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QI 'Fact of the Day': Chris Evans.

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tscrisp
776027.  Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:46 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Chris Evans was born in Warrington on April Fool's Day 1966. As a child he was beaten up and urinated on by a boy nicknamed "Shaver" who went on to become a steamroller driver.[/i]


I somehow doubt there were many steamrollers in use in the what must have been the 1980s (at the earliest).

 
Posital
776049.  Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:48 am Reply with quote


No? If there are few, then your roads must be really bumpy...

I thought they were called steam rollers, beacause of the steam that comes off the tarmac, caused by the wheels being sprayed with water...

 
Sadurian Mike
776052.  Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:54 am Reply with quote

The term "steamroller" is used colloquially to refer to any road roller, no matter what its form of propulsion.

It originally referred to the steam-powered rollers (a sort of traction engine with a roller) in the same way as we speak of steam engines and steam turbines, but the term stuck when we went over to diesel.

 
tscrisp
776144.  Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:01 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
The term "steamroller" is used wrongly to refer to any road roller, no matter what its form of propulsion.


would be more accurate.

 
Efros
776148.  Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:12 pm Reply with quote

steam·roller (stēm′rōl′ər)
noun
a heavy, originally steam-driven, machine with rollers, used in building and repairing roads

 
Posital
776150.  Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:22 pm Reply with quote

tscrisp wrote:
not a quote - purely made up to agree with what tscrisp thinks wrote:
The term "steamroller" is used wrongly to refer to any road roller, no matter what its form of propulsion.

would be more accurate.
Would be more accurate.

 
tscrisp
776165.  Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:08 pm Reply with quote

Find me a road roller manufacturer that describes its product as a 'steamroller'.

Calling a road roller a steamroller is surely 'General Ignorance'.

 
Posital
776185.  Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:50 pm Reply with quote

I guess if it's the manufacturers who define the english language - although QI has done that before with margarine...

 
tscrisp
776190.  Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:59 pm Reply with quote

If I use a chisel to drive in a screw does that make a chisel a screwdriver?

 
Spud McLaren
776197.  Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:23 pm Reply with quote

As it's just driven in a screw, it makes that particular chisel a screwdriver, yes. Especially since it'll now be no use as a chisel.

 
tscrisp
776211.  Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:54 pm Reply with quote

To its manufacturer it's still a chisel though. That I might misuse it and you might then call it a screwdriver is irrelevant.

I recommend to you the Road Rollers Association:
http://www.r-r-a.org.uk/

 
Posital
776245.  Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:45 pm Reply with quote

Can I recommend you to wikipedia, various dictionaries and normal usage?

I see steam - I see a roller - I see a steamroller.

Usage is never irrelelant...

Simples

 
Spud McLaren
776248.  Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:47 pm Reply with quote

tscrisp wrote:
That I might misuse it and you might then call it a screwdriver is irrelevant.
Of course it's irrelevant. But
you wrote:
If I use a chisel to drive in a screw does that make a chisel a screwdriver?
so I answered honestly.

Of course the Fact doesn't say that the person became a professional steamroller driver, although it wasn't unknown even later than that...

OK, it's a traction engine - couldn't find one of FD with a steamroller. Odd, 'cos I'm sure he owned at least one...


Last edited by Spud McLaren on Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:59 pm; edited 1 time in total

 
tscrisp
776252.  Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:50 pm Reply with quote

'Normal usage'?

I thought the whole point of 'The Forum of General Ignorance' was to show when 'Normal usage' was wrong.

 
Sadurian Mike
776253.  Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:56 pm Reply with quote

If the majority of English-speaking people call a diesel-powered machine that rolls roads a "steamroller", who is wrong?

That's why common usage is so important on our language.

The Cambridge Online Dictionary has this to say:

Quote:
steamroller noun ( VEHICLE ) /ˈstiːmˌrəʊ.lər//-ˌroʊ.lɚ/ n [C] a vehicle which moves forward on a large heavy wheel in order to make a road surface flat.


According to Wordreference.com, the Concise OED has this:

Quote:
Concise Oxford English Dictionary © 2008 Oxford University Press:
steamroller/ˈstiːmrəʊlə(r)/

▶noun
a heavy, slow-moving vehicle with a roller, used to flatten the surfaces of roads during construction.
▶verb
(also steamroll) (of a government or other authority) forcibly pass (a measure) by restricting debate or otherwise overriding opposition.
■ force (someone) into doing or accepting something.




I would put it to you that this constitutes a modern and accurate definition for the term "steamroller", whatever the term's origin.

 

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