User talk:Ro Thorpe/Archive 2

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"I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again." the Wild Oscar.... Hayford Peirce 11:35, 12 June 2008 (CDT) - i won't be emulating oscar here - Ro Thorpe 13:03, 12 June 2008 (CDT)

Archive 1

Hey, it works now! I guess I had to Save it again in order to activate the link. Oh well, hope this is OK with you Ro -- all of our dicussion pages get too long sometimes.... Hayford Peirce 11:54, 12 June 2008 (CDT)

Ah, I see -- John created "User talk:Ro Thorpe" -- I had forgotten to put "user talk" into the title of the new article. Geez. Thanks, John!
No problem. Doncha hate it when you miss the little things? John Dvorak 11:58, 12 June 2008 (CDT)

thanks for that, don't know how it was done, don't think i'll ask... Ro Thorpe 13:03, 12 June 2008 (CDT)


Sure, no problem. Do you want just the asterisks removed, or the words following them too? John Dvorak 15:16, 9 July 2008 (CDT)

Alright, I got it. Apparently the schwa symbol is recognized by UTF-8 encoding, but not ANSI. It sure saved a bunch of work though. John Dvorak 19:06, 9 July 2008 (CDT)

Arm trouble

I have just heard of Hayford's misadventures with a certain spinning blade, and discovered you also have some issues as well; I hope things are okay! I am 75% over my little accident (now it's mostly strength building and flex range regaining). It seems there is an epidemic. --Robert W King 14:37, 19 July 2008 (CDT)

someone who doesn't get it

Hi, Rheaux! Could you do me a favor(our) and take a look at the history of

the guy who has made the entry keeps putting this non-CZ lede para in and I'm tired of fighting him. could you maybe write him a gentle note on his talk page to tell him (briefly) why this shouldn't be here? Many remerciements! Hayford Peirce 15:51, 27 July 2008 (CDT)


You're back! Saw your minor edit on greenhouse--oh, much betterer, why didn't I think of that? Oh, how we missed Ro! Aleta Curry 20:03, 13 August 2008 (CDT)

Friggin' computers and double-friggin' security systems

Tell me about it!

I've just uninstalled my new (two weeks) update of Trend Micro PC-Cillin, which is supposed to be one of the best security programs, because I couldn't stop it from running all the time and disrupting me. Now I'm trying to *re*-install it but am having difficulties. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Life was sure simpler before computers, when Bobby and I were out thumpin' the ball around!


This dumb thing is driving me crazy! I couldn't reinstall PC-Cillin -- it keeps telling me it's already there. But it isn't. Now I've done a System Restore. It's back -- but not working. Geez! I may end up uninstalling it again and paying for another entire program. Norton is the pits. McAfee is better, but not much. That only leaves the one with the Russian name, which generally has pretty good reviews.... Grrrrrrrrrr again! Hayford Peirce 18:48, 17 September 2008 (CDT)

back atcha

Gave a (probably too long) reply at my space Ciao! Aleta Curry 03:21, 5 October 2008 (CDT)


Yup, I've been following the drama. I also have a couple of comments towards the end of this Forum argument, strongly supporting Larry:,2389.0.html Hayford Peirce 20:36, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

As far as em-dashes go, I didn't have enough space to write clearly in the Subject box. I meant to say that the word "Insert" was on the left of the "Special Characters" line, and that the em-dash was to the *right* of the word "Insert". Or at least such is the case on my own screen at the moment. Hayford Peirce 20:36, 1 November 2008 (UTC)


for clearing up those points. Of course you are absolutely right about Larry. Never understood the 1st thing about economics myself, though! Ro Thorpe 00:37, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

Your testimony

Please let us have it! --Larry Sanger 20:59, 3 November 2008 (UTC)


Hi, thank you for the rephrasing in Cyprus. As you can see, I'm not a native English speaker. It's not important for me, but do you really consider sovran, sovranty as incorrect spellings? They are fully accepţed in Webster's dictionary.--Domergue Sumien 11:00, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

I fear Webster's has rather misled you there. I don't have a copy, but the online version introduces that spelling with 'also...', while my Oxford dictionary is more to the point: 'Var. (poet.) of 'sovereign'. So as a retired teacher of English as a foreign language I strongly advise you to save that spelling for your poetry!
Salut, à la prochaine (how do you say that in Occitan?) - Ro Thorpe 13:49, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
All right, thank you for the explanation. "Adieu, al còp que ven" :)--Domergue Sumien 14:04, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
De nada - Ro Thorpe 14:16, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
My print edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition, doesn't list sovran or sovranty even as a variant. I myself never recall having seen it that way. It must be a very old variant. Hayford Peirce 15:44, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
That's how it struck me. I don't think I'd seen it either. Ro Thorpe 16:26, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
The Oxford English Dictionary does include "sovran" and derivatives, but cites no use of them any more recently than 1887, and says that these spellings are now "chiefly poetic." (There was a "Sovran Bank" in the southeastern U.S. in the 1980s, at the beginning of the period during which banks became enamored of renaming themselves with meaningless and nonexistent words. Sovran Bank was later gobbled up by NCNB, which then merged with the Borg of America.) Bruce M.Tindall 19:40, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Greek letter articles

Ro, since you're the hardworking "letter guy" for the Roman alphabet, I wanted to ask what articles about letters in other alphabets should be called. I noticed that there is a small but potentially complicated mess involving links to "Gamma" -- some of these are intended to go to an article about the Greek letter; some to an article about "Gamma rays" (which exists); and some to an article about the Gamma programming language (which exists at plain ol' "Gamma").

I assume that we want to do something along the lines of having "Gamma" be a disambig page, with actual articles at "Gamma ray", "Gamma (letter)" or "Gamma (Greek letter)", and "Gamma (programming language)". Does this strike you as desirable? And if so, how should the "letter" articles be affixed -- with "(Greek letter)" or just "(letter)"?

I suppose it might be a good thing to pre-empt future confusion by (1) creating stub articles with "(Greek letter)" or whatever for each letter of the Greek alphabet; (2) creating disambig pages at plain ol' "Alpha", "Beta", etc., for each letter; and (3) systematically seeing what links to "Alpha", what links to "Beta", etc., and going into each of those pages and making sure that the link goes to the correct disambiguation such as "Alpha particle" or "Gamma (programming language)" or whatever. But I don't want to undertake something like that unless I'm sure that I wouldn't have to go back and undo it and re-do it a different way if somebody came up with a better idea. So what do you think, and who else should be asked? Bruce M.Tindall 19:49, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for your response. OK, I'll get started on that soon. Bruce M.Tindall 03:44, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
Answer to why I used "(Greek letter)" instead of "(Letter)" -- hmm, because Hayford suggested it in the forum, and, uh, I'd forgotten that you'd suggested plain "(Letter)". The answer to whether anybody else has a gamma besides the Greeks is, I never heard of one, but I don't know for a fact that there isn't one, either. I'll just let this set of changes settle down for a day or so and see what other comments show up. Your point about making less work is a good one, though! Bruce M.Tindall 01:03, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

The ref

Perhaps you were after the one described here? --Daniel Mietchen 12:29, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

O apostrophe, where is thy sting?

Ro, would you mind if I renamed your "apostrophe" article to "apostrophe (punctuation mark)" or something similar, to make room for a disambig page and a new article on "apostrophe (figure of speech)"? Or if you have other ideas on how this could be done, please let me know. Thanks. Bruce M.Tindall 00:22, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Yet more punctuation: Dr(.) No

And now for something completely different: In a revision to "Dr. No" you commented, "nothing specifically American about 'Dr'". Actually, I think what the orignal author (John Stephenson) might have meant was that the period after "Dr" in the movie's title was peculiarly American. I can only assume that the British, never having gotten over the trauma of the severe punctuation-rationing situation after WWII, are still very frugal about putting periods after "Mr", "Dr", and the like, whereas we Yanks, with our infinite resources!!! and our most excellent economic situation!!!, are quite conspicuous consumers of same. (See???!!!) So perhaps "Dr. No" looks more American than "Dr No"? Now I promise to stop bugging you about punctuation. Bruce M.Tindall 00:36, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Doctor Who

(coincidence) This is the global article, covering all media, so I've restored primarily. There's only a brief mention of other media in the lead at present, but a fair amount in the body. Peter Jackson 16:35, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Natural stress relaxation meditation

As I understand, the term is trademarked, so it is a proper name and should be capitalized, just as is Transcendental Meditation. Is there a specific reason you moved it to lower case?

Howard C. Berkowitz 03:08, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Could I ask you to hold off? Matt Innis and I are working with the original author, who originally wrote something that I thought was advertising/self-promotion, but he's been very responsive to suggestions. He has asked for help in making the article more appopriate for CZ, and, since he has been agreeable, I'm hesitant to have additional people changing things while we work with him.
We are both doing enough substantive rewrites, and asking him to make changes, that I'd much rather stay focused on content now rather than what, frankly, are fairly minor issues of style. The article title may change, as may metadata, as a result of work on the article.
If you do want to make changes, could you first mention them on the article talk page? Again, we are working with a new editor, and he won't know how to follow side discussions on user pages. Howard C. Berkowitz 03:25, 13 December 2008 (UTC)


Thank you for copyediting Huygens. Prepositions are one of my weak points in English, good that you correct them. --Paul Wormer 15:12, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

More apostrophes

Here's an issue only a bored copyeditor could love. (And I do.) The apostrophe article refers to Toys'R'Us®, but at least according to the store's website, the company uses double quotes, not apostrophes, around the "R": Toys"R"Us. (And in the logo in which the "R" is reversed, there seems to be no punctuation at all.) Bruce M.Tindall 19:03, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

How could this happen? Even on a wiki???

I am sure as sure could be that you fixed some wording R Jensen had placed at [[terrier]. I would attribute my confusion to the heat, but I have evidence. I wrote: removed

and you replied at my page.

The text at terrier is back to the original, and there's no record of your edit in the history. [Hums The Twilight Zone theme.

So, for any of the tekkie legends reading this, how is the possible, and for Ro, do you remember what you changed 'fuzzy dogs' to?

Aleta Curry 23:30, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

recent move

When you moved it the first time you did not select the box for 'move all associated subpages' (which is a very useful option). I reverted it back so I could use that option rather than doing each subpage individually. Chris Day 18:16, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

The mysterious violinist

Remember back in August when you deleted the reference to "Sarah Zhang" from the article on Bruch Violin Concerto Number 1? I assume it just a typo for Sarah Chang, who is in fact a big-deal contemporary violin soloist. Not that she necessarily needs to go back into that specific article, since her name was used just as an example of who had recorded the piece, but I thought you might want to know there's a solution to the mystery. Bruce M.Tindall 23:55, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

Ah, I had forgotten about it, but I do remember that there was some back and forth about this at the time. Always nice to have mysteries solved! Hayford Peirce 00:10, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
Indeed it is. Thanks, Bruce, I might as well put it back in. Ro Thorpe 00:21, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

moving retro

Diagram to illustrate the four different views used by the experimental alphabet navigation tool. A shows the view on the main article and the catalog page. B shows the view on the alphabetically sorted subsubpage. C shows the view on the retroalphabetically listed subsubpage. D shows the view on one of the letter aticle pages.

I had cut and pasted the A section in the main article to the new subsubpage. However, since it was a test page, i didn't delete it from the main page. So two A sections currently exist for A. Otherwise you did it correctly. Chris Day 22:00, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Ro, this is what it looks like on my screen. As I say the colors and look can be changed easily. What worries me is that from your description it is not working at all. Note that in the diagram the current page is indicated by the black square. Whether on a letter page, alphabetical or retroalphabetical type page is indicated by the respective row being darker. Chris Day 18:01, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Ro, I made a few test edits to see if i can get it working. Can you check it again. I made the changes for A-B, so that should be where you see a difference, if any. Chris Day 03:57, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Also how does this template look?

{{English_spellings}} gives:

Use in English
Alphabetical word list
Retroalphabetical list  
Common misspellings  

i moved this version from the namespace to the template domain. Possibly that is the reason it is not working correctly? Chris Day 04:10, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Some more experiments on my behalf. On the susubpages themselves I have removed most of the navigation aids it is just a static table now. I just want to see if each cell is now clickable, at least. Also, are the cells coloured now? Chris Day 17:53, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Also see the following examples:

{{English_spellings|class=alpha|name=D}} gives:

Use in English
Alphabetical word list
Retroalphabetical list  
Common misspellings  

This page lists pronunciations of English words that begin with D. To see a different letter navigate with the table above. The apostrophe is treated as the last letter of the alphabet, after Z.

For a pronunciation key, click on the blue "Catalogs" link below the article title.[e]

{{English_spellings|class=retro|name=E}} gives:

Use in English
Alphabetical word list
Retroalphabetical list  
Common misspellings  

This page lists pronunciations of English words that end in E. The list is in retroalphabetical order, that is, alphabetically beginning with the final letter of the word (in this case E) and continuing backwards through it.

The apostrophe is treated as the last letter of the alphabet, after Z. Click on the blue "Catalogs" link below the article title for a pronunciation key.[e]

{{English_spellings|class=letter|name=F}} gives:

Use in English
Alphabetical word list
Retroalphabetical list  
Common misspellings  

Do you see any colors? Are the cells clickable? Chris Day 19:21, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Glad it's working now. What about the "look" immediately above. Would that help with navigation? If so, I'll try and add that functionality back, hopefully with out breaking it again. Chris Day 22:50, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
I just made another change. Is it still working for you? Chris Day 12:50, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
The change is that it should have the black square to identify the current page as well as highlighting one of the three rows. Can you see that? If so we're done. Chris Day 17:30, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
Great, one last question. Would you prefer the bottom row cells to be linking to the article page or the appropriate subsection? For example, E_(letter) or E_(letter)#Use_in_English. Chris Day 17:44, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Reports of my disappearance

Are somewhat exaggerated... but only slightly! I'm still very positive about CZ, I've just been very busy with a couple of other projects (the LISP project for the Internet, and a catalog raisonne for Yoshitoshi), and those along with stuff at home have left me no cycles for CZ. As the Yoshitoshi project gets more and more up, and as I get some stuff around here dealt with, I hope to have more time for CZ in the future. J. Noel Chiappa 16:46, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Hey, I didn't say I'd be back now! :-) J. Noel Chiappa 22:28, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, you've been missed. Thanks for the glimmer of hope ;) Hurry back! D. Matt Innis 01:36, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

McGuffey Readers article: capitalization

In a revision by yourself of 21 March 2009, several capitalizations were changed by yourself to lower case (Readers -> readers) in the introductory paragraphs to the article in question. I think at least some of these should be capitalized.

Relying on my copy of Harvey's Grammer (the 1880 edition), it seems the relevant distinction is that between a common noun ("a name which may be applied to any one of a class of objects") and a proper noun ("the name of some particular . . ."). Thus, it seems to me that when the word readers refers to the McGuffey Readers specifically (even if not by full title), it should be capitalized, but when it refers to the general class of readers (of which there were many competing textbook series), then it should be rendered lower case.

Note also the quotations from Henry Steele Commager in the section on Criticisms of the McGuffey Readers. These quotes were rendered exactly as they appeared in the Signet Books reprint of 1962. Thus, we read:

"Yet for all its preoccupation with religion, the morality of the Readers was materialistic and worldly. It taught a simple system of rewards and punishments. Virtue was rarely its own reward. . ." (Commager, Foreward to 1862 reprint)

where, as you can see, the word Readers is capitalized.

James F. Perry 17:33, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Change them back if you wish, but, as I said in my edit summary, 'better style without caps, agreed?' I find it rather heavy, a bit like mentioning Columbia Records and then discussing 'their Records'. I left the caps in cases where the book titles were clearly being referred to. Ro Thorpe 19:58, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Home schooling article

I just deleted it under the pretty clear guidelines about Bobbies being able to delete articles if: "it was copied from Wikipedia or some other online source (where it can still be read) over one week earlier, and no one has made any substantive revisions to it then or since then, regardless of whether it was marked "CZ Live" or not;"

I checked out the author who brought this article in from WP -- she did a whole bunch of other articles about home schooling -- do any of those fall into the same category? Thanks! Hayford Peirce 03:48, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Okie, thanks for checking! Ossifer Pup. Hayford Peirce 19:06, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Out of the something or other and into the fire

Just checked MW11th -- they spell "frying pan" without the hyphen. I myself don't know why there *would* be one....

Indeed, I was surprised to see it there, but I've looked in the Concise & it has it too, so at least they're consistent.
Yup, it's in my 5th Edition Concise also. Verra fey, oo wotiver our Schottish friends say.... Hayford Peirce 21:52, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

In parts of New England, and maybe other parts of the States, old-timers may still refer to an iron skillet as a "spider". I myself grew up calling them that until I was 20 or so. Originally they had three or four long legs on them so that they could be set over a fire or coals, hence the name. But for many people, even after the legs vanished, the name lived on. As Casey Stengel [1] famously said, "You could look it up." Hayford Peirce 19:04, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Yes, the dictionary has that meaning too; I didn't see the need to put it in, but whatever changes you wanna make... Ro Thorpe 20:45, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Nah, I wuz just tellin' ya 'cause I thought it wuz innaresting.... Hayford Peirce 21:52, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Wheat streak

This is one of those Eduzendium projects run by Professor Denning. I think that you're supposed to leave these alone, even if all you're doing is correcting a little grammar etc. If one of the students *actively* asks for your help, in formatting, say, or trouble-shooting, by all means. Otherwise don't try to fix things up. Or so I think....

Yes, there was a notice. I'll put it back.

There was a case yesterday where someone started rewriting a CZ:Nomenclature article or some such, don't ask me how she got there. I reverted it, told her she was in the wrong spot, and asked her to think carefully about what she was doing. Seems to be doing a decent article today in the right spot.... Hayford Peirce 23:03, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Yes, very strange, I saw that. Ro Thorpe 23:14, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

At least I didn't write....

...Dirk Van Dyke, hehe.... Thanks for the good eye! Hayford Peirce 23:04, 22 April 2009 (UTC)


Thanks for the edit. The entire article needs a rewrite when I have time to do it. I noticed you contributed to the Radio Caroline article. Maybe some mention should be made over the new film The Boat That Rocked. Meg Ireland 04:52, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Mr. Thorpe, thank you very much for your corrections on South Korea article! !!! :) (Chunbum Park 03:10, 30 April 2009 (UTC))


Yes, Chiswick is in the text. I did a Google Map search and there are a ton of Chiswick Lanes, Alleys, Avenues, etc. in London, but no Street. And all the others are in W, not SW.... Hayford Peirce 23:17, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

verb preposition pairs

I can't tell you how often I have this problem - I pick the less strong / wrong preposition to go with certain verbs. For example, is it correct to say, "shocked by something" or "shocked at something." I am shocked at the number of people that have TB in LA. Or shocked by. I think shocked by is correct but I wondered if you had a list of verbs and then prepositions that match those verbs. And then the common mistakes of the "wrong" preposition. Tom Kelly 20:07, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

The difference is that 'by' is the neutral one: Tom threw the ball, the ball was thrown by Tom, the picture (was painted) by Picasso, etc. So if you day 'shocked at' you are, as you suggest, expressing your shock a little more strongly, & here you instinctively say 'I am shocked at' - because you really are shocked! So that's what you mean to say, and it's not a matter of 'correct' or not: you would never say 'I am shocked on...' Hope that's clear. Sorry I don't have a list or anything... Ro Thorpe 20:31, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Question grammer

So the expressions "so here's the deal about..." and "so here's the thing about..." Is it proper English to have the only verb in a sentence be a contraction? I think yes because I hear too many sentences with it's. Tom Kelly 23:18, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

No, no, no. And in proper French, non, non, non! Never, never, never, at least not in formal writing. Such as in an encyclopedia. Hayford Peirce 23:43, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Catalan Countries

Hi Ro. Please have a look at this discussion: User talk:Hayford Peirce#Catalan Countries.--Domergue Sumien 20:34, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

No use, mon pote, I moved it to Talk:Catalan countries. Hayford Peirce 20:51, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

WP vandal

Thanks Ro!

Guess who the vandal is? None other than Ryan O'Hara, Rocky Zeckoski, Steve Fontanes, or whatever he's calling himself this week!

One of the oddest words in the English language

It's spelled either Saguaro or Sahuaro and pronounced Sah-wah-rheaux.

Here's a letter I wrote to the local newspaper about 13 years ago (they didn't publish it):

My wife and I have enjoyed our two years in Tucson since moving here from the Bay Area. We have, however, one question that no one seems able to answer. Why do half the entries in the local phonebook refer to Saguaro Widgets Inc. and the other half to Sahuaro Widgets Inc.? In San Francisco we didn't call our local trees redwoods -- but also read-a-woods. None of my reference books have an answer to this vexing question; perhaps you do.

I still don't know the answer.... Hayford Peirce 23:19, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

More British eats

In my latest John Brock, his yokel neighbor in the Cotwolds tells him she's putting a nice "griskin" into a stewpot to cook for 4 hours. Here's an old Beeton mention of it (skim down the page a little):

It's hard to tell if it's a *cut* of pork (say, a shoulder) or a cut of *any* kind of meat, or just another word for "pork".

And remember that about a year ago you and I and some others were discussing "corned beef", "salt beef", and "salted beef", to no firm conclusions? In the Brock book he wanders through Soho, past the place where he can get a "salt beef sandwich with a big Jewish grin".... As I said before, my local butcher in London used to sell me "salt beef" with a big British grin and, since I definitely bought pork at his shop, I'm sure the place wasn't Jewish. Hayford Peirce 16:56, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

another apostrophe question for our resident "expert dialectian and grammarian"....

do we say, as in the John Brock article, "after a few hours sleep" or "after a few hour's sleep", or even "after a few hours' sleep". Yeah, I *know* we could say "after a few hours of sleep", but now I'm curious.... (and not even Yellow) Hayford Peirce 04:29, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

All right versus Alright

Ro, being the resident grammarian, what is the acceptable usage regarding "all right" as opposed to "alright"? Interestingly, Wikipedia uses "alright" but I've seen debates on the matter suggesting "all right" is the correct usage. What's your opinion on the matter? Meg Ireland 01:22, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Rheaux is one of the two resident "expert dialecticians and grammarians". Before he agrees with me, I will tell you this: "alright" is never, ever, not even once, right, correct, acceptable, or anything at all except wrong. Maybe in comic books -- nowhere else. Trust me. Hayford Peirce 01:35, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Then Wikipedia is in trouble. They have an article on "alright" but no "all right", and many of their articles contain "alright". Nice of you to chip in Hayford :) Meg Ireland 01:45, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Geez, if WP is using it, then you *know* it's wrong. Here's what the online Merriam-Webster's Collegiate says: usage The one-word spelling alright appeared some 75 years after all right itself had reappeared from a 400-year-long absence. Since the early 20th century some critics have insisted alright is wrong, but it has its defenders and its users. It is less frequent than all right but remains in common use especially in journalistic and business publications. It is quite common in fictional dialogue, and is used occasionally in other writing <the first two years of medical school were alright — Gertrude Stein>. I could look it up in my 1940 MW Second Edition Unabridged, but that's a *very* prescriptive work, and I *know* what *they* would say. If they even include it among their 625,000 words.... Hayford Peirce 02:12, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Yes, that's good stuff from MW. And from Wiktionary: Alternative spelling of all right. Considered by most to be an incorrect spelling...It is common practice for some to use "alright" for the meaning "fine, good" and "all right" to mean "all correct". However, the former word is considered nonstandard.

Concise Oxford omits it; Oxford Advanced Learners lists it an an exact synonym.

You can see how it arose by analogy with already & always, which do not mean all ready & all ways. It would always be wrong in: they got the answers alright, meaning: they got all the answers right - but why not use the latter order anyway?

Like Hayford, I don't like it and I don't use it - so I was surprised to find I had included it in English spellings - presumably because I decided it wasn't going to go away. Time to add a bit to that... Ro Thorpe 16:21, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

kippered Kiplings

O Noble Rheaux, did you catch my Recent Changes exhortation to look at the John Brock section about popular culture for the witty Rudyard Kipling verse? Hayford Peirce 04:20, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Means of transport

Remember, a long while ago in the Brit/Merkin English section, I said that in the 20s and 30s Hercule Poirot would get in his "motor" and go to an "aerodrome" to take the "aeroplane" to France? In the second John Brock book, published around 1967, me reading a U.S. paperback publication that changes the single quotes to doubles but retains the Brit spellings, he mostly speaks of his "car", sometimes of his "motorcar", and at least once of his "motor". Skirrow, the author, was born about 1923 -- do you think he's consciously being old-fashioned, or arch, or indifferent? He's a skilled writer and knows what words mean (also being an advertising man, of course). Hayford Peirce 17:07, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

finishing up my first Brock novel article, but....

Hi, O Rheaux, would you take a look at the second paragraph of the Observations section at't_Get_You_Anywhere#Observations and tell me what you think. It's certainly no big part of the book, and we *do* have to keep in mind the context of the times, but I'm not quite sure how I ought to handle this. Any thoughts and/or editing by you would be welcome. Thanks! Hayford Peirce 23:10, 18 May 2009 (UTC)


Thanks Ro. I was cut off from editing last night so I couldn't get back on to finish. :/ Meg Ireland 00:23, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Further to the great Motor/Motorcar conundrum

I'm holding in my hands the 1968 Bodley Head hardback edition of Skirrow's third and final John Brock novel, so there's no question of it being messed up by American editors. On page 6 a tiny, golden girl drives up in a vast old silver automobile that is probably an RR. It blasts "a great silver sound," "the first two phrases of Colonel Bogey". "I'd like to park this motor-car," she says, with the hyphen between the two words. In the next paragraph "the great car rolled silently into the kerb." On page 8, "I looked again at the beautiful white motor." So we've got all three usages within a couple of hundred words. I don't think he ever uses "auto" or "automobile" though.... Hayford Peirce 02:42, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

let's us now speak of languages, O Rheaux!

Did you know there was/is an article language called, wait for it, We live and learn.... Hayford Peirce 22:33, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Chip, Chips, Potato Chips, Crisps, etc.

Heaux, Eaux Noble Rheaux!

I'm in Oakland, screwing around on a friend's computer that drives me crazy. I have a NYT from Monday that has a lighthearted Editorial page article about a Lord Justice finally deciding the weighty question of Pringles and crisps or chips or whatever. I was gonna add this to our article about Potato chip or Crisp or whatever, but it doesn't exist! Just two articles about Chip (food) and French fry. If you start one about chips or whatever, I'll at least add the NYT stuff....

Further to the Heelah Monster story

Heaux agayne!

On my way to Oakland, about 70 miles north of Tucson I drove through the wilderness of the Gila River Indian Reservation, crossing over, at one point, on a bridge about 10 feet over the Gila River itself, which at that point is probably 100 or 150 yards wide, about 8 feet deep, and totally flat and dry, just a sandy riverbed with small trees and brush growing in it. I imagine that water probably flows in it a dozen days a year or so....

Would an amphibian version of a Gila Monster breathe through hills? Howard C. Berkowitz 18:28, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
Gege! Ro Thorpe 18:33, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Presidents of vice

Much sought-after skill in Las Vegas. Howard C. Berkowitz 21:06, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

I'd rather fight than switch

I'm rereading a fine British thriller about John Craig, a just-as-tough but far more believable version of John Brock, written at just about exactly the same time, and on the second page his ne'er do well brother-in-law gets into Craig's shiny Bristol and, after fantasizing for a bit that it is his, "Then he switched on."

Exit brother-in-law in a tremendous explosion.

In Merkin-talk he would "turn on the ignition." "turn it on," "turn the key," "turn on the motor," or something, but never, I'm pretty sure, simply "switch on." Possibly "switched it on...."

Both first novels written around 1966, Brock's boss on the Addison Road is the Fat Man. Craig's boss in Queen Anne's Gate is Loomis, a vast fat man with snow-speckled red hair and pale, manic eyes. Musta been something in the water around that time.... Hayford Peirce 17:11, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

They sure were strange times. Maybe readers are supposed to think he turned on the ignition, but what it actually means is that he lit a very strong cigarette, Capstan Full Strength, for example, hence the explosion. Ro Thorpe 17:25, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Hehe, at least it wasn't an unfiltered Bastos, circa that era! You ever tried to smoke onna those?! Hayford Peirce 17:33, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
You bet. But I plumbed the depths with Sax and Alfa in Italy. They used to come in paper packets without any cellophane. Ro Thorpe 17:38, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't think Bastos had cellophane either. Not the old blue packs. An edit conflict wiped this out: PS, they really knew how to advertise ciggies in the old days! Hayford Peirce 17:41, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Charmantes! Tous nos seins sont sélectionnés! They speak by themselves! Ro Thorpe 17:54, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Ooh, la, la! Zeez crazee Frahrench peepuls! Hayford Peirce 18:24, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Hmmm. A cigarette, with matches, can be used as an improvised delay detonation system, but usually not by the smoker. Admittedly, back in my days as a chemistry major, we helped one of the professors with his bizarre way to stop smoking: sneak away his packs, open them, drop saturated potassium chlorate at various lengths down the cigarettes, let them dry, return the packs. His idea is that he would develop an aversion to smoking when a sufficient number of cigarettes exploded, at random intervals, and burned off his eyebrows. Howard C. Berkowitz 20:40, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Now it might work if you burned off a person's hands... Ro Thorpe 21:10, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Page moves & metadata

Hi Ro, I noticed that Christian Liem moved Measles virus to Measles but left Template:Measles_virus/Metadata untouched (which should have been moved too), which prompted you to create Template:Measles/Metadata. This way, the edit history in the metadata gets lost. Please keep this in mind when moving pages or creating metadata pages next time. Thanks & cheers, --Daniel Mietchen 10:43, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

I believe that if the metadata page is moved first, then everything goes smoothly... sort of. D. Matt Innis 17:15, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
OK, I shall consult here should I ever decide to do that again. Thanks - Ro Thorpe 17:50, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

I would like to nominate The Canterbury Tales for Article of the Week but ....

Ro, I would like to nominate The Canterbury Tales for Article of the Week but I rather firmly believe that a Developed Article (Status 1) should have a populated "Related Links" subpage. Would you have the time to develop such a Related Articles subpage? Thanks, Milton Beychok 01:40, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

check out this new website

type in some horrible word like "nous" or "paradigm" (neither of which I have ever consciously used) and see what you get. looks like it might be useful.... Hayford Peirce 02:19, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

PJ Proby

Why did you move this to P.J. Proby? Style guides recommend that title with initials no longer use full stops. It's PJ Proby not P.J. Proby. Meg Ireland 22:38, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

  • PS: Archive your Talk page please. It's too long. Meg Ireland 22:41, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
I think that must be referring to initals like ABC, CBS, PVC, initials only. People's names must have the stops.
I don't know how to archive, but you're welcome to do it, or tell me how. Ro Thorpe 22:50, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
No, they list people's names as examples. Meg Ireland 22:58, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Ro, can I ask what system you are using? I've always used BE with the New Oxford Style Guide as my source. The OSG states: "no dots and no spaces in initials". Meg Ireland 23:26, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm about 99% certain that CZ style is to use A.J. Leibling, A.E. Housman, but ABC, NATO etc. I'll try to find some examples. Hayford Peirce 23:36, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

(Unindent). A *very* quick search found P.G. Wodehouse, C.S. Lewis, C.S. Forester, and B. P. Koirala of Nepal. So I'm sure that there are many others. And that this is the accepted CZ style. Therefore Ro was correct to move the article to P.J. Proby. Hayford Peirce 23:44, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, Hayford. Hope that's OK/O.K. with you, Meg. Ro Thorpe 23:50, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Rheaux tried to wipe me out with an edit conflict, but I managed to recover the following:
In Article Mechanics, we find:
Grammar, spelling, punctuation, and usage [edit]

Strunk and White's Elements of Style is useful; the first edition is available here.

For American English, please consult The Chicago Manual of Style for matters of formatting, punctuation, etc. and Garner's Dictionary of American English Usage for issues of usage.

For British English, consult Fowler's Modern English Usage.
I have just consulted my own copy of Fowler's, and throughout he uses the periods when giving people's names. So CZ is telling us to use Fowlers, and Fowlers tells us to use the period. Hayford Peirce 23:57, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
More examples: G.K. Chesterton, G.W.F. Hegel, and R. James Woolsey. In Wikipedia, all names have the periods, including the quinessential British historian A.J.P. Taylor. Hayford Peirce 00:09, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
I have to say I'm mighty relieved, even if I'm wiping you out again (cue surfing music...) Ro Thorpe 00:16, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
Is there a reason Hayford when I talk to someone on CZ you always butt in? It's becoming exceedingly annoying. If I wanted to talk to you I would have left a message on your Talk page, not Ro's. Meg Ireland 01:59, 23 July 2009 (UTC)