Tag: Language

It’s Give no F%$# February

In January, I announced that, given the unprecedented events of that month, that I would be eschewing my embargo on profanity for the month.

To be accurate, I have never actually abjured profanity.

In fact, I would argue that my writing has rather more profanity that a lot of people out there, but I bowdlerize my swear words, so instead of the actual words, I will write, f%$#, or sh%#, or c%$#sucker, or motherf%$#er, 

So, it’s back to the f%$#ing, “%$#”s, though I may make actual profanity a January thing.

It has been a liberating experience for me.

I haven’t decided yet.

Announcing “Say Fuck” January

Given the events of the past 48 hours or so, I am suspending my policy of %$#ing out dirty words on my blog for the month of January.

My writing is rather profane, but I %$# shit out because I don’t want to offend someone whose children are reading this.

Occasionally, when quoting someone, as when then VP Biden called the passage of Obamacare a, “Big Fucking Deal,” I quote people, and occasionally, I miss the obscenities in a quote, Twitter embeds are not editable, and sometimes, I just fuck up and let it through.

So, fuck and shit, and the rest of the “Anglo Saxon Lexicon” will be on display for the rest of this month.

That being said, I still won’t be using the “C-word” for reasons best illustrated in the Harley Quinn animated series first episode.

Also, I will not be using the word, “Slut”, except in an illustrative manner, (as I just did) because I find it almost as offensive as the “C-word”.

As to the comments, my policy is to eschew moderation, except in the cases where the content is clearly spam, though if someone were to start dropping the “N-word” in the comments, this might change.

Today in a Foreign Language, the Queen’s English

It appears that in the late 1980s, in attempt to expand their flagging market for dedicated word processing workstations, they launched a maintenance program called WangCare.

This was well received in the United States, but despite warnings from the UK office, the British release was greeted with protests and mockery, and the name was changed in less than 48 hours. 

Trying to sell a homophone for “Wanker”, a term which was then not well known in the US, did not go over well in Blighty.

That being said, I cannot imagine that there are not at least a few snarky comments about Microsoft’s OneCare internet security product in the early 2000s.

Some people never learn.

Today in Mediocre French (With Subtitles)

Always fun to get RT’d but we’re about ten minutes away from actual French people coming in here and telling me all the mistakes I made (I’ve counted three so far!!)

— Pjörk🐷 (@NicoleConlan) November 12, 2020

Before this, I never truly understood the deep existential angst that is Gritty before this, and it is completely appropriate that it is being said in French. (with subtitles)

H/t Naked Capitalism.

Analogy of the Day

The US Economy is Having a Wile E Coyote Moment

Financial Times

The lead paragraph says it all:

In the well-known Looney Tunes cartoon, Wile E Coyote regularly runs off a cliff in pursuit of the Road Runner and is suspended in mid-air temporarily. When he looks down and realises his predicament, he falls into the canyon below. In real life, US consumers and businesses have just run straight off a cash cliff, now that extra federal assistance to small companies and unemployed workers has ended.

We are screwed, particularly when the heating season begins, and humidity drops, and viral infectivity increases.

OK, Not an Accident

While I do not generally favor the use of Gamatria* in politics, there is a significance to these numbers.  1488 is a commonly used argot of Neo-Nazis, referring to both Hitler and the “protection” of the “white race”.

As the good folks at Psychology Today observe, “Once is a coincidence; twice is a tendency; three times is a rule.”

As Richard Dreyfuss noted in Jaws, “This is not a boat accident.”

On Thursday, June 18th, Facebook removed ads that the Trump re-election campaign began running the day earlier, citing the company’s policy against promoting organized hate. At the center of the ads and of the controversy was an inverted red triangle. The same symbol was used by Nazis to mark political prisoners–Communists, Freemasons, people who had helped Jews–in concentration camps.

If your reaction is, “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar,” consider also that the first sentence of the ads contained 14 words, and a total of 88 ads were purchased by the campaign to be run on Facebook.

Fourteen words, 14, symbolizes a popular alt-right slogan, “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.” Eighty-eight, 88, stands for Heil Hitler—H is the 8th letter of the alphabet. Together, 14-88 are often used to signal allegiance to an alt-right group and the ideas of White Supremacy.

A mentor used to say, “once is a coincidence; twice is a tendency; three times is a rule.” So it would seem that in this case, the red triangle may not just be a red triangle, that it may stand for something else.


A White Power symbol posted by the U.S. president’s re-election campaign, “Team Trump,” helps to legitimize the alt-right movement. When the symbol is shared by the U.S. president himself and by Vice President Pence, observers might wonder if many people actually condone the alt-right movement’s goals and values.

This signaling may be far more sophisticated, and far more malicious, than I had previously thought.

*In Hebrew, every letter is also a number, and Gematria is a sort of mysticism where the numerical characteristics of  sentences and word connote a greater meaning.

Tweets of the Day

HTML was originally developed as a mark up language for non-programmers. It was highly successful as democratizing web development. And then it was replaced with more powerful tools that exclude non-programmers.

This change was as predictable as it was bad.

— Nikkita Bourbaki (@futurebird) April 30, 2020

The real reason we have brogrammers creating more obscure and syntactically incomprehensible languages is that they want to preserve their priesthood. The results are as negative as they are inevitable:

C was created by legendary male hackers and 40+ years later it is still impossible to write safe C code. COBOL was created by women who were pioneers in computer science, runs the world financial system, and you only hear about it when the world breaks.

— woolie (@woolie) April 10, 2020

Not Just Brooklyn, the Bronx Too

The latest diss of Bernie Sanders is that he shouts too much.

This is complete bullsh%$.

He is just talking like a New York Jew:

Sen. Bernie Sanders opened Tuesday night’s debate with an impassioned response to a question about one of his signature policy planks: Medicare for all.

“Right now we have a dysfunctional healthcare system [with] 500,000 Americans every year going bankrupt,” he said, his voice growing louder with each word. Sanders spoke emphatically of the injustice in forcing patients to face both their health issues and outrageous hospital bills.

After the debate, a pattern emerged: The Brooklyn-born candidate was too angry, too loud, too passionate. CNN’s S.E. Cupp tweeted, “How is Bernie Sanders already this angry, and it’s just his opening statement.” Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney also mocked Sanders for being “angry.” And, shortly after the debate—during which Democratic candidate Rep. Tim Ryan quipped to Sanders, “You don’t have to yell” during a fossil fuel debate—his campaign started selling stickers that read, “You don’t have to yell. Tim Ryan 2020.”

As the pundits weighed in, some Jewish Americans pointed out that the way Sanders speaks is just how a lot of Jewish people, particularly those from Brooklyn, speak. Some said that perceiving his speech patterns as inherently angry or abrasive was ignorant at best and anti-Semitic at worst. Following the debate, many American Jews voiced their disappointment over critiques against Sanders’s speech patterns: 

Yeah pretty much.

On my mom’s side, from the Bronx, a lot of them talk like Bernie.

On my dad’s side, Los Angeles and San Francisco, not so much.

Quote of the Day

It’s often wrong to think conservatives are full of shit. They’re just not using words and phrases to mean things that they normally mean. It’s not true that they are big hypocrites or lying about “religious freedom,” it’s that to them, “religious freedom” means the freedom of members of their dominant preferred religion to enact theocracy and oppress everybody else. That is simply what it means to them.


This is a very important observation: When the Talibaptist talk, they are using language in a very different way from the mainstream.

Understand that they are not talking to you, they are talking to each other, so when they are refer to, “Compassionate Conservatism, ” they are referring to Marvin Olasky thesis that you have to force people into starvation to really help them, and when they talk about, “Religious Freedom”, they are talking about killing gay people, resegregating society, and establishing a real version of The Handmaid’s Tale on earth.

I am Unworthy………

I have been blogging for more than 12 years, and when I posted about the suspicious death of a Canadian cryptocurrency mogul, and subsequent efforts by shorted investors to exhume his body to confirm his death, I missed a most obvious and beautiful pun.

I have always claimed to be the worst writer on the internet, but today especially so, because I was not the one who came up with this:

Putting the Crypt in Crypto Currency

I am clearly unworthy.

There is a Good Kind of Republican

But it’s with a lower case “R”.

It refers to people who want to eliminate the monarchy, particularly in the UK:

I'm think about blogging on this, and I just wanted to confirm that my sense of you as a "small r" republican (wanting to abolish the monarchy) is accurate.

— Jack Dorsey Is Objectively Pro-Nazi (M.G. Saroff) (@40_Years) November 18, 2019

Indeed I do

— Craig Murray (@CraigMurrayOrg) November 18, 2019

Craig Murray is a republican, not a Republican.

“Unleash,” Huh?

Obviously, fixing healthcare is not easy, at least not if you are devoted to looting the market.

For the rest of us, Single payer, or better yet a government owned National Health Service, works.

For the Free Market Mousketeers though, they have to come up with a “solution” that will, “Unleash entrepreneurs.”

Yes, the problem with looters infesting our healthcare system is more looters.

Change a few words, and you have the National Rifle Association to everything, “More Guns.”

If you add the word, “Disruption,” you would win bullsh%$ bingo.

Adventures in Metrology

Over at Wet Machine, Harold Feld has given us  a new measurement for irony, the Morissette.

He was discussing the rumors that Trump is attempting to institute censorship of social media through FCC regulation, which is both legally and constitutionally impossible:

Granted, humiliating yourself at Trump’s command by publicly utterly reversing yourself on everything you previously said you believed in is almost a rite of passage for officials in the Trump Administration. But if Trump actually did do this, it would be a true work of Total Humiliation for Pai & friends. This is why I give even the rumor of this a rare 5 out of 5 Morissettes on the Irony Scale (named after singer Alanis Morissette and her famous ironic song “Irony” about things that aren’t actually ironic.)

(Emphasis Mine)

At this point, I am unclear if this is a linear or a logarithmic scale, but my money is on the latter.

A Term I Avoid Using

Over at the Black Agenda Report, there is a must read examination of the term, “Black Misleadership Class.”

I have concerns about the current political leadership in the Democratic Party generally, where it seems that geriatric careerism trumps (pun not intended) helping real people.

To the degree that black members of the Democratic Party follow this model, the only cause for additional opprobrium is that the needs of their community is more acute.

That being said, I am profoundly uncomfortable with the term, alternatively feeling that it should be reserved for people of color to use about other POCs.

In any case, it’s worth a read.

Rover McRoverface?

They only want K-12 students to help, so talk to your younger friends, or the children of your younger friends, and get them to suggest “Rover McRoverface.”

You could also suggest “Wade” as in “Rover Wade”, if you want to see someone’s head explode:

NASA’s Mars 2020 rover is beginning to take shape. Earlier this month, crews installed some of its legs and six of its wheels. Now, the vehicle needs a name, and for that, NASA is turning to students. Beginning in fall 2019, NASA will run a nationwide “Name the Rover” contest open to K-12 students in the US. The spacecraft will need a name by July 2020, when it’s expected to launch.

The contest is part of NASA’s ongoing effort to engage the public in its Moon to Mars mission, which will search for signs of microbial life, characterize the planet’s climate and geology and pave the way for human exploration. If you’re not a K-12 student but want to get involved, NASA is also accepting applications to judge the contest submissions.

But Cat’s Don’t Give a Sh%$

Researchers have determined that cats actually know their names, but they just don’t care:

More than 3,000 years ago in Egypt, a tabby called Nedjem is thought to have roamed the royal household of Thutmose III. History doesn’t record whether Nedjem — whose name means ‘sweet’ or ‘pleasant’ — learnt to respond when called. But a study published on 4 April in Scientific Reports1 suggests that at least some modern housecats can distinguish their names from similar-sounding words, although they register recognition with the merest twitch of the head or ear.

“Cats are just as good as dogs at learning — they’re just not as keen to show their owners what they’ve learnt,” says John Bradshaw, a biologist at the University of Bristol, UK, who specializes in human–animal interactions.

The study took advantage of a technique known as ‘habituation–dishabituation’, commonly used in animal-behaviour studies. Atsuko Saito, a cognitive biologist at the University of Tokyo, and her colleagues visited 11 households with pet cats (Felis catus) and asked the owner to read a list of four nouns to their pet. These words were of the same length and rhythm as the cat’s name.

Most cats showed subtle signs that they were paying attention at first, by moving their head or ears. But by the fourth word, many had essentially stopped listening and their physical response was less pronounced. When their owners uttered a fifth word — the cat’s name — Saito’s team watched closely to see whether the pet displayed a stronger physical response than it had to the previous word.

The team found that 9 of the 11 cats showed a statistically significant (albeit subtle) heightening of their response when they heard their names. That alone does not prove that the felines recognized their monikers: a cat might have shown a stronger response to its name because that word was more familiar than others used in the test.

I am so not surprised.

Matt Taibbi, Thomas Friedman, Pies, Trees!

Thomas Friedman wrote something really stupid in the New York Times.

This would not be news, except that it was really stupid even by the standards of Thomas Friedman, which buggers the mind, but Matt Taibbi is all over it.

In his analysis of Friedman’s codswallop, Taibbi notes that Friedman’s fondness for compound words seems almost German:

If you put it all together, you could rewrite the original Friedman sentence as:

It’s opened a fissure between the Staatsgewaltbeschränkungsvolkswirtschaftswachstumsurzeitrepublikaner and the Antiimmigrantennullsummenspielzugbrückenverbarrikadierungstrumper.

Just read the whole thing.

It’s fun, Matt Taibbi is having fun, and you will have fun.