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Comment Re:No editors == linguistic variation (Score 1) 173

Even without new spellings, there are plenty of names with long-standing variations just within the traditional English spelling (Katherine/Catherine, for instance) or virtually-identical forms with origins in different languages (Jacob/Jakob). And that's before getting into nicknames. (Going back to the first example: Katie/Katy, or Kathy/Cathy, or Kate/Cate.)

Migration is the obvious explanation for mixing things up, but it occurs to me that large-scale shared culture also contributes: If you know several people named Steven but no one named Stephen, you'll only think of the first variation. If you start reading Stephen King, then you're exposed to the other spelling even if no one named Stephen moves to town.

Comment Re:Not just adding terms (Score 2) 173

Technology isn't just adding new terms to the language, it's also changing, and in some cases erasing, idioms that already exist. Take for example the phrase, "you sound like a broken record". How many people under the age of 25 even know what a broken record sounds like? As time goes on I expect that phrase to become increasingly rare, and to be replaced by a similar phrase, thus completing the circle of life :P

Maybe, maybe not. People still talk about putting the cart before the horse, but I'd bet most Americans don't have personal experience with horse-drawn carts. Never mind making silk purses out of sow's ears. "Broken record" might fall out of favor, or it might linger on like "the quick and the dead" (pretty much the only place in modern English where "quick" still means alive instead of fast).

Hmm, do TV commercials still say "Don't touch that dial!"?

Comment Trusting the "You're up to date" notice (Score 1) 683

Last(?) week, Firefox on my Mac laptop updated for 5.0.1. I wanted to make sure that I got the update on my Windows desktop, so I opened up the About box. It claimed I was up to date on 5.0. I assumed something was wrong with the update check. I had to search around a bit before I was able to determine that it actually was working properly, and 5.0.1 had been a Mac-only fix. (That's another problem: it's becoming harder to find things like release notes.)

Basically: Mozilla gave me incomplete information, and I wasted a few minutes trying to chase the rest of it down. And now they want to give me even less?

Comment Re:It's based on popularity, not spam (Score 1) 262

That's ridiculous. I even remove posts from my own newsfeed from apps that I want to keep using. (Mainly: Networked Blogs is set up to auto-publish stuff from my stand-alone site, but sometimes I've already posted the same thing directly to Facebook, so I'll remove the extra copy.) So that counts as a vote against an app that I like use actively?

This is right up there with assuming that a moving cell phone with an active call is someone talking while driving, not a passenger, and auto-mailing them a ticket. Which I've heard suggested.

Comment Why won't hosts RESEARCH before retro-deleting? (Score 2) 262

I can see blocking new uploads if, for instance, an unfamiliar app has been picked up by spammers who are using it to flood the service with bimbots or whatever.

But the next step shouldn't be to just delete everything ever uploaded by that app. The next step is to take a look at the uploaded data, say, "Oh, hey, there's a whole bunch of older uploads that look legitimate," and then take steps to block the spammers rather than the tool.

What next, deleting all accounts created by users running Chromium?

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