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07:18:47 PM Jun 2nd 2014
It's ironic that there's an error in the quotation which begins the article. It's clever, but "Grammar is the difference between knowing your shit and knowing you're shit" is wrong. Grammar does not include spelling or punctuation; that's orthography. Grammar is about what makes a language that language — the words and the rules for forming and arranging them.
11:02:03 PM Sep 17th 2013
edited by
I removed this:

  • "interpretive", which isn't a word, for "interpretative", which is.

I don't have access to the OED, but a quick check of a couple of online dictionaries demonstrates that both forms are accepted, and a comparison of Google results shows that "interpretive" is the more common of the two. Interestingly, the second result for "interpretative" was this page <> explaining that "interpretative" is the preferred term in British English.
05:49:50 AM Feb 2nd 2013
edited by Candi
  • ""addictive" (causing a physical dependence) for "habituative" (causing a psychological dependence). Alcohol, marijuana, LSD, Doom and TV Tropes are all powerfully habituative, but (except in rare cases) none of them are clinically addictive.
    • This is disputable, since the definition of physical dependence varies. For example, for an alcoholic, suddenly quitting may cause more physical damage than continuing to drink, on a short term, but will result in a healthier physique in the long term."

Googling or following the appropriate sites brings up studies that followed teenagers that habitually used substances both legal (such as alcohol) and illegal (crack cocaine, heroin). The disturbing results are that, since they use these substances in quantity and/or frequently as their bodies and minds were developing, once they reach adulthood they have trouble functioning without them. They are physically dependent on the substances.

(Other studies are beginning to show that even extreme stress, such as from abuse, can affect the growing mind. It is a very sad business.) :(
12:35:33 PM Jul 6th 2012
edited by Stoogebie
A few things I'd like to nitpick:
  • See also: "Marital arts." In common parlance, anything described as marital (marital aid, marital bed, marital chambers, etc.) all refer to one thing. Specifically, keeping your spouse happy. In bed. Using your penis.
My only issue is that one would then pre-suppose that I have a penis. That is all.
  • "retarted" (presumably, to have been tarted for a second or subsequent time) for "retarded" (delayed or slowed, developmentally disabled, or an offensive way of saying something or someone is stupid)
It would seem that whoever calls another person "retarted" is actually pretty hypocritical.
07:32:02 PM Feb 13th 2011
Re copyleft; I'm not going to put it back, but one unsubstantiated comment does not trump another unsubstantiated comment. The GNU / Copyleft license is a software license, and is as valid as any of them are, whether or not someone who may or may not exist, and who may or may not have asked about it says it would work or not.
02:14:45 AM Jan 22nd 2011
The old "data are" argument: this is total bobbins in British English, data is an uncountable noun so should always be treated as a singular noun. Why? Because we speak English, not Latin! "Data are" also sounds stupid and jarring. This may differ in Am E.

Also "fora" is not the English plural of "forum": it is "forums", again, because we speak English not Latin; therefore the borrowed words follow English rules of making plurals; rather than the Latin ones.
12:44:55 PM May 3rd 2012
Plurals of loanwords vary on a case-by-case basis, usually depending on how recent the borrowing and how commonly used the word. For example, "radius" still has its Latin plural "radii". "Forum" does indeed have the English plural "forums" — mainly because the word has become much more common recently thanks to its new Internet-related meaning.
03:26:56 PM Jan 4th 2011
Just removed this — why was it left standing for so long?:

  • "less" instead of "fewer" for countable nouns. For example, while one can have 'less money', breaking that money down into discrete units would produce 'fewer bills' (or coins, or poker chips.) Similarly, 'fewer brain cells' would tend to result in 'less intelligence'.
    • This usage of less is a not a blunder, booboo, or error. The alleged rule was created by Robert Baker in the 1770s. "(Less) is most commonly used when speaking of a number; where I should think fewer would do better." It didn't match usage then, and hasn't matched usage since. Less has been used for countables for over a thousand years.
    • And if you're referring to the comparison operator (<), which (according to Cantor at any rate) is applicable only to integers/rational fractions (countable numbers) and not to real/complex numbers  * which cannot be put into a one-to-one correspondence with integers and are thus uncountable, the correct term is only "less (than)", never "fewer".  **

06:13:06 AM Oct 29th 2011
As an aside, who the hell came with the idea that real numbers can't be ordered? The standard < operator is a well-defined ordering, following standard rules of arithmetic. (That the set of real numbers is uncountable is irrelevant here.) While the set of complex numbers could be ordered, too (e.g. by comparing the real part first and if they are equal, then the imaginary part), such an ordering would NOT follow he standard rules of arithmetic.

If we accept the axiom of choice, then the set of real numbers (and, indeed, any set) can be well-ordered; this means that under such an ordering every subset has a minimum. [Again, we are only dealing with the "<" relation and ignoring arithmetic operations on the numbers. Obviously, the set of real numbers is NOT well-ordered by the standard "<" relation.]

As an aside: If a set is well-ordered by a relation, why is it called a "well-ordering" and not a "good ordering"?
06:38:42 AM Oct 29th 2011
edited by MikeRosoft
Well, I see what the poster meant. The real numbers don't normaly denote a quantity, but rather a magnitude of some measure. (You can have two pies, you can even have two pies and a half, but you don't say that you have 1.23456 [note: this IS a rational number] or sqrt(2) pies.) The part about countable and uncountable sets was just the poster trying to look clever by showing that he knows something about the set theory (even though it's not really relevant here).
05:39:07 AM Jun 24th 2010
I'm removing this bit:

  • "composed" versus "comprised": "composed" means "made up," but is more often seen as "composed of" ("made up of") — TV Tropes is composed of tropes. Tropes compose TV Tropes. "Comprised" means "made up of" — TV Tropes comprises tropes. "Composed of" and "comprised" are generally interchangeable. "Comprised of" is always wrong. Nothing is ever comprised of anything.
    • This may be language shift, as the erroneous use of "comprise" is seen more often than the correct use, outside of patent claims. The error is Older Than Radio, as has been announced for more than a century in Christian Science Services: "The following citations comprise our service."

It is incorrect to hold that the phrase "comprised of" is always wrong, etc. In the online OED, meaning 8.c of "comprise" is "pass. To be composed of, to consist of". The 4 citations the OED gives as example of this meaning all use "comprised of" rather than just "comprised" by itself, without the preposition "of" following. Clearly the editors of the OED consider "comprised of" to be equivalent to "composed of". Therefore, the original entry seems to be merely the opinion of a troper rather than advice based on an actual source of linguistic authority.
12:17:17 PM Jun 20th 2010
edited by
I've just removed the following nonsense (posted here with context):

begin context
  • "atheistic" (not believing in God) for "aesthetic" (related to the beauty of something). IGN's guide to The Movies probably did not mean to say that "[s]creen fades are purely atheistic".
    • Also, atheistic means you disbelieve in the existence of a god. Agnostic refers to someone who feels there is insufficient evidence to decide one way or the other.
end context
  • That distinction is not standard. Also, "atheist" is both a noun and an adjective. There is no need to add an "-ic" at the end.

Whoever posted the above has clearly not consulted a good etymological dictionary, for both the definitions quoted are the standard ones (refs: agnostic, atheist). Also, as the second one shows, although "atheist" is indeed an adjective as well as a noun, "atheistic" is also perfectly valid and may be preferable in some contexts.
06:17:03 AM Oct 29th 2011
Technically, a person can be both an atheist and an agnostic. An atheist is somebody who, if asked "do you believe in God?", responds "no". An agnostic is somebody who, if asked "does God exist?", responds "I don't know".
12:36:32 PM Jul 6th 2012
So, basically, one can be sure that there is no God and yet unsure of the existence of a God at the same time?
10:49:09 PM Aug 22nd 2012
Stoogebie, you can get into distinctions all along the line as to whether or not belief and certainly coincide. I define myself as an agnostic specifically to distinguish my beliefs from those of atheists who very pointedly believe in no god; however, in that I do not believe (but I do not NOT believe, if that makes sense), I would be, by strictest definition, an atheist. It's all very confusing semantics. A number of atheists stake a very firm belief - that being that there is no God - and thus cannot be called agnostics, due to their certainty. Agnostics, as the word suggests, are those who lack knowledge, and thus cannot make a statement of belief since they have nothing on which to base it. And from there it starts to get messy.

So to answer your question, no, one cannot be sure that there is no God and unsure about the existence of a God; however, one can lack faith or belief of any sort (as opposed to having a firm belief in no God) and still be unsure of the existence of a God.
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