Mr. Shiny and New 安宇

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16,752 reputation
43291
bio website eternalephemeron.blogspot.com
location Toronto, Canada
age 36
visits member for 3 years, 11 months
seen 2 hours ago

I'm a software developer working on a social-networking site. I work mainly in J2EE, SQL, HTML, JavaScript and CSS. My free time is spent raising a daughter and a son.


2d
reviewed Approve suggested edit on “I didn't know you golf” vs “I didn't know you golfed”
Jul
28
reviewed Leave Closed An exact word for the opposite of academic progress?
Jul
26
reviewed Leave Closed What's this word?
Jul
26
reviewed Leave Closed Describing a group of people who lie down in a public place to send a political message
Jul
26
reviewed Leave Closed This weekend vs Next weekend
Jul
26
comment A word or phrase for 'Holy grail' (a goal impossible to achieve)
@Asad So yes, things that have nothing to do with unattainable goals are snowclones. That's not relevant though. What matters is that the snowclone works because the template establishes an order, a relationship, and that relationship is meaningful because of the cultural context.
Jul
26
comment A word or phrase for 'Holy grail' (a goal impossible to achieve)
@Asad a "snowclone" is 'a type of cliché and phrasal template'. For example, "Pink is the new Black" is a phrase that got a lot of currency at one point. "X is the new Y" then becomes a snowclone when people start saying things like "Serverfault is the StackOverflow" or whatever. The base form of the OP's snowclone is "Z is the X of Y". It is a pattern that must be followed. I explained why the pattern almost demands "holy grail" in this case.
Jul
25
awarded  Nice Answer
Jul
25
revised A word or phrase for 'Holy grail' (a goal impossible to achieve)
added 602 characters in body
Jul
25
comment A word or phrase for 'Holy grail' (a goal impossible to achieve)
This looks like a good candidate for a synonym, that actually fits. However, in my opinion it's not as clear as "the Holy Grail of X", mainly because I don't think anybody uses it this way. +1 though for a good synonym.
Jul
25
comment A word or phrase for 'Holy grail' (a goal impossible to achieve)
It has about as much religious connotation as "Holy cow!" does.
Jul
25
comment A word or phrase for 'Holy grail' (a goal impossible to achieve)
I like this answer but I think a "moonshot" is different from a "holy grail". The moonshot is risky and hard to do and expensive, but clearly possible. The holy grail may not even exist and nobody knows what it might cost to find it... it could be easily found or require a very costly search. But if found, it constitutes a major victory with potentially huge ramifications. The moonshot, by contrast, is more of an engineering challenge than a revolutionary discovery waiting to be discovered.
Jul
25
answered A word or phrase for 'Holy grail' (a goal impossible to achieve)
Jul
25
comment Which is correct: “could care less” or “couldn't care less”?
As an analogy: in some languages you use one negative word to negate something (English: Do not eat that). In others, you use two. (French: Ne mange pas ça). In this case, we have an English phrase that is negated with zero negatives. It works because spoken language is not boolean logic.
Jul
25
comment Which is correct: “could care less” or “couldn't care less”?
It may be counter-intuitive, but that's how it's used and that's what people understand. The contradiction between what the words appear to say, and what people mean, is why this particular phrase is subject to so much peeving. People get annoyed when they hear it because it sounds like an error. But linguistically, if enough speakers make an "error" long enough, it stops being an error and becomes just a way people say things.
Jul
25
comment Which is correct: “could care less” or “couldn't care less”?
Almost nobody ever uses the phrase "I could care less" to mean "I care a lot, and potentially could care a lesser amount than now". In order to convey that meaning you'd have to emphasize the could or something. In normal speech "I could care less" means "I couldn't care less".
Jul
23
comment Is “errored” correct usage?
Just because "mistake" and "error" (as nouns) are sometimes synonymous doesn't mean that "to mistake" and "to error" need to be synonymous. The verb "to error" is not used by anyone to mean "to make a mistake". If there is anything consistent about "to error" it is that it does not mean "to err". Anyway you can't use "to mistake" synonymously with "to err" either. The patterns you see do not represent some kind of linguistic design. All language is created by its users, just like "to error".
Jul
23
revised Name for setup and reversal style of writing?
added 2 characters in body; edited tags
Jul
23
comment Is “errored” correct usage?
@NobleUplift I think you are conflating errors and failures. If the program needs a database and the database is not available, the program is not erring. It does display a message, which is typically referred to as an error message, but the program is operating correctly. It cannot be said to err. The database's unreachable nature may be because of some error condition somewhere, or be because of scheduled downtime. It cannot be assumed that it is erring either. Systems that are operating exactly as they are meant to can fail without erring. However when they do fail they might error.
Jul
23
comment Is “errored” correct usage?
@Umbrella The word "Erred" is not the same as errored. If your editor doesn't accept "errored" that is a symptom of the word being a recent coining. Some authorities consider it unacceptable. But definitely do not try to substitute "erred" for "errored". They are not the same.