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Picture of Kalleh
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The sharing of newspaper articles has been very well received here. I have closed the old thread, which had 10 pages of comments and am restarting it here. Let us read your articles!
 
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But there aren't any more newspapers.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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Maybe there aren't many good newspaper stories but I think this web story is hilarious.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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Very cute, proof.

This one is too yucky for me to even quote here. Can you believe these ads got put on our city buses?
 
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I even like the title of this article :

"Ill-annoy"

Here are some of the "oddest" complaints received about employees:
quote:
--Employee is too suntanned.

--Employee eats all the good cookies.

--Employee is so polite, it's infuriating.

--Employee is trying to poison me.

--Employee's body is magnetic and keeps deactivating my magnetic access card.

--Employee wears only slippers or socks at work.

--Employee's aura is wrong.

--Employee smells like road ramps.

--Employee breathes too loudly.

--Employee wants to check a co-worker for ticks.

--Co-worker reminded the employee too much of Bambi.

--Employee spends too much time caring for stray cats around the building.
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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I'm NEVER going to a Washington stare fair!!!
http://www.abcnews.go.com/US/d...ler/story?id=8624637
 
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That's a belter of a first sentence.
It's so misleading that I suspect the copy editor of doing it deliberately.
 
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Language Log mentions that sentence, too.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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So funny! Big Grin
 
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Bankers find human beans on the menu.

Perhaps I should mention that the aubergine is better known as "eggplant" in the USA.


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I kinda liked the "Spotted Richard." Wink
 
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Unfortunately there are some meal-mouthed establishments here that refer to "Spotted Richard". I make a point of ordering, very firmly, Spotted Dick - since that is the name of the pudding.

If we change the name of every foodstuff simply because someone, somewhere, might consider that one its titular words might be "rude" - where would it end?

"Rooster au vin" anyone?


Richard English
 
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Out of curiosity, do the French snigger at coq in the same way as some of us? I remember when I was a small boy, as I assume most do, diligently searching my French-English dictionary for rude words. I don't remember looking up "cock/coq", though.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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I remember when I was a small boy, as I assume most do, diligently searching my French-English dictionary for rude words.

I'd be surprised if another language used a similar euphemism for its slang words. FWIW, via wiktionary (link, scroll down a bit for the box with the penis meaning) the French slang terms for the penis: bite f. (< bitte 'bitt, mooring post'), paf m. ('a noise; bang!)), pine f. ('pine tree)'), queue f. ('tail'), vit m. ('pin; bolt, pintle'), zob m. (??). Felicitously, pintle is from Old English pintel 'penis' (link). (I'll run them by a French colleague today at work to see that this is an accurate list and whether any of them are old-fashioned sounding, etc.)


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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quote:
queue

I've certainly seen that used in French, for a young boy's penis in that case, although I guess it was probably 40 years ago, so it may be out of fashion now.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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quote:
That's a belter of a first sentence.
It's so misleading that I suspect the copy editor of doing it deliberately.

More on garden-path sentences, and 'crash blossoms' in general. Sentence First.


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There's a bit of controversy concerning this ad for a new auto.

The reason I bring it up here is, in the opening, the author says the manufacturer wants it called "smart car" with no capital 's' but he refuses to go along and caps the letter. My question is, was the author correct to disregard the maker's wishes?


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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quote:
queue f. ('tail')

Ah, yes. Make sure, when you are looking for end of the line, that you ask the storekeeper for "la queue" and not "ta (or votre) queue", otherwise hilarity will ensue.
 
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I thought that was "cul." It does sound similar, though.
 
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quote:
My question is, was the author correct to disregard the maker's wishes?

Right or wrong it matters little what the manufacturer thinks. The VW company for years called their car simply the VW - possibly adding the capacity designation (VW 1200) or a description of the body style (VW Export Sedan) if that differed from the norm.

But for years the rest of the world called it the VW Beetle (or bug, or some similar entomological name). Only in the last few years of its production did the VW company sometimes refer to it in their advertising as a Beetle (or in German, Kafer). So far as I know the Beetle name never appeared on the car or the car's documentation.

Incidentally, just today I saw an early Beetle for sale - an 1100cc 1952 split window version - for £11000. That's £10 per cc - quite a lot for a 55 year old utilitarian vehicle! According to the advertiser it still has its original engine (although he doesn't say how many miles it has done) and it still starts first time, every time. I was quite tempted, even at that price!


Richard English
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Proofreader:
There's a bit of controversy concerning this ad for a new auto.

The reason I bring it up here is, in the opening, the author says the manufacturer wants it called "smart car" with no capital 's' but he refuses to go along and caps the letter. My question is, was the author correct to disregard the maker's wishes?


I am a little puzzled by the idea that they want smart not Smart because most trademark owners hate the idea of their name becoming generic and encouraging smart with a small s seems to me to be a fast track to making it a generic name for ultra-small cars.
 
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And re the whole article: I've always believed that anyone foolish enough to believe advertising deserves to be fooled. A sceptical eye isn't necessary if you just choose to disbelieve all advertising on the principle that no one trying to sell you something can be trusted to be working in your best interest.

Ah, my inner cynic lives on. Big Grin
 
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It’s time to reform work hours for resident physicians
quote:
Sleep deprivation impedes memory consolidation and degrades physicians’ clinical performance to the 7th percentile of rested performance. After working more than 24 hours, resident physicians are 73 percent more likely to stab themselves with a needle and 168 percent more likely to crash driving home.
 
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Interesting, Tinman. I am a bit familiar with the ACGME changes to residencies, and I think this comment is a bit harsh:
quote:
The ACGME staved off then-pending legislation by announcing work-hour limits that sanctioned twice-per-week 30-hour shifts rather than eliminating them, refusing to disclose work-hour compliance data from member hospitals, failing to provide whistle-blower protection, abiding falsification of resident work-hour records, and allowing 84 percent non-adherence to current ACGME work-hour limits.
While not perfect, ACGME has transformed working hours for medical residents.
 
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The criticism may be harsh, but is it true? I know sleep deprivation is a serious problem and has been linked to many health problems. The sleep-deprived individual presents a danger to himself and to others. Thirty-hour medical shifts are a disservice to the residents and their charges.

Wikipedia articles:

sleep deprivation
quote:
Complete absence of sleep over long periods is impossible to achieve; brief microsleeps cannot be avoided.
Microsleep
quote:
  • A microsleep is an episode of sleep which may last for a fraction of a second or up to thirty seconds.
  • Many accidents and catastrophies [sic] have resulted from microsleep episodes in these circumstances.

Residency (medicine)
quote:
Medical residencies traditionally require lengthy hours of their trainees. Early residents literally resided at the hospitals, often working in unpaid positions during their education. During this time, a resident might always be "on call" or share that duty with just one other practitioner. More recently, 36-hour shifts were separated by 12 hours of rest, during 100+ hour weeks. The American public, and the medical education establishment, recognized that such long hours were counter-productive, since sleep deprivation increases rates of medical errors. This was noted in a landmark study on the effects of sleep deprivation and error rate in an intensive care unit.[1] The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has limited the number of work-hours to 80 hours weekly (averaged over 1 month), overnight call frequency to no more than one overnight every third day, 30 hour maximum straight shift, and 10 hours off between shifts. While these limits are voluntary, adherence has been mandated for the purposes of accreditation.


The ACGME paper on Resident Duty Hours says
quote:
  • Faculty and residents must be educated to recognize the signs of fatigue and sleep deprivation and must adopt and apply policies to prevent and counteract its potential negative effects on patient care and learning.

  • Duty hours must be limited to 80 hours per week, averaged over a four-week period, inclusive of all in-house call activities.

  • Continuous on-site duty, including in-house call, must not exceed 24 consecutive hours. Residents may remain on duty for up to six additional hours to participate in didactic activities, transfer care of patients, conduct outpatient clinics, and maintain continuity of medical and surgical care.


It seems to me that those last two statements contradict the first. I don't see how you can work an 80-hour week, which may include two 30-hours shifts, and not be sleep-deprived. It seems to fly in the face of that medical axiom, "Above all, do no harm."

The New York Times editorial, June 24, 2009:
quote:
In fact the A.M.A. now represents only 19 percent of practicing physicians (that’s my calculation, which the A.M.A. neither confirms nor contests). Its membership has declined in part because of its embarrassing historical record: the A.M.A. supported segregation, opposed President Harry Truman’s plans for national health insurance, backed tobacco, denounced Medicare and opposed President Bill Clinton’s health reform plan.
 
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It will be interesting to see if today's airline incident is related to this discussion...
 
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The criticism may be harsh, but is it true?
I don't think it is true. They seem to be playing with the truth a bit, though I can find out the facts when I return to Chicago. The ACGME is located in Chicago, and I'll make a few calls. They took a very bold step, irritating attending physicians throughout the states, by requiring all residencies to limit their hours per week. Residencies here in the U.S. had gotten way out of hand with regards to the hours residents worked. Errors were being made.

ACGME has continued to hold the programs accountable, including taking punitive action against prestigious Johns Hopkins when they weren't following the guidelines. That raised a few eyebrows.

Now, in all fairness, I am a little biased because the previous executive director of the ACGME (the one who got this rule through) was a mentor to me and I have the utmost respect for him. So I'll try to get some hard, cold facts on this.
 
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Good evening... er... good day... er... good afternoon... er

hello!

Apparently Warwickshire police can no longer say "good evening" because it might confuse people from other cultures. What a load of patronising rubbish. If I were from any other culture, any one at all, I'd be damned insulted by the idea that they think I'd be "confused" by a simple greeting.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by BobHale:
Apparently Warwickshire police can no longer say "good evening" because it might confuse people from other cultures.


That's what the article's title says, but the article itself provides no evidence for this.
 
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It's also in the Daily Mail ...


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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It has been more widely reported. I chose an article more or less at random from the newspapers available. It's even been reported on the BBC.

<Tongue-in-cheek> So it must be true. </Tongue-in-cheek>
 
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Not that I've anything against the Daily Mail, mind you. Some of my best friends are Mail readers. Wink

We've even got a Mail journalist as a member (Quentin Letts).


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Language Log on Shakespeare's peevologist.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Big Grin Perhaps the Warwickshire police-manual authors should apply for a government grant. Since they clearly have time on their hands, why not delegate to them coming up with new words to replace some of the more dicey choices among European et al languages? Gee, I'll bet there are lots more out there besides evening vs afternoon and gay/lesbian vs homosexual!
 
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quote:
In some countries, including the UK, the evening meal time is traditionally thought of as being around 5-7pm but this might be different, say, for a family from America who might have their main meal earlier and thus for them evening may be an earlier time.'


When does he think we have our "main meal?" I found that comment odd.
 
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Language Log again on The grammar gravy train.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Here's an interesting article about the Britannica. I found this comparison eye-opening:
quote:
"My guess is [Britannica] is a steady business," said Albert Greco, a Fordham University marketing professor and book industry expert. "There's always a need for high-quality, reliable information that might not be there in free sources."

To understand why, compare how Wikipedia and Britannica treat writer Jack Kerouac. Wikipedia's entry was written and tweaked by more than 1,000 users. Although the text includes 44 footnotes, you mostly have to take it on faith that Irishguy, RasputinAXP and the rest of the pseudonymous contributors know what they're talking about.

Britannica's take was written by college professor Regina Weinreich, author of "Kerouac's Spontaneous Poetics." It was edited and fact-checked by six company employees, three of whom are named in the entry.

Which version is more accurate? Beats me. But if I were a high school English teacher, I know which one I'd accept as a source in a term paper.
 
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This is an interesting article about how computers and the Internet are changing our lives, especially the impact on our privacy: Internet Antichrist.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: arnie,


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"There's always a need for high-quality, reliable information that might not be there in free sources."

During high school, it was the encyclopedia that filled the slot in this intellectual scare story. Students would not read an assigned book and write a critical essay on it. They would first go to the family or school library encyclopedia and copy out some undigested text for their paper. Some would also look into Cliff Notes and the like. I have been using encyclopedias both online and off (I own an 11th edition Encyclopaedia Britannica) for quite some time. They both of them have their pluses and their minuses. I have found errors of fact in both, as well as opinions masquerading as fact in both. The plus for brick and mortar encyclopedias is the work flow, the use of professionals, and the security against random vandalism. The plus for Wikipedia is the transparent vetting process and the quick turn-around in editing-publishing cycle. A plus with both is the bibliographical references. Rather than just taking an assertion as fact, one can look to the primary and secondary texts for clarification and verification. Not many, adults or students, do that, but both kinds of encyclopedias facilitate it in the better articles. A minus of Wikipedia is the illusion (intentional or not) of absolute objectivity in the writing-editing-publishing of an entry. The Encyclopaedia Britannica had (and still has) an Anglo-American cultural bias. Similarly other great encyclopedias do, too. (Cf. The Soviet Encyclopedia or the French 18th century Encyclopédie.)


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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They both of them have their pluses and their minuses.
Yes, Wordcraft has convinced me of that. I had been skeptical of Wikipedia, but our discussions have changed my mind. However, in this particular case, I'd have to say I'd trust the encyclopedia over Wikipedia.

We have 4 sets of encyclopedias, if you can believe it...though I have to blame my sweet, but bibliomaniacal, husband for that. It's no wonder we're out of bookshelves!
 
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Ben Zimmer in the NYT "On Language" column:
Cadillac Thrives as a Figure of Speech.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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In building plans for local school districts, they always talk about the "Taj Mahal" version of the plan as the highest and best. I've never heard the most-souped-up school design referred to as "the Cadillac plan." Still, you do encounter that metaphor everywhere. Interesting column.

Wordmatic
 
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I have never heard the expression "the Cadillac of..." but the expression "The Rolls-Royce of..." survives in the UK - I suspect with more reason. Unlike GM, Rolls-Royce never built an "entry-level" vehicle. The progression from Chevrolet to Cadillac as described in the article could never happen with Rolls-Royce; there was never a "Chevrolet" version of any Rolls-Royce. Even when Rolls-Royce made their first "small" car (the 20 hp of the early 1920s) it was still far and away more expensive than any vaguely comparable vehicle.

Probably the nearest to a "poor man's" Rolls-Royce was the ill-fated British Leyland Princess R models of the 1960s. Basically an ordinary BL mid-size car but fitted with a Rolls-Royce industrial engine. A shabby experiment that did neither organisation much good and from which experiment few vehicles have survived.

Of the approximately 150,000 "proper" Rolls-Royces made in the century or so of the firm's existence, over half still survive, a record no other manufacturer can approach and another reason why the vehicles' reputation for quality is still probably unmatched. (GM, of course, probably made that many vehicles in a couple of months.)


Richard English
 
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Speaking of Cadillac, I have a great story about my father-in-law. He was a patent attorney...a sole practitioner. He was brilliant, but it isn't always easy when you're in business by yourself. His wife suggested he try the "Cadillac Principle." That is, raise is prices...a lot...and his clients would then think he is the best. Reluctantly, he did. And guess what? She was right! That's when his business took off.
 
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Price is a very important part of the marketing mix. The concept of raising prices to persuade customers that your product is superior to other similar products works very well when the product or service involved is one about which customers know relatively little. Legal services are a good example; most people rarely need such services but, when they do, usually want the best service they can afford. They assume that a more expensive lawyer will be more competent (although that may or may not be the case).

However, for products that customers know well and which sell in large numbers, the pricing rules are different. With such items (often known in marketing terms as "commodities") people often perceive little difference between them and will usually buy the cheapest (or what they believe is the cheapest). Petrol is a good example of a commodity; all other things being equal, people will fill up at the cheapest pump (especially in places like the UK where the stuff costs around £5/gallon). Regardless of what the petrol companies might try to tell us, most people believe there is no difference between brands.

Air travel is another example of a price-led commodity. The rise and rise of the "no-frills" carriers has come about because passengers see no difference between airlines; they all get you to the place you want to go, at the time you want to go there, and most people perceive no service or other benefits that are worth paying extra for.

Of course, the subject is rather more complex that can be explained in a few paragraphs (which is why I manage to sell my 4-day marketing course!). For example, at the top and bottom extremes of wealth, the importance of price is quite different.


Richard English
 
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Thanks to Language Log for this story.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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I hate to be the Grinch but this story is not of my making. Perhaps Christmas can still be saved for many of you.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Proofreader,


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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Ummm... Proof?

That link only opens a reply window for this thread. Confused


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