Content-Type: text/shitpost

Subject: A lipogrammatic warning
Path: you​!your-host​!ultron​!uunet​!batcomputer​!plovergw​!ploverhub​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2018-05-04T06:25:41
Newsgroup: comp.lang.haskell.lipogram-warning
Message-ID: <>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

Don't try to put a ham up your ass.

Subject: One of the weirdest conversations I have ever had…
Path: you​!your-host​!warthog​!goatrectum​!plovergw​!plover​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2018-05-04T05:57:01
Newsgroup: alt.mjd.weird-conversation
Message-ID: <>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

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.

Subject: Seen…
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!epicac​!thermostellar-bomb-20​!twirlip​!am​!plovergw​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2018-05-04T05:39:31
Newsgroup: misc.sign
Message-ID: <>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

… at an event at my kids' school this evening:

A handwritten sign that says
“Parents: please feel free to take home your child’s

Subject: I found lipograms hard to put down
Path: you​!your-host​!warthog​!goatrectum​!plovergw​!plovervax​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2018-05-04T05:27:20
Newsgroup: sci.math.lipogram-obsession
Message-ID: <>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

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 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

I can totally imagine now how someone could …

and how I should revise it to:

I can totally identify now how an author could …

Oops, “identify”. Try again:

I now hold a total sympathy for how an author could …

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:

OMG, I'm at it again. I just did s/but/and/ and s/outclass/outstrip/.
Now I want to post what I just told you, but I'm afraid if I did I would succumb to

at this point I made a major effort and finished:

the temptation to change it to remove all the e's.

I just went back to change the title of this article from

Lipograms are hard to put down


I found lipograms hard to put down

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.

Subject: Cranial nerves
Path: you​!your-host​!ultron​!uunet​!batcomputer​!plovergw​!plovervax​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2018-05-04T04:58:00
Newsgroup: misc.chemical-senses
Message-ID: <>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

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.

The nerve endings sense and respond to the sting of ammonia, the coolness of menthol, and the burn of chili peppers or ginger. We often enjoy these sensations, as well as bubbly drinks and spicy, tingly foods, when the chemicals are present in small amounts.

(“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.)