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Another legend passes - 6/13/2018 3:24:30 AM   
BBfanboy


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One of the last Navajo Code talkers, Samuel Holiday from WWII has passed. He served in the Marshalls, Marianas and at Iwo Jima.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/06/12/navajo-code-talker-samuel-holiday-dies/693943002/

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Post #: 1
RE: Another legend passes - 6/13/2018 9:05:58 PM   
ericv

 

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After I learned russian, I went on a language learning spree. Mandarin, Japanese, Arabic, Mongolian, Korean and Navajo.

I never mastered any of them on a conversational level, but I did learn that Korean and Navajo were by far the hardest to master. And of these two, Navajo is just insanely hard. So many tones..

(in reply to BBfanboy)
Post #: 2
RE: Another legend passes - 6/14/2018 1:17:23 AM   
BBfanboy


Posts: 11139
Joined: 8/4/2010
From: Winnipeg, MB
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quote:

ORIGINAL: ericv

After I learned russian, I went on a language learning spree. Mandarin, Japanese, Arabic, Mongolian, Korean and Navajo.

I never mastered any of them on a conversational level, but I did learn that Korean and Navajo were by far the hardest to master. And of these two, Navajo is just insanely hard. So many tones..

I'm impressed! So linguistically, do additional languages get easier to learn as you apply the rules from one language to another? Things like accents and gender of nouns, placement of adjectives before or after the noun, etc.

_____________________________

No matter how bad a situation is, you can always make it worse. - Chris Hadfield : An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth

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Post #: 3
RE: Another legend passes - 6/14/2018 9:06:12 AM   
wdolson

 

Posts: 10353
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From: Near Portland, OR
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quote:

ORIGINAL: ericv

After I learned russian, I went on a language learning spree. Mandarin, Japanese, Arabic, Mongolian, Korean and Navajo.

I never mastered any of them on a conversational level, but I did learn that Korean and Navajo were by far the hardest to master. And of these two, Navajo is just insanely hard. So many tones..


I've lost track of her now, but I had a friend from an internet group from Israel. I met her when she came to the US. Her natural linguistic talent was amazing. She had been born in the Crimea and emigrated to Israel when she was a child. She learned English from watching TV, it was her third language and she could speak perfect English with either a middle class London or New York accent.

She had been to London a number of times and she said she always used the American accent there because the British tended to treat her better if they thought she was an American tourist. One time she met a cousin there who had grown up in the UK and had a British accent and her cousin commented on her American accent when they met up. She said it did feel awkward so she closed her eyes for a second and switched to her London accent. Her cousin was blown away.

She was here for a weekend gathering of our internet group and we kept forgetting she wasn't American. The only time we remembered was when someone used some American slang that she didn't know.

She was taking a gap year between her mandatory military enlistment and college. When I lost track of her she was studying Mandarin and I think some other language. She did say Mandarin was toughest language to master she had ever tried to learn.

I am, unfortunately, mono-lingual. I managed to barely get by learning German in high school (most US high schools have a 2 years of a foreign language requirement, or did then). My SO is 1st generation American on her father's side (she doesn't know how long her mother's family have been here, they were basically hill folk and she doesn't have anything to do with them). Her Spanish vocabulary isn't huge because her mother had a problem with her learning other languages, but her accent is perfect. When she does try to speak Spanish the recipient is usually confused because her accent is a perfect middle class Mexican accent, but she stumbles over the words.

I grew up in a multi-ethnic neighborhood with Hispanics, Japanese, Koreans, and Chinese and never managed to pick up much of any of those languages even though I had friends who spoke other languages at home.

I am pretty decent with British slang and I liked messing with my immigrant British friend and his sister by using British slang with my American accent. It did their head in.

People who can be completely fluent in multiple languages impresses me no end.

Bill

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Post #: 4
RE: Another legend passes - 6/14/2018 1:20:14 PM   
dave sindel

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: wdolson




People who can be completely fluent in multiple languages impresses me no end.

Bill



I 100% agree with this sentiment. I have a friend who was raised in The Netherlands, that now lives in Germany. He is fluent in Dutch, German, French, and English. What I find so amazing is how he can switch from one to another so easily. I asked him once " what language do you THINK in?" He surprised me by saying German, because he has lived/worked in Germany for so long.

(in reply to wdolson)
Post #: 5
RE: Another legend passes - 6/14/2018 6:10:20 PM   
anarchyintheuk

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: wdolson

I am pretty decent with British slang and I liked messing with my immigrant British friend and his sister by using British slang with my American accent. It did their head in.

Bill


I too am pretty decent with British slang and have tried to promote its use by saying 'wanker', 'daft', and 'what's all this then' as often as possible in my workplace. I'll let you know how it goes.

(in reply to wdolson)
Post #: 6
RE: Another legend passes - 6/14/2018 7:49:54 PM   
rustysi


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quote:

'wanker', 'daft', and 'what's all this then'


I like 'bollocks' myself.

_____________________________

It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once. Hume

In every party there is one member who by his all-too-devout pronouncement of the party principles provokes the others to apostasy. Nietzsche

Cave ab homine unius libri. Ltn Prvb

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Post #: 7
RE: Another legend passes - 6/14/2018 8:44:13 PM   
LargeSlowTarget


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rustysi
I like 'bollocks' myself.


That would be "ayęęzhii" in Navajo.

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Post #: 8
RE: Another legend passes - 6/15/2018 1:22:28 AM   
wdolson

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: wdolson

I am pretty decent with British slang and I liked messing with my immigrant British friend and his sister by using British slang with my American accent. It did their head in.

Bill


quote:

ORIGINAL: anarchyintheuk
I too am pretty decent with British slang and have tried to promote its use by saying 'wanker', 'daft', and 'what's all this then' as often as possible in my workplace. I'll let you know how it goes.


I've joked that our oven doesn't like us. It has a button labeled "CLEAR OFF". Sometimes I realize how weird I am when I come up with puns that require being fluent in both American and British slang to work. (I can't think of any at the moment.)

Bill

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Post #: 9
RE: Another legend passes - 6/15/2018 8:23:39 AM   
RichardAckermann

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: dave sindel
.... I asked him once " what language do you THINK in?" He surprised me by saying German, because he has lived/worked in Germany for so long.


Such thing may happen before you even know. I use to think in english, mainly during programming. (Although it's basically cursing the computer, math, logic, my brain and everything else)

Regarding pondering complex problems, I fill the words I do not know in english with words from any other language I know the word in. The resulting thoughts are a mix of english, german, italian, spanish and japanese.
Amazingly, my brain is not confused by using mixed language and I often barely notice while doing so, but a few seconds later.

(in reply to dave sindel)
Post #: 10
RE: Another legend passes - 6/15/2018 4:09:43 PM   
LargeSlowTarget


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RichardAckermann
(Although it's basically cursing the computer, math, logic, my brain and everything else)


LOL - the language all programmers know best is CURSING .

I'm German, live in France and work for a French company doing international business, so the "official language" of the company is English. Depending on the customer or colleagues I deal with, I have to switch between German, English and French all the time. After 15 years in France, it happens that I don't know a word in German but in the other languages. I even curse in French - I'm with Merovingian from Matrix Reloaded: "I love French wine, like I the French language. I have sampled every language, French is my favorite. Fantastic language. Especially to curse with. Nom de dieu de putain de bordel de merde de saloperie de connard d'enculé de ta mère. It's like wiping your arse with silk. I love it."

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RE: Another legend passes - 6/19/2018 2:19:15 PM   
ericv

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: ericv

After I learned russian, I went on a language learning spree. Mandarin, Japanese, Arabic, Mongolian, Korean and Navajo.

I never mastered any of them on a conversational level, but I did learn that Korean and Navajo were by far the hardest to master. And of these two, Navajo is just insanely hard. So many tones..

I'm impressed! So linguistically, do additional languages get easier to learn as you apply the rules from one language to another? Things like accents and gender of nouns, placement of adjectives before or after the noun, etc.



I am dutch, so I learned french, german, english and dutch before i was 18, and I have to say that made learning russian a lot easier. Although being different, tt resembles these languages in some deep ways, especially in the use of adjectives before or after nouns and verbs. That really surprised me when I learned it at first.

As for mandarin, which I speak a little bit, and written chinese, these are just completely different. An average chinese sentence needs a context, otherwise it can just mean anything. Grammar is mostly missing from the chinese language tree. It is dependent on just one word, to give everything context in an ambigous way, combined with the fact that there are not so many sounds, things can get really confusing.

Japanese is easier. It works with particles (wa, no, e ) to give grammatical meaning to words and there are more sounds to work with. Although on the other hand, dwritten japanese is in some ways more difficult than Chinese. Japanese characters often have more than 5 pronounciations and meanings. Although their grammatical meaning might be clear, their actual meaning might not.

Arabic, again is so different from these.

Learning a language in the same language family, does make it easier to learn another one in that same family. One might think of the indoeuropean language family consisting amongst others of english, french, german, russian etc, but learning a language from a different family didn't make it easier for me in any way.


(in reply to BBfanboy)
Post #: 12
RE: Another legend passes - 6/19/2018 2:29:48 PM   
ericv

 

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Joined: 1/21/2012
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quote:

ORIGINAL: wdolson


quote:

ORIGINAL: ericv

After I learned russian, I went on a language learning spree. Mandarin, Japanese, Arabic, Mongolian, Korean and Navajo.

I never mastered any of them on a conversational level, but I did learn that Korean and Navajo were by far the hardest to master. And of these two, Navajo is just insanely hard. So many tones..


I've lost track of her now, but I had a friend from an internet group from Israel. I met her when she came to the US. Her natural linguistic talent was amazing. She had been born in the Crimea and emigrated to Israel when she was a child. She learned English from watching TV, it was her third language and she could speak perfect English with either a middle class London or New York accent.

She had been to London a number of times and she said she always used the American accent there because the British tended to treat her better if they thought she was an American tourist. One time she met a cousin there who had grown up in the UK and had a British accent and her cousin commented on her American accent when they met up. She said it did feel awkward so she closed her eyes for a second and switched to her London accent. Her cousin was blown away.

She was here for a weekend gathering of our internet group and we kept forgetting she wasn't American. The only time we remembered was when someone used some American slang that she didn't know.

She was taking a gap year between her mandatory military enlistment and college. When I lost track of her she was studying Mandarin and I think some other language. She did say Mandarin was toughest language to master she had ever tried to learn.

I am, unfortunately, mono-lingual. I managed to barely get by learning German in high school (most US high schools have a 2 years of a foreign language requirement, or did then). My SO is 1st generation American on her father's side (she doesn't know how long her mother's family have been here, they were basically hill folk and she doesn't have anything to do with them). Her Spanish vocabulary isn't huge because her mother had a problem with her learning other languages, but her accent is perfect. When she does try to speak Spanish the recipient is usually confused because her accent is a perfect middle class Mexican accent, but she stumbles over the words.

I grew up in a multi-ethnic neighborhood with Hispanics, Japanese, Koreans, and Chinese and never managed to pick up much of any of those languages even though I had friends who spoke other languages at home.

I am pretty decent with British slang and I liked messing with my immigrant British friend and his sister by using British slang with my American accent. It did their head in.

People who can be completely fluent in multiple languages impresses me no end.

Bill


Multilingualism is amazing, although a bit misleading I think.

Like I mentioned, on basic school and high school, I learned french, german, english and dutch when i was very young and then it just comes naturally to everyone. No matter where you are from.

Pratically everyone in Holland speaks at least 3 languages, many 4-5. German, dutch and english being predominant, but spanish, french ,arabic, mandarin and russian can all be learned before once 18th birthday if one chooses that.

Learning a language after I got 40.. That's another thing entirely.. :-)


I once learned about the people living in the confluence of middle Asia, South Asia, China. Roughly the area of Tajikistan, Kirgizstan Afghanistan, that area. Many of these people not only speak Russian and Mandarin fluently, but also Kirgiz, Tajik, Pashtun and often one kind of arabic.

These are languages from 4-5 different families. Entire towns speak these languages, not just 1 or 2 outstanding individuals. That just amazes me.



@edit: I used to be a grammar nazi, but I noticed that I slackened in that department. Keep correcting my sentences :Shame:

< Message edited by ericv -- 6/19/2018 3:04:24 PM >

(in reply to wdolson)
Post #: 13
RE: Another legend passes - 6/20/2018 1:59:00 AM   
wdolson

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ericv
Multilingualism is amazing, although a bit misleading I think.

Like I mentioned, on basic school and high school, I learned french, german, english and dutch when i was very young and then it just comes naturally to everyone. No matter where you are from.

Pratically everyone in Holland speaks at least 3 languages, many 4-5. German, dutch and english being predominant, but spanish, french ,arabic, mandarin and russian can all be learned before once 18th birthday if one chooses that.

Learning a language after I got 40.. That's another thing entirely.. :-)


I once learned about the people living in the confluence of middle Asia, South Asia, China. Roughly the area of Tajikistan, Kirgizstan Afghanistan, that area. Many of these people not only speak Russian and Mandarin fluently, but also Kirgiz, Tajik, Pashtun and often one kind of arabic.

These are languages from 4-5 different families. Entire towns speak these languages, not just 1 or 2 outstanding individuals. That just amazes me.



@edit: I used to be a grammar nazi, but I noticed that I slackened in that department. Keep correcting my sentences :Shame:


I've noticed most people have a plasticity to learning languages before 18, but it isn't universal. I have a friend who is quite intelligent and has two bachelors and a masters degree. She was born in Quebec and French was her first language (though ethnically she's half English and half Italian). She left Quebec when she was fairly young, but she's never been able to get to a point where she can think in English. Living other places in Canada, she faces a lot of discrimination because of it. She's been to the US several times and it always amazes her that English speaking Americans don't care she has a thick French accent.

My SO's law partner's wife grew up in Kyrgyzstan, though she's ethnically Russian. When she was 16 she got in a car accident and her family emigrated to the US to get her better rehab help. Even though she grew up in a multi-language country and has lived in the US for around 25 years, she still struggles in any language except Russian. In the car accident she did get a bad head injury which has left her with frequent migraines (though botox has helped knock those down), but she struggled to learn Kyrgyz before the accident.

Like most academic subjects, some people excel, most people can sort of get something out of it, and some will never get it. I have mild dyslexia which may have contributed to my difficulty learning other languages.

Bill

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Post #: 14
RE: Another legend passes - 6/20/2018 5:00:25 AM   
BBfanboy


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Lest any readers generalize your comments about the Québecquoise who felt discriminated against in English Canada, I am one who loves the French language and accent, and after visiting Québec City I understood their passion for their culture.

I did live in Alberta for three years at a time when Québec was struggling with Separatist sentiments, and the Federal Government was handing lots of money to that province to keep them with Canada. Alberta was a rich province from oil revenue so lots of the "equalization payment" money came from that province (and Ontario). So Alberta politicians liked to whip up anti-Québec sentiment based on "handouts" from their pockets. They never mentioned the early 1900s after Alberta joined Canada when Québec was one of the provinces that subsidized development of infrastructure in Alberta.

I am very happy Québec is still part of Canada, physically and culturally.

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Post #: 15
RE: Another legend passes - 6/20/2018 7:34:08 AM   
wdolson

 

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She's lived in Saskatchewan and Alberta most of her life.

All of North America has cultural tensions between regions. I read a book in the last year recommended to me by someone on another forum called American Nations:
https://www.amazon.com/American-Nations-History-Regional-Cultures/dp/0143122029/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1529479082&sr=8-1&keywords=american+nations

It's a mix of history and sociology about the core cultures that make up North America. It's US-centric, but he talks about the Northern Mexican culture that overlaps the US border (El Norte) and the French Canadian culture. He describes a "nation" as a group with a specific set of cultural values and identity. In many places in the world, nations have their own state too, the nation-state of Norway is similar but different from the nation-state of Sweden. The UK has a number of different nations under one country, but they also have physical boundaries.

It's a fascinating book. Well worth reading and old enough (2012) you can pick up a used copy fairly cheap.

Bill

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Post #: 16
RE: Another legend passes - 6/20/2018 4:31:40 PM   
BBfanboy


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From: Winnipeg, MB
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quote:

ORIGINAL: wdolson

She's lived in Saskatchewan and Alberta most of her life.

All of North America has cultural tensions between regions. I read a book in the last year recommended to me by someone on another forum called American Nations:
https://www.amazon.com/American-Nations-History-Regional-Cultures/dp/0143122029/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1529479082&sr=8-1&keywords=american+nations

It's a mix of history and sociology about the core cultures that make up North America. It's US-centric, but he talks about the Northern Mexican culture that overlaps the US border (El Norte) and the French Canadian culture. He describes a "nation" as a group with a specific set of cultural values and identity. In many places in the world, nations have their own state too, the nation-state of Norway is similar but different from the nation-state of Sweden. The UK has a number of different nations under one country, but they also have physical boundaries.

It's a fascinating book. Well worth reading and old enough (2012) you can pick up a used copy fairly cheap.

Bill


Yeah, a lot of the conflict in the world is because various cultural/tribal nations were mashed together by a conqueror because he controlled them militarily for a while. Once the outside military control faded the central government usually is not politically adept enough to keep the mess together. Sometimes it is better to break up a dysfunctional nation into its cultural chunks and let them form their own country, as the former Yugoslavia did after too much blood. Now we have Spain with the Basques and Catalans wanting to go their own way.

As a member of Canada's armed forces during the time of Québec's strongest separatist movement, I was very happy to hear that our Federal government would not use force to keep the country together. Lest anyone bring up the October 1970 crisis, that was about terrorism by the FLQ, not the separatist political sentiment of the FLQ.


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Post #: 17
RE: Another legend passes - 6/21/2018 2:56:18 AM   
wdolson

 

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The cultural groups of North America were partially formed through conquest. The French Canadians are there because the British nicked the French colony that had been there a while. The New Amsterdam culture of New York City and northern New Jersey became part of the British colonies by conquest. However, a lot of the cultures have roots in the way North America was settled.

The ideals and purpose for how colonies were originally settled had a big influence in how they evolved.

Bill

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Post #: 18
RE: Another legend passes - 6/22/2018 7:02:46 PM   
rustysi


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quote:

LOL - the language all programmers know best is CURSING .


Yeah, that's not just programmers. It applies to us 'hard heads' too. I was a hardware tech my whole career. Started getting into programming, but life got in the way and had to stop. After, my programming consisted of routines that aided my troubleshooting. We all knew CURSING best! Especially at each other... "Its a hardware problem..." "Nope, software..." And so on....

My favorite line to 'soft heads' was, "It work yesterday, you guys changed the code".

_____________________________

It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once. Hume

In every party there is one member who by his all-too-devout pronouncement of the party principles provokes the others to apostasy. Nietzsche

Cave ab homine unius libri. Ltn Prvb

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Post #: 19
RE: Another legend passes - 6/22/2018 8:09:29 PM   
Zorch

 

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In some parts of the world the borders were drawn with a pencil by faraway diplomats without regard for the inhabitants. Such as the Sykes-Picot agreement and many colonial borders.

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Post #: 20
RE: Another legend passes - 6/22/2018 10:41:27 PM   
BBfanboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch

In some parts of the world the borders were drawn with a pencil by faraway diplomats without regard for the inhabitants. Such as the Sykes-Picot agreement and many colonial borders.

Apparently some of the jogs in the US/Canada border were related to the amount of alcohol available to the survey party at the time ...

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Post #: 21
RE: Another legend passes - 6/23/2018 7:37:25 AM   
RichardAckermann

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: rustysi

quote:

LOL - the language all programmers know best is CURSING .


Yeah, that's not just programmers. It applies to us 'hard heads' too. I was a hardware tech my whole career. Started getting into programming, but life got in the way and had to stop. After, my programming consisted of routines that aided my troubleshooting. We all knew CURSING best! Especially at each other... "Its a hardware problem..." "Nope, software..." And so on....

My favorite line to 'soft heads' was, "It work yesterday, you guys changed the code".


One does not need to change the code. I frequently test my program without incident for WEEKS, and then all hell breaks loose with CTD, freeze, ships and planes going berserk and executing mad things.
Then I commonly spend the rest of the day tracking why it is no longer working under a certain, minor change in the environmental conditions. If it is reproducable at all.
I swear: The best way to go berserk and boost your cursing skill is to do lots of programming.

(in reply to rustysi)
Post #: 22
RE: Another legend passes - 6/23/2018 6:35:25 PM   
rustysi


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From: LI, NY
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quote:

Apparently some of the jogs in the US/Canada border were related to the amount of alcohol available to the survey party at the time ...


Yup, we even built a fort on the wrong side of the border as a result of a faulty survey. The Canadians being who they are graciously allowed us to keep the 'conquest'.

Shh, don't tell Donald.

_____________________________

It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once. Hume

In every party there is one member who by his all-too-devout pronouncement of the party principles provokes the others to apostasy. Nietzsche

Cave ab homine unius libri. Ltn Prvb

(in reply to RichardAckermann)
Post #: 23
RE: Another legend passes - 6/23/2018 6:36:16 PM   
rustysi


Posts: 4212
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From: LI, NY
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quote:

The best way to go berserk and boost your cursing skill is to do lots of programming.




_____________________________

It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once. Hume

In every party there is one member who by his all-too-devout pronouncement of the party principles provokes the others to apostasy. Nietzsche

Cave ab homine unius libri. Ltn Prvb

(in reply to rustysi)
Post #: 24
RE: Another legend passes - 6/23/2018 6:38:04 PM   
BBfanboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rustysi

quote:

The best way to go berserk and boost your cursing skill is to do lots of programming.




But does it raise your overall Experience or Defensive Skill as well?

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Post #: 25
RE: Another legend passes - 6/23/2018 8:05:19 PM   
rustysi


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quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: rustysi

quote:

The best way to go berserk and boost your cursing skill is to do lots of programming.




But does it raise your overall Experience or Defensive Skill as well?


No, but the 'venting' does bring down my blood pressure.


_____________________________

It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once. Hume

In every party there is one member who by his all-too-devout pronouncement of the party principles provokes the others to apostasy. Nietzsche

Cave ab homine unius libri. Ltn Prvb

(in reply to BBfanboy)
Post #: 26
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