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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • It's fine to use literally if they're using it correctly. The easiest test is to replace "literally" with "actually". With so much hyperbole and figurative language in web-based writing, it can sometimes be useful to note things that literally happen.

    If you told me that your server fell over, I'd think you meant that it was very slow, or crashed. If you told me that your server literally fell over, then I'd ask if someone tripped over a cable, or there was an earthquake.



    • This is the Internet; my hope of people using words correctly (or, at least, incorrectly with panache) grows ever dim.

      • Look on the bright side, at least they're actually spelling the word out, as opposed to using some screwed up abbreviation. If I see one more person use 'r' and 'u' as words, I'm going to go completely insane.
      • You read /. ...You're either a hopeless sap or just in the death throes of consigning yourself to the grim reality that people really do watch TV instead of reading anymore. You would like John McWorter's new book, "Doing our own Thing", I suspect.
        • When I was visiting Cornell to check them out for grad school in linguistics, there was exactly one person there who appeared even half-sane or even half-human. It was this one black guy who studied creoles, and I exchanged just a few words with him before I was whisked off to meet some doofus. I later found it that 1) It was John McWhorter, and 2) He was packing up his office to leave Cornell, thus displaying the same judgement I had of the place.
  • On a peace conference between Israel and the PLO, Hillary Clinton said "we must literally go the extra mile to make sure this happens".

    So, they're supposed to meet, but then keep driving another mile? Huh?

    Yes, they've taken my nice "literally", and made it mean "emphatically".

    Of course, these are likely the same people who took "bi-partisan" to make it mean "non-partisan". It used to mean that people were really split on an issue, and there's no hope of compromise. Now it means that that the big tw

    • Randal L. Schwartz
    • Stonehenge
  • If you possess, or are developing a love of language that can be described as "crotchety" or "curmudgeonly", you may enjoy Junk English []
  • specious.

    It's almost always used to mean almost exactly the opposite of it's real meaning. I see it used most often for "poorly thought out", "unfounded" or "foolish", when in fact it means "plausable, but flawed" or "deceptively attractive".

    It's such a wonderful word that wraps up a whole paragraph of meaning in a single word. I expect that people will continue to use it wrongly until someday the dictionary writers give up and add one of those other meaning to the dictionary and it'll be all over, the

    • My pet peeve is the corporate misuse of the word "grow" to mean "increase". Drives me crazy.
      • Yeah, people who say "grow the business" should be empowered to spend all their time at home away from real work.

        The mega-corp I work for started using the word "frontlog" (don't run for your dictionary, I don't believe it's in there) awhile back. Makes me want to vomit. It's like backlog, but you don't really have signed contracts for it yet. It's exactly the same a "prospective sales", but I guess that sounds too indefinite. Backlog is a really good thing to have and I guess frontlog is just a little