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Reblogged:Four Amusing Things

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A Friday Hodgepodge

1. Absent the expertise of the good people at the Speculative Grammarian, we must make do with Mark Liberman's analysis of the phonetic properties of James Comer's (R-KY) malapropism quid pro crow during an interview.
Image by Chris Frazee and Margaret McFall-Ngai, via Wikimedia Commons, license.
It's possible that there was some Freudian priming of the slip, based on reverberations of Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Stern's clever 4/13/2023 Slate title "Quid Pro Crow", about the relationship of Clarence Thomas and Harlan Crow.

But in any case, once attention is drawn to this phrase, it has some phonetic properties worth highlighting. [links omitted]
I'm with the commenter who said, "In a perfect world, he'd have said 'squid pro crow'."

2. I wish there were an English equivalent to this French Canadian linguistic gender hack:
In Canadian French there's an easy remedy if you can't recall what the gender of a noun is: just insert some profanity.

Québécois vulgarity tends to be inserted between the article and the verb, in a sort of semi-adjective form. So if you forgot if le porte or la porte was correct, you'd say l'ostie de porte which translates roughly to "the goddamn door" but lets you collapse le or la into l' and avoid the error altogether.
If English had something like this, we might have a ready reply to busybodies who introduce themselves with "preferred pronouns" -- i.e., by opening conversations with strangers with the subjects of sex and politics.

3. Fellow Seinfeld fans might like this short list of rarely-mentioned George quotes. My favorite of these is, "I don't think there's ever been an appointment in my life where I wanted the other guy to show up."

4. An article about record-high levels of people switching to iPhones made me think of two things: pocket mode and Benjamin Button's review of the new Macbook Pro:
The most obvious change is the redesigned keyboard. Removing the Touchbar creates room for a row of physical function buttons and, in a nice touch, an escape key. This isn't a perfect solution: the function buttons map to a confusing series of actions that can send windows flying around the screen with an errant keystroke, and the new physical off switch is too close to the backspace key. But it is certainly a huge step forward, and it will be interesting to see how software developers take advantage of this clever new feature.
The above isn't the funniest part of the review, but it reminds me of automotive touchscreen insanity in addition to Android's customer-base-killing mode (which is non-optional (!) for many locked-down American phones) and countless other strange, modern misapplications of new technology.

Even I am tempted to switch, but there are too many things I can't do anywhere near as easily in Apple's overly restrictive ecosystem.

-- CAV

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