Seemingly trivial things that intrigue you

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  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 15,571

    rjsterry said:



    What are we supposed to call the Anglo-saxon Chronicle then?

    Favourite bits of etymology: Downs, meaning uplands or hills, from dūn meaning hill. Down, the opposite of up was originally adūne, literally off-the-hill.

    Also window comes from old Norse; literally wind-eye. I love the idea that a window was for checking the weather.

    If you've not read it, you'd probably find David Crystal's book 'Spell It Out' interesting, if you're into etymology. His books on punctuation (Making A Point) and grammar (The Glamour of Grammar) are also superb and very readable.
    Thanks I'll look out for it. Someone who has thought about it more than me said that the nice thing about our apparently idiosyncratic English spelling is that as well as giving you phonetic information about how to pronounce a word it also gives you a little bit of the history of the word.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    1980s BSA 10sp

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • rjsterry said:

    rjsterry said:



    What are we supposed to call the Anglo-saxon Chronicle then?

    Favourite bits of etymology: Downs, meaning uplands or hills, from dūn meaning hill. Down, the opposite of up was originally adūne, literally off-the-hill.

    Also window comes from old Norse; literally wind-eye. I love the idea that a window was for checking the weather.

    If you've not read it, you'd probably find David Crystal's book 'Spell It Out' interesting, if you're into etymology. His books on punctuation (Making A Point) and grammar (The Glamour of Grammar) are also superb and very readable.
    Thanks I'll look out for it. Someone who has thought about it more than me said that the nice thing about our apparently idiosyncratic English spelling is that as well as giving you phonetic information about how to pronounce a word it also gives you a little bit of the history of the word.
    Indeed so. Crystal is brilliantly enlightening about a lot of the quirks in English spelling (for instance, the 'h' in 'ghoul' and 'ghost' is because the Flemish typesetters who were employed to set early English dictionaries, before spellings were standardised, were used to making G's hard, in Flemish, by using the spelling 'gh'... and it stuck). And stuff like the spelling of 'bury' came from the pronunciation in the Midlands, but the standard pronunciation now (like "berry") came from Kent (where it was spelt 'bery'). There's a revelation on every page. He argues, convincingly, against wholesale spelling reform.
  • rjsterry said:



    Thanks I'll look out for it. Someone who has thought about it more than me said that the nice thing about our apparently idiosyncratic English spelling is that as well as giving you phonetic information about how to pronounce a word it also gives you a little bit of the history of the word.

    The Crystal book covers all that sort of stuff really well. And yes, it's fascinating. Also, you might find your local library ticket number gives you access to the full online OED, which is an amazing resource for the 'archaeology' of English - it's much much more than just a dictionary.
  • LongshotLongshot Posts: 587
    Stevo_666 said:

    I am really intrigued by the number of Cake Stoppers who refer to reading political manifestos. I have never read a manifesto, I have never seen a manifesto and have no idea where I would get one from.

    Some people don't seem to have much on at work? (Sadly I had to read the Labour party manfesto as part of my job to warn the board about what we might expect if Comrade Corbyn gets in).
    I don't always have that much on at work but I'm damned if I'm reading all of the manifestos! I'd rather cut my arm off and hit myself over the head with the wet end.
    You can fool some of the people all of the time. Concentrate on those people.
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 37,110
    Longshot said:

    Stevo_666 said:

    I am really intrigued by the number of Cake Stoppers who refer to reading political manifestos. I have never read a manifesto, I have never seen a manifesto and have no idea where I would get one from.

    Some people don't seem to have much on at work? (Sadly I had to read the Labour party manfesto as part of my job to warn the board about what we might expect if Comrade Corbyn gets in).
    I don't always have that much on at work but I'm damned if I'm reading all of the manifestos! I'd rather cut my arm off and hit myself over the head with the wet end.
    They are a bit censored .
    Whippet
    Bruiser
    Panzer
    Commuter

    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,393
    I used to think it was the day that mattered ... after the weekend our little boy would be tired and not wanting to wake up on a monday morning - the day when I'm out of the house before dawn ...
    But, swapped days this week - and monday morning he was up before 630 like it was any other day ... great, when I don't need to be up before 715 .... and today? When I'm up and out before dawn ... he sleeps in till gone 7 ...
  • slowbike said:

    I used to think it was the day that mattered ... after the weekend our little boy would be tired and not wanting to wake up on a monday morning - the day when I'm out of the house before dawn ...
    But, swapped days this week - and monday morning he was up before 630 like it was any other day ... great, when I don't need to be up before 715 .... and today? When I'm up and out before dawn ... he sleeps in till gone 7 ...

    Dadsnet is over in the irony department...
  • PS - why are quotes all of a sudden in a stupid big font?
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,393

    PS - why are quotes all of a sudden in a stupid big font?

    Cos they've cocked up the CSS - the webdevnet is over in the Geek department ...

    slowbike said:

    I used to think it was the day that mattered ... after the weekend our little boy would be tired and not wanting to wake up on a monday morning - the day when I'm out of the house before dawn ...
    But, swapped days this week - and monday morning he was up before 630 like it was any other day ... great, when I don't need to be up before 715 .... and today? When I'm up and out before dawn ... he sleeps in till gone 7 ...

    Dadsnet is over in the irony department...
    I don't do the ironing - well - not often anyway. and it's cycling related cos when I leave before dawn - it's because I'm riding into work. so stick that up your trumpet ;)
  • pinnopinno Posts: 37,460
    Ironing?! Who tf does ironing?

    #tumbledryer
    S - The Brazilian beach volleyball team
    W - Wiggle Honda

    "This year will be harder than last year. But that is good news; this year will be easier than next year."
  • haydenmhaydenm Posts: 2,814

    haydenm said:

    longshot said:

    forehead said:

    longshot said:

    david7m said:

    Why is the standard of driving vastly improved on toll roads? I go on the M6 toll 4 times a week and there are indicators and lane discipline all over the shop.

    Fewer old people.
    FTFY
    Damn, I hate that. I've never got my head round that one.
    Fewer is distinct, less is continuous. You wouldn't say 'fewer water' but you might say 'fewer particles of water'

    It's an invented distinction to get Waitrose customers tut-tutting.

    Firstly, we have only one word for 'more' of anything, whether it's countable or not, and that confuses no-one.

    Secondly, 'less' and 'fewer' were synonyms for countable things until some dictionary writers decided to make a distinction. The distinction serves no useful purpose whatsoever (see 'more'), other than pedants tut-tutting at people or supermarkets who 'know less'.

    Thirdly, here's a thought experiment: would you say "That's one less thing to worry about!" or "That's one fewer thing to worry about!"?

    If you look in the OED, it actually gives the two words as synonyms, though it references that some people like to make the distinction. As far as I know, (most?) foreign languages just do more/less (e.g. plus/moins in French), and it doesn't make a gnat's crotchet of a difference to comprehension.

    I'd be quite happy if 'fewer' disappeared entirely from the dictionary.
    So what you're essentially saying is that you disagree with a distinction despite it being in dictionaries. All language is fluid, and that is one of the guidelines some people subscribe to. Admittedly it only really sounds weird if you use 'fewer' out of context, less is less important...
  • laurentianlaurentian Posts: 1,673
    Voting.

    After the last time I did it and having exercised my democratic right this morning something has intrigued me for a while. The thing that first alerted this to me was when I was voting in the last GE in proxy for my daughter at the same time that I was voting myself, when the clerk gave me two ballot papers (one for me and one for my daughter) and pointed out that one was mine and one was my daughter's.

    As I understand it, a cornerstone of our democracy is the secret ballot. If I choose not to tell anytone the way I intend to vote or the way I voted, that is my right in our democracy (as I understand it)

    However, when I go to vote, the clerk in there takes my polling card and then the second one asks me to confirm my name and address (puzzling in itself as those details are on my polling card - but that's by the by).

    I am then issued a ballot paper. The clerk issuing it tells the other clerk a number. That number is on the back of the ballot paper and is duly noted next to my name and address on the document that the other clerk has.

    I then go to the booth, place my "X" in my preferred box and post the paper into the ballot box.

    There is therefore a ballot paper with my vote on which carries a reference number that is noted on a document next to my name and address.

    Far from being secret, my vote is recorded and documented.

    Not getting all "tin foil hat" about it but is there a reason or explanation for this?
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 9,975
    Anyone thinking their vote is secret is naive. What do you think the numbers on the slip are used for?
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • LongshotLongshot Posts: 587

    Voting.

    After the last time I did it and having exercised my democratic right this morning something has intrigued me for a while. The thing that first alerted this to me was when I was voting in the last GE in proxy for my daughter at the same time that I was voting myself, when the clerk gave me two ballot papers (one for me and one for my daughter) and pointed out that one was mine and one was my daughter's.

    As I understand it, a cornerstone of our democracy is the secret ballot. If I choose not to tell anytone the way I intend to vote or the way I voted, that is my right in our democracy (as I understand it)

    However, when I go to vote, the clerk in there takes my polling card and then the second one asks me to confirm my name and address (puzzling in itself as those details are on my polling card - but that's by the by).

    I am then issued a ballot paper. The clerk issuing it tells the other clerk a number. That number is on the back of the ballot paper and is duly noted next to my name and address on the document that the other clerk has.

    I then go to the booth, place my "X" in my preferred box and post the paper into the ballot box.

    There is therefore a ballot paper with my vote on which carries a reference number that is noted on a document next to my name and address.

    Far from being secret, my vote is recorded and documented.

    Not getting all "tin foil hat" about it but is there a reason or explanation for this?

    This intrigued me as well.
    You can fool some of the people all of the time. Concentrate on those people.
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 15,571

    Voting.

    After the last time I did it and having exercised my democratic right this morning something has intrigued me for a while. The thing that first alerted this to me was when I was voting in the last GE in proxy for my daughter at the same time that I was voting myself, when the clerk gave me two ballot papers (one for me and one for my daughter) and pointed out that one was mine and one was my daughter's.

    As I understand it, a cornerstone of our democracy is the secret ballot. If I choose not to tell anytone the way I intend to vote or the way I voted, that is my right in our democracy (as I understand it)

    However, when I go to vote, the clerk in there takes my polling card and then the second one asks me to confirm my name and address (puzzling in itself as those details are on my polling card - but that's by the by).

    I am then issued a ballot paper. The clerk issuing it tells the other clerk a number. That number is on the back of the ballot paper and is duly noted next to my name and address on the document that the other clerk has.

    I then go to the booth, place my "X" in my preferred box and post the paper into the ballot box.

    There is therefore a ballot paper with my vote on which carries a reference number that is noted on a document next to my name and address.

    Far from being secret, my vote is recorded and documented.

    Not getting all "tin foil hat" about it but is there a reason or explanation for this?

    How can you ensure someone only votes once if there is no identification of individual votes? It's only secret in that individual votes are not published.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    1980s BSA 10sp

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • awaveyawavey Posts: 2,224
    pblakeney said:

    Anyone thinking their vote is secret is naive. What do you think the numbers on the slip are used for?

    didnt anyone do this stuff at school ? its secret in the sense of in ye olden days to cast a vote in an election you had to get up on a stage in front of your whole town/village, and announce who you were voting for so someone could write it down, this meant landowners who invariably where the ones standing for parliament could coerce all their tenants on their land to vote for them, else theyd be threatened with being kicked out of their land/homes, so it wasnt a free vote

    so the "secret ballot" simply means you are able to vote without having to tell anyone who you voted for, you can do so if you wish thats your choice, but you arent forced to, which means you can freely vote for who you want without coercion

    but theres a number on each ballot paper thats linked to your name when the tellers hand you that paper they write that number next to it,so there is a direct paper trail to everyone who votes in an election, which means those votes can be directly traced back to you, in case an election outcome is challenged and those ballot papers are held for a period of time before they are destroyed
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 9,975
    awavey said:

    but theres a number on each ballot paper thats linked to your name when the tellers hand you that paper they write that number next to it,so there is a direct paper trail to everyone who votes in an election, which means those votes can be directly traced back to you, in case an election outcome is challenged and those ballot papers are held for a period of time before they are destroyed

    They are also used for future marketing.
    "You have previously voted for us before..." I doubt that I am the only one to have received one of those letters. Accurately it must be said, and none from those who I haven't voted for. And people wonder why I am so cynical.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • awaveyawavey Posts: 2,224
    pblakeney said:

    awavey said:

    but theres a number on each ballot paper thats linked to your name when the tellers hand you that paper they write that number next to it,so there is a direct paper trail to everyone who votes in an election, which means those votes can be directly traced back to you, in case an election outcome is challenged and those ballot papers are held for a period of time before they are destroyed

    They are also used for future marketing.
    "You have previously voted for us before..." I doubt that I am the only one to have received one of those letters. Accurately it must be said, and none from those who I haven't voted for. And people wonder why I am so cynical.

    well they always used to say the quickest way for MI5 to open a file on you was to vote Communist in an election during the cold war...;) the marketing stuff is more to do with information they gather during election campaigning, youll always be asked by a party rep knocking at your door if you intend to vote for their party, and theyll note how positive/negative your intentions were,its kind of interesting where that stuff sits now with GDPR,but political parites dont get access to your ballot unless they challenge the result. anything they send you that claims they know how you voted is based on astrology, ie 1 in 12 people might go omg yes i did
  • laurentianlaurentian Posts: 1,673
    edited December 2019
    Thanks for the explanations.

    So:

    1) the numbers are there to make sure I only vote once
    2) they exist in case an election result is challenged (although it would be an interesting question to be asked to confirm your vote in this scenario)
    3) the ballot papers are destroyed after a period of time

    All stuff I hadn't previously realised.

    Anyone know how long this system has been in place?
    Who holds the ballot papers until they are destroyed?
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • LongshotLongshot Posts: 587


    Who holds the ballot papers until they are destroyed?

    Mark Zuckerberg

    You can fool some of the people all of the time. Concentrate on those people.
  • Ballot papers are kept for 1 year and a day as prescribed in the representation of the people act 1973 after which they are incinerated. Apparently they are kept in a warehouse in Hayes in West London before being transported to Enfield in North London for incineration.
    'Hello to Jason Isaacs'
  • laurentianlaurentian Posts: 1,673
    Thanks!
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • pinnopinno Posts: 37,460
    In this current era, would it not be better to have recyclable ballot papers?
    S - The Brazilian beach volleyball team
    W - Wiggle Honda

    "This year will be harder than last year. But that is good news; this year will be easier than next year."
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    pinno said:

    In this current era, would it not be better to have recyclable ballot papers?

    do you mean reusable or recyclable?

    as they are paper they should be easily recyclable
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • pinnopinno Posts: 37,460

    pinno said:

    In this current era, would it not be better to have recyclable ballot papers?

    do you mean reusable or recyclable?

    as they are paper they should be easily recyclable
    Reuseable. Although, this is cake stop.
    S - The Brazilian beach volleyball team
    W - Wiggle Honda

    "This year will be harder than last year. But that is good news; this year will be easier than next year."
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    pinno said:

    pinno said:

    In this current era, would it not be better to have recyclable ballot papers?

    do you mean reusable or recyclable?

    as they are paper they should be easily recyclable
    Reuseable. Although, this is cake stop.
    to be fair the way most people vote they may as well leave the crosses on most of them too! seems a lot of people vote for "their" party regardless of the policies or what they say or do!

    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    I wonder what the benefit is to releasing the proportion of votes for constituencies is? I guess it is so people believe the results but if, like me, you know that 63% voted for one party it almost makes you think you may as well not bother voting or vote tactically which will at best leave you with a party you don't want but stop one you wanting a bit less.

    If you didn't know if the party that won won by 1 vote or 10,000 votes it might make you think your vote could make a difference and you should vote for the party you want to win rather than vote against the one you want to lose.

    I know it is never going to happen but the way we vote is stupid. We have local elections why not keep them to sort out who deals with stuff in the constituency and then have genera elections to say who you want to run the country and the parties can be represented by vote share. Or am I being too simplistic?

    Not questioning the vote this time btw, just think future votes need to be changed
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • ProssPross Posts: 21,128
    Candidate names change though.
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    since the forum changed are fewer new threads started or do I just notice them less?
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • orraloonorraloon Posts: 5,451
    Format isn't exactly helpful is it. Been spending more time on YACF (no censored swear filters and the like plus intelligent debates) and on CyclingUK. Shame to see this forum decline, as one builds a sort of rapport over the years. Oh well, soon be spring when not confined by darkness and shite weather to spending hours tapping on keyboards...
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