LRRcast for Omni-Lingual

Talk about this week's LRRcast and what you'd like to see in future ones.
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James
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LRRcast for Omni-Lingual

Postby James » 06 Apr 2009, 15:51

Sorry guys and gals. Totally my bad but at least you get a healthy dose of LRR today.
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Postby DmitriW » 06 Apr 2009, 15:55

Woo! I can give myself an ovLRRdose!
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Postby Zivlok » 06 Apr 2009, 15:56

GO GO GADGET NEW LRRCAST!
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Postby Septavius » 06 Apr 2009, 16:22

Someone had to step up to the plate for it:

The DUTCH.

AGAIN!

Matt...Was that a Wookie call I just heard? Very nice!
Last edited by Septavius on 06 Apr 2009, 16:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Master Gunner » 06 Apr 2009, 16:26

No lute intro :(
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Postby DmitriW » 06 Apr 2009, 16:39

So, how WAS the movie, anyway?
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Postby concupiscentcrustacean » 06 Apr 2009, 16:57

ummmm...james..?
you PINKY SWEAR?!?! Are you an 8 year-old GIRL?!?! is Matt your BFF?
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Postby InsaneFool » 06 Apr 2009, 17:01

Hey! Pinky Swearing is a perfectly legitimate and legally binding agreement...
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Postby DmitriW » 06 Apr 2009, 17:32

InsaneFool wrote:Hey! Pinky Swearing is a perfectly legitimate and legally binding agreement...


Agreed.
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Postby Zivlok » 06 Apr 2009, 17:42

Despite the lack of lutes, a good LRRcast. Matt doing the wookie call was probably the best part. Short but semi-sweet.
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Postby Cybren » 06 Apr 2009, 18:13

The US doesn't have an official language.
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Postby Kdz » 06 Apr 2009, 19:03

Federally, the US has no official language, but several(around 30, I think) states have adopted official languages. Most of them adopt English, some addend Spanish to that, and there are a couple of outliers.
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Postby Cybren » 06 Apr 2009, 19:05

Kdz wrote:Federally, the US has no official language, but several(around 30, I think) states have adopted official languages. Most of them adopt English, some addend Spanish to that, and there are a couple of outliers.


Exactly what I said, the US doesn't have an official language.
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Postby Septavius » 06 Apr 2009, 19:19

Hm. So is that why the quality of written and spoken English among native speakers from the states is rather...lacking?

Pretty soon some states will be all "Okay, official language here is netspeak now!"

Urgh.
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Postby Cybren » 06 Apr 2009, 19:24

Septavius wrote:Hm. So is that why the quality of written and spoken English among native speakers from the states is rather...lacking?

I would assume that that is the result of something of a feedback loop. Decline in English education leads to a lowering of quality of language in media, which leads to lower quality language in everyday use, which leads to a lower quality of language in media, etc.

Then again, with the increasingly prolific discussions of politics, both in media and in public, it's worth considering that Orwell had a point
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Postby Septavius » 06 Apr 2009, 19:32

I tell you, it was a little alarming for me when I got to my freshman writing class last year. I got an A- in the class without really trying. For each assignment, we'd have a class period where we'd edit each others' papers. My GOD did I see some ugly writing. While this may come off as exceedingly arrogant, my intentions are otherwise. There was legitimately bad writing in nearly every paper I read. The thing was, I wasn't even a particularly good English student in high school. I think I averaged about a B/B- over four years.

EDIT: having since read a significant portion of the piece you linked; I'm not even talking about the beauty, lucidity, and elegance of writing. I'm talking about people that cannot form a proper sentence without spelling or grammatical errors. To some degree I am also concerned by how poorly people handle trying to convey meaning without using a great number of words. Some of the things I read in college writing were often very long-winded without really conveying any meaning.
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Postby Kdz » 06 Apr 2009, 19:57

Loquacity: I believe the problem in the ramblings you're describing, Septavius, is connected to the fact that most assigned writings in English classes have a minimum word limit. This causes people to get really good a bullshitting, because they don't want to have to actually do research and come up with original thoughts to pepper a paper with.

Hell, I know I did all throughout school, being continually assigned boring topics as I was. It's also rather easy, and most teachers up to a certain point(read: anything below what English majors have to take) really don't care.
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Postby Septavius » 06 Apr 2009, 20:06

That would be true, but most of the aforementioned ramblings were far, FAR longer than the minimum paper length.

One little thing that tickled me was that on the best paper I had written that semester (coincidentally also the one I spent the least time on, but whatever), my teacher essentially praised me for being concise. The main body of the paper didn't have any other comments, just a single sentence at the top. If memory serves, his words were "thrifty, lucid, and to the point. Good work."
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Postby Kdz » 06 Apr 2009, 21:09

Drifting further from the main topic, my most memorable comment on an English paper was "You certainly have a mastery of the semi-colon."

I think he was trying to tell me I used it too much in the paper. That's what you get for not proofreading, I guess.
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Postby Zivlok » 06 Apr 2009, 23:54

Semicolon, huh? I would tap that.
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Postby Septavius » 07 Apr 2009, 05:55

I used to use a lot of semicolons, but I have since drifted from using a lot of the kind of sentence structure that would require them. I still use them, but probably to a much greater degree of correctness.

For those keeping score at home, for the particular assignment I'm talking about above, we were asked to write some sort of analysis of one or many pieces of art or an artist. The analysis was supposed to address how the piece of art or the artist's work as a whole either broke down or somehow reinvented an overused metaphor or convention, or produced entirely new metaphors.

The context for this is that the reading we had been doing leading up to that point had to do with Nietzsche's philosophy and the imprecision of language/human perception(in short, we need things like metaphors only because we are not capable of assigning a unique identifier to every unique object in our reality).

Perhaps that sheds some light on why people were so needlessly verbose.
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Postby ChiUnit4evr » 07 Apr 2009, 06:42

I'm going to agree with Matt on the legalization of Marijuana issue here. I honestly don't think that prices would skyrocket were it to be legalized. Much of the price comes from the fact that it is risky to either produce in country or to smuggle into the country. That cost has to be taken into consideration. Remember the producers have to pay people to smuggle the product into the country, and stuff grown within the country is probably of lower quality thanks to the country's strict stance on drug use.

Similarly, if the nation wants to profit off of the taxation of marijuana sales, they would have to maintain quality, otherwise nobody will buy it and the project will be a financial failure. So really, I don't think there is any disadvantage, medical, legal, or financial, to the legalization and taxation of marijuana.
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Postby Septavius » 07 Apr 2009, 12:18

While that's certainly true, I think we in the US have a much longer path to legalization.

You know, considering growing INDUSTRIAL HEMP is illegal.

Despite the arguments against it being fucking RETARDED.
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Postby Master Gunner » 07 Apr 2009, 13:24

The illegalization of marijauna (at least in the states) was actually a by-product of making hemp illegal. Basically, a hundred years ago there was about to be a break-through that would make hemp-based paper cheaper and easier to make than pulp-paper. Hearst, having got wealthy on the pulp industry, lobbied the government to ban hemp in order to maintain his investments and wealth. As I recall, the term "marijauna" was actually popularized at this time to create a scare factor with a new and strange term. This campaign worked, and the production and sale of cannabis products was taxed into oblivion (talking over $230/gram here, back in the 1920's). Then they made it officially illegal.


That said, I'm not entirely in support of legalizing it, although I do certainly see the benefits in removing it from illegal status. From the sources I've read (although I cannot ascertain their backing and how biased they were), pot is certainly not safer than cigarettes or tobacco, and possibly has greater long-term effects to your health than regular smoking (such as having 4 times the carcinogens of your average cigarette). I've tried it, with no effects, so I don't really care about it myself, but I'm not sure it's as safe as proponents make it out to be. Especially after reading about how cocaine was once considered the same as how marijuana is today. Apparently Queen Victoria used to imbibe fairly regularly, along with everyone else.

On a tangential note, anybody tried medicinal marijuana? Apparently most of what's grown in Canada is grown in old copper mines, and from the time I tried it (for comparison purposes), I could easily tell, and I don't have that much experience with pot. But that's what happens whenever the government tries to produce something. NB Liquor recently released their own brand of beer (not coincidentally after raising taxes on many types), and it tastes awful.
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Postby Septavius » 07 Apr 2009, 13:35

Oh wow, so the CAUSE of industrial hemp being illegal is even MORE stupid than the arguments against legalizing it now?

Oy, what a country we are.

From what I've read (I could be wrong), industrial hemp is also stupidly easy to cultivate, and ultimately is as durable and comfortable as cotton while being less expensive to produce.

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