Tag Archives | Lapsus Linguae

Overheard at the Grocery Store

Conversation at the checkout counter, as “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” plays on the store’s sound system:

CHECKER: Why aren’t they playing Christmas music?

BAGGER: This is from “The Nutcracker.”

CHECKER: Is that a scary movie?

BAGGER: No!!

CHECKER: Oh, it’s a Christmas movie?

BAGGER: Yes! I think it starred Barbie.

This is like one of those stories where the person rescuing you from the vampire, turns out also to be a vampire.


R.I.P. Leonard Cohen

R.I.P. Leonard Cohen

I don’t think anyone’s music has been more important to me over the past two decades than Cohen’s.

Farewell, maestro.


The Constipation of No Authority

Inadvertent humour department: just heard someone on CNN, discussing potential running-mates, saying that Trump “needs to be comfortable with his Number Two.”


Missing the Train to Elea

Popular culture gets Zeno’s paradox wrong again:

dilbert-zeno

There’s a widespread impression that Zeno’s proposed problem is that after you reach the halfway point to your destination, you then have to go halfway to the remaining distance, and so on ad infinitum, so that you get closer and closer to your goal but never reach it.

But that’s not how the paradox goes. The problem is much worse. The paradox is that before you can get halfway to your destination, you have to get halfway to the halfway point, and so on ad infinitum, so that you can never even start moving. (Here’s Rose Wilder lane making the same mistake.)

Probably the mistake arose from someone conflating this paradox with another of Zeno’s paradox, the Achilles, in which the fastest runner gets closer and closer to catching up to the slowest runner.


Driving Their Point Home

I saw a PSA today that said, “If you’re driving and texting, you’re not really driving.”

Well, if you’re not really driving, your texting should be okay, then, right?

In fact, the behaviour they’re trying to discourage they just defined as impossible.


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