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Comment Re:Misplaced apostrophe (Score 1) 408

I don't believe it was singular thou and plural you. It was formal you and familiar thou, like Japanese has. I base on that on my recollection from reading a book about the history of the English language.

Thy (recollection of the) book is incomplete.

Originally, it was singular thou and plural you, but the influence of Norman French royalty and nobility caused the plural form to take on an additional flavor of formality (think of the "royal 'we'" here). At this point, "thou" was only used for familiar singular, while "you" could be used to indicate formal and/or plural. Eventually, "thou" was not used anywhere other than the Bible and certain religious/ethnic groups, which has led more modern speakers of English to think thou is the formal version!

Comment Re:Misplaced apostrophe (Score 1) 408

and I'm not going to give up on my preferred version based on pronunciation

There is no pronunciation of the apostrophe. It merely indicates the missing letters. The remaining letters are "yall" either way.

That a lot of other people misplace apostrophes (or should I say "apostrophe's"?) doesn't mean you should do it too. Y'a'l'l are just wrong.

Comment Misplaced apostrophe (Score 1) 408

ya'll'll ...PS, it just means "you all will"

If it does, then let's contract it:

"you all will"

The apostrophes indicate the missing letters "ou" and "wi".

As much of a prescriptivist grammarian as I am, I recognize that English lost something when singular "thou" was merged into the plural "you" into a numberless second person. Meanwhile, German got to keep "du" for singular. Words like "y'all" and "youse" are simply attempts to re-establish number in the second person. I prefer the former, but that may be my Midwestern bias showing through. I do like the apostrophe to be put in the right place, though.

Or dost thou shit me with thy comment?

Comment Misleading sig (Score 1) 300

What do you call a hockey Mom that preaches 'Abstinence only'? ... A grandma!

If the grandma you're thinking of is the former Governor of Alaska, you're thinking wrong:

"I'm pro-contraception, and I think kids who may not hear about it at home should hear about it in other avenues," she said during a debate in Juneau. . . . Palin spokeswoman Maria Comella said the governor stands by her 2006 statement, supporting sex education that covers both abstinence and contraception.

But don't let the facts get in the way of The Narrative.

Comment Ridiculous standard (Score 1) 246

I qualified my statement with Western because it is the western nations that believe in liberty. It is easy to claim that you're better then some 3rd world country with no traditions of freedom.

That has to be one of the more ridiculous things I've ever read. Even though by any objective measure, we allow people more liberty than any other country on the planet, because our standards are higher that somehow makes us worse than totalitarian regimes? You want us to lower our standards in our Constitution, as if that will get the politicians to stop violating it?

Still you would get more respect if you followed your own constitution. As an example the first amendment says that congress shall make no laws limiting speech yet you have child porn laws.

As the father of daughters, and the grandfather of granddaughters, I find child porn laws worse than the problem they purport to solve. But your country has those Orwellian (if not Kafkaesque) "Human Rights Commissions" that muzzle speech.

Comment Re:Well done Germany (Score 1) 246

the last western country to outlaw slavery

We fought the bloodiest war in our history (measured in terms of killing the largest percentage of our people) ending it.

Interesting that you qualify that statement with "western"; slavery was officially abolished in China in 1910, but still exists in some regions. It's also quite widespread in Africa.

The country that practiced segregation in living memory

Unlike, say, South Africa, or India (where to this day the Dalits (aka "Untouchables") are segregated:

Dalits are not allowed to drink from the same wells, attend the same temples, wear shoes in the presence of an upper caste, or drink from the same cups in tea stalls

Then there's the religious segregation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran, Saudi Arabia (non-Muslims are forbidden to enter Mecca or Medina). I could go on, but I won't bother.

Call it "propaganda" if you want, but notice which direction the people illegally crossing our borders are going. Look at how the communist East Germany had to put up a wall with border guards under orders to shoot anyone trying to flee to the West (where US, UK, and French authorities permitted a goverment that respected the liberty of the people). If the reality of the liberty in Western Civilization in general, and in the US in particular, were that much worse than the "propaganda", there would be people going the other direction, and even some who came this way going back.

Of course we aren't perfect; no government is. But we are exceptional in the founding principles to which we aspire. Other people have taken notice of the practical value of those principles, and choose to emulate them.

Comment Re:Well done Germany (Score 1) 246

I'm assuming you're american since only an american could have such a completely wrong image of their own country as some kind of beacon of democracy to the rest of the world.

I guess that means the protestors at Tiananmen Square who built a replica of the Statue of Liberty were Americans instead of Chinese.

Come to think of it, maybe you're right. We aren't a beacon of democracy, but of liberty. That democracy invented in Europe 2,000 years ago voted to exile/kill Socrates because they thought his ideas would hurt The Children.

Some things never change.


Submission + - iRobot Create: Fully programmable mobile robot

paxmaniac writes: iRobot has announced Create: a new fully programmable mobile robot based on the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner.

People have been hacking the Roomba since the day it came out. Well, hacking just got a whole lot easier. A command module for the Create provides a programmable 8-bit Atmel micro controller, four DB-9 ports for your own sensors, and a number of sample programs that can be compiled and uploaded to the command module via USB.

Some more details along with some cool applications here.

This looks like the perfect robotics platform for hobbyists, schools and universities alike.

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