View previous topic | View next topic

What have you Learned Today?

Page 367 of 375
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... 366, 367, 368 ... 373, 374, 375  Next

Jenny
1341967.  Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:55 am Reply with quote

I was today years old when I learned about Zipf’s law of brevity and the Menzerath-Altmann law.

The former states that the more often a sound is used the shorter it is – in English, for example, the most common words include “the”, “to” and “of” – while the latter says that the longer a unit of language the shorter the components within it: for example cumbersome words tend to contain shorter syllables than simple ones.

Apparently humans share these laws with jackass penguins.

 
suze
1341982.  Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:10 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
I was today years old when I learned about Zipf’s law of brevity and the Menzerath-Altmann law.


That's because you were fortunate enough not to do A level Eng Lang with me!

There are two related Zipf's Laws, and the one under discussion here is sometimes known simply as the "Brevity Law". It was at least proposed by George K Zipf, which the one often known simply as "Zipf's Law" wasn't!

It's probably a special case of the "Principle of Least Action", which goes right back to Fermat in 1662, and crops up all over the place in science. The Guardian piece notes that penguins obey the law, and asserts that "some but not all" primates do. I'd be interested to know which primates they believe don't, because I didn't think there were any known exceptions. There are reported to be people in the US investigating whether bee wiggling obeys the law; there's probably a Nobel Prize in that.

Romanian is usually claimed as the human language which comes closest to breaking the law. You'd imagine that a pronoun longer than the noun for which it stands would be a singularly pointless thing to have, but Romanian has a second person pronoun dumneavoastră. It means "Your Lordship", more or less, but it is the proper pronoun to use when you'd use vous in French - and Romanians aren't as inclined to tu each other as French people are. You can't just leave it out as you can in for instance Spanish, but Zipf's arse is saved by the fact that in all but the most formal of registers it's pronounced "diva". You have to say the whole thing in your marriage vows, but that's about it.

 
PDR
1341984.  Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:31 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
sometimes known simply as the "Brevity Law".


Surely it should have a more concise name?

PDR

 
Dix
1341988.  Wed Feb 05, 2020 3:18 pm Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
suze wrote:
sometimes known simply as the "Brevity Law".


Surely it should have a more concise name?

PDR

Nah - it's not talked about that often.

 
crissdee
1342167.  Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:08 am Reply with quote

What a hypoglycaemic attack feels like.

 
Dix
1342172.  Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:03 am Reply with quote

Ouch!

 
tetsabb
1342178.  Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:59 am Reply with quote

Not fun, I imagine.

 
crissdee
1342211.  Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:54 am Reply with quote

Not that bad, but as well to recognise the early symptoms. They can vary from person to person, but I felt a bit shivery/trembly. Checked my blood sugar and it was in the high 3s, which for non-diabetics is NOT VERY MUCH AT ALL. Glucose sweets and breakfast soon set matters aright, and wound back insulin as recommended. Low 4s at lunch, so added an apple to sandwiches already made. Will see what dinnertime and pre-bedtime turns up, then advise medical people in the a.m.

 
Jenny
1342276.  Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:43 pm Reply with quote

Have you had an actual diabetes diagnosis then, crissdee?

 
extremophilesheep
1342281.  Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:11 pm Reply with quote

And if not - as I vaguely recall reading - pester your doctors. I'm sure you already do, but in my experience you often have to pester them a lot more than is tolerable to get somewhere. (as in: my golfball sized galbladder stone was not "just irritable bowel syndrome.")

 
extremophilesheep
1342282.  Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:14 pm Reply with quote

What did I learn today....

Years and years I've been trying to make Word do what I want, rather than it doing whatever it wants when I took my eyes off it for just a moment. After some cursing and swearing I nearly always managed to make it oblige - threatening and reminding it who's in charge here and that I will switch it off OR ram an unfriendly paperclip through the screen.

But I rarely use Powerpoint, and today I had to. (Fear not, it's not for a presentation. Well, not really). And that does allow you to do pretty much what you want, without complaint.
In fact it does EXACTLY what you want and allows you to move stuff around without moving anything else you don't want moved.

It also allows you to convert it into ANYTHING, except maybe a small grey squirrel named Bob. (though I haven't tried)

So I convert the slides each into jpgs which I needed to use for our site, making them all the same size using Paint, and Bob's your uncle (not a squirrel then).

 
crissdee
1342292.  Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:38 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
Have you had an actual diabetes diagnosis then, crissdee?


Not as such. They are certainly treating me as though I have it, but I get the feeling that it is more a case of "treatinng symptoms in the usual way" rather than a confirmed diagnosis. To all intents and purposes I do have it, but there is hope that the treatment might be solely dietary in the forseeable future, just as soon as they can figure out what my diet should be.

In other news, TIL that my eyesight has deteriorated to the point where I need one new pair of glasses (single vision) for using this computer, and another set of bifocals for just about everything else.

 
PDR
1342299.  Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:22 pm Reply with quote

Oooh - don't do anything in a hurry on the eyesight front.

When you first bring your BG down with drugs and dietary changes your eyesight goes into "shock". Diabetics call this "carbs withdrawal syndrome" and it lasts for about 3 weeks while your system acclimatises to the new BG levels.

After that your eyesight settles down again, usually pretty well where it was before (at least it was in my case). Your doctor should have warned you not to splash out money on glasses during this period, because it will be wasted. You must tell your optician what drugs you're taking and how long you've been taking them for similar reasons.

PDR

 
crissdee
1342311.  Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:29 am Reply with quote

I did tell the optician, in fact showed her the authorised list of meds on my phone. She saw no sign of any diabetes-related problems with my eyes, and seemed to be of the opinion that the degredation was entirely due to 57 years of looking at things.

I will however take your advice on board Pete. The test was done at (large chain of opticians) in Brecon, but I was going to get a second opinion (at least for price) from my local bod, who comes highly recommended. I will also be talkiing to the diabetes people ere long, and will seek their counsel.

 
'yorz
1342315.  Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:44 am Reply with quote

Today I learned that in times of stress and trouble one can seek refuge in the gentle exercises of


waitforit



DIRNDL-YOGA

Having chesticles to flaunt will make it a pleasure to behold for others (= blokes), too.

 

Page 367 of 375
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... 366, 367, 368 ... 373, 374, 375  Next

All times are GMT - 5 Hours


Display posts from previous:   

Search Search Forums

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group