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Thread: Read that again?

  1. #3361
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    A CNN news article says:

    “Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer is asking residents to conserve water because liquid oxygen, used to treat the community's water supply, is needed to treat the surge of Covid-19 patients in the community.”

    . . . but reading through the entire article, there is never an explanation of why local water usage affects hospital liquid oxygen supplies. I would think that’s a rather important detail. I ended up doing a web search to see if I could find an article that actually explained the issue being reported and found this:

    https://www.baynews9.com/fl/tampa/ne...s-in-dire-need

    It turns out that in some places, liquid oxygen is used in water treatment, apparently as a replacement for chlorine. In this exceptional situation, the hospitals are using so much that there isn’t enough locally for both them and water treatment. They say that if people don’t limit water usage sufficiently, they likely will prioritize the hospitals and warn residents to boil drinking water.

    It’s much more useful and informative when issues are explained. I know if I was told to limit water use, but they didn’t clearly explain why, I would be less likely to take it seriously. Also, if I lived there, I would want to know if there was a reasonable cost method to change things so this conflict wouldn’t occur again.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

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  2. #3362
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    Oh, oops, I see now I missed the one bit about “water treatment” in the quote. After reading the article twice. My bad. Still, I would have liked more detail in article.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  3. #3363
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    "He has been the Angels’ best pitcher and best pitcher while occupying only one roster spot."

    So writes Andres Chavez, columnist for The Cold Wire. Oops!

    Of course he's referring to Shohei Ohtani, who is having unprecedented success at a dual role: He's 8-1, with 127 strikeouts in 105 innings, taking a regular turn in Los Angeles' pitching rotation. He's also the designated hitter on days when he doesn't pitch, and leads the league in home runs and slugging percentage.

    Chavez obviously intended to write "best pitcher and best hitter," or vice-versa. I'll bet he decided to switch the order of that tribute at the last moment and only managed half of that. (I know I've done that sort of thing.)

    It's hardly unprecedented to be the best pitcher and the best pitcher while occupying one roster spot. Rather, it's mandatory that each team have one of those.

  4. #3364
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    I enjoyed Richard K. Morgan's Altered Carbon science fiction novels, but took a pass on his Land Fit For Heroes fantasy series. (As a general rule, I don't buy books with pictures of swords on the cover, unless they're non-fiction works about swords.)
    But I've been peripherally aware of the titles in the latter series: The Steel Remains, The Cold Commands and The Dark Defiles. Today I suddenly realized that I've always mentally parsed these as The [adjective + plural noun]. But on reflection it seems more likely they're The [noun + third-person singular verb].

    Grant Hutchison
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  5. #3365
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    I was stuck in a slow drive-through at a Wendy's. Two signs caught my attention.



    FRESH SINCE DAY ONE

    I always thought that Day One meant a long time ago. Doesn't suggest "fresh" to me.



    REAL FOOD
    REAL PEOPLE

    Made me think Soylent Green!

  6. #3366
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    We passed one of these illuminated message signs along the highway yesterday: ROADWAY PAINGING AHEAD. EXPECT DELAYS.
    My wife turned and said "Did that say 'painging'?" Yes, yes it did. To be fair, the 'g' is just below the 't'.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  7. #3367
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    A review in the Times today, of Rob Bell's new documentary series about lighthouses, Building The Impossible, claims that workers building the Bell Rock lighthouse in Scotland "risked daily drowning" as the tide came in. Drowning's bad enough, but drowning every day would be very unpleasant.

    Grant Hutchison
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  8. #3368
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    We passed one of these illuminated message signs along the highway yesterday: ROADWAY PAINGING AHEAD. EXPECT DELAYS.
    My wife turned and said "Did that say 'painging'?" Yes, yes it did. To be fair, the 'g' is just below the 't'.
    There used to be a hand-painted sign at the side of the road on the way north along Loch Lomond that advertised "HAND WEAVNIG". It was there for years. Drove me mad.

    Grant Hutchison
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  9. #3369
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    From this article, titled "Thousands more people than usual are dying ... but it’s not from Covid":

    Although excess deaths are expected during the winter months, when cold weather and seasonal infections combine to place pressure on the NHS, summer generally sees a lull.
    I must be confused about what "excess deaths" means, because I would've thought it meant "beyond what's expected". "Expected excess deaths" seems like an oxymoron here.
    Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn

  10. #3370
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    From this article, titled "Thousands more people than usual are dying ... but it’s not from Covid":



    I must be confused about what "excess deaths" means, because I would've thought it meant "beyond what's expected". "Expected excess deaths" seems like an oxymoron here.
    More people die in the winter than the summer in the UK. The winter bulge above the average rate is called "excess winter mortality". And it's expected to occur. That's just what it's called, unfortunately. It's like the expected excess food consumption on Christmas Day.

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  11. #3371
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    From this article, titled "Thousands more people than usual are dying ... but it’s not from Covid":



    I must be confused about what "excess deaths" means, because I would've thought it meant "beyond what's expected". "Expected excess deaths" seems like an oxymoron here.
    I kind of feel the same, but I think it means “excess compared to what you would expect on an average over the entire year.” In which case it makes sense.


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  12. #3372
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    It's confusing within the context of the article, even if it might make sense as a stand-alone sentence.

    The whole point of the article is that summer deaths this year are higher than previous years, not that they're higher than other seasons. To switch that context, but still use the same terminology ("excess deaths"), is needlessly confusing.

    EDIT: If this year's winter deaths are higher than previous years, how are they going to express that as a problem, when they've already told us that excess deaths are normal in winter?
    Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn

  13. #3373
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    EDIT: If this year's winter deaths are higher than previous years, how are they going to express that as a problem, when they've already told us that excess deaths are normal in winter?
    "Winter excess mortality is higher than normal this year." It requires the reader to be familiar with the standard meaning of "winter excess mortality", or for the writer to explain that meaning, according to the anticipated audience, but that's not a problem unique to this phrase.

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  14. #3374
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    I don't think I'm making myself clear. Let me riff of something Jens said:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I kind of feel the same, but I think it means “excess compared to what you would expect on an average over the entire year.” In which case it makes sense.
    Right. But in the previous paragraph, the article says:
    Since the beginning of July, there have been thousands of excess deaths that were not caused by coronavirus.
    Here they clearly mean compared to previous years. Which is why it's so annoying that they then use the exact same words to refer to something that explicitly happens every year.

    More importantly, when you want people to understand that "excess deaths" means "more deaths than we should expect to be seeing" - because you think they should be concerned about it - then don't turn around in the next paragraph and use "excess deaths" to mean "a number of deaths we always see, every year".

    There are explanations for it, and I understand what the author was trying to convey. But it seems needlessly (and counter-productively) confusing. Even for the reader who figures it out, every subsequent article that they read which uses the words "excess deaths", they're going to be wondering if the author is referring to something normal or not.
    Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn

  15. #3375
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    I don't think I'm making myself clear.
    I think you're making yourself clear enough. I was simply pointing out that "expected excess deaths" is not actually an oxymoron, and that it's easy enough to deal linguistically with occasions on which the winter death rate exceeds the expected excess.
    The journalist you linked to unfortunately used two standard meanings of "excess mortality" without clearly distinguishing between them, but that wasn't what I was commenting on.

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  16. #3376
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    The headline below made no sense to me until the third reading, when I realized that the “k” is lower case.

    White House plan aims to help key West Coast ports stay open 24-7 to ease supply chain bottlenecks
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  17. #3377
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    A CNN headline:

    America's largest state has the highest gas prices in the country

    That surprised me: Alaska has the highest gas prices? I thought California had the highest prices by far. So I read the article, and right at the start:

    California gas prices hit an average price of $4.658 a gallon Friday, about a penny short of the highest recorded average price of $4.671 for regular gasoline set in October 2012, according to AAA.

    America's largest state has the highest gas prices in the country. The national average dropped slightly to $3.416 Friday.


    Err, so it was about California after all. California is the third largest state, after Alaska and Texas. It *does* have the largest population, but population is never mentioned in the article or the headline. So is the author just ignorant or simply not being careful in wording?

    Article here, btw:

    https://www.cnn.com/2021/11/12/energ...igh/index.html

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  18. #3378
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    $3.416! For a moment, I thought the price had hit pi dollars and expected something cataclysmic must be in waiting, but I had it wrong.

  19. #3379
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    A CNN headline:

    America's largest state has the highest gas prices in the country

    That surprised me: Alaska has the highest gas prices? I thought California had the highest prices by far. So I read the article, and right at the start:

    California gas prices hit an average price of $4.658 a gallon Friday, about a penny short of the highest recorded average price of $4.671 for regular gasoline set in October 2012, according to AAA.

    America's largest state has the highest gas prices in the country. The national average dropped slightly to $3.416 Friday.


    Err, so it was about California after all. California is the third largest state, after Alaska and Texas. It *does* have the largest population, but population is never mentioned in the article or the headline. So is the author just ignorant or simply not being careful in wording?

    Article here, btw:

    https://www.cnn.com/2021/11/12/energ...igh/index.html
    I'm very much giving them a pass on that one. If someone asks "what's the largest city in your state", I'm saying "Seattle", regardless of area.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  20. #3380
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    They could have easily said “most populous state” or clarified in the article they were counting size by population, but didn’t. A city is different since you need buildings to house the population, so higher population cities generally are going to be larger in terms of buildings and infrastructure than low population ones.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  21. #3381
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    I noticed these signs at the parking garage at the mall today.





    If the text doesn't show up well, it reads: Caution: Low Clearance 7'

    I know the problem they are trying to solve - heavy trucks on the top deck, but why not say that instead of "low clearance"?
    Solfe

  22. #3382
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    If the text doesn't show up well, it reads: Caution: Low Clearance 7'

    I know the problem they are trying to solve - heavy trucks on the top deck, but why not say that instead of "low clearance"?
    I think once you create the physical barrier, you're obliged to state the clearance.
    We have a lot of these signs hereabouts. I suppose they could be labelled, "We know you're optimistic that you can get your ludicrously large camper van up this road, but we're not, so don't even think about it." But "Clearance 2.3m" does the job, while also largely preventing people jamming their ludicrously large camper van under the sign, and making it their fault if they do.

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  23. #3383
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    That reminds me. People often place bicycles upright on roof carriers. That’s generally not a height problem.
    However, I once saw a big SUV with bicycles on top being carried on a flatbed tow truck. The bikes looked high enough to be an issue.

    I wonder if they made it to their destination, or if the vehicle owner’s bad day got worse.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  24. #3384
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    That reminds me. People often place bicycles upright on roof carriers. That’s generally not a height problem.
    Ha. I once spent three hours stuck in a mountain car-park because a bunch of guys with their bikes racked on the roof of an SUV had become entangled with the clearance-limit bar at the entrance.
    Interestingly, they did this on the way out. They'd done a two-car cross-country cycle, so the vehicle carrying the bikes out had originally entered the car park without bikes loaded.

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  25. #3385
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    I think once you create the physical barrier, you're obliged to state the clearance.
    We have a lot of these signs hereabouts. I suppose they could be labelled, "We know you're optimistic that you can get your ludicrously large camper van up this road, but we're not, so don't even think about it." But "Clearance 2.3m" does the job, while also largely preventing people jamming their ludicrously large camper van under the sign, and making it their fault if they do.

    Grant Hutchison
    I think it's funny because there's nothing but sky above the barriers.
    Solfe

  26. #3386
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    I think it's funny because there's nothing but sky above the barriers.
    Yes, that's what ours look like. Usually just a rectangular frame of tubular steel and a "clearance" sign, spanning an otherwise undistinguished unsurfaced track in the middle of nowhere.

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  27. #3387
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    There is an underground parking garage at a shopping centre in one of my province's cities with an inaccurate clearance bar due to its peculiar location. The roadway into the garage begins level at the street, then abruptly pitches down at a steep grade, and lastly returns to level a few metres before entering the building (also an abrupt change in grade). The ceiling height at the entrance appears to be plenty for a full size pickup, but inside the structure there is plumbing and ductwork hanging from it, so it's actually much less. The clearance bar has the maximum safe height painted on it but they've hung it right where the slope ends. I was driving my extended cab Ford F150 which sits fairly tall, but is shorter than what was painted on the sign, so figured I was okay. Still, the rear of the cab contacted the bar because as the front tires came off the slope onto the level part of the floor, the changing geometry moved the roof upward and into that bar. I said some unkind words and wondered whether it had scratched the roof, but had no further issues once inside.

  28. #3388
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    ESPN's online site had a headline:

    NEW NEW JERSEY JERSEY

    Looks like a glitch, but is in fact a stitch, more or less. It's about the New Jersey Devils hockey team debuting a new uniform shirt for special occasions.



    It's thus a bit self-referential.

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