10,874 reputation
41953
bio website zanyphoto.com
location San Jose, CA
age 42
visits member for 1 year, 3 months
seen 17 hours ago

Software engineer, photographer, musician, and gamer.


Jul
18
comment How to understand these verses from the poem “The road not taken” by Robert Frost
I've heard that Frost wrote this poem to tease a friend who was very indecisive, and so it's meant to be taken literally, except for the last line which is sarcastic.
Jun
11
comment What do you call someone who is so inappropriate that they are appropriate?
I know a few people like this. Some are seen as charming/funny, some merely tolerated. +1
Jun
7
comment Origin of “riff”
Wow, thank you for the excellent review of the available evidence! The verb/gerund examples are especially interesting, as they imply a somewhat different meaning than the word has now. Thanks!
Jun
7
comment Origin of “riff”
That seems plausible. Any references you may have would be useful, although I understand that they're often problematic when it comes to jazz jargon.
Jun
7
comment Origin of “riff”
@rhetorician Yes, that’s one of the possibilities mentioned in the question. I’m more interested in the evidence backing each of the options and whether any of it is potentially conclusive.
Jun
7
comment Origin of “riff”
@JohnLawler I agree – and there’s a pretty good discussion of some of that in the references linked from my question, like the bit on other artists “riffing.” I’m just hoping that there might be something more solid in literature or less accessible references.
Jun
6
comment Connotations of Letter 'X'
Thanks for expanding on that! I didn't know about the circle. Anyway, I suspect there is a lot of cross-pollination, mutual influence, between all of these loosely related "unknown" uses of X.
Jun
6
comment Connotations of Letter 'X'
Do you have any idea whether "x marks the spot" or X for signing names/marks is connected to these other reasons?
May
24
comment Shoot and intentionally miss
@Peteris Warning shots are generally still quite near the target, to make sure that the target is aware of the warning and your ability to shoot on target. This usage seems fine for the context.
May
15
comment What measures the Byte unit?
Storage is OK for measuring bandwidth, because you can think of it as “storage transferred per unit of time.” But other words like capacity or information might be an even better fit for that context. Perhaps just suggest both storage and capacity?
May
15
comment What measures the Byte unit?
I would have gone with storage as it applies well to short-term storage like RAM and long-term storage like disk or flash, although capacity is perhaps a better term when it comes to things like throughput and bandwidth. +1
May
10
comment What do CI, CIM, CID, CIB mean?
@JanusBahsJacquet Thanks! I've added that information to the answer.
May
8
comment “School Students” — what, like there's any other kind of student?
@Marthaª Because it pithily answers the part of your question that is in bold type.
May
8
comment Word for someone who has never experienced hardship
+1 for “delicate flower” (but note that it is very often used sarcastically). I would also add sheltered to your list of adjectives.
May
7
comment Derogatory term for a rookie soldier
@Cyberherbalist This appears to answer the question as well as the top-voted suggestion gomer does.
May
3
comment When did we stop translating proper names?
@user71815 Pinyin is currently the official transliteration used by mainland China, but the Qing dynasty officially endorsed the postal map romanization, where Beijing is spelled Peking. Some portions of China still prefer the latter, and historically the people of Beijing/Peking endorsed it too.
May
3
comment What's the status of voiceless “t” in AmE?
There's also often a slight difference in vowel quality (raising) between writer and rider. My native dialect has it, and I think Prof. Lawler's might too.
Apr
30
comment Singular of “dice”
By the way, with ngrams you can specify parts of speech for a word, e.g. “one die_NOUN” to distinguish from the use of die as a verb. I’m not sure how reliable their part of speech classifier is, though.
Apr
30
comment Singular of “dice”
Thanks for the clarification, David. Please note that we more often use slang to refer to novel vocabulary, whereas questionable variants of established words are more often called something like colloquial or informal or regional, depending on how they're used. For example, “23 skidoo” is slang, “ain't” is colloquial.
Apr
30
comment Singular of “dice”
Additional information like this should probably be edited into the question rather than posted as an answer.