Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bonus for the Word Nerds

Partly because you should know these words, and partly because the collective term is fun to say … Metasyntactic variable! Go!

2 comments:

Dan Weston said...

Not a metasyntactic variable, but a productive enclitic: -fu.

It cannot be applied retroactively to skills before the Google generation, so those who utter the malformed phrase FORTRAN-fu deserve the reply uck-fu off-you.

If however, (as I dearly hope), COBOL makes a retro comeback and it becomes cool to solve quadratic equations with the program:

MULTIPLY B BY B GIVING B-SQUARED.
MULTIPLY 4 BY A GIVING FOUR-A.
MULTIPLY FOUR-A BY C GIVING FOUR-A-C.
SUBTRACT FOUR-A-C FROM B-SQUARED GIVING RESULT-1.
COMPUTE RESULT-2 = RESULT-1 ** .5.
SUBTRACT B FROM RESULT-2 GIVING NUMERATOR.
MULTIPLY 2 BY A GIVING DENOMINATOR.
DIVIDE NUMERATOR BY DENOMINATOR GIVING X.

then I will definitely be among the first to proudly display my COBOL-fu.

Dan Weston said...

Another nice suffix is queen (not usually hyphenated, from queen=effeminate gay man), i.e. one sexually attracted to an archetype, which must be expressed in pseudo-pejorative terms. The negative sense is purely ironic, in a "Take back the night" sort of way.

Common examples are rice queen, bean queen, banana queen, leather queen, and even the improbable queen queen (one attracted to queens). Ironically, queen queens are not usually queens.

Can this be applied recursively? Is it a valid production to say rice queen queen to mean one attracted to those attracted to (East) Asians? Whether this is a valid construction I do not know, as I have never heard this myself. I do infer that it associates to the left, for those interested in properly parsing the meaning of a leather daddy queen queen.

Which, not being a leather daddy, I am not.

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