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"English as she is spoke", Our language and its quirks
nipper
post Posted: Aug 3 2019, 03:19 PM
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In Reply To: nipper's post @ Aug 3 2019, 02:34 PM

.... Barnard writes in the book’s introduction,
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“The language of the convicts endures. Words such as seedy, serve, snitch, snooze, square and stash are now commonplace. Slang contributed to the shaping of an Australian identity: danna, meaning human excrement, gave way to dunny. Togs became ‘swimming costume’. Ridge — gold—became ridgy didge — ‘genuine, good’. Larking probably became ‘larrikin’. Swag is the origin of ‘swagman’. And grog still means grog.’’

The dictionary offers insights into the rich idiom and lives of Australia-bound convicts. Under the entry for “bashed”, we learn that while a convict wife could ask to be removed from an abusive husband, a free married woman was denied such protection.

That officials and magistrates could not understand convicts’ slang reflected the colonies’ rigid class divisions. “The irony,’’ says Barnard, “is the slang is highly imaginative. It’s not indicative of a lower intelligence. It’s painfully funny and clever.’’

But it’s not all irreverent half-puns and sly banter. Some entries allude to the penal system’s undeniable brutalities. “Twisted’’, for example, is a reference to hanged prisoners who slowly twisted to death when the noose caught them under the chin.

This horrific scenario was “quite common’’ in Australia during the transportation era, says Barnard. The longest-serving British executioner was a Tasmanian convict who “hanged all of his victims at the same length, regardless of their weight. So botched executions were pretty common. Really awful. Painful, terrifying. But the black humour takes hold."


Does Barnard have favourite “flash” terms?
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“There are lots of terms I like,’’ he replies. “One that comes to mind is ‘to star the glaze’ for breaking a shop window. Other terms like ‘hopperdockers’ for shoes, is really fun — barefoot people hopped to dock their feet.’’


QUOTE
James Hardy Vaux was hardly a typical convict, forced to live on the breadline during the grimmest days of the industrial revolution, and stealing to survive.

Born in 1782 in Surrey, England, Vaux was the son of a London butler and grandson of a lawyer. He was relatively well-educated, [but] ......by Vaux’s “own admission, he was guilty of ‘buzzing, dragging, sneaking, hoisting, pinching, smashing, jumping, spanking and starring’,” — convict slang for different forms of theft, forgery and issuing counterfeit money. With a weakness for gambling, drinking and whoring, Vaux also boasted he was involved in illegal activities such as “the letter-racket, the order-racket and the snuff-racket”.

However, his most startling pursuits were literary: in 1812, while at Newcastle’s Penal Station, he compiled an extensive dictionary of convict slang — the cant or “flash” language which transported felons used to describe and disguise their crimes.




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"Every long-term security is nothing more than a claim on some expected future stream of cash that will be delivered into the hands of investors over time. For a given stream of expected future cash payments, the higher the price investors pay today for that stream of cash, the lower the long-term return they will achieve on their investment over time." - Dr John Hussman

"If I had even the slightest grasp upon my own faculties, I would not make essays, I would make decisions." ― Michel de Montaigne

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nipper
post Posted: Aug 3 2019, 02:34 PM
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QUOTE
SLANG TERMS USED BY TRANSPORTED CONVICTS

Boned: Taken into custody; apprehended.

Breaking up of the spell: Pickpockets of “the lower order” would descend on theatres at the end of a performance, in order to prey on departing patrons.

Bum trap: Bailiffs who walked behind sheriffs and “caught” their farts.

Cardinal: A lady’s silk cloak.

Kid-rig: To use deception to steal from young errand and delivery boys.

Bunce, blunt or lour: Money.

Under the arm pits: To commit crimes, such as petty larceny, that would attract a maximum sentence of seven years’ transportation. By following this system, thieves avoided the halter, or noose, “which certainly is applied above the armpits”, for bigger thefts.

Flesh-bag: A shirt.

High-Toby: Highway robbery conducted exclusively on horseback.

Lushy-cove: A drunk man or woman.

Lush-crib or lush-ken: Gin shops or pubs. Convicts were banned from pubs, so some dressed as sailors or soldiers “to get around the rules’’. If caught, they could be flogged or sentenced to hard labour.

Mott or blowen: A prostitute. “Blowen may derive from the German word bluhen, meaning bloom or blossom, or from beluni, Romani for ‘a sister in debauchery’. Prostitutes may have also been called blowens because their reputation had been ‘blown’.”

Blow the gaff: To reveal another’s secrets or crimes out of revenge or another motive.

Beaks: Magistrates. “May have originated in the 17th century when magistrates wore beak-shaped masks stuffed with herbs and spices to prevent them contracting the bubonic plague from prisoners”.

Rump’d: Flogged or scourged.

Ruggins’s: To go to bed.

Oliver is in town: “The moon was nicknamed Oliver because of the likeness it bears to the letter O.’’ Bright, moonlit nights were considered “unfavourable to depredation’’.

Adapted from the new edition of James Hardy Vaux’s 1819 Dictionary of Criminal Slang, featuring additions by Simon Barnard.

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/arts/revie...b1b44a8c50c0da9

James Hardy Vaux’s 1819 Dictionary of Criminal Slang and other Impolite Terms as used by the Convicts of the British Colonies of Australia, by Simon Barnard, Text Publishing, $29.99, is out on August 20



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"Every long-term security is nothing more than a claim on some expected future stream of cash that will be delivered into the hands of investors over time. For a given stream of expected future cash payments, the higher the price investors pay today for that stream of cash, the lower the long-term return they will achieve on their investment over time." - Dr John Hussman

"If I had even the slightest grasp upon my own faculties, I would not make essays, I would make decisions." ― Michel de Montaigne
 
nipper
post Posted: Jul 20 2019, 12:54 PM
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this could go in Technology or Semantic Shift ir A Big Wank, but I'll plonk it here. (and gain bonus relevance for the appositeness, what with the 50th Anniversary of the 20th C defining moment about to happen)

Silicon Valley has hijacked the language of space by Thomas Haigh
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On the radio recently, I heard a TED lecture by the implausibly named Astro Teller who, according to his website, enjoys an equally idiosyncratic list of accomplishments: novelist, entrepreneur, scientist, inventor, speaker, business leader, and IT expert. That talk concerned his day job: "Captain of Moonshots" at X (formerly Google X, now a separate subsidiary of its parent company Alphabet).

Teller briefly paid homage to President Kennedy and the huge scope of the real moonshot achieved by the Apollo program of the 1960s. He promotes X as a "moonshot factory," able to regularly deliver Apollo-style triumphs at the intersection of "huge problems, breakthrough technologies, and radical solutions."

Teller stressed the classic Silicon Valley ideal of failing fast and taking this as a learning opportunity. His most dramatic example of an X moonshot that failed admirably was that staple technology of alternate worlds, an airship "with the potential to lower the cost, time, and carbon footprint of shipping".

According to Teller, X achieved the "clever set of breakthroughs" needed to mass produce robust, affordable blimps, but gave up after estimating a cost of "$US200 million ($287 million) to design and build the first one" which was "way too expensive". X relies on "tight feedback loops of making mistakes and learning and new designs". Spending that much "to get the first data point" was not remotely possible.

“This guy doesn't know what the moonshot was," I thought.

Teller's pragmatic, iterative, product-driven approach to innovation may be more ambitious than anything underway at Facebook or Twitter but is nevertheless the exact opposite of what the US did after Kennedy charged it to "commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth".

The effects of the moon landings still resonate 50 years later. Letting Silicon Valley steal the term "moonshot" for projects with quite different management styles, success criteria, scales, and styles of innovation hurts our collective ability to understand just what NASA achieved 50 years ago and why nothing remotely comparable is actually under way today at Google, or anywhere else.

The moonshot was a triumph of management as much as engineering. Meeting a fixed launch deadline meant working backward to identify the points by which thousands of sub-systems had to be ready for testing and integration, and further back to the dates by which they had to be designed and ordered. Teller stressed the need to prototype rapidly and cheaply and to be ready to kill any "moonshot" in its early stages, but NASA agreed to non-negotiable goals for time (by the end of 1969) and scope (landing and returning a man) without building testable prototypes.

When Kennedy announced those objectives in 1961, NASA had achieved just 15 minutes of manned flight in space and its managers had not even decided whether to launch a single integrated spacecraft or send up modules to assemble in Earth orbit. One cannot plan out a schedule that depends on fundamental scientific breakthroughs, since those do not occur on a fixed timescale.

A project of that kind is about spending money to mitigate risk, by pushing existing technologies to levels of performance, reliability, or miniaturisation that would not otherwise be economically practical. Given a choice of two technologically workable ways to do something, NASA would take the better-proven and more expensive way.
https://www.afr.com/technology/technology-c...20190711-p526fb ....- full article behind paywall; originally at ... https://cacm.acm.org/

other bits
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Nothing economically viable or practical deserves to be called a moonshot. Scaled up for the size of the US economy, a similarly impressive investment today would be approximately $US600 billion. Apollo was a monumental accomplishment, like the construction of the Pyramids.
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I am having a hard time imagining Kennedy's famous speech working as a .... pitch to "make the world a better place by spending billions dollars to harvest 381 kilos of rocks".
and ...
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Alphabet has the money to fund something close to a real moonshot, if its investors allowed it. In 2015 its total spending on non-core business, not just the "moonshot factory" but potentially vast emerging business areas like fibre-optic Internet service, life sciences, home automation, venture capital, and self-driving cars, accounted for only approximately 5 per cent of its revenues.




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"Every long-term security is nothing more than a claim on some expected future stream of cash that will be delivered into the hands of investors over time. For a given stream of expected future cash payments, the higher the price investors pay today for that stream of cash, the lower the long-term return they will achieve on their investment over time." - Dr John Hussman

"If I had even the slightest grasp upon my own faculties, I would not make essays, I would make decisions." ― Michel de Montaigne
 
nipper
post Posted: Jul 10 2019, 07:25 PM
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QUOTE
There is an old army joke about a sergeant-major who asks his platoon whether any of them are interested in music. When four hands go up, the sergeant says “Right, lads. You can carry this grand piano down to the officers’ mess.”

Job recruitment has become more sophisticated since that story first did the rounds. Today’s careers require a lot more than just raw muscle, but that sometimes makes jobs hard to define. The unfortunate result is a form of “adjective inflation” in recruitment ads as employers attempt to make routine tasks sound exciting.

Candidates must sometimes wonder whether they are applying for a 9-to-5 role or to become part of the Marvel Avengers franchise. On the Indeed website, a cocktail bar recently was looking for “bartenders who are people-focused, quality-driven, (and) have superhero hospitality powers”. The ability to give customers the correct change was not mentioned. Another company advertised for “a call-centre ninja, a superhero in people”, a job description that sounds a little over-the-top for what was in fact a role at an insurance broker.

Lest you think that ad was an aberration, Indeed also featured jobs for “a black-belt prioritisation ninja”, and another demanding a “ninja-like attention to detail”. Short of turning up for the interview dressed from head-to-toe in black, and then sneaking up behind the managing director at his desk, it is hard to see how candidates could demonstrate their ninja-ness.

Not all companies require candidates to possess the qualities of a Japanese warrior, of course. Instead, in an echo of the 1960s slogan “make love, not war”, they require applicants to be passionate. The Bluewater shopping mall in southeast England was looking for “passionate sales-driven brand ambassadors” while “passionate crew members” were needed at a pretzel bakery in west London for a wage of only £8.23 ($14.75) an hour.

When it comes to work, passion may not always be the most appropriate emotion. Would patients prefer a “passionate” surgeon or one renowned for keeping a cool head? As emotions go, pride in one’s performance seems important, as does a degree of empathy for colleagues and other people (customers, patients, readers) affected by what you do. In any case, passion is pretty hard to maintain consistently for 40 hours a week, month after month. There are undoubtedly jobs in the caring professions where people’s devout belief in the social usefulness of their role persuades them to put up with long hours and low pay. But selling pretzels or shoes is not in the same category.

Instead of talking about passion, employers should really be asking for enthusiasm. Workers may not learn to love their jobs but with the right attitude they can get enjoyment from the simple act of performing their task well. As well as keeping workers content, it should be enough for most bosses.

Alas, another newish management mantra is “bring your whole self to work”. This slogan, dreamt up by Mike Robbins, a motivational speaker, seems well intentioned. ..........
in The Economist ... then in https://www.theaustralian.com.au/life/read-...9c925d9c897cfca

making it easier to allow the eyes glaze over!



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"Every long-term security is nothing more than a claim on some expected future stream of cash that will be delivered into the hands of investors over time. For a given stream of expected future cash payments, the higher the price investors pay today for that stream of cash, the lower the long-term return they will achieve on their investment over time." - Dr John Hussman

"If I had even the slightest grasp upon my own faculties, I would not make essays, I would make decisions." ― Michel de Montaigne
 
mullokintyre
post Posted: May 7 2019, 02:40 PM
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In Reply To: triage's post @ May 7 2019, 02:24 PM

Yea, I got the subtelty in that Triage.
Nice one.
Mick



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sent from my Olivetti Typewriter.
 
triage
post Posted: May 7 2019, 02:24 PM
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In Reply To: mullokintyre's post @ May 7 2019, 12:26 PM

Mick - I was thinking the same thing. I've known a couple of wallopers who've worked in a PM's protection unit. I would think the bloke on duty will cop some stick from his mates and perhaps a bit more from his boss. The young lass with the egg looks harmless enough and generally we expect our bodyguards to be a bit more discreet than say the yanks. But still, that's a breach.

(also my "shocking!" was not my reaction but more a weak attempt at a play on the journo using "unphased" [as in electricity] in place of "unfazed").



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"The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent." John Maynard Keynes

"The crisis takes a much longer time coming than you think, and then it happens much faster than you would have thought." Rudiger Dornbush

Mozart fixes everything and Messi is a dog
 


mullokintyre
post Posted: May 7 2019, 12:26 PM
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In Reply To: triage's post @ May 7 2019, 12:15 PM

Looking at the news footage, doesn't show the body guards in a great light.
Kinda shows how easy it would be to actually do some harm to a PM.
Someone with a knife rather than an egg would probably have a more tragic outcome.
Interesting that the protester was thrown out of the building rather than being arrested (at least the news report mentioned nothing about being arrested).
Mick



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sent from my Olivetti Typewriter.
 
triage
post Posted: May 7 2019, 12:15 PM
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"He appeared unphased in the minutes after the incident..."

Shocking!

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-07/scot...-trail/11087174

The protestor probably used an organic free range egg, if she'd only used a cheap cage egg the eggshell would not have been so hard to crack.



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"The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent." John Maynard Keynes

"The crisis takes a much longer time coming than you think, and then it happens much faster than you would have thought." Rudiger Dornbush

Mozart fixes everything and Messi is a dog
 
nipper
post Posted: May 3 2019, 12:06 PM
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In Reply To: triage's post @ May 3 2019, 11:47 AM

ha ha. Very droll, Monsieur Blagueur



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"Every long-term security is nothing more than a claim on some expected future stream of cash that will be delivered into the hands of investors over time. For a given stream of expected future cash payments, the higher the price investors pay today for that stream of cash, the lower the long-term return they will achieve on their investment over time." - Dr John Hussman

"If I had even the slightest grasp upon my own faculties, I would not make essays, I would make decisions." ― Michel de Montaigne
 
triage
post Posted: May 3 2019, 11:47 AM
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From the ABC about Adani hitting a hurdle on how it will look after a native finch at its proposed coal mine.

"Last night, the proposed coal mine was dealt a massive blow when the Queensland Department of Environment and Science (DES) rejected Adani's current management plan for the southern black-throated finch. It told the Indian miner ..."

In the ACT there is an active trapping and killing campaign for the introduced bird pest, the Indian Myna. It seems like the Indian Miner is being as much of a pest for both major political parties and apparently for a native finch as the Indian Myna is for native birds in general.



--------------------
"The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent." John Maynard Keynes

"The crisis takes a much longer time coming than you think, and then it happens much faster than you would have thought." Rudiger Dornbush

Mozart fixes everything and Messi is a dog

Said 'Thanks' for this post: nipper  
 
 


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