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Alfred E Neuman
1284329.  Thu May 17, 2018 2:05 pm Reply with quote

I have to slide that thing almost all the way to the right, and it eventually changes to garry, or perhaps yarry.

1284332.  Thu May 17, 2018 2:38 pm Reply with quote

Some wag has (apparently) added the word "yanny" to

Spud McLaren
1284337.  Thu May 17, 2018 5:04 pm Reply with quote

Brock wrote:
... even if American speakers are hearing a particular sequence of sounds as "yanny", British speakers might well hear it as something approximating to "year knee", and then assume the word to be "yearly" because that's the closest actual English word.
Except that I hear no "N" sound - it's definitely "L".

But then, there's less time left in front of me than I've left behind ...

Spud McLaren
1284338.  Thu May 17, 2018 5:06 pm Reply with quote

Edited (for the second time!) to erase duplicate post.

Last edited by Spud McLaren on Sat May 19, 2018 10:56 am; edited 3 times in total

Janet H
1284444.  Fri May 18, 2018 5:44 pm Reply with quote

Quarrel also the name for a crossbow bolt, said to be because of the square (quartered) shape. Ask Crisdee for details.

1284494.  Sat May 19, 2018 9:37 am Reply with quote

Quarrel is also a character in two of the James Bond novels and one of the films.

Played in Dr. No by John Kitzmiller, he is a Jamaican fisherman who helps both the CIA and the British Secret Service.

In the books he was a Cayman Islander who first met Bond in Live snd Let Die when he was employed by Head of J Station, John Strangways, to train Bond for his mission. The pair met again 5 years later in Dr. No when Bond arrives back in Jamaica to investigate the death of Strangways.

His death at the end of the Dr. No film posed a problem for the filmmakers. How was he going to reappear in Live snd Let Die 11 years later? Easy. He had a son called... wait for it...

...Quarrel Jr, played by Roy Stewart.

1284619.  Sun May 20, 2018 2:12 pm Reply with quote

The actor and singer Jay Aubrey Jones has been named as the voice of the controversial "laurel/yanny" clip.

DVD Smith
1287084.  Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:10 pm Reply with quote

In old French, a meaningless (and possibly drunken) quarrel about nothing is known as "une querelle d'Allemand" (a German quarrel). [1] [2] [3] No one really knows why, although the most common hypothesis is simply that the Germans had a bit of a reputation for pointless bickering in the 16th century. [4]

Similarly, the French phrase "enculer les mouches", meaning to quibble/trifle over nothing, literally translates as "to bugger flies" - a metaphor for trying to achieve something really difficult and completely pointless. The phrase is used by Ian Fleming in Casino Royale where James Bond says "let's not bugger flies" as he is going over the details of his favourite martini. [5] From this idiom has evolved the word "diptérosodomie" (diptero-sodomy) which means the same thing (where "diptero" means a creature with two sets of wings, usually a fly).

1287096.  Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:55 pm Reply with quote

That is QI, and a phrase I shall be using in future. :)
Although Diptera, the true flies, have two wings, not two sets.

DVD Smith
1291664.  Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:41 am Reply with quote

Q: Which was the shortest war in history?

[Klaxon: The Anglo-Zanzibar War]

The shortest "war" in history resulted from a quarrel in 1982 between the United States and the Conch Republic, the secessionist name of the Florida Keys. It lasted a full minute before the Conch Republic surrendered.

The idea of the Conch Republic arose when the US Border Patrol set up a roadblock at the edge of the Keys to inspect vehicles for drugs and illegal immigrants – blocking the only road between the Florida Keys and the mainland and causing a 19-mile long traffic jam. This annoyed the mayor of Key West so much that, after repeated failed negotiations with the authorities, he decided to "declare independence" from the USA in protest, since the roadblock was effectively a "border crossing" between Key West and the rest of the US. (The declaration wasn't entirely serious, but seen as a way to get publicity for Key West and try and restore the Keys' tourism industry which had been damaged by the roadblock.)

In the hours leading up to the official declaration, the mayor formed a 'government' of 30 people, and took a call from a local pilot who offered to "bomb the US Navy" by flying over their boats and dropping conch fritters on them. The mayor ended up getting a call from an admiral at the local naval base begging them not to!

On April 23 1982, the mayor "declared war" on the USA, and a loaf of stale Cuban bread was broken over the head of a Navy officer. At the same time, the "Great Battle of the Conch Republic" commenced, where a schooner attacked a US Coast Guard boat with water balloons, conch fritters and Cuban bread. The Coast Guard boat retaliated using firehoses. One minute after declaring war, the mayor surrendered, and demanded $1,000,000,000 in foreign aid to compensate for the "long federal siege". The protests worked, and the roadblock was cleared away.

To this day, the Conch Republic still issues its own passports and has "conch-sulates" in four countries around the world, including in France, Finland and Germany. The secretary-general of the Conch Republic claims to have used his Conch passport to successfully travel to over 30 countries. It was also thought that one of the 9/11 hijackers may have entered the US using a Conch passport.

The Conch Republic still hold an "independence day" festival every April 23rd, and still have a military, who helped to fend off an "invasion" of the US Navy in 1995.

The motto of the Conch Republic is "We Seceded Where Others Failed".

Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]

(Definitely take the time to read the articles in the sources, there is so much great stuff in there that I didn't have time to add.)

Last edited by DVD Smith on Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:02 am; edited 5 times in total

1291665.  Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:45 am Reply with quote

Christ, what a hilarious find!

DVD Smith
1291666.  Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:59 am Reply with quote

I'm surprised no one's talked about it before, it seems like perfect QI material.

DVD Smith
1292829.  Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:53 am Reply with quote

Is Europe a continent?

When referring to the music group, should it be "Eagles" or "The Eagles"?

Does "Perth" refer more to the city in Scotland or the one in Australia?

How do you define "cuteness"?

These questions and more feature in this list of some of Wikipedia's most infamous edit wars, including the notorious 40,000-word Star Trek Into Darkness debate over whether "into" should be capitalised.

1292830.  Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:19 am Reply with quote

DVD Smith wrote:
Is Europe a continent?

Traditionally yes, geologically no. Hence no.

DVD Smith wrote:
When referring to the music group, should it be "Eagles" or "The Eagles"?

Eagles. That's what it says on their own material, so that's their name.

DVD Smith wrote:
Does "Perth" refer more to the city in Scotland or the one in Australia?

The one in Scotland, because that's the original one. Needs a "if you are looking for..." link, though.

DVD Smith wrote:
How do you define "cuteness"?

Adherence to the baby schema.

DVD Smith wrote:
These questions and more feature in this list of some of Wikipedia's most infamous edit wars, including the notorious 40,000-word Star Trek Into Darkness debate over whether "into" should be capitalised.

Yes, because Into Darkness is technically a subheader and therefore a new line.



1294246.  Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:41 am Reply with quote

17th Century Quarrel: Musical Notation

Thomas Salmon (1648 - 1707), was a priest who sought to learn composition (1). It’s noted that he had difficulty learning the notation system that was used at the time, and it’s thought that this motivated his attempt to simplify the system (1). [Sure, Salmon, you n00b. You be that bold.]

February 1672: Salmon published An Essay to the Advancement of Musick
-Amongst other things, Salmon argued for the use of one clef
-According to Wardhaugh (2013), Salmon said there were nine clefs used at the time (but Green (1844) states that eight were used).
-In the essay, when referring to his proposed advancements, Salmon writes, “I have heard the most eminent, Master Theodorus Stefkins, and Mr. Matthew Lock [sic], (whose excellent compositions I can’t but tell the world, how I admire) affirm, we might use this way if we pleased…”. [so he kinda roped in this Locke guy]
-Matthew Locke (c.1621-23 - 1677) was indeed a prominent composer (1, 3)
-Salmon’s arguments had some supporters (even in the Royal Society) (4), but Locke opposed them, so in response…

April 1672: Locke wrote Observations Upon a Late Book
-Locke deemed Salmon’s proposed changes unworthy of serious rebuttal, so took to analysing them in such fine detail that it was absurd (1)
-Locke also included personal attacks on Salmon, and obscenity-filled passages (1)

June 1672: Salmon wrote A Vindication of an Essay
-Salmon responded by further explaining his proposals

July 1672: Locke wrote The Present Practice of Musick Vindicated
-Locke responded “very fiercely”, although did agree with Salmon about some other point (4)

-Salmon didn’t write about musical notation again (1).
-These texts by Salmon and Locke are generally referred to in negative language. Wardhaugh (2013) refers to it as a “pamphlet war” and a “polemic”, and Green (1844) reports that “Salmon was subjected to many virulent and illiberal attacks”, noting in particular this one from Locke.
-In the end, after Salmon’s death, the number of clefs were reduced to four, but Salmon’s influence is questionable (1). He also proposed a lot of other stuff that I don't understand.

(1) Wardhaugh, B. (ed) (2013). Thomas Salmon: Writings on Music: Volume I: An Essay to the Advancement of Musick and the Ensuing Controversy, 1672-3. Ashgate.

(2) Green, J. (1844). A Concise History of Musical Notation. London. [online] Available at

(3) Encyclopaedia Britannica, (2018). Matthew Locke. [online] Available at:

(4) Hauge, P. (1997). English music theory c.1590-c.1690 : the modal systems, changing concepts, and the development of new classification systems. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


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