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01:00 - 17:0017:00 - 00:00

1:59 AM
Maybe it makes sense for a Q&A site that is focused on code, but for a Q&A site focused on sentences and quotes, having this message show up as a quote is not very logical.
2:58 AM
I put a question about it in meta:
Q: "Possible duplicate" message is difficult to notice

KosmonautWhen a question is closed as a duplicate, the duplicate question is selected (by the users who vote to close) and then attached automatically to the top of the message. However, the message is attached as a quote. As you can see on the example below, this is not very noticeable on EL&U, where...

If they deny it, then so be it. No harm in asking, I say.
Holy crap, you guys are great.
Glad to hear it! :)
3:19 AM
And I say open up that vocabulary! Don't edit yourself! Use allusions to whatever you want! If you have a literate audience, and can carry it off, you can write however you want.
[Channeling Braveheart] Freeeeedommmmm!!!
I'm not really worried about it. :P I was just curious as to whether or not it was actually a word.
You read it? You understood it? It was a word. Q.E.D.
Heh. I don't think that's precisely how it works. Regardless, I didn't edit it out of my post. But it's not really a big deal, I'm just fascinated by this kind of thing. :P
@Robusto: It's a word in the pure linguistic sense, for sure. It's just that standards and people's perceptions of you and your way of communicating often don't match up perfectly with how the language works from a purely linguistic perspective.
So, in that case, it depends on your audience and how you want to present yourself to your audience.
It's like saying something is ungood.
3:33 AM
@Kosmonaut: Yeah, I agree with that. I just think people can get away with more than they think. If you push the edges a little as a writer, you grow. I'm not advocating incoherence or incomprehensibility, but expressiveness. If curiouser and curiouser fits the situation, it ought to be fair game.
@GnomeSlice: Is that a challenge? I bet I could make ungood work if I felt like it.
@Robusto I say "___ would be most ungood." On a regular basis.
If you want to allude to 1984, you can easily pull off ungood.
@Kosmonaut: Hahaha.
@Robusto: I think someone who wants to push the edges should certainly do so, but it's good if the person is aware that they are pushing the edges.
"I am push-the-edges-ing!"
3:37 AM
@GnomeSlice: Good jobbing do you now!
Seriously, where else can you get this kind of entertainment? And for free!
Heh. This reminds me of some relevant information:
I get discussions like this at lunch in the linguistics department as well — for me, it's one of the major draws :)
@Kosmonaut: I agree with your point about the audience, BTW. But also to not cower and hide, but KNOW it.
One colleague from Taiwan is always trying to get words into the language that she thinks should be there. My favorite is off-pissing.
"I find it so off-pissing."
She said, we have off-putting, so why not this?
"Good morning sir, I am calling from Internet Service Providings, would you be interested in switching your internet service providings to a provider that provides a better service of internet service providings than your current provider?"
@Kosmonaut That's edutainment right there.
And pretty sound logic to boot.
3:44 AM
Sorry, would be more responsive but I'm gaming at the moment.
There's really no argument against it, except that it sounds completely bizarre, for reasons unknown.
@Robusto Gaming.SE is my home site. I'm known for my 'antics' there.
Meant to say "But also not to cower and hide from [your audience], but know it and play with it. Language is a performance.
But I had to put my hands back on the console right at that moment. :)
I've got to run. Nice meeting you wonderful people. :)
3:52 AM
@Kosmonaut: I kind of like off-pissing.
I think it may be ready for regular coinage.
The first time I heard it, I was confused, then I laughed once I got it — it definitely doesn't just "work" as an ad-hoc word for some reason (that is, it doesn't just fly under the radar), which I find interesting.
But once you "get it", it is a really fun word.
Sometimes words are happy accidents.
Anyway, I am in complete agreement with you about using words in creative ways.
3:57 AM
I was once complaining about audiences that always give standing ovations for any performance, no matter how mediocre. And I accidentally coined the word "applaudience" without even realizing it. I didn't even recognize the word until my friend played it back to me. It just seemed right.
That's a great one.
I could see that one really catching on.
Okay, bedtime for me
See you later.
4 hours later…
8:00 AM
Re: wording of the "possible duplicate" message @Martha:
Q: Wording of "possible/exact duplicates" when closing the question

EimantasWhen marking question for "duplicate", the reason in dialog window is "exact duplicate", yet when the process is completed there's a comment added that says "possible duplicate". Maybe those two should be evened out to either "possible duplicate" or "exact duplicate"?

I'm not sure what to take away from it, and why the answer by Shog9 was actually accepted... Whatever, just wanted to mention it here. Also @nohat.
2 hours later…
9:36 AM
Crap! I forgot the chocolate!
OK; now I have the chocolate. Be aware that it is enough for 100 ants.
Ciao, kiamlaluno.
Come stai?
That would mean 2 people that are following a strict diet, or 1 that is not following a diet, but he will ask "what did I eat?"
Ciao, @RegDwight. Io sto bene, e tu?
Bene, bene. Molto bene.
The dump has arrived!
I'm wading through the numbers at the moment.
A lot of things have changed.
I'm seeing a more democratic community.
Pss, pss… I will tell you a secret: I know that there are people that pronounce the Italian b as a p; I would suggest to be careful for that when you say "bene". :-)
Or should I say, a more communist one.
9:42 AM
Argh! Communist!
Well, you started the whole bene thing!))
Don't say that to Berlusconi!
I see why you feel well. :-)
How is my passive reputation? Is it still fine? :-)
Nah, what I mean by communist is that one month ago, 50% of all rep was owned by 254 people. Now it's 311.
I'm working on passive rep stats right now. Quite a few surprises there as well.
9:44 AM
OK; that was an Italian joke. For Berlusconi whatever it happens him is because Communists. If a fly shits over him, the fly is Communist. :-)
Yeah, I know.
Amazing. It must be then true!
How many users do we have on english.SE?
If he steals your wallet, and you tell him, hey, you can't do that, he'll say that you're a communist. If you sue him, he'll say that there's a whole conspiracy of evil communists against him.
I mean, how much new users do we have from the last data dump?
1422 new (registered) users.
Obviously, there are many unregistered ones.
And then there's ElendilTheTall.
9:47 AM
Does that include me? I can pretend I was re-born (as @Robusto said).
No, you're old, kiamlaluno. You're so old.
(It's good I didn't use my picture as gravatar, or I would be called Mathusalem.)
Anyhow, I'm diving back into the numbers. And have some work to do, too. BRB.
Have fun! :-)
4 hours later…
1:33 PM
Nobody home?
@RegDwight : Just as I always suspected. You're a bene counter. I should have known from your fetishistic obsession with data dumps ...
Hehe, have fun Googling "*bene* counter* ... =P
Watcha talking 'bout, works just fine.
So ... what did I mean by that?
Also, you might want to answer this poor unfortunate's Russian question:
Q: How would you call a word for which you don't know the meaning but use it fluently?

vgv8After reading vgv8's: comments to answer in Thanks or no thanks Are heavens promised? I asked around my colleagues what is the meaning of separate words (the words are not fixed like in idioms and can vary) in some of the mostly frequently used very simple phrases (*) and nobody could ...

He asks about how to translate Да нет ... not sure this is the place for that, but maybe you could give him a reach-around.
@RegDwight: Also, do the numbers stick together after you're through with whatever it is you do with them? Just curious.
1:52 PM
I voted to close that question.
This is not Russian Language and Usage, sorry.
My Russian co-worker tells ma Да нет as a response just means "I don't know" or "maybe" ..
That's wrong.
You should tell it to him in context.
Also voted to close. Now if @Kosmonaut shows up he can close it with a clear conscience.
It's an emphatic "no".
Or not emphatic, disregard that.
It's kind of a "well, no".
Emphatic would be "да нет же"
Anyhow, да is certainly tricky, but it's off-topic here. Just as this other question:
Q: Are heavens promised?

vgv8While looking (or listening) video with the song "Heavens" by Valery Meladze I checked translation of обетованные (heavens, you are my "promised" ones). It gives only one translation - promised. I am not sure whether this is correct translation. What does mean "Promised Heavens" in English...

2:09 PM
So I thought.
I'm still curiouser and curiouser about what you have gleaned from the data dump. Anything interesting?
More passive rep for everyone!
Drinks all around!
But let's see. Once again, for comparison:
Feb 1 at 12:02, by RegDwight
ShreevatsaR leads by average answer score; Robusto leads by average rep per day; Dusty is the least downvoted; mmyers needs the least keystrokes per rep point; nohat is leading by passive rep; etc.
ShreevatsaR still leads by average answer score; chaos leads by average rep per day; Cerberus is the least downvoted; mmyers needs the least keystrokes per rep point; nohat is leading by passive rep.
So what you're saying, basically, is that @nohat's job is a sinecure?
I wonder why vgv8 keeps to reply to comments by updating his question.
2:16 PM
Umm. Well, it's you who's saying that, @Robusto.
Not clear on the concept?
@RegDwight haha.
What I am saying is that if a new user comes along and wants to beat nohat, they better not sit on their hands.
Because that job is taken?
I sit on my …; never mind.
Umm. Well, it's you who's saying that, @Robusto.
2:17 PM
Teacher's pet! =P
My modus operandi is, if you throw enough shit at the wall, some of it is bound to stick.
See my comment here:
A: Word or phrase for writing that "reads fast"

RegDwightHow about concise? marked by brevity of expression or statement : free from all elaboration and superfluous detail <a concise report> <a concise definition> Or succinct? marked by compact precise expression without wasted words <a succinct description> (Or, as Wiktio...

"As is always the case with questions of this type, I'll just throw an answer at the wall and see if it sticks. My job here is done, the ultimate decision is up to the community."
You have to be extremely careful with rubber walls though, @Robusto.
Would dry fit too?
You asking me?
Actually, I just saw a study showing that text that is hard to read is actually remembered better. Can't remember where that was ... probably The Economist.
I gave you a reach-around on that one.
@kiamlaluno: No, dry means something completely different.
@Robusto: Do you say "dry style" in English too?
2:22 PM
A "dry" style is one that is devoid of interest as well as ornamentation. Let's just put it that way.
I think my style of writing was called "dry", at least in Italian.
Well, stop fucking thinking in Italian!
I mean, that is how it was described in Italian.
This is the problem with translation: every word has, to some extent, an idiomatic connotation.
Robusto, you misspelled ducking.
2:24 PM
My wife and I were talking about this on the train this morning. She works at a translation service.
Thank God there is "thinking", between. :-)
I like a little duckling now and then.
Surely you meant "duckling" and not "ducking" ...
Ducking is a very offensive word in my country.
Strange, the NOAD says it means "a quick lowering of the head."
It's idiomatic.
Besides, "head" is an offensive term as well.
She ducked into the doorway to get out of the line of fire.
2:30 PM
I'm going to flag you if you keep this up.
Hey! it was you the first you wrote "ducking".
No, @RegDwight did. Scroll up.
Ever since Kosmonaut told that story about his Russian officemate, I've been wondering — and I don't know why I haven't just asked @Kosmonaut directly — what happens if that officemate writes something like "Look out! A bok globule! *ducks*"? How would you know which -uck he actually means?
You have to understand the context.
But both would work, that's the point.
2:34 PM
With @Kosmonaut it's probably the vulgar term.
@RegDwight is allowed: nobody reads what he writes. ;-)
If we apply Occam's Razor to the problem, that's where I would come out.
I use my own razor: Does that count?
I stole Occam's a while back. That's why he's so pissed at me.
That's why your comments are so sharp.
2:37 PM
Very astute, @RegDwight.
I don't know what you're talking about, I don't read what I write. But thanks.
I would call them sharp with overtones of smug self-satisfaction, oak, and raisin, finishing with a dry bitterness bordering on despair.
Mmmmm... raisin despair!
and ...
Got it.
Truly, this is one of the best chat user interfaces I've seen. I'm jealous.
Turns out Wikipedia doesn't have an article on raisin despair yet...
Have you tried the Gmail chat?
2:39 PM
I guess I'll have to write one. /sigh
I liked that one a lot, too.
Lots of dancing smileys.
And you could see if someone was typing.
By "write one" I mean an article on "raisin despair" ... not a chat app for the Web.
Both would work.
Or not, if you check them in to the wrong place.
I only do that when I'm distracted.
But I'm trying as hard as I can to distract you all the time.
God, I'm so distracted, I haven't even finished reading the title.
Q: About the word 'Nirvana'

lovespringAs an Asian, I always wonder what's you English's understanding about 'Nirvana'. It seems very poplar in English world. One of my favorite band even use it as the name.

I thought nirvana was very oak or beech, not poplar.
You've got my upvote already, what else do you want?
But you misspelled Nevermind.
I didn't have to spell it correctly to allude to it.
The play on words works better if I play the comment straight and let those who know Nirvana's albums work it out for themselves. It's called subtlety, @RegDwight. You should look into it. =P
Sounds delicious!
An entremet (or entremets, from Old French, literally meaning "between servings") is in modern French cuisine a small dish served between courses or simply a dessert. Originally it was an elaborate form of entertainment dish common among the nobility and upper middle class in Western Europe during the later part of the Middle Ages and the early modern period. An entremet marked the end of a serving of courses and could be anything from a simple frumenty (a type of wheat porridge) that was brightly colored and flavored with exotic and expensive spices to elaborate models of castles complet...
Thanks for pointing me to it!
2:54 PM
It's much better if you add raisin despair.
Duly noted.
Actually, that is my raisin d'etre in a nutshell.
I've been waiting for that one ever since you mentioned raisin.
You're getting predictable.
Duck you.
But the nutshell kind of evens it out.
2:58 PM
I meant it in the sense of "nut's hell" ...
Which is where I am in my own mind.
Not nuts' hell?
That's a common misunderstanding of the term.
Ah, I see.
A false friend.
Yes, an incognate.
Or, in Italian, incognato.
Which is a state of being where one does not understand the raisin d'etre for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
3:01 PM
A resounding THWACK! to the lot of you.
I was wondering when the schoolteacher was going to show up with her ruler.
She's been hiding in the bushes all the time.
That hurt, you know. My knuckles are all red now.
I sense that you don't care about my knuckles.
3:02 PM
is a video game character, and a hero of the Sonic the Hedgehog game series, as well as some spin-off games and comics. His first appearance was Sonic the Hedgehog 3, released in 1994 to introduce a new rival for Sonic, presented as an antagonist who was tricked by Dr. Eggman into fighting Sonic. Knuckles is a 16 year old red anthropomorphic echidna, who is both physically powerful and highly resilient. In most of the Sonic games, he has the skill to climb ledges or walls, as well as the ability to glide in the air for short periods of time. He has a white crescent on his chest and fo...
That... is red!
What color is the sky in your world, @RegDwight?
That's a trick question.
I suspected all along you were actually a one of these guys:
The Cylons are a cybernetic civilization at war with the Twelve Colonies of humanity in the Battlestar Galactica science fiction franchise, in the original 1978 and 1980 series, the 2004 reimagining, as well as the spin-off prequel series, Caprica. In the 1978 series, the Cylons is also the name of the race who created the robot Cylons. The nature and origins of Cylons differ greatly between the two Galacticas. However both series feature Cylon Raiders, Cylon Basestars and Cylon Centurions. The prequel series, Caprica, focuses on the creation of the Cylons, which differs from all the pr...
Now I have proof.
Well, we're all doomed anyway, so we might as well fraternize with the enemy.
3:07 PM
Ooh, nice helm! Is that you?
in the picture?
The helm is not me. Me is in the helm.
Careful, Martha, he's a Cylon. He'll only break your heart.
I guess not.
3:08 PM
Sydney College of Arts?
Sydney Catchment Authority?
Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget?
Some Creepy Asshat?
(I'll let you keep guessing.)
Scottish Canoe Association!
A helm is not a hat, @Robusto.
Don't do that, Martha! He will literally go on forever unless you can shut him down!
3:09 PM
Sorry ... Some Creepy Asshelm.
Service Component Architecture?
@Martha: Look what you've done!
School Construction Authority?
Scottsdale Christian Academy?
But we like the Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget, because they provide the toilet paper to some of the bathrooms along the PA turnpike, so on the way to or from Pennsic, it always feels a bit like home.
This chat will self-destruct in 5 minutes. You have 5 minutes to get clear of the chat room.
3:11 PM
I plan to put those 5 minutes to good use!
Society for California Archaeology?
Scientific Computing Associates?
C'mon, I just gave you a huge honking clue.
Attention all personnel! You now have 4:30 to reach Minimum Safe Distance from the chat room...
Securities and Commodities Authority?
His heuristics don't allow for clues. He uses a brute-force algorithm.
As evidenced by the armor?
3:12 PM
@Martha: that's not a clue, don't even get me started guessing at what PENNSIC might stand for!
It's not PENNSIC, it's Penns-ic.
Society of Core Analysts!
Like Punic (as in the wars), but in Pennsylvania... hence, Pennsic.
Who is that Pencil Vanya you keep talking about?
The New City!
The name Carthage was derived from "new" and "city" ... go figure.
So what did New Carthage mean then?
That's Uncle Pencil Vanya to you.
New Carthage can't beat Street Road for amusement value.
Where's the promised destruction? I checked both the tap and the outlet, nothing!
Here's another hint. It's the source of my avatar image. signet.eastkingdom.org/gallery2/…
We're working in it, @RegDwight. Blowing up a chat room takes time.
Often much longer than 5 minutes.
Uncle Vanya has thrown a wrench in the works.
3:19 PM
Here's another hint @Martha: I have consciously omitted the top Google result.
And one final hint:
Feb 8 at 14:05, by Robusto
Is this from Boris Godunov period?
Is it the top result? I don't usually need to google it... ayup, so it is. :)
Whew! That was close!
Martha, in future, please don't feed the Cylon.
But I am hungry!
Feb 2 at 14:40, by RegDwight
3:21 PM
But it's fun!
And nice shields. (Was checking out the link you posted right before that Boris Godunov quote you linked to.)
@RegDwight: Is this fun for you? Do you enjoy kicking someone when he's down?
If it's you then yes.
Wait, who's down? What's up? I'm confused.
More shield pictures here @Martha: nizami.livejournal.com/1528.html
I don't even know who that actress is, but she makes me wish I was Canadian.
3:25 PM
Yeah, I think that one was on Tosh.0.
Alright, I gotta go pretend to work now.
Have fun!
You know, I'm sure there are stupid Russians out there too. They just don't look so hot in a bathing-suit competition.
They actually do, that's the problem.
If they were hideous, they'd be learning more.
Noone likes your Nirvana answer but me...
Them young folks have no idea what you're talking about.
3:29 PM
I'm contemplating suicide over that, actually.
Please don't. Whom am I gonna harass then?
What about @kiamlaluno?
If we can get him to commit suicide, then I won't have to.
Meh, gotta go to stand-up. TTYL.
He doesn't enjoy doing it. I am too much predictable.
Kiamlaluno is too resistant. Or should I say... robust.
I caught the joke. :-)
Incognato seems a word with a different meaning, in Italian.
I had to fight against this "mighty mouse". I hate when the batteries get low; it's like to fight against a washbasin with a plunger.
3:46 PM
I don't find the word incognate.
I should say to @Robusto that cognato means brother-in-law.
Ha! @Kosmonaut: spot on. I totally missed the word "concept". Voting to close.
I wonder why the NOAD doesn't have the word "prepend".
4:05 PM
And now we have a 20k privilege. Nice.
A: Propose a new 20k reputation privilege

RosinanteVote to delete answers. There is a constant stream of 'thank you notes,' snarky remarks, and other stuff which isn't formally spam but is clutter. Edit by waffles This is now implemented with the following caveats The answer must have the score of -1 or lower It requires 3 votes. Also, ...

Still a long way to go...
And the way home is shorter. I'm out!
I still think that is the wrong direction.
@kiamlaluno If you're going to take my nonsense literally, we're going to have problems.
I think you have to follow the thread from its very inception.
Inception is a 2010 science fiction film, which was written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Dileep Rao, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine. DiCaprio plays Dom Cobb, a specialized spy or corporate espionage thief. His work consists of secretly extracting valuable commercial information from the unconscious mind of his targets while they are asleep and dreaming. Unable to visit his children, Cobb is offered a chance to regain his old life in exchange for...
It makes about as much sense.
It doesn't matter how off-topic a question is — it will get answers quickly.
@Robusto: If you are going to take my taking of your nosense literally, we are going to have problems. ;-)
Someone could ask for a recipe for a really tasty egg salad sandwich and probably get at least one answer before it could be closed.
4:20 PM
Put one in. I'll google you a recipe and we'll prove your assertion.
Wait ... does it have to be really tasty, or just tasty?
When I said "really tasty", I wasn't just throwing words around.
I meant it.
Well, in that case ... I will demur.
I hope nobody thinks Leonardo DiCaprio is Italian.
Martin Scorsese does.
But he thinks DiCaprio is Irish as well, so ...
Does Martin Scorsese think Leonardo DiCaprio is Italian?
4:22 PM
See, you do take my nonsense seriously. That was a test, and you flunked.
If he would be Italian, then he should be Leonardo DiCapri.
You do take my nonsense seriously; that was a test, and you failed it. :-)
OK; that was easy. Few people would understand the play of words between DiCaprio and DiCapri.
Oh no! There is another duplicate question.
Q: Is f**kstick really an abusive word?

Arjun J RaoI have heard this word in a lot of Hollywood movies, most notably in 'The Shawshank Redemption' What is this word even meant to convey? An insult? Is it even abusive? Or is just a combination of two random words?

I have never heard that a word would be abusive. :-)
Wait; I am still thinking in Italian. I must switch my brain, or stop fucking in Italian.
That is the suggestion Robusto gave me.
I am not sure which one is easier to do, though.
Thinking is much harder, trust me.
I take your word. :-)
(I would rather think that it's harder to stop fucking in Italian, though.)
4:39 PM
I have a work issue, gotta go. Nice chatting with you. Later.
See you.
@kiamlaluno: That question is a duplicate?
@Kosmonaut: To me, all the questions about the abusiveness of a word starting with f* are duplicates. :-)
@kiamlaluno: I think each word can have a different type of nuance. I wouldn't just consider each one a duplicate automatically.
If someone started asking "what about fuckhead? what about fuckface? what about fuckass?" then it might start to be too much.
But so far, I feel that the words have been different enough.
I didn't automatically consider it a duplicate. Actually, I meant "duplicate" as "already seen".
Probably, if another question would have had a more extended answer, this new question should not be necessary.
Q: How bad is the f-word really?

vonjdI am confused: on the one hand many of my native speaker-friends keep telling me that the f-word is very, very bad indeed! Much worse than the s-word for example. On the other hand I see it being used everywhere e.g. in the blogosphere, even by respectable economic blogs (e.g. http://www.zerohedg...

It also seems a little subjective to define a word "abusive".
4:58 PM
@kiamlaluno: Well, I think if you ask, "how abusive is it", it is hard to quantify; but if the person asks if it is abusive at all, it is like asking if something is formal or informal — it is easy for every English speaker to agree that fuckstick is a generally offensive word.
In my opinion.
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