or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dead Letter

For such as might care: I got my flu jab yesterday and it was quick and painless. (I am completely unafraid of injections and phlebotomies, although I don't actually like to watch the needle going into the skin for some reason: yesterday the doctor was done almost before I knew she'd started.) Let's hope the coming flu season is not a repeat of last year's, or a real-life playing-out of Contagion.

I mostly ignore Facebook but I do play a few games on it, desultorily; I spent way too much time on Frontierville (which now apparently is Pioneer Something) but gave it up cold turkey, and haven't had any interest in allowing anything to fill to void. Having played The Sims quite a bit since its first incarnation (they're up to The Sims 3 and want $50 for the new Pets expansion pack, which is not gonna happen), I started playing The Sims Social, but soon hit a brick wall; like all the other social games on Facebook, you can't make any progress unless you start pestering other people to supply you with things, and I couldn't be bothered.

There never were any typos in the original Sims (pretty sure I would have found them), but there were a few in The Sims 2 and quite a lot in the third version. Apparently, the online edition is going to take after its immediate predecessor, because just look at this screen capture:

"Write epitath"?

Jeez. You don't even have to manually run a spellchecker any more — the software will underline suspect words — and still this slipped in? I'm guessing the software is being farmed out to Croatia or Bangalore or some other such place where programmers abound and English is not the first language, although we make plenty of our own stupid mistakes right here in North America. (I could also point out that the word "skill" is duplicated on the bottom line — a mistake that only a human could catch.)

Anyway, "epitaph" is self-evidently Greek (as essentially all "epi-" words are, not counting such newer macaronics as "epicentre" and "EpiPen"): the first half is, as you surely guessed, a prefix, in this case meaning "on" or in this case "at", and the second from "taphos", which means "funeral rites" or "tomb" and shows up in English in one other word, "cenotaph", "empty tomb".


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