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profile for tchrist on Stack Exchange, a network of free, community-driven Q&A sites

I’m Tom Christiansen, author of Programming Perl and Perl Cookbook from O’Reilly. I’m a freelance instructor giving courses in Perl programming, including Unicode and regular expressions. I’ve been using BSD Unix for 30 years now; like your maid, I don’t do Windows.

I’ve undergraduate degrees in Spanish and in Computer Science, and a graduate degree in compsci focusing on operating systems design and in natural language processing. I’ve studied Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Latin, and German, with a smattering of other languages thrown in. For the last few years I’ve been dabbling in computational linguistics.


1h
comment American vs. British English: meaning of “One hundred and fifty”
@Scott Then listen to the song.
2h
revised What great writers have used coordinating conjunctions at the start of sentences?
added 4 characters in body
3h
comment Usage of “coruscating”
@DanBron Here, it indicates an ungrammatical or impossible word or construction of some sort. This is the bogosity asterisk, and it is not so much an ELU habit as it is one of general linguistics literature. Note however that there is another quite distinct use that linguists routinely make of “asterisk(ed) words”: a reconstructed or inputed or deduced word that the writer thinks may (or must) have existed but for which no direct written evidence actually exists, such as some hypothetical PIE word. That one is the hypothetical asterisk.
3h
reviewed No Action Needed Should there be a comma after 'and'?
3h
reviewed Reviewed Is it “on behalf of” or “in behalf of”?
3h
revised Is it “on behalf of” or “in behalf of”?
added 56 characters in body; edited tags
3h
reviewed No Action Needed Distinguishing between “opposites” of “ortho-”
3h
reviewed Reviewed Clothing Nomenclature between US and UK
3h
reviewed No Action Needed Plural of table leaf
3h
reviewed Leave Closed What do you call a person who is never contented with anything that is given to him/her?
4h
answered Usage of “coruscating”
4h
revised “What tools is everybody using?” or “What tools are everybody using?”
edited tags
4h
comment “Made a rhyme without effort” in English from Spanish “Hice verso sin esfuerzo”
@Greduan Yes, that’s essentially right; they’re poetic terms, some from Greek. I intentionally wrote the outer quatrain’s two couplets straight out without a linebreak and in non-italic, so that it might not be so obvious upon first reading that there was something trickier going on. Read both the English and Spanish versions of this Wikipedia article, and definitely check out Stephen Fry’s referenced The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within if you can get your hands on a copy. It’s short but very witty, per his wont.
4h
comment What great writers have used coordinating conjunctions at the start of sentences?
For a bit more finesse, I’d suggest searching for (?x) (?m: ^ | [.!?] \p{Quotation_Mark}? \s+ ) \p{Quotation_Mark}? (And|But|Or|Nor|So|For|Yet) \b if your regex compiler admits such niceties. At least, that’s (essentially) what I did. :)
4h
revised “Made a rhyme without effort” in English from Spanish “Hice verso sin esfuerzo”
edited tags
4h
revised American vs. British English: meaning of “One hundred and fifty”
edited tags
4h
comment American vs. British English: meaning of “One hundred and fifty”
Curiously, Danny Kaye agrees differently than you do: Two and two are four. / Four and four are eight. / Eight and eight are sixteen. / Sixteen and sixteen are thirty-two. / Inchworm, inchworm, / Measuring the marigold, / You and your arithmatic, / You’ll probably go far. / Inchworm, inchworm, / Measuring the marigold, / Seems to me you’d stop and see, / How beautiful they are.
4h
comment “Made a rhyme without effort” in English from Spanish “Hice verso sin esfuerzo”
@Greduan You can think of the posted text in a variety of flexible fashions. I did not originally intend it to be four separate answers, but just a single quatrain. That why I rhymed good and terse with could be worse. However, the internal masculine rhyme in feet 2 and 4 of each line of iambic tetrameter makes them potentially usable individually, like your Spanish example had. Lines 1, 3, and 4 could each stand on their own, or lines 1+2 could stand alone as a couplet. Plus the inner quatrain nests in an outer one whose last foot is instead a dactyl in feminine rhyme.
5h
comment What great writers have used coordinating conjunctions at the start of sentences?
@ScottS Thanks. The bolding in the final example was completely manual, and it included many instances that did not contribute to the tallies.
5h
comment What great writers have used coordinating conjunctions at the start of sentences?
@ScottS It is only at the beginning of actual sentences (with optional leading quotes) that these seven words are counted, and no attempt is made to identify instances where they occur mid-sentence as one such does in the sentence you are about to finish reading. :)