Backtalk plugin shut off
Don't try to put a ham up your ass.
A few jobs ago, I was talking with some so-workers about something or other, and I mentioned something or other that had happened to me when I was at math camp.
One of them exclaimed, incredulously, “You went to math camp?”
I did go to math camp. Me! Of all people. I know it's hard to believe.
… at an event at my kids' school this evening:
Until my post a few days ago I had never tried to write a lipogram. The idea filled me with ennui. It seemed so tedious. But a two-sentence comment on math.se was my gateway drug. The blog post was not originally intended to be lipogrammatic itself. But a compulsion rose in me and once I started I found I couldn't stop.
I tinkered with it for hours. I couldn't think of a way around quoting the original bounty proposal that included the letter “e” so I put it in with a flowery and lipogrammatic apology. At one point I said aloud “this is good enough and I am not going to edit it any more!” But I didn't stick to that; I kept tinkering with it, trying to get the phrasing to be more natural, the words to be better-selected.
When I finally put it aside, I found I still wasn't done. I wrote a plugin for my blog software so that when it is generating a page, on which the title of the first post mentions lipograms, it replaces the name of the blog and all the other boilerplate with e-less versions.
I can totally imagine now how someone could write an e-less novel. Then I went back to my earlier lament about having lost my first writeup, to add a link to the new writeup, and I really meant to just dash it off, but the bug got me again and it came out with no e's.
While writing up this note I felt twinges several times as I wrote words or phrases that contained e's. It is so tempting to stop and try to get rid of them. And when I do write a phrase that is e-less, or almost e-less, I feel a pull to go back and expand it into a full sentence. Just now I stopped for thirty seconds to think about
and how I should revise it to:
Oops, “identify”. Try again:
Okay, I will stop now. That was just an example. I precommitted to not turning this article into a lipogram and I am going to stick to that. It was even harder to not turn the pre-commitment itself into a lipogram, or better, to write it so that its only vowel was 'e'. But I managed. Barely.
I mentioned some of this to Rik Signes last week, and looking over the one-line addendum I started editing it again, and then:
at this point I made a major effort and finished:
I just went back to change the title of this article from
and breathed a sigh of contentment.
I truly did not know I had this in me. It's a bit frightening, and I am not going to modify that to say “scary”.
But I did change “change” to “modify”.
Someone help me, I'm sick.
Today I was telling some folks about how there are more chemical senses than just smell and taste. (The chemical sense researchers call these by the highfalutin' names “olfaction” and “gustation”.) The sense that detects the irritation of hot peppers is completely separate, and unlike gustation and solfaction it is carried to the brain by the trigeminal nerve.
(“Monell Taste Primer” provided by the Monell Chemical Senses Center.)
Then I tried to remember which cranial nerve carries the sense of olfaction, and I looked it up in Wikipedia.
It is the olfactory nerve.
Oh, yeah. That's what that does.
(The sense of taste is the responsibility of the glossopharyngeal nerve.)