Category Archives: Odd Language

Some uses of language can be very peculiar-sounding or can be ambiguous in unexpected ways.

Odd Language #248: Expectations

An article in Computerworld, IBM, Sesame Workshops reveal AI & Apple iPad child literacy plan, states near the end: ‘”Consumers should expect that their data is protected by the world’s best security systems and that their own data is not used to advertise products or services to them,” she said.’

The issue: Considering the dangers being talked about, consumers should not expect data protection (though they should be able to).

Odd Language #247: Low-Level

How a Low-Level Apple Employee Leaked Some of the iPhone’s Most Sensitive Code indirectly refers to a second use of low-level.

The issue: With regard to employees, “low-level” generally means not having much rank. Another use of the term is for something related to the innards of something. The programming code in question is low-level code in this sense. Conceivably, an employee who writes low-level code could be called low-level regardless of his rank.

Odd Language #246: Blessed With What?

xkcd is a great comic strip. There is often a lot under the surface of each strip, and there is explain xkcd which explains xkcd. A recent discussion had this sentence: “The theory is typically Ash stays 10 years old because in the first episode he sees Ho-Oh who magically blessed him with eternal happiness and not aging.”

The issue: Blessed with what? It could be having been blessed with eternal happiness and blessed with not aging. However, in some tales not aging is not considered a blessing, so it could be having been blessed with eternal happiness and not having been blessed with aging.

Odd Language #244: Dispatching

This story by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. has the sentence in paragraph 2: “Is there a glow from the single lamp, illumining the high-backed reading chair last occupied by his wife before he dispatched her with their children, and all others within and without the City, to the highlands west of the Ramparts of the Sky?”

The issue: “dispatched” could mean sent or killed. Until the “… to the highlands …”, it is uncertain, and I first thought it was the latter which is considerably darker.

Odd Language #240: Which Bacon?

I often chat with the tellers at my credit union when I bank on Friday. A couple weeks ago, I was describing a sandwich that I used to get at my alma mater. It was a turkey-bacon sandwich (or maybe the bird meat was chicken). The teller said she preferred the real thing. I was confused until I realised …

The issue: … that the teller thought that I meant a sandwich made with turkey bacon which is turkey processed to resemble bacon. I was referring to a turkey and bacon sandwich.