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back to article Yes, hundreds upon hundreds of websites CAN all be wrong

One day a couple of years ago I happened to hear an old song called “The Endless Enigma,” by Emerson, Lake & Palmer, that I remembered from when I was a teenager. Listening to it again reminded me that there was a line in the lyrics that I’d never been able to understand: I’m tired of ________, with tongues in their cheeks… This …

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Anonymous Coward

Oh

Shit - you're saying some of the stuff on the internet can't be trusted?

Well I never...

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Re: Oh

That's right, but the tricky part comes when you realise that some of it *can* be trusted.

Those selfies you posted ten years ago which now appear as the "I feel lucky" hit when you apply for your first job, for example, are completely authentic. We need to find a way to teach the younglings *both* of these truths.

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Re: Oh

What's worse is the fact that a page that was once right can change behind your back to being wrong, or the other way around. And without looking at changelogs or the InternetArchive there's often little proof of what you remember a page saying.

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Re: Oh

... a Google search, for the two versions (whole strings) results in a 2 to 1 probability to get the wrong information ... meaning, there is a 33% chance to stumble on to some real facts here ... oh, and the top one, on the result list of the wrong version, states: "What is the meaning of the expression "liver for freaks" in this verse of "The Endless Enigma" from the album "Trilogy" by Emerson, Lake ... which spells even more hope ... let the cleanup begin ... ha ha ha ... well spotted ...

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Re: Oh

No he's saying that more than 90% of it is bollocks and only 70% of that is gay pr0n.

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Coat

Re: Oh

"90% of it is bollocks and only 70% of that is gay pr0n..."

Presumably there's some overlap there, too.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh

there's a whole niche for overlapping gay pr0n there if you feel the need to explore it

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Re: Oh

If you think the Internet is bad, you should see the crap that gets printed in those newspaper things.

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Stop

Re: Oh

... well, well, well ... I wonder if someone considers that neither of the verses are actually correct ... listen to the song [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQxc2-ERPug] ... it clearly says (in this and the version I have):

I'm tired of living with freaks

With their tongues in their cheeks

... now, how about that ... fool me twice, shame on me ...

Cheers

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh

Sounds like "hypocrite freaks" to me.

However, it doesn't matter either way 'cos it's a shite song anyway.

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Re: Oh

I always thought that line said "Military Freaks"

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"Apologies to any affected Emerson, Lake & Palmer cover bands."

Well *that* image brightened up my morning...

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Happy

Obligatory XKCD cartoon...

http://xkcd.com/386/

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Happy

Re: Obligatory XKCD cartoon...

Now that was amusing... Thank you for the pick-me-up

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Re: Obligatory XKCD cartoon...

386 has long been one of my favourites :) For this article though I think another is a perfect fit:

http://xkcd.com/978/

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Re: Obligatory XKCD cartoon...

ahhhhh... is that why people hate wikipedia???...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Obligatory XKCD cartoon...

How sad is it that I don't need to follow the link to know that XKCD #386 is the "Someone's wrong on the Internet" one?

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FAIL

Re: Obligatory XKCD cartoon...

"...people hate wikipedia..."

[Citation Needed]

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Joke

Re: Obligatory XKCD cartoon...

I hope you realise that there's a badly-written "u", it should read, "Someone is wrung on the internet". It's a protest against unnecessary networking of laundries.

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It's even worse when it's YOU OWN mistake that gets propagated.

I fully agree with Mr. Mandl. I'd like to add another example of this... one that actually happened to me.

I am the author of a rather detailed research of the history of Chilean holidays. There's a particular one, September 11, that used to commemorate the 1973 coup. When I was starting out this work, I didn't know when exactly it began being observed, so I wrote down "No earlier than 1974." as a placeholder. At some point, I mistakenly reduced that to "1974", so for a while my research listed that year as the holiday's beginning. A few months later I corrected this when I found the decree-law that established it (published in 1981, so that's the actual beginning year)... but by that time several other sites had copied the wrong data, and it propagated from there. Three years later, it's still easy to find sites that list the wrong year (1974) instead of the correct one (1981).

At least I have the source to back it up and I've managed to convince two different people about this, so they've corrected their sites as well.

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re. Bootnotes

Non-muso here: What is a quarter-note? What is a beat? What is a bar?

Can you recommend a website that has simple examples I can listen to? (Can you recommend one that gets it right?) I need a website called 'music-for-people-who-enjoy-it-but-know-nothing-about-it.com'

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Anonymous Coward

Re: re. Bootnotes

You must have heard some drummer or musician say "1, 2, 3, 4" at the start of a song?

Well that's the four beats in a bar (4/4 timing).

I'll leave Bill Bailey to explain further using the Bill theme tune as an example :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uAo2rqWB08

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Re: re. Bootnotes

Thank you AC. There's always somebody here who knows:)

I've got off my intellectual backside and had a look in Wikipedia (an easy place to start) and found this, which has examples:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beat_(music)

As might be expected, this contains other technical words related to the description of music............ I might be gone for some time.

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Re: re. Bootnotes

Trying to think how to explain it in terms a non-musician would understand.

Beat - you should generally be able to bang the table or your foot or something at a regular speed, and the changes in notes will generally fall into that beat. In a lot of music, the drummer will do pretty much that, in classical music, the conductor will wave a stick to keep time.

You may notice when listening to the beat, that one beat in every four for example is stronger than the other beats. That stronger beat represents the beginning of the bar.

In Britain we generally use words based on italian words to describe note lengths. These are as follows, with each one half the length of the previous one in the list

Breve, Semi Breve, Minum, Crotchet, Quaver, Semi Quaver

The Americans use english translations of the german words. These are as follows, with each one the same as the equivalent position in the previous list

Double note, whole note, half note, quarter note, eighth note, sixteenth note

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Re: re. Bootnotes

err...

if you really want to know about headcase time sigs like 456/234 then it will prolly be on a subdomain of www.doityourselfbrainsurgery.com.

but there is a great resource on harmony\chord structure at

http://jamestaylor512.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=897

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Re: re. Bootnotes

Bar: where you find all the people who can explain beats and time signatures

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Re: re. Bootnotes

errrrr... wikipedia???? :rolleyes: (hey YOUR turn now!!!)

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Re: re. Bootnotes

@AC 31st Dec 11:54

You must have heard some drummer or musician say "1, 2, 3, 4" at the start of a song?

I'm glad that you made that differentiation.....

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Re: re. Bootnotes

and if you hang around that bar long enough, you will get a laugh when someone simply mentions the XKCD number.

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Re: re. Bootnotes

and if you hang around that bar long enough, you will get a laugh when someone simply mentions the XKCD number

As you will if you hang around here long enough.

Really, I can't help but wonder why people post the entire URL for XKCD references (particularly when they can't be bothered actually putting it in an HTML A element, so it's an actual link, grumble grumble[1]). Just cite the damn thing like you would an RFC:

"An HTTP user agent shouldn't cache the result of any non-idempotent request. See RFC 2616."

"Oh yeah? See XKCD 927."

[1] I used to have (my own improved version of) the Greasemonkey SuperLinkifier script enabled, so I didn't even notice this sort of thing; but I disabled it after I got tired of the noticeable slowdown rendering pages with megabytes of text. (Typically those were log files and such - obviously constructing an HTML page with megabytes of text is not usually desirable.)

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Facepalm

Comprehension

One of the reasons I decided to learn English on my own (I had French in school) was to understand the songs I liked. My name is a giveaway, but in general, languages born and spoken around the Mediterranean sea (or the same latitude in general) have mostly comprehensible lyrics; you know, balance between vowels and consonants, since the closer to a pole, the more closed your mouth tends to be (more consonants), while the closer to the equator, you want to expel more heat (more vowels).

Anyway, I remember a summer vacation when I was 12-13, and we were at a camping site and next to us were two British ladies in their 50s. We became friendly, and at some time, I found the courage to ask for their help: “listen, this is a Dire Straits song that I can't understand the lyrics at some point, would be so kind to help?” They agreed. They listened. They couldn't tell what were the lyrics. One of the ladies explained to me: “You know, we don't always understand what the singers say.”

*That* was a revelation to me; I wasn't (that :) stupid!

Later on, I discovered that many LP records had sleeves with the lyrics in (bye bye cassette tapes!) Of course, even then there were other difficulties (“sings a streetsuss serenade”? “helluva start”? or the damned handwriting on “the Wall”...) explaining what it is you were reading.

Music. The world needs more music. Cheers and a happy new year to everyone.

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Re: Comprehension

I worked in Germany with a (German) guy who learned to sing every Bob Dylan song word-perfect years before he learned English. He had no idea what he was singing, but that wasn't the point. Could lead to some strange interpretations, though... ("Aalen in der Wachs stau er", anyone?)

Oh,...and it's "Sings the street a serenade"

Happy New Year!

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Re: Comprehension

Haha great story! Mind you, that's how many people approached Bob Dylan's music, including me. It was that wonderfully awful nazal grind he made - it just seemed to grow on you, like smoking.

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Re: Comprehension

> “You know, we don't always understand what the singers say.”

On that note, it's possible that Frankie Goes to Hollywood"'s greatest achievement was to liberate the lyrics of Born to Run from Bruce Springsteen's mumblings.

"Beyond the Palace the hemi-powered drones scream down the boulevard / Girls comb their hair in rear view mirrors and the boys try to look so hard" - who'da known?

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Re: Comprehension

Frankie's version of Born to Run is a fine version (not that I'm knocking Bruce's. Thanks for the reminder.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Comprehension

On the back of Beatles album were the lyrics. Printed was, "Remember that the love you get is equal to the love you get." We thought that was a much more realistic version.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "streetsuss"

Try googling for "site:markknopfler.com streetsuss". A moment ago I found: "sings a streetsuss serenade".

At some point in 1982-1984 I had access to the vinyl record which came with the lyrics. I clearly remember being intrigued by the word at that time, though I can't guarantee it was spelt like that; it might have been "streetsus". I've had a few beers since then.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "streetsuss"

The Oxford English Dictionary online, "Draft additions 1993", has "suss" with the definition "Know-how, savoir faire; understanding, ‘nous’" and citations from 1979, 1987 and 1990. The citations are from "Sounds" and "Hi-Fi News".

I did wonder at first whether it was "suss, n.", "A slattern, slut", with citations from ?1565 and 1865, but I guess not.

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Re: Comprehension

The vinyl and also the first run of the CD (I have owned both) definitely say "streetsuss" on the printed lyrics. I always thought that was a little odd, but it was right there bold as day.

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Re: "streetsuss"

the proper words are 'sings in the streets a serenade' ..

or to put it in the knopfler 'drawl'.. :)

" a luvstruc row meo, sings n th streets uh ssserunade... "

:)

http://youtu.be/MOe7Ke1JuuY

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Re: "streetsuss"

right definition, wrong word...

see http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/containing/1677719

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Apocalypse in 9/8

Rumour has it that when Phil Collins played the drums for the Genesis track "Apocalypse in 9/8" (part of Supper's Ready) he didn't know how to drum in 9/8 and just did it by feel. Later he learned how to play it properly and many feel it wasn't as good.

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Re: Apocalypse in 9/8

I read somewhere (I don't think on the interweb!) that the track was basically an extended jam session, and they named it after they worked out why it sounded so 'odd'.

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IT Angle

Re: Apocalypse in 9/8

Rumour has it that when Phil Collins played the drums for the Genesis track "Apocalypse in 9/8" (part of Supper's Ready) he didn't know how to drum in 9/8 and just did it by feel. Later he learned how to play it properly and many feel it wasn't as good.

In junior high school, I played clarinet in the concert band, and so had the benefit of several years of music education and was able to read music and discern things like time signatures. Still, odd-metered time signatures were difficult even as I tried to remind myself that 5/4 was the same as 4/4, except that you're counting to five; I often ended up learning those pieces by "feel" as actually trying to count five to the bar while playing was clumsy and threw me off.

There's a popular old Grateful Dead tune, "Estimated Prophet", which is played in 7/4, and when subconsciously tapping my feet or bobbing my head in time with it, I'm always doing it by "feel" instead of actually counting seven to the bar. I once tried to consciously count off the bars in that tune and just couldn't do it.

Late '50s modern jazzman Dave Brubeck was famous for writing in odd meters; his big breakout hit from 1959, "Take Five", is written in 5/4, hence the title. At least half the tunes on his first three albums are written in odd meters; the track lists on the album jackets include, along with the track length, the time signatures. What was really great about that stuff was the fact that when you listen to those performances, they have a really relaxed, natural feel to them; they don't sound as if the band is really working hard to play in odd time signatures.

(Where's the IT Angle? Well, there's mathematics involved...)

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Re: Apocalypse in 9/8

Always found that one easy. One-Two-Three-FOUR, One-Two-THREE, One-TWO,

Try this as a marching tune.

I LEFT my wife and my four fat children, RIGHT in the middle of the kitchen floor, I LEFT my wife...

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@Mike Flugennock: Re: Apocalypse in 9/8

Anything beyond 3/4 and 4/4 can be construed as a compound time signature. And even 4/4 can be construed as two measures of 2/4. So for 7/4, instead of counting, let's say, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7, one might count 1-2 + 1-2-3 + 1-2, or 1-2-3-4 + 1-2-3, or whatever combination happens to fit the accents and stresses of the music.

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Happy

Re: Apocalypse in 9/8

Slight correction here. Take 5 was actually written by Paul Desmond who played alto sax on the original recording. Also Indian ragas tend to be in very peculiar time signatures (at least to most Western ears) such as 11/4 and 13/4. The first, for instance, can be broken up in three standard ways 4-4-3, 4-3-4 and of course 3-4-4. Mahavishnu Orchestra had a song called Dance of Maya that turns out to be in 10/8 time but is broken down in such a way that it is very hard to count out. It appears to the ear that in the middle the song shifts to a completely different time signature but it actually is just a different breakdown of the same one. This becomes apparent at the end when both parts get played simultaneously, but the to the jaw-dropped amazement of most who hear it. Fun stuff :)

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Re: Apocalypse in 9/8

My music teachers told me to count out music in /8 time signatures as "1 and a..."

i.e. 3/8: "1 and a"

6/8: "1 and a 2 and a" (common for Irish "deedly dee" music)

9/8: "1 and a 2 and a 3 and a"

9/8 is then like an uber-waltz

The big question is why 3/4 music and /8 music sounds 'lilt-y'. Further, why does a stress on the 2nd and 4th beats of 4/4 make it reggae/ska/polka and make you want to move funny?

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Headmaster

Re: Apocalypse in 9/8

Ahem.

The late Dave Brubeck (who I had the pleasure of seeing live when I was a schoolboy) was releasing albums ten years before "Time Out", so that is in no respect his first album...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Brubeck

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