Author Topic: EP249: Little M@tch Girl  (Read 49504 times)

Heradel

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Reply #25 on: July 20, 2010, 01:54:02 AM
The word "grok" threw me so far out of the story that I couldn't get back in no matter how hard I tried. SISL was published decades ago and "grok" isn't part of our language pantheon now; how did it get in there in the future? Makes no sense.

I hear people use "grok" all the time... maybe its not a dictionary word, but its becoming more commonly used, regardless.

Me too.  I don't believe I've ever used it, but only because I'm not sure I'd grok the right place to use it (was that correct?).  But I hear people say it online all the time, at least on SF forums.

I'm actually reading Stranger right now for the first time, but I've known about grok as a word, and have used it, since at least high school. It's in fairly common in CS circles and has been implemented as a terminal command in at least a couple OSs. It appears in my copy of the New Oxford American Dictionary (and the online version of Webster's). I would say that it's not a common word, but very few words actually are, and especially in technical circles people will have heard of it.

And yes Unblinking, that is a correct use of Grok.

grok |gräk|
verb ( grokked, grokking) [ trans. ] informal
understand (something) intuitively or by empathy : because of all the commercials, children grok things immediately.
• [ intrans. ] empathize or communicate sympathetically; establish a rapport.
ORIGIN mid 20th cent.: a word coined by Robert Heinlein (1907–88), American science fiction writer, in Stranger in a Strange Land.

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Reply #26 on: July 20, 2010, 04:48:32 PM
Not bad. I was hoping for a little more with the mother. As in, maybe there could be a few trips where the main character attempts to do something about mom's condition. Actually, I was just hoping we might get a few trips. I guess you could argue that this didn't need to be dragged out, especially with the title, but it felt rushed to me.


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Reply #27 on: July 20, 2010, 08:20:43 PM
Minor minor minor production nitpick, but it made me laugh.
One day when I first moved to the UK I was about a block away from Quay Street.  Someone asked me, "excuse me, do you now where the Opera House on 'Key' Street is?"  I said, "sorry, don't know.  But the Opera House is a block up on 'Kway' Street."  The look that woman gave me was one of pure malice.   Turns out they pronounce Key and Quay the same here in the UK.  Back in America we all them wharfs.

Anyhow, when Emily flew out over the Kway towards the ocean I laughed.

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Reply #28 on: July 21, 2010, 02:23:33 AM
The more and more I think about this story the more and more it gets to me. Yeah, some of the subtle flaws have been explained, and quite well, but the overwhelming sense of despair that this work manages to create right around the middle is just incredible. It keeps rattling around right under the surface of my consciousness even days later. The whole "jack job" description is nightmarish, and so awful as to demonstrate the utter hopelessness of life without financial opportunity. The "feed" experience was horrific, too.

Basically the story convinced this 21 year old to start saving early for the education of his future progeny. The utter tragedy of this story was so resonant as to have a visceral effect on me, which is exceedingly rare with any fiction nowadays, so major props to Shaw for this one.



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Reply #29 on: July 22, 2010, 04:34:05 AM
It's always very unsettling when you come across someone who happens to share the same name as you and also happens to be an unsavory human being. Why, Emily, why?

However, I liked this story. I had fun imagining that horrible world that Em lived in. The "jacked in" job was utterly horrifying. Geez, aren't there any student loans in the future? Those saved my butt from a downward spiral of drugs and decoding! I always wonder what sex is like for men so that piqued my interest. Also the bar that is meant to look like the inside of a tree sounded wicked!! I totally imagined the characters from Ferngully going there to get lit or whatever you kids call it these days.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2010, 04:02:08 AM by gateaux »



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Reply #30 on: July 22, 2010, 04:44:54 PM
It's always very unsettling when you come across someone who happens to share the same name as you and also happens to be an unsavory human being. Why, Emily, why?

That's why I'm glad my parents named me Strontium Xantippa.

Quote
Those saved my butt from a downward spiral of drugs and decoding!

Decoding?

Quote
I totally imagined the characters from Ferngully going there to get lit or whatever you kids call it these days.

Sometimes we still say "get lit". But I think the older you get the more you return to the traditional "get high", I think.

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Reply #31 on: July 22, 2010, 04:53:28 PM
It's always very unsettling when you come across someone who happens to share the same name as you and also happens to be an unsavory human being. Why, Emily, why?

That's why I'm glad my parents named me Strontium Xantippa.

Coincidentally enough, that's what my parents named all their children.



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Reply #32 on: July 24, 2010, 04:55:34 AM
I totally imagined the characters from Ferngully going there to get lit or whatever you kids call it these days.

Sometimes we still say "get lit". But I think the older you get the more you return to the traditional "get high", I think.

I go to the library to get lit.

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Reply #33 on: July 25, 2010, 08:00:52 AM
Minor minor minor production nitpick, but it made me laugh.
One day when I first moved to the UK I was about a block away from Quay Street.  Someone asked me, "excuse me, do you now where the Opera House on 'Key' Street is?"  I said, "sorry, don't know.  But the Opera House is a block up on 'Kway' Street."  The look that woman gave me was one of pure malice.   Turns out they pronounce Key and Quay the same here in the UK.  Back in America we all them wharfs.

That knocked me out of the story when I heard it. I think the correct pronunciation of "Quay" is "key" even in America accordingly to Wiktionary. Pedant that I am it niggled at me and made me lose focus with the story.



davedoty

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Reply #34 on: July 25, 2010, 04:02:28 PM
According to the very link you gave, the US has two pronunciations, one of which is "ˈkweɪ".

Merriam-Webster lists three:  ˈkē, ˈkā, ˈkwā

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quay



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Reply #35 on: July 26, 2010, 04:19:08 AM
Today's story: Don't do drugs.  The end.

I dunno.  I felt like I was watching "Reefer Madness" or something.  If you do drugs you'll end up a twitching insane street person and your father and mother will STARVE!  I feel like the themes of focusing inward or outward could have been much more profitably and interestingly explored if the story hadn't been so dead-set on its Tragic Ending that will serve as an Example to Others.



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Reply #36 on: July 26, 2010, 04:42:48 AM
Today's story: Don't do drugs.  The end.

I dunno.  I felt like I was watching "Reefer Madness" or something.  If you do drugs you'll end up a twitching insane street person and your father and mother will STARVE!  I feel like the themes of focusing inward or outward could have been much more profitably and interestingly explored if the story hadn't been so dead-set on its Tragic Ending that will serve as an Example to Others.

That's not the read I got AT ALL.  After all, the college-bound and college students seem to do drugs without consequence.  The message of this story seems to be much more about classism, exploitation and privilege than it is about drugs being bad.  Both of the main recreational drugs described in this story sound absolutely awesome, and the only downside of them is a bad reaction to an ill-advised drug combination.



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Reply #37 on: July 26, 2010, 05:40:45 AM
Only tangentially related, but I saw today's xkcd and had to link to it in reference to the "grok" discussion.

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Reply #38 on: July 27, 2010, 09:59:48 PM
I liked the story, but on reflection, I think I would have liked it more with a different title.  Going in, I knew it would be a reworking of the HCA plot, which meant I was just waiting for the narrator to "burn out."  I often like retellings, but I think this is one that would have been strengthened by the pleasure of realizing, partway through, what it was that I was listening to.

On a technical note, the reading was unfortunately rough.  Lots of odd hesitations and stumbles over words, as if the reader wasn't quite familiar enough with the text before recording.  The actual narration was fine, but I wish its execution had been smoother.



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Reply #39 on: July 29, 2010, 07:21:28 PM
I liked the story. It reminded me of my club kid era of just pursuing pleasure.



Wilson Fowlie

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Reply #40 on: July 30, 2010, 04:35:23 PM
Another non-sf use of the word 'grok'.

"People commonly use the word 'procrastination' to describe what they do on the Internet. It seems to me too mild to describe what's happening as merely not-doing-work. We don't call it procrastination when someone gets drunk instead of working." - Paul Graham


Yargling

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Reply #41 on: July 31, 2010, 12:28:34 AM
Ok, whilst I acknowledge the story was probably an anti-drug piece, I still don't like it... bleak ending stories always just make me feel down, and I can never really enjoy them more than once as I'm always waiting for the other shoe to drop when I know its coming. But thats just me.



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Reply #42 on: August 01, 2010, 06:30:54 PM
I really tried to give this story a chance. I started it...and my attention wandered. So I "rewound," started it again...and my attention wandered. All total, I think I must have played the first half of it at least four or five times...but I just could NOT get into the story. I finally just let it play while I drove and hoped some of it seeped in by osmosis.

It didn't. I remember it ending and me thinking, "Well. That was depressing."

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Reply #43 on: August 03, 2010, 01:47:12 PM
I couldn't get into this story, either. It seemed a bit TOO short for what it was trying to cover. It's as if someone told me 'In the future there's this girl and she did drugs to have sex with guys. Then her dad loses her job and she has to get a horrible job to keep them alive. Then she does more drugs and ends up addicted and tweaking. The end.' There just doesn't feel to be any story arc or actual character progression. Just depression and...well, that's it, actually.



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Reply #44 on: August 03, 2010, 01:53:32 PM
Also the bar that is meant to look like the inside of a tree sounded wicked!! I totally imagined the characters from Ferngully going there to get lit or whatever you kids call it these days.

When I went to Universal Islands of Adventure theme park, they had a restaurant meant to look like it was built in the hollow of an ancient tree.  :)

"Whatever you kids call it"   :D



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Reply #45 on: August 03, 2010, 01:56:50 PM
According to the very link you gave, the US has two pronunciations, one of which is "ˈkweɪ".

Merriam-Webster lists three:  ˈkē, ˈkā, ˈkwā

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quay

I've always pronounced it kwā.  But I hadn't realized there were even other pronunciations.  The trouble with picking up most of my vocabulary from books is that my pronunciations often get screwed up.  I think I was in high school before I knew how to pronounce "oasis" correctly.  When I read it in a book and said the word in my head it sounded more like "oy-zis" instead of "oh-ay-sis".



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Reply #46 on: August 03, 2010, 02:07:21 PM
The trouble with picking up most of my vocabulary from books is that my pronunciations often get screwed up.  I think I was in high school before I knew how to pronounce "oasis" correctly.  When I read it in a book and said the word in my head it sounded more like "oy-zis" instead of "oh-ay-sis".

I had exactly this problem with awry; I was pronouncing it "AH-ree" in my head for years before someone - my wife, I think - told me I was somewhat awry.

I think such mispronunciations are a reasonably (though not perfect) reliable indicator of a person who likes to read.

"People commonly use the word 'procrastination' to describe what they do on the Internet. It seems to me too mild to describe what's happening as merely not-doing-work. We don't call it procrastination when someone gets drunk instead of working." - Paul Graham


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Reply #47 on: August 03, 2010, 02:57:04 PM
The trouble with picking up most of my vocabulary from books is that my pronunciations often get screwed up.  I think I was in high school before I knew how to pronounce "oasis" correctly.  When I read it in a book and said the word in my head it sounded more like "oy-zis" instead of "oh-ay-sis".

I had exactly this problem with awry; I was pronouncing it "AH-ree" in my head for years before someone - my wife, I think - told me I was somewhat awry.

I think such mispronunciations are a reasonably (though not perfect) reliable indicator of a person who likes to read.

It can happen in reverse, too, thinking you know how to spell something because of how it sounds.  My wife had trouble with the word "ornery" because spoken it generally sounds more like "awnery".  :)  Foreign phrases, especially French ones, give me trouble too--I still have to double take anytime someone says or writes "c'est la vie".  When it's written I have to go over it twice to link it to the correct association in my head.  When I hear it, the same--I remember words primarily by visualizing how they are spelled, so if my spelling is wrong it's very disconcerting for me.



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Reply #48 on: August 03, 2010, 07:56:20 PM
The trouble with picking up most of my vocabulary from books is that my pronunciations often get screwed up.  I think I was in high school before I knew how to pronounce "oasis" correctly.  When I read it in a book and said the word in my head it sounded more like "oy-zis" instead of "oh-ay-sis".

I had exactly this problem with awry; I was pronouncing it "AH-ree" in my head for years before someone - my wife, I think - told me I was somewhat awry.

I think such mispronunciations are a reasonably (though not perfect) reliable indicator of a person who likes to read.

For me it was "misled", which I pronounced as "MY-zull'd", where Y = EYE. I thought it meant "vaguely disturbed".

Of course, I was like 8 at the time.

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Reply #49 on: August 03, 2010, 11:17:41 PM
The trouble with picking up most of my vocabulary from books is that my pronunciations often get screwed up.  I think I was in high school before I knew how to pronounce "oasis" correctly.  When I read it in a book and said the word in my head it sounded more like "oy-zis" instead of "oh-ay-sis".

I had exactly this problem with awry; I was pronouncing it "AH-ree" in my head for years before someone - my wife, I think - told me I was somewhat awry.

I think such mispronunciations are a reasonably (though not perfect) reliable indicator of a person who likes to read.

It can happen in reverse, too, thinking you know how to spell something because of how it sounds.  My wife had trouble with the word "ornery" because spoken it generally sounds more like "awnery".  :)  Foreign phrases, especially French ones, give me trouble too--I still have to double take anytime someone says or writes "c'est la vie".  When it's written I have to go over it twice to link it to the correct association in my head.  When I hear it, the same--I remember words primarily by visualizing how they are spelled, so if my spelling is wrong it's very disconcerting for me.


My particular reading to speaking misalignments in my early years were:
Sean = "Seen" Ah... that's the fault of "Where the Red Fern Grows" Totally ruined the book when my Mom pointed out that I had been pronouncing the main "character's" name wrong the whole time.

Prejudice = " PREE- Juh'dis" As in Jane Austen's classic Pride and PREE-Juh'dis. Good Times.

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