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Comment: Re:Not just Monsanto (Score 4, Insightful) 179

by snowgirl (#49314175) Attached to: WHO Report Links Weed Killer Ingredient To Cancer Risk

The report does note that the public at large is unlikely to receive any particularly dangerous exposure... this is more just for the workers, which to be fair, should be limiting their exposure to it in the first place. It's well known that it can cause health effects if mixed without any respirator coveralls etc..

Just because it requires a respirator and "clean suit" to spray it and mix it, doesn't mean that it's dangerous to the consumer... it just means that those people are the most likely to experience chronic meaningful exposure.

Comment: Re:Why not have devices get their time from GPS? (Score 1) 166

by snowgirl (#49303873) Attached to: Internet of Things Endangered By Inaccurate Network Time, Says NIST

Silly! How would that channel extra funds to NIST?

http://tf.nist.gov/time/common...

Because NIST developed the "Common view time transfer using the GPS system"...

Because NIST has a finger in everything having to do with measurement?

Clearly, you'll never be a politician, son!

Comment: Re:Some pedants are more pedantic than others... (Score 1) 667

by snowgirl (#49284799) Attached to: Why There Is No Such Thing as 'Proper English'

Except that people don't actually interpret the sentences that way.

You're bringing logic to a syntax fight... ;)

If it is intended to actually double negate, then emphasis is used, "I said, I don't have NO books." This lifts the word up for consideration of special usage. And it is used this way in users of both positive and negative Negative Agreement... "I don't have any books. I don't have NO books." "I don't have no books. I don't have NO books."

Otherwise, all negative words in a clause are just glomped all together. Which is why "I don't think, that he didn't do it." tends to still double negate, even without emphasis... Even people who use negative Negative Agreement, would likely say "I don't think he did it."

Comment: Re:"Wer fremde Sprachen nicht kennt... (Score 1) 274

by snowgirl (#49284673) Attached to: Speaking a Second Language May Change How You See the World

Oh, one can totally learn about English grammar just by studying English grammar. But in many ways as our native language we're "too close" to it. People find it difficult to learn the distinction of a noun and a verb, because we just use English grammar, we don't think ABOUT English grammar.

It's a lot like breathing. We can think about breathing, and study the way breathing works, but in the end, from our perspective we just breathe automagically.

Comment: Re:Not sure about that (Score 1) 274

by snowgirl (#49284625) Attached to: Speaking a Second Language May Change How You See the World

Discouraged by whom?

The formal register. Which unlike colloquial English has a number of stupid rules like "no double negatives" that don't actually make sense linguistically, but if you're in formal writing, you better use it, because if someone comes across it, they will immediately recognize you as lacking proper education in the formal register.

Some others immediately jump from "lack of proper education in the formal register" to "stupid" or "half-witted" or "redneck", but I do not ascribe to that opinion.

Either way, you write to your audience, and the formal English register has determined these stupid rules to be distinguishing and defining features...

Comment: Re:Not sure about that (Score 1) 274

by snowgirl (#49284605) Attached to: Speaking a Second Language May Change How You See the World

But that seems like a very formal way of writing.

Which was kind of my point. German formal writing prefers this construction, whereas in English, the formal writing rules tend to prefer extremely flat sentences... "There was a woman, who gave a striped ball. She ...."

Thanks for the gestreiften use though. I maybe would have thought of that if I weren't intentionally seeking to construct stilted formal written German...

Comment: Re:Not sure about that (Score 1) 274

by snowgirl (#49284513) Attached to: Speaking a Second Language May Change How You See the World

When the US constitution talks of "pursuit of happiness" it isn't meant "happiness" as we know it today. They had the same sort of ambiguity at the time between luck/happiness/joy ... and what do you know? fortune also means luck.

If it were being rewritten in modern English the intent was "pursuit of fortune/wealth"

Comment: Re:I think computer scientists already knew this.. (Score 1) 274

by snowgirl (#49284273) Attached to: Speaking a Second Language May Change How You See the World

$ObjectName and ObjectNumber.

When I was learning BASIC, AppleSoft BASIC only had two letters of significance in variable names... this was Apple ][e...

From there I moved on to C and Assembly from there. After I learned Assembly, everything just kind of made sense, because I could tear apart everything in assembly in my head, and know what it was doing. I stuck with C all the way until my professional career which started me in Perl, and then just recently Go.

Comment: Re:Not sure about that (Score 2) 274

by snowgirl (#49281215) Attached to: Speaking a Second Language May Change How You See the World

The more that I've studied German, the more that I have found that they express things in a very particular manner as opposed to English. The smallest example being that in formal English the passive-voice is discouraged, because it obfuscates the agent of the sentence, while in formal German, the passive-voice is encouraged, because it emphasizes on the action, which is often the more important part of the sentence.

Also, the "the left-turning truck" form ("den links abbiegenden LKW") is also very common to the point of "die den Ball mit den Streifen gebende Frau" what English would consider absurd. Basically, much deeper sentence construction than the nearly flat construction that is preferred by English speakers.

I've only now started grasping and feeling the difference... you know, like grokking it rather than just knowing that it's used... it's really cool, and interesting, and I only wish that I had more exposure to German, but with the age of the internet and German television here at home... I suppose, I'm the only one to blame...

Comment: Re:Cult of dumb at WSJ (Score 1) 667

by snowgirl (#49269257) Attached to: Why There Is No Such Thing as 'Proper English'

I think it more helpful to recognize that some dialects of English are sufficiently different from the formal SAE register that teaching it requires teaching people basic language features and areas of grammar that normally only have to be taught to foreign language speakers. (i.e. No one has to explain to kids growing up around English that it is SVO order. They get that all on their own.)

If we recognize that we have to teach written English like a foreign language to some people (very specifically for Deaf people it will always be a foreign language) then perhaps we can work better at getting them to be able to produce it when the audience deems it appropriate.

An inclined plane is a slope up. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"

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