adj. How you feel when you step on the scale and discover that you’ve gained two pounds in the last 24 hours.


Numbers, English, and Lazy Programmers

While doing research for an episode you will likely see shortly, I went to YouTube and did a search. This is what I got back:
Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 10.46.47 AM
Note that it says I got “About 1 results”. Obviously, “results” is incorrect. There’s only one result! And About? What’s the standard deviation on that result?

This from a company that was bought by Google for a billion dollars or so. You’d think they’d have someone who could spend five frickin’ minutes to put in

if (results.count == 1) {…

and to only include the word “About” when the code rounds off the number of results (which it does for very large result sets). Neither of those things should be difficult, and I’d be embarrassed if my program were so sloppy. Yet there it is on one of YouTube’s most oft-loaded pages.

MapMyRide.com made a bit more of an effort, but didn’t test all the cases:
Screen Shot 2014-06-08 at 5.13.22 PM

11st place! The rule that works for 1 and 21 doesn’t work for 11. Crazy English and the words we have for the low teens. I sent off a friendly report to MayMyRide letting them know; the bug was in a new feature, and MMR doesn’t have the resources that YouTube does. We’ll see if they fix it before I fall to 13rd place.


Thesaurus bot in action!

Over a stretch of a few hours, my spam blocker flagged messages with the following content:

  • I intended to send you the tiny word to finally say thank you the moment again on your awesome
  • I wanted to send you the little observation so as to thank you very much again regarding the pleasant
  • Needed to compose you a very little remark to help say thanks a lot yet again over the lovely
  • I needed to create you this bit of observation to say thanks over again with the marvelous

There were probably more, but you get the idea. There is a template sentence that might actually be grammatically correct, in which certain words are marked for replacement by thesaurus. For instance, in the above, every line has a replacement for “note”.

Two questions present themselves: What is the actual template, and (more fun) what is the most ridiculous version of the template?

My humble contribution:
“I am pathologically compelled to fire at you this wee missive to once and for all pay you the respect you are due once more for the unbelievable.”



I just received a document named “XXX_final_v2”.


A New Language Low

Many of you out there have heard me rail against the verb ‘login’. You would never say ‘I loginned to the Interwebs.’

‘Log’ is the verb. In the case of technology the verb is followed by a prepositional phrase starting with ‘in’ or ‘into’ to describe where the logging happened.

Thank you, Adobe Systems, for taking my pet peeve to the new absurdity. In an official communication I have been instructed as follows (copy-paste here, so the capitalization is also theirs): Login into Your Account with the ID listed above

Yeah. Login into. Is anybody reading this before it goes out?


Tonight I set up a twitter account. My twitter ID is JerrySeeger.

Why did I finally do it? Here’s my first (and to date, only) tweet, addressed to Antonio Gonzalez of the Associated Press:

@agonzalezAP setup is not a verb! In fact I set up my Twitter account just to say that. #peeve


An Odd Preposition

I noticed this on a bottle of Listerine recently:

“Do not use in children under 12 years of age.”

Do you use Listerine in your children? What about in the other adults in your household? I imagine the writer pondered the correct preposition to employ, and finally settled on ‘in’. Personally, I don’t use Listerine in anything other than my own mouth.