[linux-elitists] Linux Consultants Lunch Thurs, June 19th

Willy willy@linuxgazette.com
Sat Jun 21 15:47:16 PDT 2003

> On Wed, Jun 18, 2003 at 02:27:43PM -0700, Marc MERLIN wrote:
>> On Wed, Jun 18, 2003 at 02:08:38PM -0700, billy@damaged-world.net wrote:
>> > On Wed, Jun 18, 2003 at 12:00:03AM -0700, Alan DuBoff wrote:
>> > > On Tuesday 17 June 2003 23:44, Nick Moffitt spew'd:
>>>>>"utility" is the noun form of an existing verb, "to use".  It
>>>>>doesn't need to be transformed BACK into a verb via some ridiculous
>>>>>means.  "utilize" and "utilization" should be striken from the
>>>>>language and replaced outright with "use" (pronounced according to
>>>>"who gives a f#@$" is American slang and what's really cool about it is
>>>> that
>>>>you can enahance it to "who gives a flying f#@$" where flying is
>>>> typically a
>>>>verb, but in this case it acts as a noun to f#@$. American slang can be
>>> 	I think "adjective" is how you spell that, but it's been a
>>> 	couple decades since 8th grade english, so ICBW.
>> It's an adverb (verb used as an adjective)
> 	As I remember 8th grade english, an adverb modifies a verb, it's
> 	not a verb used to modify a noun.
> 	It appears that the Harbrace COllege Handbook (which I think is
> 	my wifes, since I'd never bother with such things) seems to
> 	agree with me.
> 	In this case "flying" is an adjective modifying a verb that is
> 	being used as a noun. f#@$, in this case is pretending to be a
> 	noun.

I wasn't going to get into this again, but here's the answer since we're
stuck on this:

"Flying" can be a gerund form, that is to say a verb used as a noun; in
this case it's the present participle of the verb "to fly". Using it in
this sense, you would say "I like flying" ("flying" is the object of

"Flying" can also be the gerundive form of the verb "to fly", in which
case it is used as an adjective (above example of "flying fuck").

The gerund and gerundive forms are interesting because they are
essentially still verbs, and may take objects, or adverbs as modifiers,
thus "I like fast flying" ("fast" is an adverb modifying "flying"); "I
like flying airplanes" ("airplanes" is the object of "flying"); "I like
fast flying fucks" ("fast" is an adverb modifying "flying"); "I like
flying fast fucks" ("fast" is an adjective modifying "fucks"; note the
difference in meaning of these last two examples). In English to clarify
the meaning, you could also say, "I like fast, flying fucks", in which
case the comma indicates that "fast" is an adjective modifying "fucks"; or
you can say "I like fast-flying fucks" - the dash makes sure the reader
connects "fast" adverbially with "flying". This might be necessary in some
cases because you might not be able to tell from the context whether
"fucks" is the object of "like" or "flying". In this example the meaning
is fairly clear from the context. An example of an ambiguous case would be
to say "I like hosing lawyers"; it's not perfectly clear in English
whether you like to hose lawyers yourself, or you like lawyers who hose

I hope this makes it clear. The grammar is pretty much derived from Latin,
which had it all.

>> And FWIW, the American swearing vocabulary is actually very poor.
>> See the French swearing sequence in Matrix II for a quick example.
> 	There was an argument from the IIRC 1970s that VMS was superior
> 	to Unix, in part because of the rich (i.e. vast) number of
> 	built in stuff, that the operator, the programmer didn't need to
> 	build that much new stuff, it was almost all there.
> 	The VMS manuals were measured (as legend has it) in linear feet.
> 	UNIX otoh, was at the time very, very minimialist, there just
> 	wasn't a lot there. Even the language used to program it (C) was
> 	incredibly lean compared to contemporary languages (contemporary
> 	then).
> 	To use your vernacular, Unix was very poor compared to VMS.
> 	Then again it could be that you just don't know all that much
> 	about swearing in english. I, however, will freely admit to not
> 	knowing a thing about swearing in any other langauge.

Maybe no one will get this, but here goes.

Malta has just been admitted into the EU; rumor there is that they need
Maltese to write several thousand pages of EU swearing directives. This is
mostly because the Maltese language is older than dirt, being Semitic in
origin and predating both Hebrew and Arabic. The way Maltese swear is to
start off with a few words that relate to the object or idea being sworn
at, then to keep piling on more and more words faster and faster until it
just becomes an indistiguishable stream of nastiness, and the utterer runs
out of breath. FWIW, the Maltese claim that because their language is so
old and has so many loan words from other languages, it is incontestably
the best for swearing of the modern language. The only problem is, no one
can understand Maltese except themselves. But, it still *sounds* really
nasty and you can tell that it's Evil Stuff.

More than you wanted to know about either subject, I'm sure.


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