Being a foreigner myself, naturalized in '60 or so, and having gotten
through the school system without aid of ESOL and other programs designed to
make it easy to communicate without ever having learned the language in a
rigorous way, I guess I'm oversensitized to syntax errors of this type.
They're a petty annoyance the way spelling once was, but now that so many
folks filter out their own spelling and "typer-geographical" errors the ones
that the spell-checker can't catch are all that remain. It's painful to me
to see one use 'wrote' when what's meant is 'rote' and that sort of
Once in a while I have to jump someone for comitting such a sin.
Your defense is unnecessary, since it's only by coincidence that I happened
to jump on this error, having seen it several times over the past few weeks.
However, the sense I got was the MS was being dogged because of its lack of
a delta, i.e innovation and its proclivity to do so ad nauseum. If you
misspell/mistype a word now and again, it's no big deal these days.
This particular expression is use so much without a thought as to its actual
meaning. I'm not entirely certain how the term slough became associated
with an indeterminate but large number, but that seems to be what is meant.
I guess it started with someone referring to ducks or frogs or mosquitoes.
There once was a daily or weekly vignette on NPR, in which the host, named
John Ciardi (pronounced CHARDY, tough I'm guessing at the spelling)
presented the entymology of commonly used linguistic constructs like this
example. I don't believe I ever heard his take on this one.
Though computers have relieved us of the burden of learning proper
orthography, it's well remembered that the spelling gives indication as to
the meaning only if it's correct.
----- Original Message -----
From: allisonp <allisonp(a)world.std.com>
Sent: Saturday, April 08, 2000 10:28 AM
Subject: Re: !Re: Nuke Redmond!
>available and more used in the U.S. than anywhere else. Consequently
>techniques spread. I doubt programming will ever
be freed from the
"mystical art" or "right-brain activity" long enough to allow the
introduction of discipline. I'm beginning to believe that programming is
more a disease than an engineering discipline. It seems more folks get
it indirectly and almost against their own wishes.
Thank goodness that
stick with it long enough to generate the tools we
all use and love to
This is a good point. I write code, lots of it. I'm a hardware person so
one of those that really do not see myself as programmer save for I'm
to! Also while I do see hardware as art (right brain)
programming for me
mostly mechanical/procedural and IDEs drive me nuts
for that reason.
On the other hand, in the last 10 years there have been more lines of code
generated the likely the preceeding 20 years and so on. The need to solve
problems does force this forward.
> The project he's on is a complete
disaster as the manager went for a
> Microsoft solution using slews of programs communicating via COM,
> DCOM, OLE and other alphabet soup of Microsoft technology. A year
> later and it still doesn't work and my friend has basically told the
> manager it has to be scrapped and done from scratch, preferably
> using something other than Microsoft (although my friend might have
> a slight bias).
BTW, your apparent juxtaposition of one word for its homomymn, and it
happens all too often with this particular one.
There's this term,
pronounced "sloo" which is often misspelled "slew" but which should
"slough" also pronounced "sloo" meaning a swamp or quagmire.
To me fyi, SLEW is my word of choice for things that have a delta, IE:
any moving target. MS interfaces are clearly slewed over time.
While it must bother some as misuse, I read it as both usages as
one rather funny pun. It is a quagmire and also there are a rather large
collection of goo all adhering to the mess called Windows. Got any
The idea of a windowing system, thank xerox parc for that, apple and MS
put it in front of people when hardware to run it got reasonable, it was a
historically "windowing" was the killer idea just like visicalc and easy
use databases (dbase) that needed to happen to get a
lot of computers
on more than desks of computer savy people.