User talk:Snorgle

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License tagging for Image:Snorgles bug1.jpg[edit]

Thanks for uploading Image:Snorgles bug1.jpg. Wikipedia gets thousands of images uploaded every day, and in order to verify that the images can be legally used on Wikipedia, the source and copyright status must be indicated. Images need to have an image tag applied to the image description page indicating the copyright status of the image. This uniform and easy-to-understand method of indicating the license status allows potential re-users of the images to know what they are allowed to do with the images.

For more information on using images, see the following pages:

This is an automated notice by OrphanBot. If you need help on selecting a tag to use, or in adding the tag to the image description, feel free to post a message at Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. 19:11, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Hello Snorgle. The picture you uploaded would be very useful to us here at WP, however for us to use it we need you to licence it for us. If you could choose an appropriate licence and add it it the image page that would be great. Let me know if you need assistance in doing this. Rockpocket 19:53, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
Hi, and thanks for your message. The licensing process here can be a bit complicated, so let me try and simplify it for you. Basically you should decide how you would like to license your image. Once you have decided you simply go to the image page (click here), click the "edit this page" tab at the top, then delete the text that says {{untagged|month=March|day=17|year=2007}} and replace it with the template for your choice of license. The templates are as follows:
  • {{GFDL-self}} - This license means people are required to attribute the work to you, and if they make changes or incorporate your work in their work, they are required to share their changes or work under the same license.
  • {{cc-by-sa-2.5|Attribution details}} - This permits free use, including commercial use; requires that you be attributed as the creator; and requires that any derivative creator or redistributor of your work use the same license. The desired attribution text should be included as a parameter in the template.
  • {{pd-self}} - In this one you relinquish all rights to the work and release it to the public domain.
If you are still not clear how to do it, just let me know which one of the licenses you would like to use and I can do it for you. Rockpocket 01:39, 19 March 2007 (UTC)


Word Usage

   "I'm not a fan of the green olive."

When I refer to green olives, as I did above, with the word "the," what is it called, why would it be done? I'm just looking for a general description of whatever is going on in that sentence. DRosenbach (Talk | Contribs) 16:20, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

       The definite article acting as a determiner? Pallida  Mors 17:03, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
   the word 'the' (called an article in English) is generally used to specify unique objects. e.g. "The president" specifies a singular individual whereas "A president" can refer to any of a number of people who've held the post. When it's applied to objects that are not normally considered in unique individual terms, however, it becomes a kind of universalizer/emphatic. e.g.:
       * "I'm not a fan of that green olive" - a particular green olive displeases you for some reason (oddly shaped, maybe?)
       * "I'm not a fan of green olives" - I don't like green olives as a rule
       * "I'm not a fan of the green olive" - I don't even like the idea of green olives.
   It's a bit pretentious sounding, so it's not a common usage.
   This assumes, of course, that you're not talking about a store (or maybe a superhero) called "the Green Olive". --Ludwigs2 17:13, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
       Contrast with "I'm not a fan of the green olives." (plural), which generally interpreted to mean "I'm not a fan of those green olives that are being served currently, although I'm not making any claims about other green olives which may be served in the future." -- (talk) 17:51, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
           I should also note that the interpretation is simplified with mass nouns (or words used as such), where "I'm not a fan of the taramosalata" refers to a particular taramosalata (e.g. the one currently served), whereas "I'm not a fan of taramosalata." (no article) means that you don't like taramosalata in general. -- (talk) 17:59, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
               Ah, that's true. I hadn't considered that interpretation. --Ludwigs2 18:21, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
   You'll see "the" with a singular noun used in reference to a group of people in cases like the title of this article. It tends to be used of minority groups, and, as often as not, disparagingly. It reminds me of descriptions of non-human animates - "The double-breasted warbler makes its home in tall trees ...". -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 19:34, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
   It also occurs in the name of the website The Wikipedian.—Wavelength (talk) 19:55, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
       As mentioned by Jack of Oz, it is perfectly usual to use "the" before the name of a species (common not Latin name, and singular not plural). "The kakapo parrot is an endangered species", "the polar bear is not found in Antarctica", "the Bramley apple is best known as a cooking apple". Here we are not speaking of an individual of the species, but the species. So even if a "green olive" is not the name of a species, it is being treated as such. Sussexonian (talk) 20:43, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
   A category of women is discussed by —Wavelength (talk) 21:38, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
   A person who says "The customer is always right" is probably referring to customers in general.—Wavelength (talk) 23:03, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

Generic usage. As a first approximation, singular with a(n), singular with the and bare plural are all OK: The Englishman's home is his castle / An Englishman's home is his castle / Englishmen's homes are their castles. Yes, The customer is always right is generic (unless an unusual context specifies otherwise); we prefer "the" because this is an ossified catchphrase, but A customer is always right and Customers are always right would be OK too. ¶ Heesowever, this approximation isn't quite adequate, because (to me at least) I'm a fan of a green olive would beg the question "Oh really? Which one?" (Cf the odd I'm a fan of a novel, which -- at least to me -- could never mean a liking for all novels.) And I'm a fan of green olives seems to me to have a very slightly different nuance. So perhaps the only reliable form for generic is definite singular, which can be supplemented by indefinite plural and indefinite singular when conditions are right; however, I haven't thought this through. ¶ Here's more on generics and definiteness and articles in English. -- Hoary (talk) 01:09, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

   I think that Otto Jespersen's classic multi-volume English grammar has an extended discussion of generics, where he establishes that all four combinations of indefinite vs. definite and singular vs. plural can serve to signal generic meaning in English (though some are more common than others, of course). AnonMoos (talk) 03:10, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
       There is a nuance between "I'm not a fan of cheesy chips" and "I'm not a fan of the cheesy chip". I only know this as a native speaker, would be very interested to read the result of a systematic investigation into this question. Itsmejudith (talk) 22:46, 17 June 2010 (UTC).
           BTW "Not a fan of the cheesy chip" sounds like a recent formulation, 1960s onwards, post Jespersen anyway. Itsmejudith (talk) 22:48, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

Put here for my reference![edit]

Fiction about controlling people with language

I'm interested in reading stories, and novels (and even non-fiction if it's interesting enough!) where the plot or backstory involves trying to control the general public through the use of language. An obvious one that springs to mind is Newspeak in 1984, but I'm sure there must be more examples. So please chip in with any related (even if it's quite tenuously!) suggestions. Snorgle (talk) 13:26, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

   Snow Crash features some extensive stuff in which people are literally programmed using neuro-linguistic programming (sometimes in ancient Sumarian). -- Finlay McWalter ☻ Talk 13:29, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
   More interesting from a linguistic point of view are Languages of Pao and Ascian language. ("Snow Crash" had many gaping plot holes and basic coherency problems.) AnonMoos (talk) 13:49, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
       Maybe, but it still rules. Comet Tuttle (talk) 16:45, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
   In the novel Dune, the Bene Gesserit can control individuals through Voice, which technically fits your query. Comet Tuttle (talk) 16:45, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
       In Alphaville (film) people rely on a "Bible" that is actually a dictionary that a tyrannical computer continually "updates" by removing the words for human emotions that it forbids. Cuddlyable3 (talk) 18:18, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
       Yeah, but the Bene Gesserit Voice wasn't a use of language, but a use of tone of voice. Everard Proudfoot (talk) 19:15, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
           It was both; the tone of voice was obviously primary, but the content of the language was significant. "There's no need to fight over me" was one control line that Jessica used, for example. Comet Tuttle (talk) 22:33, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
       Another example is the use of fnord in Illuminatus!. --Anonymous, 22:19 UTC, August 25, 2010.
       Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delaney is an SF novel about a language created to influence those who speak it. See also the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis for the underlying theory. Rojomoke (talk) 22:47, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
   Isn't "control the general public through the use of language" what public relations, press releases and 'media-spin' is (sometimes) all about? (and propaganda of course!) There was the movie Wag the Dog in 1997 where the US Government invented a war that "distracts the electorate from a sex scandal" to bolster their election chances. 220.101 talk\Contribs 20:29, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
   See also Native Tongue by Suzette Haden Elgin. She wrote a woman's language called Laadan that was designed to express feminine things without interference from masculinity. Steewi (talk) 02:39, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
       In the 80's I read two separate academic papers about Science Fiction and Linguistics, which covered this topic among others. I haven't got the references but I'm sure you could turn up at least one of them. --ColinFine (talk) 12:18, 27 August 2010 (UTC) Thank you all for your excellent suggestions and examples! I have plenty of reading to do. Snorgle (talk) 13:08, 27 August 2010 (UTC)