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#QIParty - @qikipedia's Twitter Follow-ups

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eggshaped
517677.  Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:26 pm Reply with quote

A place where we can go into a bit more detail about qikipedia topics: sometimes 140 characters just aren't enough...


Last edited by eggshaped on Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:40 am; edited 2 times in total

 
AndyMcH
517681.  Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:39 pm Reply with quote

I would like to discuss "abacinate" - As I said in an earlier post I first came across this word in a Slayer lyric in 1986. However searching the net for it in the early 90s gave me zero results..

All of a sudden it has a clear cut meaning. I dont want to be too cynical, but the meaning fits the song so perfectly. How on earth did Slayer know of this word in the mid 80s when there was no mention of it on the net in the mid to late 90s?

Is this REALLY a medieval torture device or has it been made up to fit the song?

 
JumpingJack
517683.  Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:42 pm Reply with quote

Abacinate is a perfectly good word in the 1933 edition of the OED.

The word 'abacination' date from 1866. It derives from Italian.

 
JumpingJack
517684.  Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:47 pm Reply with quote

On the question of what is the world's most successful illegal drug, that depends on what you mean by 'successful'.

Most widely used? Or producing the most income for the seller?

Our source for the assertion was the Sunday Times:

http://opioids.com/heroin/heroinhistory.html

Of course, under certain circumstances both heroin and cannabis may be legal.

 
JumpingJack
517686.  Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:52 pm Reply with quote

On the question of what is the most successful legal drug, both 'alcohol' and 'nicotine' look like good candidates, but, again, it depends what you mean.

Do more people smoke than take aspirin? Do you counts the numbers of people who use a drug? Or the numbers of drugs that people use?

QI stands for Quite Interesting, not for Quite Right.

If you've got a better answer than we have (and the evidence to back it up) we always like to hear it.

 
AndyMcH
517687.  Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:52 pm Reply with quote

Thanks for that JJ - My cynisism has been lifted ! Maybe the internet was too tiny in the late 90s to have any mention of it !

 
JumpingJack
517692.  Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:56 pm Reply with quote

Apologies to our Swedish friends on Twitter, for not having time and space to record that is also Swedish for 'river' and that there are villages of that name in Sweden.

also exists in Danish (as well as Swedish and Norwegian) and, in all three countries, it is the last letter of the alphabet (A without a little halo being the first).

was once correctly spelt as Aa and derives from the Indo-European meaning 'water' - as does the Latin 'aqua'.

 
JumpingJack
517694.  Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:58 pm Reply with quote

Yes, Andy, abacinate is pretty obscure - which is why I was astonished that Slayer knew about it.

I thought it was only me and eggshaped that are reading the entire OED, letter by letter, from cover to cover.

For fun.

 
smiley_face
517697.  Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:01 pm Reply with quote

JumpingJack wrote:
On the question of what is the most successful legal drug, both 'alcohol' and 'nicotine' look like good candidates, but, again, it depends what you mean.

Do more people smoke than take aspirin? Do you counts the numbers of people who use a drug? Or the numbers of drugs that people use?

QI stands for Quite Interesting, not for Quite Right.

If you've got a better answer than we have (and the evidence to back it up) we always like to hear it.

Surely caffeine is fairly high up in terms of quantity consumed? I'd have thought that more people drink tea/coffee/coke than smoke?

Though arguably more cigarettes are smoked a day than cups of coffee are consumed, given that few people drink ten cups of coffee a day, whereas there are plenty of smokers having this many or more cigarettes.

Also, what do we constitute to be a unit of the drug? Is it one hit (e.g. one cigarette, one cup of coffee, one unit of alcohol)? Or are we classifying it on the basis of weight?


Last edited by smiley_face on Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:01 pm; edited 1 time in total

 
JumpingJack
517698.  Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:01 pm Reply with quote

The power of Twitter is amazing.

Within seconds of advertising this thread on twitter.com/qikipedia more than 200 guests had showed up on qi.com.

This morning Stephen Fry wished Alan Davies Happy Birthday on Twitter, with the result that he has 5,000 new followers.

 
JumpingJack
517699.  Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:04 pm Reply with quote

Good call Smiley.

Damn that Sunday Times - it's shot through with holes.

I suspect they're using the word 'drug' in different senses. Aspirin in the sense of a legal drug with agreed medical benefits in the normal sense of the word, heroin meaning, well, a druggy drug.

Who knows. There are so many different ways you could define the words.

Interesting though...

 
JumpingJack
517703.  Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:08 pm Reply with quote

We liked this question on Twitter from baybar:

Quote:
Why is a parcel sent by road a shipment , and yet the same parcel sent by ship is cargo?

 
JumpingJack
517705.  Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:12 pm Reply with quote

Bitsky on Twitter posted this nugget:

Quote:
j in estonian apparently means 'edge of ice' and has the longest sequence of the same vowel in any word in any language...


and this excellent reply was kindly provided by the indefatigable suze:

Quote:
This is sort of true. The word is jr, and does indeed mean "the edge of the ice". Real live Estonians don't actually use the word with that meaning very much - they see it more as a curio than as a proper word. But there's an Estonian rock group called Jr, so it is a word that everyone there knows.

Not content with that, some Estonian linguo-geeks (i.e. people much like me, except for the Estonian-ness) contrived the word tk, which means "feeling crap because of working nights". It's etymologically impossible to fault, but no one has ever used it seriously.

In Danish and Swedish, they have the letter . Until 1948, <aa> was used instead in Danish spelling, and is still permissible if one's keyboard lacks the special character. There is a place in southern Sweden called R, hence alternatively Raaaa. The word for a creek is (or aa), and for an eel is l (or aal). It's utterly contrived and doesn't exist, but some Danes have been known to allege that there's thus a creature living in a creek in that village called a Rl - or Raaaaaaaal.

 
JumpingJack
517706.  Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:13 pm Reply with quote

Going to watch QI on telly now. Back soon.

 
Isabell
517707.  Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:13 pm Reply with quote

Sorry to be an insufferable Swede, but is the first of the last three letters of our alphabet - after Z comes in order , , (the very last one, incidentally, meaning 'island' in Swedish, while 'Island' is Swedish for 'Iceland').

In case anybody would be interested :)


JumpingJack wrote:
Apologies to our Swedish friends on Twitter, for not having time and space to record that is also Swedish for 'river' and that there are villages of that name in Sweden.

also exists in Danish (as well as Swedish and Norwegian) and, in all three countries, it is the last letter of the alphabet (A without a little halo being the first).

was once correctly spelt as Aa and derives from the Indo-European meaning 'water' - as does the Latin 'aqua'.

 

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