Now you did it! You broke the Internet. What part of "Do not click" didn't you understand? Why is it when you tell someone not to do something, that's the first thing they do? Guess Oscar Wilde was right, "The only way to rid yourself of temptation is to yield to it."
Yet, as the old adage says, "Curiosity killed the cat." So now that you're a dead cat, what are you going to do? Ever think of that when you clicked that explicit warning not to click? Guess not, smarty pants.
You can try hitting escape. You might try command undo. If that doesn't work, try command-shift-control-Q-# and double-clicking the right mouse button while standing on one foot. Or use the easy way out we have generously provided: Click anywhere to restore everything.
Every page a click away
What do Mark Twain, Yogi Berra, Groucho Marx, and Sam Goldwyn have in common? They are all commonly quoted for things they didn’t say. As per the title of Mr. Berra’s book, I Really Didn’t Say Everything I Said! So, how many of the malapropisms, mixed metaphors, and twists of phrase in our little book are really from Sam Goldwyn? We’ll never tell ’cause there’s no telling.
Real-life questions from real-life applicants to real-life potential employers:
Source of quotes: Businessinsider.com.au
Being in updating old bits mode we have revisited our old Cracked archives. Not animated, not redrawn, not rewritten or anything like that. You can’t change the past, right? (Though a few had to be recreated as best we could because we don’t have the originals.) Anyway, what we have is oldies reformatted so they’re more cheap-paper-comic-book-like. That is, they have covers and the reader can flip through the pages. It’s like perusing a comic book on your computer or web device thingy without getting ink on your hands. And who hasn’t wanted that their entire life? Mouseover the top art to see what we mean.
Real-life quotes from real-life people in real-life offices around the real-life world brought to you in an unreal-life cartoon:
Source of quotes: overheardintheoffice.com
We will see Tuesday all day across the entire metro area, with an extremely high chance of Wednesday tomorrow. The end of the work week should bring us Friday, likely followed by two days of weekend. A Monday advisory for the tri-county area will be in effect starting next week, so plan accordingly. We expect this pattern to continue for the foreseeable future.
Monday will be seasonably seasonal all day, starting with a low in sunlight early, getting gradually brighter by midday and tapering off toward the late afternoon into another low after sunset. Temperatures will range from Fahrenheit to Celsius depending on location. Doppler radar indicates an increase in doppling in the late morning hours. A chance of rain is in the air, until it falls onto the ground where it will turn into puddles. Wind will be left to right with occasional gusts from back to front. The barometer will continue falling until it hits the floor and breaks, probably. Strange weather symbols will appear toward sunset and will continue unless people start to complain they have no idea what they mean.
A half dozen snippets we appropriate from other folks, slap on our own picture, and fob off on the unsuspecting reader as fresh content. Going so far as to claim there’s six when there’s only four. All things considered, the content really is fresh, as in impertinent.
“My wife asked me what I wanted for dinner and then told me I was wrong.”
Three-year-old to mom at a wedding pointing to the groom and best man awaiting the bride: “I wonder which one she’ll pick.”
source: Ruth Muchemore, Reader’s Digest
Complaints to travel agents:
“The street signs weren’t in English. I don’t know how anyone can get around.”
“You said the town was next to a volcano, but we went, and there was no lava. I’m pretty sure it was just a mountain.”
If you read our previous kangaroo word bit, you’ll probably guess anti-kangaroo words contain an antonym, rather than a synonym, of the mother word. To follow the animal world metaphor, perhaps they might instead be cuckoo or cowbird words. If you don’t see the connection, a little research is in order:
“What are kangaroo words?” we hear ourselves imagining the reader asking. There certainly doesn’t seem to be a connection or similarity among the listed words. Or does there? Kangaroo words contain synonyms of themselves. Not a clear explanation? Mouseover list box above and you’ll see.
What we have is a momma word with a closely related baby word tucked inside. Hense, kangaroo word. To complete the metaphor, the contained synonym is called a joey word.
This particular bit of word weirdness doesn’t have a fancy Greek or Latin term, like endonym or whatever. That’s because it’s really a pretty useless attribute, just a curiosity to make you go, “Wow.” You know, like a palindrome; a word that reads the same forward and backward. Like, “Wow.”
We’ve been wasting so much time and effort on these opening animations we’ve neglected to create any other new content. But never fear, others have not been so remiss. Here’s a link to a talk on a new theory of atomic structure. One big takeaway, the neutron is not a fundamental particle but a combination electron and proton. Which makes sense in light of the fact that neutrons do not survive outside the nucleus, rapidly decaying into, guess what, a proton and an electron.
Edwin Kaal: The Proton-Electron Atom – A Proposal for a Structured Atomic Model
It’s another dated update. A downdate? No, Difinithing.com already used that term for new software worse than the old software. What we called a dimprovement. Anyway, it’s been tweaked slightly because we can’t leave well enough alone. Rounding out our rerun-return roundup for the week.
At first I thought a picture hanging on the wall was crooked and went to straighten it, but it was already straight. I had to step back and look again. It looked crooked. Took a minute to figure out why. Sunlight streaming through the miniblinds casting angled stripes on a framed photo created an optical illusion. I recreated it above in simplified form.
Mouse over the image and see what it looks like without the light bands. It’s square, eh?
The frame, mat and photo are square, but it looks cock-eyed on the bottom. Appearing as if the bottom right-hand corner is drooping, so to speak. Thing is, we run into optical illusions quite often without always noticing. I wrote about this a while back, and updated recently for your semi-fresh perusal.
Originally filed 11/29/09
It’s a visual pun, pictured play on words, or mixed media mixed metaphor, or maybe combination text/cartoon syllepsis. Whatever it is, we admit we’ve done this sort of thing before. A lot. It’s a cartoon classic. The idea of it, not necessarily this particular one. At any rate, it’s return variation on a theme week, so what the hey.
Yesterday, the return of the origin of the British Union Jack. Today, the return of pointless home page opening animation. Perhaps not terribly exciting, and only about ten seconds long, but how much of your day do you want to devote to terry colon point com anyway? We’re doing you a favor. Waste less time; get more done; lead a more fulfilling, happier life.
That’s a better deal than you get from daylight savings. Think of it as daytime savings. You don’t need to reset your clock, wake up an hour earlier, or anything. No need to thank us, it’s just what we do.
This is an update of something we did years ago, only this time webby and interactive. Because we know how to do that sort of thing now. We rewrote some bits, too. Redone and more fun, or rerun and no fun? You decide.
We have mentioned before our favorite national flag is the United Kingdom’s Union Jack. Though maybe it’s our three favorites, because it’s actually three flags in one. First is Saint George’s cross, which is England. (Mouseover tag to see each flag) Next is Saint Andrew’s cross, for Scotland. Finally there’s Saint Patrick’s cross, representing Ireland, or rather Northern Ireland since the rest of Ireland is a separate country. Mash them all up and you get the Union Jack.
You might wonder, what happened to Wales, where’s the Welsh flag in this combination Union Jack. After all, the Prince of Wales becomes the King, right? Wales was considered part of England when the very first Union Jack was devised in 1606 combining only the flags of England and Scotland. Ireland was added in 1801.
The Welsh flag has a dragon and not a saint’s cross for reasons we don’t know. (Mouseover “Wales” tag) Anyway, Saint George (England) slew the dragon, which might be another reason for its absence. Besides, adding the dragon rather makes a mess of the flag in our view. (Mouseover “Welsh Jack” tag)
Many a Scotsman doesn’t care for that dominating England cross, preferring the flag have the Scotland cross foremost. (Mouseover “Scottish Jack” tag) Perhaps if they’d’ve had a better battle record against the English they’d get a little more sympathy for that view. At least they’re on the flag, unlike Wales. While slapping on the dragon is a bit much, an alternative update might be to add the green field from the bottom of the Welsh flag. (Mouseover “Revised Union Jack” tag)
Not sure that works all that well, but inclusiveness, diversity, equality, fraternity and all that. Just a thought.
European Leader – Number of Children
If, as they say, children are our future, what do we make of that? Coincidence, Zeitgeist, or omen, boys and girls? … Boys and girls? … Hello, anyone there?
It’s March and spring starts this month. As the season change nears we would like to issue a warning to all our vampire readers, the nights will be getting shorter, so schedule outdoor activities accordingly. Or wear some SPF 1,000,000 sunscreen. And don’t get burned by that sneaky daylight savings trick the powers that be pull every year. Who gave them power over time, anyway? Next thing you know they’ll be wanting to command the tides. Wait, the IPCC already does.
…and our own possible, plausible, but mostly unsubstantiated explanations of why we no longer have them.
Thorn was a single letter for the ‘th’ sound. Typesetters who didn’t have a thorn character would substitute a Y in its place. That’s where the Y in ‘Ye Olde Shoppe’ and such comes from. Which should be pronounced ‘the’ and not ‘yee.’ If these quaint boutiques wanted to be really old-timey accurate, they’d use thorn instead of Y. Though most folks wouldn’t know how to say that, either.
Eth was a single letter for the ‘th’ sound. Wait, didn’t we just do that? Oh, that was thorn. Why there were two letters for ‘th’ is a mystery to us. We suppose it was a mystery to other people as well since they jettisoned eth along with thorn way back when. Plus, if you dotted your i’s, but forgot to cross your eth’s, they’d be d’s. We dink dat’s right.
Sharp S was a funny-looking S that’s hard to tell from a lower case F. You see it in the Declaration of Independence and other period writing. The sharp S sounded exactly like an S and was only used in specific cases depending on… We don’t know. The rules for when to use which S are persnickety and confusing. And rather pointless, really, since it’s an S in either case. Which we suppose is why they axed the thing.
Wynn was the original W. Maybe. The English alphabet is picked up wholesale from the Latin alphabet, except there was no W because V was W, or vhatewer. So V was wee and not vee. Again, maybe. English needed another letter because it had both sounds. Still does. So V was vee and they grabbed that Greek-looking wynn to use for wee. Well, not everybody and not always and not for long. Some folks used ‘uu’ for wee. Which eventually got fused together as one letter, double-u. Though it looks like a double vee (VV, vv) and not a double-u (UU, uu).
Ampersand at one time was a letter, said as ‘and,’ meaning ‘and.’ You might call it a letter-word, though you couldn’t spell other words with it and so not very h&y. To us, that makes ampersand a symbol for a word, like $ and ¢ which are not in the alphabet, and not a letter. It would seem other folks came to the same conclusion as ampersand was demoted to the alphabet extensions ranks joining the numbers, punctuation and whatnot.
More actual court transcripts from the disorder in the court files. Which makes life easy for us, we just
steal plagiarize cite them. We even “borrowed” the phrase “disorder in the court” from an old Three Stooges short. Well, it’s a new picture, anyway.
Lawyer: Now isn’t it true that on the fifth of November last year, you rode naked through the streets on top of a garbage truck, letting off fireworks and singing “I did it my way” loudly?
Witness: What was that date again?
Lawyer: I take it that before this accident happened, you lived with your brother-in-law and sister.
Lawyer: You got on quite well?
Lawyer: And you saw him interact with your sister, and I believe they had one child?
Witness: I didn’t see the actual interaction, but they did have one child.
Defendant (representing himself): You sell drugs out of your house don’t you?
Defendant: I know that’s a lie, I’ve bought [crap] there myself.
Click pic to replay animation
“You never know how smart a moron is until you try to program a robot”
Which is to say we’re a lot further away from cyborgs and the like than computer engineers hoped or imagined.
What Do the Following Common Turns of Phrase Have in Common?
We have Cervantes to thank. They all come from Don Quixote (or as some have it, Donkey Hotey) which was initially published in 1604, under the title The Ingenious Knight of La Mancha. Old William Shakespeare ain’t the only one who could coin a good cliché. The book is also where the phrase ‘tilting at windmills’ comes from. Tilting is jousting. In the book our eponymous hero attacks (tilts at) windmills under the delusion he’s fighting giants. As Cervantes wrote:
“Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them. With their spoils we shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a brood from off the face of the earth is a service God will bless.”
“What giants?” asked Sancho Panza.
“Those you see over there,” replied his master, “with their long arms. Some of them have arms well nigh two leagues in length.”
“Take care, sir,” cried Sancho. “Those over there are not giants but windmills.”
Another term with a similar meaning to tilting at windmills –quixotic. One guess where that comes from.
Top Ten Reasons Why Not
Some time back we reported how Australia has some of the most poisonous critters around. Mostly reptiles and spiders. Well, it seems they also have bird firebugs. Raptors that help spread brush fires. Australia, the land of great big hopping marsupials, killer arachnids, deadly snakes in the grass, and plumed pyromaniacs. Makes you wonder what Mother Nature is up to down there. From Australia’s National Post:
Raptors on at least four continents have been observed for decades on the edge of big flames, waiting out scurrying rodents and reptiles or picking through their barbecued remains.
What’s new, at least in the academic literature, is the idea that birds might be intentionally spreading fires themselves. If true, the finding suggests that birds, like humans, have learned to use fire as a tool and as a weapon.
Read it all: Australian birds have weaponized fire…
Ten Things that Didn’t Happen in 2018
Our slumber is over and so we return you to our irregularly unscheduled content. Which we are sure the reader has been eagerly anticipating with bated breath. Bate. Another one of those old words you rarely run across outside of a clichéd old phrase. “With bated breath.” Though you sometimes run across its synonymous sibling, abate.
In fact, bate is an aphetic version of the original word, abate. Aphetic simply means a word has lost bits. For example, the trailer containing fuel behind a locomotive is called a tender, which is a shortened version of attender. Along the same lines, bus is a shortening of omnibus. We suppose a modern example is blog being an aphetic version of weblog.
Asides aside, you also don’t much stumble upon bate’s other meanings. From the sport of falconry you have bate as a verb meaning the action of a falcon held by the talons beating its wings to take off. From which comes a noun variant, a state of violent agitation. From tanners we get a verb definition, to soak leather after liming in an alkaline solution to soften and remove the lime. That alkaline solution was called bate, now its a noun.
See what you’ve been missing? Well, we’re glad we’re back anyway.
Official notice for 2018: As of January 1st we are no longer terry colon dot com. The new and improved, bigger and better, oh so modern and lucky name is terry colon point com. The one and only original point com on the known Internet. Bookmark us today!
Less official notice for the coming year: As it seems these days every other blog or website has a whacky and/or cryptically meaningful name, we decided to jump on that overcrowded bus. Only we can’t make up our minds what that off-kilter rife-with-hidden-significance name should be. And so… well, you’ll see.
The new year brings a slightly new look to boot. Not a rebuild, more like a tune-up. The color scheme has been tweaked and the masthead font (very top) has changed from Terrifix to a new version of an old typeface from our Face Front collection, Beatnix Bold. And as last year, the archives have been culled of the less interesting or dated bits. Think of the archives as a highlight reel. Or maybe an oldies station, where it’s a blast from the past and not crap from the past.