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12:47 AM
Hey all.
It's a failed picture link that keeps spinning interminably.
I didn't even know I could do that
I didn't even know if you could either. But don't you guys have, like, superpowers? @RegDwight seems to think so ...
9 hours ago, by RegDwight
I guess I could restore the jinx using my newly-gained super powers. But I won't.
Hey, nice work!
Maybe I'll have to change this opinion:
9 hours ago, by Robusto
Not as good as flying, or being able to burn through metal with your eyes.
Although the burning-through-metal-with-your-eyes thing probably still beats the deleting-busted-chat-links-with-your-mouse thing.
1:04 AM
I'm not sure about the topicalness of this question:
Q: Provide general terms for grammatic errors in sentence and resources to fix the source of the errors

D WI am hoping to help my girlfriend improve her english. Sometimes I correct her sentences but I would like to tell her more than just, "You are wrong. This is the correct sentence." What are some general tips I can give her? Are there any resources that would do automatic improper grammar detect...

You're right: It should be "the topicality of this question."
But topicalness sounds funnier.
Tru dat.
I voted to close. It made my head hurt.
seems on-topic to mee
it might, however, be excessively broad
I voted to close as too broad.
1:06 AM
actually, his question is something that i wrestle with a lot, as my wife is not a native speaker
I don't want to put in a vote to close without putting in a comment explaining my reasoning. Which is made difficult by the fact that I can't quite pin down my reason for discomfort.
it really should be scoped down to a particular question
one grammatical issue
I just commented to that effect.
Added my vote.
So, Martha, now that you've drunk yourself silly and slept post-election, have you felt the old thwack coming back yet?
If not we can organize a campaign. I'm just spitballing here, but maybe something like a bumper sticker that says "The Thwack is Back!"
1:11 AM
Oh, so that's what I've been forgetting to do: drink myself silly. (Well, and sleep, but that's chronic.)
See? And chronic rhymes with what?
My mother drank herself silly on Sunday, does that count?
Waiting ...
You don't need a rhyming dictionary for this one.
Hint: it's not symphonic ...
Uh... tonic? But there's no alcohol in that.
Tonic! Bing! Bing! Bing! Bing! Bing!
tonica medicinal substance taken to give a feeling of vigor or well-being. Tonics used to be mainly alcohol anyway.
So did most medicines.
1:14 AM
Well, yeah. Doesn't everybody drink just for medicinal purposes?
Well, some of us need a lot of medicine.
I could go for a nice vermouth on the rocks with a double twist of lemon.
What, no gin?
(Sweet vermouth, if you please, none of that icky dry stuff for me.)
No, gin & tonic is my mother's drink. When she's not drinking Scotch, that is.
The only way I like whiskey is in the form of Bailey's Irish Cream.
When I feel like serious drinking, I have Tanqueray on the rocks with an olive.
No vermouth.
1:17 AM
Olive? Ick. Might as well down some petroleum.
Where do you live? Anywhere near the Gulf of Mexico? If so, you may have done that already.
Ah. There's no petroleum in The Quaker State, is there ... oh wait! There is!
(Imported from California. It's all my brother-in-law's fault.)
Funny how your state took its nickname from a brand of motor oil, huh?
1:19 AM
I think there's an error in your causality.
Let me check.
Hmm, the error must lie with your QA program.
But there are actually two brands of motor oil with names related to your state.
Oh, and our nickname is actually The Keystone State.
Quaker State and Pennzoil. So don't try to pretend you haven't swilled down a little petroleum with your vermouth.
No, not that nickname. The one the motor oil people gave it.
That whole Keystone State thing is so contrived.
Who do you think you are, Arkansas?
1:24 AM
Well, as the saying goes, Pennsylvania is made up of Philadelphia on one end, Pittsburgh on the other, and Arkansas in between...
I thought it was Alabama in between.
Now I'm confused.
(Substitute your favorite hillbilly state for Arkansas, naturally.)
What if I don't have a "favorite" hillbilly state?
Then you're SOL.
I mean, it's not like I go around making lists of My Top Five Hillbilly States and all.
1:27 AM
Why not? All the cool kids are doing it.
Well, see ... uh, that's my problem.
<= Not one of the cool kids.
Well, yeah, I'm not either, but I never let minor details like that stop me.
See, @Martha? Now you made me cry. I hope you're happy.
Whew, thank you. (for the edit.)
"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening ... but this wasn't it." — Groucho Marx
1:32 AM
@Robusto You started it, with your accusations of petroleum-swilling.
I'm not the one who likes olives around here.
Yeah, amazing how easy it is to type the wrong word. I just edited an answer where I used it's instead of its.
I find its/it's errors in my old writing all the time. Unfortunately, it's usually someplace I can't edit it.
17 mins ago, by Martha
Olive? Ick. Might as well down some petroleum.
See? You brought up the whole petroleum thing.
No, you did.
Or maybe you meant that literally?
1:35 AM
18 mins ago, by Robusto
When I feel like serious drinking, I have Tanqueray on the rocks with an olive.
In which case, I apologize.
Olive = petroleum. QED.
Different kind of oil.
We need to train some of our users to check whether a question is a duplicate before blithely answering it.
Q: What word contains the most unique letters?

fredleyI'm assuming there isn't a word that contains every letter in the alphabet, so which word contains the most? Examples: antidisestablishmentarianism - 12 [antidseblhmr] psychotherapy - 12 [psychotherap] handcraftsmanship - 13 [handcrftsmhip]

1:39 AM
It's probably a version of FGITW syndrome.
Q: What is the best book(s) about technical writing?

evergreenWould somebody recommend any good book about technical writing, more specifically, writing research papers or books in science and engineering? Thanks! By the way, I found that question Recommended books on writing well in English? was closed as off topic. But I didn't find anything in FQA abou...

Voted to close.
Ditto, and added a comment about why.
You're so brave.
Are we running out of questions on this site already? Where is Yoichi Oishi when you really need him?
Didn't he post the Charlie Sheen question yesterday?
Well, off to do something even more useless. See ya later.
1:49 AM
Does that mean I ought to go home?
4 hours later…
5:31 AM
I'm kind of new to the site. Would a question "How is fuel efficiency measured outside the US?" be a valid question for English?
6:14 AM
@amphetam, not really.
7:14 AM
Don't you think being able to flag a chat message kind of defeats the purpose?
3 hours later…
9:51 AM
Hm, the Charlie Sheen question beats all records in terms of views per vote. 3,800 views (and counting), but only 27 votes (and not counting). What's more, that's 27 votes on all posts combined, including comments.
10:33 AM
@RegDwight see also: depressing
Well, yeah, I've seen quite a few questions where the ratio was more like 1:1.
Of course, it tends to go up for older questions, as they get viewed by more and more people from outside the community, who can google but can't vote. But the Charlie Sheen questions is just one day old.
@RegDwight: I don't have the skills to do that, but I would totally love a rewrite of this Charlie Sheen quote in Shakespearean style
Seriously though, there must be shakespearize-this.com. It can't not exist.
@RegDwight that's almost as much fun as pirate insults!
RegDwight has been automatically appointed as owner of this room.
10:44 AM
Err. Wut? Do you see that message? "RegDwight has been automatically appointed as owner of this room."
congrats :)
Was ist das?
@RegDwight all our rooms are belong to you
They misspelled pwner.
Bug report!
The Oxford Comma Question Of The Day
@RegDwight: egads, you're fast!
10:56 AM
@RegDwight Here's the explanation:
A: Chat clean up & owner rules

balphaSure. In most cases, the room owner is more or less arbitrary, because it's just the person who was first to create the (e.g.) PHP room. But of course it makes sense to have several owners, especially for rooms that are quite active and have developed their own "style", and have those owners be p...

question closed with 1 view!
@FX_ I would have been even faster if I had waited for your comment rather than looking for the original myself.
@balpha Thanks a bunch.
@RegDwight: for obvious duplicates like that, is it OK to use a mod flag to draw your attention, or should I just vote for closing?
Well, I try to always keep an eye on the tools, so I will usually notice any close votes as they start to trickle in, which means that you don't really have to bother flagging unless you think that something's not being closed fast enough. Like, if it's a copy-and-paste dupe that has been open for hours.
@RegDwight good to know, thanks
11:06 AM
Is it true the Oxford Comma question is asked so often that it has its own acronym?
@ray023 Nah, @FX_ just invented it.
the two parts of your answer are incoherent: FX_ just invented it thus, yes, it exists!
In fact, we have questions that are asked much, much more often. You can check them in the "faq" tab under "Questions".
@FX_ Okay, okay, you're right, here's your candy.
Candy, specifically sugar candy, is a confection made from a concentrated solution of sugar in water, to which flavorings and colorants are added. Candies come in numerous colors and varieties and have a long history in popular culture. The Middle English word "candy" began to be used in the late 13th century, coming into English from the Old French çucre candi, derived in turn from Arabic qandi and Persian qand, "cane sugar." In North America, candy is a broad category that includes candy bars, chocolates, licorice, sour candies, salty candies, tart candies, hard candies, taffies, gu...
11:11 AM
cool, thanks!
Semi-Jinx, just in case.
It took me way too long because I was contemplating whether I should post a link to John Candy or Candy Moore instead.
1 hour later…
12:30 PM
A: What did Old English writing (letters and formatting) typically look like?

MarthaI just spent some quality time perusing the Insular and Anglo-Saxon chapters of Michelle P. Brown's A Guide to Western Historical Scripts from Antiquity to 1600 (pp. 48-49 and 58-59), as well as pp. 34-42 of Marc Drogin's Medieval Calligraphy: Its History and Technique. The names they use for the...

Heh, Physics has been launched, but without a design.
Someone wants to edit Martha's answer.
Yes, seen that.
I can't decide what the edit is.
And I didn't approve because I would like to let Martha do that.
He added a whole bunch of hyperlinks.
12:31 PM
Yeah, I would defer that to Martha in any case. But it looks like there are the same hyperlinks in both versions.
They look legit to me, but they might be too many for Martha's tastes, or leading to a site she doesn't like, whatever.
@Robusto Check out the second paragraph.
Oh, I see ... in the 2nd graf.
Or just click on the second icon from the top.
Yes, here's your coke.
waiting ...
12:34 PM
@RegDwight — I'm going to start adding Charlie Sheen references to all my questions. Pump up the volume.
Anyhow, it bears repeating that there are several icons on the left hand side of each suggested edit. The second one is quite useful, "Show the markdown diffs side-by-side".
Hmm ... I was thinking more along the lines of this:
@RegDwight — Ah, thanks for pointing that out. I never would have noticed.
The eye is drawn to the text first, and away from any controls.
Feb 22 at 15:21, by Kosmonaut
Other famous last words include: "dare me to drink this?"
Hmm ... tenuous relationship at best.
That's how I roll.
12:40 PM
See? You can't roll like that auf Deutsch, can you?
Ich rolle doch schon die ganze Zeit.
Hin und her, hin und her.
I see He Who Must Not Be Prefixed just dropped in.
@RegDwight — See? Told ya.
Hello, Voldemort!
few people online at this time, uh?
@Robusto In German, you can have a run.
@trVoldemort Normally, there are more.
12:42 PM
@trVoldemort: Have the Republicans contacted you about the 2012 nomination yet?
@Kiamlaluno, @Eldros, @FX_, @Orbling...
what's that about?
@RegDwight — But you are fortunate to have the two best already here. But the best is about to leave.
See ya later.
Feb 17 at 19:37, by Robusto
user image
@Robusto CU.
@trVoldemort You can click on the date link, "Feb 17 at 19:37", for context.
oh, thx
this site is amazing! the user interface is fantastic and the AJAX is so very cool!
12:50 PM
The opinions differ widely:
Feb 11 at 14:39, by Robusto
Truly, this is one of the best chat user interfaces I've seen. I'm jealous.
2 days ago, by JPmiaou
This site is absolutely chock-full of mystery meat navigation and display. How am I supposed to find out about entering a blank search for help? Do it by accident, in frustration?
1 hour later…
2:19 PM
@Robusto Ah, whatever. @Kosmonaut just went ahead and approved it.
Oh, another trick question by ArthurRex:
Q: What is this an example of: "I couldn't fail to disagree with you less"

ArthurRexEisenhower used it constantly to fend off reporters - is there a term to describe this type of phrase?

So, why did he ask another question? I thought he gave up on SE.
That's what I'm wondering, too.
I'm also intrigued by the two RAS-syndrome questions posted within 32 seconds of each other.
yes, very bizarre
But totally unrelated, it would seem.
Q: Adding RAID to my existing PC

Paul BrownI am currently running a Dell Precision T5400 (Intel Xeon E5420 @ 2.5GHz / 4GB RAM). I am looking to add disk mirroring. I presume I will require a RAID card and two new fast SATA hard drives. I will install Windows 7 Pro (32 bit) after hardware config. Can anyone offer a little more detailed ...

That's where AndrejaKo comes from. But no sign of benhowdle89 there.
Actually, I feel like they might be justified as different questions.
But one of them must be a dupe I think
2:28 PM
My understanding is that they are different questions.
A dupe of an older one
Hm. Doesn't ring a bell.
I could be wrong... the "PIN Number" kind of question sounds so familiar to me though
Off the top of my head, I remember a comment by @Martha, but I don't think that that question was related, actually. Must check.
I think you are right
2:30 PM
Q: Terms for duplicated words

Lie RyanI can't recall term used for duplicating extraneous words e.g. VIP person (Very Important Person Person), first question what is this term? Second question, is the same term used when the duplicated term is a synonym?

A: Is it "GPL License" or "GPL license"?

John SattaStrictly speaking, "GPL" is a three letter acronym for GNU General Public License. (Note the AmE spelling.) “GPL” stands for “General Public License”. The most widespread such license is the GNU General Public License, or GNU GPL for short. This can be further shortened to “GPL”, when it is u...

A: When can a redundant "respectively" be dropped?

MarthaThe "respectively" in those sentences isn't redundant. You might argue that it's unnecessary (in which case I'd disagree*), but "redundant" means that the word is repeating something you've already said. Think of the classic examples of redundancy "ATM machine" or "PIN number". * As RegDwight ha...

Yup, that was the next one on my (well, Google's) list.))
Are any of these dupes? Or do they all come from different angles?
Well, um. The last two are answers. To, like, utterly unrelated questions.
Q: PIN Number - why we say it?

benhowdle89We often say "PIN Number", this is part of everyday conversation. But why? PIN stands for Personal Identification Number, so what we're actually saying is Personal Identification Number Number. Is there a reason for this?

That old chestnut
2:34 PM
The "Terms for duplicated words" is asking "what is it called"; the two most recent ones are asking "why", and "how to avoid it", respectively.
We will be the definitive source of RAS Syndrome-related information.
Seems distinct enough to me. Most importantly, I don't think that the answers to any of those questions happen to answer any of the other ones.
I mean, sure, every mention of the "RAS syndrome" does answer the question "what is it called", I'll give you that.
It's fine. I feel the same way.
I don't know. "Why we say it?" That is a deep philosophical question.
@Kosmonaut So, um, I wonder if you can provide a linguisticky answer to the "why do we do that" question.
2:38 PM
Philosophical or psychological.
I insist on its being linguisticky.
Or just sticky.
Watch out! Sticky psycholinguists!
Definition: "linguisticky": adj. Having a tongue with a sticky surface that can be used to catch flies.
Linguisticky... is that like when you get peanut butter on your tongue?
2:39 PM
Normally used when describing reptiles or linguistics majors.
Is that like a ¼ jinx or what?
Flies vs peanut butter.
I haven't read anything about that particular topic, but I think it is probably something straightforward, like, people aren't actively thinking about the parts of the acronym when using the word.
Yeah well, correct answers are allowed to be straightforward, and vice versa.
So ... @Kosmonaut: Are we cool? Can we move on from our recent acrimony? Or is that going to color our relationship going forward?
I think it revealed a level of cynicism that I'm not entirely comfortable with.
2:43 PM
So the answer is no.
The answer is, "relax"
Feb 22 at 11:17, by RegDwight
Hey, can't we all be friends, hitting each other with rulers?
The answer is a command?
Anyhow, party people, lemme tellya something. I have actually reopened that recent longest-word question. Just so you know.
Q: What word contains the most unique letters?

fredleyI'm assuming there isn't a word that contains every letter in the alphabet, so which word contains the most? Examples: antidisestablishmentarianism - 12 [antidseblhmr] psychotherapy - 12 [psychotherap] handcraftsmanship - 13 [handcrftsmhip]

If I am going to be treated that way for closing a question, I'm not interested in socializing.
If I close something and someone thinks I was a bonehead for doing it, and explains why, that's one thing. I've re-opened questions as a result of that kind of conversation.
2:48 PM
I was not abusive. I merely said what I felt.
Well, that's a level of cynicism I am not entirely comfortable with.
Your branding it as cynicism doesn't make it so.
Yes yes, and just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you.
I'm really not going to get into this again. I seriously felt upset for the rest of the afternoon. So, I'm going to head out.
Well, whatever you want. I'm willing to move on, wipe the slate clean, but if you can't do that, it's on you.
3:03 PM
@RegDwight — I'm up for that, but it looks like it isn't going to happen.
Well, I can start hitting you with a ruler anytime. Just let me know your schedule.
I only like it when @Martha does it.
Wow, that was ever so much fun. Let's do it again real soon, yeah?
Lol, like lol. Roflmao.
Actually, I think we should set up a "Flag Room". Where anyone who comes in should flag everybody else.
3:11 PM
I think you meant, "Lol, like lol. Roflmao. Kittehz."
Now that would be fun.
We could call it Laser Flag.
@Robusto Yeah, I misspell "Kittehz" as "" way too often. Thanks.
No problem. Just here to help.
Ah, work beckons ... will be afk for an indefinite period.
Oh. Viel Spaß.
3:21 PM
Figures, the minute I show up here, work beckons me, too. Hmph.
3:56 PM
@RegDwight What was the goal of your notification earlier?
Ah, someone complained that this place was deserted. So I just pinged a few people that are normally here at that time.
That Charlie Sheen question is still generating tons of views but no votes. It also needs a lot of babysitting. I'm thinking about protecting it.
And now I have.
@RegDwight The one with the incredulous amount of illicit substance?
@RegDwight I don't know if I could come that often during the afternoon, now that my colleague came back from his holidays
@RegDwight Obvious I want my star room
Nad I am uptodate with the last gossips (more or less)
Good! As I have to leave. TTYL.
Oh well, now I am alone.
Q: Looking for the name of a type of painting.

Shawn LeBlancWhat's the name of a type of painting that typically contains a crowd of people posed along a plane? Usually they're all focused on one point or an event that is happening in the painting. I've seen lots of of examples but I can't find any good ones at the moment. The best I could find is this ...

Shouldn't it be a single-word-request question?
4:31 PM
@Eldros Yes, it should, but I get tired of adding that tag to questions.
@Martha doing it right now
So follow-up question: Has the tag [vocabulary] any use? Or is it simple a synonym of [swr]?
Going now, TTYL
4:48 PM
@Eldros I'm not actually sure. I think might have some usefulness in the meaning "set of words used by/in a particular context", where the emphasis is on set of words. But I'm fairly certain that that's not how the tag has been used.
And looking at the tag wiki, it seems the intended use is "word choice", in which case I'm not sure why there's a separate tag.
5:17 PM
A: "single-word-requests", "word-choice", "vocabulary" and "words" tags

RegDwightI don't think they all serve the same purpose. At least they shouldn't. Personally, I interpret these four tags as follows: single-word-requests is for word requests, i.e. questions that ask if there's a single word that matches a given definition (“community of experts”, “obsession with publis...

Just my two pennies worth.
Do note @Kosmonaut's comment there, too.
@RegDwight For the most part, I agree with your definitions. Unfortunately, the tag wiki for currently does not. Which is confusing.
@Martha Yeah, that's why I was careful enough to include the bit about "some gray areas between these definitions, not everyone will completely agree with them, and some won't know or care about the existence of all these tags to begin with. "
Questions are getting tagged willy-nilly on all sites of the network. Try as you may, you won't change people any time soon. So we basically have two options: babysit every single question that gets posted, or just let things slide and then clean the mess every X weeks, Augean-stables style.
5:36 PM
But people would have a better chance of choosing the appropriate tag if the tag wiki were accurate.
I'm afraid users don't read. I mean, I don't think anybody who posts a question about past tense and tags it with does so because he checked the tag wikis for and and somehow didn't like them.
But yeah, that doesn't mean that we shouldn't be working on improving tag wikis.
The point is, my aforementioned answer is not the official policy. If it were, I would have long edited the wikis accordingly.
I think you should quietly put in your descriptions, and they'll become official. :)
I was just in the middle of writing, "You know what? Seeing how my answer has 6 upvotes and no downvotes, I think I'll just go ahead and do it."
Yeah, that's more evidence of community agreement than the whole list-question debacle on scifi.se, and they're all talking about "consensus" this and "it has been decided" that over there.
6:03 PM
@RegDwight (re: Physics launch sans design) - I can totally see why.
Uff. So okay, here are the and wikis. Won't win a beauty prize, but it's a start.
@Martha Yes, yes, I was going to link to that one myself, but everybody just ignored me, so meh.
Ooh, ooohh, oooohhh, yet another trick question by ArthurRex! Seriously, I'm consciously avoiding those ones by now.
The again, I am tempted to answer this particular one with a simple "Yes.")))
Q: Mrs. Malaprop = Malapropism - any other examples

ArthurRexAre there other literary examples where-in a character or subject eventually morphed into descriptive verb/genre?

It's not a particularly well-written question, but how is it a trick question?
Because of his comments lately.
...I see that he's actually deleted them.
Hm, he's the guy who asked the nonsensical verbing question.
Anyhow, to paraphrase, he's just checking out "what kind of intellects" frequent this site, and so far he's not impressed. In fact, he's about to give up on SE altogether
6:15 PM
Wait, he's AttilaNYC? That makes no sense.
yesterday, by RegDwight
Hm, so ArthurRex is kind of accusing us of not being Law.SE. I don't see any problem with that. He tried to be too clever and failed. That's entirely not this community's fault, IMHO.
I wonder if Attila's account has been hacked.
yesterday, by kiamlaluno
Talking of stealing, did anybody notice Yeah, ArthurRex (aka AttilaNYC)?
That would actually explain why he's been spending all his rep on 500-rep bounties.
yesterday, by RegDwight
user image
Then again, wouldn't the real Attila have complained by now?
I would take this to MSO if I were him.
@RegDwight That presumes that the real Attila still has access to his account and/or his computer.
@Martha He can always contact the team directly. Someone with his rep should know. Besides, we can't be the only ones noticing, can we?
@Martha What's with this answer of his?
6:23 PM
I was just looking at that, and I haven't a clue.
Not that this is any better:
Deleted already. Won't inline.
7 hours ago, by FX_
@RegDwight: egads, you're fast!
Ah, ok.
I think you could similarly delete the fecund ewe one - don't think anyone will mind.
I just have no idea what it means. Might be Irish for F******.
That's why I'm asking here.
It's got to be some play on fecund = effing and ewe = you, but either it doesn't quite work, or I'm missing something.
I'm in the Teachers Lounge right now, discussing this with mmyers and hobodave. @Kosmonaut can join me there.
6:48 PM
@Robusto Usually moving on in such a situation includes some form of mea culpa. You said that you felt you were reasonable, so what is to keep such a situation from happening again? I think it is kind of unrealistic to treat someone poorly and then essentially say "it was fine. let's move on."
@Martha Well yeah, there's that "reasonable expectation of privacy" on the Teachers' Lounge, so let me just say that a) the account is not hacked and b) this:
Q: Is it acceptable to glean questions from other cooking sites?

DinahI've noticed that AtillaNYC has been copying questions from other cooking sites verbatim. Is this acceptable and/or encouraged? Edit by Dinah: My original question is above except that I did not include any names. Below is an edit by hobodave as is the user link above. I'm not removing his ed...

In fact, I remember seeing that question back in September, but it turns out I didn't remember the user's name. Probably because the original question didn't mention it.
Thanks for that link; I didn't know about it, obviously.
7:12 PM
Off-topic? On-topic? Nobody knows?
Q: "That which is measured, improves"

Ryan ElkinsThis may not be appropriate for this site, I couldn't tell from the FAQ or a quick search on meta. I am looking for the proper attribution, origin, and correct version of the quote: That which is measured, improves. I've seen various versions and attributions to different people. Some ver...

What is the question?
He wants to know who to attribute the quote to?
Good question. Unfortunately, I think we can't know whether it's on-topic until we find out the answer. Chicken and egg, anyone?
Like he said: he'd like the proper attribution, origin, and correct version of the quote.
@Kosmonaut — Well, I agree. And I felt I was treated poorly by you, which was why I raised the objection in the first place. You felt bad about my objection. I have felt since I joined this site that you have held some kind of animus towards me, but I let that go even to the point of endorsing your candidacy, as is elsewhere documented.
I say now, and for all to hear, that I am willing to let bygones be bygones; but if that means a unilateral apology from me, I am willing simply to let cordiality between us be the bygone. If we can both say, hey, sorry things got to this pass, drink a virtual beer together and move on, fine.
So it's etymology, just possibly not English etymology.
//studiously ignoring Robonaut
@Martha I tried that earlier and failed.
But back to that question, yeah, chicken-and-egg indeed. I mean, we have some record of closing questions about the origin of quotations. But they weren't anywhere as carefully researched.
7:23 PM
@Robusto: But why do you think I have something against you? All because I closed this one question?
@RegDwight What was the close reason for the earlier question(s)?
@Martha If I could only remember it... Let me check.
@Kosmonaut — I think you know what I am talking about. If you want to discuss it privately, you have access to my email address.
Q: "Really six people present": origin of phrase commonly attributed to William James

Charles StewartThe following is popular on lists of "quotable quotes": Whenever two people meet, there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is. The Google Books drilldown gives its earliest record in Cohen...

Q: Is this quote by Marx real?

whitmanAbout two years ago I saw this quote in Newsweek, where it was attributed to Karl Marx: Sell a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach a man how to fish, you ruin a wonderful business opportunity. Inspired by this, I now ask you: did Marx really say this?

Ok, so precedent seems to say "off topic". I'm just not sure I agree.
Wait, except there's also
Q: He who accuses the whole world convicts only himself

MalvolioOr something like that. Does anybody know the exact text and source of this quotation?

7:30 PM
Well yeah, and in fact I have asked about the origin of "Red Square", too. And got an answer by nohat, and it's still open.
and this, though it's more arguable:
Q: What is the best way to track down the origin and grammar of this quote?

drachenstern The best way to know a man is to walk a thousand miles in his shoes. That way, he's a thousand miles away and has no shoes. I'm willing to bet it's a Jack Handey quote, as it's rather in that vein of thinking, but the question came up, and since "walk a thousand miles in [his] shoes" is so ...

And this:
Q: Quote about miscellany (?)

NoldorinI'm trying to remember a certain quote representing the concept of miscellany (or randomness perhaps). I can't give much information except that it is of the form "Of ... and ... and ... etc.", contains various 'unusual' words, and has a rhyming scheme. I could swear it is attributed to Lewis Car...

Oh my. Seems like an issue to be taken to meta. Not sure I can do that today, though, as my wife will be coming back home in a few minutes.
@Martha Well, at least that last one doesn't ask about etymology. It's a many-words-request, basically.
But that does remind me of another issue, hold on a sec.
... nah, of course it's gone now. There used to be a Quotes proposal over at Area51. And seeing the example questions there, a few people (including myself) commented that most of them would be on-topic here. And then the author of the proposal just posted the two least suited questions here, pushing the envelope.
Q: What's a funny quote to start a meeting with?

Wikis At Area 51This is my second (and final) test question for Quotes (to see if that proposal is necessary or if we can add them here). Update: (based on comments below) this is a weekly meeting I am chairing of my group in which we are updated on company wide initiatives and exciting projects (and some dull ...

Q: I have a presentation on English political history next week. Anyone know some good quotes?

Wikis At Area 51This is a test question to see whether the Quote proposal is necessary or if the questions can as easily be placed here. Update: (after Chris' comment) this is a presentation about the British politics from 1979 - 2010 covering the rise and fall of all three major poliitical parties. Please not...

And following the link from my comment there, "This proposal has been deleted".
Hmm ... do you think this guy planted a question he already knew the answer to?
Q: What is this an example of: "She looks as though she's been poured into her clothes, and forgot to say 'when"

ArthurRexComedians seem to use phrases that employ this type of sentence structure - is there a name for it? Examples of Groucho Marx's one liners seem to fit this pattern - and if memory serves, Emo Philips. "One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas, how he got in my pajamas, I don't know." "I've...

As I read the list found on the page I linked, it seems as if he was reading from the very same list.
It seems more than coincidental.
Well, wouldn't be the first time.
yesterday, by RegDwight
Hm, so ArthurRex is kind of accusing us of not being Law.SE. I don't see any problem with that. He tried to be too clever and failed. That's entirely not this community's fault, IMHO.
For him, or for anyone?
7:43 PM
For him.
We've been discussing him just an hour ago or so.
Starting here:
1 hour ago, by RegDwight
Ooh, ooohh, oooohhh, yet another trick question by ArthurRex! Seriously, I'm consciously avoiding those ones by now.
I'm kind of puzzled by this kind of behavior.
Everybody is. Going all the way up to the powers that be.
Note what he's saying in his MSO profile. That's not a typo or a joke.
What, he works for Fog Creek?
A: Have there been any reports of spamming on Careers.StackOverflow?

AttilaNYCThis is a message received by our Sales Team at Fog Creek Hello StackOverflow Community – I do apologize for any concerns that our messages over the last few days have created. To clarify a few things I have asked the folks at StackOverflow to post this message on our behalf. ...

Yeah, we never quite run out of endless entertainment on our cuddly little site, do we?
Maybe he fancies himself a latter-day Georges Danton.
Hmm, the old "Why is X pronounced Y?" question:
Q: Why "one" is pronounced as "wan", not "oh-ne"?

MikimotoHWhy does "one" pronounce as "wan", not "oh-ne"? Why the spelling and the pronunciation of "one" are so strangely? In French, one is written as "un", and pronounced as "oe" (with nasal sound). The sound is similar to French. Is this English word affected by French?

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