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Picture of Caterwauller
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This discussion about car accidents got me to thinking about the term "train wreck" when used to describe something that doesn't even involve trains. I'm thinking about when someone will say as I heard the other day "my hair today is a train wreck!"

Is this some sort of eponym-like thing? Or is it merely a mashed-up simile? Have you all heard this usage before?


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"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
Posts: 5149 | Location: Columbus, OhioReply With QuoteReport This Post
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I hear it a lot, and more and more often.

As far as I can tell, it is just a "mashed-up simile". Train wrecks are pretty dramatic, even the still photos.
 
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Or is it merely a mashed-up simile?

Mashup (link) has slightly different meanings out here on the Left Coast.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Oh, you techies!

I've wondered about "train wreck," too CW. I think it's a mashed-up simile.

I looked a little, and there isn't much. However, the Double-Tongued Dictionary said this, "train wreckn. a disaster or failure, especially one that is unstoppable or unavoidable; a disorganized, problematic, or chaotic person or thing; an incongruous situation." It does make sense to call it "unstoppable," though the more common definition is "disaster."

In looking for references to it, I found this Web site that says, "The bizarre linguistic train wreck that ensued..." That's an interesting use of it.
 
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The use here is a metaphor, not a simile. If it had been described as "like a train wreck" it would be a simile.

See Wikipedia.


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:
The use here is a metaphor, not a simile. If it had been described as "like a train wreck" it would be a simile.

Stephen Fry's BBC talk on metaphor was very enlightening (see my post elsewhere)


Richard English
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Richard English:
Stephen Fry's BBC talk on metaphor was very enlightening (see my post elsewhere)


I listened to the program and for one awful minute thought he was going to repeat the discredited story of "freeze the balls off a brass monkey" refering to a triangular frame for holding a pyramid of cannonballs.

Indeed the story was repeated, but then dismissed immediately as nonsense by both the next contributor and bt Fry himself.

I should have had more faith.

Next weeks program is about quotations. The third, and final, one will be avbout cliche.
 
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Stephen Fry's BBC talk on metaphor

I tried to listen to it but they kept asking for my license fee.


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they kept asking for my license fee

Is there a tax to use the inter-web-tubularity thingies in the UK?


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Not in the UK, no, but I do know that the BBC iPlayer to watch BBC TV doesn't work outside the UK. Some clever bit of internet technology, no doubt.
 
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I'm pretty sure that BBC Radio is free-to-all; only TV programmes are limited to UK users. What happens if you click on this direct link? I can't tell, of course, since I'm in the UK.

Note: the link will expire in a few days.


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 tried to listen to it but they kept asking for my license fee.

Perhaps the same sentence with a smiley face after it?


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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I tried the link, and was prompted to install RealPlayer, which I refuse to do.
 
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I tried to listen to it but they kept asking for my license fee.

Surely you mean "license TAX".
 
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Oh, we do have fun around here, don't we? Big Grin

Thanks, arnie, that was a great link.
 
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I tried the link, and was prompted to install RealPlayer, which I refuse to do.

It is annoying to have to install software just to undertake one task, simply because the provider has only made something available in one format.

However, RealPlayer is quite a well-behaved program and you can make sure, by selecting the correct options when you install it, that it only plays its own files. Unlike the piratical QuickTime player, which takes over all media files and refuses to let you use any alternative player unless and until you uninstall it, RealPlayer is quite content with its lot and will not upset your system in any way.

And, if you don't wish to keep it, it's easy to uninstall.


Richard English
 
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Is there a tax to use the inter-web-tubularity thingies in the UK?

You only need a licence to watch broadcast TV (not radio) in the UK. You do not need a licence to watch broadcast TV if you live in, say, the Irish Republic, within range of BBC transmissions.

You do not need a licence to watch recorded programs, whether they be online or on tape/CD/DVD.

You do not need a licence to own a TV set - although you will pay tax on its purchase (VAT at 17.5% of its purchase price).


Richard English
 
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However, RealPlayer is quite a well-behaved program

It didn't used to be. In fact, it was one of the most reviled programs around:

quote:
When you install Real Player, you can either choose an express install, or custom install. If you pick express install, Real Player simply installs itself with every option and feature turned on. If you choose the custom install, the process is a blend between an installer and a Pokemon-like game of gotta-uncheck-all-checkboxes.
From here, which has a fair amount of discussion regarding the BBC in the comments.

I haven't used it since its very very early days. I started to install it on a Mac, but there was no custom install option. I ran the install on a test box, and found that it did a lot of nasty things - without telling you that it was doing so.
 
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They have cleaned up their act quite a bit since the early days when then RealPlayer did indeed contain spyware. I even posted about it back in 2004 on my blog -How to Get Spyware-free RealPlayer through the BBC. Note that the post is well out of date as there have been several versions issued since then.

Like Richard, I have it installed and it seems fairly well-behaved, although it still does seem to want to install extraneous junk if you give it half a chance. I heartily concur with Richard's remarks about QT, as well!


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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Mashup (link) has slightly different meanings out here on the Left Coast.

Ya, I guess I knew that, too. Hope I didn't confuse anyone!

As far as the rest of the discussion, some of those proprietary bits of software can really be a train wreck on your computer, eh?


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"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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Ya, I guess I knew that, too. Hope I didn't confuse anyone!

Yes, I figured you did, as you get out of your house and into the library, at regular intervals. It was more for the one word, one meaning, zero tolerance folks who might be lurking about.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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I heartily concur with Richard's remarks about QT, as well!



Well, YMMV, because he said:

quote:
Unlike the piratical QuickTime player, which takes over all media files and refuses to let you use any alternative player unless and until you uninstall it,


which is certainly not true, on the many operating systems I use it on. It has a straight-forward installer, which permits one, by default, to pick and choose its behaviour regarding differing media types.
 
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one word, one meaning, zero tolerance folks

Surely we don't have any of those around here, do we?

(currently posting from the library)


*******
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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Surely we don't have any of those around here, do we?

If we do, and they're lurking, how would I know? (Posting from the SOHO.)


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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which is certainly not true, on the many operating systems I use it on. It has a straight-forward installer, which permits one, by default, to pick and choose its behaviour regarding differing media types.

That's true - but if you use the "typical install" then it takes over everything and, even if you go subsequently into the QuickTime options and untick everything and ask it to play only QT applications, if still takes over such things as MPEGs and opens itself whenever you try to play an MPEG file, even if you would prefer to use a different player. Uninstalling it is the only way I have found to stop it doing so.


Richard English
 
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That's a windows issue, not a QT one. Change the filetype association, and you'll be fine. Or, if you don't want to do it permanently, just right-click on the file to choose a different app.
 
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