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8:00 PM
@Martha I must admit Hungarian totally escapes me. Still struggling to find a key to that weird language. Even Finnish and Estonian are easier to tackle.
Hungarian, Finnish and ... [drum roll] ... Japanese are all supposedly linguistically related.
Sorry, can't help: it was the first language I learned. I even learned to read in Hungarian before I really started to get into learning English (in Kindergarten).
I can totally see the Japanese connection, just pronunciation-wise.
But the whole levels of politeness stuff totally goes over my head.
@Martha — Examples?
Just the basic sound of the language, and how the vowels don't become schwas. (I don't think - I don't actually know too much about Japanese, just vague impressions.)
@Robusto So is Estonian, hence my comment.
But this is the first time I hear that Japonic is somehow related to Uralic.
Interesting if true.
8:05 PM
Q: Different ways to say "How are you?"

TimI was wondering how many ways/tones to speak "How are you?" Which tone/way to use in different situations: when seeing somebody you don't expect to have a conversation after? when seeing your supervisor/boss? when seeing your friends? ... For example, in this movie beauty-and-the-briefcase,...

What is being asked there?
@Martha: Japanase has an unstressed vowel, u
I don't know if it fulfills the definition of schwa, however
And it totally drops that u after an s.
@Robusto No idea. What's disconcerting is that I don't remember many of his other questions. I'm missing so much stuff. Sigh.
@RegDwight: it can be dropped after pretty much any consonant, even though it's most audible after s or r/l
8:08 PM
@RegDwight: It doesn't totally drop it. It just downplays it to a great degree.
If you listen hard you can hear it.
The thing is, since Japanese is an isochronous language, you have to use the full beat of the s' in place of su.
So sukoshi, which three syllables, needs to be heard as ss*-*ko*-*shi
Ah, screw the italic flub.
ss ko shi
@Robusto Excellent, thanks a bunch. Read like one half, skimmed the rest. Quite educating.
@Robusto: well, if you hear “furansu” (French), you would really have a hard time hearing the first u
No, you would have a hard time hearing it. I don't.
The trick to saying the su syllable is to actually start to say it, but drop it just as the u begins to fill the mouth.
And don't give me any crap about hard to hear coming from a French speaker! I remember being criticized for pronouncing blancmange incorrectly. I said, "But you're supposed to leave out the c sound, right?" And my French friend said, "Yes, but you sound like you're leaving it out!"
If I was talking French like my neighbor does, my teacher would have thwacked me so hard, you wouldn't be talking to me right now.
He's a native speaker.
the number of French people who were educated to pronunce it the classical & formal way is diminishing very rapidly
I am 28, got good education from good private schools, and I wasn't taught like that (although I can recognize it)
8:19 PM
@Robusto Never mind blancmange, I remember being criticized for pronouncing eau incorrectly! I was like "o", and he was like "no-no-no, not o, o!"
That went on for hours.
And people wonder why the Germans invaded France ...
Feb 7 at 15:56, by Kosmonaut
Don't mention the war!
Which war?
Meh, I hear at least 1 WW2 joke a week.
WWII, WWI, Franco-Prussian? Help me out here ...
8:21 PM
people who have tasted French and German food know why Germany invaded France more than France invaded Germany
also, it explains why the Germans never went on to invade England!
@FX_ I beg to differ. You just have to try the right food.
@RegDwight: so, what would be the right food?
Feb 9 at 9:56, by RegDwight
What kind of German food? It's easy to screw up...
I could go for Currywurst right about now.
@RegDwight: I have mostly tasted Bavarian food
and stuff near the Polish border (was young, though)
8:24 PM
@RegDwight: When I was getting trained in Germany for a job with a U.S. branch of a German company, I had textbook German going in, and the Vice President of the division would compliment me on my German, how well I spoke. But I didn't speak well at all, because all my co-workers spoke slang, which I didn't understand.
So, 6 weeks later, I had picked up a lot of slang and thought I would impress the same VP with it. He just gave me an odd look and told me my German skills were going downhill. True story!
All I know is Austrian food, and that's just Hungarian food with fancier names.
@FX_ You have to go to Franken. Würzburg.
Sachertorte (; ) is a chocolate cake, invented by Franz Sacher in 1832 for Klemens Wenzel von Metternich in Vienna, Austria. It is one of the most famous Viennese culinary specialties. The Original Sachertorte is only made in Vienna and Salzburg, and is shipped from both locations. The only place where the Original Sacher Torte is available outside of Austria is in the Sacher shop of Bolzano, Italy. History Origins Recipes similar to that of the Sachertorte appeared as early as the eighteenth century, one instance being in the 1718 cookbook of Conrad Hagger, another in Gartler-Hickm...
I was trying to use the data explorer to figure out how many votes I have on questions vs. answers, but it kept returning zero results. Dunno what I'm doing wrong.
I found a couple of queries in the list that are supposedly intended for showing voting statistics like I want, but they return no results, too.
Which ones exactly?
8:30 PM
Well, that one is broken as per its own description.
[hold on, still looking for the other one]
Hm. Returns nothing for me as well.
I think I do have those stats at work somewhere...
With the query number.
Must check.
The trick with that one, I think, is to always vote for one question for every two answers you vote for. Otherwise you can miss the boat.
I still haven't got Electorate on SO.
I kind of gave up at some point.
I did monitor my progress on ELU, so I must have that query somewhere...
I just gave up on SO altogether. It is really too big at this point. It should be broken up into smaller subcategories. At least into C# and everything else.
The trouble is, it's still the best place to go to get programming questions answered. Even those involving front-end technologies, though technically there's supposed to be a separate site for that, but nobody actually knows anything over there.
8:39 PM
Sigmoidal curve
Here's a query for sportsmanship status, but either its results are flawed, or I don't know how to interpret them.
OMG what a mess.
Yeah, I'm not sure how to interpret those results either.
Little confusing...
It tells me 231 rows affected.
Looks like my total number of answers.
I would have to sieve through the list by hand, I suppose.
8:43 PM
@RegDwight — That's what your hard-core data fetishist would do.
That's what I actually do when I'm at work.
But this PC is not done for work like that. I need Ubuntu. Vista doesn't cut it.
@RegDwight I didn't know you could use sieve as a verb.
I really can't figure it out: running the sportsmanship query for @FX_ (who is the only one who has the badge currently) returns 46 rows. So it's not number of answers, not number of answers where you've upvoted a competitor, not anything I can think of.
Let's settle for Sieb.
8:44 PM
Sieve is an alternate form of sift.
I'd usually say sift.
I say collander
We really should put up a feature request for inlining Wiktionary links.
Haha, mmyers went ahead and nuked one of vgv8's questions from orbit.
@Kosmonaut — I was giving @RegDwight the benefit of the doubt on sieve. He's articulate enough to be using that word expressively.
8:49 PM
I am what what to be what that what what?
Shut up, you'll spoil it.
I almost had @Kosmonaut convinced you were smart, and then you had to go and open your damn mouth.
At least to me, like, always.
Das Makro funktioniert!
Das ist ein Zerstoerungsmakro!
8:52 PM
Mi ez a sok zagyvaság?
كيف هلك؟
I only write destructive macros in VBScript. I use Javascript for all my humanity-saving macros.
See, all I understand is ság. And by "understand" I mean, I have no idea what it's supposed to say, but it sure does look Hungarian.
So ... is Danish truly the most difficult of the Germanic languages to master?
[Don't feel bad: my mom only failed one class during high school, and it was Russian. Of course, she was quite proud of this fact... ah, politics.]
8:55 PM
Yeah, yeah, I run away from that comment of yours like Usain Bolt.
A: Cross Origins of Comrade and Camaraderie

MarthaDisclaimer: I'm a native speaker in the sense of being born & raised (& schooled) in the US, but my first language was actually Hungarian. My parents have a well-justified distaste for All Things Soviet, which the last 20 years have not erased. So my reactions are perhaps not typical. Th...

Mi = what, ez = this, a = the, sok = large amount, zagyvaság = nonsense
I know that video actually, Kosmonaut.
@Martha Haha, so the only part that I did understand has no meaning.
@Martha — I suppose this isn't going to help mend fences for you, but ..
2 days ago, by RegDwight
Capitalism, baby. See why I'm going to establish communism in your backyard?
He's a Soviet agent.
8:58 PM
Well, sorta: zagyva = mixed-up, -ság = state of being, -ness.
Totally NKVD.
@Kosmonaut Also related, see my comment here:
A: Most difficult word to pronounce

mplungjanMine are refrigerator and budgerigar (I am Danish) I have no problems at all with your words :) Do you know if your issues have to do with you being Finnish, would other Finns have the same problem?

The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs ( Narodnyy komissariat vnutrennikh del, NKVD) ( ) was the public and secret police organization of the Soviet Union that directly executed the rule of power of the Soviets, including political repression, during the era of Joseph Stalin. The NKVD contained the regular, public police force of the USSR (including traffic police, firefighting, border guards and archives) but is better known for the activities of the Gulag and the Main Directorate for State Security (GUGB), which eventually became the Committee for State Security (KGB). It con...
Ah ha
@RegDwight: What can I do when you've already seen the whole Internet?
Meet me on Reddit, where people discuss having seen the whole Internet.
@Reg - What is this "reddit" people talk about? – Gnoupi Mar 24 '10 at 14:40
@Gnoupi: an unholy place where Jeff stole the Orangered Envelope™ from, and where people gather to document in great detail that, why, and how SO has died, will die, and was dead right from the onset. – RegDwight Mar 24 '10 at 15:43
Q: Increase the size of the "recent" envelope image

mafutrctI've been a SO user for more than a year, but only recently I noticed that I can click on the envelope beside my username on top of the page to. I was used to click on the link in the "You've got new answers" message that is displayed from time to time and always wondered how I could get to that ...

9:05 PM
Wait. I thought there was more than one Internet. Like multiple universes.
In fact, just yesterday ...
23 hours ago, by RegDwight
You win over 9000 Internets.
So clearly Internets > 9000.
I am almost a copy editor.
I'd put 9000 at the low range, in fact, since @RegDwight would never award something that had actual value.
Sigh. You so totally misunderstand. There used to be over 9000 Internets plus one, but then you won over 9000 of them, so now there's only one left.
I am just 457 edits away.
@Kosmonaut That query lies. And I'm saying that without even knowing which query you use. Because all of those Copy Editor queries lie. Trust me, I tried them all.
9:08 PM
But I trusted them!!
⸘How could they do that to me‽
Psst. They hate you.
Anyone have any opinions about this book?
I've never seen that book, myself.
My opinions on that book are all in Sanskrit and haven't been translated yet.
It looks like a light book on the topic
9:15 PM
I try to avoid anything with an apple on it.
@Kosmonaut — Finally watched that. Very funny!
Yeah, it is pretty light, but informative to non linguists... hence the title.
Oh, and I have finally finished reading the entire thread on your nomination, @Kosmonaut. Or should I say, the entire five threads.
@Chris: What I mean is that it seems to be lighter reading than the books we use for intro linguistics courses; doesn't mean anything is wrong with it.
@RegDwight — Yeah, look what happened to Adam ...
9:16 PM
@Robusto: I know right?
<Looks around. No Adam to be seen. Shrugs.>
It's from a series of "Introducing..." books on a range of topics. This is the only one I've read. They put a bunch of old-timey pictures in it.
There's a reason Adam's no longer around. Apple.
@Kosmonaut Yes, I think I'd be worried if they used this book for actual courses.
I have a feeling this is a dupe
Q: Correct usage of which/that

jon3lazeFrom what I understand the second sentence is correct, and the first is not. What are the rules on using which versus using that? Instead it produces the above, which simply is a silent error. Instead it produces the above, that is simply a silent error.

But I can't find the original.
This one is the closest so far.
Q: When is it appropriate to use 'that' as opposed to 'which'?

Caleb ThompsonWhen is it appropriate to use 'that' as opposed to 'which'?

9:19 PM
I never read introductory materials. If I can't plunge right into the good stuff I'm probably not going to be able to understand the material anyway.
@RegDwight That is what I was going to link to also.
Which reminds me of
Q: Searching for "which" or "what" doesn't work on english.stackexchange.com

RegDwightIt appears that interrogative words are excluded from search. This might make sense in the context of SOFU, but not on English Language and Usage. In my case, I was looking for a question on the difference between "what" and "which", but neither of the following worked: http://english.stackexc...

@Kosmonaut But to be fair, I don't think the original question adequately answers this dupe.
Perhaps not.
@Chris: One of the books we used in intro was The Language Instinct:
@Kosmonaut Good for a dabbler, you think?
I think it is interesting reading. It is written for general consumption.
9:24 PM
Damn, amazon is too stupid to add this to my wishlist, it created a new one instead.
Amazon's AI could use a little help from Watson.
Man.. I was just at the library a couple hours ago.
Five years ago I bought my wife some earrings on Amazon, and I'm still getting girly crap recommendations.
I was just talking about this with someone the other day; how is it that Amazon can continue to be so dominant without seriously upgrading their website?
Their search and sorting is so outdated, it is ridiculous.
I'm almost afraid to buy stuff from them unless it is absolutely for me.
9:28 PM
They do a ton of user testing, you must be an outlier.
Don't get me wrong, I like their UI.
Nice try, Amazon employee.
I only buy Lego there, and it works perfectly.
I just don't like their recommendations engine.
I ignore the rest completely.
9:29 PM
When I want to find something, like a hard drive — it is so difficult to only look at the ones with the specs I am interested in
yesterday, by RegDwight
Hey yo, this ain't Reddit!
And often there are other things like hard drive cases, and other random stuff that goes in there too.
Yeah, I go to NewEgg for tech stuff. Amazon blows for that.
But it could be anything
But I'm a fairly happy Kindle owner.
9:30 PM
Also, why can I only sort either by popularity OR by rating? Why doesn't it have a smart way to compute those both together as some metric?
I say "fairly" because so many books are formatted for the Kindle so poorly.
If I sort by rating, I get 5-star items that were rated by 1 person over something that is 4.8 stars rated by 3999 people.
Be more smart!
But it's great being able to finish one book and get another one while you're on the commuter train.
I am an Amazon Prime member, don't get me wrong.
I also don't understand why I can't sort items until I choose one department.
9:33 PM
Feb 8 at 15:17, by Kosmonaut
It currently tells me the package is in Columbus, OH; looking at the weather map, I am not impressed.
There you have your Prime membership.
At least where I live it's one-day shipping, weather or no weather, Prime or not.
At least in practice.
On paper, they are telling me I should be paying them extra.
I just ignore that.
Your shipping is free?
At the volumes I buy, yes.
Books and DVDs are free, too.
Well, your country is smaller.
9:36 PM
I could buy a book for 30 cents, free shipping. Not sure what the situation is in the US.
@Kosmonaut — He still thinks his country includes Eastern Europe.
I can buy a book on my Kindle and get it in seconds.
Anyway, this discussion of shipping fees is making me nod off.
Remember their stupid "Gold Box" offers? Talk about crap.
Also, they're always offering me "50 CDs under $5 each!" ... and if I ever do go through the list I find I wouldn't pay $5 for any of them.
9:39 PM
Hi! :)
US Amazon must suck. I'm only getting offered Lego, and that's what I buy.
Lately I have been thinking about buying MP3s, then instead just ordering a used copy of the whole CD for much cheaper.
@Nyuszika7H Hello!
@Nuszika: Hello to you.
9:40 PM
It's a bit confusing for me that fish's plural form is fish. Shouldn't it be fishes?
It can be fishes.
It actually is in a few places in the Bible.
> I've got a fish.
> I've got some fish.
> I've got some fishes.
There are some words that have irregular plurals, like fish, but it is a small number.
I have five fish, but Jesus Christ himself had loaves and fishes!
9:41 PM
However, fishes can be used when you are talking about a variety of types of fish.
Or types of fishes. :)
A: Irregular plurality situations in English

RegDwightThis question is actually quite broad. Irregular plural forms can arise for a variety of reasons. Wikipedia has a huge section on the subject, with six subsections: "Nouns with identical singular and plural", "Irregular -(e)n plurals", "Ablaut plurals", "Irregular plurals from Latin and Greek", "...

BTW, @Nyuszika7H, permit me to introduce you to our very own database fetishist, @RegDwight.
Don't forget fishies.
Don't disturb him. He's still studying, trying to pass his Turing test.
9:42 PM
Don't confuse new users like that.
@Robusto (:
Oh, that's rchern in disguise!
S/he will have to find out sooner or later.
@RegDwight — Or incognoscenti?
Geez, it is her.
Run run run, before she starts writing emails to Martha.
9:45 PM
No, I'm not rchern.
Too late.
yesterday, by Mana
Oh man. Flagged already. shakes head
@RegDwight I'm reading the transcript but can't understand the context of that…
@Nyuszika7H: Are you really 12, or is that a misprint?
The context is whstles.
yesterday, by RegDwight
Robusto can explain in greater detail. If he cares. Which he doesn't.
Halp! This is a dupe of so many questions, can't find a single one of them!
Q: Usage of "that".

OmegaEnglish-newbie-here! =D Well, let me present you with a situation where I ended up using both choices actually: She said that they won't come. and She said they won't come. Well? Both sound fine for me, but I can't really tell... I believe there are other situations where the usage o...

@Kosmonaut: I think the original was by Bruno Rothgiesser.
Oof, need to head home
9:52 PM
Ah, here!
Q: When is "that" superfluous?

Adam BackstromWhat are some of the rules surrounding the word "that" and its inclusion or omission in a sentence? For example, "My boss mentioned that you needed help," vs. "My boss mentioned you needed help." Is either form more correct? Sorry if this seems rudimentary, but I've always felt a little self-con...

Q: Use of "that" in a sentence

kiamlaluno He will understand that I was not joking. He will understand I was not joking. Which of the sentences is correct? Are there any specific rules about the use of "that" in the sentences I reported as example?

be back later
@Kosmonaut — What, someone punched you in the stomach and you want to quit? Oof?
Well, CYA.
I have to leave, too. Do close-vote please. Thanks and good night.
9:55 PM
I'm about to head out too.
Fine you all just leave then
Guess that means I'll have to get back to work
Much better, not sure how my Meta ID leaked into here, LOL
10:09 PM
@Robusto Yeah, I'm really 12.
Asperger syndrome or Asperger's syndrome () is an autism spectrum disorder that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. It differs from other autism spectrum disorders by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development. Although not required for diagnosis, physical clumsiness and atypical use of language are frequently reported. Asperger syndrome is named after the Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger who, in 1944, studied and described children in his practice who lacke...
Are you saying you have Asperger Syndrome too?
@ChrisDwyer Yep. You have that too?
No, I used to teach high school math, though, and I had a student who had Asperger's.
@ChrisDwyer oh
We used to talk all the time. He was really into math and science.
So, do you do some programming too?
10:17 PM
@ChrisDwyer Yeah. HTML, CSS, JS (+jQuery), and I'm learning PHP and MySQL, too. I know some MS-DOS and VBScript, too.
Nice. I'm more of a .NET microsoft sell-out, but what can you do. I've dabbled a little in PHP and jQuery. Can't design a pretty website for the life of me though.
@Nyuszika7H I didn't know that
I took some psychology classes in college. I am fascinated with how the brain works
Yeah, we even had to study autism in a software development class to figure out how we would design software that that particular type of user.
@TheRenamedException Interesting. How come you're The Renamed Exception on chat but Josh on the site?
It's a mystery
10:35 PM
@Nyuszika7H shhhh!
Don't let my secret out!
@Nyuszika7H I use a different name on Meta
@Josh I know, but this is English.SE!
I should be Josh on chat here but The .* Exception on MSO
@Nyuszika7H yes it looks like StackExchange got confused. Refresh should fix it
@Josh It's OK now.
My secret is safe ;-)
Haha. I was wondering.. why does he use the logo for the company he works for... then I found out that you founded it
So, it's all OK.
Sometimes I wish Crystal Reports would go crawl into a hole and die.
10:51 PM
@ChrisDwyer lol, yes
11:21 PM
night all :)
Ah. The Friday night is still before me out here in California. :)
Feels like a movie night

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