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Thread: Stuff you just don't get.

  1. #4711
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    My phone does not suggest emoji. I beat that out of it long ago, along with its frankly ludicrous efforts at predictive text.

    Grant Hutchison
    And you were able to make that stick? Stuff like that seems to come back with every update.

    Meanwhile, what I came to the thread for:
    "Investing" in Bitcoin and "Non-Fungible Tokens". Investments with nothing whatsoever behind them.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  2. #4712
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post

    Meanwhile, what I came to the thread for:
    "Investing" in Bitcoin and "Non-Fungible Tokens". Investments with nothing whatsoever behind them.
    Butbutbut it's the Next Big Thing! Really, the totally legit tech news says in the vague near-future EVERYONE will be doing it!

    Seriously, Bitcoin is just videogame goldmining in a business suit. NFT is Bitcoin in an artist's smock.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  3. #4713
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    All that said, I wish I had invested $1,000 in bitcoin in the early days. It would easily be in the tens of millions these days, or maybe the hundreds of millions. I forgot what I calculated when I compared the numbers, but it was huge. Ah, if only I had a time machine . . .

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  4. #4714
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Ah, if only I had a time machine . . .
    Sorry, you can't afford a time machine.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  5. #4715
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    I checked it, bitcoin traded at 8 cents early on (in 2010) so assuming you could have bought a $1,000 of it then, it would be over $400 million today.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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  6. #4716
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    "Investing" in Bitcoin and "Non-Fungible Tokens". Investments with nothing whatsoever behind them.
    There really is nothing behind a lot of things, beyond a certain amount of trust. For instance, fiat currency. Bitcoin is worth what people will pay for it.

    I’ll admit Non-Fungible Tokens don’t make a lot of sense to me, but then again, there is a lot of stuff sold as art selling for tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars that also makes little sense to me, aside from scarcity and some people having so much money they don’t mind spending it on such things. I just know if I had that much money, I would have other priorities and interests.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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  7. #4717
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    I checked it, bitcoin traded at 8 cents early on (in 2010) so assuming you could have bought a $1,000 of it then, it would be over $400 million today.
    I think I read somewhere (I suppose I could google up a confirmation) that the first purchase using bitcoin was 34 of them, for a pizza.

    And yeah, I don't get them either. They have very little intrinsic worth so the only point of buying them is the hope that someone else pays more later. * It's just a very weird way for people to pass money to each other.

    The recent newsletter from the people managing my superannuation savings (who taught me the above is called the "Greater fool" theory) made a good point: one of the claims about bitcoin is that they are rare. But ... there's nothing really keeping digital currencies rare. There were about 4,000 of them at the time of writing! Everybody jumping on the bandwagon.

    (Someone on ISF was even "giving away" coins of some currency they were involved in. It seemed you needed to run their wallet, which meant their code running on your machine. Sigh.)

    I'll never make money on bitcoin ... but I won't lose any either!


    (* edit: oh yeah, also to use for hopefully untraceable purchases on-line; and we know that's always for puppies and kittens.)
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  8. #4718
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    I checked it, bitcoin traded at 8 cents early on (in 2010) so assuming you could have bought a $1,000 of it then, it would be over $400 million today.
    And if everybody back then had instead spent their 8 cents on gum, we could have avoided all of this fuss.
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  9. #4719
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    There really is nothing behind a lot of things, beyond a certain amount of trust. For instance, fiat currency. Bitcoin is worth what people will pay for it.

    I’ll admit Non-Fungible Tokens don’t make a lot of sense to me, but then again, there is a lot of stuff sold as art selling for tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars that also makes little sense to me, aside from scarcity and some people having so much money they don’t mind spending it on such things. I just know if I had that much money, I would have other priorities and interests.
    The trust value began when paper money was invented. The promise to pay allowed credit and much of the modern world was built on spend now pay later economics. NFT s and cryptos are not even based on a country promising to pay. And they are much more expensive in energy to run computers than fiat currencies.

    We have seen in history what happens when bubbles burst. Just like a Ponzi scheme the last investors are numerous and they all lose their shirts. Maybe we can put trust in faraway computers, over faraway gold reserves, but we cannot eat either when disaster strikes.

    I wonder if those energy hungry computers are EMP proof?
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  10. #4720
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    Things some people should realize #1: trading currencies is called speculating, not investing.
    And #2: if you adore your Bitcoin so much because of the disadvantages of classic currencies, why can its course be influenced by 1 emoji from 1 person? And if you like your Bitcoin unregulated, why do you want to stop said person from posting emojis?

    I don't have anything against decentralized currencies per se, but so many people are in it with a very dubious mindset.
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  11. #4721
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    A supermarket chain, HEB, is setting up ATMs in their locations that will allow you to pay for your groceries with Bitcoin.
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  12. #4722
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    "We don't like fiat currencies, so we're going to start up a currency with nothing behind it!"
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  13. #4723
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    A supermarket chain, HEB, is setting up ATMs in their locations that will allow you to pay for your groceries with Bitcoin.
    And the Coinstar machine in my supermarket will give you Bitcoin for your change.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  14. #4724
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    Why does the word 'midwife', which follows the conventional rule of the vowel being pronounced long when followed by a silent 'e', change its pronunciation when it's written as 'midwifery', where the 'i' suddenly becomes pronounced short? I can't think of other words that have the same rule.

    The closest I can think of is 'telephony' but I'm not sure how that word is pronounced.



    And for that matter, where does the 'o' go when 'pronounce' becomes 'pronunciation'?

  15. #4725
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    TEL-e-phone.
    Tel-EH-funny.

    English is a funny language(s), which is a thread title I've been meaning to start!
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  16. #4726
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    The Oxford English Dictionary allows both midwife-ry and telephone-y. I've heard the first, but not the second.
    Stress sometimes moves when you add a syllable to the end of a word, because the stress is often applied in a position relative to the last syllable of a word.
    Unstressed vowels that find themselves shoved into the middle of a word often get shortened, replaced with schwa, or elided completely. Winter, wintry. Ancestor, ancestry. Calorimeter, calorimetry.

    ETA:
    The latter effect is part of a larger phenomenon called "trisyllabic laxing", if you're interested. (Or, actually, even if you're not interested.)

    Grant Hutchison
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  17. #4727
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesabrown View Post
    Why does the word 'midwife', which follows the conventional rule of the vowel being pronounced long when followed by a silent 'e', change its pronunciation when it's written as 'midwifery', where the 'i' suddenly becomes pronounced short?
    This is a pronunciation that I haven't heard, so I can't tell whether the E is silent, but I do know it's not final/terminal anymore. An E in the middle of a word doesn't normally do the same thing; whether a vowel before an E in the middle of a word is long or short is practically random and not particularly different from what happens with vowels other than E. The silent final/terminal E tends to retain its power when the suffix "ly" or "s" is added, but that might become less likely with other suffixes.

    Also, the loss of the final E and the associated lengthening of the preceding vowel was a process, a sound shift, from an earlier state in which the E had been pronounced and the preceding vowel had been short. And sound-shifts sometimes spread around a bit unevenly. I don't know which complication applied in this particular case, but, with any sound-shift, there's always the possibility of just leaving behind a few unchanging stragglers.

    One way for this to happen is that sound-shifts can occasionally skip a word, or version of a word, that's just used too rarely, or one that's used too much more often than most others. They can also sometimes be phonetically conditional, based on the preceding or following sounds in a word, but the conditioning rules can be narrow and hard to detect if one of the conditions is uncommon. In this case, for example, the other exceptions that have come to my mind so far for the "dropping final E and lengthening preceding vowel" rule happen to be "give", "live" (the verb), "love", "above", "gone", "done", and "come", so one could hypothesize that the rule was actually not universal but conditional all along, as in "dropping final E and lengthening preceding vowel, as long as the preceding vowel isn't an 'O' before a nasal (M/N) or an 'O' or 'I' before a labiodental (F/V)". And that might have exceptions too, because then that would have set up a situation in which the two effects could interact with each other and a few words could switch sides, because, whichever way people were saying a word, they could then think the other way was really how it's supposed to be.

    Another twist that can happen while a sound-shift is still underway is that it happens in one dialect but not (at first) in another, and that state with two separate contemporary pronunciations gets preserved in later generations once the shift is done shifting. One shift which that happened to gave us the pairs "burst/bust", "horse/hoss", "curse/cuss", and "arse/***", and a few earlier ones gave us one dialect's pronunciation but another dialect's spelling for the same words, for "one", "two", and "Thames". I'm inclined to presume this dialect-based splitting was a factor in "midwifery" because it refers to a practice which seems to have been more common among speakers of some dialects than others (an effect which "midwife" was insulated from by its connection with "wife" because there were lots of wives everywhere, even where there wasn't much midwifery).

    And it's not just English that that kind of thing can happen to. (Most of the "English is strange" phenomena are actually not uncommon; they're just more familiar to us than their foreign counterparts.) Another example from Latin also happens to be a Latin counterpart of a second famous Englishism: the difference between urban and rural names for animals that are used as food. Our word "beef" ultimately comes by way of French from the Latin root "bos/bovis", but that B is not what you would normally expect the Romans to pronounce there. It came from a Proto-Indo-European *gʷ-, for which the usual standard-Latin outcome (at least at the beginning of a word) would have been "w" and then "v" or "u". Turning a PIE *gʷ- into "b" is not exactly rare among other IE languages (it's even the default/standard in Greek, where the equivalent word was "bous", from which we get the beginning of the word "butter"), but just not usually Latin... at least, not the Latin of Rome, which is the version of Latin we usually get. But Latium was not just Rome but something more like a county, where Rome was simply the biggest city in it. And *gʷ→b was a routine shift in the dialect(s) of rural Latium, and the people in the city ended up using the farmers' word for the animal. (BTW, in the Germanic branch the routine for *gʷ- was to "devoice" to *kʷ-, which in this case would end up giving us the word "cow".)

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesabrown View Post
    And for that matter, where does the 'o' go when 'pronounce' becomes 'pronunciation'?
    It doesn't go anywhere. It was never there. The more accurate question is where the one in "pronounce" came from. And the answer is about the same as for all of the rest of the "ou/ow" diphthongs we have now that aren't recent imports from some other language. They all developed from "o" or "u" monophthongs during the era of Middle English. Of course, we still have those monophthongs, so there were complications dictating when they would diphthongize and when they wouldn't (and it seems to have been particularly likely before N), but that one sound shift is what they all came from, because no such diphthongs existed at the beginning of Middle English.

    In most other cases there isn't an alternative version of the same word preserving the old form. We do still technically have "profundity" to go along with "profound" (which makes it look like adding a suffix influenced the monophthong's survival), but it's not used much. "Hunt" might have survived because it shifted meaning enough to split it off from "hound" as a separate new word, but that's not certain; it could be that one is from Old English and one is from Norse.
    Last edited by Delvo; 2021-Jul-11 at 03:36 PM.

  18. #4728
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    Weird... it put stars over a word that has a meaning nobody objects to, synonymous with "donkey", but did not put stars over the counterpart with an R in it, for which the meaning that some people would object to is the only meaning. I think that qualifies as something I "don't get".

  19. #4729
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
    Weird... it put stars over a word that has a meaning nobody objects to, synonymous with "donkey", but did not put stars over the counterpart with an R in it, for which the meaning that some people would object to is the only meaning. I think that qualifies as something I "don't get".
    In today's Pearls Before Swine, rat visits the Wise, er, Donkey on the Hill.
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  20. #4730
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    And the Coinstar machine in my supermarket will give you Bitcoin for your change.
    Finally, a use for all of the coins damaged by cowboy bites!
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  21. #4731
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
    Weird... it put stars over a word that has a meaning nobody objects to, synonymous with "donkey", but did not put stars over the counterpart with an R in it, for which the meaning that some people would object to is the only meaning. I think that qualifies as something I "don't get".
    Once when I was moderating I had to give someone a warning for using the starred word to describe someone.

    They (I forget who and I won't look it up and wouldn't say even if I did) claimed "but what's wrong with 'Donkey'?".

    I was not fooled by their attempt to ignore context! :-)
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  22. #4732
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    Dogecoin. I get that it's a cryptocurrency but I'll never understand those so there's no point explaining. What I want to know is how the heck you are supposed to pronounce it.
    "Doge", like the Duke of Venice? Which I've probably been mentally mispronouncing for years with a long "O", soft "G", and silent "E".
    "Dodge", like the car brand?
    How about "Doggy-coin"? I think I'll go with that one!
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  23. #4733
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    Delete, weird messed-up duplicate.
    Oh, I did look on Wikipedia. Apparently it's like the Venetian guy, who I've been pronouncing more or less correctly. I still like "Doggy".
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  24. #4734
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    Like the duke of Venice, according to the inventors. Except they claim it was a made-up word intended to seem Japanese. Which it doesn't remotely, to me, but I'm sure Jens can set me right on that. And of course linking it to a Japanese dog meme just causes more confusion.
    Deliberately, I'm sure.

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  25. #4735
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Dogecoin. I get that it's a cryptocurrency but I'll never understand those so there's no point explaining. What I want to know is how the heck you are supposed to pronounce it.
    "Doge", like the Duke of Venice? Which I've probably been mentally mispronouncing for years with a long "O", soft "G", and silent "E".
    "Dodge", like the car brand?
    How about "Doggy-coin"? I think I'll go with that one!
    I don’t think it’s even worth the brainpower you spent wondering about this.
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  26. #4736
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Like the duke of Venice, according to the inventors. Except they claim it was a made-up word intended to seem Japanese. Which it doesn't remotely, to me, but I'm sure Jens can set me right on that. And of course linking it to a Japanese dog meme just causes more confusion.
    Deliberately, I'm sure.
    I read the explanation and to be honest, it makes no sense to me either. Normally if you were to write "doge" in Japanese it would be pronounced like doh-gay. There is a word that uses that sound (dogeza, which means to apologize by kneeling on the ground and lowering your head to the floor). But in Japanese there is no "soft J" sound like in the word Asia, only the hard J sound like in Jack. And if you have a word like "doji," you would definitely pronounce the I (it wouldn't be silent). So it doesn't sound very serious.
    As above, so below

  27. #4737
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    I don’t think it’s even worth the brainpower you spent wondering about this.
    Probably correct, however....

    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I read the explanation and to be honest, it makes no sense to me either. Normally if you were to write "doge" in Japanese it would be pronounced like doh-gay. There is a word that uses that sound (dogeza, which means to apologize by kneeling on the ground and lowering your head to the floor). But in Japanese there is no "soft J" sound like in the word Asia, only the hard J sound like in Jack. And if you have a word like "doji," you would definitely pronounce the I (it wouldn't be silent). So it doesn't sound very serious.
    Somebody is making serious money on this nonsense.
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  28. #4738
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I read the explanation and to be honest, it makes no sense to me either. Normally if you were to write "doge" in Japanese it would be pronounced like doh-gay. There is a word that uses that sound (dogeza, which means to apologize by kneeling on the ground and lowering your head to the floor). But in Japanese there is no "soft J" sound like in the word Asia, only the hard J sound like in Jack. And if you have a word like "doji," you would definitely pronounce the I (it wouldn't be silent). So it doesn't sound very serious.
    And this from people who also claim to be Japanophiles. All very odd.

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  29. #4739
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    Not doggy-coin, Dog eCoin, but then not, for humor you know ...

    Elon Musk has famously defended his sense of humor as on the spectrum, but dumping your garbage into some other envirnoment is not funny

  30. #4740
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    Who put another "n" in "condemning"?!
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