Sort-of memes that are cracking you up at the moment

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  • There's a lot of fake etymology out there, no more than urban myth. Then people who don't understand that basic fact of modern life get all precious over one theory that they credulously accepted as gospel.

  • Eric Partridge sounds like a name made up by Daily Mash.

  • There's a lot of fake etymology out there

    And the supposed Meccano origin for ‘Bog Standard’ and ‘Dog’s Bollocks’ is almost certainly that. There’s no evidence to support it, it’s just a fun story that has taken hold.

  • Sort-of etymology standards that are cracking you up at the moment

  • Well I’ve been in engineering of one form or another since 1979, and I was told by a senior engineer that the correct term was box-standard back when I was an apprentice, so it’s been around since at least the 70’s. Bog-standard just doesn’t make any sense, anyway.

  • Haven’t noticed any standardization in my bogs, they’re all over the map.

  • I was told by a senior engineer

    argumentum ab auctoritate 🙂

    I'd take Partridge over any engineer in a lexicographical dispute.

  • so it’s been around since at least the 70’s

    So has bog-standard. It's even possible they were coined separately. Box-standard seems much less commonly used, but all that proves is that more people heard bog-standard, it doesn't prove origin either way.

    Bog-standard just doesn’t make any sense, anyway

    It might have been a clever and apposite term in the context where it was first used. The way people learn language and the way neologisms spread, most new phrases end up repeated by people who don't understand how they came to acquire their meaning. "Pushing the envelope", for example. I think that's been fading out of use this century as new terms for cutting-edge technical experimentation have emerged, but it was very common pre-millennium and most people who used it had no idea of its origin.

  • Pushing the envelope

    And then of course there's touching cloth

  • Spanking the monkey.

  • Having spoken to my elder brother today on an entirely unrelated matter, he is sure that our dad used to say box-standard from his Army days, for a piece of kit that was unmodified and as the manufacturer intended, ie; standard straight out of the box.
    I always believed that was the correct term and “bog-standard” was just a misheard phrase that just took hold in common usage. I’ve spent the last 40 years correcting people, like the fucking curmudgeon I am.

    No idea about pushing the envelope, tho. Sounds aviation-based to me, no?

  • I remember pushing the envelope

  • Heh. When you’re a 16-yo apprentice, esp back in the 70’s, you didn’t dare question the senior engineer. Not unless you wanted to be scrubbing out the fuel tanks for the next week, anyway.

  • If you drill down into the earlier results for the "box standard" Ngram, that looks like a spectacular fail from their (notoriously dodgy) data set.

    No idea about pushing the envelope, tho. Sounds aviation-based to me, no?

    @jj72 Aye. Even there, some people say it refers to the concept of a "Flight envelope", which is the general flight characteristics of an aeroplane that might be pushed by extreme use, but there's also the fact that the cone of high-pressure air that forms around a plane approaching supersonic speed is often referred to as an envelope, which makes "pushing the envelope" a more dramatic metaphor.

  • Yeah, not really surprised. I wasn't really making an argument one way or the other, just offering a different methodology.

    And the dataset is indeed complete garbage for real research (as demonstrated with the "fuck" example). May be good enough in this case, though. Don't know.

  • anyway. wholesome memes ahoy!

  • Changing the subject (phew!) ... my submission for the pedantry award:

    Flight testing is done within an 'envelope'. Now't to do with envelopes, but the shape of the bits of the graph of load (y axis) against speed (x) that you have investigated is usually open-envelope shaped. The 'point' of the 'flap' being at the origin (no speed, no load).

    So 'pushing the envelope', beloved of film makers, corporate bullshitters and folk who don't know anything but like to do buzzy talk, derives from flight testing where the engineers seek to push a single factor beyond the confines of the envelope - which is where they've already been and the aeroplane hasn't broken or bent.

    So, maybe, a 2g turn at 600 knots goes to a 2g turn at 620knots. All done carefully and methodically, then back to base for the write-up and analysis before going to 640 knots.

    The small increments are essential because things like flutter often have a sudden onset and can be completely destructive - loss of prototype!

    I think it came to non-engineering prominence with Tom Wolfe's 'The Right Stuff' in the 1980s.

  • Qualifications?*

    *Mystery hour

  • What happened to this thread? Fuckenhell

  • i tried.

  • I don't know about you, but my social media feeds are still blocked by shit Wagatha Christie jokes.

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Sort-of memes that are cracking you up at the moment

Posted by Avatar for pajamas @pajamas

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