« first day (2079 days earlier)      last day (1277 days later) » 

5:00 PM
though you can say "the enemy's cannon" to mean their mass of armament
or however you want to put that
their battery of cannon
@Ron Go back to the fantasy movies of the 90s. Some classics in there. Neverending Story. Willow.
Maybe those were the 80s, I'm fuzzy.
 
I'd seen Neverending Story
I try Willow
Lord of rings is cool?
 
it's fine
I prefer the books, as much as it gags me to use that phrase
 
ok
 
@DanBron Yes.
 
So it's both an irregular plural (when count) and a mass noun (when not)
both bug me
 
5:05 PM
Is there a Q&A site about rap?
 
there's plenty of music Q&As
I'm sure rap is on topic on one or the other of them
 
@DanBron Would you say the enemy's cannon is enormous, or the enemy's cannon are enormous?
 
@DanBron Like?
 
And would you say the enemy has much cannon, or the enemy has many cannon?
 
5:06 PM
Or neither?
 
Well, if I had to live with the way things are now, if there was one gun, I'd use is, if more than one, are. If I had my druthers, then if there was one cannon is, if more, cannons are.
Again, if I had to live with the current rule, many cannon, if I had my way many cannons.
 
Okay, but that would point to a plural, not a mass noun.
I'm talking about your example.
 
But there are circumstances where cannon is used like battery
The enemy's cannon is imposing, we are taking fire from the enemy's cannon
 
But if it's still used with a plural verb or many in that case...
 
We have destroyed the enemy's cannon
 
5:08 PM
Do you prefere stackexchange or forum like mybb/phpbb?
 
Hmm would you really say is there?
 
Yes?
Or at least I hear my head saying it and preferring it that way
 
If you mean their artillery?
 
I've never really actually talked about cannon
Yes, like artillery or battery
 
Nor I.
But it sounds strange to me.
The way you used is there.
 
5:09 PM
are in that context would seem weird to me
but whadda I know?
@Ronronner I am unfamiliar with phpbb or any other bb. I prefer SE because it's low-noise.
@Ronronner There are at least two music stacks: for fans and for theory and practice (musicians, mostly). I imagine rap is on topic at both, but the kinds of questions you'd ask about rap would be different on each.
 
I can find one example from the 18th century.
That seems to be using it the way you do.
 
I'll take a look later. My usage is mostly informed by 18th century nautical fiction
 
OK thanks
 
a lot of O'Brien
 
@DanBron I prefere SE too
 
5:13 PM
uh, O'Brian
 
Do you think I can study 2 languages in same time?
 
@tchrist I'd love to see that in translation.
 
@Cerberus What is?
 
5:16 PM
@Ronronner I'm the wrong person to ask. I'm monolingual, and barely speak English properly.
@Cerberus Yeah, that's the kind of thing I'm thinking of.
But as I said, I have limited actual experience.
 
@Cerberus Do you think I can study french language and english language in same time?
 
@Ronronner Sure, why not?
@DanBron Interesting.
 
Ok
I'm using Duolingo, Is it good?
 
To me it looks like an error, someone confusing weird plural with mass noun.
@Ronronner You already asked me that yesterday. I don't know.
 
Oh true, sorry.
Do you think I can study english/french well without book?
 
5:19 PM
What does @tchrist think of using cannon as a mass noun? The quotations above are really the only ones I could find. It must be rare. Should it be considered an error?
 
@Cerberus He think it finez.
 
I'll take my lumps if it's an error. But it really does seem to have some kind of accord with artillery or battery in my head.
 
@Cerberus What is the topic?
 
??
I don't understand
If Cannon word is right?
 
5:23 PM
@Ronronner Don't worry about it. He's investigating whether the word "cannon" can be used as a mass noun, as opposed to simple an irregular count noun (that isn't declined with an s).
or inflected
or conjugate
 
ok
 
or some fancy grammar word for changified
 
@DanBron That, combined with the fact that cannon has this odd plural, will no doubt be behind it. But is it an odd bit of idiom, or is it best considered an error? With some effort, I'm finding more examples.
 
@Cerberus I can't tell you, obviously. I wonder how it's treated in other languages. French was dominant in the period I'm thinking of. How is it done in French?
 
canon
cannon = canon in french
 
5:25 PM
 
In Italian "cannon" is "cannone"
 
@Ronronner How is it pluralized. Say "The enemy's cannon (meaning multiple guns) is/are intimidating"
 
@DanBron I only know that kanon is 100% regular in Dutch. And I think it's been regular at least for centuries.
 
Say "the enemy has 14 cannon (guns)"
 
@MετάEd More than one something would be lost.
 
5:26 PM
@DanBron In english the plural of "cannon" is "guns"
gun*
 
I think the reason it makes sense to me that our belligerent forebears could have used cannon as a true mass noun is only a battery of them would be strategically important at the level I'm considering
one would not worry about one or two guns, but the placement and force of the enemy's artillery as a whole
@Ronronner I'm not asking about English, and in English, the plural of cannon is cannon. Seriously.
Some guns are cannon, some guns are not cannon. So guns can't be the plural of cannon.
 
ah ok
 
I want to know how French treats the plural of cannon (not guns)
 
@DanBron Wait
If you want I take my french dictionary and I search it
 
5:29 PM
@DanBron Certainly, I can imagine how that would happen, and all the easier because of the irregular plural.
 
Give me a few minut
minute*
 
yeah, this is more like what I'm remembering from my nautical novels
 
@DanBron armes à feu
 
@Cerberus I’ve certainly come across it before. I would not consider it an error, just a domain-specific usage. It’s a naval or military use, as seen in How Many Cannon Did Washington Have in 1775? for example.
 
5:31 PM
Or canons
 
@DanBron Interesting. I cannot find any examples from after ca. 1850.
 
Those aren't mass-noun uses. Those are plural-invariant uses: note plural concord.
 
@tchrist OK then there is consensus betwixt you and Dan.
 
I don't twixt.
 
5:33 PM
@tchrist No, wait, that's not the mass noun; that's the plural.
The plural is uncontested.
 
@Cerberus Yep.
As an invariant?
 
I contest!
 
We all know it's one cannon, two cannon.
 
No wait, I can't test.
 
Do we have a kitten amongst us?
 
5:34 PM
But the contested bit was e.g. all their cannon was captured.
Singular.
But it refers to several cannon, so it must be a singular mass/uncountable noun here.
 
Well, I wouldn't say it.
 
All of the examples I have posted are of that usage.
@tchrist I couldn't find any examples after ca. 1850.
 
@tchrist oh I like tagine, when can I come?
@DanBron des canons...
j'aimerais me faire canonisé
 
Ok, so French treats it like a regular plural
 
@tchrist Still. The Spanish commentary I read on it piques my interest.
 
@tchrist Do we need one somewhere?
 
> b) P. méton. Ensemble de canons, artillerie (d'une place, d'une armée). Le canon américain nettement entendu (Green, Journal,1944, p. 146).
− Matériel consistant en canons :
4. Après plusieurs heures de combat, et différentes charges d'infanterie et de cavalerie, il se mit en retraite, nous laissant du canon et des prisonniers. Las Cases, Le Mémorial de Sainte-Hélène,t. 1, 1823, p. 677.
 
I can't read that. Can I get a FL;CR?
 
I think Le canon américain is an ordinary metonym, not a mass noun.
"The American cannon was clearly heard".
Just as you could say, "the American war-horse is well trained".
 
what's it a metonym for? the entire engine of war?
oh, like "The tiger is a nocturnal animal"
 
5:52 PM
No, for all cannon in general.
Yes.
The Russian tank is well equipped.
That usage is common in many languages.
However, the second example does point to a mass noun.
 
yeah, I know there's some term for that phenomenon, but it escapes me right now
 
The description says "material consisting of cannons".
 
@MετάEd Like the queen combs into his silk comber.
 
something more specific than metonymy/synedoche
 
The example "they retreated, leaving us tank and prisoners".
I've replaced canon with tank, because I can't confer the meaning of du canon on you otherwise.
Du is clearly used to indicate a mass noun here.
 
5:56 PM
I should just ask my family down in Cañon City. They should know.
 
Hah.
 
Oh take me down to Canon City where the guns are loud and there's no pity.
 
No, that's where the echoes overlap in fifths.
 
And Hofstadter reigns with an iron fist.
Holding a strange loop of power.
 
Quaerendo invenietis.
 
6:03 PM
It was either you or Damien Conway who taught me the word quaquaversal and I will never forgive the perpetrator
I still can't make sense of the definition you (or he) gave, and yet I'm enthralled by the word
 
Mayhap it was Damian.
Whom I owe a letter since he returned to Oz a few weeks ago.
@DanBron Better in pictures‌​.
 
But they don't "Shoot off in every direction towards a common center"
 
They radiate from a common center, or gravitate towards a common center
What bugged me, and enthralled me, was the juxtaposition of "shoot off from every direction" and "towards a common center". I want it to mean something. It feels zen.
 
6:27 PM
@Mitch I think that is rather...broad.
Greek and Chinese, very well.
But Hebrew and Latin? Never heard that.
And they forgot abracadabra.
 
6:41 PM
What is that chart indicating? What each language uses as its example for "It's all <Weird Foreign Language> to me"?
 
Does anyone think they'll create an Ancient Greek beta on StackExchange?
 
Here's an Ancient Greek Beta on StackExchange: &beta;
Well, thanks for ruining my pun, reality.
 
Hehe
I mean, it would be nice. Kind of like we're missing half of classical antiquity.
 
6:56 PM
Would you say tell me it or tell it to me? Or is there a better option other that tell me about it?
I guess most of the tell me it results ^ are false positives. I don't know how to exclude them.
 
What about "tell me"?
I think "tell me about it" has the best rhythm.
(It's iambic.)
 
I want to hear "it" itself, not about it.
Without leaving out the second complement (it), if possible.
 
I think if you're unwilling to say, "tell me about it", then it might be useful to abandon the pronoun "it".
e.g. "Tell me what happened". "Tell me the result". "Tell me the score".
 
I admit that tell me about it sounds best to my non-native ear.
@ktm5124 Yes. Thanks.
 
I think the problem with "tell me it" is that you have two stresses in rapid succession.
I learned that English is a stress-timed language from reading this post: english.stackexchange.com/questions/329151/…
 
7:07 PM
Ah, so you say it's a rhythmical problem rather than a grammatical one? Interesting.
 
I think so. I think expressions gain popularity and usage if they conform rhythmically.
 
Makes sense.
 
"Tell me it" is perfectly grammatical.
 
What boggles my mind is that tell it to me is also used by some.
 
It sounds better than "tell me it".
 
7:10 PM
Hmm.
 
@DanBron So I assume.
 
I definitely say "give me it" with no problem whatsoever. It doesn't sound sophisticated by any means, but it is completely natural. — Kosmonaut Jan 19 '11 at 17:14
Funny...I don't say "give me it" (I prefer "give me that" or "give it to me") but I do say "give it here". — Jon Purdy Jan 19 '11 at 17:21
 
"Give me it" sounds okay, too.
But better, "Give it to me"
You can imagine kids on a schoolyard shouting, "Give it to me!"
 
But it has the same rhythm as tell me it.
As does tell me that.
 
The words "give" and "tell" are different. Unfortunately, I know very little about linguistics.
 
7:15 PM
But tell me that sounds perfectly okay, doesn't it?
 
"Give" has a voiced consonant, so I think you say it longer than "tell"
I might be completely wrong, but I think the word "give", when spoken, has longer duration.
The weird thing about English, is that not all syllables have the same duration.
 
Possibly not in fast speech: gimme it vs tell me it.
 
"Christ" and "Christmas" have the same duration even though one has two syllables.
But I'm kind of talking out of my ass, hehe. I'm just someone who admires linguistics, not a linguist.
 
Haha! You gave me nice clues though.
 
I wonder if there are scansion tools on the internet? Like, you input a sentence and it scans the metrical properties.
 
7:19 PM
I know naught about meter, in theory at least.
There may be such online tools.
 
A program that automatically reads a text should also be able to analyze the stress pattern of the sentence it reads.
 
I think it might be a little more complicated.
 
@Færd should as in 'I'd expect this probability-wise' or as in 'They should feel bad if it doesn't'
 
I think there are such programs, but I suspect it's a difficult task.
 
7:24 PM
@Færd Siri and google speak do OK. the Stephen Hawking thing doesn't do as well with intonation
 
Still Google isn't perfect.
 
@ktm5124 In some varieties but not all. I would never say it like that, and if I heard it I'd think the speaker were not from North America.
 
@ktm5124 Typically, an unvoiced coda reduces the length of the preceding vowel.
I'm not aware of a similar effect for onsets. You could download Praat, sign up for LDC and grab some samples from an audio corpus, and measure to see if you can find a consistent effect.
 
@snailplane Are you saying that "tell" has less length than "give" because the coda in "tell" is unvoiced?
That would make sense to me.
 
@ktm5124 The coda in tell is voiced.
 
7:28 PM
Oh?
 
The only voiced/voiceless contrast there is in onset position: /t/ is voiceless, /g/ is voiced.
 
Oh, but /ll/ is voiced
 
Obviously /v/ is voiced
I was confused about /ll/ - I thought it was voiceless
 
Yes, both /l/ and /v/ are voiced. /l/ is a kind of sound called an approximant, and most languages don't have voiceless approximants.
 
7:29 PM
I see
 
the line is around 1:05
 
@Mitch Heh! You went through a lot for that.
 
Burmese is an example of a language which does have a voiceless version of the /l/ sound. It is written /l̥/ in IPA, with a small circle under the letter to indicate voicelessness.
 
@Færd a minute and thirty seconds of a lot
Youtube is great. people have made clips of the best movie lines.
 
I haven't seen that movie. I hope it hasn't been ruined for me (since I saw the ending).
Although I don't watch movies very often. Especially Hollywood. :)
 
7:36 PM
@ktm5124 The difference between a voiced and a voiceless sound is whether your vocal cords vibrate while you say it.
You can test whether a sound is voiced for yourself.
Place two fingers on top of your voice box.
Say a long, drawn out /v/ sound. Vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv!
You should be able to feel the vibration.
Now say a long, drawn out /f/ sound. Fffffffffffff!
You shouldn't be able to feel that vibration anymore.
Try going back and forth: /vfvfvf/ Vvvvffffvvvvffffvvvvffff!
You can feel the vibration stop and start.
 
You can't do that with /g/.
 
Well, you can.
 
tries
throat explodes
 
You can feel the vibration when you say a [g] sound.
The situation with aspiration in English is actually rather complicated.
And I don't have time to talk about it now, but I will tonight after I get back from the dentist.
 
Best wishes for your teeth.
@snailplane I think you can sing a tune with repetitive /g/s though. That means it's voiced.
 
7:43 PM
@snailplane When you say put your fingers on your voicebox, is the best way to put your fingers on your adam's apple?
When I looked up voicebox, it seems to go all the way from your adam's apple to your mouth.
 
@Færd No, it hasn't been ruined for you. Most of the movie though is funny for similar reasons (two guys trying to escape from the mob by dressing up as showgirls, but they're also interested in a couple of the showgirls they're staying with, so lots of comical misunderstandings). A bit dated but still funny.
@Færd tries to stuff throat back in
eww
 
@Mitch Oh, good!
@Mitch Too late. I'm dead now.
 
@Færd It's possible to say a voiced velar fricative (continuously like a v but instead of with the teeth and lips, with the back of the throat, where k and g are said.
but that's hard for native English speakers because they don't have that sound natively
@Færd what a mess, will clean up later
 
Yes, that's a nice trick. Maybe gamma is pronounced like that in Greek?
 
@ktm5124 just the adam's apple is fine
@Færd exactly (I can't type a gamma)
not easily
 
7:51 PM
@Mitch Thanks
 
What if ktm's a female? (a myth goes that women don't have Adam's apples)
 
it's the same as a Spain Spanish g in the middle of a word like 'magi'
@Færd that's a myth
it just doesn't poke out as much usually
 
@Mitch Phew.
 
@Færd do you speak urdu or farsi?
 
Farsi.
 
7:53 PM
oh, then gamma is a lot like ghain
(but 'ghain' is further back, it is uvular, not velar)
but I can't distinguish them, barely
 
In Farsi ghain (غ) and ghaf (ق) are mostly pronounced the same. In Arabic they have different pronunciations.
 
@Faerd I'm a man
@Faerd A young man in my twenties
 
oh right, ghaf. and not gaf, which is a voiced velar stop like g
 
@Mitch Yes, when I first heard gamma, it was like someone trying to say the Arabic ghain.
 
what are the farsi ghain/ghaf not like the arabic ghain?
 
7:57 PM
The ghafs are the same.
 
oh
 
Farsi ghain = Arabic ghaf.
 
I get the sense this crank is honestly trying to say something, but I really can't work out what:

http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/338556/does-sites-comments-restrictions-result-unwittingly-in-a-pioneer-cliques-knowl
Can anyone parse that noise?
 
The laryngeal prominence (commonly referred to as Adam's apple), a feature of the human neck, is the lump or protrusion that is formed by the angle of the thyroid cartilage surrounding the larynx. == Structure == The structure of the laryngeal prominence forms a bump under the skin. It is larger in adult men, in whom it is usually clearly visible and palpable. In women, the bump is much less visible and is hardly perceived on the upper edge of the thyroid cartilage. The meeting point of the two portions of the cartilage generally forms an acute angle (of about 90°) in men, while in women it forms...
It explains the etymology.
 
@Færd I imagine mixing those two up would constitute a serious gaffe.
 
7:58 PM
There's a strong case that Adam's apple is a mistranslation of the Hebrew term, which could mean "man's bump"
 
@DanBron I admire your efforts but it really seems to come out of some faulty generator.
 
Since Adam is the Hebrew word for "man"
And in late Hebrew, the word for "apple" and "bump" is really similar
 
@oerkelens That was honestly one of my initial guesses, before he came back and commented.
 

« first day (2079 days earlier)      last day (1277 days later) »