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Messages - Alan W

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Words / Re: verbena?
« on: August 13, 2020, 02:36:22 PM »
The discussion here seemed to reach a consensus that verbena is a reasonably common word, but it has remained in the list of outstanding issues.

It seems that the word appears quite often in general interest publications, especially magazines. I feel most people would have encountered the word even if, like me, they wouldn't have a hope of picking the flower out in an identity parade. I'm going to leave it as a common word.

Words / Re: Recto and Verso
« on: August 13, 2020, 02:23:01 PM »
I've been pondering this, on and off, for the last six years! While plenty of people are familiar with these words, that generally results from some specialist interest. So there would no doubt be plenty of Chi players who don't know the words - apart from seeing them in Chi solutions.

Having considered both sides of the page question, I've decided that recto and verso will be treated as rare words from now on.

Words / Re: Common? Really??
« on: August 11, 2020, 04:15:24 PM »
In oldpaul's email that I quoted, he suggested muumuu should be treated as rare.

It may be that he was thinking of the fact that it's sometimes hyphenated, as muu-muu or written as two words (or should that be one word twice?): muu muu. If these three variant forms were used to a similar extent, that could be a reason for classing muumuu as rare, since some players who know the term might not realise it can be written as a single word. However, it looks to me as if the single word is used far more frequently than either of the other forms.

(The word can also be written mumu, accepted in Chi as a rare word.)

Still, is the word, however written, really common? It seems to be used fairly often in news articles, without any explanation of what a muumuu is. For example, an article last month in the New York Magazine offshoot The Strategist:

"If there was ever a fitting time to embrace the housedress, this housebound moment is it," writes Alexandra Ilyashov in her quest to find the best housedress. She asked a dozen stylish women including writers, stylists, and one former costume designer about the caftans, muumuus, and all other manner of housedresses they wear.

The word is freely used in British publications too. In March this year, The Spectator wrote about Hollywood mogul Jack Warner:

His second marriage was to a monster called Ann, last glimpsed in a muumuu, demanding that her chauffeur stop so that she could gorge herself at a welfare restaurant on chicken wings, much to his humiliation...

I feel things should stay as they are, with muumuu treated as common.

Words / Re: Empiric inconsistency?
« on: August 09, 2020, 02:31:40 PM »
The OED lists many senses for empiric, as both noun and adjective, but almost all of them are labeled as rare, obsolete or historical. As far as I can see the main current use of empiric is in specialist medical writings, as an adjective for medical treatments based solely on empirical results, where the reason for the treatment's effectiveness is unknown or uncertain. E.g. "empiric antibiotic therapy".

In more general contexts, empirical is used vastly more often than empiric. I think empiric should certainly remain in the rare category.

What about empiricist? It's certainly not as common as empirical. And like empiric, it is often found in academic publications. However, while empiric is almost always used in medical journals, empiricist, as both noun and adjective, appears in a great variety of scholarly writings, including publications dedicated to psychology, philosophy, political science, literature, legal studies, physics, etc. I even found the word in the Journal of Sex Research.

Is empiricist a word Chi players would probably know? Maybe it's a bit borderline, but I'm leaning these days to the view that things may as well be left as they are unless there seems to be a compelling reason to change. So I'm not satisfied empiricist should change from its common classification.

Words / Re: Word suggestion: lossless
« on: August 06, 2020, 01:20:11 PM »
Lossless is in lots of dictionaries these days, and it's used often enough in reviews of cameras, sound systems, etc. For instance a review of a bluetooth speaker on a few days ago said:

It even uses the aptX codec for a smoother audio experience and lossless wireless sound.

Lossless will be accepted as a rare word from now on.

Oddly its opposite lossy has always been allowed in Chi. Before its use in relation to data transfer, lossy was used in connection with power transmission, but then so was lossless. In addition, lossless has an obsolete non-technical use, meaning without loss. The OED reports that Milton wrote of "Miraculous and losselesse victories" in 1642.

Whatever / Re: A Technical Conundrum
« on: August 05, 2020, 03:01:18 PM »
Rather than logging out and in again, have you tried clicking on the browser Refresh button? That's the icon like a circular arrow in the top left area of the browser window. At least if that works it will be a bit quicker.

For the problems with Chihuahua, have you set it up to sign in automatically? If not, when you're signed in, click on the Details button just below your player name. Then in the panel that appears, enter your password as "Current password" and put a tick in the box labeled "Sign in automatically on this computer". Then click on OK down the bottom. You could also try switching to the alternate Chihuahua site and see if that's any better.

If you've finished playing, the other players' scores will not keep updating automatically, but you should be able to force an update by clicking on the button - two green arrows curving around each other - at the top of the scoreboard.

Whatever / Re: A Technical Conundrum
« on: August 04, 2020, 08:43:41 PM »
Les, you haven't got cookies blocked on your computer have you? That would possibly cause such problems. How to check this depends on which browser you're using (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari, etc.)

Whatever / Re: A Technical Conundrum
« on: August 02, 2020, 12:07:17 PM »
So the problem is?

From what I can gather, the problem affects some of the domain name servers used by Telstra, so it might be hit and miss as to which sites you can get to. Hopefully they'll be able to fix it soon.

(Telstra is the biggest internet provider in Australia - for the benefit of forumites in other countries.)

Words / Re: cicerone
« on: July 31, 2020, 04:37:38 PM »
Yes, the use of this word seems to have dropped off around the turn of the 20th century (i.e. 1900). It will be rare in future.

Words / Re: salut!
« on: July 31, 2020, 03:41:34 PM »
Salut doesn't seem to have made it into most English dictionaries so far. But it is in the COD, as you say, MK, and in some of the other Oxford dictionaries.

One of the examples given by the OED is from Beautiful Losers, a 1966 novel by Leonard Cohen. (Apparently Leonard Cohen wrote a couple of novels before he began his musical career.)

Salut F., old and loud friend!

A much more recent example is from the site, in a 19 July 2020 article about French rugby:

He encourages French rugby to stick to its independent train of thought that so intrigues and befuddles the British. "...Your best rugby is played by artists not scientists, crafters, not grafters, rule breakers not rule takers."

I think many rugby romantics would raise a glass to that sentiment. Salut.

Salut will be allowed from now on, as a rare word.

Word Games / Re: Jumbo Chihuahua book is out
« on: July 30, 2020, 08:58:46 PM »
You're welcome, Les.

On the website, the 7-by-many puzzle usually has nearly 300 players each day, making it slightly less popular than the 10-letter puzzle - which in turn is less popular than the two 9-letter puzzles. The 7-by-many books have been popular enough for me to release three volumes so far.

You're not the only one who finds it challenging. There are generally a lot fewer rosettes in that puzzle than in any of the others.

Whatever / Re: More or Les (was Bloody Plurals)
« on: July 29, 2020, 07:18:32 PM »
Welcome back, Les. So glad you feel able to join us again, mate.

Words / Re: An inconsistency
« on: July 29, 2020, 02:20:42 PM »
This is similar to the ashier / ashiest issue, just resolved by having both words rare. The same approach seems appropriate here, so limiest will be classed as a rare word from now on.

Words / Re: Another anomaly
« on: July 29, 2020, 02:16:57 PM »
I said a few months ago that I'd deal with this one "soon", but for some reason I didn't. I will now.

It's certainly an inconsistency. Without entering into the question of whether ashy should continue as common, I doubt that ashier and ashiest are common. They're not commonly used at any rate - one hit each in the 1.9 billion word Corpus of Global Web-Based English. Of course anyone seeing either word will know what it means, but if you never have seen one of these words, it's less likely to occur to you when playing Chi.

On balance I think the anomaly should be removed by making ashiest rare.

Words / Re: Empiric inconsistency?
« on: July 29, 2020, 11:55:45 AM »
Empirical is certainly accepted. Empirical, empirically, empiricist and empiricism are all currently classed as common words.

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