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HD: 1973 Words
Posted: 08 May 2012 04:13 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Diskettes, est, and petrodollars

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Posted: 08 May 2012 08:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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octothorp, n. The name for the hash or pound or number sign was an in-house term used by Bell Laboratories from the early 1960s, but the octothorpe escaped the lab in 1973 when it appears in a patent application.

Is it octothorpe or octothorp?

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Posted: 08 May 2012 09:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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FTPing: Well bless me if I wasn’t in here discussing declensions of three letter initialisms just the other day.

Re factoid: my impression is that a factoid’s truth is uncertain.

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Posted: 08 May 2012 10:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The OED’s headword is octothorp. The citations have both spellings.

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Posted: 08 May 2012 10:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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You might want to be consistent within your entry, though, to avoid having it look like a typo.

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Posted: 08 May 2012 04:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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There are two instances of “mouthfeel” in an article entitled, “A Long-Playing Medicine”, by Robert Wallace, in LIFE magazine, of June 10, 1957, Vol. 42, No. 23, on pages 105 and 106:

http://books.google.com/books?id=Nz8EAAAAMBAJ&q=mouthfeel#v=snippet&q=mouthfeel&f=false

The first of these appears within quotation marks, as “mouthfeel”; the second appears without quotation marks, as mouthfeel.

This may be more a food (or, taste) engineer’s term than a “food critic’s favorite term.” The article mentions that the “taste panel” members are a group of “specially trained” employees. 

I found it interesting that “a spoonful of compressed fog” was considered to have a “pleasant consistency” mouthfeel.

[ Edited: 08 May 2012 04:52 PM by sobiest ]
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Posted: 08 May 2012 07:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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A biomarker is a substance that indicates the presence of a biological material

This might have been the usage in 1972 but today a biomarker is more commonly a substance indicating the presence of a specific (usually medical) condition. This kind of biomarker is found in biological material, so indicating the presence of is redundant.

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Posted: 09 May 2012 06:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Biomarker is even more generally applied; the NIH definition:
a characteristic that is objectively measured and evaluated as an indicator of normal biologic processes, pathogenic processes, or pharmacologic responses to a therapeutic intervention.

But as mentioned, maybe the 1973 use was different.

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Posted: 17 May 2012 06:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I’ve been so busy I almost forgot to look at the 1973 words (1973 is, in any case, not a year I can look back on with any pleasure).  What a year.

You mention “the suicide of President Salvador Allende”, Dave. I (and lots of other people, other than Pinochetophiles) would have written “the murder of President Salvador Allende”.  I am reminded of a story by Meir Shalev, in which a forest guard is officially found to have “committed suicide”, after being found shot twice in the back of the head....

aspartame

Wikipedia has a scary story about aspartame and the FDA. It’s not the suspicion of possible health hazards which is scary, it’s the description of the behaviour of many individuals (pro and con) involved - Skinner, Hayes, Martini, et al., and of all sorts of institutions calling themselves “scientific” and producing “scientific” studies.

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Posted: 17 May 2012 08:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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use magnets to keep the vehicle out of contract with the track, enabling high speeds with relatively low energy input.

Contact?

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Posted: 17 May 2012 08:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I had the hardest time trying to figure out how to use orgasm as a verb. So I went to the OED for the citation

It often takes me as much as 15 minutes of stimulation before I can orgasm.

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Posted: 17 May 2012 11:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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in a Greek-speaking restaurant, one might say that to logariasmos is the climax of the meal.

Query: surely there must be an etymological link? The words sound so much the same.......

;-)

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Posted: 17 May 2012 12:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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"Orgasm” is used as a more “traditional” verb, too (I.e. a man might say that his wife “orgasmed” almost immediately after they began making love), but such usage is rather informal, and I certainly wouldn’t expect to see it in, say, an academic paper (unless it was a paper about the use of language when describing sexual activities.)

Also, his wife might dispute such a statement, but probably not on the grounds that it is ungrammatical.

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Posted: 17 May 2012 01:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I don’t see how it is any more a “traditional” verb in your example than in the one Oeco quotes.  The both seem thoroughly verbish to me.

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Posted: 17 May 2012 02:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Fair enough, both examples are thoroughly verbal.  (I did put “traditional” in “scare quotes” to indicate that traditional wasn’t quite the right word.) What I was responding to was the statement that Oeco had “the hardest time” figuring out how orgasm could be used as a verb.  The suggestion seemed to be that orgasm can’t be properly used as a verb unless one dilutes the verbiness of it somehow, such as combining it with a linking word like “can”.

My point was that orgasm is at least occasionally used in a straightforward verbal fashion, with no linking word to dilute it, and without any other sort of diluting artifice.  It seems to me that sticking an -ed on the end of a word to indicate a past tense action is a quite simple way of verbing something.

But, I have nothing but my own language idiosyncrasies to back up the idea that using a linking word with a verb “dilutes” its verbiness, or that tacking on -Ed is more simple or straightforward way of verbing something, either.  It just feels like a more simple verbification, and it feels ever so slightly more verby, to say somebody orgasmed than to say they need to do something before they “can orgasm”.  But both are clearly verbs, and the subjective feeling of one being more verby than the other is undoubtedly unsupportable.

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Posted: 17 May 2012 04:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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I’d never considered the use of an auxiliary verb to be a dilution.

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