67 Comments

  1. @ Arthur – But only because larK is far too modest to place it there himself. Either that, or he’s worried that too much advertising will have a negative effect on his bandwidth limits.

  2. Okay, that’s interesting: while regular posts accept comments by default, pages such as the Random Comments Page BAR comments by default.

    That’s been corrected.

    I’m learning this as I go along, guys.

    And the reason larK’s harvester isn’t in the sidebar is that — as previously noted — adding items to the sidebar is stupidly difficult.

    WordPress’s definition of user-friendly is “we’ll make running your site very simple and intuitive and neat-looking: with the trade-off that if you want to do anything not on the menu, we’re going to make it as difficult as possible.”

  3. “I’m learning this as I go along, guys.”
    What, women don’t get recognition – all three of us, from what I can tell . . . ?

  4. I find it fascinating how “guys” is sometimes specifically gender-inclusive, and sometimes specifically not, without a lot of overt signalling either way. It (and all the other similarly multivalent words) must be horribly confusing for non-native speakers.

  5. Dude, all y’all have choices on the gender inclusive plural thingy. Just depends on your region i suppose, mates.

  6. As long as we’re wishing for improvements to the template, we could really use a slightly more distinctive color for links (instead of mouse grey). It took me an embarrasingly long time to realize that this thread “about” the “New Random Comments Page” was not actually the same one as the easily overlooked link in Bill’s introduction.

  7. “It must be horribly confusing for non-native speakers”

    Nah, not really. We have similar words and constructs in my language (Norwegian), and I guess in most other languages. Turns out context is important.

  8. @ Soup Dragon – Maybe if she finds out that there’s another Norwegian about, we can get Keera to chip in again.

  9. Remarkably enough, Kilby, they don’t let me choose the link color.

    I swear, if they could figure out a way to limit me to four-panel comics, I think they would.

  10. Bill, I think Grawlix put that link in as follow-up to the discussion above about “guys”. It’s also what I first thought of.

  11. Not that I’m a hardcore SJW or anything, but I’d say there is still a vestigial masculinity associated with “guys”. If I made a post that said “Hey gals, I have a question about this comic”, I’m sure the men would feel at least a little odd, even though the use was intended to be inclusive. “Guys” has been used so much as a generic that is is like the old days, when we always used “he” in every sentence and just said that it included females too. Maybe that was our intent, but I think it would take many more decades, more likely centuries of use before “guys” loses that connotation.

    “Hey all” or “Hey everyone” or “What’s up, y’all?” etc offer fully functional and unambiguously inclusive ways to say the same things. Not a big thing, I guess, but the little things matter when it comes to making people feel included in a group.

    Not that we’re not a welcoming bunch, of course. Just an issue I’ve had to think about due to other groups I’m involved with.*

    *Obviously not the “Preservation of Archaic Preposition Rules Society”, obviously.**

    **Nor the “Society for the Elimination and Eradication of Redundancy Society” either.

  12. A pet peeve of mine: Girlfriends and I are in a restaurant; the server asks, ‘Are you guys ready to order?’ or any other iteration of this . . . I don’t mind if it’s used in a diner, but in a nice $$$ restaurant, it’s just downright tacky. I always protest this use, but don’t know if my commenting on its tackiness changes anything.

  13. *Obviously not the “Preservation of Archaic Preposition Rules Society”, obviously

    Child to babysitter: “What did you bring that book I didn’t want to be read to out of down for?”

  14. @Mitch4: You forget that the book in question is about Australia, and the kid is on an upper floor, and thus that the child actually says:
    “What did you bring that book I didn’t want to be read to out of about Down Under up for?”

  15. @ Shrug – I’m very impressed: what English can do with prepositions, is par for the course for German verbs, although the usual limit for those verbs is four or five (excluding contrived parenthetical monstrosities, of course).

  16. I have a six-year-old niece. She uses “you guys” to refer to all of her friends… all of whom are girls. AFAIK, none of them objects to this.

  17. “Sunshine makes every day better”

    Because a day without sunshine is like, you know, night….
    -Steve Martin

  18. @ Grawlix – I’m not afraid of the dark: it’s the orange juice propaganda that makes my skin crawl.

  19. All these random comments on a string ABOUT the random comments string. Maybe this is where I should plug my self-published … (Sounds of another scuffle and a door slamming)

  20. I’ve got something self-published too, but nobody’s buying it. Lesson learned: don’t give free copies to your friends and relatives as Christmas presents. They are the only people who would buy it, and now they don’t have to.

  21. Mine’s an eBook priced at $2.99. It’s a light romcom-ish novel running 223,000 words. I’m suspecting price point isn’t the problem.

  22. I’ve wondered about this ‘guys’ expression to refer to everyone, too. Males seem to have an easier time accepting it’s gender non-specific at times (go figure), but as SB said, a group of men would likely object to “OK ladies, time to go!” as ‘woke’ as they may be. In fact, these same people would probably find it insulting.

    Over the last few years, I’ve converted to ‘folks’ to avoid this very issue.

  23. Stan, “folk” is plural. “Folks”, properly, refers to one’s parents. /pedant

  24. I’m not sure ‘properly’ is appropriate. According to Cambridge, Oxford and Dictionary.com, the first definition of ‘folks’ given is plural, and refers generally to a group of people. Here’s Cambridge’s take on it for verification: “folks [ plural ] [ as form of address ] INFORMAL used when speaking informally to a group of people: All right, folks, dinner’s ready!”

    Your definition is there as well, so it is indeed “a” proper usage, but it’s not the only proper definition, as you seem to imply. Additionally, it seems to be a less common form of the use of the word as it comes after the definition listed above, as is the case with the other sites. In fact, on Dictionary.com’s website, it’s listed 4th.

    Who’s the pendant now, eh? Take that, folks!

  25. On book sales figures – – if I admit to following it, one of the Funkyverse serials just had an episode about holding a reading / signing event, which made the point there won’t be high sales if everyone has already gotten a gift copy.

  26. “Stan, ‘folk’ is plural”

    Not always. It’s not even always a noun.

    Example: One category of music more popular in the past is folk. Explicitly singular in that usage. And, of course, “folk” can be used as an adjective to describe music and the performers of that style.

  27. “I’ve wondered about this ‘guys’ expression to refer to everyone, too.”

    Yeah, well… A while back, when my daughter still lived at home, I learned that “dudes” ALSO can refer either to a group of men, a group of women, or a mixed group, or can refer specifically to just boys, depending on, as best as I can tell, the phases of the moons of Jupiter. Language changes over time… people adopt new meanings for words, and adopt new words, and deprecate some old usages. The fun part is when an old meaning gets preserved in a language fossil. The meaning of “proves” has changed since the saying “the exception proves the rule” became a thing.

    Another thing that has changed over time is the meaning of the word “Samaritans”. When Jesus used the word, it meant the most vile, awful people his audience could imagine. That’s why it was such a big deal to say that even a Samaritan might be a worthy person in Jesus’ religion. Over the intervening millennia, as we stopped having dealings with any actual Samaritans, the only ones we ever hear about are the “Good” ones This robs the parable of much of its meaning… of COURSE the Samaritan helped the man who was set upon by thieves, he was a SAMARITAN, and helping people is what Samaritans DO. You say “Samaritan”, and “Good” is implied.

  28. If “folk” is plural, how about “people”? As in, “The Chinese people, the Jewish people, and all the other peoples of the earth were represented at the Great Congress of Peoples.”

  29. Just for fun, many times when addressing a mixed group, I’ll call them “boys and girls”. It sounds a bit Bozo-The-Clown-ish, but no one ever seems resentful, including older adults, with whom I work frequently.

  30. @ Robert – The informal custom in Germany for addressing a passing stranger is to call him “Junger Mann!” (young man), irrespective of either of the ages of the people involved. A typical example would be when someone drops something on the sidewalk, or forgets a receipt at a supermarket. Seeing a 40-year-old cashier addressing a 60-year-old customer as “young man” may seem a little odd, but it works. The “official” forms of address (like “Mein Herr“) are so ridiculously archaic that nobody would even think of trying them.

  31. And from that same book, “prodigal son”: it’s most often used today to mean “somebody who returns after a long time,” rather than “extravagant and reckless.”

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