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Pissing Contests


johnb
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(Oh, btw, it's compliment not complement. One says nice things about how well you've done something and how nice you looked while you did it, the other gets along nicely while it's aiding and abetting your efforts ;))

Both spellings are fine for the meaning I was going to according to my OED. But people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Quick example -- If you add something it's automatically new, and to say you "can't add anything new" is a pleonasm. You can look it up. But I do complement you for an effort, even if unsuccessful in the instant case, to raise the level of adherence to proper use of the language.

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Both spellings are fine for the meaning I was going to according to my OED. But people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Quick example -- If you add something it's automatically new, and to say you "can't add anything new" is a pleonasm. You can look it up. But I do complement you for an effort, even if unsuccessful in the instant case, to raise the level of adherence to proper use of the language.

OED: Complement: Noun -

1 a thing that contributes extra features to something else in such a way as to improve or emphasize its quality:

local ales provide the perfect complement to fine food

2 [in singular] a number or quantity of something, especially that required to make a group complete:

OED: Compliment: Noun -

a polite expression of praise or admiration:

she paid me an enormous compliment

an act or circumstance that implies praise or respect:

it’s a compliment to the bride to dress up on her special day

(compliments) congratulations or praise expressed to someone:

my compliments on your cooking

;)

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OED: Complement: Noun -

1 a thing that contributes extra features to something else in such a way as to improve or emphasize its quality:

local ales provide the perfect complement to fine food

2 [in singular] a number or quantity of something, especially that required to make a group complete:

OED: Compliment: Noun -

a polite expression of praise or admiration:

she paid me an enormous compliment

an act or circumstance that implies praise or respect:

it’s a compliment to the bride to dress up on her special day

(compliments) congratulations or praise expressed to someone:

my compliments on your cooking

;)

I will give you this -- while the "i" spelling is certainly more correct, the two are from the same etymological root and are often used interchangeably. Now what about that pleonasm? Or is spelling inherently more important than grammar and style? If one wants to start correcting any of those, there is lots of raw material around, even here and much more elsewhere. I think that's not a path anyone needs to go down too far.

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I'm sure glad you two weren't pissing at each other over the table during lunch! :o

John and I have been doing this probably longer than you've been alive :). We both have a huge amount of respect for the English language and lob dictionaries and style manuals back and forth at each other. (Incidentally, it was great meeting you, David).

BTW, John (From the OED):

Complement and compliment (together with related words such as complementary and complimentary) are frequently confused. They are pronounced in the same way but have quite different meanings: as a verb complement means ‘add to something in a way that enhances or improves’, as in a classic blazer complements a look that’s smart or casual, while compliment means ‘admire and praise someone for something’, as in he complimented her on her appearance. Complementary means ‘forming a complement or addition, completing,’ as in I purchased a suit with a complementary tie. This is often confused with complimentary, for which one sense is ‘given freely, as a courtesy’: honeymooners receive complimentary fruit and flowers.

late Middle English (in the sense 'completion'): from Latin complementum, from complere 'fill up' (see complete). Compare with compliment

Compliment: mid 17th century: from French compliment (noun), complimenter (verb), from Italian complimento 'fulfilment of the requirements of courtesy', from Latin complementum 'completion, fulfilment' (reflected in the earlier English spelling complement, gradually replaced by the French form between 1655 and 1715).

So, in one sense (prior to 1715), your statement is correct (and I agree, doing this everywhere on the internet would take more time than I'd ever want to spend).

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I will give you this -- while the "i" spelling is certainly more correct, the two are from the same etymological root and are often used interchangeably. Now what about that pleonasm? Or is spelling inherently more important than grammar and style? If one wants to start correcting any of those, there is lots of raw material around, even here and much more elsewhere. I think that's not a path anyone needs to go down too far.

They are equally important. If what one writes can be easily confused by the "great unlearned masses", have you imparted a great truth or simply dropped a string of verbiage? "Wood ewe dew that?" All of those words are spelled correctly but have absolutely no meaning as a sentence. (I don't think we should start a "Let us post only in correct English, please" system. I somehow doubt, given the inordinate amount of horrible writing found on the internet, that we would ever have time for anything else.).

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They are equally important. If what one writes can be easily confused by the "great unlearned masses", have you imparted a great truth or simply dropped a string of verbiage? "Wood ewe dew that?" All of those words are spelled correctly but have absolutely no meaning as a sentence. (I don't think we should start a "Let us post only in correct English, please" system. I somehow doubt, given the inordinate amount of horrible writing found on the internet, that we would ever have time for anything else.).

Mostly agree, though I would give a slight nod to grammar and even style myself. Spelling errors are common, we're all susceptable (I did that on purpose), and they seldom lead the reader to misinterpret the thought being expressed. Less true IMO with grammar and style. Even great writers need editors and proofreaders to catch silly errors including the occasional misspelling, but if they didn't have a firm grasp of grammar and particularly style they wouldn't be great writers in the first place. And no, sheep don't eat wet tree trunks.

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Thanks for that link, VJ. .

In case anyone is wondering what the heck that thing is that Zimmern is staring at in the photo, it's a 5 gal. plum sauce bucket that Chang and his wife Lisa used years ago, while in Knoxville, as an improvised ice chest to pack up some food for me to take on the 2 hour+ drive home, something they did on more than one occasion. Trillin mentioned it in his article, and one of those plastic buckets was still around in the basement, so I took it along thinking it would be an interesting way to collect a few autographs. Sort of ties together some elements of the Chang saga.

FWIW, the first in our series of TemptAsian lunches that really got the whole thing going took place exactly 8 years ago. It's been an interesting ride.

Interestingly, I posted a direct link to that 3 paragraph "story" but it seems to have disappeared. Oh well, the vagaries of those data tubes.

Never made the P.C. lunches,they came after the $20 Tuesday dinner at TemptAsia which both Grover and I attended. That was the beginning of the Peter Chang Great Adventure. Not only did that dinner start the Great Peter Chang Adventure, it also introduced us to Steven Banker who (in my humble opinion) is even more of a legend than Peter C., albeit in a slightly different way.

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Never made the P.C. lunches,they came after the $20 Tuesday dinner at TemptAsia which both Grover and I attended. That was the beginning of the Peter Chang Great Adventure. Not only did that dinner start the Great Peter Chang Adventure, it also introduced us to Steven Banker who (in my humble opinion) is even more of a legend than Peter C., albeit in a slightly different way.

You might want to take another look at the old TemptAsian thread. It shows the $20 "Tuesday" dinner you mention appears to have occurred 26 January 2006 (a Thursday) and was reported by goldenticket that day. Your first post in that thread (on page 2) was 24 January, the same day you posted in the "$20 Tuesday" thread that you and Grover would attend that function (interesting how easy and fun it is to trace this stuff back). The lunch series, on the other hand, took place 5 months prior to that, in July and August 2005, very soon after PC started at TA (which was sometime in May?), and is described in detail in the thread. Stephen Banker attended several and first posted on 16 August; he also organized some lunches after that. I'm not aware of any other threads about PC going on during that period that might have mentioned a $20 dinner in his first few weeks at TA. He left TA very shortly after the January $20 meetup, and was confirmed to be at work in the new place (China Gourmet/Szechuan Boy) in early March.

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On misspellings, why does the Mac OS refuse to spell check the quick reply box? Is it a setting on my machine? I may not be the worst typist in the world, but if the worst typist were to die...

I don't know, but it's one of the reasons I tend not to use it. :)

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I didn't feel it was important enough to check. I don't remember the lunches but if you said they started 5 months or 30 years beforehand, okay, I certainly wouldn't want to take away your glory.

So let me get this straight. You took an obvious pot shot at an innocent comment about the anniversary of when the Peter Chang thing got going, making a big deal with a zinger about how you took part in the dinner that was actually, according to you, "the start of the Great Peter Chang Adventure (capitalized and "trademarked"), which it wasn't, and now you dismiss it saying it all wasn't important enough to check? With a big dollop of sarcasm and the addition of a gratuitous remark about my "glory?"

It's not a matter of checking. It's a matter of knowing what took place, before commenting.

But hey, you're old and grouchy. Me too.

If you want to keep this going, fine, but I'm retiring.

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