Friday, January 12, 2007

EXCESS BLOGGAGE VOL. 285

As noted in previous Bloggage postings, I'm reasonably confident of the validity of each of these randomly culled items, and have more-or-less respected sources for each. Read and enjoy...

NO "SEX," PLEASE, WE'RE OXFORD ENGLISH
According to research by the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, the 25 most commonly used nouns in English are: time, person, year, way, day, thing, man, world, life, hand, part, child, eye, woman, place, work, week, case, point, government, company, number, group, problem, and fact. Given the absence of my own favorite three-letter noun, it's reasonable to conclude that the researchers were not talking to the right, or at least the most likely to reproduce, people.


CALL NEGATING
Under the heading of Long Overdue Technological Advances I hereby pass on the announcement by South Korean cell phone manufacturer LG that it will shortly begin marketing the new LP4100 model, which includes a breathalyzer feature that, when the user blows into it, flashes a warning if he or she has a blood alcohol level over .08, and even more valuable, can be programmed to prevent the user from calling certain ill-advised phone numbers while hammered. I trust the Nobel nominating committee will take notice. Then again, no I don't.


CAT'S ASSET
The price of a sneeze-free, hypoallergenic cat, bred through selective genetic divergence, for those who love but are allergic to cats: $4,500.


TERRORISTS 2, LOGIC 0
The amount that the Department of Homeland Security has budgeted to prevent terrorists from playing bingo for money in Kentucky, and I swear this is true: $36,200. The amount the DHS has budgeted to provide a trailer for the Madisonville, Texas October Mushroom Festival, same as above: $30,000.


DUNCE DRIVING
According to a National Drivers Test survey, roughly 18 million current licensed drivers in the US would flunk a state driver's test if they took one today.


CRASS ROOTS POLITICS
The estimated number of front groups that have been funded by Exxon Mobil since the late 1980s and devoted to publicly denying, refuting, belittling or minimizing the notion of global warming: 40.


W...A...G...E...R...I...
At least $70,000 in bets were placed with the offshore gambling Web site PinnacleSports.com this year on the outcome of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Odds that the winner would be wearing glasses were 4-to-7.


FAIR OR FOUL?
Since major league baseball imposed a strict new ban and testing program for steroids in 2005, home runs have increased by 9 percent, from an average 2.06 per game to 2.25. 47 percent of baseball fans surveyed think this is evidence that players are still using performance-juicing drugs.


A WHOLE NEW CALLING
It's estimated that 10 percent of worldwide music industry revenues now come just from ringtone sales.


WITCH WAY WE'RE GOING
The number of Americans who claimed Wiccan as their religion in 1990: 8,000. In 2001: 134,000.


IT'S NOT CALLED A KUMQUAT FOR NOTHING
According to a sex survey published in 2001 in The Portland Mercury, 6 percent of those polled claimed to have had sex with fruit, while 10 percent admit to doing the bad thing with vegetables.

2 Comments:

Blogger robert said...

The Oxford English Dictionary doesn't "talk" to anybody. Their research corpus is gathered from written material, mostly published books, magazines, newspapers. You can get a good idea of their sources by looking at the dictionary itself: they list examples from credited sources for every meaning they ascribe to a word. In fact, they determine the meaning by examining the context of the words actually used in their sources.

There are other dictionaries compiled wholely or partly from spoken sources, such as the Dictionary of Regional American Usage.

January 12, 2007 at 9:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Three letters? Three letters? Ehhhhh

FuQ?

I'm out there talking to the *people.*

January 12, 2007 at 11:19 PM  

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