Archive for June, 2008

“Buy a house, sell a home?”

Monday, June 30th, 2008

This might not be worth a post, but anyway: Arnold Zwicky has a post at Language Log on "home" vs. "house" in (American) English, citing (among other things) the commentators in the Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage saying: A final note on home ownership: MWDEU reports that "a number of commentators have ...

Mark’d

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

A response to Mark's tagging me. Seven factz about me: Will Fitzgerald didn't use a computer until he was 23. It had cards. It is difficult for Will Fitzgerald to refer to himself in the third person. Despite his descriptivist linguistic training, Will Fitzgerald tries to distinguish 'between' and 'among'. Will Fitzgerald was known ...

The Book of Psalms

Monday, June 16th, 2008



Ockham’s Razor is Dull

Saturday, June 14th, 2008

It's all (well, mostly) about representation. Peter Turney: [F]iguring out how to represent the problem is 95% of the work. By the time you have the representation right, the tool that you use to finish the remaining 5% is not terribly important.

How many ways to win the election with nothing to spare?

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Over at FiveThirtyEight, the following 'homework assignment' was given: How many unique ways are there to acquire at least 270 electoral votes without any excess? I figured it would be a 'large' number, but I was surprised at the actual total: 51,199,463,116,367 (or, fifty-one trillion and change). about 2.3% of all possible ...

Reviewing my Prediction—I was wrong.

Monday, June 9th, 2008

I was wrong. And I've very glad.

The evolution of a Ruby programmer

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

# The evolution of a Ruby programmer def sum(list) total = 0 for i in 0..list.size-1 total = total + list[i] end total end def sum(list) total = 0 list.each do |item| total += item end ...

How do you spell X? Y.

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Many of us are familiar with the commercial in which the question is asked, "How do you spell 'relief'?" And the answer is "R-O-L-A-I-D-S." According to Wikipedia, this commercial has been around since the 1970's. I came across an earlier example from 1793, in Elder John Leland's "The ...

Profiles in Ireny

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

(Ireny isn't a word, but it should be) I've been lurking on a discussion list, which will go unnamed. Mr ALLCAPS said that everyone in group X is either a Y or a Z. Mr. Irenic suggested that there might be a third category. Mr. ALLCAPS accused Mr. Irenic of being ...

Maxine Ethington

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

From: Sheby County, Ky: SHELBYVILLE, KY. Local law enforcement along with Shelby County Emergency Management are asking if anyone has any information leading to the whereabouts of Maxine Ethington. Maxine is an elderly citizen of Shelby County suffering from Alzheimer's. She was last seen on May 25, 2008 at ...