Nuts to Dough

Just thought I should mention, en passant, that when I referred to misspelled donuts the other day, I was talking about the ones that can't spell "crispy" or "cream", ((And that don't taste at all like proper do[ugh]nuts.)) not the spelling of "donut" itself. I was brought up with it as "doughnut," but I guess…

So, Entitled

In a recent article in the Guardian, this appeared: It is no one’s “destiny” to be a published author. That implies a path laid out for us, an unshakeable future that is planned and unchangeable. And it is entitled. That is a perfectly normal use of the modern sense of the word "entitled," and it…

Little, Feat…

Many songs these days involve one or more other artists guesting with the main one. Rappers adding a part to a singer's track, for example. Nowadays such guests are always credited. Quite rightly: we've come a long way from the days when Billy Preston played keyboards on some Beatles songs uncredited (though visible in the…

Pivoting Around Words

I should start a new category here, for word-use. In fact, having written that, I just have: language (hopefully that link will work once I publish this). Today I want to talk about the word "pivot." As you know, pivot has come, over the last few years, to mean change direction, especially in a political…

“Ping” Pong

When the original Unix designers (or, as it turns out, Mike Muuss) chose ping as the name for the command for checking the status of a network host, it was a moment of inspired genius. The word is almost onomatopoeic in its appropriateness. But nowadays people are pinging each other all over the place: emails,…

Optics

The word "optics" used to mean the science of light. It still does, of course, but it now also refers to “how things look,” in terms of public image and so on. And from what I can tell it has only come into this use in the last year or so. I first heard it…

Criticality Escalation

Part of any kind of bug or problem reporting system is triage: the act of deciding how severe each report is and placing it into the appropriate category. Common categories in software development are things like "Critical," "High," "Medium" and "Low," for example. They would usually be given associated numeric values: probably 1-4, in this…

On the Pronunciation of “X”

Now that the new version of Apple's PC operating system has launched, some thoughts on something that's been bugging me for a while. Apple's OS was called "OS X" from about 2000 or so. At one time it was "Mac OS X," then at some point they dropped the "Mac" part. Now, of course, they're…

Here’s Tae Us

I just heard John Bell of the Iona Community on 'Thought for the Day'. He was talking, since it's St Andrew's day, about the old Scottish saying, or toast, "Here's tae us, wha's like us? Damn few, and they're a' deid." That's, "Here's to us, who's like us? Damn few, and they're all dead," in…