[mw-devel] Re: babelfish gag

Finn Wilcox finnw at sucs.org
Tue Dec 14 19:09:35 GMT 2004

On Tue, 14 Dec 2004, Chris McKenna wrote:

> I noticed in one of finnw's tests that the "^I$","spirit of I" conversion 
> was returning "SPIRIT OF I" (presumably as its just preserving the case of 
> the original). If there is a way to set this one to use lowercase as above 
> always, then can someone implement it (with a comment).
I think it would be better to remove this one altogether, because its not
an "obvious" translation.  And translating one word to three is probably not
appropriate for such a common word.
> When someone has time, we could run through some common abbreviations for 
> peoples names as well, e.g. ff <firefury>, sf <stringfellow>, cmc 
> <cmckenna>, art <arthur>, wb <Welshbyte>, vort <vortex>, etc. (Dom 
> <psycodom> already translates to "cathederal"). 
I don't think the abbreviations should be treated as equivalent to the full
usernames.  e.g. I wouldn't translate 'psycodom' to 'cathedral' or 'rc' to
'cow of cylinders'.

I also think the table is now big enough that we should clear out some of the
more confusing entries.  i.e. anything non-obvious, and words that are
commonly used as both nouns and verbs.  These are likely to be confusing and
not likely to be amusing.  The original point of the gag was to get meaningful
sentences that had their meaning changed in an amusing way and so that you
can see why the word was translated wrongly.  Much like those books of silly
signs.  If the results aren't funny the gag is pointless, and if you just
produce gibberish it can ruin the opportunity to make the rest of the
sentence funny.


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