Sunday, April 26, 2009

f for franchise

all i wanna say is that they don't really care about us
-- [They Don't Care About Us/Michael Jackson]

Salil just made my day with a pointer to the most significant achievement in the history of voting in India -- the shift to using the most famous digit on the hand to place the mark of a voter. fingers of power Yes, ladies and gentlemen, all people fortunate enough to (a) have found their place on a voters list in their wretched constituency, and (b) have managed to be able to enter the booth, choose a name and emerge triumphant at having fulfilled their civic responsibility will now be able to respond confidently to the question "did you vote?"; One must note that just how savvy our politicians are -- the state CM clearly has no idea what he just did by waving that digit at the camera; "Hold on," you might say, "this is probably just everyone making light of such a funny thing"; However, I must say, it's going to take a few centuries before the Indian media become open and the Indian politicians are capable of laughing at themselves. Meanwhile, we will do it for them. You may now return to the floor to laugh your guts out.

Friday, April 17, 2009

you paid for this typo

Users of the Oracle database may have seen the following error if they've been playing around with storing hierarchical data and running fancy queries to retrieve them using CONNECT BY:

ORA-30004: when using SYS_CONNECT_BY_PATH function, cannot have seperator as part of column value

Aside from the refusal to use definite or indefinite articles, there's a common misspelling of separator.

I really wish I could remember which series of Dell's projectors is plagued with a typo on the screen that notes that there's no signal. Somehow the misspelled form (singal) made it through all the editorial gates and stood out like King Kong's sore toe on every screen it was splashed on. Talk about sending out the wrong signals.

a momentary lapse of perspective

We return to the world of crapspeak to take a look at one of the finest creations to emerge from this foundry of neologism: the lazy verbose template approximated as "from a/an X perspective." The irony is that it represents anything but the perspective referred to. The variety of values that X can be assigned is astounding; consider programming, finished, usability, scrolling, development, management, QA, sanity, risk analysis, testing, performance. The list is endless; the pit is bottomless; the effluvium is eternal. What may not be obvious is just how these alternatives refuse to want to be strong adjectives. An adjective is what "X" should be, not some posturing noun or noun phrase (or some other part of speech that attempts a competent imitation of an adjective). Crapspeakers have long since decided to strip the phrase of its true purpose (to qualify a perspective) and bandy instead a tasteless aurally annoying stream of verbal diarrhoea that makes your brain cringe with repulsion. Has the crusade for a fresh perspective been abandoned? Or is it no longer fresh from a battle perspective?
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