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12:35 AM
@Cerberus Apparently it was common enough to annoy the Brits.
@tchrist "hawkbit, n.". OED Online. June 2017. Oxford University Press. oed.com/view/Entry/84768?redirectedFrom=hawkbits (accessed July 24, 2017).
Me Father's Day present this year was a subscription to OED Online.
Nice auto-cite feature they have there, I must say.
 
 
4 hours later…
4:33 AM
[ SmokeDetector | MS ] Bad pattern in URL answer, pattern-matching website in answer: Is it right to say "Smokers should be got rid of"? by John on english.SE
 
5:01 AM
I have a database which contains countries (almost all of them), now I'm looking for an English word which should be user for users who couldn't find their country's name in the list. Something like "unknown". Anyway, is there a location-ish word for such a thing?
 
 
2 hours later…
7:11 AM
@Cerberus Just FYI, I'm not a 'religious person trying to censor people'. I just dislike conflict. I'm not here to make enemies or to be Big Brother.
 
 
3 hours later…
10:23 AM
Being overly preventive and cautious about the implications of other people's words is as likely to incite conflict as being too lax in watching one's own language.
.
@Mitch Is that an unjustified usage?
@Mitch I found this one and this, none of which address the fact that some editors invariably use units in the singular.
> However, a "single" unit may be plural; for example, the value 5 kPa is spelled out as "five kilopascals," although "five kilopascal" is acceptable.
(From The NIST Guide for the Use of the International System of Units)
 
@Færd Wrong
@Færd wrong
@Færd correct
All the rest are correct.
Basically what Kosmonaut said:
17
A: Are units in English singular or plural?

KosmonautIn Standard English, this crucially depends on whether the phrase is prenominal or not. Prenominally, the phrase will not show plural marking, while elsewhere it will have the normal plural marking, as appropriate. Compare: The bureau is 3 meters long. This is a 3-meter-long bureau. (pr...

It comes down to whether you are referring to a scale or a unit, I think.
 
Why do you think 2 Kelvin is different than 2 meter?
Ah.
 
Kelvin is a scale. It isn't countable, you say "two degrees Kelvin", not two kelvins
@Færd Because a meter is a countable noun and not a scale.
 
@terdon Have seen many x Kelvins.
> 1 MILLION KELVINS 16
2 2.73 KELVINS 8
3 3 KELVINS 6
4 IN KELVINS 5
5 HUNDRED KELVINS 5
6 2.7 KELVINS 5
7 10 KELVINS 4
8 100,000 KELVINS 4
9 40 KELVINS 4
10 5,800 KELVINS 4
11 5,000 KELVINS 4
12 7000 KELVINS 4
13 3000 KELVINS 4
Some COCA statistics.
@terdon That's the adjectival postpositive use, which is of course valid, but doesn't rule out the nominal use: Kelvin can both be a postpositive adjective and a noun.
 
10:42 AM
@Færd Compare to the singular. I am pretty sure all of those are wrong.
 
I think the bottom line is this:
 
@Færd A noun, yes, but a noun whose meaning is the scale, not its units.
 
> a "single" unit may be plural; for example, the value 5 kPa is spelled out as "five kilopascals," although "five kilopascal" is acceptable.
 
You don't have two kelvins any more than you have two celsiuses.
 
10:44 AM
@Færd Kelvin and Celsius aren't units. They're scales, whose units are degrees kelvin or Celsius.
Same for Fahrenheit.
 
Not sure.
Even ODOs examples feature the plural kelvins.
> ‘Astronomers haven't been able to explain why the center of Perseus and other galaxy clusters are as hot as 50 million kelvins, even though the gas there radiates energy away and should therefore be cold.’
> Liquid helium will cool the gyroscopes to 1.8 kelvins.
> To the scientists' surprise, tests showed that the resulting compound is a superconductor at cryogenic temperatures below 18.5 kelvins.
etc.
 
That's just completely wrong to me. I would immediately correct it.
But OK. Maybe it is used.
In any case, it all depends on whether you are referring to the scale or its units.
If you choose to treat kelvin as a unit, you can (and should) pluralize it.
 
Would you please elaborate on the difference between a scale and a unit?
 
@Færd Consider the Richter scale. An earthquake can be a 5 on the Richter scale, but it will never be 5 Richters.
 
Got it. Kelvin is definitely used as a unit then.
 
10:48 AM
Or Celsius if these idiots are stating to count Kelvins :P. You won't see "20 celsiuses"
@Færd I've never seen it used that way myself. it's always been degrees Kelvin.
But I seem to be wrong.
Odd. I've certainly seen it used in scientific literature often enough but WP also agrees with you:
> When spelled out or spoken, the unit is pluralised using the same grammatical rules as for other SI units such as the volt or ohm (e.g. "the triple point of water is exactly 273.16 kelvins"[6]). When reference is made to the "Kelvin scale", the word "kelvin"—which is normally a noun—functions adjectivally to modify the noun "scale" and is capitalized.
 
You can't say degrees Kelvin.
 
@Færd Of course you can.
 
It's not like centigrade or Fahrenheit. It's not degreeable.
 
@Færd Yes it is.
 
It's an absolute unit. Refer to the small circle before C and F which is absent in K.
@terdon Usage varies then. But that's not standard.
 
10:52 AM
@Færd Celsius degrees are Kelvin degrees. it's the same scale, it just sets the 0 at a different point.
 
> Unlike the degree Fahrenheit and degree Celsius, the kelvin is not referred to or typeset as a degree. The kelvin is the primary unit of temperature measurement in the physical sciences, but is often used in conjunction with the degree Celsius, which has the same magnitude.
The Kelvin scale is an absolute thermodynamic temperature scale using as its null point absolute zero, the temperature at which all thermal motion ceases in the classical description of thermodynamics. The kelvin (symbol: K) is the base unit of temperature in the International System of Units (SI). The kelvin is defined as the fraction  1⁄273.16 of the thermodynamic temperature of the triple point of water (exactly 0.01 °C or 32.018 °F). In other words, it is defined such that the triple point of water is exactly 273.16 K. The Kelvin scale is named after the Belfast-born, Glasgow University engineer...
 
An increase in temperature of one degree kelvin is the same as an increase of one degree Kelvin.
@Færd Exactly. 1 degree Kelvin == 1 degree Celsius.
 
> the kelvin is not referred to or typeset as a degree
 
@Færd It is.
See the NGram above.
It is very common to refer to degrees Kelvin.
 
1 min ago, by Færd
@terdon Usage varies then. But that's not standard.
 
10:54 AM
@Færd But it is, I repeat. Of this I'm certain. That's how temperatures are expressed in scientific literature.
54,800 results in Google Scholar for "degrees Kelvin"
 
It didn't use to be so then. There seems to be a trend for degrees Kelvin.
 
And only 29,600 for "Kelvins"
 
@terdon OK.
 
@Færd Has been for all my life and career, for sure. If anything, looking at the NGram I posted above, using "Kelvins" as countable is the new thing.
 
OK. Thanks.
Do you mostly use SI yourself? Or are you used to some other system of units?
 
10:57 AM
SI
Well. Celsius, in my daily life, not Kelvin.
 
Interesting. I never said degrees Kelvin in my life. And I studied physics.
 
@Færd But did you study in English?
 
And never seen it in any thermodynamics or physics books in English.
I think (some) physicists adhere to another standard that prohibits degrees Kelvin.
Or they used to. Dunno.
 
@terdon I knew you'd go and do that. :-)
 
11:01 AM
But wait, I found something supporting your position too:
> For example, a temperature of 300 K (not 300 °K) is read as "three hundred kelvins," not "three hundred degrees kelvin." The kelvin is the SI base unit for temperature. Figure 12.2 compares the Kelvin and Celsius scales. The size of one kelvin ...
 
Hmm.
 
3
Q: Are there reasons for the discrepancies in absolute temp units - Kelvin vs. kelvins vs. degrees Kelvin?

AthanasiusBefore 1968, the units for absolute temperature were described as "degrees Kelvin" or "degrees absolute." After that, the SI system got rid of the idea of "degree" for absolute temperature, so the new unit should apparently be expressed as a "kelvin" (with lowercase k) and abbreviated simply "K"...

 
@terdon Richard Feynman used degree Kelvin. I don't have an objection anymore. I'd have to ponder over the argument that says it's incorrect.
 
Heh, agreed. If it was good enough for Feynman, it's good enough for me :)
 
user288256
11:30 AM
What's "m//gc"? The starred comment I mean.
 
@Cerberus that's for wheelchairs, though. Who takes their bike inside a store, you savage?
 
11:53 AM
@Ghalib Programming stuff. It's the match operator in Perl and other languages with specific flags in use.
 
 
1 hour later…
1:23 PM
@Færd My point about the question about you use of the word 'justifiable' is that language is often not logical, ie there is no justification other than that people just say it that way.
@terdon ??? scale vs unit? you mean Kelvin is a name for the type and degree is the name for the unit itself?
 
@Mitch No, that Kelvin and Celsius are the names of the measuring scales (although, as I discovered above, Kelvin can also be used as a countable unit name) instead of the units. So there's no such thing as "12 celsiuses" but only "12 degrees celsius".
 
@Cerberus I just learned that blasphemy is both the epithet stuff and heterodoxy. I thought it was just saying 'goddammit' and shit like that
hm... did I misspell 'goddammit'?
But heterodoxy is things like '(the Christian) God comes in four parts'.
People freak out about both.
@terdon that's what I was trying to say. 'degree' is the number, so it is countable like 'meter'
'12 tons imperial or 12 tons metric'
But back to blasphemy
 
@Mitch Yes, of course degree is countable. But Celsius isn't.
 
Free speech principles should allow both but for different reasons
@terdon Am I not saying that well enough?
Of course, '12 Kelvins' sounds as wrong as '12 meter'
 
@Mitch Yes, to me too. But apparently not so for a sizeable chunk of the population of physicists. I've never seen "N Kelvins" but I found multiple references to that usage in physics literature.
 
1:35 PM
Oh but you say 'A 12 inch long hotdog'. 'inch' is not pluralized in those circumstances at all.
I think that is the issue.
@terdon so a subculture has a consistent alternate usage. weird, but it happens.
 
@Mitch That too, yes. So you'd say a 12 inch hotdog and not a 12 inches* hotdog.
 
which brings us back to blasphemy
 
@Mitch Not consistent though. Some do it one way, others the other.
 
user288256
If someone says "I am sick" I say "What are you suffering from? Hope you get well soon". I use "suffering", is that okay or weird?
 
user288256
That's my way of asking "Do you have cold/flu etc.?"
 
1:37 PM
so is saying alternate religious things as rude and offensive as saying religious epithets?
 
@Ghalib Kinda weird. What's wrong would probably be the commonest response.
 
both are hurtful but for different reasons
 
user288256
@terdon oh okay, thank you.
 
heterodoxy is meaningful and should be protected.
but epithets are just dumb and shouldn't be prosecuted
@Ghalib It's a little bit too formal
"What do you have?"
"What are you sick from?"
"What's wrong?"
"Is it the flu or cold?"
@Ghalib Yeah probably simplest is best
 
user288256
@terdon Because if I literally translate "What's wrong?" it kind of looks blunt to me. Like saying "You are acting weird. What's wrong?" Different context but same wording and the phrase sounds kind of direct to me. But if "What's wrong" is natural sounding then that's great, thanks.
 
user288256
1:43 PM
Maybe my first language is interfering here heh.
 
@Ghalib Yes, it sounds quite natural. You could say "What's ailing you?" but that sounds pretentious. What are you suffering from isn't wrong, it's just making assumptions: suffering is a pretty strong term.
 
user288256
Ah okay.
 
user288256
@Mitch Those are good alternatives. Thanks.
 
@Ghalib You may well have long involved cultural practices (and idioms to say) when inquiring. In English, not really.
 
user288256
@Mitch Yeah, in my own language I use two words too like "Kya hua?" but I don't know how to translate it in English. I guess the translation would be "What happened?" but that doesn't sound correct in English of course.
 
user288256
1:50 PM
I mostly use just word one too "Khiaryat?"
 
user288256
It means "Is everything okay?"
 
That's a pretty good translation of what's wrong.
 
which brings us back to blasphemy
 
user288256
@terdon Oh is it? How do you know terdon? Google translate? Maybe you are right. I'll check.
 
@Ghalib No, he saw "Is everything OK?" and that is pretty much the same things as "What's wrong?"
 
1:52 PM
@Ghalib Uhm, no. Just that "what's wrong" is very close to "Is everything OK"
 
jinx!
which brings us back to blasphemy
 
user288256
@terdon Ah I see, cool. Thanks.
 
user288256
@Mitch Yes, continue please. Didn't mean to derail your "blasphemy" conversation above. =)
 
@Ghalib haha no. I'm just trolling.
sort of.
It was a conversation with myself anyway
 
user288256
I like to ramble too sometimes. It is fun.
 
2:02 PM
I always thought blasphemy just meant 'the 2nd commandment' but it seems it also refers to saying things with content that happen to be different from another's belief.
(and rational 'Enlightenment' values lean towards accepting the latter at least)
but politeness leans towards not saying either kind.
It's like little kids saying "My dad could beat up your dad" "Oh yeah, well my dad's god totally is better than your dad's god" "
 
user288256
Blasphemy is a sensitive topic. I avoid it.
 
user288256
Muslims get offended at blashpemy as well. You must remember the shooting in the magazine company in France in the past. The caricature and stuff.
 
user288256
It sucks.
 
Right. People get so upset.
For just words.
 
user288256
Yeah.
 
2:06 PM
Politeness or truth
 
user288256
Blasphemy is not necessarily just "words". It could take any form.
 
"beauty is truth, truth beauty"
"Truthful words are not beautiful. Beautiful words are not truthful. "
 
3:06 PM
@Ghalib Mitch is only unoffendable because he isn't black and doesn't listen to Justin Bieber.
 
3:29 PM
@RegDwigнt flagged
 
@DogLover I did not mention your name. But whoever flagged that comment because it was "blasphemy", or anyone else who tried to have it censored on religious grounds, is practising religious censorship. Which shouldn't be too surprising, alas.
@RegDwigнt Oh! I only know saw that it was an apotheek.
That is indeed utterly useless.
Then again, I'm not sure how it could be done...
@Mitch I'm not entirely sure what you mean?
But it just means "saying harmful things".
So it could be anything that some religious person finds offensive.
 
user288256
3:46 PM
@RegDwigнt Erm, what? I know you are joking. But, I see white getting offended all the time. Just visit reddit for example, there are many whites there getting their jimmies rustled for no particular reason other than... for petty reasons or issues. And I am pretty sure most of them listen to Justin Beiber as well.
 
user288256
I mentioned reddit because I would rather not give examples of whites from this site. Although I could spout a list of such whites from SE as well.
 
@Ghalib He is really not being serious.
 
@Cerberus I thought blasphemy just meant the literal 'taking the Lord's name in vain' = swearing using religious terms. But it seems that (if that is literal) the figurative meaning (to me) of saying substantive meaningful things counter to a religion is considered blasphemous too. that is, of course heterodoxy is 'blasphemous' but I thought that was a metaphorical use of blasphemy rather than just, what would be to me, a dead metaphor.
@terdon Bieber lover
 
@Mitch That's always been the case though, I mean the word carries both meanings.
@Mitch Watch it! I never claimed to be unoffendable!
> "impious or profane speaking of God or sacred things," early 13c., from Old French blasfemie "blasphemy," from Late Latin blasphemia, from Greek blasphemia "a speaking ill, impious speech, slander," from blasphemein "to speak evil of." Second element is pheme "utterance," from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say;" first element uncertain, perhaps related to blaptikos "hurtful," though blax "slack (in body and mind), stupid" also has been proposed; de Vaan suggests a connection with the root of Latin malus "bad, unpleasant" (see mal-).
 
@terdon I''ve just thought about it too literally. Because really, religious ideas, how can one be so upset about them given that there are so many.
 
3:51 PM
@Mitch You're preaching to the secular choir.
 
entirely forgets 30 years war
and crusades
and sepoy rebellion
and the other ones I forgot
@terdon Sing it, brother!
Is the Elmo song appropriate still?
@terdon contumelious? How dare you.
 
user288256
@Mitch Do you like trance music? It is pretty good.
 
I don't know what that means. It's gotta be bad.
 
user288256
Vocal trance etc.
 
probably some sex thing
 
user288256
3:55 PM
Even without vocals too.
 
user288256
Um, what?
 
user288256
What did I walk into here today?
 
You tweened me
I'm still working on 'contumelious' and you've moved on to 'trance'
 
@Mitch Ooh, had to look that one up. Nice word!
 
Trance is OK.
@terdon I still don't know. It's not gross, is it?
is it like 'contumacious'?
 
3:58 PM
@Mitch Depends on whose tummy you're eliating.
 
Hmm... maybe I'm thinking 'diatomacious'
@terdon eww
OK neither of those are real words. somebody made them up. and just kept repeating them over and over again until people just got bored with disputing it.
 
Oh wow. Herbie Hancock has an IMDB page!
His list of trivia includes this gem of an understatement:
> He plays jazz piano, keyboards, synthesizer and is also a composer.
 
So does Herbie The Love Bug.
 
Yeah. One of the most important Jazz musicians of the century plays a little piano.
 
user288256
@Mitch "You tweened me" So were you thinking about "sex"? I mean I could never relate trance music to "sex".
 
4:03 PM
@terdon Herbie achieved a top speed of 132 MPH during his NASCAR racing scenes. Snap!
 
user288256
@Mitch Yeah, it is soothing, just like "sex" I guess, but not really, no.
 
user288256
sorry for the two pings.
 
@Mitch I understand. But that's not the origin of the word.
 
user288256
Which one:
 
user288256
1) I am sitting in a fan.
 
user288256
4:14 PM
2) I am sitting under a fan.
 
user288256
I use (1) sometimes. Is that okay?
 
user288256
I am talking about a ceiling fan here.
 
@Ghalib No. That means you're actually inside the fan. You want 2.
 
user288256
Oh okay, thanks terdon.
 
4:46 PM
@Ghalib ?? no. 'tweening' is a neologism here in ELU chat. It means that I was writing two comments meant to be read in succession, but before I could submit the second one, someone else submitted something unrelated.
it's not a bad thing
it's just as annoying as Matt
 
user288256
hah
 
user288256
okay
 
has nothing to do with sex.
 
Ah, so the exact opposite of annoying! Witty and cordial, even!
 
When in doubt, at least here it's probably not about sex
 
user288256
4:49 PM
So where did "sex" come from?
 
user288256
I know you were trying to be funny though.
 
user288256
I don't mean to be a pedantic jerk. Just curious.
 
user288256
But never mind.
 
for rock and roll lyrics, which are ostensibly only about sex, the subtext is really about how easy it is to play rock and roll instruments after a classical music education
 
user288256
"Inbetweening" is also a good word.
 
4:50 PM
@Ghalib You're the one who mentioned it.
 
user288256
No I didn't.
 
48 mins ago, by Ghalib
@Mitch "You tweened me" So were you thinking about "sex"? I mean I could never relate trance music to "sex".
 
user288256
I mentioned it after you mentioned it.
 
Oh... you meant:
57 mins ago, by Mitch
probably some sex thing
haha
 
user288256
Yeah, that comment follows this one:
 
user288256
4:52 PM
57 mins ago, by Mitch
probably some sex thing
 
user288256
Yeah. hah.
 
jinx
 
user288256
Wow, it got pasted twice. It is fine I guess.
 
user288256
5:05 PM
@Mitch So what comes after "triple jinx"? Quadr... something something I guess.
 
quadruple see them all there.
 
user288256
Yeah, I learned them a long time ago in school. Forgot them because in real life I never have to use them.
 
user288256
But thanks for the link. I think I had stumbled across that post in the past.
 
7:18 PM
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇Hellow! I need to talk to you about something quite urgently! Ping me!
 
 
2 hours later…
9:06 PM
Argh. m//gc is my best friend but qr// is my enemy.
Why in the world should precompiling a regular expression actually add to my runtime.
 
9:28 PM
@tchrist I'm being penalized for writing code I can read.
 
9:43 PM
What what?
If you do $rx = qr/..../ and then later do m/stuff $rx more stuff/gc that has to compile it again for the interpolation.
But only once.
 
9:54 PM
@tchrist /\Gliteralpattern//gc is substantially faster than /\G$interpolatedconstantstring//gc is substantially faster than /$interpolatedconstantpattern//gc.
 
well
did that last one have the \G built into it?
 
Yeah. It's the same pattern, just three ways to express it.
 
Does adding a /o change anything?
 
I'm in the middle of that test now. Adding the /o to the third way helped some, so I'm going to back up to the second way and try /o with that.
About the same.
What I'm learning is that interpolation for the benefit of the reader can mean a big performance penalty.
So ... screw the reader. :-)
 
It USED to be a huge one.
It's supposed to now be very slight at most.
In most cases.
 
10:01 PM
I suppose I could fool with Filter::cpp but I've never used it and it looks dire.
 
hrh
I often feel that way.
I really miss cpp. Makes us do dumb stuff.
Optimize for maintainability of course.
 
I guess the right way to do this is not in Perl, but in a real preprocessor like noweb.
 
Unless it means you miss making payroll because it's still numbercrunching.
 
@tchrist A simple parse job on a couple of megabytes shouldn't take four seconds when it can take two.
I'm probably ruined by my experience with the Euler Project.
 
misses that world
 

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