Talk:1661: Podium

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Well as a non-english native, I just recently found that the term podium and lectern were used "wrong" on xkcd. Especially because the lectern is often placed on a podium. So when trying to make a description in a transcript of what the scene looks like you would have to write that Cueball is standing behind a podium placed on a podium if you did not use the correct word of lectern, or be changing both words Cueball is standing behind a podium placed on a scene. So it would be so much easier if people just used lectern, but I guess this is not the way it will be going, maybe except for xkcd readers now? When I found out recently (March 1st) that there were several podiums in explain xkcd where they should have been lecterns I corrected them all. Although I think it is unlikely that Randall would notice this, it is funny for me, that he makes this joke less than a month after I made the correction. And since I did not know about this before, I was not aware that there was these discussions going on ;-) At least it seems that Randall doesn't take sides in this discussion, although he may think it is silly. (Just like using one type of 1643: Degrees rather than another. What is correct and what will be understood). --Kynde (talk) 15:43, 28 March 2016 (UTC)

Do we have any evidence or knowledge that Randall Munroe knows about and/or visits It's not officially connected with him or, as far as I know. -boB (talk) 20:51, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
I agree that "podium" is just wrong. Just because so-called "dictionaries" want to coddle people who use words incorrectly doesn't mean we should allow them to ruin our language. Allowing people to use "podium" to mean a stand for notes is as bad as allowing people to use "explain" to mean to describe or make intelligible. The word "explain" comes from Old French, where it meant "flatten out", as is obvious from the etymology: Latin "ex-" + "plano", or "out-" + "(I) flatten". This is easy to remember because it sounds like "esplanade", a cleared or leveled space, a noun with related etymology. English has a perfectly good verb, "irecchen", with the desired meaning. Clearly, this site is meant to level out XKCD, to make it flat and featureless, not to make it easier to understand, and I applaud it for using the word correctly. However, I would like to take issue with the misuse of the word "discuss" on this site. This word was borrowed from Norman French with the meaning "shaken apart", but is only properly used in medical history and archaeology—and, even then, it is often misused as "discussed", ignoring the fact that it is already a past participle. In the common language of the uneducated, it is nearly always used to mean "converse about", but the Latin etymology as a participle of "dis-" + "quatere", or "apart-" + "shake", should make it clear how ridiculous this is. Even if we were to allow the medieval monastic fad for using "discuss" figuratively to mean sifting the truth out of text by arguing over them vigorously, that still cannot justify the so-called modern meaning that our dictionaries promulgate. Wé mōton standen for Englisc propre! -- 17:45, 28 March 2016 (UTC)

I have huge reference libraries personally, including science and tech, law, medicine, philosophy, arts, etc. I find it a Chinese curse, to need an online subscription for OED 3, after managing to acquire OED 2 v 3 & v4 in forms suitable for both PC and mobile carry, plus Merriam-Webster unabridged as an offline mobile app. Ullman's (industrial chemistry) dwarfs those, however. That noted, dictionaries require active public input, and are plagued by inarticulate speakers. The degradation of "unique" into a comparative is contrary to core etymology. OTOH, "yawl" and "ketch" remain difficult to define as to the basic rigs, while their comparison to each other and "sloop" has been improved as lexicographers have been called out for failing to focus on the key distinction of whether a mizzen mast is stepped fore or aft of the rudder post, not the rudder, or arbitrary relative sail sizes. Nudist and naturist are scrambled by common usage to be both ambiguous, versus to reflect philosophical or religious aspects of naturism versus outward practices or social and business based nudism, while misuse as if conflated with naturalist has decreased, and inclusion of naturist improved. Many dictionaries have recognized schadenfreude as becoming an English word, while despite circa 1981 origins well over the 20 year rule, only a few better dictionaries are yet listing compersion.

Fuck, gender, and profanity now see around 8,000 combined instances in OED 3, close to ten times their presence in OED 2 v4. Jesse Scheidlower, OED editor at large and author of a single word dictionary of "fuck" variants now up to 320 pages in its 3rd edition, gets some credit for that honesty movement over words some unethical publishers have censored or tampered pandering to crooked bigot infested school boards and legislatures. Theist, atheist, pantheist, polytheist, and similar terms are messier, as their common usage is mangled by prejudice based contexts and eastern and western history getting scrambled. Now test for theology versus thealogy, or etymology and definitions for witch (male and female in modern English) versus misrepresentation of warlock (oathbreaker), or words used by both reclaiming identity movements, and as slurs, eg slants, dyke, redskins, q***r, n*****s, pagan, witch, etc. Quality of both dictionaries, and society itself, can be tested by such comparisons.

By joking about politicians using word issues as evasion, Randall could help promote the values that honest understanding of the nature of language and misconceptions of dictionaries and authorities are important. Loki57 (talk) 18:05, 28 March 2016 (UTC)

Isn't this whole stucture with elevation and a barrier called "pulpit"? 07:47, 29 March 2016 (UTC)