26 September 2007

What rhymes with orange?

So I learned today that the term for words that have no rhyme is "refractory rhyme", which I kind of like because the definition of "refractory" is: stubbornly disobedient; unmanageable. Anyway, I always heard "orange" used as the classic example of a word without a rhyme, but there are actually a lot of others. Among the words listed, I find it interesting that silver and purple are also on the list...what's up with the non-rhyming colors? That seems odd.

I also particularly like the following sentence, used to illustrate that although there is no perfect rhyme for the word "engine", there are a number of near rhymes: "To my chagrin I said to my conjoined twin: 'the tin engine caused quite a din as the wheels did spin, screeching like a violin.'"

On another, tangentially related note...when writing the above I was once again annoyed by the issues raised when using quotation marks and commas/periods. In the first sentence above, for example, should it be "refractory rhyme", or "refractory rhyme," ? The answer seems to be that in the US, it should be the later, but the UK advocates the former. Since I have always thought that the comma/period inside the quotation marks 1) makes no sense and 2) disturbs by sense of symmetry, I am going with the other side of the pond on this one. It was their language first, you know...

04 September 2007

google is weird

Ok, I have extolled the virtues of the Urban Dictionary Word of the Day here before. I was checking it out the other day and the word of the day was:


An abbreviation for underground hip-hop. Originally conceived as a soundalike alternative to "indie," which signifies fey boys with jangly guitars.

Undie is the straight shit, brah. The radio is wack.

basically it means "underground indie" (underground + diminutive of independent).to designate a band which works under the "diy" (do it yourself) theory."

(Please note that the random punctuation in the above is pasted straight from the site. They are not so much for the proof reading over there...)

Anyway, whatever. Not a particularly interesting entry...some days are better than others for the word of the day. I bring it up for this reason: I was viewing the entry via my gmail account. You know how uncle google is constantly montering your messages and providing you with those targeted ads (on the right side of the page) based on the subject of your messages? (and if you didn't know that, you should because that is totally what's happening.) Well, these are a couple of the ads it selected based on the message containing the above definition:

Gay Underwear-Today's Top Choices for Gay Underwear
Men's Modern Underwear

Ok, several things:
  1. What makes underwear gay?
  2. Modern underwear? As opposed to like union suits or something?
  3. Why only men's underwear ads? Nothing for the ladies?
Anyway, I find the whole magically appearing topically related ads disturbing anyway. You have a password so people can't read your email, but google seems to be just kicking back browsing through everybody's business. And I realize that it's a computer recognizing words in the text, not an actual little google minion sitting in a back room hunched over a computer chain smoking and reading emails 20 hours a day, but still. Eyes on your own papers, people.