Ask Me Anything

Marin

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285
#63
1. Why is an electrical outlet called an "outlet" when you plug things into it? Shouldn’t it be called an "inlet"?
Outlet is a word used to describe something that something is coming out of. Here it's referring to the electricity coming out, not the plug.
It might help in another perspective— in chemistry/physics, those plugs are called electron pumps, as they “pump” out electrons, which makes up electricity. In other words, they “let out” (pump) electrons electricity, hence the word outlet.
TL;DR
the name refers to what comes out of the thing on the wall, not in.


2. Why is there a "d" in "fridge" but no "d" in "refrigerator"?
Where better to start our story than a full millennium ago, long before the letter J existed, with some Irish monks who were on a mission: de-paganize the Anglo-Saxons. You know, make them Christian, give them a Bible, et cetera. All that fun monk-y business. Should be a fairly easy task, shouldn’t it? All they need to do is…

…well, they need to invent the English alphabet in order to write said Bible, actually. That’s quite a big first step. The monks had their own variant of the Latin alphabet, but when it comes to pronunciation Latin and Old English have some pretty significant differences. Differences like:
- Old English has a “th” sound that Latin doesn’t have
- Old English has a “gh” sound that Latin doesn’t have
- Old English has an “sh” sound that Latin doesn’t have
- Old English has many vowels that Latin doesn’t have

And, most importantly for the answer here, Old English has this funny set of “ch”/“j” sounds that Latin doesn’t have - or, at least, didn’t have. The Romance languages are slowly developing their own set of “ch”/“j” sounds, and they’ve got some problems when it comes to their written language, too - see here and here for the story on those.
The Anglo-Saxons already had an alphabet, a variation on the Runes, that their Germanic ancestors had long ago stolen from the Etruscans. Few of the Angles or Saxons were literate, so Runic inscriptions in Old English, like the Franks Casket below, are rare.

The Franks Casket, with an inscription in Old English. Image from Omniglot.

The monks could have kept the Saxon runes, but they opted to use the Latin alphabet instead. The Roman script was more closely associated with the Church, whereas the pagan Germanic runes were, well, pagan - the monks wanted nothing to do with them. A proper Latinate spelling system was in order.

Some elements of creating the spelling system were easy, since they could be mapped directly from Latin. Others were harder, and new letters had to be added. There were some cases, though, that didn’t quite fit either category: rather than simply mapping or adding letters, combinations of letters were created. One example is th, used early on in Old English and then later again in Middle and Modern English.

The other combination sound was cg, for the sound we’d spell “j” today: brycg and hecg, for example. Later on in the Old English period, you could also find it spelled dg - hence brydg and hedg, soon to become bridge and hedge.

Suddenly, the French appear! The Normans invade, create and then promptly break the Middle English spelling system, and also throw lots of new words at the English. French had been on a palatalization adventure of its own, leaving them with some fun sounds - like the “j” sound, for instance.

There were two places French got its “j” sounds from. The first was out of Latin’s “i” sound. Latin did not have a “j” sound, so there was no need for it to have a J in its alphabet in the first place. The letter J of the 13th century was nothing more than a funny-looking letter I. “Jesus” and “Julius” were spelled “Iesus” and “Iulius”.


A manuscript written in Latin: the name “Joseph” is spelled ioseph here. Image from the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Problems arose when French developed that terribly un-Latin-y “j” sound out of Latin’s “i” sound: what would have been pronounced “Iesus” or “Yesus” in Latin was “Jesus” in French. It was still spelled “Iesus”, though, leading to plenty of confusion that was only ever resolved when J finally got its place in the alphabet.

The other way French got the “j” sound, and the other Romance languages with it, was by shifting around its “g” sound. In Latin, whenever you saw a G, you would always know to pronounce it “hard” - i.e., always as in “go” or “game”, never as in “gem” or “gym”. French, of course, would have none of this.

If you say “ga”, “go”, and “gu”, and then say “gi” and “ge”, you’ll notice that your tongue reaches much further forward when you say “gi” and “ge” than when you say “ga”, “go”, and “gu”. This is because A, O, and U are the so-called back vowels, since they’re pronounced at the back of your mouth, and your tongue can rest perfectly fine back there: “g” and “o” are both pronounced further back.

But when you say “gi” or “ge”, your tongue moves forward. I and E are front vowels, so your tongue needs to swiftly move from pronouncing the “g” sound at the back of your mouth up to pronouncing the front vowel “e”. To make this journey easier, the “g” in “ge” is held a little further forward than it would be in “ga”.

French simply continued this trend even further: it pushed “g” up so far before “e” and “i” that it turned into a “j” sound. Again, instead of inventing a new letter, they kept the spelling: when we pronounce “gem” as “jem” instead of, well, “gem” (with a hard “g”), we can blame the French.

Most of the other Romance languages did this, too, and it leaked into how people pronounced Latin words. When English started borrowing Latin word after Latin word during the Renaissance, we didn’t pronounce “refrigerate” or “frigid” with the original hard “g”; no, we went with the French way of the soft “g”: refrijerate, frijid.

While all this was going on, and while the Middle and Early Modern Englishes were developing a spelling system to deal with all the French and Latin words pouring in, we still had our Old English way of spelling things. The French had influenced and edited that Germanic system, but it wasn’t entirely alien from the system used centuries ago. We retain more than a few Old English elements in Modern English spelling - the “ea” of “meat”, the “th” of “thing”, and the “dg” of “bridge”.

These two systems work together - less than harmoniously, as anyone who’s ever learned to spell in English will tell you - to produce our messy writing system. The ultimate outcome of the last several paragraphs is this set of convoluted rules governing how to spell the “j” sound:
- If there’s a “j” sound at the start of a word, and if it comes before an “o”, “a”, or “u”, spell it with a “j”. You couldn’t spell it with a “g” because there was never any sound-pulling with “go”, “ga”, or “gu”, as covered above.
Eg. joke, jab, jump
- If there’s a “j” sound at the start of a word, and if it comes before an “e”, “i”, or “y”, spell it with either a “j” or a “g”. This relies on the word’s etymology and so there’s no real good way to accurately predict which one to use.
Eg. jet, gem, jiffy, gibberish, gym, gif
- If there’s a “j” sound in the middle of a word, good luck. We’ve stolen so many words with so many different stories behind them that there’s no telling when you’ll have “frigid”, “fidget”, or “major”.
- If there’s a “j” sound at the end of a word that has more than one syllable, spell it with “ge”. Most long words containing the “j” sound in this position are either directly from or were otherwise influenced by French, so French spelling rules are used in these cases.
Eg. courage, centrifuge, average
- If there’s a “j” sound at the end of a word that has only one syllable, and if the vowel immediately preceding it is a long vowel or if there’s an “n”, “l”, or “r”, spell it with “ge”.
Eg. rage, page, change, orange, strange, bulge, indulge
- If there’s a “j” sound at the end of a word that has only one syllable, and if the vowel immediately preceding it is a short vowel, spell it with “dge”. With a few exceptions, only short Germanic words - or words that seem like they could be short Germanic words - retain the “dg” spelling.
Eg. judge, bridge, badge, lodge, hedge
Depressing, I know. This doesn’t even get to most of the exceptions.

Yet, despite this monstrosity of an orthography, most English speakers know these rules. Once we’ve learned them thoroughly, they seem obvious. When we got the word juge from French, it wasn’t too long before it was regularized to the modern spelling “judge”.

And this is exactly what happened with “fridge”. When “refrigerator” - with some help from the brand name Frigidaire - was shortened, there was no way it could have been spelled “frige”. A millennium of French, Latin, and Old English spelling working together prevents this: the word looks French, so you expect to pronounce it something like “frizh” or “freezh” or “fraizh” using the French/Latin system. (See also here.)

This leaves only one option for how to spell “fridge” - namely, well, “fridge”. It has one syllable and a short vowel, so it gets an extra “d” there to make it fit with how we do things in English. “Refrigerator” doesn’t have a “d”, because there’s no confusion that could have come from it; besides, English and French like to keep words relatively similar in spelling to their Latin ancestors.

To answer your question, there is no “d” in “refrigerator” because it’s a loanword from Latin, but pronounced according to the pronunciation rules of the later Romance languages; there is a “d” in “fridge” because, as a short word with a short vowel, it’s subject to our original set of Germanic spelling rules rather than our Latinate spelling rules.
 

FriendliiJelii

🥔Potate🥔
Member
Posts
1
#64
Hey that large page on refrigerators not having a 'd' was pretty interesting? Would you mind blowing my mind with a new fact I probably haven't learned?
 

Marin

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Member
Posts
285
#65
Hey that large page on refrigerators not having a 'd' was pretty interesting? Would you mind blowing my mind with a new fact I probably haven't learned?
In George Washington's days, there were no cameras. One's image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are "limbs;" therefore, painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence, the expression, "Okay, but it'll cost you an arm and a leg."
As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year! (May & October) Women
always kept their hair covered while men shaved their heads (because of lice and bugs) and wore wigs.
Wealthy men could afford good wigs. The wigs couldn't be washed so to clean them, they could carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the shell and bake it for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the term "big wig." Today we often use the expression "Here comes the Big Wig" because someone appears to be or is powerful and wealthy.
In the late 1700's, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide
board was folded down from the wall and used for dining. The "head of the household" always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the floor. Once in a while an invited guest would be offered to sit in this chair during a meal whom was almost always a man. To sit-in the chair meant you were important and in charge. Sitting in the chair, one was called the "chair man." Today, in business, we use the expression/title "Chairman."
Needless to say, personal hygiene left much room for improvement. As a result, many women and men had developed acne scars by adulthood. The women would spread bee's wax over their facial skin to smooth out their complexions. When they were speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at another woman's face she was told "mind your own bee's wax." Should the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence the term "crack a smile." Also, when they sat too close to the fire, the wax would melt, and therefore, the expression "losing face."
Ladies wore corsets which would lace up in the front. A tightly tied lace was worn by a proper and
dignified lady as in "straight laced".
Common entertainment included playing cards. However, there was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards but only applicable to the "ace of spades." To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead. Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren't "playing with a full “deck”.
Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what was considered important to the
people. Since there were no telephones, TV's or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs and bars who were told to "go sip some ale" and listen to people's conversations and political concerns. Many assistants were dispatched at different times. "You go sip here" and "You go sip there." The two words "go sip" were eventually combined when referring to the local opinion and thus, we have the term "gossip."
 

A.J1

Extra
Member
Posts
69
#66
What are the things you are worried about
Will I pronounce you ma-rien or simply ma-reen or any other.
Why there is so much diversity in European languages
Je bent geweldig
 

Marin

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Member
Posts
285
#67
What are the things you are worried about
i'm worried about the community with recent essentials stuff


Will I pronounce you ma-rien or simply ma-reen or any other.
I don't really mind either way, it's just meeeehrin basically


Why there is so much diversity in European languages
Is there though? A lot of them are germanic/romanic languages and they have a ton in common. English not so much because the romans didn't have as much influence there.
 

Taq

Sandwich Master
Member
Posts
138
#70
What are actually your views on fakémon? I know you don't make them but what are your actual opinions on them?
 

Marin

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Member
Posts
285
#71
What are actually your views on fakémon? I know you don't make them but what are your actual opinions on them?
It's kind of a mixed bag for me... I don't mind properly executed fakemon (good design, some lore, moveset that makes sense, not going too over-the-top, etc.), but I'd still like some normal Pokémon to be catchable in the game (and I don't mean on a 1 : 10 ratio, but more 1 : 1 or 1 : 2). If that's not the case, it... kind of breaks the immersion for me. If it doesn't feel like a Pokémon, it won't feel like I'm playing Pokémon. It's as simple as that.
 

Zangoose335

i'm 16 i love zangoose weavile and raichu
Member
Posts
33
#73
It's kind of a mixed bag for me... I don't mind properly executed fakemon (good design, some lore, moveset that makes sense, not going too over-the-top, etc.), but I'd still like some normal Pokémon to be catchable in the game (and I don't mean on a 1 : 10 ratio, but more 1 : 1 or 1 : 2). If that's not the case, it... kind of breaks the immersion for me. If it doesn't feel like a Pokémon, it won't feel like I'm playing Pokémon. It's as simple as that.
do you like zangoose weavile or raichu cause they are my favorite I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE THEEEEEEEEEEEEEM!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Marin

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Posts
285
#74
What's the first fangame you worked on?
Oh god uh... it was some element from the periodic table I think. Bismuth? Not sure. It got cancelled shortly after I took my leave (but had been inactive for a long time before I did that already).

do you like zangoose weavile or raichu cause they are my favorite I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE THEEEEEEEEEEEEEM!!!!!!!!!!!!
not particularly
 

sukoshijon

tobae
Member
Posts
20
#75
What's your favourite and least favourite programming language

What would your ideal game programming framework (ie if you could magically produce one with that worked in a certain way, how would it work)?

How often do you search Google for help with something you're programming?
 

Marin

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Posts
285
#80
What's your favourite and least favourite programming language
Favourite's obviously Ruby, and least favorite probably Python.


What would your ideal game programming framework (ie if you could magically produce one with that worked in a certain way, how would it work)?
That's kind of vague tbh, what do you mean? Like RGSS, or more like Essentials?


How often do you search Google for help with something you're programming?
Depends on the language usually. I know Ruby well enough to not need to search anything most of the time, but with languages I don't use quite as much like JavaScript, I look up some methods sometimes.


White or normal chocolate?
White all the way.


Do you think you are stupid?
N-no...?


Do you know the meaning of term 'equality'.
Yes but why are you asking me these questions
 
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