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Today I learned....
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Sam



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 9585

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"[T]he prisoners were to be sent forthwith to the BicÍtre, and there, making one chain, to be sent on to the Bagne at Brest. It is unnecessary to say that I was relying on escaping en route."

and by this point in reading it, you know it to be true.
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Mindslicer



Joined: 04 Sep 2006
Posts: 1891
Location: North of the People's Republic of Massachusetts

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today is the anniversary of sliced bread being for sale in the United States. It wasn't until many years later that the federal government banned it.
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stripeypants



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
Posts: 3429
Location: Land of the Grumpuses

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today I learned that 'cannot' is considered a word. I wouldn't have a problem with it, but it's bizarre to me that spell check decided 'can not' is spelled wrong and should be replaced with 'cannot.' If it's a good or better alternative, I feel that I should have run into it by now.
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Jabberjay



Joined: 31 Jul 2012
Posts: 259

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you ever need to know anything about english linguistics just reference the online Oxford English Dictionary.

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/cannot?q=cannot

The full version even has the origin of every english word and phrase. The harbacked paper copy takes up an entire shelf in my university library.
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Heretical Rants



Joined: 21 Jul 2009
Posts: 5344
Location: No.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd consult a proper search engine first.

You shouldn't believe your spellcheck, in any case. It doesn't exactly have its finger on the pulse of common usage. Fundamentally it's just a whitelist of guaranteed-acceptable character sequences.
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mouse



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 17419
Location: under the bed

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'cannot' is definitely a word! although it seems to be falling out of usage, though, replaced by "can't".

it's one of those style things - can give things a subtly different flavor.

i remember a bit in a book, when a rather rough-hewn character surprises someone by saying "i cannot do it", rather than "i can't do it"; "cannot" being more formal than "can't". "i can not do it" gives things a slightly different stress - or at least the potential for a different stress. 'i CANNOT do it" seems to put the focus on one's lack of ability, where "i can NOT do it" points to more the importance of the 'not'. "i CAN not do it" moves it back to the agency of the person...or so it feels to me.
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Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 10892
Location: Bellingham, WA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

... what an orchidometer is.
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stripeypants



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
Posts: 3429
Location: Land of the Grumpuses

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did double check it, though, because I figured it must clearly be wrong. (Certainly not the first time. Spellcheck denies me perfectly good words all the time.)

That thing sounds amazingly useful, although it is so weird that testicle size is a sign of learning disabilities. Humans are very interesting.
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Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 10892
Location: Bellingham, WA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah... it makes sense if you know the name of the plant is actually derived from the Latin for testicle because of the shape of its roots.
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"Worse comes to worst, my people come first, but my tribe lives on every country on earth. Iíll do anything to protect them from hurt, the human race is what I serve." - Baba Brinkman
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stripeypants



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
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Location: Land of the Grumpuses

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Text Bands were made in 2012, not the early 90s like I assumed after seeing one in the flea market:

http://www.natewalsh.com/textbands/

These things just seem so dated, like those virtual pets you could have battle other people's pets if you jammed the plastic cases together.
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stripeypants



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
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Location: Land of the Grumpuses

PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beethoven was black.

http://open.salon.com/blog/ronp01/2009/09/27/the_african_heritage_of_ludwig_van_beethoven
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WheelsOfConfusion



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks more than a little reach-y to me.
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stripeypants



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
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Location: Land of the Grumpuses

PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not the end all be all of articles, but it doesn't seem that farfetched to me.
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WheelsOfConfusion



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It has numerous problems. Right away, it asserts that Beethoven's mother was a Moor. I have seen zero evidence for this, in fact everything I can find says she was German from a German family with a German name, probably from the Rhineland. His father was part-Flemish and part-German. There is no evidence given that his half-Flemish father had any Moorish ancestry, and furthermore "Moorish" does not mean "black" the way we think of Morgan Freeman playing Azeem in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Most of the Moors were Arabian or Berbers by descent, neither of which are black. Think Zinedine Zidane instead. So even that hypothetical North-African-By-Way-Of-Spainish-Occupation-of-Flanders ancestry doesn't say "black" if we were to accept it, which we have no real reason to.
There was also the habit in parts of Europe at the time of calling people who had black hair "Moorish." Even today we have the "black Irish" who have dark features, but no recent African ancestry. There was a similar case with people in the Caucuses being called "black" by their neighbors because they weren't blond.
I have no idea what the death mask was supposed to prove. I've seen plenty of old white people with that kind of puss. And the part about Beethoven incorporating African music into his repertoire? That kind of stereotyping is just painful to read.
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stripeypants



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
Posts: 3429
Location: Land of the Grumpuses

PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll look more into it. I heard this from a friend that tends to be accurate, and looked for a source to cite it here with.

I understand that historically racial categories were different than what shows up in the modern US, so I was assuming that it was a case of complicated mixed ancestry.
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