Show previous 200 comments...
john commented on the user mollusque
Hi mollusque, the 'move' function should be working again, thanks for the report.
August 2, 2010
john commented on the user feedback
Hi mollusque, 'sup' and 'sub' tags should be working in comments now :-).
August 1, 2010
It's down in the footer. Blog content is a bit more static than the other header links, so I thought we'd try separating them.
July 31, 2010
john commented on the word consider a spherical cow in vacuum
I *lerve* this joke, but almost as pleasing is the site of the two ruzuzu lists it fits into :-)
July 23, 2010
Hi mollusque -- you can now filter tag pages by a specific user, as long as they have a public profile. Here's the form:
Sorry for the long delay on this, and please let me know if you see any quirks.
Hi mollusque, my apologies for the long wait on per-user tag list links. I'm looking into it right now.
July 20, 2010
john commented on the user Prolagus
That's very funny. Sure, I'll leave it.
Not sure who's making all these accounts, but I'm presuming they're turks, being paid for spam by the bushel. Funny they'd bother to reply, but hey, I guess they're people too.
July 18, 2010
john commented on the word fair to midland
I think you mean fair to middling, though you're not the only one who hears it otherwise.
July 16, 2010
john commented on the word downrange
“We talk about the enemy here, which is different from the enemy downrange, but which is just as deadly,” he said, using the military term used for a combat zone.
The New York Times, As a Brigade Returns Safe, Some Meet New Enemies, by Timothy Williams, July 13, 2010
July 14, 2010
john commented on the list cable-ties
I was on autopilot and almost nuked this, but it's awesome, so it got a reprieve. Worms in my ears now, though.
Oops -- I'll fix that tonight, p&r. I tidied up the profile sub-pages the other day (adding sort options for lists & favorites, things like that), and must have forgotten the comment links in the process.
July 12, 2010
john commented on the word pantograph
“A Metro-North spokesman said the problem was caused when the devices on top of several trains that pull electricity from the overhead lines tore down the wires just west of the Greenwich, Conn., station.
Railroad officials were unsure on Saturday how the devices — known as pantographs — were able to bring down the power lines, but they suspected the recent heat wave might have played a role.”
The New York Times, Thousands Stranded as New Haven Line Shuts Down, by M. Amedeo Tumolillo and Colin Moynihan, July 10, 2010
July 11, 2010
john commented on the user PossibleUnderscore
Ga, pu, I'm so sorry about this ongoing listing problem. Writing you an email right now to try and address.
john commented on the word dectet
An ensemble of ten musicians, according to Wikipedia. A group of nine is a nonet, though some would have it neuftet.
john commented on the word Triple Cleveland
“Anthony Perrotti, 88, was posing around the room wearing a Triple Cleveland — white tie, white belt, white shoes — and lamenting the hot pink shirt he could have paired it with.”
The New York Times, Cool Air, if You Can Get to It, by Ariel Kaminer, July 9, 2010
July 10, 2010
john commented on the word Candwich
“Is putting a sandwich in a can and calling it a “Candwich” the next can’t-miss billion-dollar idea?”
The New York Times, Money in the Bank? No, Sandwich in a Can, by Kirk Johnson, July 7, 2010
July 8, 2010
john commented on the word tastevin
“Ah, the tastevin, the shallow silver cup that today largely evokes the image of the supercilious sommelier.”
The New York Times, When the First Sip Is the Sommelier’s, Not Yours, by Eric Asimov, July 6, 2010
Sorry rz, must have re-introduced this. Am looking into it this morning.
July 7, 2010
john commented on the word Jafaican
“In London, Cockney will be replaced by Multicultural London English - a mixture of Cockney, Bangladeshi and West Indian accents - the study shows.
"It will be gone within 30 years," says Prof Kerswill.
The study, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, says the accent ,which has been around for more than 500 years, is being replaced in London by a new hybrid language.
The new accent, known in slang terms as Jafaican, is most famously spoken by rap star Dizzee Rascal.”
BBC News, Cockney to disappear from London 'within 30 years', July 1, 2010
July 6, 2010
john commented on the word restavek
“Ms. Dumas, her confidante, said that Daphne feared she would be used as a restavek — a child servant.”
The New York Times, Haitian Orphans Have Little but One Another, by Deborah Sontag, July 5, 2010
john commented on the user hernesheir
The 'cvcvcvcvcc' bug should be fixed now.
July 5, 2010
That is strange, and I was able to duplicate. Thanks for the reports m & h, I'll look into tonight.
July 4, 2010
Thanks h, that should be fixed now.
July 3, 2010
The comments on a person's profile are paginated, but I forgot to paginate the ones by the person who's profile you're looking at. Thanks for catching that, will do it shortly.
July 1, 2010
john commented on the list revolting-beverages
I love Clamato! Without it the caesar would not be possible, and I don't want to live in a world without caesars.
But each to their own :-)
john commented on the word baby mice wine
There's nothing metaphorical about this, nothing lost in translation. It is literally (so consider yourself warned, link-wise) baby mice, in wine.
john commented on the word Zima Gold
Gone but not forgotten. Properly
john commented on the word Lobsterita
A drink creation from Red Lobster, as seen on Flickr.
It's been a long time coming, but comments are finally pageable, so you can now scroll back through all comments on words, lists, and people, including words like features with a large number of comments. Just scroll to the bottom of the page and hit the 'more' link.
June 30, 2010
john commented on the word tenderpreneur
“A tenderpreneur is an insider pocketing millions from rigged government tenders for everything from air-conditioners to locomotives.”
The New York Times, The Black and the White of It, by Roger Cohen, June 28, 2010
June 29, 2010
john commented on the word parasomnia pseudo-suicide
“Some sleepwalkers will go jogging on the freeway and be killed in traffic, or stroll off the deck of a cruise ship, unaware of their surroundings, he said. He and colleagues even coined the term parasomnia pseudo-suicide, in part because the fatalities are frequently misinterpreted.”
The New York Times, The Mysteries of Tobias Wong, by Alex Williams, June 25, 2010
June 27, 2010
john commented on the word Churchillian Drift
“Hence, Rees’s First Law of Quotation: ‘When in doubt, ascribe all quotations to George Bernard Shaw.’ The law’s first qualification is: ‘Except when they obviously derive from Shakespeare, the Bible or Kipling.’ The corollary is: ‘In time, all humorous remarks will be ascribed to Shaw whether he said them or not.’
Why should this be? People are notoriously lax about quoting and attributing remarks correctly, as witness an analogous process I shall call Churchillian Drift. The Drift is almost indistinguishable from the First Law, but there is a subtle difference. Whereas quotations with an apothegmatic feel are normally ascribed to Shaw, those with a more grandiose or belligerent tone are almost automatically credited to Churchill. All quotations in translation, on the other hand, should be attributed to Goethe (with ‘I think’ obligatory).”
The Vagueness Is All, From Volume 2, Number 2, April 1993 issue of The “Quote... Unquote” Newsletters
June 26, 2010
john commented on the word BaGOK
Huh. I had thought it was something more like Koo Koo Ka-Chaw.
June 25, 2010
john commented on the word tonsorialist
Otherwise known as a barber.
john commented on the word passle
A bunch, a motley crew. Usually spelled passel.
john commented on the word jeggings
“A random list of stuff that the spring 2011 men’s wear shows in Milan suggest that style guys should be on the alert for: pencil thighs shrink-wrapped in jeggings (jeans so tight they look like leggings); scruffy bed head (Bottega Veneta); lug-soled shoes with inset espadrille rope soles (Prada); paper-bag waists (ditto Prada); boat-neck sweaters (ditto ditto); colors from the sorbet bin at the ice cream counter, like watermelon, mango, pistachio (Dsquared) or aqua, mint, almond (Calvin Klein); unlined short-sleeved safari jackets (Gucci); slave chains (Emporio Armani — shout out to Pauly from “Jersey Shore”!); Balenciaga butterfly sunglasses, designed for women but worn by guys, as Snoop Dogg did at the MTV movie awards; Birkenstock style sandals with gladiator straps (Burberry.)”
The New York Times, Men: What to Watch (and Watch Out For), by Guy Trebay, June 23, 2010
June 23, 2010
"I think I fixed the quotes," he said, hopefully.
john commented on the word mixoclassical
As seen on mesonoxian.
June 22, 2010
john commented on the word smoking lamp
“Even more archaic is the maritime term “smoking lamp.”
According to a Navy history Web site, this phrase dates to the 16th century, when a lamp was stoked near the ship’s galley to draw tobacco users away from where gunpowder was stored.
The term has survived as a nautical figure of speech.
“The smoking lamp is lit” designates those times and places for smoking; but when a skipper says, “The smoking lamp is out,” it means crush out your cigarettes now.”
The New York Times, Navy Bans Tobacco Use on Its Submarine Fleet, by Thom Shanker, June 20, 2010
June 21, 2010
john commented on the word pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis
You can see scans of the dictionary entry for this here.
June 19, 2010
john commented on the word electrophotomicrographically
According to this dictionary, it's the adverbial form of electrophotomicrography, which means "photographing by electric light objects magnified by the microscope". Apparently it was once considered the longest word in the English language, until pushed aside by pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.
Thanks, I'll look into the comment weirdness.
June 18, 2010
john commented on the word hindcast
“Instead, scientists will try to determine whether the whale had been swimming through oil by using a method known as hindcasting, which looks at how bloated an animal’s body is to calculate how long it has been dead, then retraces patterns in water currents to tell where the body might have drifted from.”
The New York Times, Spill May Have Taken Its Largest Victim Yet, by Leslie Kaufman, June 17, 2010
john commented on the word dissatisfactory
Brackets on half-bakery, please. That just made my day :-)
June 17, 2010
john commented on the word lilikoi
Better known as the passion fruit.
john commented on the word cdonald's theorem
You can see this equation (n^2 + 9 + 9) graphed, and hear the name of the theorem pronounced, here.
June 15, 2010
john commented on the word paddywhack
According to Wikipedia a paddywhack is a sheep or cow ligament, which can be dried and used as a dog treat. I presume that's the "give a dog a bone" reference in "This Old Man."
I had thought this had something to do with hitting Irish people. Wrong again.
June 13, 2010
john commented on the word fructivorous
Means "fruit-eating." An alternate spelling of frugivorous.
June 12, 2010
john commented on the word how to hide the like button
You can find AdBlock Plus (ABP) here.
June 10, 2010
Thanks for the 'tweet' bookmarklet suggestion -- added it to the word pages, it has none of the performance issues the previous one did. Appreciate the tip :-)
john commented on the word pampootie
“You can see the imprints of the big toe,” said another team leader, Ron Pinhasi, an archaeologist at University College Cork in Ireland, who said the shoe resembled old Irish pampooties, rawhide slippers.
The New York Times, This Shoe Had Prada Beat by 5,500 Years, by Pam Belluck, June 9, 2010
john commented on the word Vaigaimuthu
Apparently the name of an ancient river in India.
June 7, 2010
john commented on the word nuclear
Very sorry -- just sent you an email. Looking into it right now.
We were using a 3rd party service for that, and it was sometimes slowing down pages unacceptably. We can find or write another though -- do you youse want it back?
June 6, 2010
john commented on the word doomer
“Americans have long been fascinated by disaster scenarios, from the population explosion to the cold war to global warming. These days the doomers, as Mrs. Wilkerson jokingly calls herself and likeminded others, have a new focus: peak oil.”
The New York Times, A Movement Prepares: Goodbye, Limitless Oil. Hello, Primitive Dystopia., by John Leland, June 5, 2010
john commented on the list things-that-roll-things-one-rolls-or-things-one-finds-in-a-roll
June 5, 2010
Wordnik too :-)
June 3, 2010
Every comment ever made on Wordie or Wordnik is in the database. I've been slowly increasing the number of comments shown, but obviously still haven't hit the number where they're all visible on heavily commented pages.
The reason we don't just grab everything is that Wordnik gets well over an order of magnitude more traffic than Wordie ever did, and it contains vastly more data. Doing a SELECT * or equivalent on a table containing many billions of rows could bring the whole thing crashing down. It's not that it's hard, it's that the potential implications are different, so we've intentionally made it hard.
But you're right, all the old comments should be exposed--I want to see them too--and I'll roll back the limit again. Another reason I've been slow about it is that I keep meaning to page the comments, so they can be viewed in batches. Haven't gotten to that either though, so for the time being we'll up the limit again, probably early next week, when I'll be pushing some other new code.
Sionnach, part of why I didn't respond to your earlier email is that you accused me, again, of betraying you, and I didn't know what to say to that. I understand preferring Wordie, it was a special thing. I love Wordnik, but I know things were lost in the transition. Not just nuts and bolts features, but a secret-garden spirit that changed when it was added to something larger and different.
So while I understand anger or disagreement about how I managed things, "betrayal" implies some kind of malevolence that I don't think I've shown, and I know I don't feel. I'm not trying to dissuade you though--it upsets me, but you're free to call it what you will. But you wanted me to acknowledge your request, so I'm doing that, and letting you know the reason I didn't earlier.
June 2, 2010
john commented on the word selkie
“The childish, romantic story of “Ondine” is about a West Cork fisherman named Syracuse (Colin Farrell) who one day snags a lovely, breathing young woman in his net. This comely catch, who gives her name as Ondine (Alicja Bachleda), isn’t a mermaid, but might be another, more locally familiar sort of mythic beast, a selkie: a woman who is also a seal.”
The New York Times, Neil Jordan’s Possible World of the Impossible, by Terrence Rafferty, May 28, 2010
June 1, 2010
Just checked out 'Let go the painters' (which I lerve), and I think it might not show up until you open up the permissions some more. Right now they're CC for non-commercial use; we are, theoretically, a commercial enterprise.
The site only grabs photos where the owner has explicitly granted permissions, so my guess is that if, on Flickr, you click the 'edit' link next to 'Some rights reserved' in the right column, and set it to 'Attribution Creative Commons', it'll show up on Wordnik not too long thereafter (I'm not sure how soon Flickr updates make it into their API, but I know it's not instantaneous.)
john commented on the word benjamins
Fantastic — I'd love to see the citation. The sense I'm familiar with is "all about the benjamins", as in, $100 bills, on which Benjamin Franklin appears. Which is probably post-1817.
A Google define: search falls down pretty hard on this one.
May 31, 2010
john commented on the word fet
“Other male Marines, who consider themselves the most aggressive fighters in the armed services, have been won over by the female engagement teams, referred to as fets.”
The New York Times, In Camouflage or Afghan Veil, a Fragile Bond, by Elisabeth Bumiller, May 29, 2010
May 30, 2010
john commented on the user norton2
Hi Norton. Try the search box in the upper-right of every page to search for words.
john commented on the word tubicide
Death of a tub?
May 29, 2010
Death in a tub?
john commented on the word bremsstrahlung
I'm sure you'll hear back from qroqqa next year.
May 28, 2010
john commented on the user ethnofinancecologist
Hello. Would you please refrain from the political commentary? This isn't a forum for that. When you push groups like the Institute for Justice, it drifts towards spam.
May 27, 2010
john commented on the list tools-with-which-to-fight-the-soulless-tax-vampires
I like Chris Dodd. He's got great hair.
john commented on the user jwjarvis
Hi jwj, there are bookmarklets and plugins for looking up words from any web page, and a bookmarklet for adding a word to a list from any page (they're all linked to on the tools page). Something similar that let you highlight text and feed it straight into the comment form is a fine idea.
If anyone wants to whip up a bookmarklet or plugin, we'd happily feature it on the tools page :-)
May 25, 2010
john commented on the word vuvuzela
“But it is the vuvuzela, a cheap plastic horn, that may be the lasting South African symbol of the 2010 games, said Mr. Alegi, a scholar of soccer at Michigan State University.”
The New York Times, South Africa Pushes to Make World Cup Its Own, by Celia W. Dugger, May 23, 2010
May 24, 2010
john commented on the word jumpology
“When the photographer Philippe Halsman said, “Jump,” no one asked how high. People simply pushed off or leapt up to the extent that physical ability and personal decorum allowed. In that airborne instant Mr. Halsman clicked the shutter. He called his method jumpology.”
The New York Times, The Joys of Jumpology, by Roberta Smith, May 23, 2010
john commented on the word opala
“At first glance, it does not look much like garbage. More than 20,000 tons of it have been shrink-wrapped into green bales that are neatly stacked, ready to ship about 2,300 miles across the Pacific to the mainland as an another export — “opala,” as garbage is called in Hawaiian.”
The New York Times, Ready to Ship in Hawaii: 20,000 Tons of Garbage, by Michael Cooper, May 21, 2010
john commented on the word perpensity
Check the definitions--it's archaic, but it is indeed a word.
The first three quotes are misspellings, but the fourth, from Swift, is proper usage.
May 23, 2010
john commented on the word bicycle
“Tennis is known as a gentleman’s game and serving up bagels, or bicycles, as a 6-0, 6-0 set is called in Switzerland, was once viewed as bad sportsmanship.”
The New York Times, Shut Out at Age 10, Federer Never Lost That Way Again, by Dave Seminara, May 21, 2010
May 22, 2010
john commented on the word double-bagel
“Reto Schmidli, 31, a police officer and part-time psychology student in Arlesheim, Switzerland, is the only person who has “double-bageled” Federer, that is, beat him, 6-0, 6-0.”
john commented on the word hazing
“And so this week, as they do every spring in a process called hazing, state workers and livestock agents used helicopters, horses and trucks to chase back the wild bison that had wandered out of Yellowstone to give birth or find fresh grass.”
The New York Times, Disputed Deal Puts Yellowstone Bison on Ted Turner’s Range, by Kirk Johnson, May 21, 2010
john commented on the word jocoserious
Yeah, Facebook is pushing it a little these days, but that said, I rather like the 'Like' functionality. It's less of a commitment than 'sharing' (which you can still do--if you click the 'Like' button you then get the option to share it as well, which lets you add a comment.
When you 'Like' something, only people you're friends with on Facebook see your name. More details on Facebook's blog.
May 21, 2010
john commented on the user dizajn
Hi Predrag. Please stop posting commercial links. Using Wordnik for SEO purposes violates our terms of service, and if continued will result in account deletion.
May 20, 2010
Whitespace weirdness when editing comments should be fixed now--please let me know if that's not your case. A handful of other bugs were also fixed, and a few other changes pushed, including tweaks to the Facebook/Twitter share buttons.
john commented on the word determinate
See citation on indeterminate.
john commented on the word indeterminate
“Tomato varieties are labeled as either indeterminate or determinate, and horticulture experts recommend choosing indeterminate ones for upside-down gardens. Determinate tomato plants are stubbier, with somewhat rigid stalks that issue all their fruit at once, which could weigh down and break the stems if hanging upside down. Indeterminate types, by contrast, have more flexible, sprawling stems that produce fruit throughout the season and are less likely to be harmed by gravity. ”
The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/20/garden/20tomato.html, by Kate Murphy, May 19, 2010
john commented on the user chained_bear
Hi c_b, Tony just cleared up the glitch in our database that was causing trouble with war tourist. It necessitated removing it from your list, but you should be able to add it back now no problem.
thanks all--am looking at the whitespace weirdness right now.
May 19, 2010
john commented on the word roll
“Sgt. Justus told us the story of a 16-year-old girl whom he convinced to "roll" on her pimp. But before she could testify against him she disappeared -- and her pimp walked free.”
The Huffington Post, Pornland, Oregon: Child Prostitution in Portland, by Dan Rather, May 18, 2010
May 18, 2010
john commented on the list dictionary--2
What's Wordnik—chopped liver?
Yeah, we're experimenting with the 'like' bandwagon (pro, it is tied to facebook, you can read one take on it here). So far it's not doing all that much for us, frankly, though we'll probably give it some more time, and maybe tweak it a little.
I like to think we're a sort of a Reese's peanut butter cup mixture of the sacred and the profane.
May 17, 2010
john commented on the word no-lifer
I'm relieved this has nothing to do with prisons or abortion or other weighty issues.
*Goes back to farmville*
May 16, 2010
john commented on the word swoose
“A bird prodigy of evil and hybrid character is the despair of a Norfolk farmer. It rejoices in the name of the “swoose”, a portmanteau word indicating its origin, for its father was a swan and its mother a goose. This ill-assorted pair had three children — three “sweese”.
Daily Mail, 13 July 1920."
As quoted in Word Wide Words, by Michael Quinion, May 15, 2010
May 15, 2010
john commented on the word junk shot
“Officials with BP and other companies involved in the effort, who discussed the plans in detail at some of the operations rooms, said the best of several options included a “junk shot,” which could be tried within the week. The method involves pumping odds and ends like plastic cubes, knotted rope, even golf balls — Titleists or whatever, BP isn’t saying — into the blowout preventer, the safety device atop the well.”
The New York Times, ‘Junk Shot’ Is Next Step for Leaking Gulf of Mexico Well, by Henry Fountain, May 14, 2010
Another update today: the twitter search on the word summary pages just got a little less aggressive. Rather than automatically load new tweets, it alerts you that new tweets are available, and gives you the option to load them yourself. You can see it in action on any oft-tweeted word, like iPad, which people talk about far too much. (And which some genius tagged oleophobic. Best tag ever.)
May 13, 2010
john commented on the user richnotwealthy
Hi rich, the sort order bug when adding words to lists should be fixed. I also added better feedback when adding and removing words. Thanks for the bug report, and please let me know if you see any issues with it.
john commented on the word malamanteau
But not a mallomanteau.
john commented on the word mallomanteau
A mixture of a mallomar and any other dessert.
john commented on the word Malamanteau
See also malamanteau.
Hi folks, I think the multiple-entry bug is fixed. I just added some words to some words, and it seemed to work fine with both the 'Add' button and by hitting enter.
If anyone sees this again could you please let me know what browser you're using?
May 12, 2010
john commented on the user john
Been one on and off for years. Here's my tag.
Thanks rz & a, I'm looking into it right now.
May 11, 2010
john commented on the list murder-ballads--drinking-songs--and-heartbreakers
Lullabies for Bloodshot Eyes, fantastic. Worth stealing :-)
How about "In the Pines?"
john commented on the word Lou Gehrig's disease
Common name for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.
May 10, 2010
john commented on the word an underwhelm of students
That would be reesetee's madeupical collective nouns.
john commented on the user 845125047
Hi Katherine, nice to see you here :-)
Thanks for the comment on diya--let me know if you have suggestions or comments regarding the UI/UX.
May 9, 2010
john commented on the word pessary
“(The first big victory had the memorable name of U.S. v. One Package of Japanese Pessaries.) ”
The New York Times, What Every Girl Should Know, by Gail Collins, May 7, 2010
john commented on the word tooth
Military slang for combat forces. See citation on tail.
john commented on the word tail
“The goal is to convert as much as 2 percent or 3 percent of spending from “tail” to “tooth” — military slang for support services and combat forces.”
The New York Times, Gates Takes Aim at Pentagon Spending, by Thom Shanker, May 8, 2010
john commented on the list tunie-and-the-band-played-waltzing-matilda
You're not alone either of you—this song always gets me choked up, and I sang it to Z a hundred times when she was tiny and couldn't sleep. Poor kid's bad luck to have a dad who only knows the words to murder ballads, drinking songs, and heartbreakers like this.
May 8, 2010
john commented on the word Bongbong
“The Marcoses’ only son, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., 52, known as Bongbong, said ‘immediately that got our attention. It doesn’t frighten us, but it certainly defined what could happen should he become president.’”
The New York Times, Imelda Marcos, at 80, Seeks to Restore the Dynasty, by Norimitsu Onishi, May 7, 2010
john commented on the word Pyrrhic Compromise
Awesome. Like being unable to decide between two equally qualified applicants, so you hire the boss's idiot cousin instead.
john commented on the word double dog dare
O, all I saw were the first three words.
*Craves two devil dogs.*
May 7, 2010
john commented on the word raiseable
Anything we have only a single example for, as is the case with 'raiseable' at the moment, is most often a misspelling. But WordNet shows this as an acceptable version, fwiw.
May 6, 2010
john commented on the word fetch
"slang for cool or awsome. Used in mean girls by Grechen Weener."
Seen in the wild on Twitter: "A few days overdue, but keynote by @emckean at STC2010 was fetch."
john commented on the word equipoise
“Sometimes people fault Obama for being too cool. I can see their point 5 percent of the time, but 95 percent of the time, it’s good to have a president with equipoise.”
The New York Times, The Calm, Cool and Collected President, by David Brooks and Gail Collins, May 5, 2010
john commented on the user specgram
We usually frown on people posting links prior to having contributed in any other way—99.9% of the time it's spam—but I think we can make an exception for speculative grammar. Welcome to Wordnik, spec.
May 5, 2010
john commented on the word hot dog etiquette
Unless it is accompanied by chili and onions, when it has the possibility of rounding the corner into the sublime.
Talk of hot dog errors reminds me of my old hot dog eating tutorial. Posted that almost ten years ago, back when Kobayashi was in his prime.
john commented on the user fionnuala
Hi fionnuala, welcome to Wordnik and thanks for the comment on gaffle. It's great to see background info like that on where a unique word may have come from, or previously been used.
May 3, 2010
john commented on the user Telofy
Hi telofy, glad you like the corpus additions and the translation feature. Those are provided by the Google Language API—who I intended to credit with a little logo link, like Flickr, but Google is very restrictive about the use of their logo.
Just fixed the Century definitions too—thanks much for pointing that out.
May 1, 2010
john commented on the user sionnach
Hi sionnach, the autoexpander should be working for comment editing now.
April 30, 2010
john commented on the word meth lab of democracy
“This week, Jon Stewart called Arizona the “the meth lab of democracy.””
The New York Times, Desert Derangement Syndrome, by Timothy Egan, April 28, 2010
john commented on the word coup de foudre
“Ms. Hunter first told the tale of her campaign coup de foudre (“a magnetic force”) and the resulting daughter, now 2, in an interview in the April issue of GQ that was illustrated with sexy pin-up shots of Ms. Hunter lying on a bed in pearls, a white shirt and no pants.”
The New York Times, One Woman’s ‘Truth’: Rielle Hunter Talks to Oprah, by Alessandra Stanley, April 29, 2010
john commented on the list the-world-of-corn
Another gem I missed the first time around. Love this list, super love its name.
john commented on the word translate
I'm so glad you like it! Please let me know if you have any suggestions or comments about how it's implemented. The translations themselves come from the Google Language API.
If you don't know what we're talking about, we recently added a 'translate' option to every word, but initially rolled it out to half of Wordnki's visitors (chosen randomly), so we could test it and make sure it didn't screw up anything else. It's looking pretty good though, so we'll probably be rolling it out to everyone very soon.
If you can't wait, clear your cookies and reload. Repeat until you see a translate option to the right of the links below each word :-)
April 29, 2010
Sure thing. I'm having more fun with it too--just got copper-nose.
Good luck with the stats.
john commented on the word epistemic closure
“One of the more striking features of the contemporary conservative movement is the extent to which it has been moving toward epistemic closure. Reality is defined by a multimedia array of interconnected and cross promoting conservative blogs, radio programs, magazines, and of course, Fox News. Whatever conflicts with that reality can be dismissed out of hand because it comes from the liberal media, and is therefore ipso facto not to be trusted. (How do you know they’re liberal? Well, they disagree with the conservative media!) ”
JulianSanchez.com, Frum, Cocktail Parties, and the Threat of Doubt, by Julian Sanchez, March 26, 2010
April 28, 2010
john commented on the user focalist
Hi focalist, wanted to let you know we tightened up the random word rules considerably this morning.
It might be worth noting that Wordnik follows David Weinberger's injunction to filter on the way out. Which is to say we collect literally all the text we can, warts and all, and then use a variety of methods to try and decide what's worth making available.
Clearly we don't always get it right. But we've gotten much better over time, and have some changes on deck that will further improve our interestingness quotient, I think. Another great Weinberger quote is that "the solution to too much information is more information." The way that manifests on Wordnik is that we have a plethora of fantastic content providers whose text just entered the corpus, or is about to. As we get more and better data, the lower-quality material gets shoved out of sight, algorithmically speaking.
Thanks much for your feedback—hope that helps explain some of the quirks you noticed, and some of the ways we differ from a traditional dictionary. And welcome to Wordnik :-)
Hi pro, been slow in coming, but we tightened up the random word rules considerably this morning. I'm finding it a lot more interesting, hope you do too.
john commented on the list animal-ines-cheat-sheet
April 27, 2010
john commented on the list gender-s-game
Hi whichbe, I'm sorry that we don't have this yet--if you email the urls of any lists you want removed I'll do it manually. Same goes for anyone else with the same request.
Oops, sorry about that a. Left some debug code in. It's fixed now.
April 26, 2010
john commented on the list butter-beans-and-snaps
Beautiful indeed! Makes me want to sing a little song about beans...
Hi pro, the 'did you mean' suggester is new and we're actively improving the algorithm. As you see, it doesn't handle multi-word phrases well, but I'll move that up on the list of improvements it needs.
We've tweaked the random word rules over time—it's better than it used to be, I think—but I agree, too many of the responses are not satisfying. Requiring words to have been looked up before is a good suggestion. I have some other rules I'm lobbying for that will hopefully up the interestingness quotient.
john commented on the user kell
I see an example sentence over on bur clover, which is not nothing. But I'd ask that question of Google. It's not up to us what they index.
April 25, 2010
john commented on the word success theater
I just heard Eric Ries use this term to describe the smoke-and-mirrors dance some companies do when trying to convince their boards that everything's going great.
April 24, 2010
john commented on the list kinds-of-gladiators
Yeah. And I'd forgotten about this
April 22, 2010
Good eyes rz :-) Just tonight we made a change where comments show up on the main word page if there are no definitions or examples. We might twiddle with it and show a selection of comments regardless of the other data available, but if a word has defintions and examples, it's both harder to squeeze the comments in, and maybe less necessary--you can kind of assume they might be there. But the big wall o' nuthin on some of the madeupical words wasn't doing justice to the brilliant banter in the backroom.
john commented on the word mallomar
See awesome citation on malophile.
john commented on the word malophile
As opposed to a mallomarophile.
pu, you're not seeing edit and delete links right next to the comment below? They should be at the end of the top line, like this:
possibleunderscore said: edit | delete
if that's not what you see, would you mind emailing me the browser you're using?
April 21, 2010
john commented on the word take our survey
You didn't miss much. It was actually just a time-share sales pitch.
We just added a few updates to pronunciation recording. You can now add a description to your pronunciation ("This is an example of a Louisiana accent..."), and you can also say if you've recorded a pronunciation ("cat") or a sound ("meow").
April 20, 2010
john commented on the list place-names-of-distinction
Just came across Shitlingthorpe, which is apparently a town in Yorkshire. Thought of you immediately, bil by :-)
john commented on the list volcanic-action
There's more info on many of these terms on this USGS glossary of volcano terminology.
john commented on the list wordniks-who-proudly-contribute-worthless-stuff--a-lot-of-dumb-comments--and-useless-words-to-the-zeitgeist-page
I'm not proud, I just can't help myself.
*throws cupcake at frogapplause, ducks*
john commented on the word decimate
I'm with bilby. There's etymology, and then there's metaphor, poetic license, and sanctification through usage. And the OED, which you name drop but must not have referenced, lists "to destroy or remove a large proportion of" as a valid rhetorical use. As does the venerable Century.
If you were the guy with the short straw, it was probably a major catastrophe.
john commented on the list knee-ded-words
I'm good, thanks! Go under the knife (a tiny arthroscopic knife) on the 28th, and will get full knee function back, I'm told.
Means I should be recovered in time to be of use to kad come mid-October. She'll soon be adding to her expectant words list :-)
john commented on the word slut dictionary
Agreed, janetjetson--I would be off-put by this, were I not able to imagine the smirk with which I'm sure it was delivered, and to appreciate the intentional effort to get a rise out of her audience. Bit dicey though, using loaded terms like this out of context.
john commented on the word Eyjafjallajökull
Nothing boring about Stromboli.
john commented on the word lardo
An Italian cured pork.
“A rustic salad of caramelized roast pears, earthy lardo, walnuts and salty pecorino di Fossa was a last look at winter, presented as simply as cuttings in a garden basket.”
The New York Times, Where Paris Chefs, Not Prices, Rise, by Christine Muhlke, April 18, 2010
April 18, 2010
Fantastic. I had the pleasure of hearing Merrill talk a few times when I was at the NYTimes, she's great. Though if she says this about other dictionaries, I hesitate to imagine what she thinks of Wordnik.
April 17, 2010
john commented on the user frindley
Hi frindley, you should be whitelisted. Actually, looks like you must be, since that Shuttercal link is working. Let me know if it's not letting you do something you'd like to.
I also miss the also-ons. They're on the to-do list, though I can't promise when we'll get to them.
john commented on the word gait belt
“He learned to walk with assistance, then wore a gait belt that allowed others to grab him when he lost his balance.”
The New York Times, No Gold, but Something Better: Going Home, by John Branch, April 16, 2010
john commented on the user tigermouse88
Hi tigermouse, thanks a million for the pronunciation on Eyjafjallajökull. I've been mildly obsessed with the whole event since seeing this photo. It's probably due in part to pixelization, but it looks almost biblical.
And welcome to Wordnik!
Are there any speakers of Icelandic out there who could provide a pronunciation?
john commented on the word hibernaculum
“Set into a mountainside in the town of Dorset, Aeolus Cave used to be the largest bat hibernaculum in New England.”
The New Yorker, Postcard From Vermont: Batless, by Elizabeth Kolbert, March 29, 2010
john commented on the word banana boat
That sounds much better than the what I've heard called a banana boat, which are those very small, very tight speedo-style bathing suits for men. I believe they're more common in Europe than America. Also known as a banana hammock.
April 16, 2010
john commented on the word analphabet
This word reminds me of analrapist--someone who combines the professions of analyst and therapist, according to Tobias Fünke on Arrested Development.
john commented on the user mirl
Hi mirl, welcome to Wordnik!
If you're still feeling lost shoot me an email (email@example.com), and I'm happy to help orient you. But it's pretty much words and people and lists, swirled to together, with an occasional sprinkling of tags and pronunciations :-)
john commented on the word manpages
You know Kenneth, in 30 Rock?
He's not a manpage. It's short for "manual page." They're the built-in documentation on Unix computers. To see them you use the "man" command: "man awk" shows the manpage for the awk command, for instance.
Freak not, as an old friend of mine used to say. The survey questions were canned--we didn't write them. We're not going anywhere. And the survey will come down shortly--we just wanted to try and gather info from a broader swath of visitors. You folks, but also drop-ins from searches, people who use the site but don't register, those not inclined to chat.
Just saw this--thanks, I think :-)
*Takes bow, knee buckles, collapses in heap*
April 15, 2010
john commented on the word orange cup
That "specialized spoon" is still around, sort of. They're really useful, too :-)
April 14, 2010
Over the past week we've closed some holes that let people surreptitiously put spam in little-seen corners of the site. In particular, accounts that were never used to create lists or leave comments could contain spam links that weren't immediately visible. Shutting those down reduced overall spam, but had the perverse effect of increasing its visibility, as the spammers shifted tactics and started using comments again.
Today we started requiring new accounts to be activated by email for the first time, which will hopefully help. This is a constant battle though, and we have further steps in the wings if necessary. Thanks again for your patience.
john commented on the word shithawk
I love Trailer Park Boys, though I missed the last few seasons, for some weird reason.
*runs to Netflix, adds to queue*
Are there any Canuckistanis in the house? This belongs on a list, and I'm not sure I'm qualified.
April 13, 2010
john commented on the user benn
Hi benn, welcome to Wordnik!
Great word--you might want to consider adding your definition to the comments page of the word itself (which looks like it has one example that accords with your definition below).
john commented on the word drugget
I first assumed this referred to Lindsay Lohan and her ilk. The actual meaning is so much nicer.
john commented on the word Humperdink
Oh c'mon. How can this not make you warm to it at least a little. He's so well dressed.
The best thing about Engelbert Humperdinck's name is that it's actually a stage name. He chose it.
April 12, 2010
john commented on the word slenditude
“I might have rushed that last tweet. As, some of you have been quite rambunctious, and not worthy of my slenditude. You know who you are..”
john commented on the word buckruh
The Gullah word for "white man."
john commented on the word comestion
“A devouring by fire” —Grandiloquent Dictionary
john commented on the list fabrics
Fantastic list. Another great source for this might be our fearless leader's other web site.
john commented on the word marabou slipper
“I can eye-witness report this: during breaks he John Wayne shed his boots and slipped into a chartreuse pair of those fluffy marabou slippers more associated with women.”
The New York Times, More Awesomeness, or John Wayne Part 2, by Dick Cavett, April 9, 2010
April 11, 2010
john commented on the word fiſhing
Interestingly, on ghoſt, the 'words tagged' section displays the same data as on ghost, but the section above that is different. Spooky.
April 10, 2010
Holy mackerel, our tagging system recognizes that fishing is the same as fiſhing.
there's a ghost in the machine :-|
john commented on the word seniormost
I first read this as "seniormoist," which sounds like an incontinence product. Has a pleasantly revolting ring to it.
john commented on the list mainisms
Great list! Haven't heard 'pogy' in years. How about 'moxie'?
Missed this earlier—I was born in Brunswick, lived in Portland on and off, did indeed go to Bowdoin. But I've moved far too much; by any reasonable local standard I'm from away (another good phrase for this list).
April 9, 2010
john commented on the word that that
*stands, whistles through teeth*
April 8, 2010
john commented on the word thermionic emission
“The classical example of thermionic emission is the emission of electrons from a hot metal cathode into a vacuum (archaically known as the Edison effect) in a vacuum tube. However, the term "thermionic emission" is now used to refer to any thermally excited charge emission process, even when the charge is emitted from one solid-state region into another.”
Thermionic emission. (2010, March 3). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 00:42, April 8, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Thermionic_emission&oldid=347447926
john commented on the word Edison effect
The outdated term for a type of thermionic emission.
john commented on the word deosculate
How is it that deosculate and osculate mean the same thing? I'd expect this to mean "unkiss".
Hi t, as you noticed, I had to clamp down on links in profiles earlier this week, necessitated by another massive spam attack. We are at this very moment writing code to better address this, but in the meanwhile I've been whitelisting people to let them use links in profiles. Just added you to the list.
john commented on the word galtiness
See comment at the bottom of this list by maygra, referencing this blog post about an Orson Scott Card novel.
April 7, 2010
john commented on the word dump cake
Oh thank heavens. For a moment I thought this might relate to coprophilia.
April 6, 2010
john commented on the user chizuru
Perhaps you can have your pandowdy and it too, since there are other, nicer-sounding names for similar desserts. In fact, you inspired a list!
john commented on the word betty
“A baked pudding made of layers of spiced and sugared fruit and buttered bread crumbs.”
Ochef.com, Cobbler, Crisp, Crumble, Grunt, Slump—You Get the Picture
john commented on the word clafoutis
“A French cobbler, with fruit (usually cherries) on the bottom, custard, and a rough batter crust baked on top”
john commented on the word cobbler
“A spoon pie (more like a fruit stew with dumplings), in which biscuit dough is dropped onto the fruit before baking. The consensus is that the dish got its name because the lumps of cooked dough resembled cobblestones.”
john commented on the word crisp
“A deep-dish fruit dessert made with a crumb or streusel topping and baked.”
john commented on the word crumble
“A British dessert in which raw fruit is topped with a crumbly pastry mixture and baked. One reference says a crumble is like a crisp, but not as rich.”
john commented on the word grunt
“A spoon pie, with biscuit dough on top of stewed fruit, which is steamed, not baked”
john commented on the word pandowdy
“A spoon pie, with fruit on the bottom and a rolled crust on top, which is broken up to allow the juices to come through”
john commented on the word slump
“A spoon pie, including cooked or uncooked fruit topped with biscuit dough or piecrust, which can be baked or steamed, and can be made upside down”
john commented on the user indioman
Hi indioman. None of the four dictionaries from which we offer definitions includes 'listeth'. When a word is looked up that we have examples for, but not definitions, we display the examples up top--look up a word with definitions, like petulant, and you'll see that the definitions come first.
We decided to still display the dictionary links for words with no definitions, but grayed-out and disabled, because we thought it would be useful to know that we do indeed offer definitions when available. Otherwise people might thin we were just an examples site. Perhaps we should be more explicit, and say "no definitions available?"
Welcome to Wordnik!
john commented on the word Tomb-Sweeping Day
“As miner after miner was carried out of the mine’s mouth, rescuers hugged each other and wept for joy. Scenes of the rescue were broadcast repeatedly on national television on Tomb-Sweeping Day, China’s national holiday to commemorate the dead.”
The New York Times, Rescue of 114 at Chinese Coal Mine Called ‘Miracle’, by Sharon LaFraniere, April 5, 2010
April 5, 2010
Hi Jason--the 'by letter' browsing will be able to be ordered alphabetically sometime this week. Stay tuned :-)
Thanks sionnach, I'll look into that.
Pro, we're testing that layout for the word-related commands--half of our visitors see what you're seeing, half see the old style. The concern was that people unfamiliar with the site wouldn't even know those options were available if they were buried in a drop-down menu. Bit early to say definitively, but it seems like more people use the new style.
If you have suggestions about how to better implement it, though, I'd love to hear them, either here or in an email.
john commented on the list words-i-hate--11
Hi Lauren, welcome to Wordnik!
I can see why you wouldn't like all these word, except for 'cobbler,' which just makes me think of shoes and peaches--both of which I like. Does it have a meaning I don't know about, or do just not like the sound of it?
john commented on the word Gasparilla
“The center of that Creole culture — a Cuban and Italian mix, is Ybor City. That’s where Cuban immigrants set up cigar rolling shops in the late 1800s, and where Jill Wax opened La France in 1974. She started with the one store, then expanded to two. She has four streetfront windows with constantly rotating displays: colorful Victorian corsets and feathered hats for Gasparilla, Tampa’s annual pirate festival parade; a 1920s safari scene with palm fronds hung across the wall as backdrop to a mannequin wedding couple.”
The New York Times, Snowbirds Cast Off Their Inner Fashionistas, by Jen A. Miller, April 2, 2010
April 4, 2010
john commented on the word Palinized
“Obama preempts the other side's most resonant arguments, which forces them to come up with more and more extreme claims in order to differentiate themselves. In the end, he occupies the reasonable middle ground and his opponents are Palinized.”
Washington Monthly, Political Animal, by Steve Benen, March 23, 2010 (quoting a "Hill staffer")
john commented on the word lagerphone
Also, what you pick up when you desperately need a beer.
April 2, 2010
john commented on the word lol
Milosrdenstvi, I accept that challenge. There must be a way, and I will find it!
john commented on the user bilby
Hi bil by--an article about Wordnik appeared in a major Tamil newspaper, which explains some of the comments you asked about, I think.
April 1, 2010
john commented on the word quiverings
I see the word quim, I always think of Eskimos, thanks to Bob Dylan.
March 31, 2010
john commented on the word cisgender
“I have, for some time, been referring to a particularly irritating brand of privileged semi-feminism as “Liz Lemonism.” I associate this brand of feminism with a certain variety of white, coastal-city dwelling, fairly well-to-do heterosexual cisgendered woman, a woman with a comfortable white-collar job that is so very comfortable and so very white-collar that she is free to spend her spare time yearning for, and semi-believing that she could attain, something with more “meaning.”
Tiger Beatdown, 13 Ways of Looking at Liz Lemon, by Sady, March 24, 2010
john commented on the word catatonic expressionism
From Thomas Pynchon's V. Involves cheese danish.
March 30, 2010
john commented on the word hysterical realism
I've always thought this should be related to catatonic expressionism.
I do like a lot of the authors pigionholed as hysterical realists (hystericists?), though.
March 29, 2010
john commented on the word hermit kingdom
“The Web reports have been especially eye-opening for South Koreans, providing a rare glimpse of the aptly named Hermit Kingdom untainted by their own government’s biases, whether the anti-Communists who present the North in the worst light or liberals who gloss over bad news for fear of jeopardizing chances at détente. ”
The New York Times, North Koreans Use Cellphones to Bare Secrets, by Choe Sang-Hun, March 28, 2010
john commented on the word hive vagina
“Although we’re not as bad as the San Franciscans, Sydneysiders (myself and Melissa) comprise a disproportionate slice of the Geek Feminist Hive Vagina.”
Geek Feminism, Meetup in Sydney, Australia, by Mary, March 25, 2010
March 27, 2010
john commented on the word fritiniency
The act of, or very efficient, fritinancing?
March 26, 2010
john commented on the user brtom
brtom, how nice to see you here again. Been a while :-)
March 25, 2010
john commented on the word miscreant
“This means ensuring that militants — or “miscreants,” as Pakistanis like to say — do not return to those areas that have been cleared in recent months.”
The New York Times, Pakistan’s War of Choice , by Michael O'Hanlon, March 23, 2010
john commented on the word dark cutter
“Her goal was to reduce stress and fear in the animals, as some studies have suggested that they harm the quality of meat and are factors in producing so-called dark cutters, cattle whose meat appears brownish or blackish and may be sticky to the touch.”
The New York Times, Beef From Creekstone Farms Impresses New York Chefs, by Glenn Collins, March 23, 2010
john commented on the word homosexuality
And is there dancing?
March 24, 2010
john commented on the word dishabille
“This coffee-table collection of industrial-therapeutic dishabille—70 abandoned asylums in 30 states, photographed over six years—is as gorgeous and meditative as it is harrowing.”
The Atlantic, Cover to Cover, by Lynne A. Isbell, April, 2010
Other improvements launched this weekend include autoexpanding comment boxes and a basic mobile site. Try http://m.wordnik.com for a version of the site optimized for phones and other small-screen devices. Right now it lets you search words with definitions, and add words to your lists.
March 23, 2010
Hi mollusque, yes, those are new, and a work in progress. But I thought they were interesting enough to push an early version out the door.
Our examples are in the process of being updated, and will be getting better over the next week or two. We don't always show everything we have--some examples are not displayed because of character encoding issues or bad punctuation parsing--which explains some of the discrepancies you see.
Upcoming versions of this will allow alphabetical sorting, among other improvements planned.
john commented on the word stanzo
Only when they're masculine.
john commented on the word flying robot sprayer
For crop dusting hard-to-reach houseplants, right?
The Century Dictionary has some fantastic stuff in it, but it was published between 1889 and 1914, and as a result some of its material is archaic and offensive.
john commented on the word denialist
“At the same time it’s clear that technology and the mechanisms of the Web have been accelerating certain trends already percolating through our culture — including the blurring of news and entertainment, a growing polarization in national politics, a deconstructionist view of literature (which emphasizes a critic’s or reader’s interpretation of a text, rather than the text’s actual content), the prominence of postmodernism in the form of mash-ups and bricolage, and a growing cultural relativism that has been advanced on the left by multiculturalists and radical feminists, who argue that history is an adjunct of identity politics, and on the right by creationists and climate-change denialists, who suggest that science is an instrument of leftist ideologues.”
The New York Times, Texts Without Context, by Michiko Kakutani, March 17, 2010
March 21, 2010
john commented on the word bravura
“Angry nuns have been calling Congressman Bart Stupak’s office to complain about his dismissive comments on their bravura decision to make a literal Hail Mary pass, break with Catholic bishops and endorse the health care bill.”
The New York Times, Eraser Duty for Bart?, by Maureen Dowd, March 20, 2010
john commented on the word eigenclass
“I recalled seeing the discussion in which eigenclass was first proposed.
Here's the post by csaba on April 21, 2005:
"Own class" is the best I've heard 'till now in terms of correctness,
it's just a bit "pale". I mean, when you say "I go there by my own
car", then the "own" doesn't refer to a special type of car, it just
refers to some relation of the car with other things. It refers to a
non-intrinsic thing. But if you say
"I go there by my batcar", that makes a difference. Such a thing is
what we need for ruby.
What about "eigenclass", like in eigenvalue?
Ruby-Talk, Tom Werner, August 11, 2006
March 20, 2010
john commented on the word ʙ˟
Also: my ass, to the power of x.
I think pd is in the lead here :-)
john commented on the word jerkinhead
Love this word. And love that there's a single solitary Flickr image for it.
Hi pu, profile comments will go back to there full length soon, possibly tonight.
March 19, 2010
john commented on the word ɷ
I feel like I'm being mooned by a smurf.
john commented on the user agatehinge
Hi lcmt, re: the comments on reel, I thought you'd enjoy this story on the comment-box poets of the New York Times.
john commented on the word acri
Are you sure you don't mean acrid?
john commented on the word first cars
Excellent! Though I thought that as vehicles, lawn chairs were more traditionally tied to bunches of balloons.
March 18, 2010
Ok, so that's not me, but I really did have one of those when I was 16, which I bought for $400. You could fold down the roof, flip down the windshield, take off the doors, and remove all the seats--it was like driving a bedframe with a lawnmower engine strapped on. I loved that car. Drove it until big chunks of the exhaust system started falling off and it wouldn't pass inspection.
March 17, 2010
1970 VW Thing. The perfect car for a young jackass like myself, because it couldn't go over 50 mph. Here I am driving it.
I think I like this game. Should it be a list?
john commented on the list the-pogues
Forgot all about this list—I love it.
In '91 I saw them in Spain, with Joe Strummer singing. Pretty sure it was a great show.
March 16, 2010
john commented on the user seniorscribe
hey junior, we normally encourage people to promote other word sites here, but to come in and splash your url all over the place, while contributing nothing else, is not cool.
Hi pro, sorry for the delayed response. Profile links seem to be working now. Tomorrow I'll look into what happened with your decapitalization—it was an accident. We changed a bunch of the plumbing a few weeks ago, which went smoothly overall (nobody seemed to notice, the ideal response), but it caused that regression. And lastly, trying to figure out why the links are broken in multi-word tweets, will hopefully have a fix soon.
Thanks again for the input--I've been behind on correspondence, but I really appreciate it.
March 15, 2010
john commented on the word cloche
Right on ah. The cloche deserves its day, and it would be a better world if frat boys wore them.
I'm still trying to figure out who "they" are.
john commented on the word situacion
No—we're friends to all words.
March 14, 2010
john commented on the word harmonized
“Although his posts are sometimes “harmonized” — a popular euphemism for censorship —his blog, published by one of China’s most popular Web portals, has so far been allowed to continue.”
The New York Times, Heartthrob’s Blog Challenges China’s Leaders, by Andrew Jacobs, March 12, 2010
john commented on the word cutscene
Non-playable interstitial scenes in video games, used to break up the gameplay or advance the plot.
March 13, 2010
Hi t, I believe there's a stats blog post in the works. Once I've read it I'll put a condensed explanation on the stats page itself.
Your en dash is on order—it should arrive from the foundry sometime tomorrow.
March 12, 2010
john commented on the word grammatication
Also, a vacation from the subjunctive.
March 11, 2010
Hi marky (and any other developers out there), we just added a new API method to get thesaurus data such as synonyms, antonyms, and other nyms. More info on the API methods page—scroll down to the 'Fetching Related Words' section.
March 10, 2010
john commented on the word shrimpoluminescence
Ruzuzu, thanks for my new favorite word!
Looks like it's real. And there's video!
john commented on the user dontcry
Oh dontcry, I'm so very sorry.
Glad you got a brief respite. You're in my thoughts.
Am corresponding separately with PU about this, but has anyone else experienced this since after the Wordie migration? I don't doubt that something is amiss, but I have tried and failed to find the source of the problem. If anything similar has happened to anyone else, any details you could provide (email firstname.lastname@example.org) would be helpful.
March 9, 2010
pu, I'll email you again about the lists issue--it's very upsetting to me as well, I apologize and will try again to get to the bottom of it.
john commented on the word never put your banana in the refrigerator
Yes, we often freeze about-to-go bananas for later bread baking. Works a charm.
Though the best way to preserve bananas is to peel them, dip them in melted chocolate, pop them on a popsicle stick, and then freeze them.
john commented on the word reel
Just my personal opinion, but I don't mind the odd poem here and there. It's been done before.
As yarb says, it's easier to not set off the self-promotion sensors (and censors) if you contribute in other ways. But it looks like you're doing that.
john commented on the word cacography
March 8, 2010
john commented on the word tractate
“An entire tractate, or volume, of the Talmud deals with the eruv.”
The New York Times, A Jewish Ritual Collides With Mother Nature, by Samuel G. Freedman, March 5, 2010
March 6, 2010
john commented on the word eruv
“Almost literally invisible even to observant Jews, the wire or string of an eruv, connected from pole to pole, allows the out-of-doors to be considered an extension of the home. Which means, under Judaic law, that one can carry things on the Sabbath, an act that is otherwise forbidden outside the house.”
john commented on the word Muffin top
See comments on muffin top.
March 5, 2010
john commented on the word prehab
“Charlie Sheen enters rehab as "preventative measure." Or as I call it, prehab.”
Gawker, GlasgowRose, February 23, 2010
john commented on the list oh--google--youre-so-droll
Oh my. Fun game, verging on nsfw. I just typed in "Why" and got completions including "can't I own a Canadian" and "do men have nipples."
john commented on the user themeliscuiper
dude, you were *just* on the right side of the law, despite your username and profile, until you put a spam url in a comment. goodbye.
March 4, 2010
john commented on the user marrymemckean
And examples, too, are in the midst of being retooled--the weirdness you've noted lately should all be fixed when we release the next set of updates. Not exactly sure when that'll be, but hopefully by early next week.
March 3, 2010
john commented on the user marky
Tweaked the stylesheets--see my comment over on dontcry's profile. If you're not seeing it you might want to shift-reload, or restart your browser--you may have the old stylesheet cached.
March 2, 2010
Yeah, was fiddling with the knobs earlier--links are now their default color for whatever browser you're using. Varies a bit, but it's generally blue, or purple if you've already been there. I thought it made the links seem linkier. It's also how things were back in Ye Olden Tymes. Let me know what you think--I like it, but I'm flexible.
john commented on the word circumscribe
Yep, the examples engine is in the shop for repairs. When it comes out, it'll drive like the General Lee.
Which makes Tony Cooter, I think.
john commented on the list if-christ-had-not-died-for-thee-thou-hadst-been-damned
Really great list. Wonder what those nutty Puritans called their kid for short--Ifchrist? Hadstbeen?
March 1, 2010
john commented on the word Canadiana
“Before 60,000 spectators who donned brown moose antler hats and pixilated the stadium with lights, Canada had fun with its ice-hockey loving, wildlife-hugging cliches in a revue of 'Canadiana.'”
The New York Times, Joking Canada Closes Games With Stadium Moose Stampede, from Reuters, March 1, 2010
john commented on the word butterfly
“Luongo employs the butterfly goaltending style, more fluid and nimble in the net.”
The New York Times, Live Analysis: Canada Beats the U.S. for Gold Medal, February 28, 2010
john commented on the list laguna-manialtepec
All that, this morning? What a fantastic way to start a day :-)
February 27, 2010
john commented on the word skip
“Let’s face it: if baseball and football were in the winter, nobody would be watching,” said Robert P. Kelly, the chief executive of Bank of New York Mellon, who took up curling when he was growing up in Canada. He is a former “skip” — the player who usually directs the strategy during a game —and dispenses curling tips to employees. ”
The New York Times, On Wall Street, a Romance With the Curling Stone, by Eric Dash, February 25, 2010
February 26, 2010
john commented on the word kizzle kazzle
“People at Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and even the Treasury Department have gone a bit curling crazy. Terms like “kizzle kazzle” — a curling stone that is wobbled to compensate for slush on the ice — have suddenly entered the Wall Street lexicon.”
Speaking of deletion, I'm wondering if folks think that option should always be available, or only for a certain window in time. I'm thinking comments and pronunciations should be deletable by the person who added them for at least a certain period, maybe 24 hours. Beyond that though, it might be disruptive to conversations if people could disrupt the space-time coninuum willy-nilly*. Thoughts?
* though of course you can already do that by editing things. let's ignore that for the moment.
Hi mmm, we're working on making both comments and pronunciations deletable by their creators, should be available in the coming few weeks. I always announce site updates over on feedback.
john commented on the word lief
I be lief this word is not used much anymore.
February 25, 2010
john commented on the list negasonic-teenage-warhead
Fantastic, thanks. I was way in to the X-Men in the 80's, until my head got turned by a girl, and the comics were shelved in her favor. Not a bad choice at the time, but I missed Negasonic's appearance.
I'm planning on spending my dotage catching up on decades of comic books and popcorn movies. Makes me positively eager to get old.
Is the title of this list a reference, or three? I love it.
Yeah, I had the same thought :-) How about when we add paging, we'll also add sorting? Will be fun to go through in both directions.
john commented on the word pageable
I wasn't sure, but Gooble's first result for it is this fugly thing, so I guess it must be.
Move my response over to pageable.
Hi folks, just added a 'comments' section to profile pages, at the bottom of the right-hand sidebar, which lets you see your last first* two hundred comments. In the near future we'll make that pageable, so you can go back through them all. Also, the list counts and the bug with 'appears in these lists' should both be fixed now.
Also wanted to let you know that we're working on a major update to how examples are selected, and once that's done, we'll start working on anti-spam measures. It's as annoying to us as to anyone--thanks for your forbearance.
*update: the new comments page is sorting upside down--sorry about that, will fix shortly. though it's kind of funny to see your earliest comments.
john commented on the word smartwords
Bilby, that's awesome*. I know, with the logo and whatnot there's a whiff of marketing about it. But having a mechanism to describe and connect words will allow for fun stuff. Like being able to connect words in ebooks to Wordnik** comments so that you can see comments on words while you read. Or being able to make your books aware of all the words you've ever listed, so you know whether or not to list things as you go. Open metadata formats have enabled lots of other good stuff, like blog feeds and podcasts. Creating one for words has potential too, I think.
Pro: forgot about that, and love it--thanks. Yes, maybe?
* Though snuffing moths isn't nice
** Or competing social logophile networks
Hi p&m, looking into that bug tonight, will report back.
February 24, 2010
john commented on the word delio
Do you mean dealio? Urban Dictionary has that as a contraction of "deal" and "yo," as in "What's the deal, yo?"
Also a good song by Missy Elliot.
john commented on the user johnwoot
Hi jw, I like the citation on fulcrum. Any way you could provide a source?
February 23, 2010
john commented on the word pithiatic
What appears to be a related word, pythiatism, turns up in this image from 1918 of what looks like a medical journal or book on hysteria.
February 22, 2010
john commented on the user dorak
Hi dorak, welcome to Wordnik!
I can't find much on pithiatic, though this blog entry on 'Pythiatism' from 2004 has a quote from Sartre that includes what looks like a related word. A search on pythiatism turns up this image from 1918 of what looks like a medical journal or book on hysteria.
PU, would you mind sending me info about your recent list issues--names of the lists, anything else that might help me track them? The Wordie db was, ahem, a bit flaky, but anything created on this side of the fence should be in there. Give me someplace to start and I'll look in the db.
February 21, 2010
Hi all, we just added a 'recent lists' section on Zeitgeist, to accompany 'recent open lists'. The new section includes a link to all past lists, or at least all the ones that contain words.
February 20, 2010
ga, sorry, some test data just snuck into the wrong database.
john commented on the user asarulislam
Hi asarulislam. Non-commercial links are allowed on Wordnik, though perhaps the best place for one would be in the 'more about' section of your profile. To edit your profile click on your username at the top-right of the page, then click 'Edit profile' next to your name. Links in comments often tend to be spam, and set off alarm bells.
One small suggestion: you might consider adding comments that are about words to the word itself, rather than to the list the word is in. For example, you can comment on Quaranocracy on the comments page for that word.
john commented on the word edutainment
What's the word for something that's totally boring, yet teaches you nothing?
February 19, 2010
john commented on the list reading-noam-chomsky-while-listening-to-the-ramones
The only word on this list I've ever seen before is mynah, but I love the title. Whither art thou, peacoat?
Hi folks, just fixed a few small issues, and added back the comment feed for each word. There's no link for it on the word pages (yet), but if your browser supports feed autodiscovery (ie, you see a little feed icon in your location bar on some pages), you should see a feed in there for comments, with a url like this: http://www.wordnik.com/words/addax/comments.xml. I'll soon add back profile comment feeds as well.
Mollusque, I'd like to claim we're enabling Scrabble for cheaters, but I think that's a bug. On the list--thanks.
February 18, 2010
john commented on the user kaitman
Hi kaitman, comments can be for pretty much whatever you like, as long as it's polite. People use them to chat about words and language, or to leave citations, quotes, or usage notes on particular words.
Welcome to Wordnik :-)
thanks much rz, fixed the wikipedia link
February 17, 2010
Sorry for the duplicate emails as well. That's fixed now too, I just confirmed with the previous comment :-)
February 16, 2010
Hi folks, Tony just posted a fix for the 'listed in' bug pro found earlier, and I just nuked that round of 'just for fun' spammers. Sorry about the delay on that--most of Wordnik was out of the office today, entertaining our mothers-in-law.
john commented on the word telediol
“But belatedly, funerals and memorial services are taking place daily, and the traditional word-of-mouth network known as telediol has reawakened, delivering death notices.”
The New York Times, Haiti Emerges From Its Shock, and Tears Roll, by Deborah Sontag, February 14, 2010
February 15, 2010
john commented on the user jeniffer32xg
No idea. We're giving them the benefit of the doubt for the time being, but collecting the account names in case this is a trial run for a bout of spam. Jenifa oh jenny, are you for real?
john commented on the word does miley cyrus have a tattoo
This must be a sensitive topic—mollusque seems to have clammed up.
February 14, 2010
Just fixed the login issue--you should stay logged in between visits now.
john commented on the user johntest
john commented on the user tonytam
Is 'tenacious' really an onomatopoeia? Maybe depends how you pronounce it.
Oops--I'll put that back later today. Last night we pushed a slew of rewritten code, and that fell off the cart.
Kosher html is working again on comments, thanks for the nudge.
February 13, 2010
Jaysus--fugly bug. Your edit confused me until I saw my response show up over here. That should be fixed now.
Hm, yes. We are always trying to strike a balance between, well, freedom and vigilance. Not always easy; the pendulum will swing back.
I'll see if I can put in an exception for youtube--when we clamped down on spam links I think those got caught in the crossfire.
February 11, 2010
Bad characters smoke, stay out late on schoolnights, and don't call their mom on her birthday. Pages should handle them though, instead of exploding, so I'll talk to Tony about what was going on and try to make sure we handle it better in the future.
john commented on the user doug_sedrick
Hi Doug, welcome to wordnik. If you email me (email@example.com) what browser you're using and what comment on what page you're trying to edit, I'll look into why that link isn't working for you.
February 9, 2010
john commented on the list everyones-a-critic
I love this list. I used to have a daydream about being the editor of The Norton Anthology of Bad Reviews. This cuts right to the chase.
Hi folks, sorry about the comment links going on the fritz. This afternoon we added filters to try and contain the contagion of spam we've been seeing, and I overdid it a bit--they were removing all links, including safe internal ones. I've dialed it back and they should work now.
As part of the anti-spam effort links and images are now automatically removed from list descriptions. I know a lot of us put legit links in our descriptions, and we'll look into ways to filter spam links without interfering with everyone else. But for the moment, unfortunately, we're forced to be a bit draconian.
The other update of note is improved data on the 'related' sub pages. Many words, like good for instance, should show a lot more synonyms, antonyms, and other nyms.
Hi Pro, would you mind emailing me a link to that spam site? You're right, we have nothing to do with it, but we'll take every step we can to have it taken down.
We've been under increasing attack from spammers, as you know, and are taking steps to deal with it. It helps a lot when you alert us to things like this--thanks much for making us aware of it.
john commented on the list palinisms
I'm sure I have something to say here. Let me just check my hand quickly...
Comment count is better: you can view up to 500 previous comments on a word. Should let you see the full comment thread in all but a handful of cases. Tonight I'll do the same for lists. In the near future I'll make comments pageable, so that in 10 years, when there are 10,000 comments on 'bugs', you'll be able to scroll back through every one of them and see the full history of every mistake we've ever made :-)
February 8, 2010
Hi folks, we made a few changes tonight, one of which was supposed to eliminate the 50 comment limit that had been truncating longer threads. Instead we inadvertently lowered the limit, to 7 :-/
A fix should be in early tomorrow, sorry for the inconvenience.
February 7, 2010
john commented on the word goyrl
“Maybe it was a presentiment, maybe it was the sort of destiny that Yiddish calls “goyrl.” Whatever the word for it, something stirred into motion.”
The New York Times, A Rare Blend, Pro Football and Hasidic Judaism, by Samuel G. Freedman, February 5, 2010
February 6, 2010
john commented on the word snowmageddon
john commented on the word snowpocalypse
“As snow began to accumulate on the White House grounds and the National Mall in the afternoon, much of Washington was hunkered down, bracing for what newspapers and bloggers have been calling the “snowpocalypse,” or “snowmageddon,” and the streets in the center of the city were unusually quiet.”
The New York Times, East Coast Is Hit by ‘Potentially Epic Snowstorm’ , by John M. Broder and Jack Healy, February 5, 2010
Hi Sionnach, the fix is in, again. This time it was balking at phrases containing periods--should be ok now.
hi sionnach, looks like you've already discovered this, but we fixed the issue with your 'critics' list (which i love--comments are delightful).
February 5, 2010
john commented on the word lemma
Plural of lemming.
john commented on the word almost Solveig
Who's going to conduct? I'll insulate.
john commented on the word flutter meter
“22.41 Describe the circuitry and operation of a flutter meter.—Flutter bridges or meters are instruments used for the measurement of irregularities in constant-speed drive systems, such as are used in photographic and magnetic recorders, telemetering, disc recording and reproduction, ad other devices used for recording and reproducing.”
Audio Cyclopedia by Howard M. Tremaine, Howard W. Sams & Co., 1969, pg. 1,255
February 4, 2010
john commented on the word blimp
“18.182 What is a blimp?—A sound deadening cover placed over a motion picture camera on a motion picture set to prevent the noise of the camera movement from being picked up by the microphone.”
Audio Cyclopedia by Howard M. Tremaine, Howard W. Sams & Co., 1969, pg. 956
john commented on the word Barkhausen noise
“17.160 What is Barkhausen noise in a magnetic recorder?—Barkhausen noise is modulation noise or behind-the-signal noise. It may be caused by tape whcih has become magnetized or has an uneven coating.”
Audio Cyclopedia by Howard M. Tremaine, Howard W. Sams & Co., 1969, pg. 818
john commented on the word tangent error
“13.174 What is tangent error?—When a laterally recorded disc record is recorded, the cutting head is carried across the face of the recording disc at right angles to the direction of the disc motion. However, when reproduced, the pickup is never at right angles to the direction of motion, except at one point, because the pickup arm is pivoted in such a manner that it swings across the face of the disc in an arc.”
Audio Cyclopedia by Howard M. Tremaine, Howard W. Sams & Co., 1969, pg.677
john commented on the word negative feedback
“12.136 What is a negative-feedback or degenerative amplifier?—An amplifier in which a portion of the output signal voltage is fed back 180 degrees out of phase to the input.”
Audio Cyclopedia by Howard M. Tremaine, Howard W. Sams & Co., 1969, pg. 573
john commented on the word mutual conductance
“11.33 What is the meaning of the term mutual conductance?—It is a term originated by Hazeltine in 1919 to express the conductance of a vacuum tube.”
Audio Cyclopedia by Howard M. Tremaine, Howard W. Sams & Co., 1969, pg. 464
john commented on the word duller
“6.3 What is a duller?—A form of equalizer used to reduce the high-frequency response of an electrical circuit. It is so named because the high-frequency response appears to be dull and lacking in presence.”
Audio Cyclopedia by Howard M. Tremaine, Howard W. Sams & Co., 1969, pg. 263
john commented on the word lavalier
“4.81 What is a lavalier microphone?—A small dynamic microphone worn around the neck as a lavalier.”
Audio Cyclopedia by Howard M. Tremaine, Howard W. Sams & Co., 1969, pg. 191
john commented on the word selsyn-interlock distributor system
“3.48 What is a selsyn-interlock distributor system?—A synchronous distributor system used for interlocking sound recording equipment with motion picure cameras”
Audio Cyclopedia by Howard M. Tremaine, Howard W. Sams & Co., 1969, pg. 107
john commented on the word anechoic
“2.84 Describe the construction of an anechoic chamber.—Anechoic chambers are enclosures that are echo-free, withing a specified frequency range.”
Audio Cyclopedia by Howard M. Tremaine, Howard W. Sams & Co., 1969, pg. 66
john commented on the word scoring stage
“2.60 What is a scoring stage?—A music-recording stage. This term originated in the motion picture industry”
Audio Cyclopedia by Howard M. Tremaine, Howard W. Sams & Co., 1969, pg. 56
john commented on the word earlash
What my daughter calls her earlobes.
john commented on the word ned
“The drink is favored by young, rowdy men with a taste for making trouble — “neds,” they are called in Scotland.”
The New York Times, For Scots, a Scourge Unleashed by a Bottle, by Sarah Lyall, February 2, 2010
john commented on the word polios
“Some polios, as survivors call themselves, say that post-polio has refocused their minds on how the virus shaped their lives — and sharpened their bittersweet memories.”
The New York Times, For Some Survivors, Polio Won’t Fade Into the Past, by Kirk Johnson, February 2, 2010
hi mollusque, that's a bug, will be fixed soon. at the end of the week we'll also be tweaking the random rules a little, hopefully to make it a bit more satisfying.
February 3, 2010
john commented on the word Stromboli
Thanks to Woody Guthrie as channeled by Billy Bragg and Wilco, this word will always remind me of Ingrid Bergman
Ingrid Bergman, Ingrid Bergman,
let's go make a picture.
On the island of Stromboli,
The past comments link in Zeitgeist should be working now. Getting the history of spaghetti back will take a little more doing, but we're working on it.
john commented on the word tap
“Over the past year and a half, a subculture has evolved, with Christian mixed martial arts clothing brands like Jesus Didn’t Tap (in the sport, “tap” means to give up) and Christian social networking Web sites like Anointedfighter.com. ”
The New York Times, Flock Is Now a Fight Team in Some Ministries , by R.M. Schneiderman, February 2, 2010
We're updating some internals this coming friday and I will do my best to have full comment history restored by then. It's unconscionable that your spaghetti limerick isn't available.
February 2, 2010
john commented on the word Stein's law
“His greatest hope, Mr. Galbraith said, was Stein’s law, named for Herbert Stein, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford.
Stein’s law has been recited in many different versions. But all have a common theme: If a trend cannot continue, it will stop.”
The New York Times, Huge Deficits May Alter U.S. Politics and Global Power, by David E. Sanger, February 1, 2010
Sionnach, I thought we fixed the list sorting bug and am looking into why it's still broken. The Zeitgeist one fell off my radar, I'll look into that too.
Along the lines of what c_b says, part of the reason for our apparent inactivity is that we're rewriting big swaths of the site's internals. Which is necessary for a bunch of reasons and in the long run good for us all, but in the short run unsatisfying because it doesn't add new features and it slows down bug fixing. It's a lot of effort and the rewards are deferred.
I hope you stick around too, or at least drop by every once in a while and see how we're doing.
john commented on the word smart dust
“Years ago, enthusiasts predicted the coming of “smart dust” — tiny digital sensors, strewn around the globe, gathering all sorts of information and communicating with powerful computer networks to monitor, measure and understand the physical world in new ways.”
The New York Times, Smart Dust? Not Quite, but We’re Getting There, by Steve Lohr, January 30, 2010
January 31, 2010
john commented on the word participatory sensing
“Ms. Estrin and her colleagues at the university’s Center for Embedded Networked Sensing have designed several projects that use cellphones and people in data-gathering and analysis. Cellphones, they say, are versatile data collectors and are becoming more powerful all the time — with cameras, GPS, accelerometers and Internet connectivity. Their work is at the forefront of an emerging field called participatory sensing.”
john commented on the word weird nebraska
Sorry r&r—there was a quirk in that link, caused the template to choke on it. Fixed now, link should work.
john commented on the word Llyan
Wow, I had forgotten all about those books. Really loved them when I was a boy--thanks for the reminder. Adding them to the growing list of books and music I can't wait to introduce the tyke to, but which she'll probably roll her eyes at.
john commented on the word iCrapper
Taking your laptop into the john when you're doing your business is unseemly. Problem solved! Get a bit of reading done while you relax on the commode with the iCrapper®.
January 28, 2010
john commented on the word jazzy snazzy pizzazzy whizzbang gizmo
The new iThingy looks like a giant iPhone. Which makes Steve Jobs look like a wee leprechaun when he's holding it.
john commented on the list words-of-the-times
No umbrage taken—I was more like "uh huh. and?"
It's mutual :-)
thanks pro! for a second there i thought you were talking about this list or it's author.
The case of the missing pronunciations will hopefully be solved this weekend--we have a fix on deck. And arby--I was wondering if anyone would notice that :-) Mostly I just wanted to make room for other options, like "post to facebook," but I thought it might be a little negative. Don't want to disrespect the words. Maybe we should add a "caress it gently" option?
January 27, 2010
john commented on the word U2 in the air
*snorts milk through nose*
john commented on the word neegee
“I grew up in a house 200 yards from the Atlantic just outside Monrovia, and we never went into the sea; we left that to the tourists. We were willing to venture into the many lagoons that collected near the country’s beaches, but there was no way we were going to brave the Atlantic, with its rough waves and fierce undertow. Not to mention the underwater neegees — or spirits — waiting to take you off to be eaten by sharks.”
The New York Times, On Liberia’s Shore, Catching a New Wave , by Helene Cooper, January 24, 2010
“When I went to meet Bono at the bar of his hotel, I saw Richard Gere seated at a table with a gorgeous woman in a little fur jacket and a leather cap. Bono, on the other hand, had removed himself to a quiet back room, where he was keeping company with a plump, middle-aged white guy in a suit and tie... This was Randall Tobias, head of the Bush administration's AIDS program.”
That's from a 2005 NYTimes Magazine piece on Bono, and I remember being impressed when I read it at the time. He seems to dig into what he's doing, and actually have an effect. I get the impression it's more than just image polishing.
We're contractually obligated to say nice things about Bono*. He actually owns us**.
Duty aside, I'm ok with both Bono--guy does more good things than I do--and lot of U2, except when they drift into gospel and Americana. Then I want to shoot them. No opinion about the glasses, though I've always thought it must be annoying as hell to have the world tinged light blue.
And love lamé on anyone. I'm wearing a spangly jumpsuit at this very moment.
Pro, that's a good suggestion--that's actually how it's supposed to work :-) I'll fix soonish, though the rate of site updates is going to slow for the next few weeks--we're rebuilding some internal stuff to deal with increasing traffic and to grease the skids for features coming down the pike. I'll try and slip some small fixes in over the next few weeks, but by the end of February more new goodies should start showing up.
john commented on the list sweet-tooth-fairy
Gangerh, you're famous!
January 24, 2010
Hi marky, I can't say exactly when, but we'll be releasing a public API to get the words in lists in the coming weeks. You'll see it announced on 'feedback', and also @wordnikapi.
January 20, 2010
john commented on the word WisCon
“For those who have never attended WisCon before, it is a Feminist Science Fiction Convention held each May in Madison, Wisconsin.”
Geek Feminism, Wiscon panel brainstorming post, by Skud, January 18, 2010
January 19, 2010
john commented on the word nail house
“Millions of Chinese have been uprooted to make way for high rises and government infrastructure projects. “Nail House” is a popular term given to homes of dwellers who refuse to leave though they are surrounded by demolished homes.”
The Los Angeles Times, 'Avatar' pulled from 2-D screens by Chinese government, by Ben Fritz and David Pierson, January 18, 2010
thanks hernesheir--i just fixed that, as it happens, and it'll get released later this week.
Moll, dc, I just upped the allowed description length 10x. Let me know if you're still having trouble updating them.
January 18, 2010
Hi mollusque, there had been a 2,000 character limit on list descriptions. I just upped it to 20,000, let me know if that doesn't do the trick.
john commented on the word air gap
“Security experts say the ideal approach is to carefully identify a corporation’s most valuable intellectual property and data, and place it on a separate computer network not linked to the Internet, leaving a so-called air gap.”
The New York Times, The Lock That Says ‘Pick Me’ , by Steve Lohr, January 17, 2010
john commented on the word spear phishing
“Another approach, one used in the Google attacks, is a variation on so-called phishing schemes, in which an e-mail message purporting to be from the recipient’s bank or another institution tricks the person into giving up passwords. Scammers send such messages to thousands of people in hopes of ensnaring a few. But with so-called spear-phishing, the bogus e-mail is sent to a specific person and appears to come from a friend or colleague inside that person’s company, making it far more believable.”
Hi Sionnach, sorry about the long delay, but we finally dug up the list sorting bug. We'll hopefully have a fix out for it mid-week.
Hi folks, looking into the list description thing right now.
john commented on the word munch
“Munches are informal gatherings hosted by and for straight folks into BDSM; most are hosted by reputable BDSM or sex clubs—Orlando Power Exchange, Los Angeles’ Threshold Society, Seattle’s Center for Sex Positive Culture—and nothing happens at a munch. No sex, no play, just conversation and lunch.”
Savage Love, by Dan Savage, January 13, 2010
January 17, 2010
john commented on the word démarche
“Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who had been the most senior U.S. official to talk of the seriousness of the breach, discussed it on Thursday with a Chinese diplomat in Washington, however, and a senior administration official said there would be a “démarche in coming days” — a diplomatic move.”
The New York Times, After Google’s Loud Stance on China, U.S. Treads Lightly, by David E. Sanger and John Markoff, January 14, 2010
January 15, 2010
john commented on the word lip dub
“A type of video that combines lip synching and audio dubbing to make a music video.” —Wikipedia
January 14, 2010
john commented on the user ruzuzu
hi rzz, note for you over on feedback. profiles and pronunciations should be fixed.
ruzuzu--that was due to a bug. actually a series of bugs--it was related to pronunciations having been busted. it should all be fixed now, sorry for the inconvenience.
john commented on the word reionization
“Astronomers still do not know, however, if they will find enough galaxies and stars in that epoch when the universe was only half a billion years old to have burned off the hydrogen fog. That process is technically known as reionization, in which electrons are stripped from the hydrogen nuclei, making intergalactic space transparent.”
The New York Times, With Updated Hubble Telescope, Reaching Farther Back in Time, by Dennis Overbye, January 11, 2010
January 13, 2010
hi dc, the pronunciation issue should be fixed now.
john commented on the user frogapplause
hi frogapplause, sorry about the pronunciation issue, it's been fixed now. not sure what's up with lists--they're working for me. if you're still having problems saving to a list, could you email me the url?
Hi dc, sorry about your missing prons--could you try logging out and then back in? If you're still not seeing pronunciations or other stuff of yours, could you send me an email with URLs of where it should be appearing, so I can hunt for it?
January 12, 2010
john commented on the word attitudinous
“Everyone knows about the reporting assets and influence of Politico (Politico.com), but you know things have changed when Gawker (gawker.com), the attitudinous Manhattan media blog, is hiring the kind of reporters who pick up the phone.”
The New York Times, After a Year of Ruin, Some Hope, by David Carr, December 20, 2009
January 11, 2010
john commented on the word I miss wordie
Yes, agreed, OneLook is great. Courtesy of Milly's Bookmarklets, here's a OneLook bookmarklet:
Drag the link above to your browser toolbar. Then when you want to view a word from Wordnik (or any other site) on OneLook, highlight it and click the link on your toolbar.
There's an equivalent bookmarklet for searching Wordnik on the Tools page.
Released a few updates last night.
• The Word of the Day page now has links to the previous 20 words of the day. We'll do another update soon and let you page back through all previous words of the day, and update the design of the WotD widget.
• The "take this word and..." dropdown for words now lets you post words to Facebook, and there's now a similar set of options for lists ("take this list and...").
• There's now a Tools section, linked to at the bottom of every page, with links to things like bookmarklets, and three new...
• Google Gadgets, so you can Search Wordnik, View Recent Activity, and see the Word of the Day from your iGoogle page (all those links are to the install pages for the gadgets).
Please let me know if anything is busted, or if you have comments or questions.
Hi Pro, I know I sound like a broken record when I say this, but merging and disambiguation for case and other kinds of variants (plurality, tense, abbreviations, etc.) is high on our priority list. We're in the midst of implementing it in fact, but it's a bit of a hairball and it will be a little while longer before we can release the first version.
john commented on the word catalogue raisonné
“In 2006 Ms. Angell completed the first volume of the catalogue raisonné of Warhol’s films, a book that includes many of Mr. Name’s pictures.”
The New York Times, In Search of an Archive of Warhol’s Era, by Randy Kennedy, January 8, 2010
January 9, 2010
john commented on the word strategic default
“Brent White, a University of Arizona law professor, notes that a family who bought a three-bedroom home in Salinas, Calif., at the market top in 2006, with no down payment (then a common-enough occurrence), could theoretically have to wait 60 years to recover their equity. On the other hand, if they walked, they could rent a similar house for a pittance of their monthly mortgage.
There are two reasons why so-called strategic defaults have been considered antisocial and perhaps amoral.”
The New York Times, Walk Away From Your Mortgage!, by Roger Lowenstein, January 3, 2010
January 8, 2010
john commented on the word features
Yes, absolutely—that's high on my list of things to add back, I used it all the time too.
The old version worked well enough at Wordie scale, but I have to admit, it was a clusterfuck under the hood. So we want to redesign the guts of it before rebuilding. But it's definitely on the list.
January 7, 2010
Hi folks, Tony just rolled out a bunch of internal fixes that should speed things up a bit (and Zeitgeist more than a bit), and also fix some layout issues with IE. And if someone comments on one of your lists, you'll now receive an email about it, which can be turned off from your profile if you prefer.
On deck is an update to Word of the Day, and some more proactive ways of dealing with the spam infestation. In the meanwhile we really appreciate your vigilance, and we'll continue to squash spam accounts manually until we have it under control.
Pro, thanks in particular for spotting a lot of these. Obviously I never got around to deputizing anyone back in the Wordie days—it proved more complicated than I'd thought. Wordnik is more complicated still, and most of our effort is going towards building the corpus and adding features, so opening up the admin is a challenge. But hopefully we'll soon be blocking most of these in the first place, so there will be fewer to catch.
Lastly, we're going to start being more methodical about communicating updates. I'll comment here when we make changes, and you might also want to subscribe to the blog feed and Twitter account (@wordnik), channels we'll be using more regularly from now on.
January 6, 2010
john commented on the word derstand
Yarb, I thought a derstand is where you keep your derwear.
john commented on the word twitterversosphere
closely related to the yadasphere
January 5, 2010
john commented on the word riverine
“In Bangladesh, a largely flat, riverine nation where more than 140 million people live in one of the most densely populated countries in the world, past generations often moved to cities seasonally.”
The New York Times, Environmental Refugees Unable to Return Home, by Joanna Kakissis, January 3, 2010
January 4, 2010
john commented on the word agita
“Tanned and sinewy with sunglasses nesting in his hair, Mr. Joseph looks and sounds like the comedian Ray Romano, minus the agita.”
The New York Times, Real Estate in Cape Coral, Fla., Is Far From a Recovery, by Peter S. Goodman, January 2, 2010
I sometimes announce them here or on words I think are relevant, but I'm not consistent enough about it. We'll figure out a better system for it.
The blog makes sense to me. One possible shortcoming with that is, if we do, say, a weekly roundup, you may have to wait six days to know that the little thing that's been driving you nuts has been fixed. Maybe we should do blog + something else?
john commented on the word hovercraft
“He is tutored privately and takes vocal lessons, the costs underwritten by Island Def Jam records and the silky R & B superstar Usher. His new family includes hovercrafts like Mr. Braun and Ryan Good, a former assistant to Usher, whom the singer handpicked to be Justin’s road manager and “swagger coach” — sharpening his moves, his attitude and his wardrobe.”
The New York Times, Justin Bieber Is Living the Dream, by Jan Hoffman, December 31, 2009
January 3, 2010
kad pwns this. and also this.
January 2, 2010
john commented on the word twittervesophere
kad just claimed that she's now a part of this.
edit: she actually claimed to be part of the twitterversosphere. oops.
john commented on the word 2010
Ga, thanks a lot telofy, I've been stuck in that loop for three hours. But finally... Happy New Year!
January 1, 2010
john commented on the word clowndigger
Digger of clown graves? Clown who digs graves for the people murdered to death by fellow scary clowns?
December 29, 2009
john commented on the word terminal sedation
“Mr. Oltzik’s life would end not with a bang, but with the drip, drip, drip of an IV drug that put him into a slumber from which he would never awaken. That drug, lorazepam, is a strong sedative. Mr. Oltzik was also receiving morphine, to kill pain. This combination can slow breathing and heart rate, and may make it impossible for the patient to eat or drink. In so doing, it can hasten death.
Mr. Oltzik received what some doctors call palliative sedation and others less euphemistically call terminal sedation.”
The New York Times, Hard Choice for a Comfortable Death: Sedation, by Anemona Hartocollis, December 26, 2009
December 27, 2009
john commented on the word assonant
I misread this as assonaut at first.
December 25, 2009
john commented on the word chronotherapy
“Here’s my prediction for the Next Big Thing in health care: chronotherapy, or therapy by the clock. Yes, in the future, your medicines, your operations, your mealtimes and when you step onto the treadmill or the badminton court — all will be overseen by your personal chronoconsultant.”
The New York Times, Enter the Chronotherapists, by Olivia Judson, December 22, 2009
December 24, 2009
john commented on the word ice-cream
High-funs? Yarb, I love you, but I might have to kill you.
December 23, 2009
john commented on the user knitandpurl
Hey k&p! Good to see you around again :-)
john commented on the list down-in-pine-ridge
john commented on the user reesetee
Hi RT, yes, the option for contributors isn't available at the moment. Though now that we have an email notification system it's back in play. No specific timeframe, but will hopefully be available early next year.
December 22, 2009
john commented on the word subitizing
The lesson is intended to teach a skill called subitizing. “The idea,” Dr. Sarama said, “is to get them to recognize quantity — to say, ‘I see three’ — not by counting, but by instantly recognizing how many are there by sight.”
The New York Times, Studying Young Minds, and How to Teach Them, by Benedict Carey, December 20, 2009
December 21, 2009
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