What Are You Currently Reading Outside of Tech



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    Somewhere Different. It's about a family travelling the world much like us, but in an RV.

    Just finished this, finally. Actually stopped by the home of the author on the day that I finished reading the book. They were not home, though.



  • I just finished the Alloys of Law trilogy the night before last. Can't wait for the next book.



  • Ruska gramatika u poređenju sa srpskohrvatskom or "A comparison of Russian and Serbian grammar" by Branko Tošović



  • @tonyshowoff now that sounds all kinds of exciting.



  • @tonyshowoff said:

    Ruska gramatika u poređenju sa srpskohrvatskom or "A comparison of Russian and Serbian grammar" by Branko Tošović

    I always wished I took a second language more seriously. I read a book comparing the form and function of American English, English, and Australian English once. Very informative on how they changed and moved apart over time.



  • @coliver said:

    @tonyshowoff said:

    Ruska gramatika u poređenju sa srpskohrvatskom or "A comparison of Russian and Serbian grammar" by Branko Tošović

    I always wished I took a second language more seriously. I read a book comparing the form and function of American English, English, and Australian English once. Very informative on how they changed and moved apart over time.

    Bill Bryson's "Made in America" is a great read about the origins of American English.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @coliver said:

    @tonyshowoff said:

    Ruska gramatika u poređenju sa srpskohrvatskom or "A comparison of Russian and Serbian grammar" by Branko Tošović

    I always wished I took a second language more seriously. I read a book comparing the form and function of American English, English, and Australian English once. Very informative on how they changed and moved apart over time.

    Bill Bryson's "Made in America" is a great read about the origins of American English.

    I'll look into it. Thanks.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @tonyshowoff now that sounds all kinds of exciting.

    Well muh grammar in Russian ain't so good. I've had this book for years and never bothered to actually read it. The fact it's in Serbian helps take out all the middle garbage that has to be explained to English speakers because of their overtly simplistic grammar yet painfully inconsistent and illogical spelling system which most are oblivious the rest of the world just spells things roughly the way they sound.

    We like our grammar easy, our spelling the hardest on the planet for any alphabetic system, our healthcare expensive, and our shootings mass.



  • @tonyshowoff said:

    Well muh grammar in Russian ain't so good. I've had this book for years and never bothered to actually read it. The fact it's in Serbian helps take out all the middle garbage that has to be explained to English speakers because of their overtly simplistic grammar yet painfully inconsistent and illogical spelling system which most are oblivious the rest of the world just spells things roughly the way they sound.

    Have you ever looked at British English? Much of it is far more logical than American since American was intentional misspellings of the British.

    And American schools leave out some letters being taught which makes some of the rules break and things that should be logical (why it is phoenix for example) are not because we weren't taught one of the letters hoping that it would make things "easy".



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @tonyshowoff said:

    Well muh grammar in Russian ain't so good. I've had this book for years and never bothered to actually read it. The fact it's in Serbian helps take out all the middle garbage that has to be explained to English speakers because of their overtly simplistic grammar yet painfully inconsistent and illogical spelling system which most are oblivious the rest of the world just spells things roughly the way they sound.

    Have you ever looked at British English? Much of it is far more logical than American since American was intentional misspellings of the British.

    And American schools leave out some letters being taught which makes some of the rules break and things that should be logical (why it is phoenix for example) are not because we weren't taught one of the letters hoping that it would make things "easy".

    Even RP veers way off being fairly non-rhotic, on the best day, English uses something like 687 spellings for ~41 sounds. English literally does have the most broken spelling system in the world, even worse than French. It's roughly as equally complex as learning traditional Chinese. Any wonder even year 8 Americans/English/etc can barely spell meanwhile year 2 of most other European languages can already read/write everything.

    It's a good test that someone only speaks English if they say "words are spelled the way they sound." Strange, why don't Italian or German children go home with lists of worse to rote memorise and then take spelling tests for 8 years?

    I think the most bizarre part is how people defend it. The weirdest claim is that what makes English so unique is that it has such a large lexicon and therefore changing/fixing the spelling in any way would ruin this. This literally makes no damn sense. The amount of words has nothing to do with the spelling, but it's a common, completely illogical thing said by even educated people.

    I think the biggest reason, aside from obvious issues like transitional problems and cost, is mostly because people think being able to spell well makes them smart. It's no surprise essentially no other languages have "Spelling Bees" but these are seen as a mark of intelligence in English-speaking countries, you know, doing something a computer has been capable of for 30+ years.

    Aside from believing spelling has anything at all to do with words which have already been imported into the language, the next utterly moronic claim is that having words connected closely to etymology makes it easier for readers. This is nonsense for several reasons, primarily because it requires one to be educated in other languages or at least familiar with them, and also it requires the etymology to actually be accurate, and it often is not.

    According to their logic you should be able to decode a word based on etymology so you can more easily read it for the first time. Of course, this is not how we learn new words, we learn them from context or definition.

    For example, if I saw the word "diarrhoea" for the first time, and I understood Greek, I'd see that it meant "open flow," thus explaining absolutely nothing at all to me.

    Epilepsy? "take a hold of"

    Island? False etymology, purposely changed to look like a Latin word, used to be spelled iland.

    Debt? Ditto with above, used to be spelled dett.

    Also, can you believe choir used to by spelled quyre? Yes, many words were intentionally made worse to create false etymologies to make them "better" or appear more Latin.

    And tens of thousands of other examples.

    Like I said, plenty of good reasons not to fix the spellings, but the idea it makes English unique by providing more words is a non-sequitur and illogical, and etymological based spelling too is meaningless unless you already are very well read, and even then it's pretty useless most of the time, it's especially useless if you're a child or someone learning English.

    That and the reason "whose accent do we use?" Well, when people say this it tells me two things:

    1. They don't know how languages work; almost certainly they don't speak any other language
    2. They don't realise other languages like German, Spanish, etc can differ vastly, more so than most English dialects and yet still have a standardised spelling system that doesn't make even college students struggle

    The answer is obvious though, General American and California English, a mix of both of those since they're fairly identical anyway. Why? Because nobody gives a damn about phonemic spelling of English for some dialect or accent for a poor section of England or island some place with a few thousand people. All over the world people aren't typically learning RP, they're learning American, and even in India it's the accent to have, and this is true elsewhere.

    My youngest sister went to a private English-only school in Sarajevo and speaks with an RP accent, she's been trying to speak more American lately.

    However, this is all completely irrelevant, because differences in one dialect or accent are almost always reflected consistently in another one. For example, the "ai" sound as in "knife", in General American and RP this is the /aI/ sound, in Australian it's something like /oI/, and in South Eastern American (Southern) it's /{I/ (these are all rough, not considered accurate, I just looked them up).

    So while the sound is different, you can write them all the same way, and you'll get the same result. There are a few exceptions, but very few compared to, say, differences been Bosnian and Serbian and Croatian. One that I always noticed is "dynasty." In American this is /[email protected]/ however in RP it's /[email protected]/.

    Issues like this exist in all languages and accents, and yet somehow Spanish, German, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, etc don't feel the need to create arbitrary misspellings so that it's so wrong in every accent that it's "better" because it doesn't match any of them.

    Plenty of good reasons not to fix it, but strangely people give really stupid ones which make me question their ability to think coherently, or at least listen to what comes out of their mouths or fingertips.

    It's the same kind of logic that Brian Green used when he said "Interstellar travel isn't possible because of time dilation, when you went to another star at near the speed of light, after you came back everyone you knew would be dead." He should know better, and yet he still said that, even though these two issues have nothing to do with each other -- if I don't care that everyone else is dead, why is it still impossible? What about time dilation makes it impossible specifically? It still baffles me he even said it, just as it baffles me people think spelling has anything to do with the lexicon itself.

    Look at how many definitions the word "run" has, should we spell them all a different way to make English "more unique?" Following that logic, it would not only make English more unique, suddenly the words would pop into existence.

    Edit: This is pretty long, thank god I'm a quick typist.



  • @tonyshowoff said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @tonyshowoff said:

    Well muh grammar in Russian ain't so good. I've had this book for years and never bothered to actually read it. The fact it's in Serbian helps take out all the middle garbage that has to be explained to English speakers because of their overtly simplistic grammar yet painfully inconsistent and illogical spelling system which most are oblivious the rest of the world just spells things roughly the way they sound.

    Have you ever looked at British English? Much of it is far more logical than American since American was intentional misspellings of the British.

    And American schools leave out some letters being taught which makes some of the rules break and things that should be logical (why it is phoenix for example) are not because we weren't taught one of the letters hoping that it would make things "easy".

    Even RP veers way off being fairly non-rhotic, on the best day, English uses something like 687 spellings for ~41 sounds. English literally does have the most broken spelling system in the world, even worse than French. It's roughly as equally complex as learning traditional Chinese. Any wonder even year 8 Americans/English/etc can barely spell meanwhile year 2 of most other European languages can already read/write everything.

    It's a good test that someone only speaks English if they say "words are spelled the way they sound." Strange, why don't Italian or German children go home with lists of worse to rote memorise and then take spelling tests for 8 years?

    I think the most bizarre part is how people defend it. The weirdest claim is that what makes English so unique is that it has such a large lexicon and therefore changing/fixing the spelling in any way would ruin this. This literally makes no damn sense. The amount of words has nothing to do with the spelling, but it's a common, completely illogical thing said by even educated people.

    I think the biggest reason, aside from obvious issues like transitional problems and cost, is mostly because people think being able to spell well makes them smart. It's no surprise essentially no other languages have "Spelling Bees" but these are seen as a mark of intelligence in English-speaking countries, you know, doing something a computer has been capable of for 30+ years.

    Aside from believing spelling has anything at all to do with words which have already been imported into the language, the next utterly moronic claim is that having words connected closely to etymology makes it easier for readers. This is nonsense for several reasons, primarily because it requires one to be educated in other languages or at least familiar with them, and also it requires the etymology to actually be accurate, and it often is not.

    According to their logic you should be able to decode a word based on etymology so you can more easily read it for the first time. Of course, this is not how we learn new words, we learn them from context or definition.

    For example, if I saw the word "diarrhoea" for the first time, and I understood Greek, I'd see that it meant "open flow," thus explaining absolutely nothing at all to me.

    Epilepsy? "take a hold of"

    Island? False etymology, purposely changed to look like a Latin word, used to be spelled iland.

    Debt? Ditto with above, used to be spelled dett.

    Also, can you believe choir used to by spelled quyre? Yes, many words were intentionally made worse to create false etymologies to make them "better" or appear more Latin.

    And tens of thousands of other examples.

    Like I said, plenty of good reasons not to fix the spellings, but the idea it makes English unique by providing more words is a non-sequitur and illogical, and etymological based spelling too is meaningless unless you already are very well read, and even then it's pretty useless most of the time, it's especially useless if you're a child or someone learning English.

    That and the reason "whose accent do we use?" Well, when people say this it tells me two things:

    1. They don't know how languages work; almost certainly they don't speak any other language
    2. They don't realise other languages like German, Spanish, etc can differ vastly, more so than most English dialects and yet still have a standardised spelling system that doesn't make even college students struggle

    The answer is obvious though, General American and California English, a mix of both of those since they're fairly identical anyway. Why? Because nobody gives a damn about phonemic spelling of English for some dialect or accent for a poor section of England or island some place with a few thousand people. All over the world people aren't typically learning RP, they're learning American, and even in India it's the accent to have, and this is true elsewhere.

    My youngest sister went to a private English-only school in Sarajevo and speaks with an RP accent, she's been trying to speak more American lately.

    However, this is all completely irrelevant, because differences in one dialect or accent are almost always reflected consistently in another one. For example, the "ai" sound as in "knife", in General American and RP this is the /aI/ sound, in Australian it's something like /oI/, and in South Eastern American (Southern) it's /{I/ (these are all rough, not considered accurate, I just looked them up).

    So while the sound is different, you can write them all the same way, and you'll get the same result. There are a few exceptions, but very few compared to, say, differences been Bosnian and Serbian and Croatian. One that I always noticed is "dynasty." In American this is /[email protected]/ however in RP it's /[email protected]/.

    Issues like this exist in all languages and accents, and yet somehow Spanish, German, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, etc don't feel the need to create arbitrary misspellings so that it's so wrong in every accent that it's "better" because it doesn't match any of them.

    Plenty of good reasons not to fix it, but strangely people give really stupid ones which make me question their ability to think coherently, or at least listen to what comes out of their mouths or fingertips.

    It's the same kind of logic that Brian Green used when he said "Interstellar travel isn't possible because of time dilation, when you went to another star at near the speed of light, after you came back everyone you knew would be dead." He should know better, and yet he still said that, even though these two issues have nothing to do with each other -- if I don't care that everyone else is dead, why is it still impossible? What about time dilation makes it impossible specifically? It still baffles me he even said it, just as it baffles me people think spelling has anything to do with the lexicon itself.

    Look at how many definitions the word "run" has, should we spell them all a different way to make English "more unique?" Following that logic, it would not only make English more unique, suddenly the words would pop into existence.

    Edit: This is pretty long, thank god I'm a quick typist.

    One of the few posts this long that I actually took the time to read. Very interesting perspective and insight.



  • I am currently reading through the Sorcerer's Ring series.... I'm on book 10 of 11 (I'm not sure if there are any more... But I actually got a good quote from one of the books (Book #6, A Charge of Valor)... Quite appropriate for the family stuff going on...

    "When we have tragedy in life, we get stuck, like getting stuck in the mud. When we are in the mud it feels as if we can never get out. But these come to us as great life lessons: it is up to us to pull ourselves out of the mud. Not just once, but time and time again. This is your moment to pull yourself out."

    I find it odd to find such good quote throughout that book series... and each book is prefaced with a quote from one of William Shakespeare's works.

    It's a fantasy novel (I can't help it -- I just love that Genre)... but I can't recall any Fantasy or Sci-Fi books having so many good quotes as this series.



  • Finished Driving Over Lemons the other day.



  • Reading Delta Green: Strange Authorities right now. Not sure what I'm going to read afterward.



  • I have actually changed tack... I finished that 17 book series, and now... I suddenly have a desire to write fantasy stories... Well, not to start one, but to pick one up that I had put down for a while. Now, instead of reading like mad, I am writing like mad.



  • @dafyre said in What Are You Currently Reading Outside of Tech:

    I have actually changed tack... I finished that 17 book series, and now... I suddenly have a desire to write fantasy stories... Well, not to start one, but to pick one up that I had put down for a while. Now, instead of reading like mad, I am writing like mad.

    I run roleplaying games on a semi-regular basis. That's where all my creative energy goes to. Plus it is super easy to be cliche and still have fun.



  • I am working though Catch 22



  • @s.hackleman said in What Are You Currently Reading Outside of Tech:

    I am working though Catch 22

    One of the classics that I've just never read.



  • @scottalanmiller said in What Are You Currently Reading Outside of Tech:

    @s.hackleman said in What Are You Currently Reading Outside of Tech:

    I am working though Catch 22

    One of the classics that I've just never read.

    That is exactly why I am reading it. My Boss brought it up while I was reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (for the same reason) and said I was missing out. So I picked it up.



  • "The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August" -by Claire North

    If you like History and/or Sci-Fi/Fantasy, I can't recommend this book enough.


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    @MattSpeller said in What Are You Currently Reading Outside of Tech:

    @RamblingBiped said:

    @MattSpeller said:

    @JaredBusch said:

    I am horribly out of touch with novels in the last 8 years.

    I miss reading. I have a library of ~1000 books all boxed up because this apartment has no space for them.

    I'm a Sci-Fi / Fantasy guy.

    sounds like my apartment too but scifi / military

    We only have 6 bookshelves full of books (half shelves really). The wife is really good about weeding books and not keeping stuff around just for the sake of keeping it around. If it has no value for subsequent reads it gets chucked in a box and donated.

    One of the more popular things to do around these parts is start your own free library

    http://victoriaplacemaking.ca/2015/placemaking/mapping-greater-victorias-little-library-boxes/

    A very cool idea: I've never come across one of those before. And, coincidentally, my wife is actually down in Victoria today.



  • Finished reading Nancy Drews: The Secret of the Old Clock last night. Obviously I was reading it for the kids 😉



  • @scottalanmiller said in What Are You Currently Reading Outside of Tech:

    Finished reading Nancy Drews: The Secret of the Old Clock last night. Obviously I was reading it for the kids 😉

    One down... and I lost track of how many more to go! lol. I bought that one a few months ago. 😃 (At one point I had read them all as a kid).



  • Lone Survivor.

    I'm really into military books. Although it takes me months to finish 1 book, because I lose interest in "reading for fun" so often.



  • Transition by Iain M Banks. Should be done by the end of the week.



  • Reading the first book of the Bobbsey Twins. I know, how exciting.



  • I have an audible subscription. I drive so much that listening to books is the only way I get to digest them any more. I have been listening to the Legacy Fleet Trilogy by Nick Webb. I like it. I also have been listening to Thomas Sowell and some of his more pivotal pieces.



  • @PenguinWrangler said in What Are You Currently Reading Outside of Tech:

    I have an audible subscription. I drive so much that listening to books is the only way I get to digest them any more. I have been listening to the Legacy Fleet Trilogy by Nick Webb. I like it. I also have been listening to Thomas Sowell and some of his more pivotal pieces.

    Audible is the best.



  • Finished the first Bobbsey Twins book last night.


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