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STET this STAT: a grammar emergency thread!

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:07 pm
by westgatestreet
dear anorak,

what is the "dodo's conundrum"?
and what is "chaffinch" supposed to mean in a hug thread poll?

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:20 pm
by squirrelboutique
Is that dodo thing like a commonly used phrase? I wondered that from the Shins' song. I think it's like, because a dodo can't fly? A condundrum is like a puzzle or riddle, so it's like wanting to fly but not being able to.

I might not be right on this. And I'm not exactly sure I've explained that correctly.

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:24 pm
by squirrelboutique
Those Nottinghammers like to use the word chaffinch a lot.

I couldn't explain how or why. That'd be one for one of those guys.

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:26 pm
by westgatestreet
hmm well you're maybe right. i took that phrase from the Shins song indeed, it must mean something, if you google this you get lots of results and blogs with that name, but i found no definition of that phrase.
i know what a conundrum generally is though, but not if there is a special dodo one.

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:26 pm
by Anonymous
is it something like 'flightless birds' being something of a conundrum because you'd expect birds to fly (like that buffalo springfield song, that's about being a dodo, I expect)

it's interesting you ask about dodoes and chaffinches because they're both birds, one rather more successful than the other

birds, aye? tsk!

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:28 pm
by squirrelboutique
Maybe the Shins coined the phrase. There's part about an android's conundrum in there, too, right?

I like that song. It's catchy.

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:32 pm
by westgatestreet
andygrunt wrote:is it something like 'flightless birds' being something of a conundrum because you'd expect birds to fly (like that buffalo springfield song, that's about being a dodo, I expect)

it's interesting you ask about dodoes and chaffinches because they're both birds, one rather more successful than the other

birds, aye? tsk!
hell yeah i just noticed that myself. i looked up "dodo" in my dictionary and the german translation was "dodo" hehe, and i didn't know at all that such a word exists in german. until now. i have never heard of a dodo before actually. i am bad in knowing about animals and nature generally.

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:35 pm
by squirrelboutique
And they went extinct because they couldn't fly, right?

Am I making that up?

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:41 pm
by westgatestreet
squirrelboutique wrote:And they went extinct because they couldn't fly, right?

Am I making that up?
kind of, yes.
although it is said they weren't tasty.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodo#Extinction

dodoes looked weird.

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 10:02 pm
by Anonymous
didn't they become extinct because they were quite placid too and used to waddle up to the very people who were hunting them?

that's pathos, right there

write a song about that, pete green

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:11 am
by humblebee
I'll call it 'For Dodos, Read Anoraks'

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 10:22 am
by nanski
i remember in some comic book i had as a kid a dodo looked like a big fluffy ball with a beak and bird legs. it was very cute. i wanted one, except it was already extinct, even when i was a little kid.

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 10:32 am
by humblebee
What was this thread about again?

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 6:27 pm
by alongwalkhome
humblebee wrote:What was this thread about again?
Perhaps all of life's grammar conundrums have been solved!

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:44 pm
by JohaN
hah! i'm not so sure... does it make sense to start a sentence with "perhaps" and end it with "!" ? ;)

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 5:49 pm
by Contravene
"self-centering" or "self-centring"?

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:52 pm
by humblebee
Have to go with the latter really, else it looks American.

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:58 pm
by squirrelboutique
!

I thought centring was UK! I've never seen that used here. Isn't it sort of some sort of architectural term?

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 11:59 pm
by Contravene
I'll accept centring is UKish, its the frame they build archways round, but in terms of record player spindles, I figured self-centering looked more appropriate.

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:52 am
by humblebee
Is "defence" ever used in US English, or is it always "defense"?

I'm editing an American typescript that uses both; my instinct is to change the former to the latter but I thought I should check to see if there's some nuance or distinction that I'm unaware of.