Why do we say 'probly' and 'libry' instead of probably and library? 




I wrote an article for The Week about haplology, the omission of one of two consecutive, identical syllables. Or, of course, “haplogy”, if you want to get self-referential about it. 

I get the impression that haplology may happen slightly more often in British English: John Wells has the example /’kwɒntətɪv/ for “quantitative” on the BBC, which I can only really get when I attempt the accent. My default North American reduced form would be something more like /’kwɑnəteɪtɪv/, with the post-nasal /t/ deleted, as is very common in rapid English speech. Anyone else?

As a phonetics student, this is neat! Errr, I hope I’m not sounding bitchy here, but I think it’s really cute that people made up a special word for when a syllable that’s a phonological copy of a syllable around it gets reduced. In phonetics we tend to just call it all reduction. I think if people knew just how much actually gets reduced - even in careful speech - they would understand why. This shit is RIDICULOUS. Our brains are able and highly motivated to parse unbelievably garbled mumbling, and we’re so good at it that half the time we don’t even notice how garbly mumbly it is. To do that, you have to record yourself in a program like Praat and isolate the sounds you produce, so that your brain won’t be able to work its magic deciphering on them.

For example, in reasonably careful speech, my probably comes out [pɹɑbli]. Yours probably (heh) does too. In regular speech it gets cut down to [pɹɑɫɨ], [pɹɑɪ], or even just [pɹəɨ]. If you hear that by itself, you’d be like “what the hell is that” but as long as it’s in a sentence your brain won’t even break a sweat. And I can tell from just listening to myself that my casual quantitative reduces down to at least [kwæ̃ətʰeɾv̩], probably more.

My favorite example of this is the time I was transcribing a woman’s production of “so they’re just.” How did it come out? [sðɹ̯ʒs]. If you can’t read IPA, that’s s as in sad, th as in these, r as in urban, s as in pleasure, and s as in sad, one right after the other, all in one short syllable. Perfectly understandable in context, and utterly baffling at the segment level.

Anyway, to summarize: I’m super happy to have learned a new reduction-related word, reduction is nuts, and everyone should go download Praat right now (it’s free!) to listen to the weird-ass sounds they make, because it’s amaaaaazing.

My favourite reduction is “I don’t know”, which you can reduce to just a murmured pitch contour (low-high-low, I believe).

And yes, you should go download Praat because it’s really cool to see your sounds (there are help docs at the link since it’s a bit confusing at first). Here’s a waveform and spectrogram of me saying the “I dunno” contour on a nasalized schwa-ish vowel, where you can see (blue line) that it is indeed low-high-low: 


Posted April 11, 2014 @ 18:55 VIA - SOURCE

Origin - On The House


EA are giving away games - on the house.

First up for grabs is Dead Space.

So what are you waiting for? Go and dismember some zombies now!

(I’m hoping that first link contains a page that actually updates with whatever the latest freebie is. Their promo claims that there is an “on the house” page on their site, but I can’t find it on the site OR within the Origin client itself. That was the closest I could find by stumbling around the Origin site like a jovial drunk.)

Posted March 28, 2014 @ 17:39 VIA

Fic - Monocular Diplopia 


Title: Monocular Diplopia

Fandom: Thief (2014) 

Word Count: 5798

Rating: T

Warnings: Mental illness, shady mental hospitals, unnecessary electroconvulsive therapy, altered mental states, memory loss, loss of identity

Summary: ”When he looks at the eye it does not look back. The lenses will not focus. It lies in his palm like a dead thing.” Garrett was asleep for a year, but not in the usual sense of the word.

Notes: This is theory/meta masquerading as fic (and the working title was “oh no I made myself sad.” I’m very sorry). If you missed it, the stuff about the Voclid Tests is from the ‘Heartbroken’ sidequest.

Monocular diplopia = double vision in one eye.

Massive, massive thanks to sparkedsynapse for introducing me to the initial premise/theory, and to 3parts for hunting down and uploading transcripts of all the Chapter 5 documents… because I’m way too scared to go back through and hunt for all of them myself.



He wakes up one year after the accident.

He wakes up six days after the accident.

Time is a tricky thing.


There are signs posted everywhere on the walls of Moira Asylum, rules and regulations, notes from doctor to doctor, warnings, mottos. In the summer, when the windows are open so that the salt-heavy air can blow inside and remind the patients of words like ‘sunlight’ and ‘sea,’ the wind strikes up a great fluttering of paper on the walls. The sound of a great library, pages turning and turning and turning, back and forward and back again.

Moira Asylum remembers.

Patient #18 arrives in a flurry, doctors snapping to attention at the click-clack of the Baron’s cane on the floors. Patient #31 arrives much more quietly. Quiet seems to follow in his shadow. When Nurse Aubermill writes the intake notes, the tip of her pen makes no noise at all upon the paper.

Received patient #31, she writes, as sun sets and lengthens the long shadows in the halls. Admitted by the state and delivered under guard. Patron was tight-lipped and oddly uncaring, but grudgingly proposed that he be used in #18’s therapy; apparently the two have a history. Muttered something about “just in case.” Requested that no intake paperwork be filled out for him. Apparently admitting him here is a miscarriage of justice.

I wonder what makes #18 so important.

I wonder if #31 is truly sick.

If there’s anything I’ve learned about this place, it’s not to ask.

She burns the note.

She does not ask.

[read more]

Posted March 20, 2014 @ 10:22 VIA

Mark Reads 'The Color of Magic': Part 1 


If you’re new to Mark Reads, then please, PLEASE read the information at the top of the page. He’s reading these books completely unspoiled, and we want to keep him that way. If you want to comment, please make sure you read the rules first - little things you don’t think count as spoilers may be frowned upon.

Posted March 14, 2014 @ 22:58


Storium is an online storytelling game that allows players to create a story through a series of scenes, reacting to obstacles and people as you come across them.  It’s played with 3 people, with one person playing as the Narrator, and the other 2 playing as the characters.  

The Narrator chooses the world that the story is set in (with choices such as ‘occult pop horror’, ‘medical drama’ and ‘cyberpunk’), then starts each scene, using cards to give the players challenges to overcome.  The players will then try to overcome these challenges as they see fit, progressing the story  in fun and interesting ways.

There are a few more rules, but it’s remarkably easy to pick up and is only limited by your imagination.  Storium is a fun and fluid way of storytelling, with players reacting to each other and no-one being fully in control, it can lead to some VERY interesting stories.  

Our attempt was an occult pop horror called ‘The Badgers of Doom’, they’re black, they’re white, and they bite!  Coming soon to cinemas near you!

Sign up for the Alpha

Posted March 14, 2014 @ 12:47 VIA - SOURCE



oh my god i cant believe this is actually happening im legit crying

if this is real I will burst into tears and then throw a party.


Posted March 04, 2014 @ 07:44 VIA - SOURCE


I’m going to sleep

One last time, please, I place my trust in you one more time:

Venezuela is sinking. Tomorrow, cities will wake up fully militarized, and goodness only knows what will happen to anyone who dares to go out. Please, go through all the material in the #Venezuela tag or blogs such as mine — take a look at what’s been going on!

People are dying. Please stop and help us. Get the word out, make sure that the evidence is where it cannot be destroyed. Talk to people about this. Make it part of your day.

Don’t let us vanish into the night, forgotten. Too many have already died. One was more than enough, too many.

http://chocotaur.tumblr.com/post/77236030445/the-report-tweet-carlos-alberto-tejada-wounded (TW: Blood)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNYhQ936MCg — “How do you sleep when your neighbors are dying outside?” (TW: graphic death, death.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0HF9WxQYCQ — Attack in Altamira

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYO9pE3A1ss — National Guard vandalizes and attacks houses

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iw9sAxy-fQY — More

http://socialredemption.tumblr.com/post/77179818479/urb-el-bosque-en-valencia-algunas-personas — Wounded by collectives. TW Blood

http://whowanttobealone.tumblr.com/post/77180168563/esto-pasa-en-valencia — More TW Blood


PLEASE STOP AND REBLOG.  Please help us!!

Posted February 20, 2014 @ 20:11 VIA - SOURCE

Australia PM calls ABC unpatriotic 


A.K.A. You’re calling me out on my constant bullshit so I’m going to look for excuses to strip even more funding away.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has criticised national broadcaster ABC for “taking everyone’s side but Australia’s”.

Mr Abbott said the publicly-funded broadcaster should show “some basic affection for the home team”.

The ABC has been at the forefront of reports on abuse claims from asylum seekers and reports that Australia had spied on Indonesia.

I loathe this man.

Posted January 29, 2014 @ 19:41 VIA

The Push Up Muscle Shirt | The Flattering Man 






Posted January 24, 2014 @ 18:47 VIA - SOURCE

Links for 3parts


http://www.visuwords.com/ I think this is the sort of thing you meant?

http://chir.ag/projects/tip-of-my-tongue/ This one is also helpful but differently.

Ahh, thank you, those links look like they’ll be incredibly useful! I also found this list of “adjectives of relation”, for anyone else with the ‘of or relating to’ problem!

Posted January 15, 2014 @ 17:01 VIA

Cuteness Inspires Aggression: Scientific American 

New research by two Yale University psychologists details how the sight of something cute brings out our aggressive side. Rebecca Dyer and Oriana Aragon investigated “cute aggression” by showing study participants slide shows of either cute, funny or normal animal photographs. As they watched, the participants held bubble wrap. The researchers, attempting to mimic the common desire to squeeze cute things, told subjects to pop as many or as few bubbles as they wished. People watching the cute slide show popped significantly more bubbles than those viewing the funny or control pictures, according to results presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology annual meeting in New Orleans. “Some things are so cute that we just can’t stand it,” Dyer concludes.

Posted January 13, 2014 @ 05:00

This Scientist Uses The New York Times Archive To Eerily, Accurately Predict The Future 


Kira Radinsky has written an algorithm that dissects old news stories and other Internet postings to look for past cause and effect, and then can alert us to possible disasters, geopolitical events, and disease outbreaks.

Posted January 12, 2014 @ 19:57 VIA - SOURCE

Zoya 3 FREE Nail Polish Promo 


I just got this in my inbox and while I’m A: broke, B: stocked with approximately 89712340735239 colors of Zoya already and could not possibly need any more colors if I tried, and C: currently doing shellac manis anyway so I can’t even use my own polishes except on my painted cabochons, this is a damn good deal and I figured I’d pass it on to my fellow polish-loving friends.

Let Zoya Color Your World in 2014 with
3 FREE Bottles of Any Zoya Nail Polish Colors.
Just Pay Promotional Shipping & Processing

Use Code: COLOR2014


Posted January 06, 2014 @ 15:59 VIA - SOURCE

Why Mind Over Matter Doesn't Work With Chronic Stress 


When you’re prepared and you’re just facing momentary stress, mind over matter is helpful to focus on what you want to happen. That’s because the body handles momentary stress quite well. Stress signals the adrenal glands to produce cortisol, the fight or flight hormone, which produces an immediate boost of energy and focus that is great for getting stuff done. Cortisol also suppresses non-essential functions, including the immune and reproductive systems and impacts mood, motivation and fear.

Evolutionarily this stress was short lived so the energy lasted for a short period of time and then the body returned to normal.

But today many people live with constant overload at work, sleep derivation and family responsibilities, which the body interprets as stress. Add illness or another stressful situation and the stress becomes chronic.

With chronic stress, the body is constantly flooded with cortisol, which can lead to anxiety, depression, sleep problems, cognitive impairment and weight gain. That’s why when you are completely fried you are have difficulty concentrating and are jumpy. Long term stress can also impact the immune system and cause stomach problems. Not fun.

During these periods, you can’t think yourself out of it because the brain is literally not working properly. Stress impairs brain functioning. It’s not your fault, it’s biology.

Ignore anyone who just tells you to think positive. The best thing you can do is to take care of your body so that the stress response calms, your mind clears and you improve the body’s resilience. Go back to basics.

Posted January 06, 2014 @ 02:46 VIA - SOURCE


So I may have possibly previously mentioned a certain productivity-enhancing extension so you all know I’m Good for this, right, I know what I’m talking about, I got the goods, slyly opens trenchcoat

It’s 2014 and everyone’s talking about how they’re gonna make it their year - well HabitRPG is one of the best productivity tools I’ve ever used and it makes even the most difficult and laborious of tasks so much easier, and helps beat procrastination like nothing else I’ve ever used.

It’s free, so you might as well give it a try before you go back to school, college, or work!

Posted January 06, 2014 @ 02:41 VIA - SOURCE