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November 07, 2009

Pessimal, Baguette, and Metrotextuals

A potpourri of small amusements:

New Word of the Day (WOTD): Pessimal adjective : Describes a situation that is the least favourable or advantageous (the opposite of optimal).

The Large Hadron Collider has been thwarted again, this time by a bit of sammich baguette, possible dropped by a bird or left by time travelers while they were sabotaging the device.

We've been told of metrosexuals - narcisstic, ostensibly hetero men (OHM) that are comfortable using skin care products and who are open to concepts such as manscaping - think David Beckham as the poster boy - but now a London study brings us metrotextuals. Metrotextuals are ostensibly hetero men who are comfortable signing "kisses" in text messages to other men.



Frank Van Haste said...


In re: "pessimal", there is this lore, extracted from The Story of Mel:

'Mel never wrote time-delay loops, either,
even when the balky Flexowriter
required a delay between output characters to work right.
He just located instructions on the drum
so each successive one was just past the read head
when it was needed;
the drum had to execute another complete revolution
to find the next instruction.
He coined an unforgettable term for this procedure.
Although “optimum” is an absolute term,
like “unique”, it became common verbal practice
to make it relative:
“not quite optimum” or “less optimum”
or “not very optimum”.
Mel called the maximum time-delay locations
the “most pessimum”.'

You may be...ummm...experienced enough to appreciate the tale in toto.



Vannevar said...

Dear Frank, I enjoyed that tremendously. Thank you very much for taking the time to send it over. Cheers, Vannevar.

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