adj. pertaining to the dog days
adj. pertaining to the dog days
Shopping at a mall one afternoon, Dave Morice and his son Danny came across a set of poseable wrestling action figures. One accessory was a breakaway table that came in two jagged halves. The store had a policy that allowed customers to return a broken toy for one that wasn’t broken.
Morice said, “Now here’s a problem. The table comes broken in two. If it wasn’t broken, then it would be broken. In either case, it’s broken.”
Danny said, “Yeah! That means we can take it back any time for a brand-new one.”
“That’s another problem,” Morice said. “They couldn’t replace it with one that wasn’t broken.”
(From Word Ways.)
n. love of money
n. hoarding of money; miserliness
adj. greedy, avaricious
adj. excessively covetous, avaricious, or greedy
In contemporary secretary schools, training emphasizes the inhibition of reading for meaning while typing, on the assumption that such reading will hinder high-speed performance. Some support for this assumption derives from the introspections of champion speed typists, who report that they seldom recall the meaning from the source material incidentally.
— William E. Cooper, Cognitive Aspects of Skilled Typewriting, 2012
We don’t even know the keyboard. A 2013 study at Vanderbilt asked 100 subjects to take a short typing test; they were then shown a blank QWERTY keyboard and given 80 seconds to label the keys. On average they typed at 72 words per minute with 94 percent accuracy but could correctly label only 15 letters on a blank keyboard.
“This demonstrates that we’re capable of doing extremely complicated things without knowing explicitly what we are doing,” said graduate student Kristy Snyder.
It had formerly been believed that typing starts as a conscious process that becomes unconscious with repetition. But it appears that typists never memorize the key locations in the first place.
“It appears that not only don’t we know much about what we are doing, but we can’t know it because we don’t consciously learn how to do it in the first place,” said psychologist Gordon Logan.
(Kristy M. Snyder et al., “What Skilled Typists Don’t Know About the QWERTY Keyboard,” Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics 76:1 [January 2014], 162-171.)
Killed by an omnibus — why not?
So quick a death a boon is.
Let not his friends lament his lot —
Mors omnibus communis.
— Henry Luttrell
(Mors omnibus communis means “Death is common to all men.”)
n. the feeding or fattening of pigs
Science fiction writer Harlan Ellison typed more than 1,700 works using a single finger of each hand. In 1999 Mike Keith set out to learn which words would be easiest for him to type. “Easy” means that successive letters are typed by alternate hands and that the hands travel as little as possible. (See the article for some other technicalities.)
Here are the easiest words of 4 to 13 letters; the score in parenthesis is the total linear distance traveled by the fingers, normalized by dividing by the length of the word (lower is better):
DODO, PAPA, TUTU (0.00)
DODOS, NINON (0.20)
Ellison could easily have used most of these in a story about an infectious disease outbreak in India. But I guess that might have looked lazy.
(Michael Keith, “Typewriter Words,” Word Ways 32:4 [November 1999], 270-277.)
adj. malicious, damnable; devilish
A 55-sided figure is a pentacontapentagon; one with 79 sides is a heptacontaenneagon. A system exists to go even higher: A figure with 9,000 sides is an enakischiliagon, and one with a million is a megagon.
René Descartes suggested the 1,000-sided chiliagon as an example of a thing that can be considered without being explicitly imagined; one “does not imagine the thousand sides or see them as if they were present.” So the intellect is not dependent on imagination.