1677: "Contrails"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

User avatar
Soupspoon
You have done something you shouldn't. Or are about to.
Posts: 3281
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:00 pm UTC
Location: 53-1

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby Soupspoon » Fri May 06, 2016 8:12 pm UTC

teelo wrote:The native language in Australia is not English, it is Australian.
Aboriginal, you mean... :)

User avatar
Jackpot777
Posts: 328
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:19 pm UTC

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby Jackpot777 » Fri May 06, 2016 8:53 pm UTC

HES wrote:
Justin Lardinois wrote:I think most Americans could figure out cotton buds, since we call them cotton balls.

No you don't. You call them "Q-tips" or "cotton swabs".


Never have I seen a point made, and proven, so neatly!

User avatar
Jackpot777
Posts: 328
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:19 pm UTC

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby Jackpot777 » Fri May 06, 2016 8:56 pm UTC

Muswell wrote:
Jackpot777 wrote:At last, someone that speaks the Queen's own (bless her). We had a bunch of chavs (probably with ASBOs) chucking packets of Monster Munch and johnnies filled with Tizer (what kind of norbert does that?) at my nan's caravan outside her bungalow a fortnight ago when she was watching Corrie. We called the Old Bill but they didn't do Sweet Fanny Adams, it was a right carry on, bare nasty. They were bang out of order. Then it all kicked off when one of them called my mate ginger beer and he smacked seven bells of shit out of the little wanker. What a palaver, you feel me?


Inni' tho.


But no, but yeah, but no, but yeah, but no.

User avatar
Keyman
Posts: 290
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:56 pm UTC

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby Keyman » Fri May 06, 2016 9:07 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:Big rubber boots worn over the shoes for water protection are "galoshes" to me, from southern California.
We used that term too, but IIRC it was not as specific. Boots and rubbers were both galoshes.

Picturesque word, that.

Jose

Speaking as a USAian:
Rubbers are worn over (in this context :wink:) shoes, and are approximately shoe 'height'.
Galoshes are also worn over shoes, but cover them entirely, and some of the shin, into which the pants can be tucked, and then buckled closed.
Wellies are worn without shoes inside, and have no 'tongue-like' opening in front to be buckled.
A childhood spent walking while reading books has prepared me unexpectedly well for today's world.

User avatar
Keyman
Posts: 290
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:56 pm UTC

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby Keyman » Fri May 06, 2016 9:10 pm UTC

Jackpot777 wrote:At last, someone that speaks the Queen's own (bless her). We had a bunch of chavs (probably with ASBOs) chucking packets of Monster Munch and johnnies filled with Tizer (what kind of norbert does that?) at my nan's caravan outside her bungalow a fortnight ago when she was watching Corrie. We called the Old Bill but they didn't do Sweet Fanny Adams, it was a right carry on, bare nasty. They were bang out of order. Then it all kicked off when one of them called my mate ginger beer and he smacked seven bells of shit out of the little wanker. What a palaver, you feel me?

Whoa, dude! Is that, like, whatchacallit, English English, bra? Awsome!
A childhood spent walking while reading books has prepared me unexpectedly well for today's world.

xtifr
Posts: 322
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 6:38 pm UTC

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby xtifr » Fri May 06, 2016 9:11 pm UTC

Spreading linguistic misinformation is a lot of people's hobby! People insist that it's wrong to split infinitives, end sentences with a preposition, or use "less" with countable nouns. All of that and much more is linguistic misinformation which people love to spread.

The only difference here is that Cueball is spreading his misinformation deliberately!

Wee Red Bird wrote:It's usually the other way around. Most people in the UK know American terms, but Americans don't usually know the British ones.

While there's some truth to this, due in large part to Hollywood, I suspect there's more American terms that would confuse people in the UK than you realize.

Those of us here on an International forum are probably more familiar with terms from the opposite side of the pond (whichever side we're on) than our average countrymate.

CharlieP wrote:On a worrying note, globalisation and our exposure to American TV means that American terms are usurping the traditional British ones. Most people would probably be more familiar with an "autopsy" than a "post mortem", "train station" is, annoyingly, as or more common than "railway station", and "airplane" is creeping in alongside "aeroplane".


First off, why is this "worrying"? Is it worrying that I, an American, watch enough British TV shows that I now occasionally use the word "wanker"? I'm not speaking British instead of American, or any such nonsense. My vocabulary has expanded, but it remains inarguably, distinctly American.

In any case, as Language Log frequently notes, many supposedly-American uses that people complain about in letters to The Daily Mail are actually British usages which fell out of favor in the UK, but survived in America. If you must join the Mail readers in whining about the "evil creep" of Americanisms into your precious language, at least try to check your facts before complaining about any specific usage!
"[T]he author has followed the usual practice of contemporary books on graph theory, namely to use words that are similar but not identical to the terms used in other books on graph theory."
-- Donald Knuth, The Art of Computer Programming, Vol I, 3rd ed.

rmsgrey
Posts: 3357
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:35 pm UTC

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby rmsgrey » Fri May 06, 2016 11:01 pm UTC

xtifr wrote:In any case, as Language Log frequently notes, many supposedly-American uses that people complain about in letters to The Daily Mail are actually British usages which fell out of favor in the UK, but survived in America. If you must join the Mail readers in whining about the "evil creep" of Americanisms into your precious language, at least try to check your facts before complaining about any specific usage!


I don't think "it used to be English so it still is English not (just) American" is a terribly compelling argument - not when applied to linguistics, and definitely not when applied to geography...

Morgan Wick
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:21 pm UTC

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby Morgan Wick » Sat May 07, 2016 12:09 am UTC

teelo wrote:The native language in Australia is not English, it is Australian.

Where, apparently, the word for beer is "Foster's".

xtifr
Posts: 322
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 6:38 pm UTC

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby xtifr » Sat May 07, 2016 1:20 am UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
xtifr wrote:In any case, as Language Log frequently notes, many supposedly-American uses that people complain about in letters to The Daily Mail are actually British usages which fell out of favor in the UK, but survived in America. If you must join the Mail readers in whining about the "evil creep" of Americanisms into your precious language, at least try to check your facts before complaining about any specific usage!


I don't think "it used to be English so it still is English not (just) American" is a terribly compelling argument - not when applied to linguistics, and definitely not when applied to geography...

That's a valid point. On the other hand, older usages do sometimes come back into fashion for no apparent reason, even when people on the other side of an ocean haven't carefully preserved them. And unless I'm misremembering, LL documented at least one case where that's exactly what happened, and the Mail readers still wanted to blame it on the Americans—despite zero evidence that any American had ever said such a thing.

(We Americans make good backup blame-targets for things the Mail readers can't blame on immigrants. Or Travellers.)

But really, if British people are saying it, isn't it now a British way of saying something? Whether or not America is or was involved in its genesis or preservation?

Also, is the world really going to collapse if some British teenager who watches too many Hollywood movies happens to refer to his car's boot as a trunk? Do you think that means he'll somehow forget that it can also be called a boot?
"[T]he author has followed the usual practice of contemporary books on graph theory, namely to use words that are similar but not identical to the terms used in other books on graph theory."
-- Donald Knuth, The Art of Computer Programming, Vol I, 3rd ed.

User avatar
Eternal Density
Posts: 5544
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:37 am UTC
Contact:

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby Eternal Density » Sat May 07, 2016 1:40 am UTC

Morgan Wick wrote:
teelo wrote:The native language in Australia is not English, it is Australian.

Where, apparently, the word for beer is "Foster's".

Not actually true in my experience.
Play the game of Time! castle.chirpingmustard.com Hotdog Vending Supplier But what is this?
In the Marvel vs. DC film-making war, we're all winners.

User avatar
jc
Posts: 344
Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 5:48 pm UTC
Location: Waltham, Massachusetts, USA, Earth, Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
Contact:

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby jc » Sat May 07, 2016 2:44 am UTC

Justin Lardinois wrote:
jc wrote:It included examples where the island natives were talking openly and insultingly about visiting "summer people", who didn't understand that they were being insulted.


I don't understand how you couldn't figure that out. Especially on an island frequented by tourists in the summer. I guess it vaguely sounds like it could be a euphemism for something, but the literal interpretation is right there.


Aha; I spotted the misunderstanding. It wasn't so much the term "summer people" that was the insult, though that phrase is mildly insulting in the general way that the local word for "tourist" is in much of the world. What the linguistic study turned up was more interesting, but takes more words to describe. They basically described situations where the Martha's Vineyard natives would be talking about (and sometimes to) visitors from the mainland, and the natives would be using many phrases that they understood as insults, but the visitors wouldn't catch the insulting meanings.

The explanation was something that's been seen in many societies: The Vineyard natives are an old, established population that is generally not very wealthy, and they (and their neighbors on Nantucket) are under social and economic pressure from the much wealthier outsiders that have bought up much of the property, built fancy houses, and treat the natives as handy servants. There are two very distinct societies on the island, and as often happens, the poorer "servant" class has developed its own variant of the general language that contains a lot of subtle phrasings for talking about the dominant class. They speak the "general" dialect quite well, and have no problem communicating with their newcomer masters, but they can also talk among themselves within earshot of the masters without the wealthier visitors fully understanding a lot of what they're saying.

A number of linguistic studies have been done on this phenomenon, but there's still a lot of field research needed to fully understand how it works. One of the limits is that the researchers tend to be outsiders themselves, so it takes them a while to gain the trust of the locals (who initially treat them as outsiders). And they need local friends who aren't put off by the fact that they're visiting field researchers who view the locals as research subjects. But it's an interesting phenomenon that involves several fields of research, including sociology, economics, etc.

RogueCynic
Posts: 379
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 10:23 pm UTC

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby RogueCynic » Sat May 07, 2016 3:22 am UTC

Wee Red Bird wrote:It's usually the other way around. Most people in the UK know American terms, but Americans don't usually know the British ones.
Looking for a chemist to buy some cotton buds usually causes confused looks when said on the wrong side of the pond.


Someone told me a friend of his was chatting with a British waitress and she invited him to "knock her up". It did not mean what he thought.
I am Lord Titanius Englesmith, Fancyman of Cornwood.
See 1 Kings 7:23 for pi.
If you put a prune in a juicer, what would you get?

rmsgrey
Posts: 3357
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:35 pm UTC

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby rmsgrey » Sat May 07, 2016 3:37 am UTC

RogueCynic wrote:
Wee Red Bird wrote:It's usually the other way around. Most people in the UK know American terms, but Americans don't usually know the British ones.
Looking for a chemist to buy some cotton buds usually causes confused looks when said on the wrong side of the pond.


Someone told me a friend of his was chatting with a British waitress and she invited him to "knock her up". It did not mean what he thought.


Yeah, that's one that confused me when I first encountered it in a Sherlock Holmes story, where Mrs Hudson, the housekeeper, knocks Holmes up, and he proceeds to knock Watson up. I was fairly sure it wasn't some sort of weird seahorse slash-fic thing, but it took me a while to catch the actual intended meaning...

Another one I remember being tripped up by is the use of "shagged" to mean "exhausted".

commodorejohn
Posts: 1073
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 6:21 pm UTC
Location: Placerville, CA
Contact:

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby commodorejohn » Sat May 07, 2016 7:34 am UTC

Okay, somebody fill me in on the British colloquial use of "knock up," because right now all I've got is the really, really weird interpretation of that post.
"'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling."
- Bjarne Stroustrup
www.commodorejohn.com - in case you were wondering, which you probably weren't.

User avatar
flicky1991
Like in Cinderella?
Posts: 723
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:36 pm UTC
Location: London

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby flicky1991 » Sat May 07, 2016 7:46 am UTC

commodorejohn wrote:Okay, somebody fill me in on the British colloquial use of "knock up," because right now all I've got is the really, really weird interpretation of that post.

To wake someone up by knocking on their door.
any pronouns
----
avatar from somitomi
----
Forum Games Discord
(tell me if link doesn't work)

User avatar
Soupspoon
You have done something you shouldn't. Or are about to.
Posts: 3281
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:00 pm UTC
Location: 53-1

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby Soupspoon » Sat May 07, 2016 8:09 am UTC

Likely the meaning being alluded to stems from the early days of industrial shift-work where workers had to be, or wanted to be, awoken and/or roused into motion by a designated individual who at the appointed hour would knock on all the required doors or bedroom windows to make hustle them from their beds and out of the door towards the factory gates in good order, lest they arrive too late and find themself locked out and (temporarily, unless habitually late) shiftless and unpaid for that (half?) day.

As well as dragging them from the arms of morpheus, it has then been applied to general musterings of individuals (to knock up the doctor, i.e. bring him to the door to have him deal with an emergency) or groups (to knock up the masses to vote for a given party, especially in the days when overseerers and the like held sway and could still instruct tennants/employees of a given locale to fill the ballot box with 'support' for any given candidate).

The stocato up-and-in motion of impregnation may well have fostered its own etymological origin, but appears to be from much later. Euphemisms abound for that act, of course, through sometimes necessary circumspection of the situation, each generation wishing to develop its own cant to obscure the meaning from both parents' and children's easy understanding (and through having not understood the prior phrasing for what it was, maybe, via the same intentions of those who utter it), and so inevitably there's an occasional collision between half-forgotten 'regular' language and their new innuendo terminology, even without deliberate retasking of the obscure original phrase to a new, and initially secretive, purpose.

User avatar
orthogon
Posts: 2879
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 7:52 am UTC
Location: The Airy 1830 ellipsoid

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby orthogon » Sat May 07, 2016 8:31 am UTC

:evil:
xtifr wrote:
Wee Red Bird wrote:It's usually the other way around. Most people in the UK know American terms, but Americans don't usually know the British ones.

While there's some truth to this, due in large part to Hollywood, I suspect there's more American terms that would confuse people in the UK than you realize.

I think it's worst when it's a"false friend", because it's harder to suppress the recognition of the word from your native dialect. So, even though pants had already been mentioned up-thread, I still did a double-take on this:
Keyman wrote:Galoshes are also worn over shoes, but cover them entirely, and some of the shin, into which the pants can be tucked, and then buckled closed.

Hence chips, rubber, pants, fanny catch me out every time; particularly since the meanings in most cases are extremely close. When it comes to bobby pins and bangs, it's not so confusing.

@jc, I totally see what you mean now. AndrewGPaul also pointed out my misunderstanding. Thanks both!

ETA: this reminds me of a game of Find It, those glass tubes filled with plastic chippings and small objects and a list of things you have to find. The were several items that I couldn't match up because the word in the list was US English. Bobby pin and wire nut were two examples. (Actually that's not just a difference of language but of electrical standards too: wire nuts aren't commonly used in Europe). It seems like these everyday, small thingies are particularly prone to linguistic divergence.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

xtifr
Posts: 322
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 6:38 pm UTC

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby xtifr » Sat May 07, 2016 10:32 am UTC

It is curious that the average percentage of fannies per person is twice as high in the US as it is in the UK. Very nearly a medical anomaly! :mrgreen:
"[T]he author has followed the usual practice of contemporary books on graph theory, namely to use words that are similar but not identical to the terms used in other books on graph theory."
-- Donald Knuth, The Art of Computer Programming, Vol I, 3rd ed.

User avatar
sfmans
Posts: 104
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:09 am UTC
Location: High Peak, UK

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby sfmans » Sat May 07, 2016 1:58 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:Likely the meaning being alluded to stems from the early days of industrial shift-work where workers had to be, or wanted to be, awoken and/or roused into motion by a designated individual who at the appointed hour would knock on all the required doors or bedroom windows to make hustle them from their beds and out of the door towards the factory gates in good order, lest they arrive too late and find themself locked out and (temporarily, unless habitually late) shiftless and unpaid for that (half?) day.


And then of course there was the knocker-upper's knocker-upper, who would stay up all night, knock up the knocker-upper, then go to bed.

commodorejohn
Posts: 1073
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 6:21 pm UTC
Location: Placerville, CA
Contact:

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby commodorejohn » Sat May 07, 2016 3:33 pm UTC

xtifr wrote:It is curious that the average percentage of fannies per person is twice as high in the US as it is in the UK. Very nearly a medical anomaly! :mrgreen:

I'd think it would be closer to 150% of the US tally, on average, but it certainly is worthy of remark...
"'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling."
- Bjarne Stroustrup
www.commodorejohn.com - in case you were wondering, which you probably weren't.

User avatar
Copper Bezel
Posts: 2416
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:35 am UTC
Location: Web exclusive!

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby Copper Bezel » Sun May 08, 2016 4:53 am UTC

No one in either case has more than one, so, um, definitely the 200%....
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

she / her / her

project2051
Posts: 178
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:20 pm UTC

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby project2051 » Sun May 08, 2016 2:00 pm UTC

Well, at least Summer people are not as bad as Fudgies.

User avatar
The Moomin
Posts: 339
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:59 am UTC
Location: Yorkshire

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby The Moomin » Sun May 08, 2016 7:04 pm UTC

Jackpot777 wrote:
Muswell wrote:
Jackpot777 wrote:At last, someone that speaks the Queen's own (bless her). We had a bunch of chavs (probably with ASBOs) chucking packets of Monster Munch and johnnies filled with Tizer (what kind of norbert does that?) at my nan's caravan outside her bungalow a fortnight ago when she was watching Corrie. We called the Old Bill but they didn't do Sweet Fanny Adams, it was a right carry on, bare nasty. They were bang out of order. Then it all kicked off when one of them called my mate ginger beer and he smacked seven bells of shit out of the little wanker. What a palaver, you feel me?


Inni' tho.


But no, but yeah, but no, but yeah, but no.


Did you then go for a Cheeky Nandos with the absolute ledge known as the Archbishop of Banterbury?
I possibly don't pay enough attention to what's going on.
I help make architect's dreams flesh.

CharlieP
Posts: 397
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:22 am UTC
Location: Nottingham, UK

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby CharlieP » Mon May 09, 2016 8:30 am UTC

xtifr wrote:Also, is the world really going to collapse if some British teenager who watches too many Hollywood movies happens to refer to his car's boot as a trunk? Do you think that means he'll somehow forget that it can also be called a boot?


Yes, I'm worried that he has genuinely no idea that it can also be called a boot, that "kilometer" is a foreign spelling etc. It's undoubtedly just moral panic on my part, but when I hear teenagers talking about wearing a "tux" to their "prom", it feels as though diversity and localness is being usurped by globalisation and media influence.
This is my signature. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

CharlieP
Posts: 397
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:22 am UTC
Location: Nottingham, UK

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby CharlieP » Mon May 09, 2016 8:57 am UTC

Morgan Wick wrote:
teelo wrote:The native language in Australia is not English, it is Australian.

Where, apparently, the word for beer is "Foster's".


Most certainly not. Outside Australia, an advertising campaign might claim that, but the product itself is rarely if ever seen there, being almost exclusively exported to foreign markets. I saw Foster's once in Australia in 13 months, and have the sneaky suspicion that it had been brought in specially for the particular event.
This is my signature. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

User avatar
cellocgw
Posts: 1888
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:40 pm UTC

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby cellocgw » Mon May 09, 2016 11:16 am UTC

Jackpot777 wrote:
HES wrote:
Justin Lardinois wrote:I think most Americans could figure out cotton buds, since we call them cotton balls.

No you don't. You call them "Q-tips" or "cotton swabs".


Never have I seen a point made, and proven, so neatly!


Except he's completely wrong. A cotton ball is just that: a small ball of cotton, typically used for makeup removal, cleaning small things, etc.

A cotton swab/Q-tip is a little bit of cotton attached to a short stick.
https://app.box.com/witthoftresume
Former OTTer
Vote cellocgw for President 2020. #ScienceintheWhiteHouse http://cellocgw.wordpress.com
"The Planck length is 3.81779e-33 picas." -- keithl
" Earth weighs almost exactly π milliJupiters" -- what-if #146, note 7

User avatar
flicky1991
Like in Cinderella?
Posts: 723
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:36 pm UTC
Location: London

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby flicky1991 » Mon May 09, 2016 12:15 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:A cotton swab/Q-tip is a little bit of cotton attached to a short stick.

Which means he's right. That is the UK definition of a "cotton bud".
any pronouns
----
avatar from somitomi
----
Forum Games Discord
(tell me if link doesn't work)

CharlieP
Posts: 397
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:22 am UTC
Location: Nottingham, UK

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby CharlieP » Mon May 09, 2016 12:23 pm UTC

Thread drift: To my uneducated eye it seems as though Leftpondians are more prone to using brand names as generics than we Rightpondians are (e.g. Band Aids vs plasters, Q-tips vs cotton buds, Sharpies vs marker pens, Xeroxing vs photocopying etc., although we do use Sellotape and Hoover our carpets). I wonder how much this is down to us having a state broadcaster that tried/tries to avoid overt advertising (epitomised by a famous children's programme that showed how to make things at home using "sticky-backed plastic")...
This is my signature. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

User avatar
cellocgw
Posts: 1888
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:40 pm UTC

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby cellocgw » Mon May 09, 2016 1:33 pm UTC

flicky1991 wrote:
cellocgw wrote:A cotton swab/Q-tip is a little bit of cotton attached to a short stick.

Which means he's right. That is the UK definition of a "cotton bud".


Ahh... the infamous ambiguous attribution problem of the word "them" . I misread the ultimate "them" below as referring to the cotton balls. Sorry. :oops:

Jackpot777 wrote:
HES wrote:
Justin Lardinois wrote:I think most Americans could figure out cotton buds, since we call them cotton balls.

No you don't. You call them "Q-tips" or "cotton swabs".
https://app.box.com/witthoftresume
Former OTTer
Vote cellocgw for President 2020. #ScienceintheWhiteHouse http://cellocgw.wordpress.com
"The Planck length is 3.81779e-33 picas." -- keithl
" Earth weighs almost exactly π milliJupiters" -- what-if #146, note 7

User avatar
orthogon
Posts: 2879
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 7:52 am UTC
Location: The Airy 1830 ellipsoid

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby orthogon » Mon May 09, 2016 1:48 pm UTC

CharlieP wrote:Thread drift: To my uneducated eye it seems as though Leftpondians are more prone to using brand names as generics than we Rightpondians are (e.g. Band Aids vs plasters, Q-tips vs cotton buds, Sharpies vs marker pens, Xeroxing vs photocopying etc., although we do use Sellotape and Hoover our carpets). I wonder how much this is down to us having a state broadcaster that tried/tries to avoid overt advertising (epitomised by a famous children's programme that showed how to make things at home using "sticky-backed plastic")...

Sticky-backed plastic and its close cousin, double-sided sticky tape, took on a near-mythical status to me as a child. I don't think I ever encountered either, and I built a lot of things out of cereal packets and toilet- and kitchen-roll tubes.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

User avatar
Soupspoon
You have done something you shouldn't. Or are about to.
Posts: 3281
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:00 pm UTC
Location: 53-1

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon May 09, 2016 2:40 pm UTC

CharlieP wrote:[a British teenager thinks] that "kilometre" is a foreign spelling [...]
FTFY, I think... (Kilometer is 'foreign' word or a weight-measuring device, perhaps ;) ) Or do I make the them-like error in parsing that another made as far as context?

BTW, national debts, etc, in the short-Trillions would have sounded 'better' if voiced in long-Billions, so the US shouldn't have used that, just to get Billionaires instead of Milliardaires... ;) (And we should have stuck with the continental measure.) 106*Prefix is neater than 10(3*Prefix)+3, with "Mi-"==1 obviously. (And -illiards adding ½ beforehand, or 3 zeros afterwards, whichever you prefer.)

Although if you want a system to take on really long numbers, without strain, use the system that I thought it was, as a child:
Spoiler:
Thousand²=Million, Million²=Billion, Billion²=Trillion, Trillion²=Quadrillion...
=power(10,2Prefix) [...apparently I can't nest SUPs]

Was a bit unwieldy, though. "Thousand Million Billion Trillion Quadrillion" is the 1000th part of a Quintillion, etc.


CharlieP wrote:Thread drift:
... slightly, yeah. :?

epitomised by a famous children's programme that showed how to make things at home using "sticky-backed plastic"
Was there a specific brand, then?" Sticky tape was (primarilly) Sellotape, but I never knew SBP's 'everyone knows it' branding, that I recall. Washing-up liquid bottles were Fairy, of course, even when they weren't (although modern bottles are not the right shape to be rockets or lighthouses, this side of the Taelons' arrival on Earth. (Yet still they have the kid waiting (im)patiently for the empty bottle in thrir ads!)

CharlieP
Posts: 397
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:22 am UTC
Location: Nottingham, UK

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby CharlieP » Mon May 09, 2016 3:14 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
CharlieP wrote:[a British teenager thinks] that "kilometre" is a foreign spelling [...]
FTFY, I think...


Er, no. My original was "[a British teenager has genuinely no idea] that "kilometer" is a foreign spelling". At least, there must be a reason I see it written that way so frequently.
This is my signature. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

User avatar
orthogon
Posts: 2879
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 7:52 am UTC
Location: The Airy 1830 ellipsoid

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby orthogon » Mon May 09, 2016 3:29 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
epitomised by a famous children's programme that showed how to make things at home using "sticky-backed plastic"
Was there a specific brand, then?" Sticky tape was (primarilly) Sellotape, but I never knew SBP's 'everyone knows it' branding, that I recall.

Not as famous as Sellotape, admittedly, but perhaps Fablon was the brand that dared not speak its name?
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

User avatar
Soupspoon
You have done something you shouldn't. Or are about to.
Posts: 3281
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:00 pm UTC
Location: 53-1

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon May 09, 2016 3:54 pm UTC

CharlieP wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:
CharlieP wrote:[a British teenager thinks] that "kilometre" is a foreign spelling [...]
FTFY, I think...


Er, no. My original was "[a British teenager has genuinely no idea] that "kilometer" is a foreign spelling". At least, there must be a reason I see it written that way so frequently.

Ah, 'twere my assumed follow through on "he has genuinely no idea that <foo> and <bar>" which caught me. Nvm. ;)

(E: and then *I* mess up my explanation. Which is that it was the "that"ing that my reading emphasised, in the flow-through. Ignore me, at least until I get my head in gear...)

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 26353
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby gmalivuk » Wed May 11, 2016 6:03 pm UTC

project2051 wrote:Well, at least Summer people are not as bad as Fudgies.
How are they different? I guess Fudgies probably includes short-term tourists while Summer People are the ones who actually live in a place for the season, though I don't know why that would make them particularly worse. (Both types exist on Mackinac, right? It's been a long time since I visited. Which I guess labels me as a sometime-Fudgie.)

CharlieP wrote:
xtifr wrote:Also, is the world really going to collapse if some British teenager who watches too many Hollywood movies happens to refer to his car's boot as a trunk? Do you think that means he'll somehow forget that it can also be called a boot?


Yes, I'm worried that he has genuinely no idea that it can also be called a boot, that "kilometer" is a foreign spelling etc. It's undoubtedly just moral panic on my part, but when I hear teenagers talking about wearing a "tux" to their "prom", it feels as though diversity and localness is being usurped by globalisation and media influence.
If Brits had a problem with globalization, maybe they shouldn't have planted their colonies every-fucking-where.

The number of whole entire languages that English has usurped means it'll be quite a few centuries before I'm inclined to worry about the loss of a few dialectisms within English.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

User avatar
Jackpot777
Posts: 328
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:19 pm UTC

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby Jackpot777 » Thu May 12, 2016 1:31 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
CharlieP wrote:Thread drift: To my uneducated eye it seems as though Leftpondians are more prone to using brand names as generics than we Rightpondians are (e.g. Band Aids vs plasters, Q-tips vs cotton buds, Sharpies vs marker pens, Xeroxing vs photocopying etc., although we do use Sellotape and Hoover our carpets). I wonder how much this is down to us having a state broadcaster that tried/tries to avoid overt advertising (epitomised by a famous children's programme that showed how to make things at home using "sticky-backed plastic")...

Sticky-backed plastic and its close cousin, double-sided sticky tape, took on a near-mythical status to me as a child. I don't think I ever encountered either, and I built a lot of things out of cereal packets and toilet- and kitchen-roll tubes.


I remember that being a very Blue Peter thing, "sticky back plastic". And "I'm using double-sided sticky tape for speed."

User avatar
Jackpot777
Posts: 328
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:19 pm UTC

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby Jackpot777 » Thu May 12, 2016 1:33 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:If Brits had a problem with globalization globalisation, maybe they shouldn't have planted their colonies every-fucking-where.


Stop trying to impose your Imperial spelling changes, usurping the proper way of doing things! :lol:

User avatar
Copper Bezel
Posts: 2416
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:35 am UTC
Location: Web exclusive!

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby Copper Bezel » Thu May 12, 2016 2:22 pm UTC

Sellotape
I honestly had no idea. The stuff just can't have a properly generic name no matter where it is. I don't know why Americans choose to invoke the Scots. (Actually no longer true; I then glanced at the Wikipedia page and found out why we choose to implicate the Scots. It didn't get any less weird from there.)

So close, too, since "cello tape" would at least be only borrowing a genericized trademark, and a fundamentally more generic-seeming one. I suppose it'd lead to rampant mispronunciation, though.
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

she / her / her

User avatar
karhell
Posts: 684
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:56 pm UTC
Location: Breizh

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby karhell » Thu May 12, 2016 3:11 pm UTC

Copper Bezel wrote: "cello tape"

Clearly tape designed to repair large instruments :P
AluisioASG wrote:191 years ago, the great D. Pedro I drew his sword and said: "Indent thy code or die!"
lmjb1964 wrote:We're weird but it's okay.
ColletArrow, katakissa, iskinner, thunk, GnomeAnne, Quantized, and any other Blitzers, have fun on your journey!

kelly_holden
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:27 am UTC
Location: Rural New South Wales

Re: 1677: "Contrails"

Postby kelly_holden » Fri May 13, 2016 12:54 am UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:
Sellotape
I honestly had no idea. The stuff just can't have a properly generic name no matter where it is.

We often call it sticky tape in Australia.


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: PM 2Ring, Sabrar, Soupspoon and 24 guests