The Magister:

True. But should you forgive the recidivist seven times? Nay, verily, seventy times seven.

Alfredo Perozo:

Recidivist… what a woody-sounding Masiello Mega Word!

Recidivism – Wikipedia

Recidivism (/rᵻˈsɪdᵻvɪzəm/; from recidive and ism, from Latin recidīvus “recurring”, from re– “back” and cadō “I fall”) is the act of a person repeating an undesirable behavior after they had either experienced negative consequences of that behavior, or had been trained to extinguish that behavior. It is also used to refer to the percentage of former prisoners who are rearrested for a similar offense.

The term is frequently used in conjunction with criminal behavior and substance abuse. (Recidivism is a synonym for “relapse”, which is more commonly used in medicine and in the disease model of addiction.

The “plain English” synonym is “repeat offender”. But the Latin has the advantage of being derived from “fall”, as in “fall off the wagon” or “falling into sin”. And recidivism applies more generally than just the legal system; in the comment’s context, it really was about sin.

Your name is immaterial, Quoran

So. MVW removed from profiles. Follows You tag removed from profiles.

What other subtle hints might Quora UI drop, that this is not a social network, and the individual profiles of answerers do not matter?

Assuming, of course, that…

Well, lookie here:

Highlighting of writer names? Gone today.

Why is using profanity sometimes referred to as “swearing”?

Because there used to be a taboo against swearing oaths by divine figures in Protestant England, and the taboo against oaths got conflated with the taboo against profanity, as Saying Bad Things.

In fact, that conflation also applies to oath:

the definition of oath

5. an irreverent or blasphemous use of the name of God or anything sacred.

Why is the word Colonel pronounced like kernel when there is no R in the word?

Originally Answered:

Why is the word colonel pronounced kernel?

Vote #2, Daniel Ross: Daniel Ross’ answer to Why is the word Colonel pronounced like kernel when there is no R in the word?

Vote #1 me, because I go a bit further. 🙂 I checked with OED.

So, the word started as colonnello in Italian.

The word became coronnel in French. Dissimilation, as Daniel points out. It’s also coronel in Spanish.

The word was borrowed into English in the 15th century as corronel. Pronounced with three syllables and an r.

In 1580, people started translating Italian military treatises into English, and spelling it as collonel.

Now, there were two pronunciations and two spellings in English of the word. The French corronel and the Italian collonel.

We reduced it down to one spelling by the 18th century. And we reduced it down to one pronunciation by the 18th century. And as too often happens in English, we use the one alternative in the spelling, and the other alternative in the pronunciation.

So, let’s ignore the spelling and stick to the pronunciation. I’ll add fauxnetics, with some disgust. According to dictionaries of English

  • In 1710, it was /ˈkʌrəʊnɛl/ (currownell)
  • In 1766, it was /ˈkɔːnɪl/ (cornill)
  • In 1780 it was /ˈkɜːnɛl/ (curnell), the pronunciation it has now.
  • In 1816, the older pronunciation (cor(o)nell with an o) was still around:
    • “Both the English and Scottish, but particularly the latter, pronounce the word Coronel, and so do the Irish.” (C. James, New Military Dictionary)
    • Some guy in 1825 spelled it phonetically as cawnel.

So what were the changes?

  • Dissimilation of l to r, already back in French.
  • Moving the stress from the last syllable (coronéll—it was French, after all) to córonell. That happened sometime in the 17th century, and it indicates the word being considered by English speakers as English now and not French.
  • Dropping an unstressed syllable, coronell to cornell. Irregular in English, but it does happen. OED says that was first attested in 1669.
  • The change that noone seems to talk about is cornell to curnell. That seems to me an assimilation of the vowels, from /kornel/ to /kernel/ (using fauxnemes): an /e/ before an /r/ is going to be pronounced as an /ɜ/. If English spelling was less silly, it would be kornell being respelled as kernell.

What is Quora to you?

One-liner, the question says?

OK then:

NOT: to share and grow the world’s knowledge. (Our Mission by Adam D’Angelo on The Quora Blog)

That’s a mission statement. Far be those from me.

NOT: a place to get answers to my questions.

Yishan Wong’s answer to Why are my questions not answered on Quora?: “Quora is not a place to get your question answered. […] Quora is a great place to write answers and to read answers, but it is not a good place to get your own questions answered.”

How do I explain Quora to outsiders?

I make no apology whatever for the fundamental disconnect between Quora’s notion of itself, and my own:

Facebook for smart people.

What can be done to make answers on Quora more accessible for questions having 100 and more answers?

There are two solutions:

  1. Create an answer wiki, and have some poor schlubs index every incoming answer against some categories in the wiki, and ask that new answerers update it. That’s what the community has been doing.
  2. Launch a hostile takeover of Quora Inc, hire new UX management, ban the ever-flowing page model as so, so 2010, and reintroduce paging. That scenario is currently restricted to my dreams. 🙂

What are the most memorable backhanded comments you have received?

From someone I used to hang out with on IRC. (Yes, I am that old.)

“Nick Nicholas! You wouldn’t be half as obnoxious as you are if you weren’t called that!”

Um… I thank you, and my three cousins called Nick Nicholas also thank you?

High school frenemy (well, friend in high school, because I didn’t know any better back then) is in my office a decade later, visiting. I’ve just concluded a call with the French embassy, trying to recover a computer for a staff member in the department, while my frenemy waited.

“Well. That was surprisingly professional.”

Um, say that in my office, will you. Yeah, sod off.

Now that Quora’s Anonymity rule is changing, will you edit your already posted answers to include your real name?

I am considering it, for the reasons given in Nick Nicholas’ answer to How will the upcoming changes to how anonymity is implemented (March 2017) impact your Quora experience?

I have to weigh up the sensitivity of the answers, versus the impossibility of ever engaging with anyone over them. Then again, precisely because of the subject matter, I’ve had minimal engagement anyway. So I will likely remain anonymous on them.

Is English a fascist language?

Arguendo, let’s accept your premisses:

Everybody expects non native speakers to know English and speak it fluently and hate them for not doing so. Also this language is invading all other ones.

That wouldn’t make English fascist, and using a loaded term like that inaccurately means people won’t take your argument seriously. (And that’s not a “native speaker” bias: the same objection would apply in any language that has borrowed the term to refer to a particular political ideology exemplified by Mussolini.)

To use my favourite term at the moment, as defined by one of the victims of Mussolini’s fascism:

That would make English hegemonic.

And there’s no malice to hegemony. It’s the stuff of the Melian Dialogue: “the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must”.