Regular Spelling
Thoughts on language and more

Déjà Vowel

I thought I had talked about this once before, but apparently I haven't. Also, it seems Google isn't indexing anything for the search box, I'll look into that in a little while.

As I said, I thought I had talked about this before, but apparently I haven't. Must have slipped my mind, because I stopped hearing the commercial so I forgot it. I just heard it again the other day, however.

I'm talking, specifically, about a Washington Mutual commercial currently running on the radio. In it, the announcer talks about free checks for life or something, and another person commenting says he'd never heard about it (there's another commercial that introduces this character as a contrarian, arguing with everything he says). He then breaks down and admits that he had heard about them, but not in the voice of an Irish Sheepherder. So the announcer asks a couple questions to find out which kind of sheepherder he wants to hear, then does a impression of such a person. The contrarian is then very impressed, and the announcer comments that it's all in the vowels.

In accents, occasionally there will be some misuse of consonants (such as dropping the 't' resulting in "moun'ain" in my Utahn accent, or replacing it with a 'd' resulting in 'rollerskading'), but its much more often a result of the vowels. A different vowel is created by different positions of the tongue in the mouth. The tongue at the top in the front making a "ii" sound such as in east, tongue at the top in the back making a "u" sound such as in goose. The Wikipedia page on vowles gives a breakdown chart of all the vowel sounds, leading to approximately 35 positions for the tongue. The lips don't have as much effect on the pronunciation as you might think, try making an "oh" sound without rounding your lips, and you'll see what I mean.

A couple more examples of this in the Utahn accent are the more southern Utah pronouncing "creek" as "crick" (as in cricket), and some parts (I'm not sure the breakdown) pronouncing "pillow" as "pellow" (as in mellow).

Tue, 30 Oct 2007 07:00:00 -0500


The other day in work, a coworker was making a joke about another one (not a derogatory joke, mind you, a joke that she often makes about herself). However, this coworker kept referring to the wrong name, continually calling her "Candice". He goes through this big long thing, and I'm just sitting there wondering who Candice is, before he finally realizes he wasn't even close. However, he justified himself at the end, after correcting himself, by saying that "they start with the same letter."

I'm going to protect this other coworkers identity, but her name starts with a "T".

And "T" isn't anywhere close to being the same letter as "C", thank you very much.

Imagine, for a moment, someone talking like that. Using those two consonant sounds interchangeably, as if they were the same. Someone in New York would tall a caxi, and someone at a bar would put their drinks on their cab.

No, the language doesn't work that way.

Sun, 28 Oct 2007 16:00:00 -0500

A Month Mostly Wasted

Back in 2004, while bored at work during the Halloween season, I started writing a ghost story. I didn't finish it then, I only barely got started. I had decided at that time, I didn't want to continue it after Halloween, as the mood was different, so I had put it off for the next year. I got a little more done on it in 2005, but not much. In 2006, I didn't get any work done on it. And, so far this month, I haven't gotten anything done on it this year either. And now the month is nearly over, and I don't really have much time in it to work on it any more.

The story doesn't really have a title, but it is dubbed Celebration, for the opening line and the name of the file. The opening line, "The air was not silent, for it was filled with celebration.", came from a telephone conversation I had during Independence Day celebrations earlier that year. More specifically, I had to go outside and check on something and the fireworks people were setting off was making it hard to hear what was being said, so I quipped that line. The person I was talking to thought it would be an awesome way to start a story, and once I got back inside I started a document and wrote down that simple line, until I could come up with something later.

The story follows my general writing avatar, James Millen. In this story he's works for a small real estate firm doing paperwork, a part time job while putting himself through college. The story centers around a house they are trying to buy to fix up and sell, that's sat empty for ten years because of a police investigation that was never closed and released. Since I haven't released much more of the details then that, I'll end the description at that point so you can read what I have done up to this point.

Wed, 24 Oct 2007 16:00:00 -0500


One of the lesser seen problems of English's pronouns - a problem not as glaring as our lack of a singular gender-neutral pronoun - is the fact that they aren't indicative of who they are referring to. You can use the same pronoun to refer to more than one person, which, when used in succession, doesn't make it easy to follow who exactly you're talking about. Or, someone could trip up if you use it in a fashion that's only referring to one person, when they expect it to be referring to more than one person. Such is the case of a statement from Notebook Forums today:

*points Nyako to where her local utility company sells their rolling wrecks*

The mistake here was that one person thought the 'her' was referring to the poster, in a faux 1st-person statement. However, it was referring to the same person, nyako, in the 3rd-person. The confusion on that person's part was that they were assuming only the person who posted would use the him/her pronouns, using them in a purely 1st-person fashion, and that anyone else referred to would be referred to by name instead of by pronoun.

Fri, 19 Oct 2007 15:00:00 -0500


Since I accidentally dropped it on the Gentoo forums, and it's a part of my Steam tag, I guess I'll explain my alias name 'sRc'.

To do that, however, requires some explanation of 'The Anaconda' as well, and how the two names relate to each other and stories I am working on. Because, as they are intended to be different, they are interconnected.

The name 'Anaconda' came from the movie of that name (which I haven't ever seen), and I had used it as the name of a fictional ship I had invented for the Star Trek universe (and more particularly, a Star Trek tabletop strategy game I had ) when I was in 6th grade, just about 10 years ago at this point. At that time, I had been going by the alias Orion in writings I was doing at that time. As it was developed out and I began working on other ships, and the lessened significance of that particular ship mutated my title in that story from "Orion, owner of the Anaconda" to simply 'The Anaconda'.

At this same time, I began applying that also to two other entities. Firstly, in Jr. High I did some programming of small games for the TI calculators, and, needing a name to apply to it, stamped them as by 'AnacondaSoftware.' The lack of space was significant, as the way I was styling it on the screens would not allow for a space in the two words, this convention eventually stuck. In the mean time, I began to write a new story, a two-part Pokemon fanfic, the second part of which eventually mutated into not being a Pokemon fanfic but into an original story, forming the story of the ever-delayed game Spiral Island (which is another story for another time, on another blog ). In it I created a central character, called it The Anaconda, and also revived my older alias Orion as an antagonist.

Fast forward to now, as that storyline has grown much more massive, and internet slang has degraded my name from 'The Anaconda' down to simply 'Conda'. Some time ago, I pursued changing my regular username. I started posting on Engadget and the other Blogsmith blogs as simply 'Conda' as an experiment to see how that looked, but it didn't look right to me by itself for regular use. More recently, as I finished removing the original Pokemon influences on the Spiral Island story's backstory, I began to pursue it again. Particularly, for the story Skewed.

I had created, within the Spiral Island storyline, a backstory related to the Pokemon world. I use parts of this same backstory in the Skewed storyline; the Timeless, and several other things I'll point out in the future all were derived from that storyline. However, as I completely removed the last of the original influences from the Spiral Island storyline, that left me with a problem for Skewed, because the character Dan is the same character The Anaconda (which is based off myself), however the two were mutually exclusive. More particularly, the events of the Skewed world could not happen, because of the events of the Spiral Island storyline. My only solution was to kill off the backstory much earlier, shortly after the events that led to the destruction of the world at the hands of Kyogre and Groudon and wiping out all technology up to that point, as Dan had described when explaining about the Timeless. Because of that, I could have that storyline exist, with the only sacrifice being the name 'The Anaconda' and the split in the storyline to the Spiral Island storyline, as the reason for the character no longer existed.

However that meant my character needed a new name. Around this same time, I was considering getting into some Japanese translation projects, and didn't want to use my same alias for those. Eventually, as I was working on a rough translation of a bonus page from the .hack//G.U.+ manga, I settled upon the tag 'sRc', an alteration of my older gaming tag, sR->Conda. With a new alias for Dan, I quickly was able to flesh out a new backstory for Skewed, using a few elements of the first part of the original Pokemon fanfic and some openings I left in Skewed's prequel story 'Project L', and filled in some plot holes and created the hacker organization Treehouse, of which Dan is a part of under the name 'sRc'.

I had also considered changing my regular alias to sRc, to allow the Spiral Island character to be completely separate from myself. I had even changed my username on the AnacondaSoftware forums to sRc, but changed it back within an hour because it just didn't look right. So I remain 'The Anaconda', but use it on Steam as 'sRc//Conda', as I'm no longer really doing anything with StrafeRight.

As for it as my username on the Gentoo forums, I had (I thought) originally registered as The Anaconda, but I guess they had some pruning of user accounts there with no posts. I couldn't access the Member List to verify how I had spelled it (because conventions are sometimes different) without being logged in, so I registered a second account with the name 'sRc', only to not find my original account. I didn't want to bother re-registering it again, so I just left it as 'sRc' for now. Maybe I'll get a moderator to change it later.

Thu, 18 Oct 2007 15:00:00 -0500

Typing with gloves on

Just to see how this turns out, im going to type this entire entry with my gloves on, at full speed, and not do any corrections of mistakes. My hands are currently rfreezing, which is why im wearing gloves. nThis wont bne an easy taske iether, as its an instingct to back up and cotrrect anything i spelled incorrectly.

Itys now past halfway through the month, and i haventy really gotten much done in the way of writing. I wrote a small, rough section for Skewed whish I;ll gio back and correct before I post it. IC had meant to work on my ghost storyh soem more, but, just as last yhear, I havent done any work on it. Il'll talk about it itself in anoter entrym, with a link to the storuy sof ar.

I've neen working on restructiring how i spnd my time, and one of the things ive looked at is some voice rectognition npackagezs. Apparetly, the bses in the markeet is Dragon NaturalltSpeaking, but as I looked into getting that, i found tat the current version does nto support Vista x643, only 432-bvit versions of Visa. Sionce i m running Vista Ultimate x64, that is a prettuy big oproblem, and means I cannot use it. I sent them an email asking when a version that supportred x64 would be co mmming out, but their responce was little more thann :"the current versio n does not support x64""/

I habvent tried Vista's built-in voice recognition, as I havwent found a good wireless headset to use in conjunction with a setup yet, but I dont expec tit to be that much better than when it was frist dmeonstrated, as, if i crecall correctly, that wasn't very much earlier than Vista's Gold date.

And I can only imagine the chaos this ent4ry witll bring to the serach enginge results that will com e at the end o fhe month.

Wed, 17 Oct 2007 10:00:00 -0500

Behold, a Birthday

Time out today to wish Christopher a Happy Birthday!

Mon, 15 Oct 2007 10:00:00 -0500


The word of the day is pretentious.

Hilarity ensues.

Thu, 11 Oct 2007 13:00:00 -0500

Um, lot?

Some words we use in common day to day speech aren't actually words in the English language, they are loanwords. Some of these can be easily recognized by their diacritics, such as in doppelgänger or entrée. However, care must be taken to use the right diacritic, or you'll end up with something strange.

Concering an exchange and a snide comment I made, a person messaged me the following word: "touchË"

Capitalized letter aside, the umlaut diacritic is mainly a mark to direct a specific German pronunciation. The word "touché" itself is French, with a completely different language ancestor than German. So the mutated form "touchË" would I imagine sound rather odd.

Mon, 08 Oct 2007 13:00:00 -0500

Caution, a Virus Has Been Detected

Or maybe it's not a virus, I dunno. But I've been sick since last Tuesday, started with a sore throat and progressed into stuffy nose and coughing. Had to stay home from work yesterday as I was feeling horrible, been feeling a little better today so I must be past the worst of it.

I really don't have much else to say right now, so I'll leave it at this for now.

Tue, 02 Oct 2007 15:00:00 -0500