Cryptonomicon/ Discussion

Sub-page of Cryptonomicon

Velobici: Peter uses the phrase "factally weird"...weird. Does he mean "factually weird", weird regarding the facts of (Andrew's) life or does he mean to say "fractally weird", conveying the concept that each examined in detail retains the same level of weirdness as the whole? "Factually weird" gets about 35,000 hits in [ext] Google whereas "Fractally weird" gets about 1350 hits in [ext] Google.

Zarlan: ...and what does Google have to do with anything?

Velobici: The two Google searches demonstrates that both "factually weird" and "fractally weird" are not unknown turns of speech and that "factually weird" appears to much more common than "fractally weird". So either phrase is extant in English. Furthermore, in a work of fiction, anything is possible. :)

Zarlan: To demonstrate that, you should point to at dictionary or something like that. Google searches can give results on anything that is written on any page (of the 8058 million pages in it's index) on the internet. Being good at english isn't a requirement for makeing a homepage you know. Heck, even a retarded idiot can make a homepage and many of them do (although they aren't necessarily bad at english). I got 52 hits on "factally" in google, although I fail to get a single one in dictionarys.

Velobici: The [ext] Oxford English Dictionary (OED) collects together definitions, first usage information, variant spellings and much more. All this comes from the raw data...what is written and published both today and previously. I do not know that the OED staff has started to collect data from the Internet, but I would bet that before the end of this decade (written in 2005) the OED staff will be analyzing Internet only and Internet primarily sourced documents for their analysis of how English is changing. Google gives us a fast, easy, inexpensive look at English as it is used today. It would be quite pleasant to have an OED or access to one. Unfortunately, the price is prohibative for me personally as I do not require it for my work. Rather spend the money on Go Books, lessons, tournaments and the US Go Congress. ($1 per day on a monthly basis or $300 per year for online access only. CDRom version 250 GBP.)

Bob McGuigan: You might be able to access the on-line OED at a library. Certainly at a college or university and maybe even at a well equipped public library.

Rakshasa: OED has nothing on "fractally".

Zarlan: [ext], [ext]

Velobici: Zarlan, did you check [ext] Did you try to look up 'fractally' at Britannica is an encyclopedia, not a dictionary, and certainly not a research dictionary. Have you used an OED? Are you aware of the wealth of information regarding the evolution of words that it contains? Do you expect that or Britannica provide vaguely similar material? I, for one, am quite dismayed.

Zarlan: Did I check I'm not realy sure (I think I did). I do know the difference between an encyclopedia and a dictionary. Britannica may be an encyclopedia, but there is a dictionary search on the page as well. And no, I have, regretfully, not yet had the pleasure of looking up words in an Oxford English Dictionary (and judgeing by what you say, it would be a pleasure indeed. I like dictionaries and I could spend hours reading in encyclopedias, though I quit doing that after I read most things of interest in those we have). I would like to point out that I was only pointing out that such pages exist.

I meant "fractally weird", sorry -Peter

Cryptonomicon/ Discussion last edited by on September 24, 2005 - 02:10
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