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4:34 AM
@Tsundoku fine, I added stuff. Happy now? 😛
3 hours later…
7:27 AM
This is a good answer. I wonder why @PeterShor deleted it.
7:52 AM
@Tsundoku Yep, I declared two "winners" in view count to the Fontane topic challenge, since I didn't check the views on the latest HNQ exactly at UTC midnight.
@bobble and I ended up with 5 questions each in that challenge.
There's still a tie between Gargantua & Pantagruel and the Mahabharata for the next topic challenge. If anyone has a tie-breaking vote, now's a good time to cast it.
8:17 AM
Also, I'm a bit busy to post the new topic challenge announcement today ... @Tsundoku wanna do the honours?
> Interestingly, nobody seems to think that Our American Cousin is cursed, even though the leader of the free world [Lincoln] was shot during a performance of it. Instead, Macbeth, which has killed zero Presidents to date, gets a bad rap.
1 hour later…
9:26 AM
Q: The most cited English grammar book

bookbbookI know OED is the most cited vocabulary book, then what is the most cited grammar book? I think it’s The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. I made this question because I have to cite the grammar book...

@verbose That strikes me as a rather US-centric viewpoint.
@Randal'Thor Do we have evidence that Macbeth has killed heads of state in other countries? Aside from Duncan, that is.
@Bookworm is this on-topic?
9:41 AM
@verbose Meta says dictionaries aren't.
So what you're urging me to do is VTC as OT
fine, twist my arm
I'd close it if I had time right now to craft a nice comment explaining to the OP.
@verbose Here's a list, we can check how many of them died in theatres :-P
9:56 AM
@Randal'Thor haha
@Randal'Thor I did VTC and leave a comment, so if you think that's adequate, go ahead and close I guess?
10:40 AM
@Bookworm This question is now cruising the Boulevard HNQ.
@verbose I'd migrate this to ELU rather than ELL. But funny that the OED is described as a "vocabulary book" though.
@Tsundoku ELU is very quick on the trigger finger for closing questions. I fear OP will just get frustrated if they close it too.
@verbose You know why Shakespeare's tragedies end after the fifth act, don't you? Otherwise, the first row of spectators would also perish. :-P
@Tsundoku ah
11:22 AM
@Randal'Thor I'm editing it as we speak.
11:37 AM
Q: Announcing the April–May 2021 topic challenge: Gargantua and Pantagruel

TsundokuIn accordance with our meta agreement to have topic challenges and a later meta agreement to have topic challenges lasting for two months and overlapping by one month, it is time to announce the April–May 2021 topic challenge. Based on the number of votes (+4), the fourth topic challenge of the y...

11:49 AM
Ongoing topic challenges: The Lusiads and Mem û Zîn (Mem and Zin).
2 hours later…
1:34 PM
Q: Meaning of "He would not use the children against her, he would not. If he mentioned them, if he spoke their names, she would splinter"

Viser HashemiThis context is from The children's bach by Helen Garner ‘How did you know where to find me?’ ‘Morty told me.’ He was thinner. He stood without baggage in the ugly lobby. ‘Come home.’ ‘No. I haven’t finished yet.’ ‘Come home.’ ‘I can’t.’ ‘Let’s go home.’ ‘I’ll never forgive you if you make me.’ ...

1:49 PM
@Randal'Thor I thoroughly revised and expanded my answer to your question about the Scottish play
I no longer believe in the 1920s date and now think it's the 1970s.
> Double, double, toil and trouble
Fire, burn, and chewing-gum, bubble
2:08 PM
@Bookworm So now this grammar book question got closed instead of migrated. Which is why we need the close reason suggested by Rand al'Thor.
2:24 PM
@Tsundoku Writing a meta post for that close reason is on my to-do list. I'm also planning to make a meta post to customise our existing close reason now that the new question close system allows different pieces of text to be shown to different users. And before doing that I'm testing that process on SFF where there's a bigger meta community and more people to catch any potential hiccups in the process or things I'm doing wrong.
Also, that particular question about grammar books wouldn't fall under the proposed close reason.
@verbose I saw that you edited, but need some time to read the new version :-)
@Randal'Thor No rush :-P the answer isn't going anywhere
Rather than This question is purely about the meaning of an English word or phrase, and literary context does not help to answer it I think perhaps This question is purely about the ordinary meaning of an English word or phrase, and literary context is not required to answer it might be more precise?
2:42 PM
Or "This question is about a purely linguistic matter and literary context does not help to answer it". This would also cover grammar instead of just vocabulary, and languages other than English.
@Tsundoku That is a good point, it's wider than just vocabulary. However, I think "literary context does not help" is misleading. Context always helps. The question is whether a literary context is necessary to interpret the meaning.
OK, then "This question is about a purely linguistic matter and literary context is not required to answer it" (combining your suggestion with mine) would be a bit better?
Or how about "This question is purely about the ordinary meaning of a word or phrase, and literary context is not required to answer it"? It removes the language-specific thing but keeps the emphasis on meaning.
"Linguistic" might be a word people'd tend to associate with higher study of language rather than basic dictionary-lookup questions.
@Randal'Thor I like this
Ooh, maybe "This question is purely about the ordinary usage of language, and literary context is not required to answer it" ?
2:58 PM
@Randal'Thor I like the previous one better but can't articulate why ... I'll've to think about it a bit and maybe I'll change my mind
@Randal'Thor That doesn't capture grammatical questions.
Maybe "This question is about vocabulary or grammar, and literary context is not required to answer it" I'd avoid "ordinary", since the usage may not be ordinary and the question may still be perfectly answerable without literary context.
If the usage is not ordinary, mightn't it then be on-topic here?
I.e. if the OP can't figure out the meaning just from a dictionary or from being fully fluent in English.
You can always come up with, say, a top 3 and post them as answers to a meta question to allow for voting
3:13 PM
Q: What literary device is used in from "one thing to another"

KarthikThe extract is Then, from one thing to another, M. Hamel went on to talk of the French language, saying that it was the most beautifullanguage in the world — the clearest, the most logical; that we must guard it among us and never forget it, because when a people are enslaved, as long as they h...

@bobble I'd like to leave room for a "no, we don't need such a close reason" answer too, to be voted on if people actually don't want it, so it's better not to drown that out with multiple "yes we do, and let's phrase it like this" answers.
3:37 PM
@Randal'Thor You inspired a short post. math.stackexchange.com/a/4044556/24908
I'm confused by why math.stackexchange.com/a/104120/24908 is trying to prove log 2 to be irrational instead, since that's more difficult.
4:20 PM
@verbose The issue I see with both the existing answers and the deleted answer is that none of them gives an example of a series even though that is what the question is about.
@Tsundoku I would argue that's an overly pedantic reading of the question, and it's unlikely that the OP only wanted to know about series consisting of multiple books rather than about the origin of using wands for magic in fantasy stories.
Or, to match pedantry with pedantry, isn't the Bible a series? :-)
4:43 PM
How much pedantry is too much pedantry?
@Randal'Thor Literally what the question says: "I can't really think of any other series that used them.".
Of course, only other people's comments can ever be pedantic.
> The term, then, is obviously a relative one: my pedantry is your scholarship, his reasonable accuracy, her irreducible minimum of education and someone else’s ignorance.
(H. W. Fowler, Modern English Usage)
@Tsundoku Not in my case: I'm a proud self-confessed pedant :-)
Q: Do we have any solid evidence for how much material Middleton contributed to Macbeth?

Peter ShorIn verbose's question How close to actual incantations are the witches' spells in Macbeth? he says It is worth mentioning that the latter [the witches' incantation from Act IV scene i] was likely written not by Shakespeare, but his collaborator Thomas Middleton, who is known to have recycled son...

@Tsundoku Oh, like what they call "irregular verbs".
@Randal'Thor ?
4:54 PM
"I'm making a terminological inexactitude, you're being economical with the truth, he's lying through his teeth."
@Bookworm Great question and a very fast three upvotes.
@Randal'Thor I think you would enjoy Keith Frankish's dyspeptic definitions.
Here's one that @bobble and @PrinceNorthLæraðr may enjoy: SATs (n.pl.) Tests given to children to ensure that their teachers have learned their lessons.
> school (n.) A place where children are kept until they are old enough to learn something.
> university (n.) A place where young adults go to avoid learning something.
> classic (n.) A book written by a white man centuries ago which children are forced to find meaning in
Speaking of classics: Is an Aboriginal tale of an ancient volcano the oldest story ever told?. Science, February 2020.
Oh, a Twitter thread where people posted walls of books. (Or rather pictures of them, since we're being pedantic today.)
> enthymeme (n.) A harmless omission in one’s own reasoning. Contrast fallacy.
> fallacy (n.) A fatal flaw in an opponent’s reasoning. Contrast enthymeme.
Yes, that's a nice combination :-)
5:09 PM
> pension (n.) The means to enjoy life, usually obtained only when the ability to enjoy life is rapidly waning.
@Randal'Thor You can actually fight with a sheathed sword, but it's not very effective :-P
4 hours later…
9:24 PM
@bobble no such thing
how verbose is too verbose?
9:42 PM
@Tsundoku The distinction is kind of important, since you could as well have meant metaphorical walls of books akin to walls of texts, something people occasionally do on Twitter despite its complete and utter unfitness for any post longer than 10 words.
1 hour later…
10:49 PM
@bobble I feel so seen
Also, just yesterday, I was thinking about this question that you edited today. It's been on my to-answer list for a while. But I can't think of a good way to write that answer, which is that "the author doesn't really care about consistency or coherent character development, it's just a bad novel."
The only reason I still have a copy is that I haven't made my trip to the used bookstore to get rid of all my discards from my last cull of my books. My apartment is far too big for one person but I still have not enough room for my books. The wall of books pics @Tsundoku linked to really got me envious.....
My father-in-law had a study with bookshelves lining all the walls and a few just sticking out in the middle of the room. He ran out of shelf space too.
I have very strong memories of each time the kiddies' bedroom was reorganized because the bookshelf was moved each time
While I never stayed up late reading, I would read if I woke up before my parents
11:04 PM
@Bookworm OK, I have answered the Middleton/Macbeth question. Can we now also have answers by verbose, Gareth Rees and Matt Thrower? ;-)
I missed this two years ago: Original copy of Macbeth owned by Charlton Heston to sell at Bonhams. This was the first quarto edition of Macbeth, printed in 1673 and very rare.
More about the Scottish play: The Narrators in 'Macbeth': text of a lecture by Barbara Hardy.
And you wanted to buy it?
@NapoleonWilson Anachronistically?
11:23 PM
In which way?
Wanting to buy it after reading that the auction was more than a year ago.
Oh, I thought you missed the auction itself.
Afterall, the article says "to sell" so I thought it wasn't completed yet.

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