David Thompson
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October 17, 2021

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Fred the Fourth

As a pale freckled ginger gent, I have been frequently addressed in London as to directions somewhere.
My confessions of ignorance, expressed in a profound upper US MidWestern twang, result inevitably in facial expressions I'd normally associate with revelation of a terminal illness.
Except, of course, within the walls of this fine establishment.

Darleen

There’s also a Versailles, Ohio. Pronounced locally as Vurr-sails

Marseilles, Illinois: pronounced "mar sails", may God forgive us.

Imagine my surprise when arriving in Prescott, Arizona, to find out the locals can easily spot the outsiders because the locals pronounce it as Pres-skit.

Baceseras
EXquisite, not exQUISite
According to the folks at Merriam-Webster (heh), it's both

According to Schroedinger's Dictionary, it's both until I speak. "EXquisite." There now.

Baceseras
EXquisite, not exQUISite
According to the folks at Merriam-Webster (heh), it's both

According to Schroedinger's Dictionary, it's both until I speak. "EXquisite." There now.

David

It’s not stealing if it’s fewer than 950 words at a time.

[ Slides free straw to Asiaseen. ]

JuliaM

I was once stopped in London a good few years ago by a lovely elderly couple obviously from the States asking me where was the Tower of London.

Where was I? The north side of Tower Bridge. I pointed out the Tower to them, just off to the left, and from the somewhat disappointed look that flashed across their face, I suspect they’d been expecting something g a bit larger and more flamboyant…

Daniel Ream

Another idea would be to charge customers a subscription fee to tip drivers based on the factors above. This would be over and above tips provided directly by the customer on delivery.

DoorDash already does this. They have to; none of these services (Uber, Lyft, SkipTheDishes, DoorDash, Groupon, etc) are even remotely viable. They're just burning through startup capital and if they can't transition to a subscription-based model they go under.

"It sounds like Optimus Prime fucking a dishwasher."

Short. Pithy. Better than the description I heard, which was "It sounds like someone duct taped an electronic drum kit to a Moog synthesizer and tipped the whole thing into the Thames while still connected to the mains."

Perhaps it's only women who don't understand being a woman if these middle-aged blokes can do such a good job in writing about women?

My sister's best friend in college went on to work for Harlequin Romance (a Canadian romance novel publisher) and admitted that a lot of the formulaic turn-the-crank novels were written by a small number of male writers under an assortment of pseudonyms.

James Nicoll, at rec.arts.sf-lovers

Mr. Nicoll operated a game store in the town I grew up in, which I patronized regularly until it went out of business due to his spectacularly terrible business acumen.

[ongoing discussion of regional mispronunciation]

PiperPaul

What I find amusing and annoying is trying to understand what streets the Google voice is trying to pronounce while using Google Maps for navigation in Montreal.

WTP

I suspect they’d been expecting something g a bit larger and more flamboyant…

Probably just came from Piccadilly Circus. Why you people can't afford a monkey or two is beyond me. Yeah, yeah, the war, the war...

pst314

My sister's best friend in college went on to work for Harlequin Romance...and admitted that a lot of the formulaic turn-the-crank novels were written by a small number of male writers under an assortment of pseudonyms.

I have heard that this recently caused a political uproar among the female ranks of the professionally easily offended.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Demon pronouns, yet I fear we haven't reached peak idiocy.

pst314

What I find amusing and annoying is trying to understand what streets the Google voice is trying to pronounce while using Google Maps for navigation in Montreal.

If you set your iPhone's location to Montreal, and then speak to Siri in English, the answer is always "Je ne parle pas Anglais".

Daniel Ream

I have heard that this recently caused a political uproar among the female ranks of the professionally easily offended.

I can't remember who said it, but a veteran Hollywood writer once said that men can write women but women can't write men. That mostly jibes with my experience.

Tam
Last year, a branch of Spain’s Women’s Institute listed Mola’s The Girl, a part of the trilogy, as one of the must-read books and films by women that “help us understand the reality and the experiences of women”.

We know that one man can overcome his toxic masculinity by getting in touch with his female side, by silencing his mansplaining instincts, by the somatic praxis of keeping his knees together and his elbows in on public transport. An example is the Gay Girl in Damascus blog, a creative writing exercise that took on a life of its own.

We know that two men with good intentions can overcome their toxic masculinity by having cosy chats where they "open up" about their vulnerabilities.

But three men, without female supervision, is a different kind of male sociability, a terrorist cell of Locker Room Talk, a cancer cluster of toxic masculinity. Surely they'd have been egging each other on to introduce the most objectifying and misogynist themes into the books. How could female readers not intuit?

a lot of the formulaic turn-the-crank novels were written by a small number of male writers under an assortment of pseudonyms.

A book written by three people needs a style guide, explicit meta conversations about whether it would be on-brand for Carmen Mola to write it this way or that way, perhaps even a checklist of "female writing style" tells.

Sam Duncan

“And I note that so far, no one has mentioned Gaelic spelling...”

Actually, I did, tangentially.

“Marseilles, Illinois: pronounced "mar sails", may God forgive us.”

What? That's correct. Marseille = “mar-siy” (kinda; you know what I mean); Marseilles = “mar-sails”. The modern propensity for attempting to pronounce the English spelling the French way seems to stem from pure snobbery. Ditto Mallorca/Majorca.

pst314

seems to stem from pure snobbery

He is not of the body!

Megaera

Can't recall the specific venue Twain had in mind when he observed that foreigners always spell better than they pronounce (might have been finding that Beaulieu was rendered locally as Borley Rectory), but given that my sister used to live in Balmer (known to some, at least, as Baltimore) and a number of our Cajun cousins refer to The Big Easy as Nallins (NWallins, if they're taking pains about it), I don't see that we're holding any kind of high ground.

Question: I have always been charmed by the insult "big girl's blouse" but having never actually heard it deployed, I would like to know where the stress falls -- that is, does the opprobrium focus on Bigness, on Girl-ness, or does it arise from the garment itself? Um, asking for a friend, you understand.

pst314

Girl-ness. At least that is what a hasty internet search reveals.

Megaera

Huh. So, being designated a Boy's blouse, small or large, is what, sort of an encomium?

pst314

Huh. So, being designated a Boy's blouse, small or large, is what, sort of an encomium?

It's funny, isn't it, how certain words and expressions are used only in one form and never in the antonym form. Feckless, for instance.

Megaera

Disheveled ...

Uncouth ...

Unkempt.

pst314

Incorrigible.

And then there is the strange story of how "inflammable" was officially replaced by "flammable": When I was very young warning signs would say "danger: inflammable", but some public safety activists claimed that this was dangerously ambiguous: People would think that because "incomplete" means "not complete" then "inflammable" must mean "not flammable" and they would happily carry open flames around gasoline tanks.

pst314

"Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy is one of the medium-water marks of science fiction." #ChangeMyMind

Sam Duncan

“Disheveled ...”

Well, that's interesting. My initial thought (and the reason I started this comment) was that “dis” in that context was probably, as it can be, an intensifier. But then I looked it up.

It's from the medieval French deschevelé, meaning “without headdress”. And it's been in English, without its antonym, for quite a while. Chaucer used it.

“Uncouth ...”

“Couthy” was widely used in Scotland with a meaning not unlike the German “gemütlich” or (perhaps even more closely) Danish “hygge”, although over the years it's taken on connotations of tweeness or corniness and fallen out of favour. But I think most of us would know the word.

pst314

I have only seen "couth" used once. :-|

It's fascinating how the meaning of words can drift. I suppose everyone here knows that "villain" used to mean merely "peasant" rather than "evil person". Just as "noble" used to mean "member of the nobility" rather than "good person". Similarly with "gentleman":

"For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition..."

WTP

Similarly, 'turpitude'. Never seen it used, except maybe forcefully, without 'low moral' preceding it.

Words that are themselves their exact opposites are what get me. For quite some time as a youngster the word 'sanctioned', and variations, confused me as to what was being conveyed. Yet for all their insistence on the necessity for clear communication, I never had an English teacher..mmm...sanction it.

pst314

the word 'sanctioned', and variations, confused me as to what was being conveyed.

Also "tabled": Does "the motion has been tabled" mean it has been put on the agenda or taken off the agenda? It is sometimes necessary to read the context very carefully to determine which meaning is intended. Arrgh.

'turpitude'

From the Latin turpitūdō (“baseness, infamy”), from turpis (“foul, base”).

pst314

David, I got an error 503 while previewing the last comment. Happened once yesterday, too. Have you been feeding the hamsters a proper diet?

pst314

.

pst314

Purina can also keep your pet alien healthy and strong.

ns

Des Plaines, IL is "dess planes" but Des Moines, IA is "deh moyn". And why not, we Midwesterners will pronounce french words any dang way we please!

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