Yesterday and tomorrow are the same: one day away. As Einstein said, "People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion"
 
Stoopid Friday, boring meeting.
TTYL.
 
@RegDwight — Aardvark and misogynist are used interchangeably. Also Weetabix.
 
@Robusto, how do you explain tomorrow to "people" who live on a planet with twin stars and no night?
 
@AlainPannetier — If I am ever required to give such an explanation, I'll just link to a Wikipedia article.
 
Kit
12:59 PM
@Robusto LOL
 
@Robusto ca de obicei.
 
Kit
guffaw even.
 
@AlainPannetier de ce vorbesti romaneste?
 
Just a little. I used to...
I mean. I met a Romanian person Wednesday so it's coming back... This is the incomprehensible room after all.
 
Kit
I used to have a gigantic crush on a Romanian physics student.
Both her parents were also physicists.
So I have a stereotype that all Romanians are physicists.
Or vampires.
Or vampire physicists.
 
1:04 PM
+1 for vampire physicists
 
You could be forgiven to confuse physicians with vampires but physicists I don't know...
 
@Alain If Hendrik Schon and his 'dark secrets' are anything to go by..
 
@Kit i had a gigantic crush on a romanian student, too, so i married her. <rimshot>. and i still have a crush on her, so it's all good
 
He sucked the intellectual blood out of the community for quite some time.
 
Kit
@JSBangs Very sweet. And you have progeny, so you've got evolution on your side.
 
1:11 PM
@MrDisappointment I understand the "vampire" side of it now...
 
@AlainPannetier — You're not supposed to say the name. It's taboo. Just to refer to it as "that room" or "TIR" ... otherwise who knows what could happen?
 
@Alain Magnificent last answer.
 
I'll remember that... ;-)
 
BTW, this room used to appear on the EL&U sidebar on the main site, but i haven't seen it for a long time
 
@Billare, thx alot. And happy to see you're back...
 
1:13 PM
0
Q: What to call a next service occasion field

jgauffinI'm building an (software) application which is used to keep track of when trucks should be serviced next time. The next service occasion is decided by the number of hours that a truck has been used. The manager will manually specify the next hour when the truck should be serviced. What should I...

 
Not really "back"; just busy these days
 
Who made us the DBA naming monkey?
 
Are you talking about the one regarding "do periphrasis" ?
 
Yes, the periphrasis one.
So the second-to-last one ;)
 
@Robusto I was just reading that and thinking the same.
 
1:14 PM
@RegDwight : LOL
 
I was really busy but 3I's answer was so bad, I could not let Stan Rogers alone on that one.
 
@Robusto Also, the question makes me want to question his model, rather than provide a direct answer.
 
Ah...
From what I've seen actually, 3I has really improved. I no longer WTF at his questions/answers, I think.
 
3I actually seppuku-ed his answer after a while.
 
@MrDisappointment — Move to SO maybe. Or Programmers.SE.
 
1:16 PM
Since he changed his name from 3I. I always knew that was a trolling sort of name.
 
Kit
@Billare You missed the drama.
 
@AlainPannetier — Doko de?
 
Kit
@Billare Robusto will point you to his edit histpry.
 
@Robusto Let's just move it to Astronomy.SE.
I'm sure @MrD will approve.
 
Kit
@AlainPannetier Which? I'd like to read it.
 
1:17 PM
@Robusto I would say Programmers, but I can just picture it bouncing to the other site, no matter which one we decide.
 
"Doko de" 3I's answer ?
 
As-tro-no-my! As-tro-no-my!
 
@AlainPannetier — Where?
 
@Alain Is "magnificent bastard tongue" worth a read?
 
@Reg Ya, we could re-write his question, perhaps, and just squeeeeze it in there.
 
1:18 PM
@Billare — I think it's terrific.
 
@MrDisappointment Let me suggest an edit then!
 
@Reg Oh, and ... As-tro-no-my! As-tro-no-my!
 
@Robusto, I understood doko de. Did you mean 3I's answer. You can see it, you're 10k+.
 
@MrDisappointment "Do you agree that the Sun is overrated, because it shines when it's bright anyway, unlike the Moon?"
4
 
@AlainPannetier — Not sure which one we're talking about, that's all.
 
1:19 PM
@Robusto I see. Is it oustandingly better to other English language history books you've read? I'm very interested to see if McWhorter goes into technicalities like do periphrasis in the book...
 
8
Q: Why do we use 'did' with questions using the simple past tense?

Istable Where did you go last night? Where went you last night? Is there a reason we say the first of the previous two sentences as opposed to the last one? I know the second sentence is ungrammatical. I was just wondering if there was more of a rule than just "asking questions in the simple pas...

 
@Reg LOL
 
@Billare — He has a whole section on that. It's a very engaging read, yet scholarly.
 
@AlainPannetier Um, isn't this basically a dupe of some other do-support question?
 
One of his main points is that English borrows rather more from Cornish and Welsh than people allow. The do periphrasis is one example of that.
 
1:21 PM
13
Q: What is the origin of the 'do' construction?

Peter AperloModern English seems to require this verb in several circumstances, where most other European languages don't seem to need it. (See? I just used it.) For example, in questions: "Do you have a dog?" Whereas, "Have you a dog?" would be normal in other languages or in the English of days gone by....

7
Q: English questions and negation with *do* in syntax

Felix DombekA former lecturer of mine once explained why, from a syntactic point of view, the English rule that negation and questions are formed with the auxiliary do follows from other syntactic facts about English. More precisely, if you gave a good syntactician not familiar with English a corpus of Engl...

 
Anyway, chaps, time for my lunch - ta ta for now.
 
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Q: Using "do" to create a question

Richard Possible Duplicates: English questions and negation with do in syntax What is the origin of the 'do' construction? I vaguely remember hearing that using "do" to create a question is almost unique to English. Other languages would simply reverse the verb and subject. However,...

 
@Billare, I'm just listening to the audiobook. But McWhorter's expression is so particular that I think I'll purchase the paperback, I'm loosing too much of it.
 
@Alain Ah...
 
@RegDwight, Wow, that was quick... As I said, I stumbled upon Stan Roger's comment and decided I could not leave that post like this.
 
1:23 PM
@Alain What do you mean that his "expression is so particular"?
 
@AlainPannetier Ah, now I understand. I wasn't quite sure what you were referring to. Still catching up.
 
It's very colloquial, yet sophisticated and with a lot of references to US culture.
 
From OMBT by McWhorter:
1. The Angles, Saxons, and Jutes encountered Celtic speakers.
2. Meaningless *do* in the affirmative, negative, and interrogative is found nowhere on earth except in Celtic and English.
3. English is the only Germanic language that uses its verb-noun progressive as the only to express present tense; Welsh and Cornish do the same.
 
So I need to research many points and you can't stop an audiobook as easily as when you read a paperback.
 
Kit
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Q: What to call a next service occasion field

jgauffinI'm building a (software) application which is used to keep track of when trucks should be serviced next time. The next service occasion is decided by the number of hours that a truck has been used. The manager will manually specify the next hour when the truck should be serviced. What should I ...

Let's close this.
 
1:26 PM
@Robusto Interesting; awesome! I was afraid it was going to be all about French/Latin influence on English, which I know plenty about already.
 
"English is not, then, solely an offshoot of Proto-Germanic that inhaled a whole bunch of foreign words. It is an offshoot of P.G. that traded grammar with offshoots of Proto-Celtic. The result was a structurally hybrid tongue, whose speakers today use Celtic-derived constructions almost every time they open their mouths ..."
I even added one of his pithy remarks to my profile quotes.
 
@Robusto, @Billare, he even says "some people even argue that English is a Celtic language with Germanic words"
Let me find the exact quote.
 
@AlainPannetier — Isn't that the quote I just gave?
He also takes the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis to task later in the book. In quite an amusing way, too.
 
@Robusto, not the one I was thinking of.
@Robusto. I haven't reached that part yet. But I quite agree with Sapir-Whorf.
 
I'll be interested to hear what you think after you've read that part then.
"Decade after decade, no one has turned up anything showing that grammar marches with culture and thought in the way that the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis claimed."
 
1:36 PM
Here it is.
"The more extreme advocates even claim that English is Celtic grammar with Germanic words".
In languagelog.
 
" [Whorf said that the Hopi language] does not mark time in any way ... Quite simply, Hopi has as much equipment for placing events in time as any language." Etc.
 
Pinker addresses that, too.
 
It seems that many scholars don't take the Celtic hypothesis seriously, judging from Lieberman's tone.
 
He has like a whole chapter dedicated to debunking that myth.
 
@Billare — Yes, and McWhorter devotes probably a third of the book to woodshedding those scholars while offering ample evidence why they should be taking the Celtic hypothesis seriously.
 
1:41 PM
Also look at all the points in this paper. Most objections are quite neatly dealt with.
 
@Alain: Yes, a good paper. A pertinent quote from it: "Why don’t traditional analysts of periphrastic do’s history have several languages around the world to refer to as models for the development of such an item? Precisely why would we not trace English’s development of such a peculiar construction to its presence in the languages of the peoples its speakers encountered?"
Anyhoo, I gotta run. Laterz.
 
Especially considering that no other Germanic language evolved that phenomenon.
 
Interesting.
Thanks for the link, @Alain.
Anyway, I too have to run.
Ciao , @all.
 
TTYL @Robusto, @Billare
 

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