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05:00 - 15:0015:00 - 19:00

5:57 AM
Warm greetings to ALL
7 hours later…
12:37 PM
Haha @F'x gets the unquote badge:
Q: What does a dialogue consist of? I mean, how are these constituents called?

brilliantTina: I had a strange dream last night. Jack: Well, dreams are always strange. I've never had an absolutely "normal" dream. So what did you dream about? Tina: I dreamed about a skyscraper devouring a small "Starbucks" How to call a part of a dialogue that is spoken by one person? (There are ...

You there @F'x? I'm ragging on you, and it's no fun if you don't show up.
Allons enfants de la Patrie!
le jour de gloire est arrivé !
what is this about unquote?
You gave the same answer to a question three minutes after I did. =P
doh, and with the same dictionary too!
regarding this:
I edited away the long and unnecessary dialogue, which the guy readded
now, this useless dialogue is quoted in two different questions, and only marginally relevant
12:50 PM
Regarding which?
should I remove it again, or ask for mods?
my revision was #3
Oh, and what is that "love scene with Jack and Rob" ... insult to injury, imo.
you have something against Rob as a generic first name?
No. It is my first name. And I have never had a love scene with Jack. =P
well, Rob is not customarily short for Robusto, is it?
12:53 PM
No. Robusto is long for Rob.
As to the editing question, if the OP doesn't like your edit you should just back off. As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. Or, as Groucho Marx said when asked to use horticulture in a sentence: "You can lead a horticulture [whore to culture] but you can't make her think."
So what about users like vgv? I think I once edit-warred him, that is, I edited his question, he added stuff, I removed it again.
Should I have let him be and vote-closed the question, instead of a second edit/reversal?
Hard to say. If people insist on expressing themselves in their own way, though that way may be ungrammatical and, in fact, stupid, there's really not much you can do about it.
Well, you could vanquish them in an edit war, but I agree that that isn't the coolest thing to do...
The most you can do is point out some of the more egregious contradictions and solecisms in a comment in that case. He can't delete your comment, and you will be on record with your emendations.
Yeah comments are the way to go 99%+.
1:00 PM
@Cerberus — Well, but you can't win an edit war if they keep fighting.
Theoretically, you can't; but if you aren't a giver-upper...
Yes, but why waste your energy battling a fool?
I don't think I have ever been in an edit war on Wiki, probably because everybody is supposed to be equal there; here I feel that if all 1000+ users agree that something is wrong, it might be ok to force it upon a new user to cease.
Just say something sharp, like "I'm sorry, you're right: it is presumptuous of me to try to make you look smarter than you are." Then retire from the field, victorious.
Or you can just think those words, knowing they are the truth.
Haha, "victorious". Yeah.
1:06 PM
Q: Authoritative source on the diaeresis trema rule

Alexander GladyshI've got an impression that there is (or was) a rule in English: If you have a borrowed word with two vowel letters in a row, corresponding to two vowel sounds in a row (as opposed to a diphthong or single vowel sound marked by two letters), you have to mark a second vowel with a trema. For ex...

could we please get some rest from the trema questions?
Yes, really. Did you find a suitable dupe candidate?
Q: "Whereäs" as an alternative spelling of "whereas"

Bruno RothgiesserThe Wiktionary show whereäs as a valid alternative spelling of the word whereas (see here). It gives the following quotations to illustrate the usage: 1 Permanent International Association of Navigation Congresses, Report of Proceedings — Milan (1905) After a dry season, the influenc...

I think it's covered here. Voted to close.
We should just create a new duplicate question and antedate it, whenever we dislike an answer that we are unable to pin to a duplicate.
Good thought, but I don't think even moderators have that particular super power.
A pity.
or we could, right now, create a question titled “Generic question used for closing poor questions as duplicates” :)
1:10 PM
I like it. Star.
And edit it as required?
@F'x: Maybe capitalize it, for eternity?
Yes that!
Maybe remove the smiley too.
Very sneaky and perfidious. I like it!
Must have neat stars!
How long does he still have?
Is it a minute in total?
Now he is too late. Meh, I'll star it anyway.
I feel cheeky today.
Naughty boy.
1:15 PM
Yeah. I have a semi-date tomorrow, and the sun is shining... it could by anything.
Semi-date? Interesting. I didn't know dates could be cut up like that.
Yeah weird innit.
They tend to become semi when you're not sure what they are.
question is, which part of the date do you get in a semi-date? first or second half?
Hehe. If only I knew!
and how does it differ from a hemidate?
1:17 PM
So is it a blind date? The "semi" part of it being the showing up, followed by a quick search for another exit?
Well I am not a huge fan of Graeco-Latin hybrids. Otherwise, no difference at all.
Yeah the emergency exit is an important feature of any date.
well, then semidate it is
regarding how to prepare for it, see
If you show up and find out she is like the joke made by Lucas Corso in The Club Dumas (recommended to me by @RegDwight, and a good read), in which he refers to "A whore who was so ugly she died a virgin"?
No it is just that I find it difficult to interpret the nature of the date: social? romantic?
1:20 PM
If she mentions her boyfriend in the first couple of minutes it's social.
Aww poor ugly whores, I pity them. But I do hope that it will be a bloke. You can have the girls.
@Cerberus then it's a quantum date; you can't know before observation
Ah, sorry. Don't know the etiquette for that.
Haha very nice, @F'x; I like the spreadsheet most of all.
@Cerberus — And, really? I can have the girls? Do they know you just gave them away?
1:22 PM
A quantum date... Einstein would thwack you!
Hey I like girls as a meme and as friends!
You can have them for other stuff.
@Cerberus — Well, what if it's a second cousin? Can a quantum date involve relativity?
@Rob: Ah poor me, what am I to do in these situations without Martha? She would have the answer!
And if it involves S&M you could add in some string theory. (Rope theory?)
Hehe. Nice.
But it always involves gravity in the end, doesn't it? The mutual attraction of two bodies ...
1:25 PM
@Robusto I think general relativity can be involved; I would certainly like to try that defense in court :)
I suppose sex and physics can provide endless metaphors... now try that with geography! Oh damn... too easy...
Indeed your Honor, the defendant's daughter was a minor in a referential at rest
"in a referential at rest" ?
but unless you can prove we weren't doing it close to the speed of light, she might actually be much older now
How's this for a geographical pickup line: "Do you mind if my peninsula juts into your bay?"
1:26 PM
Hey now you are threading upon the unseemly...
@Cerberus I'm not going to explain relativity before my afternoon coffee!
I was rather thinking of curvatures and hillocks...
@F'x: I could never quite understand relativity... that is, I can understand what the text says and how to calculate minor stuff, but I don't feel I can quite grasp the concept.
@Cerberus I don't either, but then, my mind is that of a mere chemist :)
Hah. Well the mind of a mere classicist is relieved to hear that.
Or there's John Donne's famous geographical pickup line: "No man is an island." (Implication: let's get together and have hot monkey love.) He cleverly concealed it in a larger statement, but his meaning was clear to the cognoscenti.
1:36 PM
Ah! You are applying the time-proven methods of Biblical interpreters, I see. Excellent.
By the way, is time-proven correct?
Yes. I can parse any statement to have any meaning whatsoever. I'm that good.
It sounds a bit odd, but I knew what you meant.
I might have said "time-tested" there ...
I think I made it by analogy to "time-honoured" or something like that...
Another cliché is "age-old" ...
Ah, "time-honored" is better, definitely.
Yeah but that excludes the notion of "it has been proved the best method because we have been using it for so long".
I feel as if there's another synonym lurking at the periphery of this, but I can't think of it.
1:38 PM
"Time-proven method" gives 270k hits on Google.
I must have picked it up somewhere, at a place of unknown repute.
"Time-honoured method" gets about 100k hits.
"Time-tested method", 1,100k.
If Google's hit stats mean anything these days.
There could be 270k instances of non-native abominations on Google, so yeah, go for it. 90% of them probably reference the same post in the same thread on the same BBS.
Hehe possibly so.
I would not want to base my writing or speaking on Google hit counts. I'm just saying.
I used to search the sites of the major English papers in such cases with a single custom bookmark keyword; unfortunately most of them have been closed to Google.
NYtimes, Wash Post, London Times...
In point of fact, I would have to start using "lulz" a whole lot more than I do: "About 4,200,000 results"
1:44 PM
Oh! It seems you are behind the facts then.
rofl: About 23,300,000 results
Hardly surprising.
teh: About 85,100,000 results
So this seems to indicate that Google hit counts and intelligent speech are in an inverse proportion to each other.
Absolutely true.
But according to most 10,000+ users on this website, those "words" would be grammatical, or whatever the equivalent to that is for spellings.
We have 10K users? Really?
1:47 PM
Yeah you probably missed that.
I was thinking of Nohat, Kosmonaut, etc, who use the word grammatical as an indicator of something's being said following a certain rule by a certain group.
156 pages of users, 40 users per page: 156*40 = 6,240.
Even as an alternative to a more widely used, standard variant.
Uh, I meant 10,000+ as an adjective: those with over 10k rep.
Well, I bet Kosmonaut and nohat don't use teh and rofl in their linguistics writing.
Exactly! Nor would they use "might could"; but they do insist on the term grammatical.
You beat Kosmonaut at what?!
1:50 PM
I suppose they have a point. But I just would not use that term there.
What is grammatical is situational, modal, and always debatable, if not downright negotiable.
Or just in the general violent sense?
True; but I prefer a different definition of "grammatical" from theirs, that's all.
@Cerberus (Yes, I know - just as he knows what you meant by 10,000 users ;-)
1:51 PM
Damned English. If lead and read can be pronounced leed and reed or led and red, then why can't beat be pronounced bet?
I ask you.
@Psmears: Oh shi...
@psmears — No, that was an actual brain fart you witnessed. I'm big enough to admit them when they occur.
(I actually thought Rob misread my 10k; I sometimes misread the silliest things; people will often not believe that I really didn't get something exceedingly obvious...)
Ah yay!
Damn irony, messing up all communication, even while absent.
My scanning of the phrase interpreted it as "according to most [of the] 10,000+ users on this site ..."
Yeah that's what I thought.
1:54 PM
@Robusto Fair enough, I apologise for leaping to conclusions :)
See how much attention I pay to your ramblings? Far less than to my own ramblings.
That is, your next line was so weird that I reread what came before and then I reconstructed what must have happened.
@Rob: A well-known fact.
BTW @Robusto, regarding this question:
Q: Difference between "cross with you" and "angry with you"

tylaniCan anyone tell me what the difference is between 'I'm cross with you' and 'I'm angry with you'? I have the feeling that being cross with someone (by the way, can you be cross 'at'? or is one always cross 'with'?) is more used in Britain than in the US. Is that correct?

I notice Mitch has commented that "cross" wouldn't be understood by AmE speakers to have an "angry" meaning...
...but you seem to have understood it perfectly well. Does it have a particular British English connotation?
Or is it common/normal in the US too?
2:01 PM
I just gave Mitch a piece of my mind.
The word cross to mean angry is well understood in the States, I assure you.
Nice work :)
In fact, it's a way of stating that you're angry with someone in a softer way. It often acts as a euphemism for angry when someone doesn't want to be that confrontational.
Like saying heck when you mean hell ...
I suspected as much, especially since both you and @Martha didn't bat an eyelid in recommending how to use it...
It's used in exactly the same way the other side of the pond too...
I suspected as much.
I wonder where Mitch got his idea from.
2:05 PM
Who knows where people come up with this stuff?
The Devil lends it to them, so that they may propagate their evil language scheming all over the world?
Is it just me, or are websites increasingly encrusted with ads up with the wazooo?
Sorry, Adblock+.
How do you search for "answers.com + garbage" and not get answers.com domains?
Wouldn't know.
2:11 PM
I know, it was more a rhetorical question ;)
It just strikes to me its getting harder and harder to search for neutral things anymore.
There are GOOD domains, and BAD domains.
If you want to search in a domain, use site:answers.com garbage.
Yeah, I knew about site...
And if you want to exclude a site, you can use -site:answers.com
I agree that Google has been getting worse over the past years, which is partly their own fault.
But you haven't come up trying to search for a certain keyword and getting nothing but spam results?
2:13 PM
Yeah I know the feeling.
One reason I think StackExchange will really succeed is how clean their interface is compared to all the Q/A sites.
But you still get a load of trash (though that is to be expected when searching for garbage I suppose)
I come to this site and breath a sigh of relief, it's so different from all the other word reference forums.
@PSM: Ah so that was it!
@Bill: Are you against ad-blocking?
@psmears Well, what I was trying express was frustration: You have like 1 tidbit of information on a page, and the rest of the page are seamlessly added ads; I wanted to search for "answers.com + garbage" to find commiseration.
@Cerberus Ah, no. I'm not against ad-blocking. I'm not at my native computer right now, so I just dled Chrome and added Ad-Block.
@Cerberus But things really shouldn't have gotten that far. There are still prominently ranked sites that have basically no information ranked far above us in Google search, which is just wrong.
2:16 PM
Afaik, FF's Adblock+ is still the best, but I can't compare since I only use Chrome occasionally.
@Bill: You mean Q&A sites? Perhaps fame will come with age...
@Cerberus Yeah, Q/A sites. And the extremely hated Answers.com and Yahoo Answers.
For example, I was searching for Animal Farm to confirm something. (Would you describe Donkey Benjamin there as laconic?)
Animal Farm, as you know, is a classic work of the English language. Orwell wrote it in like '30s or '40s, this should be public domain available to anybody who wants to read it.
Moreover, we don't have a general questions site: that is probably why we get much less questions than answers.com, and why we have much better content too.
Donkey Benjamin... it is so long ago, I can't remember.
You know what laconic means?
D'oh of course you do, sorry.
But no a single damn site other than Gutenberg has it open for reading on the clickable results; you have wade through pages with dancing restaurant signs all over them.
This is Orwell we're talking about! If he's not safe, what is?!
Yeah ads are annoying.
Installing Adblock+ on FF will take only a minute. Use the Easylist filter, and you're done.
Yeah, the blocking of the ads is not the problem. It's the so little content that's the problem, and no extension can fix that.
2:20 PM
I mean, there are so many things that would annoy me in default configuations on computers; take only Windoze...
I've never clicked a little Google ad in my life; have you?
I've clicked the big ones on the search results, but never the little ones on domains.
I don't remember seeing them all too clearly; but no probably never!
Who's clicking those things! Yet they're everywhere, so I guess someone's making money off them...
They only need 0.0000001% of the viewers to buy something off those sites to make the ads worth while I think, because displaying ads is so damn cheap.
Another problem is I can't stop myself from clicking anyway. They have really managed to master SEO...they know exactly how much to clip just so you hope it might be relevant... See this answer here: answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081008105826AAaFhsd
2:24 PM
Then there is brand recognition: merely viewing the ad from the corner of an eye will impress their brand onto your memory, which will result in your recognizing it when you see it in a shop; and recognition breeds trust, as in, "hey I have seen this brand some time before, so it can't be totally obscure and evil".
I got that by searching "donkey benjamin quotes animal farm"
The problem is those aren't quotes from the donkey! They're just clips from the story.
It's a completely nonsense answer to the question, yet it's highly ranked.
This is the advantage to having printed copies of reference books. No ads!
One is from Snowball, the other is from narration.
@Billare I found myself more willing to click on them once I realised that doing so costs the advertiser money... so if there's a particularly loathsome advert, I sometimes click on it (and then close the browser tab shortly afterwards!)
Hmm yeah that is weird, bad answer. To be honest, I have never used those sites much, because of too low quality, as you say.
By the way, I counted zero ads on that page: Adblock+ is quite good, especially on big sites.
Okay I must be off to buy some presents.
2:28 PM
@psmears — The browser tab and all the concomitant popups (and their insidious cousins, the pop-behinds) it spawned.
Thanks for commiserating, I feel much better ;)
Laterz, Cerberus.
@Robusto I find that these days FF is quite good at blocking popups/pop-behinds, provided I don't ever click on anything within the page...
Yes, they are all evil. In fact, I think I'm totally desensitized to them. Maybe it's all subliminal or something, but I really doubt it.
I actively hate companies that pop up on me.
2:30 PM
I just don't go to answers.com anymore, period. It's like Ambrose Bierce's definition of aphorism: "an army of words escorting a corporal of thought" — in this case, each answers.com page is an army of ads and popups escorting a corporal of content.
Yeah, I blocked it on my other computer, I should have done so here.
Insidious site. Unfortunately, apparently the thing is alot of these sites are apparently quite profitable.
Sorry, I incorrectly gave you Bierce's definition of pleonasm. His definition of aphorism is "Pre-digested wisdom".
(I am officially away; but, again, use Adblock+ on FF! I see zero ads on answers.com. And use Noscript if you dislike pop-ups: I think I get maybe one pop-under ever few months while browsing.)
I use FF at work, but at home I'm too lazy and use Safari on my Mac. Only when I need the extra benefits of FF do I open it up here.
2:33 PM
The only non-trivial content on Answers.com is Wikipedia content. It peeves me that the Wikipedia organization allows them to run ads on that.
(Then conquer your laziness, I say!)
Safari? Eww..
Actually Safari's not bad at all, I just don't know why one would use Safari over Chrome now that it came out.
Chrome is deliciously quick.
And doesn't hang on sites like FF and Safari can do.
(I own a Mac too, by the way.)
@Robusto Do you agree that laconic has a uniform negative connotation?
@Billare — Not at all.
Mordant does not necessarily mean negative.
OK, good.
> 1800 E. Hervey Mourtray Fam. I. 149 This cold laconic note+let down all Emma's hopes. 1833 H. Martineau Berkeley Banker i. ii. 29 ‘None but friends, I see’, said the laconic Mr. Williams. 1850 Kingsley Alt. Locke xxix. (1879) 311 That+laconic dignity, which is the good side of the English peasants' character. 1888 A. K. Green Behind Closed Doors iii, ‘Trust me’ was his laconic rejoinder.
(From the OED.)
2:41 PM
But I suppose it would depend on your perspective. Laconic remarks may be viewed as negative by their target even while everyone else has a good laugh, as is often the case.
It's a form of wit, right?
Well, in the sense that bluntness and honesty are a form of wit, yes.
Here's one example of a laconic putdown: 'The composer Johannes Brahms was guest-conducting an orchestra, and in rehearsal he was asked by one of the musicians if he liked the tempo. He quipped: "Yes, yours especially so".'
How mean spirited of him.
Hm, I don't get it.
The musician was out of tempo with the rest of the orchestra.
(If that's how you say it.)
2:44 PM
@Cerberus — Well, the orchestra is supposed to follow the conductor's tempo. That's the humor.
@Rob: Yeah that's what I meant...
Ahh, I see. The "yours" is differentiated from the "orchestra's".
And another: "One famous example comes from the time of the invasion of Philip II of Macedon. With key Greek city-states in submission, he turned his attention to Sparta and sent a message: 'If I win this war, you will be slaves forever."The Spartan ephors sent back a one word reply: "If."'
Right, exactly.
OK, I was just making sure I was on solid standing WRT my comments on FX's answer.
Yeah Sparta is the greatest city of Laconia. They would know.
2:46 PM
In fact, I would go so far as to say that a laconic response is almost impossible to counter, except with another equally incisive laconic response.
@Cerberus — Read my reply to that question, if you haven't already.
Oh I haven't seen any question yet.
Q: Difference between ' laconic' and 'concise'?

dodoThose two words all seems by using a few words/a few steps to doing something.

Suppose Philip II had sent back a one-word reply to the Spartans: "When."
That would have possibly trumped the "If."
Yeah that's what I was thinking.
Nah...the "if" benefits by being symmetric and pwning at the same time.
If BLAH....If.
You know, until I read your Spartan "if" anecdote above, I never realized that laconic comes from Laconia. Stupid.
2:52 PM
Feb 10 at 16:06, by Robusto
That's why we go over this stuff.
Okay now I really need to go buy those presents. My money ain't spending itself.
What for?
What holiday are you celebrating?
You aren't a Catholic are you?
Hehe of course not!
Your country was the birthplace of fiery Protestanism.
2:53 PM
An Orangeman? Surely you jest!
Even Protestants have birthdays.
(I think that was Switzerland rather...)
But thanks!
No, it was Germany. Remember Martin Luther?
@Robusto Nope! What is that group again..
2:54 PM
Incidentally, it is a quiet act of resistance, because the Church opposed celebrating birthdays during the early Middle Ages.
@Robusto Argh, Jehovah's Witnesses, that's it.
But Zwingli and Calvin were truly fiery! Luther was a weakling.
@Cerberus — Well, the dance calendar was full with Saint's Mass days. Have you ever looked at The Book of Days?
Book of Days? I think not?
@Robusto You're right, I shouldn't have used "birthplace."
@Robusto I thinking more of the fiery part, and William of Orange.
2:55 PM
Again, the fiery part originated in Swiss thinkers!
My brother-in-law, who works for a Swiss company, says the Swiss are just like the Germans, only without the sense of humor.
Ugh, Wiki has too many Books of Days.
@Cerberus I'm forgotten my history, but they never checked anybody like Dutch did militarily..
Wait, German sense of humour? Is that like American culture, British cuisine, French modesty, and Dutch bravura?
@Cerberus I've completely forgotten European history, but I remember the Dutch being quite powerful...
@Robusto Yeah, I've heard like the opposite of you, that the Germans are a humorless bunch.
2:58 PM
The great religious wars caused by the rise of Protestantism were fought most fervently in the Low Countries and in Germany, that is true.
Feb 7 at 15:29, by Robusto
In heaven, the cooks are French, the engineers are German, and the police are English. In hell, the cooks are English, the engineers are French, and the police are German.
Funny... I know a similar joke, but in includes Americans...
Go ahead. I want to hear it.
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