Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Saturday, November 25, 2023

The mysterious case of the "lost positive"


English is a mess and probably always will be.  It combines West Germanic languages, Latin, Old Norse, and French.  This gives us more words that mean the same thing.

At one time English had grammatical gender just like many languages do today, but dropped it.  I'm grateful for this simplification.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Why Do Americans Write the Date Like This?


The International ISO standard for dates is YYYY-MM-DD.  I've been using this format for the simple reason that I like it.

Friday, November 3, 2023

The Mind

"The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Are chatbots the wave of the future?

Many people, myself included, tend to latch onto new technology.

So far, I'm not particularly impressed with the current level of chatbots.  They have no real understanding, but do a great job of imitating human conversation.  They only understand the relationship between words in ordinary speech.  The chatbots are essentially a version of Wikipedia that can hold a conversation with you.

That is all about to change.  It can't be far off because there is an AI arms race going on between major companies.  Eventually computer programs will talk to you with some understanding of what they are talking about.  I see a future, possibly within a decade, where your computer or smartphone is your artificial friend who regularly talks to you, keeps you company, and helps you deal with any problem you may have.  Better than real friends.  

It is inevitable.

Right now people are pushing Augmented Reality, and although I don't see much point, it will likely be the norm in a decade.  For me, it would be nice to spend time with some of my Utah friends as if they were in the room with me.

Best wishes,

John Coffey


Saturday, May 6, 2023

This Pac-Man Game will NEVER be Released Again

John Coffey
7 minutes ago (edited)
I liked Jr. Pac-Man although the difficulty seems tough.  The Atari 2600 version is one of the best games on the Atari 2600.  The 2600 version has selectable levels of difficulty.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Why Some Americans Say 'Warsh' Instead of Wash

John Coffey
0 seconds ago
Most of my extended family, aunts, uncles, etc., say "warsh."  They were originally from Kentucky.  I grew up in Indiana.  I try to avoid saying "warsh", but some people in Indiana still say it.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Split Infinitive: The Complete Guide (with Examples) - The Grammar Guide

This has been a source of confusion for me.  I assumed that infinitives were verbs, but that isn't correct.

English grammar seems complicated.

I have tried to avoid splitting infinitives, but sometimes you step all over yourself in the process.  In some cases, it is better to split the infinitive.


"Infinitives don't act as verbs. Rather, they act as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs.

As nouns, they act as subjects of sentences or as direct objects:

To rescue Princess Aurora was Prince Philip's only goal. (subject)

A smart approach is to do a little each day. (direct object)

As adjectives, they modify nouns or pronouns:

His favorite toy to sleep with is his stuffed giraffe. (modifies toy)

As adverbs, infinitives modify verbs:

She ran to stay in shape. (modifies ran)"

Wednesday, January 4, 2023