# Not Thinking It Through

Have a look at this week’s Odd Language #168: Conversion Crazy. Rather silly, eh?

Sometimes, in their eagerness to do something, people forget to check whether it makes sense to do it. Does anyone really call that creek “24.2 km Creek”? Without feeling silly about it?

Rules applied for the sake of rules does not make much sense and just breeds disrespect for rules in general. Some rules do make sense to follow, but if not, it is better to skip it.

# Odd Language #168: Conversion Crazy

Last weekend, I was on the West Coast of British Columbia to attend to the scattering of my momâ€™s ashes. During that time, I made three trips between Horseshoe Bay and Squamish. Three times, I saw a road sign for “24.2 KM CREEK”.

The issue: This is an obvious (and silly) conversion of “15 MILE CREEK”. On my way home, I drove over “19 MILE CREEK” (north of Whistler) which apparently is just fine non-metric.

# Puzzle #171: Letters

The postie got to his last street. There are four houses on it.

At the first house, he delivered one-half less three of the letters he had. At the second house, he delivered two-thirds less one of the letters he then had. At the third house, he delivered three-quarters less two of the letters he then had. At the last house, he delivered the remaining three letters. [Fractions indicate of the letters the postie had. e.g. “one-half” means one-half of the letters.]

How many letters did he have when he started the street, and how many did he deliver to each house?

Submit your answer to Gene Wirchenko <genew@telus.net>. Your answer should be in the form of a proof. That means to show how your answer must be correct. The deadline is Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

# More on Not Finding Things

Last week, I wrote Indexing and Finding (or Not Losing) Stuff.

Google Maps will suggest locations based on part of what you type. Unfortunately, it is not complete.

When I encounter the name of a community unknown to me, I often like to find out where it is. Sometimes, a community name can be used many times. For example, The Simpsons is set in Springfield, state unspecified. There is a Springfield in many U.S. states. Try finding them all using Google Maps. You are only going to get some of them.

I follow RocketNews24 which is a fun Japanese news site. Sometimes, they give a community name, but do not state which prefecture it is in. There are 47 prefectures.

Google Maps could be better about this. Sometimes, I have figured out the piece in the middle after doing some other searching. I then find that Google Maps does know about the community. So why did it not present it before?

What you can not see is effectively not there.

# Odd Language #167: Chop How?

You can chop up a problem into smaller pieces to chop down the complexity.

The issue: Prepositions in English are weird.

# Puzzle #170: Critters

Here are two groups of imaginary critters.

Group one consists of the ferocious: reamble, nozgot, jeret, plogleno, ugluckon.

Group two consists of the rather meek: friddert, stardby, enstalbgir, apprin, ytterinkob.

What do the critters in group one have that the critters in group two do not have? (It has to do with their name words.)

Submit your answer to Gene Wirchenko <genew@telus.net>. Your answer should be in the form of a proof. That means to show how your answer must be correct. The deadline is Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

# Indexing and Finding (or Not Losing) Stuff

If you do not know where something is or how to find out where it is, it can be lost forever.

Consider a song that you know a line or two of but not the artist or title. With the Web, you have a chance of finding it if someone has written up the lyrics. Without the Web, it would be much harder.

There is a game on the Armor Games Website that I would like to play again. It involves controlling a tank to solve logical problems. Armor Games does not have a very good lookup system. It only accepts one word and that a title word. This particular game, whatever it is called, does not have “tank” in the title. I am out of luck unless I run through hundreds or thousands of game titles. The game is effectively lost to me unless I want to go to quite a bit of effort.

If you are indexing your Website, please consider a more sophisticated model than just one keyword from the title. The description for that tank game might well have “tank” in it or something else that I could use to find it.

# Odd Language #166: In or Out: Make Up Your Mind

Last week, I wrote about the ambiguity of “in”. Mr. Compton is the best tracker in Jeffersonville (in Robert Charles Wilson’s Darwinia). One interpretation of that is that he is based in Jeffersonville.

The issue: Another way of stating this is that he is based out of Jeffersonville, “out” meaning “in” here. Sometimes, I wonder why we bother so much with prepositions in English. They can be more confusing than clarifying.