[ntp:questions] outlyer / falseticker

unruh unruh at invalid.ca
Thu Mar 7 18:57:45 UTC 2013

On 2013-03-07, John Hasler <jhasler at newsguy.com> wrote:
> unruh writes:
>> I am positive that no matter where you live, the television show
>> "Survivor" has made its appearance. 
> I have never seen it: I do not watch television.  I have only a vague
> idea what it is about (and no interest in learning more).
>> If you do not like humour ( which I agree can in some cases not
>> translate well, but you are reading it in English) then reading David
>> Mills' code is probably not for you.
> I appreciate Dr. Mills' humor.  However, I do not think that it is
> desireable to make detailed familiarity with USA popular culture
> essential for the comprehension of documentation.  It's quite possible
> to have an adequate grasp of written English without knowing what
> "Survivor" is (or knowing the rules of baseball: this applies to the
> ever-popular sports analogies as well as to TV references).

It was, I believe, and attempt to make the procedure more comprehensible
by making an analogy to the TV show. Of course, if you have not seen the
TV show, the analogy does not help, but even then I think it is
comprehensible, simply because the rules of Survivor are so simple. But
clearly your milage may vary. 
Anytime you explain, you are assuming that the explanation refers to
concepts more familiar to the reader than the original concepts.
"voting" -- what do you do if you come from Turkmenistan, where voting
always had a preordained output? Should you never refer to voting when
explaining what happens in the reduction process? Similarly for the
other explanations. 

While I agree that in this case the explanation was too cutesy, that is
also a judgement call. I do not think that anyone will mistake a
reference to a million dollars as a real economic transaction. I think
even the original complainant saw it as a metaphore, but just was not
sure what the metaphore referred to. 

Again, the reference to riffraff is a metaphore which could quickly
havee been illuminated by a look at a dictionary. Second entry in a
google search gives the Wikipedia definition ( the first reference a
rapper, and perhaps that could confuse).

Ie, it seems that when one reads a language one does not understand
well, when you come across a term you do not understand, recourse to a
dictionary would be a good idea, rather than complaining on usenet. 

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