July 15, 2002
WTC Site News
Posted by scott at July 15, 2002 03:23 PM
Jeff sent me this story about news on how New York City is planning on re-developing the WTC site. But this is just a start. I'll be amazed if the plans don't get tied up in court for years a-la the WWII memorial down here in D.C. When you have this many people with this much passionate interest, it's going to be bugger-all to please them enough not to sue.
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Ooh, I get to quote Inigo Montoya. Actually, I've always thought that's slightly crass. Nevermind.
However charming it might be to watch Americans trying to absorb some British slang, can I point out that the most facile translation of bugger-all would be one of 'nothing', 'very little' or 'grossly insufficient'?
Also, why is the Alt-text on all the category graphics '$MTCategoryLabel$'? Wouldn't the, er, category label make more sense? :)
Actually, I got the sense of bugger-all from Good Omens, a Terry Pratchett/Neil Gaiman collaboration. Click here for an explanation. It seems to me to be used as "to hell with this", at least in that quote. Even then I'm probably still mis-using it. But what's to say it's not american slang now? :)
I'll check on the category thing. That's supposed to turn *into* the label, but for some reason seems it's not right now.
And BTW, could you tell me what, exactly a "git" is? I've always been under the impression it is roughly equivalent to "one who has *relations* with a sheep or other animal", but nobody's ever actually come out and said what it meant.
I see your difficulty now. It was really that you were so close to getting it right, but in actuality miles away from the correct usage that made it funny enough to comment on.
You kind of have your metaphorical brackets in the wrong place. The monk is saying 'bugger (all this)', whereas you said '(bugger all) [something]', which makes it look like you get Babelfish to do your proof-reading - it's grammatically correct, but meaningless.
Also a huge fan of Good Omens. I liked the half-page footnote explaining our monetary system. In case anyone thinks this is Neil or PTerry exagerating for comic effect, nothing in that note is made up (in fact I think they left a couple of coins out!) and people really did bitch about how awkward the change to the decimal system was!
I don't recognise the $name$ syntax of your labels, but if it was Perl the problem would be that you've used non-interpolating ' ' quotes rather than interpolating " " quotes.
I don't think 'git' has any specificity left, if it ever did. It is quite strongly insulting, though, which is probably why you thought it was sexual. The best sense I can come up is that it has overtones that the person is antisocial, perhaps selfish, miserly, curmudgeonly. As I say, quite a strong insult, which one would have to be careful about using in jest.
I found it in an online etymology, certainly suggesting it's Scots for 'bastard' would be consistent with its modern usage.
Many of these epithets bear no real connection to their origins. The etymology of 'bloody', for example seems to be completely obscure (it's not 'by our lady', for example). Even so, twenty years ago 'bloody' was a very bad thing to say in polite company, although it's lost much of its cachet since then. Likewise no-one really knows what the 'two fingers' gesture means. (Index finger and middle finger raised and separated, palm towards you. Deliver like 'the bird'. Do not confuse with 'V for Victory' or 'peace', with the palm facing away and the hand static or waving.) Everyone assumes it's sexual, although it probably isn't. Delivered correctly it can be about the strongest insult you can give, although it seems to have fallen into disuse.
Heh... I did my own Engrish in other words. Wouldn't be the first time :).
Even though I haven't read the book in years I still remember the footnote about english money. You guys switched to decimal in, what, the early 70s? Bodes ill for Blair's efforts on the euro! :)
I read Pratchett as often as I can, but hadn't read any of Gaiman's stuff until last month. American Gods was quite a good read, but I thought I could see a bit of Pratchett influence in his "anthropomorphic personification" idea. But it's hard for me to judge, as I haven't read anything else by Gaiman. Yet. :)
The tags are movable type tags. It's a good system, especially for what it cost, but it has some funky syntax (and limited boolean capability, which makes me bonkers). I'd left out the < and >, which are required to "close" the tag. It should look right now.
OK! Now is going to translate all of that for me? LOL