Arnout's Eclectica

But I digress…

Another T9 collision

10 February 2010 21:00 — Words

Some four years ago, I wrote in Fun with Markov chains about T9 collisions (the fact that predictive text input on mobile phones sometimes turns out interesting alternatives).

Last night I was contacted by someone who'd found the original post and was looking for a T9 collision translation (i.e. translating a T9 pair in language 1 to a T9 pair in language 2, trying to maintain the meaning).

That's still in progress, as you can imagine. I did find a nice new (half-)Dutch pair, though: godfather = infecties :-)

Hash heads and happy compilers

2 December 2008 21:41 — Words

Just came across the following line in the sources to zlib:

if (hash_head) hash_head = 0;  /* to make compiler happy */

Fun with Markov chains

4 May 2006 21:40 — Words

I'm slowly making my way through the posts at languagehat, a linguistics weblog which I discovered a few days ago.

In a comment on one of the articles, someone mentioned that entering 2665 on a mobile phone with predictive text input spells both "book" and "cool". Which got me thinking about what other collisions there might be...

So, after taking Grady Ward's Moby word list, and writing a few lines of C#, here are my favourites:

  • acquire = baptise
  • equitable = fruitcake
  • hormonic = insomnia
  • mature = obtuse
  • mudsucker = overtakes
  • navaho = obtain
  • pervert = request
  • piebald = ridable
  • pigmaker = signaler
  • september = sequences

And for Dutch (using this word list):

  • afgrijselijk = begrijpelijk
  • aftakking = bevalling
  • amortisatie = constipatie
  • deeltallen = edelvalken
  • emmer = fonds
  • gesloopt = herkomst
  • puber = stads
  • starheid = subsidie
  • tijdvak = vijftal
  • uniek = vogel


3 May 2006 23:02 — Books,Words

A few weeks ago, I came across a word I'd never seen before. That's not really a reason for a post, you might say. True, but since it happened two times on the same day, in two very different books, I present to you: sprezzatura – the art of casually hiding artfulness. I like that notion; ars celare artem, and all that...

Sprezzatura Sighting #1

A reprint of Paul Ford's "Processing Processing" in "The Best Software Writing I", a collection of essays on software. It's quite a varied collection, and definitely not all of it was to my liking. My favourites: Paul's article and Eric Lippert's "How many Microsoft employees does it take to change a lightbulb?". And of course, Chunky Bacon...
You can find the complete list of essays at Joel Spolsky's site. Most (if not all) of the articles are available online, but I prefer reading books.

Sprezzatura Sighting #2

"The Meaning of Tingo", a fun little book with interesting words from all over the world. Something to read in small doses, but very entertaining.

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