While leaving a comment at another blog, which is written only in the English language, I was required to enter a CAPTCHA. This was part of the CAPTCHA I was required to enter:
What does this say?
The first word was “ipWein” (see update), but what is the second? Now, since I only speak English, I chose a new CAPTCHA (which was fine). But this got me wondering; what exactly is the second word? (Since this is a CAPTCHA, it’s possible that this is no word in particular and instead is just a string of abugida characters.) It’s obviously written in some Indian script. To me, it looks like it’s probably Telugu, but it might possibly be Malayalam. Distorted Sinhala or Burmese are much less likely possibilities. So, if any of my readers happen to know what the second word is, please let know. Thank you.
Update: This post originally displayed the whole CAPTCHA, but I cropped the image to remove any possibly trademarked parts of the screenshot. A picture of text alone has no interface/form, and therefore displays nothing trademarkable.
I just found this ridiculous rant concerning punctuation. The guts of that post is that English punctuation is illogical because we don’t use Spanish–style inverted question marks to begin questions (and, mutatis mutandis, inverted exclamation points). By reading his rant you’ll notice that the writer seems not to know the difference between a tag question and a tag itself. The reason for his belief is that it is confusing to rely on context to determine when a question begins. The fact that he makes such a claim shows why he has no clue what he’s talking about.
What happens when you ask a question in the English language? In almost all cases, either you invert the subject and an auxiliary verb (if there’s no auxiliary, add one), or you do the preceding and also begin with one of the wh–words. The main difference between the two question forms is that the former is a yes–no (or polar) question, while the latter is a wh (or non–polar) question. The other form is a tag question. Tag questions are a semantically a subtype of yes–no questions. Let’s look at examples:
- (Declarative): You went to the store.
- (Polar) Did you go to the store?
- (Wh) Where did you go?
- (Tag) You went to the store, didn’t you?
What do wh– and yes–no questions have in common? The first word(s) (or implicitly, the word order) in either of them indicate that the following sentence is a question. In other words, the beginning of these sentences indicates that what follows is a question. Hence, there is no need for a beginning of sentence question–marking punctuation mark because the words and word order already do that. Tag questions are rare enough that they won’t need special punctuation rules. Indeed, in speech, tag questions have no “marker” at the beginning that tells us a question is coming, but this in no way hinders our ability to make ourselves understood. The same applies to writing.
This post has been edited for clarity.
How exactly are laws preventing same–sex couples who really want to get married from actually getting married supposed to protect the sanctity of this 72–day marriage, a marriage that, unlike many other things, actually was over by Christmas?
A feature recently added to WordPress is Plinky Prompts, which appear at the screen just after you publish a post. They provide suggestions as to future posts. For my last post, I got these ones (see picture [click to enlarge]):
For those who can’t read the circled writing, the one in the upper left says “349th post.” The one in the lower right says “Do you blog? Why or why not?”
As for those questions, the first one is pretty obvious and is utterly unworthy of wasting any more attention on. As for the second, I blog because if enough people speak up, all will hear us.
As for the Plinky Prompts, this is another example of why dictionaries define human intelligence, animal intelligence, military intelligence, extraterrestrial intelligence, and artificial intelligence and in that order.
This one apparently came from, of all places, Christy Clark’s radio show:
[By not getting vaccinated, w]hy do you want to risk giving it [H1N1 flu] to someone who might die from it?
Creationists and intelligent design proponents are often opposed to evolution because they claim it results in some individuals being more successful or “more fit” than others because they out–compete those who are less successful or “less fit”. And yet many of these same people are selective in their rejection of systems arising via competition among individuals.
To see why, read the following list. (To make the comparison easier, I have turned the paragraphs into numbered lists):
- In nature, individual members of a species are slightly different from each other.
- The individuals compete with each other for resources such as food and water.
- The amount of each resource is ultimately limited.
- Some individuals are more successful at acquiring resources than others.
- The more successful individuals have traits that cause success, such as speed or size.
- The more successful individuals acquire more resources, and thereby out–compete less successful ones.
- The less successful individuals acquire fewer resources, and are thereby out–competed by more successful ones.
- Since the more successful individuals acquire more resources, they have more offspring.
- Since the less successful individuals acquire fewer resources, they have fewer offspring, if at all.
- Since the less successful individuals are out–competed, they will die off unless they evolve.
- The preceding was a brief, simplified overview of evolution.
And compare with the following:
- In society, individual businesses are slightly different from each other.
- The businesses compete with each other for resources such as customers and supplies.
- The amount of each resource is ultimately limited.
- Some businesses are more successful at acquiring resources than others.
- The more successful businesses have traits that cause success, such as management or business plans.
- The more successful businesses acquire more resources, and thereby out–compete less successful ones.
- The less successful businesses acquire fewer resources, and are thereby out–competed by more successful ones.
- Since the more successful businesses acquire more resources, they have higher profits.
- Since the less successful businesses acquire fewer resources, they have lower profits, if at all.
- Since the less successful businesses are out–competed, they will fail unless they adapt.
- The preceding was a brief, simplified overview of capitalism.
So creationists and intelligent design proponents, I have a question for you. If you are opposed to evolution because it results in some individuals being more successful and “better” than others, why aren’t you opposed to capitalism, which does the same thing and works the same way?