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Agentgonzo
There's no pee in catheter!
Wed 25th Apr '07 10:56AM
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General was bold enough to comment:
Me and the missus have been talking and we can't decide what would happen if you fell in a vat of oil and needed to swim to the side.



I was thinking that you'd probably not have a lot of time to swim to the side if you fell into a vat of boiling oil. Then I realised that you didn't mention that it was boiling. I like the way that my mind inserts words into sentences to make them make more sense to me.
  

Emo Squid
sanctus, sanctus, sanctus
Wed 25th Apr '07 11:35AM
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Sorry, i forgot to ask a question! I used to live near a fish shop called 'Murgatroyds'.

http://www.murgatroyds.co.uk/

There is also a phrase 'heavens to murgatroyd'.

http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/7/messages/593.html

I would like to know the etymology of the word 'murgatroyd'.

Diziet
optical moose
Wed 25th Apr '07 11:45AM
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murgatroyd comes from a clan who lived high up on the yorkshire moors hundreds of years ago.

it derives from the name of the area: moor-gate-royd (way to the clearing on the moor).

so there!


Emo Squid
sanctus, sanctus, sanctus
Wed 25th Apr '07 12:27PM
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Diziet was bold enough to comment:
murgatroyd comes from a clan who lived high up on the yorkshire moors hundreds of years ago.

it derives from the name of the area: moor-gate-royd (way to the clearing on the moor).

so there!





Why have we never discussed this before?! That has puzzled me for time, yo.

Diziet
optical moose
Wed 25th Apr '07 12:30PM
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Emo Squid was bold enough to comment:


Diziet was bold enough to comment:
murgatroyd comes from a clan who lived high up on the yorkshire moors hundreds of years ago.

it derives from the name of the area: moor-gate-royd (way to the clearing on the moor).

so there!





Why have we never discussed this before?! That has puzzled me for time, yo.



not sure. i would've thought it might have come up at some point especially as you're a man o' t'moors!



do i have to ask a question now?

Diziet
optical moose
Wed 25th Apr '07 1:20PM
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okay, i'm sure its been asked before but:

how much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Amanshu*
Giggity Giggity goo
Wed 25th Apr '07 1:20PM
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Diziet was bold enough to comment:

do i have to ask a question now?



Ooooo! An easy one!

No you don't.

Unless you have a question that's always bugged you but you've never got around to finding out the answer...
   

Spanners*
Misses his big brother :(
Wed 25th Apr '07 1:32PM
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Diziet was bold enough to comment:
how much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?


I believe it's 14 imperial bushels

Who let the dogs out?
    

Emo Squid
sanctus, sanctus, sanctus
Wed 25th Apr '07 1:43PM
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14 Imperial bushels = 509 162.29 millilitres

Diziet
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Wed 25th Apr '07 1:53PM
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Spanners was bold enough to comment:

Who let the dogs out?



WOO WOO-WOO!

i'd say monty burns, but if memory serves he actually released the hounds.

Epicure_mammon
I'm not crazy cause I take the RIGHT pills :)
Wed 25th Apr '07 2:07PM
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Two questions (sorry I'm greedy) -

Why is belly button fluff always blue - regardless of the colour of your attire?

And, less interestingly, in written music, if a note is sharpened or flattened during the course of the piece its called an "accidental" - why is it called that if it isn't an accident?
  

Emo Squid
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Wed 25th Apr '07 2:26PM
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Why is belly button fluff always blue - regardless of the colour of your attire?



http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/10/04/1033538773474.html



And, less interestingly, in written music, if a note is sharpened or flattened during the course of the piece its called an "accidental" - why is it called that if it isn't an accident?



'Accidental' can be defined as something "taking place not according to the usual course of things", such as an accidental note: it occupies the same position on the staff, but is not the same note according to the key signiture. For example, the B Major scale, played in the key signiture of C would contain 5 sharp notes or 'accidentals' yet the same scale played in the key signiture of B would contain no accidentals. I hope that makes sense.

Edit: Don't confuse key signiture with 'key', they are quite different! Sorry to complicate things. Bloody music, such a complicated language!

Diziet
optical moose
Wed 25th Apr '07 6:53PM
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Epicure_mammon was bold enough to comment:

And, less interestingly, in written music, if a note is sharpened or flattened during the course of the piece its called an "accidental" - why is it called that if it isn't an accident?



because most musicians are ripped to the tits when they write their songs.

for example, Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix started out as a simple ode to air fresheners in E major. however, after ingesting half of Southern California's LSD supply he found himself unable to play E major and so instead chopped out an E minor to A major progression that culminated in him screaming the words 'excuse me while i kiss this guy' (the guy in question being the man who supplied the LSD in the first place)

similarly, Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb began life as a straightforward song about Roger Waters being treated for an abcess under his lower right molar. the original version had only two chords (A major and D major) and lasted 30 seconds. following a particularly outrageous smack-bashing session the song transformed into an E minor, D major, C to A minor ditty and went on for two weeks. of course, in this case, the change to a minor note is called acci-dental.

the only exception to this rule are Metallica who always play in E minor. they are not driven to resort to E minor, or indeed any minor chords, by smack, LSD or even Joss Ackland's Spunky Backpack. metallica are driven by pure, unfiltered RAGE! (well, they used to be. these days they seem to be motivated by internet piracy. everyone needs a hobby i suppose)

Diziet
optical moose
Tue 12th Jun '07 10:16AM
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Britain: 'I couldn't care less!'

America: 'I could care less!'

why do Americans say this when it clearly makes no sense?

Malcolm*
My ape goosed a Bishop. Who are you?
Tue 12th Jun '07 10:36AM
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I've always assumed the British version is literal but the American one is sarcastic. I've no idea how we might test that, though.
   

Feign
It's your time you're wasting!
Tue 12th Jun '07 10:55AM
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Malcolm was bold enough to comment:
I've always assumed the British version is literal but the American one is sarcastic. I've no idea how we might test that, though.



It would appear you're right - http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-ico1.htm - this seems to be the popular opinion on the subject.
 

Malcolm*
My ape goosed a Bishop. Who are you?
Tue 12th Jun '07 11:15AM
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Feign was bold enough to comment:


Malcolm was bold enough to comment:
I've always assumed the British version is literal but the American one is sarcastic. I've no idea how we might test that, though.



It would appear you're right - http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-ico1.htm - this seems to be the popular opinion on the subject.



Feign, what a brilliant website - thank you! There's a huge amount I could read there. (But I haven't quite dared to see whether toad in the hole is in there, lest The Great Toad In The Hole Hoax be unveiled for the sham that it was. But I've said too much...)
   

Diziet
optical moose
Tue 12th Jun '07 12:16PM
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Malcolm was bold enough to comment:
the American one is sarcastic.




i don't get this.

how is it sarcastic? surely sarcasm is used to make the recipient feel uncomfortable, undermined and stupid.

saying 'i could care less' makes the speaker sound like they lack a basic understanding of what this phrase means i.e 'there is nothing in the world that means less to me'.

what the americans say actually means 'there are things in the world that mean less to me'.

unless there is some ultimately sublime form of sarcasm going on here that i can't possibly comprehend, i'm not buying it.


Feign
It's your time you're wasting!
Tue 12th Jun '07 1:50PM
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What about "It's the least I could do"?

Surely the least anyone can do is nothing. I understand that its often meant as in, given that person X has done something that person Y feels obliged to perform some action in return usually benefical to both parties, e.g. "You gave me your last fig roll, so the least I could do is give you the last of my marmite". However, it is an incorrect statement. A more accurate statement in the given example would be: "You gave me your last fig roll, hahaha! You fool, now I have a delicious fig roll and you have nothing! Nothing!" or to simply feast on the fig roll and never consider doing anything in return, ever.

As an alternative to saying "it's the least I could do" in the situation where reciprocal action is merited, we should say "I felt obliged."
e.g. Diz: You didn't have to give me your marmite
Feign: Well you gave me the last fig roll, I felt obliged

So, why don't we use the more gentlemanly sounding "I felt obliged"?
 

Diziet
optical moose
Tue 12th Jun '07 2:12PM
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Feign was bold enough to comment:

e.g. Diz: You didn't have to give me your marmite
Feign: Well you gave me the last fig roll, I felt obliged

So, why don't we use the more gentlemanly sounding "I felt obliged"?



i think a truer exchange would be:

Diz: get that bloody marmite away from me!
Feign: never! and i've dipped a fig roll in it too! MWA-HA-HA!!!

i agree with the last sentence though.

Allen Key
Stagnating, like a packet of crisps on the roof.
Tue 12th Jun '07 2:35PM
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Feign was bold enough to comment:
What about "It's the least I could do"?

Surely the least anyone can do is nothing.



I see what you're saying, but in this context, surely it means 'you gave me your last fig roll and in order to fully reciprocate this supreme manifestation of philanthropy, by rights I should offer you my first born child and make you King of Mesopotamia. But sadly, I have neither offspring nor monarchial authority in the Mesopotamian region. All I have is the scrapings of a jar of Marmite. Therefore, the least I can do is give you the last of my Marmite, in the full knowledge that you deserve more.'

I haven't put that very well because I have to go to the dentist now. But I know what I mean.
 

Emo Squid
sanctus, sanctus, sanctus
Tue 12th Jun '07 3:18PM
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Hmmm... I've just been on a ladder safety course, so could really do with a trivial debate!

I've always been of the understanding that 'the least I can do' for somebody is, err, I'm sorry.... my brian appears to have stopped working all together due to H&S overload.
I do have a point to make, I'll just have to return to this when I'm in fit state to articulate my point!

Feign
It's your time you're wasting!
Tue 12th Jun '07 3:35PM
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Allen Key was bold enough to comment:

Therefore, the least I can do is give you the last of my Marmite, in the full knowledge that you deserve more.'




But it would still be true (if despicable) to say "... the least I can do is nothing, even in the full knowledge that you deserve more."

It sounds much more dapper to say "... I feel obliged to give you the last of my Marmite, in the full knowledge that you deserve more."

Plus with the latter you get to wear a top hat and a monocle, which I'm sure we all would agree is the most important thing here and indeed for any discussion.
 

General*
Windows Bob - the best!
Tue 12th Jun '07 5:57PM
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I believe that the phrase is a contraction of "It was the least I could do in the circumstances"

This doesn't make it more true, but I'm sure that Kate Fox would say that it is part of the English need for knowing self deceit. The example would be:

"Oh you're too kind"
"It was the least I could do"

This is clearly not true, but to reply with "Yes I know I'm great aren't I!" or "Well I didn't want to but I felt guilty/obliged" isn't polite because it breaks the English social convention of not directly acknowledging social contracts and self depreciation/modesty.

Other examples would be the: "oh and one for yourself" pretending not to tip a barman when really you are and the tendency for English women to reply to a complement with self depreciation followed by "but I love your X".
    

Spanners*
Misses his big brother :(
Tue 3rd Jul '07 10:07AM
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OK here's a couple:
What does 'seeded' mean in relation to a tennis championship? They keep saying it on Wimbledon.
Also when an MP gets put in the cabinet who looks after his/her constituency? And if they lose a local election do they have to leave the cabinet?
    

Diziet
optical moose
Tue 3rd Jul '07 10:22AM
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seeded in tennis means the position that player holds in the overall league. for example, a number ten seed would be tenth best in the league (i think).

i believe MP's still have to look after their own constituency even if they're in the cabinet. blair still had his own constituency even though he was PM. not sure what happens when they lose a local election though.

i avoided using wikipedia to answer these so they're probably completely wrong

Allen Key
Stagnating, like a packet of crisps on the roof.
Tue 3rd Jul '07 10:50AM
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Spanners was bold enough to comment:
OK here's a couple:
What does 'seeded' mean in relation to a tennis championship? They keep saying it on Wimbledon.



I looked this up meself a few years ago. As far as I remember, 'seeding' is specific to the individual tournament e.g. Wimbledon, as opposed to 'ranking', which is worked out based on the players' performance across all the tournaments they've played in. I believe it's called seeding because it's to do with the way players are placed in the draw - they're sort of 'scattered' in such a way that the not-great players (the weaker seedlings, if you will) are weeded out early on, leaving the better players to go through to the final rounds, so you don't get rubbish players coasting through to the semis cos they've only been drawn against other rubbish players. I think.
 

Amanshu*
Giggity Giggity goo
Tue 3rd Jul '07 11:33AM
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Allen Key was bold enough to comment:
so you don't get rubbish players coasting through to the semis cos they've only been drawn against other rubbish players. I think.



That sounds about right. I believe they also don't want really good players playing each other too soon, otherwise you don't get the full build up and the two players they think will make be in the final end up meeting in the first round. In theory this way around every match is slightly harder than the last and thus slightly more exciting.

As I understand it, MPs are supposed to represent the members of their constituency in all things. So they should know about all the parts of the government. Being a cabinet minister for something just means they're putting a special emphasis on an area and able to make decisions on it. In theory every MP has a local council to deal with the day-to-day affairs of their constituency, the MP is just there to represent it on a national level.

If they lose an election then they're no longer an MP and so they're no longer on the cabinet.
   

Agentgonzo
There's no pee in catheter!
Tue 3rd Jul '07 11:35AM
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Allen Key was bold enough to comment:


Spanners was bold enough to comment:
OK here's a couple:
What does 'seeded' mean in relation to a tennis championship? They keep saying it on Wimbledon.



I looked this up meself a few years ago. As far as I remember, 'seeding' is specific to the individual tournament e.g. Wimbledon, as opposed to 'ranking', which is worked out based on the players' performance across all the tournaments they've played in. I believe it's called seeding because it's to do with the way players are placed in the draw - they're sort of 'scattered' in such a way that the not-great players (the weaker seedlings, if you will) are weeded out early on, leaving the better players to go through to the final rounds, so you don't get rubbish players coasting through to the semis cos they've only been drawn against other rubbish players. I think.



That's right. Seeding is done per tournament and doesn't follow the rankings (though is close). I can't remember how many seeded players they have, but for wimbledon it's probably 16 or 32 (it'll definitely be a power of 2). When the draw is done, the seeded players are randomly put into the different 'sections' of the tournament so that you are guaranteed that a seeded player will not play another seeded player until at least the latter stages of the tournament (the round before the quarters if 16 seeds). Then the rest of the people in the draw are scattered around them. This prevents two seeded players (top ranking players) from accidentally meeting each other in the first or second round and knocking one of them out early.

Edit:
Wimbledon has 32 seeds for singles and 16 for doubles.
More explanation here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-elimination_tournament#Seeding
  

Mrsham
I lost my toes in a game of blackjack
Tue 3rd Jul '07 1:10PM
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General was bold enough to comment in another thread:
You really have to stop taking stuff drunk guys tell you in pubs at face value.



This made me realise that I may be able to confirm something I was told by a drunken stranger in a pub: that you can tell where a digestive biscuit comes from (i.e. its factory of origin) by the number of holes in the design stamped on it. Anyone?
 

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