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[P]
Band Wins Nude Smurf Throw

By kpaul in Culture
Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 07:11:04 AM EST
Tags: Humour (all tags)
Humour

Or, perhaps a better title would be 'Fun with Words (and Numbers)', an anagram of the existing title. (Or is that the other way around?) In any case, knowing that K5 is infested...er, full of math geeks, I want to dole out some love for the word geeks. Yes, words can be fun too.

To whet your appetite, I offer up some amazing facts about words that concern numbers. For example, 'four' is the only number that when you spell it out contains as many letters as the number it represents. Also, Honorificabilitudinitatibus, a whopping 27 letters long, is the longest English word consisting strictly of alterating consonants and vowels. Also note that 'interchangeability' is the word in the English language that contains the letters to form the most numbers. Using letters from it, one can form the words three, eight, nine, ten, thirteen, thirty, thirty-nine, eighty, eighty-nine, ninety, and ninety-eight.


Words and numbers also collide in other areas. Take pi for example. As you probably know, pi represents an endless number (except in Indiana maybe). Hiroyuki Goto memorized this number out to 42,000 digits. It took him nine hours to complete the recitation. Wow.

How can something like that be accomplished, you ask? Mnemonics are one area that can help. The technique consists of using words that are the same length of the digit in pi. For example:
How I like a drink, alcoholic of course,
after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics.
That phrase contains the first fifteen decimal places of pi encoded in the length of the words. For more decimal places, simple increase the poem length:
Now, I wish I could recollect pi.
"Eureka," cried the great inventor.
Christmas Pudding; Christmas Pie
Is the problem's very center.
The above allows you to memorize the first twenty-one digits of pi. Not enough? Or not a good enough poem? Try this rework of Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven, with each word representing (sequentially) a digit of pi. The longest pi mnenomic is right around 4,000 words (with each one representing a digit of pi). That's a lot of pi.

Pi is indeed an intriguing number, even to someone like me who enjoys words more. There's one chap out there who used base-26 number to letter translation of the digits of pi. Surprise! They found words in pi. What mysterious message was brought back from the excursion into the depths of the bottomless number? These are the first words found in base-26 pi:
O, lo -
Rod trod steel.
(Oxygen subplot.)
Of course, the punctuation wasn't found in pi but was later placed there by a human.

Ok, now that I hopefully have all the math geeks' interest (or at least 4.56% of them - on average 3.23% of their interest), let's take a look at anagrams a little more closely. By rearranging letters to form new words you get what's called an anagram. Don't let the word scare you! They're actually fun. Some more famous anagrams are:
  • neal stephenson = Leans On The Pens
  • Guinness Draught = Drug naughtiness
  • Elvis = Lives
  • The Morse Code = Here Come Dots
  • Mr. Mojo risin' = Jim Morrison
  • Mother-in-law = Woman Hitler
  • Eleven plus two =Twelve plus one
  • microsoft incorporated = Sacred to moronic profit
  • George Herbert Walker Bush = Huge Berserk Rebel Warthog
  • George Bush = He bugs Gore
  • Anagrams have been with the human race for quite some time, with those in the Middle Ages also rearranging letters to acquire new words. Once mankind realized the power and hilarity of anagrams, people began rearranging larger and larger numbers of letters (the advent of computers helped a lot with this). An anagram version of The Raven by Poe is out there. He's not the only bard to be rearranged either. Here's a famous line from Shakespeare's Hamlet:
    To be or not to be: that is the question, whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.
    When you rearrange all the letters, you can create:
    In one of the Bard's best-thought-of tragedies, our insistent hero, Hamlet, queries on two fronts about how life turns rotten.
    Other works by the bard have been rearranged as well, including 'The marriage of True Minds.' It was transformed into another masterpiece entitled, 'Oh Damn! Must I Refrigerate?'

    Are you now drooling and excited about the possibilities letters and words offer in addition to numbers? Are you wondering, what next? Well, you can construct your very own anagrams! Sounds amazing, but it's true! Stop the insanity and create your own anagram today! There are numerous online anagram generators, with some that even allow you to search for long anagrams.

    If you're really hard core, you can download your own software to find anagrams. I've managed to find free software for Windows, *nix (various flavors), Linux, and Palm OS Unfortunately, I could only find a shareware version for Macintosh (unless you run X).

    For my own fun with words, I rearranged Kuro5hin.org and came up with (among others), "groK5 in hour", and "honK our rig5."

    Ok, maybe the mystery of the universe can't be solved by simply rearranging letters. Still a little bit of fun, though, if you're tired of having numbers night after night after night. Spice it up a little and go for some word fun! Words and letters can be just as exhilarating as numbers! Really!

    This K5 post was brought to you by the letters A and K, and the number 5.

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    Poll
    The best anagram for Kuro5hin.org is:
    o oh... [grinS] ...or uK. 1%
    o or; 5hogun irK 0%
    o Shun rigor, oK? 16%
    o no ri5K? rough! 10%
    o on ru5h, i grok 10%
    o irK! goon ru5h! 13%
    o groin ru5h OK? 37%
    o groK5 in hour 9%

    Votes: 106
    Results | Other Polls

    Related Links
    o Kuro5hin
    o words can be fun
    o Honorifica bilitudinitatibus
    o 'interchan geability'
    o except in Indiana maybe
    o Hiroyuki Goto memorized
    o rework of Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven
    o pi mnenomic
    o base-26 number to letter translation
    o more famous anagrams
    o quite some time
    o anagram version of The Raven
    o 'Oh Damn! Must I Refrigerate?'
    o online
    o anagram
    o generators
    o long
    o anagrams
    o Windows
    o *nix
    o various flavors
    o Linux
    o Palm OS
    o shareware version for Macintosh
    o A
    o K
    o number 5
    o Also by kpaul


    Display: Sort:
    Band Wins Nude Smurf Throw | 210 comments (199 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden)
    honorificabilitudinity (4.25 / 4) (#2)
    by martingale on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 10:48:45 PM EST

    I'm impressed. I just checked with the OED and in fact it is an English word. Due to the ending "ibus", I had assumed it was latin, and I was all ready to tell you the ending in English should be "ibous" if anything. However, OED is never wrong and you are right. Great!

    whew. (none / 0) (#3)
    by kpaul on Tue Nov 12, 2002 at 10:54:29 PM EST

    I hadn't checked it for myself, and took the website at its word. ;)


    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]

    Anagram me (4.00 / 1) (#9)
    by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 12:27:39 AM EST

    I get a kick out of the anagrams for my nickname.. they are much better than the ones for my real name. Example: Soppy Irate Cuban. I should really register that..

    Kpaul posted a bunch of them here

    --
    jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.

    Pi (1.52 / 19) (#12)
    by STFUYHBT on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 01:12:44 AM EST

    Here's a little-known fact about pi: pi is not considered to be a rational number by mathematicians. That means if expressed as a decimal, its digits will go on forever. However the exact value of pi can be expressed by the fraction 22 / 7. Irrational numbers such as pi can be expressed as fractions.

    -
    "Of all the myriad forms of life here, the 'troll-diagnostic' is surely the lowest, yes?" -medham
    I know you're a troll, but: (1.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Quick Star on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 01:49:10 AM EST

    22/7 is just the greek approximation of Pi...  The chineese were actually much closer with their fraction...  Bonus points if you now it.

    "absolutely no one can sex a lobster without cutting it open" -- rusty
    [ Parent ]

    355/113? (nt) (3.00 / 1) (#16)
    by SanSeveroPrince on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 02:24:52 AM EST



    ----

    Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think


    [ Parent ]
    Bingo (2.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Quick Star on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 07:43:21 AM EST

    It's still an approximation, but yes - that's much closer to true pi.  :-)

    "absolutely no one can sex a lobster without cutting it open" -- rusty
    [ Parent ]

    Pi (3.00 / 1) (#17)
    by gbd on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 02:57:44 AM EST

    Not only is pi an irrational number, it is a transcendental number (along with virtually all real numbers.) Rational numbers (even algebraic numbers) are extraordinarily "rare" (in the grand scheme of things.)

    --
    Gunter glieben glauchen globen.
    [ Parent ]
    But then (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by gazbo on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 06:15:59 AM EST

    Real numbers are rare in the grand scheme of things, and I guess if you try hard enough you could say the same for complex numbers.

    -----
    Topless, revealing, nude pics and vids of Zora Suleman! Upskirt and down blouse! Cleavage!
    Hardcore ZORA SULEMAN pics!

    [ Parent ]

    Reals are as common as Complex numbers (3.00 / 1) (#91)
    by zakalwe on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 10:26:39 AM EST

    Real numbers are rare in the grand scheme of things, and I guess if you try hard enough you could say the same for complex numbers.
    The set of complex numbers has the same cardinality as the Reals, so I don't really see how you can say that one is more rare than the other. By contrast, there is a big difference between the rationals and the reals.

    [ Parent ]
    You are of course right (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by gazbo on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 10:30:44 AM EST

    It is too long since I practiced my maths skills.

    -----
    Topless, revealing, nude pics and vids of Zora Suleman! Upskirt and down blouse! Cleavage!
    Hardcore ZORA SULEMAN pics!

    [ Parent ]

    Really? (none / 0) (#120)
    by warrax on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 02:41:20 PM EST

    The set of complex numbers has the same cardinality as the Reals, [...]

    I would think that it doesn't, since the set of real numbers and the set of complex numbers aren't homeomorphic. Don't kill me if I'm wrong, it's been a few years since I took a topology class. Or maybe I'm just confused about the definition of cardinality. Please enlighten me.

    -- "Guns don't kill people. I kill people."
    [ Parent ]

    #R <= #C and #C <= #R (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by carlossch on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 04:12:06 PM EST

    Or maybe I'm just confused about the definition of cardinality. Please enlighten me.

    It's been a while also for me, but if IIRC, it goes like this (let #N be the cardinality of the set N):

    When you're reasoning about infinite sets, you say that #A <= #B whenever there is an injective function from A to B. (intuitively, you can "fit" all of A inside B)

    Let C be the set of the complex numbers and R be the set of the real numbers. What we'll do is show that #R <= #C and #C <= #R, and, so, #C = #R.

    The first part is easy:

    f : R -> C
    f(x) = x + 0*i

    this is clearly injective, and so we have that #R <= #C.

    The second part is somewhat tricky, and it resembles the original "infinite hotel room" arguments about infinite sets. We'll first define some auxiliary functions. Let frac be the fractional part of a number and int the integer part. We'll also use two functions that are similar, one which will work on the integer part, and one which will work on the fractional part.

    These functions will intersperse the actual digits of the numbers with zeroes, so that we can zip two of them together (and extract them later). The first function, intersperse_int, works like this:

    intersperse_int(1234) = 10203040
    intersperse_int(100) = 10000

    The second function, works in a similar manner, but for the fractional part.

    intersperse_frac(0.123) = 0.010203
    intersperse_frac(1/3) = 0.03030303...

    You might have and idea of what we'll do with these auxiliary functions now. The mapping from C to R is defined as:

    g : C -> R
    g(a + bi) = intersperse_frac(frac(a)) * 10 + intersperse_int(int(a))) +
                intersperse_frac(frac(b)) + intersperse_int(int(b))) / 10

    for example:

    g(3.45 + 13/3i) = 0.4050 + 30 * 10 + 0.0303030303... + 4 = 34.43453030303...

    We zipped the numbers together in a way that ensures g is injective. So, #C <= #R, and #C = #R. A similiar trick can be used to prove that every non-degenerate finite interval of the reals has the same cardinality as the whole set. Also weird is the fact that every vector space over the reals has the same cardinality, or, more generally, the cartesian product of two infinite sets does not increase its cardinality (the power set operation does, however)

    HTH,
    Carlos

    -- He took a duck in the face at two hundred and fifty knots.
    [ Parent ]

    Oops - small correction (none / 0) (#141)
    by carlossch on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 04:32:44 PM EST

    The last sentence should read "... generally, the cartesian product of an infinite set with itself does not increase its cardinality ..."

    (The cardinality of the cartesian product of two different infinite set equals the largest cardinality of the two sets)

    Carlos
    -- He took a duck in the face at two hundred and fifty knots.
    [ Parent ]

    Very cool. Thanks [nt] (none / 0) (#205)
    by warrax on Sat Nov 16, 2002 at 11:08:56 AM EST



    -- "Guns don't kill people. I kill people."
    [ Parent ]
    Exact value? (2.00 / 1) (#39)
    by ShiteNick on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 07:31:01 AM EST

    However the exact value of pi

    Really?



    [ Parent ]
    Calc & Trig (none / 0) (#76)
    by Devil Ducky on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 09:17:22 AM EST

    There lots of theoretical equations for calculating pi. None of the good ones are as simple as a fraction. Being that pi is a trignometric value it's not surprising that it doesn't easily resolve into algebra; sine, cosine, and tangent aren't exactly known for their pretty answers.

    The equation I've used to compute pi on a calculator is: tan-1(1) = pi/4 = 4 * tan-1(1/5) - tan-1(1/239). I think that's Machin's formula.

    The formula I used to write a program in C (there are better ones available through google) used: tan-1(1) = pi / 4 = SUM(n=0->infinity){(-1)^n * (1/(2n+1))} but this function sucks up a lot of computations for little results, something like 100 computations per digit found, iirc.

    Devil Ducky

    Immune to the Forces of Duct Tape
    Day trading at it's Funnest
    [ Parent ]
    Huh? (none / 0) (#63)
    by vrt3 on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 08:48:03 AM EST

    From www.wikipedia.org:
    A rational number is a number that can be expressed as the ratio between two integers, usually written as a fraction a / b, where the denominator (here b) is not equal to zero. Rational numbers are commonly called "fractions"; they are precisely those numbers whose decimal digit expansion is either finite or periodic.
    So, yes, pi is not a rational number (its digit expansion is neither finite nor periodic) but I never knew this fact was only little-known. People learn this in school when taught the definitions of natural, integral, rational and real numbers.

    No, the exact value of pi cannot be expressed by 22 / 7. And no, irrational numbers cannot be expressed as fractions.

    22 / 7 is a rough estimate too:
    22 / 7 = 3,142857142857...
    pi = 3,141592653590...
    Note that I included two periods in 22 / 7, and rounded pi to the same number of decimal places.
    When a man wants to murder a tiger, it's called sport; when the tiger wants to murder him it's called ferocity. -- George Bernard Shaw
    [ Parent ]

    An interesting anagram (4.00 / 2) (#13)
    by xriso on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 01:23:16 AM EST

    "I'm a theta maniac" --- "A mathematician"

    Therefore... (none / 0) (#105)
    by Lancer on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 12:31:44 PM EST

    All Mathemeticians are Scientologists!

    Scientology = Stoney Logic

    QED!
    --

    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside a dog, it's too dark to read.
    [ Parent ]

    Virginia Bottomley (4.33 / 3) (#18)
    by harrystottle on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 03:16:04 AM EST

    was a minor Tory minister in Thatcher's government. Stephen Fry gave us the anagram of her name: "I'm an evil tory bigot"

    Mostly harmless
    +1 FP (2.00 / 2) (#19)
    by daragh on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 04:48:39 AM EST

    Most interesting and fun to read article I've seen in the queue (?Spelling) in days...

    No work.

    More fun with words... (4.00 / 2) (#21)
    by TurboThy on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 05:22:34 AM EST

    ...at least if you're into unpronounceable words. A small competition: Which language spoken by a K5'er has the word with the highest consonant to vowel quotient?

    The entry for Danish is "angstskrig" (Scream of fear) with a whopping 8 consonants (7 of which are consecutive) and 2 vowels, making for a quotient of 4. I bet there's someone Dutch out there who can beat that!

    Oh yeah, also: does anyone have a (real, pronounceable) word with more than 7 consecutive consonants?
    __
    'Someone will sig this comment. They will. I know it.' [Egil Skallagrimson]
    Bah. (4.00 / 1) (#22)
    by i on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 05:42:37 AM EST

    There are Czech words with no vowels at all, which easily makes for infinite quotient: vlk "wolf", krv "blood" and many others.

    (You are not expected to know about shwa, are you?)

    and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

    [ Parent ]

    Shwa what? (none / 0) (#23)
    by TurboThy on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 05:50:15 AM EST

    I also forgot the Croatian island of Krk, and the Russian preposition v. Gde and kto are also nice Russian words. However, all these share a common trait: They're not very long. Also note that if you split up angstskrig into it's constituent parts angst and skrig, they both have a 4-1 ratio but angstskrig looks more impressive :o)

    Any long words are still requested for my original query.
    __
    'Someone will sig this comment. They will. I know it.' [Egil Skallagrimson]
    [ Parent ]
    Shwa (none / 0) (#29)
    by i on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 06:33:10 AM EST

    is a weak vowel that does not necessarily make a syllable, and is not written in most Western scripts. In phonetic transcriptions it is written as inverted "e", but I will write it as e, because some people use non-Unicode browsers or don't have fonts.

    So "vlk" and "krv" are really pronounced "velk" and "krev". I don't know any Danish but I suppose "angstskrig" must have one or two of them too, I'm just not sure where, because it is simply unpronounceable otherwise.

    In most writing systems there's no one-to-one correspondence between sounds and letters. "Vowel" and "consonant" are qualities of sounds, not letters. So it is wrong to say that "vlk" has no vowels, because "vlk" is a written representation of something that definitely has a vowel.

    On top of that, if you think about it a bit, "word" is a rather fuzzy concept. You cannot really define it. Is Russian preposition "v" a word? It is spelled between two blanks, sure, but it's just a spelling rule, and like most spelling rules it's arbitrary. On the other hand, "angstskrig" has no spaces inside, but does it really mean anything? Imagine you are a 17th century Japanese linguist that have learned some Danish by interrogating illiterate sailors. Can you decide whether "angstskrig" is a single word or two, without asking them?

    and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

    [ Parent ]

    Shwa (none / 0) (#32)
    by TurboThy on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 06:44:09 AM EST

    Aha. I suspected as much, but it's not used in Russian and I haven't been schooled in the other slavic languages :o)

    There is no shwa in angstskrig, as it is a compound of two words, "angst" (pronounced almost as it is in English) and "skrig" (with a soft 'g', so it's like saying "scream" but stopping short of the 'm').

    velk, you say? I guessed it was vlek, damn! :o)

    And yes, the notion of 'words' is quite meaningless outside the context of 'writing', as it then just becomes a matter of piecing together meaning from sounds uttered in a particular order.
    __
    'Someone will sig this comment. They will. I know it.' [Egil Skallagrimson]
    [ Parent ]
    Vowels and consonants (none / 0) (#58)
    by vrt3 on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 08:36:10 AM EST

    "Vowel" and "consonant" are qualities of sounds, not letters.

    Are you sure about that? In school I was always told that there are six vowels (a, e, i, o, u, and y) and twenty consonants (the rest of the alphabet). My education was in Dutch of course, perhaps (though it seems quite unlikely) the definitions are different in English?
    When a man wants to murder a tiger, it's called sport; when the tiger wants to murder him it's called ferocity. -- George Bernard Shaw
    [ Parent ]

    Vowels (none / 0) (#60)
    by dcturner on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 08:41:00 AM EST

    In an English school, I was taught a,e,i,o,u were the vowels (and h and y were semivowels whatever that means)

    In Welsh, I think w is a vowel too.


    Remove the opinion on spam to reply.


    [ Parent ]
    Welsh (none / 0) (#118)
    by TurboThy on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 02:40:07 PM EST

    In Welsh, I think w is a vowel too.

    It bloody well better be! Other wise words such as "hwn" are hard to pronounce...
    __
    'Someone will sig this comment. They will. I know it.' [Egil Skallagrimson]
    [ Parent ]
    In school (none / 0) (#66)
    by i on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 08:57:44 AM EST

    they always teach these convenient approximations to reality. They are not wrong, just not as absolute as some people think. This one may be acceptable at elementary school level, but even a freshman linguist will frown upon it.

    and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

    [ Parent ]
    Vowels (none / 0) (#122)
    by TurboThy on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 02:48:03 PM EST

    In Danish we cheat and add three vowels at the end of the alfabet: æ, ø and å. There is even a word in Danish that has them all: "Blåbærtærte" (Blueberry Pie).

    On a side note, these 3 added to the 26 standard should make 29 characters in the Danish alfabet, right? Wrong. In first grade, all kids are taught the alfabet song ("a, b, c, d, e..." and so on and so forth), which ends with the line "28 there are in all". This mystified me greatly when I around 3rd grade or so wrote up all the letters and counted. Turns out 'w' is omitted from the song - probably because it's impossible to sing :o)
    __
    'Someone will sig this comment. They will. I know it.' [Egil Skallagrimson]
    [ Parent ]
    Idiot me!!! (none / 0) (#124)
    by TurboThy on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 02:51:07 PM EST

    That should be "blåbærgrød" (blueberry sauce/jam), not "blåbærtærte". Duh!
    __
    'Someone will sig this comment. They will. I know it.' [Egil Skallagrimson]
    [ Parent ]
    Dutch (none / 0) (#128)
    by TurboThy on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 03:02:25 PM EST

    Isn't "ij" a vowel?
    __
    'Someone will sig this comment. They will. I know it.' [Egil Skallagrimson]
    [ Parent ]
    I don't think so (none / 0) (#168)
    by vrt3 on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 04:52:19 AM EST

    "ij" is not a letter, it are two letters. So if a vowel is a letter, "ij" is not a vowel. Otherwise diphtongs like ou, au, ei and sounds like oe are vowels too.

    My parents have a quite old dictionary (from the sixties) that lists "ij" as a separate letter, but all other sources I've seen threat "ij" as two letters. Except crosswords, I hate that.
    When a man wants to murder a tiger, it's called sport; when the tiger wants to murder him it's called ferocity. -- George Bernard Shaw
    [ Parent ]

    A vowel is a kind of sound. (none / 0) (#190)
    by PurpleBob on Fri Nov 15, 2002 at 03:00:28 AM EST

    Most people don't actually learn what a vowel is, just that they are "a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y". In more enlightened schools it may be "a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y and w", which is more correct and actually rhymes.

    (Don't believe me on w? Consider the words "flour" and "flower". They are pronounced exactly the same. The 'u' and the 'w' make the same sound, which is a vowel sound.)

    But anyway, that's about as useful as learning that something is an atom if it's hydrogen, helium, lithium, beryllium, etc... instead of actually learning what an atom is.

    Vowels are hard to define exactly. Generally, they're sounds made only by vibrating the vocal cords when the mouth and throat are a certain shape, and without blocking the flow of air much.

    [ Parent ]

    Syllabic L and R (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by Gregoyle on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 07:19:40 PM EST

    Did you know that many continuants can also be syllabic? In Czech and many other Slavic languages the syllabic L and R really don't have a schwa, or at least don't with all speakers.

    Confused? Try saying "Crap". Now say "Carp". Now say "Crp". It's obviously possible; both transitions to and from the R are possible, and there's no need to insert a vowel in the middl eof the R sound. It's even easier when you roll the R.

    I apologize for the nontechnical terminology to all the linguists here, but I'm trying to make it palatable to a wider audience (no, not "palatal", palatable ;-)).
    -------

    He's more machine now than man, twisted and evil.
    [ Parent ]

    Amazing. (none / 0) (#165)
    by i on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 03:48:28 AM EST

    In proto-Slavic there were reduced vowels in places where I indicated schwa. You say they transferred their syllable-making function to nearby consonants and fell out completely? That's funny, because I still can hear them there. Maybe that's because I'm neither professional linguist nor a Czech speaker. No wonder, a Japanese would hear a vowel between almost any two consecutive consonants, or so I'm told.

    Anyway, how linguist determine if there's a vowel between, say, "c" and "r" in "crp"? Do they rely on hearing, or use spectrum analyzers and the like? I like to think there's no clear-cut difference between a vowel and an absence of one, but I may be completely wrong.

    and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

    [ Parent ]

    Angstskrik (none / 0) (#206)
    by zenit on Sat Nov 16, 2002 at 04:50:30 PM EST

    No, "angstskrig" does not have any schwa (but the letters "ng" are pronounced as one sound). It's also a perfectly legitimate word, not a theoretically constructed one.

    [ Parent ]
    beating 4 is easy (none / 0) (#26)
    by Djinh on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 06:18:46 AM EST

    "Schrift", Dutch for "writing", has a quotient of 6.

    --
    We are the Euro. Resistance is futile. All your dollars will be assimilated.
    [ Parent ]
    Cheating! (none / 0) (#28)
    by hesk on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 06:23:45 AM EST

    I'd say that "Schrift" has a quotient of 4, because the sch can't be split into its individual consonants. It's an entity by itself.

    --
    Sticking to the rules (red lights etc.) doesn't improve your safety, relyi
    [
    Parent ]

    Nonsense! (none / 0) (#30)
    by Djinh on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 06:33:27 AM EST

    All the component letters of "sch" can be used without the others.

    You're just jealous because your language is weak!

    --
    We are the Euro. Resistance is futile. All your dollars will be assimilated.
    [ Parent ]

    Sure. (none / 0) (#31)
    by i on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 06:38:28 AM EST

    But component letters of "sch" (all letters, indeed) are not vowels or consonants. Sounds are.

    and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

    [ Parent ]
    Uh? (none / 0) (#33)
    by Djinh on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 06:49:16 AM EST

    You're saying that "s", "c" and "h" are not vowels or consonants?

    What are they then? Linux distributions?


    --
    We are the Euro. Resistance is futile. All your dollars will be assimilated.
    [ Parent ]

    They are letters. (none / 0) (#35)
    by i on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 07:22:58 AM EST

    The same letter in the same language can signify a vowel sound, a consonant sound, no sound at all, two or more sounds, or just about anything, really. Often two or more letters denote a single sound. Remember, "vowel" and "consonant" are qualities of sounds, not letters.

    and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

    [ Parent ]
    Where phonetics meets English (none / 0) (#36)
    by gazbo on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 07:27:48 AM EST

    I think that you are right in the original context, no doubt consonant meant 'any written letter other than a vowel'. However this sort of argument arrives because people have different definitions of things; for example, everyone knows that 'i' is a vowel. Unless you are into phonetics, in which case you'll (rightly) point out that it's actually a diphthong.

    Damn these people for using the same words to mean subtly different things.

    -----
    Topless, revealing, nude pics and vids of Zora Suleman! Upskirt and down blouse! Cleavage!
    Hardcore ZORA SULEMAN pics!

    [ Parent ]

    No fair making up artificial distinctions (none / 0) (#68)
    by p3d0 on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 09:01:31 AM EST

    That's pedantic of you. Find me a dictionary that doesn't include a definition of "vowels" or "consonants" as being letters.
    --
    Patrick Doyle
    My comments do not reflect the opinions of my employer.
    [ Parent ]
    What dictionaries say (none / 0) (#73)
    by i on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 09:14:57 AM EST

    doesn't have to be meaningful. Dictionaries reflect common usage, not give correct definitions.

    and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

    [ Parent ]
    Whatever (none / 0) (#77)
    by p3d0 on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 09:20:17 AM EST

    If you insist that letters cannot be divided into "consonants" and "vowels" then I think you'll find yourself very lonely atop your ivory tower.

    Besides, in natural language, who is to say what is "correct"? What we consider "correct" is only what has been historically in common usage.
    --
    Patrick Doyle
    My comments do not reflect the opinions of my employer.
    [ Parent ]

    Okay then. (none / 0) (#78)
    by i on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 09:36:54 AM EST

    Even most dictionaries say that a letter is a vowel if it represents a vowel sound. It means that it depends on which word we're talking about. E.g. "w" is a vowel in Welsh loanwords, consonant otherwise. The letter "u" in "qu"-words stands for a "w" sound. And so on. Common usage is fine, but correctness shouldn't be relative.

    and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

    [ Parent ]
    Not the point (none / 0) (#82)
    by p3d0 on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 09:50:17 AM EST

    I don't care which letters you define as vowels. The fact is that letters can be vowels, and letters can be consonants, and that includes "s", "c", and "h".

    Furthermore, I didn't say correctness was relative. I said that, for a natural language, correctness is defined by historical common usage. How else do you define it?
    --
    Patrick Doyle
    My comments do not reflect the opinions of my employer.
    [ Parent ]

    The problem with that. (none / 0) (#86)
    by i on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 10:08:55 AM EST

    Common usage is often inconsistent, which is not a big problem by itself, but when we are talking about definitions and correctness you better be precise and consistent.

    and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

    [ Parent ]
    RE: Wrong common usage (none / 0) (#189)
    by Insoc on Fri Nov 15, 2002 at 12:49:20 AM EST

    Ever hear of the word caramel? Could someone please tell me when it became CAR-mell instead of CARE-a-mell. I'm in a silly argument with a friend over which is correct, and of course I say it is the latter, but he objects that, language being organic as it is, it is the former.

    [ Parent ]
    You're still missing my point (none / 0) (#210)
    by p3d0 on Mon Nov 25, 2002 at 06:31:54 PM EST

    Let me spell it out for you: how do you decide what is the correct definition? What do you have to go by besides historical popular usage?
    --
    Patrick Doyle
    My comments do not reflect the opinions of my employer.
    [ Parent ]
    What's all the noise here?! (none / 0) (#209)
    by hesk on Thu Nov 21, 2002 at 08:17:18 PM EST

    Sure, the 's', 'c', and 'h' in 'sch' can be used on their own in the German language. It's the combination of them which makes them special. For 'sch' in German is just like 'sh' in English. Sure, 's', and 'h' can be used by themselves, but you need both to make an 'sh' sound.

    That's why 'sch' should only count once.

    --
    Sticking to the rules (red lights etc.) doesn't improve your safety, relyi
    [
    Parent ]

    How about (none / 0) (#121)
    by Dephex Twin on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 02:45:24 PM EST

    Schlecht?  That's 7 to 1.


    Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
    [ Parent ]
    By the way, that's German! (none / 0) (#125)
    by Dephex Twin on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 02:53:23 PM EST

    I saw "Schrift" (which is the same in German).


    Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
    [ Parent ]
    7 consecutive consonants? (none / 0) (#27)
    by gazbo on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 06:20:13 AM EST

    No. But I do know a commonly used English word with 5 consecutive vowels. Those who know the answer please form an orderly line.

    -----
    Topless, revealing, nude pics and vids of Zora Suleman! Upskirt and down blouse! Cleavage!
    Hardcore ZORA SULEMAN pics!

    [ Parent ]

    Re: 6 consecutive consonants? (none / 0) (#34)
    by Sapien on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 07:19:47 AM EST

    heh :-)

    I'll leave that for others to fathom.

    Meanwhile, there is also the puzzle of finding an English word with 6 consecutive consonants. Can anyone unlock this?


    [ Parent ]

    I give up. (none / 0) (#38)
    by i on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 07:28:52 AM EST

    For the purpose of this pussle, any letter from [bcdfghjklmnpqrstvwxz] and in some cases also "y" is considered a "consonant". The answer is "Knightsbridge".

    and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

    [ Parent ]
    Bah (none / 0) (#41)
    by gazbo on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 07:36:29 AM EST

    I got Knightsbridge, but assumed that proper nouns were unacceptable.

    -----
    Topless, revealing, nude pics and vids of Zora Suleman! Upskirt and down blouse! Cleavage!
    Hardcore ZORA SULEMAN pics!

    [ Parent ]

    Okay then. (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by i on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 08:12:25 AM EST

    There's also "latchstring".

    and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

    [ Parent ]
    More (none / 0) (#193)
    by Cameleon on Fri Nov 15, 2002 at 06:25:04 AM EST

    And "watchstrap", "catchphrase" and "sightscreen". Oh, the wonders of a dictionary file and grep.

    [ Parent ]
    Try 7 (none / 0) (#40)
    by gazbo on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 07:34:37 AM EST

    OK, I cheated - regular expressions are wonderful things. If we are allowing 'y' as a consonant, I can find 2 words (in the Linux dict) with 7 consonants. Disallowing 'y' only yields lengths of 5.

    Of course, the linux dict is hardly a comprehensive list.

    -----
    Topless, revealing, nude pics and vids of Zora Suleman! Upskirt and down blouse! Cleavage!
    Hardcore ZORA SULEMAN pics!

    [ Parent ]

    Try 11 (none / 0) (#99)
    by pmc on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 12:06:58 PM EST

    Tachydysrythmia - irregular heartbeats.

    [ Parent ]
    Or 12 (none / 0) (#101)
    by pmc on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 12:12:53 PM EST

    tachydysrhythmia (I'll spell it correctly this time).

    [ Parent ]
    vowels (none / 0) (#191)
    by PurpleBob on Fri Nov 15, 2002 at 03:05:22 AM EST

    Those y's are all vowels. It's no use to spout the "sometimes y" rule if you don't know what the times are.

    [ Parent ]
    Rhythm (none / 0) (#44)
    by pwhysall on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 07:46:37 AM EST


    --
    Peter
    K5 Editors
    I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
    CheeseBurgerBrown
    [ Parent ]
    Ha. (none / 0) (#61)
    by i on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 08:45:02 AM EST

    People who think that the letter (letter!) "y" is somehow a "consonant" should be fed a portion of strychnine, or something.

    and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

    [ Parent ]
    Is it (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by daragh on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 07:27:59 AM EST

    Aaaaargh!

    No work.
    [ Parent ]

    I am (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by i on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 08:13:07 AM EST

    queueing your request.

    No! Wait a minute!

    and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

    [ Parent ]

    8 consecutive consonants (none / 0) (#49)
    by Cameleon on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 08:15:32 AM EST

    The dutch word for 'scream of fear' is "angstschreeuw", which has 8 consecutive consonants. After some googling I also found "gerechtsschrijver" (court writer?, 8 consonants) and the best one: "slechtstschrijvend" (writing the worst, 9 consonants).

    As for vowels, I found these words: "papegaaieëieren" (parrot eggs, 7 consecutive vowels, but it is now spelled papegaaieneieren due to new language rules) and "zaaiuien" (sowing onions, 6 vowels).

    Oh, another fun one I found while googling, is repeating one letter as often as you can in one word. With consonants this is harder than with vowels. I found "jazzzangeres" (jazz singer) and "stresssituatie" (stressful situation) for consonants. For vowels there is, among others, "zee-eend" (sea duck) though it's a shame about the '-' that has to go in between with the new rules for spelling.

    [ Parent ]

    7 vowels (none / 0) (#106)
    by uXs on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 12:32:26 PM EST

    Koeieuier. (= a cow's breasts, or whatever you call them.)

    --
    What our ancestors would really be thinking, if they were alive today, is: "Why is it so dark in here?" -- (Terry Pratchett, Pyramids)
    [ Parent ]
    Technicality (none / 0) (#117)
    by Cameleon on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 02:37:39 PM EST

    Well, technically, that should be spelled "koeienuier" now.

    [ Parent ]
    antidisestablishmentarianism (none / 0) (#53)
    by unstable on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 08:28:52 AM EST

    yes that is a word

    it means something along the lines of

    the practice of one who is against someone who is for denying a church goverment support.... or something like that...

    this is about the only thing I remember from high school history class.



    Reverend Unstable
    all praise the almighty Bob
    and be filled with slack

    [ Parent ]

    Duke Ellington (none / 0) (#56)
    by Cameleon on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 08:33:26 AM EST

    There's this Duke Ellington song: antidisestablishmentarianismist, as in "you're just an old antidisestablishmentarianismist".

    [ Parent ]
    That wasn't the question (none / 0) (#57)
    by p3d0 on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 08:33:49 AM EST

    That doesn't have a high consonant-to-vowel ratio.
    --
    Patrick Doyle
    My comments do not reflect the opinions of my employer.
    [ Parent ]
    English can get a quotient of 9 (4.00 / 1) (#55)
    by p3d0 on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 08:32:39 AM EST

    In this regard, English has its strengths.
    --
    Patrick Doyle
    My comments do not reflect the opinions of my employer.
    [ Parent ]
    Oops, that's 8 (none / 0) (#80)
    by p3d0 on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 09:47:18 AM EST

    I was doing the ratio of letters to vowels. If you're doing consonants to vowels, it's only 8.
    --
    Patrick Doyle
    My comments do not reflect the opinions of my employer.
    [ Parent ]
    really? (none / 0) (#144)
    by fringd on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 06:13:28 PM EST

    what word has 8 consonants to 1 vowel? i can't think of any... lemme fire up awk...

    "strengths" does 8, knew i was missing something, gotta use my head next time and not my code ;)

    btw, here's the awk command for any who wanna verify this themselves:

    awk '{c=0;v=0;for (i = 1; i<= length($0);i++) if (tolower(substr($0,i,1)) ~ /[aeiouy]/) v++; else c++; print $0" "c / v }' /usr/share/dict/words |sort -k 2

    some runners up include strength, Schwartz, and McKnight at 7, and a whole slew of 6s and 5s. i gues Schwartz and McKnight don't really count since they're proper. making strength the undisputed uh... strongest.

    [ Parent ]

    Aha (none / 0) (#145)
    by p3d0 on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 06:30:18 PM EST

    Sheds new light on my original post, doesn't it?
    In this regard, English has its strengths.

    --
    Patrick Doyle
    My comments do not reflect the opinions of my employer.
    [ Parent ]
    Consonants (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Tau on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 09:05:17 AM EST

    Which language spoken by a K5'er has the word with the highest consonant to vowel quotient?

    Hebrew. No vowels in that whatsoever. At least no explicit ones.



    ---
    WHEN THE REVOLUTION COMES WE WILL MAKE SAUSAGES OUT OF YOUR FUCKING ENTRAILS - TRASG0
    [ Parent ]
    Error (none / 0) (#149)
    by hershmire on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 07:44:21 PM EST

    Divide by zero: No vowels found.
    FIXME: Insert quote about procrastination
    [ Parent ]
    seven consecutive consonants (none / 0) (#95)
    by mdecerbo on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 11:16:25 AM EST


    In Russian the word "monstrstvo" ("monstrosity")
    has seven consecutive consonants.

    If you allow "angststricken" as an English word,
    that also has seven.


    [ Parent ]

    Russian (none / 0) (#96)
    by cdyer on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 11:47:05 AM EST

    Russian also has vzglyad. Which may not be the most, but it's certainly one of the most difficult (for me) to pronounce. Yes, that y is a consonant sound, and yes that is a one syllable word.

    However it's not very impressive quotient-wise, as the y is coded in with the a (as the letter 'ya').

    Still a cool word.

    Cheers,
    Cliff

    [ Parent ]

    Ne nado panikovat' (none / 0) (#194)
    by opilio on Fri Nov 15, 2002 at 08:21:45 AM EST

    Vzglyad is a nice one, true, but the y does not stand for a consonant sound. Letters ya, yu and e indicate that the preceding consonant is palatalized, i.e. somewhat shifted towards [j] ("y" in "yes"). Think of the way the [k] sound in English is pronounced slightly differently depending on the following vowel, e.g. in "key" and "call". In Russian, the contrast is bigger and it can make a difference in meaning. Technically speaking, you have minimal pairs of words with palatalized and non-palatalized consonants.

    Of course, that still leaves you with four consonants in the beginning of the word.



    ---
    Und die Halme schrein, wenn du den Rasen mähst. -- Element of Crime, Mach das Licht aus, wenn du gehst
    [ Parent ]

    English. Infinite. (none / 0) (#139)
    by jforan on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 04:17:00 PM EST

    psst.

    Jeff

    I hops to be barley workin'.
    [ Parent ]

    8:1 (none / 0) (#195)
    by opilio on Fri Nov 15, 2002 at 08:32:08 AM EST

    Now how do I manage to get proper Polish diacritics shown instead of question marks?! Stupid little me. Anyway, my entry to the competition is the Polish word for "beetle", chrzaszcz. Instead of the letter "a", there should be an "a" with a sort of an inverted cedille in the bottom right corner, indicating pronounciation as an open nasal "o". Of course, this word looks more intimidating than it really is."Ch" is like in German ("ach", not "ich"), "rz" is usually pronounced like "j" in French and is two letters for historical reasons (it parallels palatal "r" in Russian and, more closely, the "r" with the hacek in Czech); here it sounds like English "sh" due to assimilation; "sz" and "cz" are like "sh" and "ch" in English, respectively. And this word is part of my favourite tongue twister ("In Strzebrzeszyn, a beetle is rattling in the leaves"): W Strzebrzeszynie chrzaszcz brzmi w trzcinie.

    Hah!



    ---
    Und die Halme schrein, wenn du den Rasen mähst. -- Element of Crime, Mach das Licht aus, wenn du gehst
    [ Parent ]

    Two curiosities (4.75 / 4) (#43)
    by MotorMachineMercenary on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 07:43:53 AM EST

    Name a word which by changing the pronunciation of the word (not spelling) changes in meaning, and changes it from verb to a noun (there might me more than one such word, but this is the only one I know of).

    Second one is a word which has two meanings, which are antonyms. Which word is that?

    Just two of my favorites. And of course there's always the word "onomatopoeia" which is just cool in itself.

    --
    Life is like a box of chocolates. Fat people finish it first.


    an answer to #1 (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by lowca on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 08:18:12 AM EST

    Affect.

    Its verb form is pronounced "uh-FECT," and it means to change or influence. One of its noun forms is pronounced "A-fect" (in Amurcan, anyway), with an a as in act; it means feeling or affection. (The other noun form is pronounced the same as the verb, and is the "nouned" meaning of the verb.) An archaic usage of the verb was to have affection for, but that shouldn't count, right? ;-)

    You were probably thinking of wind, though. :-)

    ---

    "Every government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is, in a democracy the whores are us." - P.J. O'Rourke, Parliament of Whores

    [ Parent ]
    See also effect (none / 0) (#123)
    by lordpixel on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 02:49:03 PM EST

    Which can be a noun:

    when you affect something you cause an effect on it.

    and a verb, meaning "create, bring into being":

    I'm trying to effect a change in the way we do things here.

    I am the cat who walks through walls, all places and all times are alike to me.
    [ Parent ]

    Not sure about the original, but I was thinking... (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by unDees on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 02:31:42 PM EST

    You were probably thinking of wind, though. :-)

    Or I could let the wind buffet me before I wind up eating at the buffet.

    Your account balance is $0.02; to continue receiving our quality opinions, please remit payment as soon as possible.
    [ Parent ]

    Another curiosity... (none / 0) (#52)
    by bgarcia on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 08:24:10 AM EST

    Name a word which, by changing the spelling of the word (not the pronunciation), creates an antonym.

    [ Parent ]
    raise vs. raze [nt] (none / 0) (#83)
    by clark9000 on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 09:52:06 AM EST


    _____
    Much madness is divinest sense
    To a discerning eye;
    Much sense the starkest madness.
    -- E. Dickinson
    [ Parent ]
    Yea! (none / 0) (#85)
    by bgarcia on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 09:58:01 AM EST

    What does [nt] stand for anyway? No Text?

    [ Parent ]
    yes [nt] (none / 0) (#98)
    by jt on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 12:04:10 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    An answer (4.00 / 2) (#54)
    by p3d0 on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 08:30:41 AM EST

    Name a word which by changing the pronunciation of the word (not spelling) changes in meaning, and changes it from verb to a noun.
    "Wind" does this. As a noun, with a short "i", it means "a movement of air". As a verb, with a long "i", it means "to turn repeatedly about an object".
    --
    Patrick Doyle
    My comments do not reflect the opinions of my employer.
    [ Parent ]
    #2: Cleave (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by dcturner on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 08:37:17 AM EST

    Means both split and join.

    Remove the opinion on spam to reply.


    [ Parent ]
    Answers... (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by bgarcia on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 08:47:13 AM EST

    Name a word which by changing the pronunciation of the word (not spelling) changes in meaning, and changes it from verb to a noun (there might me more than one such word, but this is the only one I know of).
    How about read?

    Pronounced with a short e, it is a past-tense verb. Pronounced with a long e, it can be a noun describing something that is readable.

    Thought of another one: console!

    You can console someone when their console TV has been destroyed!

    [ Parent ]

    Inflammable? (3.00 / 1) (#65)
    by synaesthesia on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 08:50:28 AM EST

    As far as I can see, inflammable always meant "liable to burn", then people started saying "flammable", so in common usage, inflammable became the opposite of that.

    Sausages or cheese?
    [ Parent ]
    inflammable (none / 0) (#87)
    by clark9000 on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 10:13:50 AM EST

    As far as I know, inflammable still means "liable to burn" in common usage. So inflammable and flammable mean the same thing. The opposite would be flame-retardant or non-flammable I guess.
    _____
    Much madness is divinest sense
    To a discerning eye;
    Much sense the starkest madness.
    -- E. Dickinson
    [ Parent ]
    I was under a different impression (none / 0) (#104)
    by Control Group on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 12:28:39 PM EST

    I thought flammable meant "burnable," while inflammable meant something closer to "explosive." IE, wood is flammable, gasoline vapor is inflammable. Connotatively, at least, if not denotatively. Unfortunately, the only dictionary I have handy is dictionary.com...and they consider "orientate" a valid English word.

    Of course, this is just my impression of how the words are used, and even if accurate could be based on a local usage (Wisconsin, US).

    ***
    "Oh, nothing. It just looks like a simple Kung-Fu Swedish Rastafarian Helldemon."
    [ Parent ]

    inflammable <=> inflameable ? (none / 0) (#136)
    by jforan on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 04:07:23 PM EST

    flamable <=> flameable.

    I am guessing.

    Jeff
    I hops to be barley workin'.
    [ Parent ]

    Unflammable (none / 0) (#126)
    by Dephex Twin on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 02:58:54 PM EST

    Flammable and inflammable mean something can burn.  Unflammable (or nonflammable) mean it can't.  I know both flammable and inflammable are used to mean something can burn; I have definitely seen both.


    Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
    [ Parent ]
    #1 (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by stevie on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 10:17:48 AM EST

    Name a word which by changing the pronunciation of the word (not spelling) changes in meaning, and changes it from verb to a noun

    The best example I can think of is "record."



    [ Parent ]
    Responses to #1 (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by cdyer on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 11:53:36 AM EST

    In response to the first part:

    desert (n) - A place with lots of sand and no water
    desert (v) - to leave behind

    lead (n) - heavy metal
    lead (v) - to go before and guide

    Cheers,
    Cliff



    [ Parent ]
    #2: Solution (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by trickofperspective on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 12:07:38 PM EST

    Okay - check out this word origin (courtesy of a check in the OED a while back.) "Disgruntled" had it's origin in the word "gruntled," a word which refers to animals adgitated to the point of grunting. As an emphasizer, the prefix dis- was added to the word, making the meaning very gruntled, or extremely displeased. Later, after the word gruntled fell out of common use and disgruntled became popular, people began to assume gruntled must have meant pleased or contented - the opposite of disgruntled. So we're left with two words which are both antonyms and synonyms, and one which can be used as its own antonym.

    Trick

    [ Parent ]
    There are lots of answers to number 2 (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by spankmandog on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 01:19:32 PM EST

    They are called contronyms: here's a great list: [http://alt-usage-english.org/excerpts/fxwhatwo.html]

    [ Parent ]
    also... (none / 0) (#114)
    by spankmandog on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 01:23:04 PM EST

    Looks like they are also called antagonyms. I think that's a little more catchy

    [ Parent ]
    My answers (none / 0) (#115)
    by MotorMachineMercenary on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 01:55:02 PM EST

    I'm not surprised there are more answers to the questions I posed, but that there's a whole definition for words that are their own antonyms, that's surprising!

    The answers I had in mind:

    #1 - polish (eg. wood) - Polish (nationality) (yes, I know that some might consider the capitalized Polish to be a different spelling)

    #2 - scan, which means to glance quickly and also to go through a document thoroughly

    --
    Life is like a box of chocolates. Fat people finish it first.


    [ Parent ]
    Yet another answer to #1 (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by Ricochet Rita on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 09:40:26 AM EST

    ... (there might me more than one such word, but this is the only one I know of).

    English, by its very nature, has MANY of these. The first to come to my mind was project.

    'praj-ekt: n. a planned undertaking.

    pruh-'jekt: v. to throw forward or protrude.

    Although in certain dialects (chiefly, British, but including some American), there will be no discernable difference in pronunciation--as in the word, "projectile."


    FABRICATUS DIEM, PVNC!
    [ Parent ]

    Curiosity #2 (4.00 / 1) (#175)
    by unDees on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 02:37:31 PM EST

    Neil Peart points out that "counterpart" can mean both "duplicate" and "opposite."

    Your account balance is $0.02; to continue receiving our quality opinions, please remit payment as soon as possible.
    [ Parent ]
    Sanction (5.00 / 1) (#187)
    by epepke on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 11:35:50 PM EST

    OK, I know this thread isn't about Iraq, but "sanction" is an antonym.

    And of course there's always the word "onomatopoeia" which is just cool in itself.

    OK, I'm dating myself here, but to the "tune" of "In A Gadda Da Vita":

    Onamotopoeia, baby
    Don't you know that I love you
    Onamotapoeia, honey
    Burble splat meow quack splash moo.


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    27 letters? (4.66 / 3) (#45)
    by Thwk on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 07:54:55 AM EST

    That's nothing! :)

    This one has 1783.

    Long words (none / 0) (#51)
    by Cameleon on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 08:20:32 AM EST

    Long words like that (and the page says it can easily be made longer) are possible in a lot of languages, among others Dutch and German. Compound words, like "railroad crossing", are written together. In dutch, it would be "spoorwegovergang", made from the words "spoorweg" and "overgang". If you are creative, you can made words of arbitrary length this way.

    [ Parent ]
    Like this? (none / 0) (#129)
    by kliklik on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 03:11:49 PM EST

    Had something like this in my morphology class:
    Donaudampfschiffkapitängesellschaftparadeuniformknopfloch.

    Which translated means: The buttonhole of the parade-uniform of the society of the danube steam-boat captains.

    There is also a simple game in Germany where children try to construct very long words. The first kid says a word, the seccond word+1, the third word+1+2 and so on.

    [ Parent ]

    13? (3.00 / 1) (#47)
    by p3d0 on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 08:12:51 AM EST

    For example, 'four' is the only number that when you spell it out contains as many letters as the number it represents.
    What about "twelve plus one"? :-)
    --
    Patrick Doyle
    My comments do not reflect the opinions of my employer.
    minus nine (NT) (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by ukryule on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 09:15:21 AM EST



    [ Parent ]
    If you count it backwards ... (none / 0) (#75)
    by ukryule on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 09:16:25 AM EST

    sorry forgot to add that :-)

    [ Parent ]
    Others... (none / 0) (#142)
    by curunir on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 04:59:18 PM EST

    - sixteen point zero
    - nineteen and two halves

    [ Parent ]
    How about repeted words (3.50 / 2) (#64)
    by Rift on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 08:48:50 AM EST

    Give a sentence that follows correct english grammar containing four consecutive instances of the same word. Bonus if you can come up with more than four.

    --Rift
    A pen is to a car what a meteor is to a _____
    Honorable mention? (4.50 / 2) (#69)
    by bgarcia on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 09:04:40 AM EST

    Give a sentence that follows correct english grammar containing four consecutive instances of the same word.
    A rose rose rose in Rose.
    • Adjective, a color similar to pink
    • Noun, a type of flower
    • Verb, to have awakened.
    • A town in NE


    [ Parent ]
    But those aren't consective! (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by inadeepsleep on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 03:14:21 PM EST

    But you could say "A rose rose rose Rose."  The last 'Rose' being a woman who was enticed to get up by a flower.


    [ Parent ]
    I know, that's why I went for "honorable ment (none / 0) (#132)
    by bgarcia on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 03:30:26 PM EST

    Yep, that's better.

    I certainly like this example better than the long string of "and"s and "had"s.

    [ Parent ]

    they're fun too, but (none / 0) (#135)
    by inadeepsleep on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 03:43:38 PM EST

    But fun in a different way. It's easier to string together lots of words which are in closed classes.


    [ Parent ]
    Ha. (4.80 / 5) (#71)
    by i on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 09:07:44 AM EST

    Wouldn't the sentence "I want to put a hyphen between the words Fish and And and And and Chips in my Fish-And-Chips sign" have been clearer if quotation marks had been placed before Fish, and between Fish and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and Chips, as well as after Chips?  

    and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

    [ Parent ]
    Only 4? Try 22 (4.00 / 1) (#81)
    by zakalwe on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 09:49:03 AM EST

    Here's my favourite one:
    Wouldn't the sentence "I want to put a hyphen between the words Fish and And and And and Chips in my Fish-And-Chips sign" have been clearer if quotation marks had been placed before Fish, and between Fish and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and Chips, as well as after Chips?


    [ Parent ]
    Oops (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by zakalwe on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 09:54:27 AM EST

    Though it would have been better if I'd read down one comment to see if anyone else had already posted it. Oh well - here's another one with a different word (though only 12 occurances):
    Alice, where Bob had had "had," had had "had had." "Had had" had had "had" written next to it as a correction.


    [ Parent ]
    Can do better (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by dcturner on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 10:18:16 AM EST

    Since "had had" is allowable in English, you can have:

    Alice, where Bob, had had "had had", had had "had had had"; "had had had" had had "had had" written next to it as a correction.

    Is that two sentences or am I allowed the semicolon?


    Remove the opinion on spam to reply.


    [ Parent ]
    I, where you (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by i on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 10:39:18 AM EST

    had had 'had had "had had", had had "had had had"; "had had had" had had "had had"', had had something else entirely.

    He, where I had had... you get the idea.

    and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

    [ Parent ]

    Related (none / 0) (#171)
    by JanneM on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 06:58:28 AM EST

    Not quite what you are asking for, but this is one of my favourite sentences (and no, I don't know the origin):

    Without psychoanalysis, we would never have found out that when we think a thing, the thing we think is not the thing we think we think, but merely a thing that makes us think we think the thing we think we think.
    ---
    Trust the Computer. The Computer is your friend.
    [ Parent ]

    how about repeated words in sentence (none / 0) (#94)
    by machine on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 11:14:51 AM EST

    as in: 'Buffalo buffalo buffalo.'

    Where:

    • proper noun - city in NY
    • noun - oxen
    • transitive verb - meaning to baffle or bewilder

    Apparently you can also extend that to as many as 9 repeated buffalos and it still makes sense. Well, not so much sense as it still makes a proper sentence. Source



    [ Parent ]
    Very concise example (none / 0) (#103)
    by jubilation on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 12:26:08 PM EST

    Upon dropping a hammer on my foot:

    "Fuck fuck fuck fuck!"

    (Please pardon the blue language)

    [ Parent ]

    That (none / 0) (#140)
    by epepke on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 04:30:05 PM EST

    He said that that, that that other thing was on, was the one.


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    Excuse him. (none / 0) (#148)
    by it certainly is on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 07:39:00 PM EST

    That "that" that that man used wasn't all that "that" could be.

    kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

    Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
    [ Parent ]

    Two sentences: (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by Herring on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 05:23:41 AM EST

    John, when Peter had had "had" had had "had had". "had had" had had his teacher's approval.


    Say lol what again motherfucker, say lol what again, I dare you, no I double dare you
    [ Parent ]
    nothing interesting about letters (3.00 / 3) (#67)
    by Fen on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 09:00:09 AM EST

    We have a retarded amount anyway--c, q, and x are unnecessary. I don't see why any logical person would be interested in krap based on tradition and not logic. A pointless waste of a minds potential.
    --Self.
    History is part of the logic (none / 0) (#72)
    by p3d0 on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 09:09:42 AM EST

    A word's etymology is important. For instance, consider the words "do" and "don't". If we want to be logical and spell them phoenetically, they could be something like "due" and "doant". However, they now appear to be two unrelated words.
    --
    Patrick Doyle
    My comments do not reflect the opinions of my employer.
    [ Parent ]
    read (none / 0) (#108)
    by mincus on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 12:52:18 PM EST

    The Power of Babel by McWhorter.  He gets into all the neat ways language transforms and develops.

    [ Parent ]
    written in, of course... (none / 0) (#146)
    by Fen on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 06:48:45 PM EST

    English. The dominate TRex among the dinosaurs of spoken language.
    --Self.
    [ Parent ]
    Osama Bin Laden anagrams (3.00 / 1) (#79)
    by CokeFiend on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 09:38:34 AM EST

    (shamelessly stolen from the PWASOH mailing list)

    Top Anagrams for Osama Bin Laden

    21. Sane Oilman Bad
    20. I bona leadsman
    19. Nasal Nomad Be I
    18. Be a Slain Nomad
    17. A bend lama son
    16. Albania's Demon
    15. A lesbian nomad
    14. Alias "Boned Man"
    13. So I anal bad men
    12. And I blame a son
    11. No Asian bedlam
    10. I.D.: Mean Anal S.O.B.
     9. I, a sad nobleman
     8. A slain abdomen
     7. I'm so banal, Edna
     6. I model bananas
     5. A mob, insane lad
     4. Is a lone, bad man
     3. Do a samba, Lenin
     2. I'm Dole bananas
     1. Abandon E-mails


    Washington Post (3.00 / 1) (#88)
    by wiredog on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 10:16:27 AM EST

    Wogs in hot pants.

    None of the linked anagram generators generated that one.

    I didn't check for Santa/Satan.

    More Math! Less Pr0n! K5 For K5ers!
    --Rusty

    Spiro Returns! (3.00 / 1) (#102)
    by jathos on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 12:23:27 PM EST

    Spiro Agnew = Grow a Penis

    tell your fortune (none / 0) (#107)
    by dirvish on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 12:46:33 PM EST

    You can pseudo-random strings of words that create hillarious fortunes at ryo.iloha.net

    Technical Certification Blog, Anti Spam Blog
    More word facts (4.00 / 1) (#109)
    by Moebius on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 12:59:31 PM EST

    There's an immense trove of fun word facts and 'records' over at this page: Word Oddities and Trivia What's particularly impressive is there is a decent amount of coverage of trivia & records in other languages beyond just English.

    my favorite are.. (3.00 / 1) (#110)
    by mincus on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 01:00:46 PM EST

    repeating words like hotshots, murmur, testes, and tartar.

    and... (none / 0) (#111)
    by shftleft on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 01:14:46 PM EST

    titi and tsktsk.....hehe

    [ Parent ]
    Word games (4.00 / 1) (#113)
    by Control Group on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 01:21:48 PM EST

    Since everyone else is posting word games/trivia, I might as well go with the flow. How many English words can you think of which contain no more than six letters and no fewer than four syllables? (I know of five; there could well be more).

    Caveat: I'm assuming a reasonable approximation of "normal" American English pronunciation. Having brushed up against British syllabic compression (Phil Katz had nothing on you UK types ;)), I don't want to risk being misleading.

    ***
    "Oh, nothing. It just looks like a simple Kung-Fu Swedish Rastafarian Helldemon."

    Here's one (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by Dephex Twin on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 09:43:56 PM EST

    areola


    Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
    [ Parent ]
    Answers enclosed (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by Control Group on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 09:50:14 AM EST

    That makes a sixth - the five I knew are:
    • idiocy
    • utopia
    • aviary
    • apiary
    • anoxia


    ***
    "Oh, nothing. It just looks like a simple Kung-Fu Swedish Rastafarian Helldemon."
    [ Parent ]
    Damn you. (none / 0) (#116)
    by it certainly is on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 02:08:41 PM EST

    Now I must refrigerate.

    kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

    Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.

    You guys missed the funniest 'famous person' one.. (4.00 / 1) (#119)
    by McMasters on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 02:40:29 PM EST

    Britney Spears. Presbyterians. Word. ^_^

    Band Wins Nude Smurf Throw? (2.00 / 1) (#127)
    by gatekeep on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 02:59:39 PM EST

    So what's up with that topic? It must be an anagram for something... A REDBUD SWIFT SHOWN MR NUN A BUDDHIST WE FROWN MR SUNN I give up, my brain hurts.

    Read the article's first sentence again :) (n/t) (none / 0) (#133)
    by carlossch on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 03:31:17 PM EST


    -- He took a duck in the face at two hundred and fifty knots.
    [ Parent ]
    Read the first sentence of the article [nt] (none / 0) (#134)
    by bgarcia on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 03:31:29 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    Longest English word without repeating a letter ? (4.66 / 3) (#131)
    by bigmouth strikes again on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 03:26:56 PM EST

    There are two 15-letter words in the English language that never repeats a letter:

    uncopyrightable
    dermatoglyphics

    Don't know if there are any longer. In some other languages, it is easier to create long words so they probably have words closer to including all letters of the alphabet once.

    Star Wars Episode I (3.50 / 2) (#137)
    by Eight Star on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 04:08:09 PM EST

    Idiots Spare Wares

    Prison, eh? (3.00 / 1) (#143)
    by yogger on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 05:55:26 PM EST

    While neither my nick name or my real give any funny anagrams, the place where I work becomes "Prson, eh?"

    Sigh... I knew it all along

    The is only a test .sig
    If it were a real .sig it would contain useful and/or funny information

    "She Porn"? Weird. [nt] (none / 0) (#158)
    by Dephex Twin on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 09:46:11 PM EST




    Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
    [ Parent ]
    A couple other useless trivia (3.00 / 1) (#150)
    by broken77 on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 08:10:13 PM EST

    The only word in the english language to have all four vowels including y, in order, appearing once: facetiously. Longest word in the english language (so I hear): pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.

    I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz

    Errr (none / 0) (#156)
    by pestilence2k on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 09:38:39 PM EST

    That would be 6 vowels including y - and I thought the longest word was
    flaucinocinihillipillification
    or maybe it was
    antidisestablishmentarianism
    but they're both much shorter than the one you gave :-(

    This space intentionally left blank
    [ Parent ]
    Not terribly good trivia; Better trivia. (4.00 / 1) (#166)
    by Adam Brate on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 04:09:54 AM EST

    There are other words with all six vowels, including y, in order: pareciously and abstemiously to name two of the more common.

    The shortest word with all five vowels is sequoia.

    And the "longest" word prize depends on your criteria; does one include Joyce's hundred-letter words (such as "b a b a b a d a l g h a r a g h t a k a m m i n a r r o n k o n n b r o n n t o n n e r r o n n t u o n n t h u n n t r o v a r r h o u n a w n s k a w n t o o h o o h o o r d e n e n t h u r n u k !")? Or how about chemical compound names that have appeared in print? Those also hit absurd limits.

    More interesting word trivia includes the word with the highest consonant to vowel ratio (strengths); the longest words in alphabetical order (billowy, degloss); words with the longest consonant runs (latchstring, borschts, watchstraps, weltschmerz), etc.

    And the best anagram of recent times was missed:

    Britney Spears = Presbyterians

    And here are two more choice bits:

    What is the only common English word with no vowels? (hint: words-meets-numbers)

    What word of interest to Lawrence Lessig is the longest common English word with no repeated letters?

    [ Parent ]

    Some answers (4.00 / 1) (#186)
    by epepke on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 11:27:54 PM EST

    words with the longest consonant runs (latchstring, borschts, watchstraps, weltschmerz), etc.

    There's "diallylphthalate," a kind of plastic.

    What is the only common English word with no vowels? (hint: words-meets-numbers)

    "Nth." However, there's a more common English word which not only has no vowels but is the only English word pronounced with an implosive consonant: "tsk."


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    Re: some answers (none / 0) (#204)
    by Adam Brate on Sat Nov 16, 2002 at 02:07:56 AM EST

    Of course, "diallylphthalate" is only interesting if you consider the "y" a consonant, which it isn't in that word.

    Otherwise we'd have plenty of different answers for the no-vowel word.

    I should have explicitly specified that I wasn't referring to onomatopoetic words like "psst", "ssh", "tsk", etc.

    But the variety and flexibility of language is definitely what makes this all so marvelous.

    [ Parent ]

    A Blackbird - an 'e'-less Raven by Georges Perec (4.50 / 2) (#151)
    by mysta on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 08:18:02 PM EST

    An amazing work of 'constraint writing' is "La Disparitions" and it's translation, "A Void". Both books only allow all the consonants and the non-consonants 'a', 'i', 'o' and 'u'.

    Surprisingly, it has a strong plot: a town, noticing many familiar and day to day things missing, must find out what has brought about its malady.

    Many a classic story and work of art is brought to this uncanny world. I hand you now an introduction to "A Blackbird" from "A Void":

    BLACK BIRD

    'Twas upon a midnight tristful I sat poring wan and wistful,
    Through many a quaint and curious list full of my consorts slain -
    I sat nodding, almost napping, till I caught a sound of tapping,
    As of spirits softly rapping, rapping at my door in vain.
    "'Tis a visitor," I murmur'd, "tapping at my door in vain -
    Tapping soft as falling rain."

    Ah, I know, I know that this was on a holy night of Christmas;
    But that quaint and curious list was forming phantoms all in train.
    How I wish'd it was tomorrow; vainly had I sought to borrow
    From my books a stay of sorrow - sorrow for my unjoin'd chain -
    For that pictographic symbol missing from my unjoin'd chain -
    And that would not join again.

    Rustling faintly through my drapings was a ghostly, ghastly scraping
    Sound that with fantastic shapings fill'd my fulminating brain;
    And for now, to still its roaring, I stood back as if ignoring
    That a spirit was imploring his admission to obtain -
    "'Tis a spirit now imploring his admission to obtain-"
    Murmur'd I, "- but all in vain."

    Fantastic stuff, no?
    ---
    Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?

    ARRRGH! (none / 0) (#152)
    by mysta on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 08:26:53 PM EST

    Damn, damn, damn.

    I did proofread the above post but I left in the word "the" twice in the first paragraph. Please pretend they are not there. The sentence parses fine without them. Also, "it's" should be "its".

    Crap... I guess that goes to show how impressive a feat Georges Perec pulled off. Not too mention his translator, Gilbert Aldair.
    ---
    Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?
    [ Parent ]

    An amazing job (5.00 / 2) (#160)
    by rusty on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 11:45:01 PM EST

    It's hard to think of writing with such high difficulty coming to fruition, and translating such a work is totally out of my imagination's grasp at all. Not only must you hold on to plot points from a work in Francais (as it's known), you must also avoid using a crucial bit of orthography and still try to maintain a faithful gloss of your original inspiration. It's simply past imagining.

    This tiny post, only a short bit of scribbling with but a monad from that list of constraints, finds yours truly simply agog at how damn hard it is. Though it's not bad for forcing your linguistic brain into vigorous action, I must say. :-)

    ____
    Not the real rusty
    [ Parent ]

    What's most disturbing... (none / 0) (#161)
    by rusty on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 11:53:17 PM EST

    ...is how similar that post looks to my normal writing. You want circuitous locution? I'm your man. And I only had to consult a book of words on two (ok, possibly four) occasions. It was of no utility anyway. "Damn you," I'd think. "Damn you Mr. Rog... Ah ha! I got it without your stupid book. Nya!"

    Ok, I'll stop now.

    ____
    Not the real rusty
    [ Parent ]

    You suck... (none / 0) (#163)
    by mysta on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 12:38:42 AM EST

    Damn.

    Here I was trying to be tricky and not only do I stuff it up but you come along and one-up me. Grrr.

    Nice post though. :)
    ---
    Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?
    [ Parent ]

    Ha! (none / 0) (#164)
    by rusty on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 03:29:28 AM EST

    T'was my utmost joy. ;-)

    It's actually a lot of fun, I find. I could probably do this all th... mor... with gr... crap!

    ____
    Not the real rusty
    [ Parent ]

    A ha! (5.00 / 2) (#179)
    by mysta on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 06:09:02 PM EST

    I just r3alis3d how 3asy it is to writ3 without using th3 l3tt3r '3'. I could go on and on now without any troubl3 at all.

    In fact, I could probably do wi7hou7 u5ing '7'5 and '5'5 as w3ll, 7hu5 r3moving 7h3 7hr33 mo57 common l3773r5 in 3ngli5h from my wri7ing!

    I'm 5o 'l337. ;)
    ---
    Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?
    [ Parent ]

    Palindromes! (4.00 / 1) (#153)
    by JWhiton on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 08:53:51 PM EST

    I'm surprised nobody's brought up palindromes yet.  The longest one I know is:

    Tired nude man in a pajama I am, a Japan I named under it.

    (Palindromes are words or phrases that are spelled the same backwards and forwards)

    Also: (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by yicky yacky on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 11:29:40 PM EST

    "Satan oscillate my metallic sonatas."

    Although I remember being told once of an entire novel being palindromic - can't imagine it made much sense...




    Yicky Yacky
    ***********
    "You f*cking newbie. Shut up and sit in the corner!" - JCB
    [ Parent ]
    Long palindromes. (4.50 / 2) (#169)
    by zakalwe on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 05:17:37 AM EST

    I did once see a very long variant on "A man, a plan, a canal - Panama." A quick google turned up these and then eventually this one at 15139 words.

    I also came across another long one not using the panama form here.

    [ Parent ]

    Saippuakauppias (none / 0) (#180)
    by bigmouth strikes again on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 06:57:44 PM EST

    Is a palindrom which also is Finnish for "soap salesman".

    [ Parent ]
    My favorite palindrome (5.00 / 1) (#183)
    by Chris Andreasen on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 08:52:40 PM EST

    Doc, note: I dissent. A fast never prevents a fatness. I diet on cod.
    --------
    Is public worship then, a sin,
    That for devotions paid to Bacchus
    The lictors dare to run us in,
    and resolutely thump and whack us?

    [ Parent ]
    Straw? (none / 0) (#185)
    by epepke on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 11:18:15 PM EST

    Straw? No, too stupid a fad. I put soot on warts.


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    Typewriter (3.00 / 1) (#154)
    by mysta on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 08:57:08 PM EST

    ...is the longest word written only using letter from the top row of a QWERTY keyboard.
    ---
    Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?
    Others (5.00 / 2) (#184)
    by Chris Andreasen on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 09:26:56 PM EST

    They're the same length as "typewriter," but there's also "repertoire," "proprietor" and "perpetuity." As for the middle row, the longest appears to be "alfalfa." The Linux dictionary is by no means the Oxford English Dictionary, though, so I may very well be wrong.
    --------
    Is public worship then, a sin,
    That for devotions paid to Bacchus
    The lictors dare to run us in,
    and resolutely thump and whack us?

    [ Parent ]
    And the bottom row winner is... (2.50 / 2) (#188)
    by Dephex Twin on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 11:54:14 PM EST

    "Mmmmmmmmmmmm!"


    Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
    [ Parent ]
    A great IF game for word lovers (4.50 / 4) (#155)
    by mysta on Wed Nov 13, 2002 at 09:04:55 PM EST

    Nick Montfort has a written great Interactive Fiction game entitled, Ad Verbum. If you don't want to grab the game's interpreter (which is recommended as you can then play many of the other IF entries) you can play Ad Verbum over the web, but you won't be able to save your game.

    The humour in the game will be most appreciated by anyone who remembers playing some of the early text adventure games like Zork.
    ---
    Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?

    Hints and Tips (none / 0) (#208)
    by mysta on Sat Nov 16, 2002 at 08:55:30 PM EST

    By the way, I've completed this game and only lost a small amount of hair in the process.

    If anyone gets stuck and wants hints just email me. Also, if you play it post here letting us know what you think of it.
    ---
    Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?
    [ Parent ]

    Sorry (1.33 / 3) (#162)
    by kholmes on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 12:16:50 AM EST

    But I like the English language for its expressive power, not these tricks.

    If you treat people as most people treat things and treat things as most people treat people, you might be a Randian.
    ThinkIt, is that you? NT (none / 0) (#198)
    by Meatbomb on Fri Nov 15, 2002 at 11:28:48 AM EST



    _______________

    Good News for Liberal Democracy!

    [ Parent ]
    Homonyms (3.00 / 1) (#167)
    by Rasman on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 04:22:23 AM EST

    I always liked the word play in this line of an Eve 6 song:
    "I crack a window and feel the cool air cleanse my every pore as I pour my poor heart out."
    Three words all pronounced the same used so close together in a sentence. Nice.

    ---
    Brave. Daring. Fearless. Clippy - The Clothes Pin Stuntman
    It should have been... (5.00 / 1) (#182)
    by mysta on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 08:10:56 PM EST

    "I wind down the window and feel the cool wind cleanse my every pore as I pour my poor heart out."
    Then it would have been double the pun!
    ---
    Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?
    [ Parent ]
    Anagram for Morons (3.00 / 1) (#176)
    by sp00ky on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 02:54:02 PM EST

    Psychotherapist = Psycho The Rapist

    Is that even an anagram (none / 0) (#177)
    by Dephex Twin on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 04:20:26 PM EST

    When you don't even change the letters around?


    Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
    [ Parent ]
    for MORONS (none / 0) (#201)
    by sp00ky on Fri Nov 15, 2002 at 05:22:14 PM EST

    That's why I called it an anagram for morons -- because it's so simple. I think it is an anagram, really, even though all you do is add spaces. Technically it is new words made up from the letters of the orig. word(s). I have liked that one ever since I heard it.

    [ Parent ]
    Don't get me wrong (none / 0) (#202)
    by Dephex Twin on Fri Nov 15, 2002 at 05:36:47 PM EST

    It's really funny.  I was just wondering if that is technically considered an anagram.  If not, perhaps there's another name for it.


    Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
    [ Parent ]
    Of course it is, he switched the T's (nt) (none / 0) (#203)
    by stak on Fri Nov 15, 2002 at 06:46:50 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    Aliteration (4.50 / 2) (#178)
    by ShadeS on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 04:48:33 PM EST

    When I was asked to give an example of aliteration in my english class I said,

    "Pleasantly Pounding Pamala's Pink Pretty Plentiful Posh Pussy."

    It was a damned good example but I got sent to the dean anyway.

    --ShadeS

    Memorized the first 4000+ (none / 0) (#181)
    by MyrddinE on Thu Nov 14, 2002 at 07:27:22 PM EST

    Man... and I was proud to have memorized the first 53.

    /usr/dict/words is crap. (4.00 / 2) (#192)
    by PurpleBob on Fri Nov 15, 2002 at 03:19:10 AM EST

    For those finding word curiosities using grep, I suggest that you first get a better word list than the standard /usr/dict/words that comes with Linux.

    A public-domain wordlist that is nearly equivalent to Scrabble's "Tournament Word List" (in fact, for words of 8 letters or less, they only disagree on the words "bassett" and "bassetts") is ENABLE. That page also links to YAWL, which is in UNIX format and includes more obscure words, but loses a bit of credibility by including words like "bogomips".

    Moby Project (5.00 / 1) (#197)
    by kpaul on Fri Nov 15, 2002 at 11:05:24 AM EST

    Not sure if anyone's mentioned this or not (I think someone may have, but I can't remember if it was here or somewhere else.)

    In any case, check out Moby project


    2014 Halloween Costumes
    [ Parent ]

    now I even I (none / 0) (#196)
    by anonymous cowerd on Fri Nov 15, 2002 at 09:05:24 AM EST

    Now I even I would celebrate
    In rhymes unapt
    The great
    Immortal Syracusan, rivaled nevermore
    Who in his wondrous lore
    Passed on before
    Left men his guidance
    How to circles mensurate.

    Yours WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net

    A drowning man asks for pears from the willow tree.

    Other useless facts (4.50 / 2) (#199)
    by jd on Fri Nov 15, 2002 at 12:14:49 PM EST

    Eleven and Twelve are the only two numbers which, when spelled, do NOT represent tens and units. This is also true in German, and probably other European languages.

    (Actually, this should say that they don't spell the tens and units -in the same language- as the others. The OED, and other sources, speculate that they are actually from some other, now extinct, European language. Elve would be ten, en would be one, tw would be two, giving you the familiar tens and units again.)

    Why those two numbers are taken from one language, and ALL OTHERS are taken from a completely different one, is a mystery. Call in Scooby!!!

    Anyway, other trivia. Both East and West have the same suffix, as do North and South. It's possible that the 'st' and 'th' denote the axis, but it's possible it's just coincidence.

    Vowels are typically defined as a, e, i, o, u and sometimes y. (Rhyme -does- have a vowel, as the y is a vowel in this case.) I've also heard the vowels and consonants defined -phonetically-, and that certain sound types are vowels, regardless of what letters are used to produce them. (Under this definition, there are 22 vowels in the English language.) Under the phonetic definition, there are NO words in English that are consonant only.

    In medieval English (and even up until relatively modern times), some letters could be combined. oe and ae were typical examples. This was to produce a sound that was both phonemes pronounced together. In very modern English, no such system exists. Rather, there are a whole bunch of extra rules to simulate it.

    Modern English has 26 characters. Old English (the one the Saxons used) also had 26 characters. Saxon runes, again, had 26 characters. This level of complexity seems to be considered sufficient to represent everything, and yet simple enough to be useful in everyday life. If you examine writing systems, you will see a -general- (but not universal) trend to having fewer characters and more contextual rules for describing them. (The ultimate in this, of course, is the binary used in computers, where you have only two characters and everything is encoded in rules.)

    There are writing systems on Earth that are now extinct for which no widely-accepted interpretation exists. This happens for languages, too. Cornish was dead for less than a century, and in its revival, there are as many systems of understanding and utilizing it as there are speakers. There is STILL debate as to whether the current translations of Egyptian hyroglyphics is accurate or not, an argument which is stupid, given the sheer number of writings people can use to cross-check with. If it's wrong, fix it. If it's not, use it. But don't hang in this middle ground!

    My cat's breath smells like cat food (3.00 / 2) (#200)
    by DrEvil on Fri Nov 15, 2002 at 12:19:57 PM EST

    (nt)

    "Qwerble" (none / 0) (#207)
    by EvilGwyn on Sat Nov 16, 2002 at 07:16:57 PM EST

    This is a word which I frequently use to represent the number "seven".

    Band Wins Nude Smurf Throw | 210 comments (199 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden)
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