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Thread: Really trivial stuff that bugs you

  1. #13711
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    Pipe cleaners are good for cleaning under keyboard keys.
    As I quit smoking around the turn of the century, I don't have too many of these left around the place.
    I guess that you can buy 'em at Arts 'n' Crafts shoppes, but the packaging will probably say "Pipe Cleaners" / "Note: not suitable for cleaning pipes."
    I had a friend who once noticed her grandfather cleaning out his pipe with one of those things (which she had only ever known as an element of kids' craft projects), and it was only as she asked him, "why are you putting that pipe cleaner in your... oh", that it dawned on her why they were called "pipe cleaners" in the first place.
    Conserve energy. Commute with the Hamiltonian.

  2. #13712
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    I just finished a crossword puzzle in the local paper.
    Clue: "Metric Thousand"
    Answer: "Milli"
    I swear I am not making it up, even checked the answers on the next page. Sheesh.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  3. #13713
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I just finished a crossword puzzle in the local paper.
    Clue: "Metric Thousand"
    Answer: "Milli"
    I swear I am not making it up, even checked the answers on the next page. Sheesh.
    Maybe they just forgot the “th” after “thousand”
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  4. #13714
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    Maybe they just forgot the “th” after “thousand”
    And it would still have been spelled wrong!
    ______Vanilli would have been a valid clue.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  5. #13715
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    I really do hate to be obtuse, but if the problem with the meaning is corrected, what is the problem with the spelling?
    A: "Things that are equal to the same are equal to each other"
    B: "The two sides of this triangle are things that are equal to the same"
    C: "If A and B are true, Z must be true"
    D: "If A and B and C are true, Z must be true"
    E: "If A and B and C and D are true, Z must be true"

    Therefore, Z: "The two sides of this triangle are equal to each other"

  6. #13716
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21st Century Schizoid Man View Post
    I really do hate to be obtuse, but if the problem with the meaning is corrected, what is the problem with the spelling?
    I think it's just that the spelling would correct the meaning. If you said "metric thousandth" it would be correct, but a metric thousand is "kilo", not "milli". So I agree that technically it's incorrect, but for a crossword clue I think it's easy to get.

    ETA: Although on second hand, maybe that wasn't what they meant... If so, I'd ask the same question!
    As above, so below

  7. #13717
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    Milli-, of course, is from Latin mille, "thousand"; while kilo- is from Greek chilioi, "thousand". Likewise with the Latin/Greek pairings centi-/hecto- "hundred" and deci-/deca- "ten". Not that that changes their meanings as metric prefixes, but it's interesting that the metric meanings are purely conventional rather than etymological.

    Well, I think it's interesting. Carry on.

    Grant Hutchison

  8. #13718
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21st Century Schizoid Man View Post
    I really do hate to be obtuse, but if the problem with the meaning is corrected, what is the problem with the spelling?
    Two L's.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  9. #13719
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Two L's.
    Oh nuts! Two L's is correct, apparently. I suspect I've been spelling millimeter wrong for decades!
    Oh, wait: I spell it "mm". Ok, then.
    Its still wrong by a factor of one million.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  10. #13720
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    I think that two Ls is correct, and in your post there were two Ls. Maybe it only had one, and your post got autocorrected?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    As above, so below

  11. #13721
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I think that two Ls is correct, and in your post there were two Ls. Maybe it only had one, and your post got autocorrected?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    No, I just messed up. I blame 2020!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  12. #13722
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I suspect I've been spelling millimeter wrong for decades!
    Yes, it’s “millimetre”

    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Its still wrong by a factor of one million.
    Good enough for government!

    I’d say something about “Its”, but I’m afraid of that principle by which, every spelling/grammatical correction, itself contains an error.
    A: "Things that are equal to the same are equal to each other"
    B: "The two sides of this triangle are things that are equal to the same"
    C: "If A and B are true, Z must be true"
    D: "If A and B and C are true, Z must be true"
    E: "If A and B and C and D are true, Z must be true"

    Therefore, Z: "The two sides of this triangle are equal to each other"

  13. #13723
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21st Century Schizoid Man View Post

    I’d say something about “Its”, but I’m afraid of that principle by which, every spelling/grammatical correction, itself contains an error.
    Actually, you did say something about "Its".

    And just a minor annoyance regarding that (trivial stuff that bugs me!), sometimes my iPhone wants to "correct" "its" to "it's" when it's wrong... I have no idea why my iPhone makes such idiotic decisions. I guess that it's simply that I type "It's" more frequently than "its," and that it's (now I'm using my computer so can type at will without risk of being "corrected") simply taking a sort of majority vote from its data...
    As above, so below

  14. #13724
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    No, I just messed up. I blame 2020!
    Yeah, 2020 has been a pretty bad year all in all. By all means!
    As above, so below

  15. #13725
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21st Century Schizoid Man View Post
    I’d say something about “Its”, but I’m afraid of that principle by which, every spelling/grammatical correction, itself contains an error.
    Muphry's Law. (Yes, that is how it's spelled.)

    Grant Hutchison

  16. #13726
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21st Century Schizoid Man View Post
    Yes, it’s “millimetre”



    Good enough for government!

    I’d say something about “Its”, but I’m afraid of that principle by which, every spelling/grammatical correction, itself contains an error.
    It's a homophone of its. Which is possessive and by rights ought to contain an apostrophe. I hate homophones. Eye type them awl the dam thyme.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  17. #13727
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    It's a homophone of its. Which is possessive and by rights ought to contain an apostrophe.
    Possessive pronouns, though. Yours, ours, hers, theirs, its. Nary an apostrophe.

    Grant Hutchison

  18. #13728
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    "Nary" is a good word. I should try using it!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  19. #13729
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    "Nary" is a good word. I should try using it!
    It's nigh on time that you did.
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  20. #13730
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Possessive pronouns, though. Yours, ours, hers, theirs, its. Nary an apostrophe.

    Grant Hutchison
    In the Southern U.S., they have y'all. Does that possessive get a second apostrophe?

  21. #13731
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    All I ever hear of from auto-correction is the trouble it causes. At least if I miss a button it usually creates an obvious non-word from which the reader can easily determine the intention. An actual word that doesn't belong there obscures or alters the intended meaning much more thoroughly. I don't get why anybody ever leaves it on.

    But that was a "don't get", not a "bugs me", so...

    It bugs me when I need to watch somebody else who seems to have discovered computers about an hour ago try to use a computer the hardest way they can. For example, if somebody is typing in one of those little text boxes on a website and decides (s)he needs to back up about 4 or 5 characters to fix a mistake, and (s)he reaches for the mouse. (And these are typically the same people whose response when the computer catches a misspelling is universally to pick the first "correction" at the top of the list so fast they couldn't have even read the alternatives, nevermind actually considered which one was best or just typing the correction without even using the suggestion list.)

  22. #13732
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    In the Southern U.S., they have y'all. Does that possessive get a second apostrophe?
    Yes.
    Y'all — second person plural: Y'all
    Y'all's — second person plural, possesive
    All y'all — second person plural, inclusive
    All y'all's — Second person, inclusive, possesive

    On the topic of spelling, it bugs me when folks spell it as ya'll and insist that it's correct. Really y'all should know better.
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  23. #13733
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    In the Southern U.S., they have y'all. Does that possessive get a second apostrophe?
    Yes.
    There is debate, unsurprisingly. (Which reminds me I should have written "possessive definite pronouns" as the label for my little list.)

    I do have a soft spot for "you guys's", though.

    Grant Hutchison

  24. #13734
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    I think that most applications have a way to edit the autocorrect list/file/dictionary to suit your own particular weaknesses but avoid overcompensation.

    For example, if you tend to type "fro" when trying to type "for," most autocorrectors think that's just fine, as that word is in the dictionary it uses, as in "scattered to and fro." So, it goes uncorrected and unflagged. Thus you might submit a manuscript that reads "with liberty and justice fro all," and end up looking silly. Even though "fro" hasn't been written intentionally since about the time that Shakespeare retired.

    We non-poets could thus eliminate "fro" form frmo from the autocorrect list, after which it would be flagged as incorrect. Even if you do use the word for some reason (as I did) that's a small price to pay, as you'll probably be using "for" all the time.

    I know that I can't type "Europe" without getting "Eurpoe" instead, just did it this time, something involving dyslexic fingers. I really should edit my appications to fix that without even asking. Too lazy, but maybe one day.

    (I also tend to hit numeric keys while typing letters in the second keyboard row, and I get "words" with numerals nested within, and these don't get flagged. I'm not sure how to correct this -- I'd probably need to use a Regular Expression in the correction.)

  25. #13735
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    There is debate, unsurprisingly. (Which reminds me I should have written "possessive definite pronouns" as the label for my little list.)

    I do have a soft spot for "you guys's", though.

    Grant Hutchison
    That's a reasonable argument.


    I guess that having a second-person plural pronoun that differs from the singular version is customary in most languages, but was lost at some point in English.
    "Nahh, I'm not blaming you all, just you there!" Some speakers can put "youse" to good effect.

  26. #13736
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    That's a reasonable argument.
    Yep, I'm good with that, too. It should be consistent across the personal pronouns.


    I guess that having a second-person plural pronoun that differs from the singular version is customary in most languages, but was lost at some point in English.
    "Nahh, I'm not blaming you all, just you there!" Some speakers can put "youse" to good effect.
    Language...as does nature...abhors a vacuum. After you replaced ye for both the singular and plural second persons, It appears that many populations developed their own 2Pp variants: y'all, youse (guys), you'ns, etc. I recall reading sometime back, in a few sources, that it may not have been a simple case of contracting you all. Some suggest that it came from the Scottish/Irish ye aw, while others point to the use of ye all and y'all in British literature. I'm sorry to say that I'm not up to speed on current theory.
    Last edited by PetersCreek; 2020-Nov-23 at 09:53 PM.
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  27. #13737
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    Adding to the confusion is the use of "you" as an impersonal pronoun: "You shouldn't eat anything bigger than your head," with no particular "you" in mind.
    In British English, you (impersonal again) can replace the "you" with "one", which makes the distinction clear: "One shouldn't eat anything bigger than one's head." (And because "one" is an indefinite pronoun, it takes the possessive apostrophe.)
    But I was once chidden on a forum dedicated to words and etymology for using "one"--some Americans seem to particularly dislike it, for some reason--so I tried to switch to "you". And immediately got flamed by someone who understood my impersonal "you" to be personally directed at him. I think it was around then that I left the forum ...

    Grant Hutchison

  28. #13738
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Adding to the confusion is the use of "you" as an impersonal pronoun: "You shouldn't eat anything bigger than your head," with no particular "you" in mind.
    In British English, you (impersonal again) can replace the "you" with "one", which makes the distinction clear: "One shouldn't eat anything bigger than one's head." (And because "one" is an indefinite pronoun, it takes the possessive apostrophe.)
    But I was once chidden on a forum dedicated to words and etymology for using "one"--some Americans seem to particularly dislike it, for some reason--so I tried to switch to "you". And immediately got flamed by someone who understood my impersonal "you" to be personally directed at him. I think it was around then that I left the forum ...

    Grant Hutchison
    When I lived in the US, I bought some videos from BBC America. They start with a trailer that has some animated version of a person that I think is supposed to be the queen, with a completely over-the-top accent that is how RP is supposedly perceived in the US. It concludes with "One wants one's BBC", with the each "one" emphasised rather more than I would.

    So I suppose "one" is something used in the US, if one wants a rather cartoonish British accent . . .
    A: "Things that are equal to the same are equal to each other"
    B: "The two sides of this triangle are things that are equal to the same"
    C: "If A and B are true, Z must be true"
    D: "If A and B and C are true, Z must be true"
    E: "If A and B and C and D are true, Z must be true"

    Therefore, Z: "The two sides of this triangle are equal to each other"

  29. #13739
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    The use of one in British English may be through wanting to avoid saying I. Using I was thought to be too egotistical so instead of I want this...we said One wants this.. and today the same feeling drives “me and him were walking...” which sounds awful (ie bad) to my old fashioned ear, although we made fun of “my husband and I” in the same context as “one”. It became less socially rude to self refer with aggressive individualism, where before “you” was used to again avoid I. You know. You couldn’t make it up. Means the same as One could not make it up or I could not.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
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  30. #13740
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    The use of one in British English may be through wanting to avoid saying I.
    Yes, there were people who used it that way, like using the passive voice. Less so now, I think, as you say. But the original and long-standing usage was as an indefinite personal pronoun, going back (according to the OED) as far as the fifteenth century. The OED describes the usage in which people use "one" to refer to themselves specifically as occurring "in later language", and their citations don't seem to start illustrating that usage until the twentieth century. Certainly (as in 21st Century Schizoid Man's example), it's a usage that nowadays suggests a sort of antiquated British poshness.
    But quite what's objectionable about using it as an indefinite pronoun, to avoid the occasional confusion that can arise from the indefinite "you", is beyond me.

    Grant Hutchison

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