Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Trading Trade Me?

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  • steven crawford,

    oops "That's"

    That is remarkable. I did not previously realize that thats is a nonexistent word.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4316 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I did not previously realize that thats is a nonexistent word.

    Oh, but it isn't. I could say for instance that if you use to many thises or thats in a sentence, it's bad style.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Josh Addison,

    I bought Bishop Berkeley's doormat on TradeMe. It says "there's no place."

    See, I get that one, as well as the geek jokes. Finally my MA in Philosophy is earning its keep.

    Onehunga, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 298 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    That is remarkable. I did not previously realize that thats is a nonexistent word.

    These days I figure, so long as it's clear, does it actually matter? It's so common to break all the rules of grammar now, and being pedantic is so damned time wasting. Fair enough if you're writing in a newspaper because they have their own standards, or in a school essay, since they're trying to teach 'good' English. But in a blog? Picking people up on grammar is a pretty lame way to fail to engage the meaning. If it's unclear, just ask for clarification. I'm extremely tolerant of shitty spelling and grammar because I just want the ideas, and I don't think only perfect English speakers/writers have important points to make. OK, it takes longer if they're so poor that the meaning is hard to get. But consider that it also takes longer when you're just pissing people off by being a pedant, and ignoring what they're saying, demanding conformance to standards that are actually pretty arbitrary. People spoke perfectly good comprehensible language well before dictionaries and grammar books were ever invented. Some of the best ideas of all time were expressed completely ungrammatically, and some of the best written art, too. Shakespeare would never have got one play past a proofreader. Language bureaucrats seem to be more about shutting people and ideas down than making things work better, IMHO.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler,

    ... doormats with 'There's No Place Like 127.0.0.1' written on them.

    What, "There's No Place Like loopback"? I'll have "There's No Place Like ~"

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Shakespeare would never have got one play past a proofreader.

    And Shakespeare didn't have to cope with pedants, at least not in the modern sense. In The Taming of the Shrew there's a minor character identified simply as "a pedant". I was initially a little puzzled that he didn't do anything pedantic, then I discovered that in Shakespeare's early modern English the word simply meant schoolteacher.

    If the concept that it's impossible to murder one's own mother tongue takes on then maybe even the word pedant will be rehabilitated and shed its pejorative meaning.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    But consider that it also takes longer when you're just pissing people off by being a pedant

    Does is not also take longer when you're just pissing people off by being an anti-pedant? ;)

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Reeves,

    There are just 10 sorts of people---those who read binary and those who don't.

    Near Donny Park, Hamilton… • Since Apr 2007 • 94 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Robyn, i'm surprised you didnt remember #cccccc and then #eeeeee the lightest legal grey you could have back then for subtle designy type design stuff whilst busy making pages under 50Kb.

    I remember it now! Oh, it's all coming back. Very soon I'll be able to create a turn-of-the-millennium-style webpage.

    "Roses are #FF0000
    Violets are #0000FF
    All of my base
    Are belong to you"

    I suppose that to some people, that will be the most romantic thing they have ever heard.

    While other people go for a slightly different take on the romantic classic:

    Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    Il-Bordello's prices
    are lower for you!

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    There are just 10 sorts of people---those who read binary and those who don't.

    I have that t-shirt.

    There have been quite a few puzzled looks from people who are just a little bit too nervous to ask.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    ... doormats with 'There's No Place Like 127.0.0.1' written on them.

    What, "There's No Place Like loopback"? I'll have "There's No Place Like ~"

    Ok. How about 192.168.1.X

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Um, Ben, I agree with your argument but in this case it was Rachel correcting herself.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I always wanted a shirt with "403" on it.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    But it would probably just enrage an area code gang somewhere in the US. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I always wanted a shirt with "403" on it.

    I can get you close...

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Heh. In that configuration I'd rather have the 200.. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Heh. In that configuration I'd rather have the 200.. :)

    Dude, I said I could get you close .

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    ..and yet so far.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Um, Ben, I agree with your argument but in this case it was Rachel correcting herself.

    I wasn't ragging on Rachel. But internalizing pedantry to the point where you feel the need to make follow up posts just to correct something that is patently obvious, to preempt anyone else doing it (as so frequently happens) is something that I, at least, don't feel she should have to.

    3410

    Does is not also take longer when you're just pissing people off by being an anti-pedant? ;)

    I guess that depends on what you mean by anti-pedant. If it's someone who deliberately makes it unclear what they mean, then they're much worse than pedants. But if you mean someone like me, an un-pedant, then it's hard to say. The only people I piss off are pedants. If they are a majority, then yeah, it could actually take longer that way. But I don't think they are the majority, even in PA.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that precision is bad. Absolutely not. I'm a computer programmer, and precision is totally vital in most of what I do. I'm accused (by you, as I recall) of being overly wordy, but my excuse is that I don't like to be misunderstood, so I say the same thing in several ways. Which means that pedantic people really piss me off, when they find one way that might have been poorly worded or punctuated, and hold that up as an inconsistency, thus hoping to refute my point. What they are really doing is deliberately missing the point. If you don't get what I mean, then bloody well ask what I mean, don't misconstrue me deliberately. I'm always happy to retract something that is poorly worded - to me that's about as emotionally challenging as fixing a bug in my software, a no-brainer, it has to be done. But humans are not computers, and they are able to get things from context, so some tiny bug doesn't need to be a show stopper in the world of human discourse. It seldom needs to be mentioned.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    internalising pedantry

    I hadn't thought of that.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    I'm accused (by you, as I recall) of being overly wordy, but my excuse is that I don't like to be misunderstood, so I say the same thing in several ways.

    I can't imagine that that was me. Plenty of things far more worthy of complaint. Besides, I kinda like wordiness. Anyhow, I can see your point now, and generally agree, if it's at the expense of discussing the real issues.

    Nevertheless, I'll still fight from time to time for non-sloppy communication*, despite the obvious unfashionability, but for reasons of good manners, not "correctness."

    *with appropriate dispensations for those with specific issues

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Lx,

    "Roses are #FF0000
    Violets are #0000FF
    All of my base
    Are belong to you"

    I suppose that to some people, that will be the most romantic thing they have ever heard.

    Weeell...not quite the most romantic thing ever, but if it were on a cute, geeky, Rachel Maddow-type I'd prolly be doing the giggle-and-blush thing.

    While other people go for a slightly different take on the romantic classic:

    Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    Il-Bordello's prices
    are lower for you!

    Ah yes, Il Bordello. I'm reliably informed that they won't haggle.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 24 posts Report Reply

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