back to article Intellisense was off and developer learned you can't code in Canadian

Welcome to the sixth instalment of "Who, me?", The Register's confessional for IT pros who managed to break stuff before it became the kind of user-generated mess story we run in On-Call. This week, meet "Don" who told us that "Back in very late 2012 I spent almost two hours debugging a front-end error on an app." That's well …

  1. Jamesit

    " 'You don't spell background-color with a U,' and walked away."

    How else do you spell colour?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's the bastardisation of the Queens English by the former colonies in the Americas. I did consider at one point they removed the letter U because they were just lazy but then the do call a lift an elevator.

      1. Solarflare

        I prefer to think of it as a separate word used on the web. Same as 'center'. It makes me feel a little less dirty when I see/write it.

        1. Korev Silver badge
          Joke

          I make sure that use the British spelling wherever possible; I never tyre of it

          1. paulf Silver badge
            Coat

            Windows 8.0 Metro?

            Surely TIFKAM? (that also seems to not have a "U").

      2. Rhyd

        I also considered the lazy / efficient option...

        ...until I came across "burglarized".

        1. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: I also considered the lazy / efficient option...

          "...until I came across "burglarized"."

          Is that Ignoramous for burgled?

          Also I have come across bit when they mean bitten and broke when they mean broken. Broke as a adjective ONLY means out of money. Check your nearest English dictionary.

          1. Korev Silver badge

            Re: I also considered the lazy / efficient option...

            "Gifted" is the one that currently annoys me. It even takes slightly longer to say than "gave" or "given".

            1. James 51 Silver badge
              Joke

              Re: I also considered the lazy / efficient option...

              @Korev It doesn't sound quite right if you say your kids are gave or given.

            2. Hollerithevo Silver badge

              Re: I also considered the lazy / efficient option...

              Yes, gifted' is a smarmy circumlocation to make giving something sound more, I don't know, formal and important, not just giving, but somehow conferring, a signifier of extra greatness, emotion, charity, generosity, whatever.

              Unless, of course, it is 're-gifted'.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: I also considered the lazy / efficient option...

                ""Gifted" is the one that currently annoys me."

                Some of the roots of English come from Scandinavian languages. I often wonder if there is a connection between the modern English "gift" - and the Swedish word "gift"*** which is "marry".

                Traditionally in England a bride was her father's possession that was "given" to the groom.

                ***it also translates as "poison".

                1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

                  Re: I also considered the lazy / efficient option...

                  "Bird" * is a Scandinavian word.

                  * As in "Dave, have you met me new bird, Sheila?

                  1. aqk
                    Paris Hilton

                    Re: I also considered the lazy sheila

                    Or as an Australian might say-

                    "Dave, have you mey me new sheila, Bird?

            3. kernelpickle

              Re: I also considered the lazy / efficient option...

              "Gifted" and "given" both have the same number of syllables--so, I don't get where it takes any longer to say. I'd also like to point out that the word "give" is used in a more broad sense, to mean the transfer of something, which may or may not involve receiving something in return--but the word "gifted" often carries further implications.

              Gift:

              something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance; present.

              So, it's all about context--in the case of a purchase, you wouldn't say that you were gifted something after handing the cashier money, because it was part of a transaction. You gave them money, and they gave you what you agreed to purchase. However, if they declined your payment, they could have gifted you with the item you desired to purchase--because it was given without expectation.

              While there may be a "U" in the UK and EU, there's no "U" in Bexit--so, maybe some of those goofy French spellings will get dropped in the process?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: I also considered the lazy / efficient option...

                "something given voluntarily without payment in return"

                Except that many cultures attach great importance on an exchange of gifts. I find people are usually rather disconcerted if you give them a gift and insist on nothing in return "I expect nothing, I need nothing".

                Of course such an apparently altruistic gift may have hidden emotional strings attached - a power play to establish your superiority. There is a saying apparently attributed to Benjamin Franklin. "Most people return small favors, acknowledge medium ones and repay greater ones - with ingratitude. Benjamin Franklin".

                It sometimes necessary to give the other person a way to a redemption for them to save face with a ritual exchange. I often use the following old sentiment in those circumstances - "Anything I would like is either illegal; immoral; or the doctor would not approve".

          2. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge

            "...until I came across "burglarized"."

            That should be replaced with "TWOCed"

            It's not just for cars anymore.

          3. paulll Bronze badge

            Re: I also considered the lazy / efficient option...

            And yet,"bougthen," ishityounot. Grr...

            1. Michael Thibault

              Re: I also considered the lazy / efficient option...

              "tooken"

              The horror! The horror! Exterminate the brutes!

          4. Jan 0

            Re: I also considered the lazy / efficient option...

            > Also I have come across bit when they mean bitten and broke when they mean broken.

            Consider the well known British phrase: "the biter bit".

          5. WallMeerkat Bronze badge

            Re: I also considered the lazy / efficient option...

            Or momentarily

            Is it - "The train will stop momentarily" as in it will briefly stop, or that it will stop very soon?

        2. WallMeerkat Bronze badge

          Re: I also considered the lazy / efficient option...

          and strangulation

      3. Michael Thibault

        Obviously, you're bias.

        It's bad, and getting worse. And the rate is accelerating. It's all so very sad.

        p.s. Ahem: "Queen's".

        1. m0rt Silver badge

          Ahem: "Biased"

          1. Michael Thibault

            If you look carefully*, you'll notice that in Murcan Nglish, "bias" is fast becoming the past participle -- hence, also the adjectival form. That was the point of my post. And, yes, you were intended to catch it. I don't support the change, of course. Nor the broader trend.

            The comprehensibility of on-line text is declining rapidly. You'd think by now the principle outlets would route textual submissions (e.g. comments) through a spell- and grammar-checker, then pass the proffered text back to the poster -- with red-lining -- asking for a few changes to be made for clarity, readability, etc. … It would not be difficult to programmatically assess posts for 'reading level' and add posting delays in inverse proportion to that metric. With fair warning, of course.

            * e.g. https://www.reddit.com/r/linguistics/comments/227ns7/why_is_bias_replacing_biased_as_an_adjective/

        2. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

          p.s. Ahem: "Queen's".

          "Queens English" - the language spoken in one of the boroughs of New York City.

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Devil

            "'Queens English' - the language spoken in one of the boroughs of New York City."

            And the current U.S. President! Heh.

          2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            the language spoken in one of the boroughs of New York City

            The one that only has tangential reference to any variety of English, living or dead?

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I thought they called a lift a 'ride', as in "Do you want a lift to the pub?" becomes "Do you want a ride to the dive bar?"

        But in certain dialects of these islands a 'ride' is something completely different.

      5. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        I did consider at one point they removed the letter U because they were just lazy

        No - they made a conscious decision to simplfy English to enable all the non English-speaking immigrants (Germans and Dutch for the most part at that point) to learn the language more easily.

        Which is kind of laudable in its own way.

        1. Long John Brass Silver badge
          Mushroom

          laudable in its own way

          No - they made a conscious decision to simplify English to enable all the non English-speaking immigrants (Germans and Dutch for the most part at that point) to learn the language more easily.

          Which is kind of laudable in its own way.

          And yet most Dutch and German English speakers; speak better English than half the left AND right pondian "native" English speakers

          1. onefang Silver badge

            Re: laudable in its own way

            'And yet most Dutch and German English speakers; speak better English than half the left AND right pondian "native" English speakers'

            I find that with most that have studied English as a second language. You don't try that hard with your native language, coz it just comes naturally, but you do try hard with other languages, coz you are studying them for a reason. The same likely applies to native English speakers learning other languages. Almost every European I have heard or seen saying "Please excuse my bad English, it's not my native tongue." has been better at English than a large percentage of native English speakers.

      6. mattje

        Both spellings are many centuries old. Color, now regarded as the American spelling, in fact predates the United States by several centuries. In early use the spellings vied for ascendancy with several other spellings. Colur, culoure, and coolor, for instance, were all in the mix before the modern British spelling gained permanent prevalence in the 17th century.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "How else do you spell colour?"

      And how else do you spell background?

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        The removal of U from colour and other words was partly an attempt to distance American English from English English, but also an attempt to remove some French influences from the language.

        Program used to be the English spelling, but Victorian show promotors wanted to infer a touch of French flair by advertising a programme of events on their posters. These days i refer to television programmes and computer programs.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          The English language is open source, there are many forks and distributions.

          1. EarthDog

            And as the joke goes, they all suck :)

          2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Candles?

            @werdsmith

            there are many forks

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sO6EE1xTXmw

        2. PNGuinn
          Headmaster

          Program, program, I'll say potato

          Reminds me of the time many years ago when my wife, secretary in / to an electronics lab in the UK, typed a document for our resident Septic engineer:

          Paraphrased from memory:

          "Say, you've typed program(me) as both program and programme in this document..."

          << Q short lesson in English like wot she is spoken and writ >>

          Grins all round when the story got out.

          1. John Styles

            Re: Program, program, I'll say potato

            I think program for 'things wot run on computers' is more or less agreed on, though I do remember university exams saying 'linear programme'.

            But what about dialog or dialogue? My view is that like program for things wot run on computers vs programme for things wot you watch it should be dialog as in 'having a dialogue about dialogs'.

        3. TheVogon Silver badge

          " was partly an attempt to distance American English from English English"

          from English. It's the original and needs no qualification.

          1. Frank Bitterlich

            Reminds me of the one time I installed an OS for an english-speaking customer. Asked him what language he wanted, British English or American English. He lowered his head to look at me over the rim of his glasses, then after a short pause he replied: "Proper English!"

            1. Long John Brass Silver badge
              Headmaster

              Proper English!

              So that would be British English then :)

              I once managed to piss off a septic by pointing out that he spoke american and not english. This was after an argument on the correct spelling of tyre .vs tire

              1. Pangasinan Philippines
                Trollface

                Re: Proper English!

                The Americans do like to verbalise nouns. . . . . . .Oh!

                Lets hope this discussion brings some form of normalcy/normality to the language

        4. Hollerithevo Silver badge

          Boro

          There was also a drive to simplify (1800s, and can't remember the chap) so that Yanks have ~boro instead of ~borough etc.

          1. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

            Re: Boro

            Noah Webster, of dictionary fame.

          2. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: Boro

            as a kid, for the longest time, I was confused by the spelling of 'bough' - always thought it was pronounced 'bow' like 'bow and arrow', and not 'bow' as in 'bow to show respect'. And in my mind it was never connected to the spelling for 'tree bough'. It may be the worst example of arcane non-phonetic spelling causing confusion. [but in middle english it probably rhymed with 'cough'].

            1. WallMeerkat Bronze badge

              Re: Boro

              Or Lough

              Which should be pronounced 'lock' and not 'looft'

              1. ricardian

                Re: Boro

                No! Pronounced "loch" as in Loch Lomand or Lough Neagh

            2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: Boro

              It may be the worst example of arcane non-phonetic spelling causing confusion

              The trouble with English is that it's a complete packrat of a language - it has vocabulary and grammar from quite a few other languages grafted onto the fairly simple Germanic roots until the end result is more like a hazel thicket than a mighty oak tree..

              1. tinman
                Pint

                Re: Boro

                The trouble with English is that it's a complete packrat of a language - it has vocabulary and grammar from quite a few other languages grafted onto the fairly simple Germanic roots until the end result is more like a hazel thicket than a mighty oak tree..

                hence the famous quote from James Nicoll oft used to silence those who complain that no one speaks "proper" English any longer

                "The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary."

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Boro

              "but in middle english it probably rhymed with 'cough'"

              With rough and tough making another group.

          3. Patched Out

            Re: Boro

            Actually we have both, so its even more confusing.

        5. onefang Silver badge
          Coat

          "The removal of U from colour and other words was partly an attempt to distance American English from English English, but also an attempt to remove some French influences from the language.

          "Program used to be the English spelling, but Victorian show promotors wanted to infer a touch of French flair by advertising a programme of events on their posters. These days i refer to television programmes and computer programs."

          So what you are describing is a pogrom against the French.

        6. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          but also an attempt to remove some French influences from the language

          Which is ironic when you consider that, without the French, they probably wouldn't have won the rebellion..

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Joke

        backgrond-colour <-- fixed

    3. Magani
      Headmaster

      Her Maj's English

      A week or so ago I came across a West-Pondian TV programme that referred to Her Britannic Majesty as having been "coronated". It took a while for the penny to drop and then I realised they really meant 'crowned'.

      The site where I looked up this travesty also had a pop-up window with the delightfully ironic title, "Words you've been using wrong".

    4. DJV Silver badge

      "How else do you spell colour?"

      I was informed by a Computer Graphics lecturer years ago that it takes more key presses to type COLOR than COLOUR with the following example:

      C-O-L-O-U-R-backspace-backspace-R

    5. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

      How else do you spell colour?

      Well, if you suffer from the particular form of stupidity I experienced some few years ago (say, 1991), you make extra pain for yourself.

      I was working with Borland's Turbo C and its text-mode character attribute management system.

      Its interface used American spellings, and I was working in the UK, so I had a tendency to use British spellings. Normally that didn't pose much of a problem, until the fateful day I started writing variations of this fine C statement:

       setbgcolor(somestructure.bgcolour);

      I had headaches for weeks afterwards.

      1. WallMeerkat Bronze badge

        #define bgcolor bgcolour

    6. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      perhaps he needed a "non-US-english.h" with a bunch of #define aliases in it

    7. DCA

      Incorrectly.

    8. Albert Hall

      Well, since you asked...

      With the letter B if you are one of those who ban't pronounce the letter 'C'.

  2. ArrZarr Silver badge

    I'm sure we've all been here with a similarly painful story while learning to code, but once, at university, I spent 5 hours trying to work out why an IF statement in java was skipping past the block without executing either branch.

    Yes, there was a semicolon at the end of the statement.

    1. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

      @ArrZarr

      I once had a similar problem. There was no semi-colon at the end of a comment, so the following statement was treated as a part of that comment.

      I spotted the cause after pretty-printing the program, which revealed the "extended comment".

    2. Christoph Silver badge

      The very first program I ever wrote, it was all correct. Would have worked perfectly. Except the output - I had defined it to be LPO instead of LP0, so it didn't compile. I had to change that one card and re-submit the next day. Even more annoying, I'd written it correctly on the coding sheet but then punched my own cards instead of handing them in to be punched by the roomful of women (this was late 60s) dedicated to doing this.

      ObMoan: You tell that to young people today and they don't believe you! :-)

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        In my day, we had to make do with an infinite number of monkeys to punch our cards.

        You tell young people today that, and they won't believe you...

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Wouldn't that give you the complete works of Shakespeare in braille?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          You were lucky to 'ave a monkey.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            You were lucky to 'ave a monkey.

            But then you moved to Hartlepool?

            1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

              I saved this bit of C a long time ago. I'll leave out the comments, which rather give the game away, but it is credited to Ian Phillipps, Cambridge Consultants Ltd

              It's harmless, and SFW. If you cut/paste it you'll need to remove the blank lines (and only the blank lines)

              #include <stdio.h>

              main(t,_,a) char * a; { return!

              0< t? t< 3? main(-79,-13,a+ main(-87,1-_, main(-86, 0, a+1 )

              +a)): 1, t< _? main(t+1, _, a ) :3, main ( -94, -27+t, a ) &&t == 2 ?_

              < 13 ? main ( 2, _+1, "%s %d %d\n" ) :9:16: t< 0? t< -72? main( _, t,

              "@n'+,#'/*{}w+/w#cdnr/+,{}r/*de}+,/*{*+,/w{%+,/w#q#n+,/#{l,+,/n{n+,/+#n+,/#;\

              #q#n+,/+k#;*+,/'r :'d*'3,}{w+K w'K:'+}e#';dq#'l q#'+d'K#!/+k#;\

              q#'r}eKK#}w'r}eKK{nl]'/#;#q#n'){)#}w'){){nl]'/+#n';d}rw' i;# ){nl]!/n{n#'; \

              r{#w'r nc{nl]'/#{l,+'K {rw' iK{;[{nl]'/w#q#\

              \

              n'wk nw' iwk{KK{nl]!/w{%'l##w#' i; :{nl]'/*{q#'ld;r'}{nlwb!/*de}'c ;;\

              {nl'-{}rw]'/+,}##'*}#nc,',#nw]'/+kd'+e}+;\

              #'rdq#w! nr'/ ') }+}{rl#'{n' ')# }'+}##(!!/") : t< -50? _==*a ?

              putchar(31[a]): main(-65,_,a+1) :

              main((*a == '/') + t, _, a + 1 ) : 0< t? main ( 2, 2 , "%s") :*a=='/'||

              main(0, main(-61,*a, "!ek;dc i@bK'(q)-[w]*%n+r3#l,{}:\nuwloca-O;m .vpbks,fxntdCeghiry")

              ,a+1);}

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        " Even more annoying, I'd written it correctly on the coding sheet but then punched my own cards instead of handing them in to be punched by the roomful of women (this was late 60s) dedicated to doing this."

        In the 1960s the company were producing 3rd generation mainframes and the software to go with them. One day a programmer submitted a job to test error paths for common mistakes and typos. When she received the printout the next day no errors had been flagged.

        The punch room operator had corrected them as she punched the cards.

    3. boltar Silver badge

      "Yes, there was a semicolon at the end of the statement."

      Thats nothing compared to the fun you can have in python where someone accidentaly deletes a space or 2 from a line at the end of a block and thanks to the genius of whitespace having syntatic meaning its almost impossible to spot the bug since the program runs fine - it just doesn't work properly any more.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        I worked with a lad who was an "experienced" coder in C. All of his programs were one long document. No spaces, no line breaks. His reason: It does two things.. speeds up compile time and the machine code is "clean" since it doesn't have to process white space. Needless to say, he was the only one who could maintain his code.

        Face palm for obvious reason.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          "It does two things.. speeds up compile time and the machine code is "clean" since it doesn't have to process white space. "

          Probably his first programming experience was interpreted BASIC where most of that would actually be true. It might even be true for early BASIC compilers like BASCOM on 8-bit CP/M

          1. onefang Silver badge

            "It does two things.. speeds up compile time and the machine code is "clean" since it doesn't have to process white space. "

            Probably his first programming experience was interpreted BASIC where most of that would actually be true. It might even be true for early BASIC compilers like BASCOM on 8-bit CP/M

            Back in the '70s APL programs where more memory efficient the more rectangular they where. Lines of code where stored as fixed length strings that where all as long as the longest line of code in the program. Yet one more way to make APL write only code, try to make all the lines of your program the same length.

    4. TDog

      And in one of the early versions of Java the documentation said .Black; and all of the other enum values were capitalised but it only accepted .black.

      Now that was a real pain in the arse to identify; quite a black hole.

    5. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      #define IF(X) if(0)

      #define ELSE if(0)

      heh

      (ok that doesn't work in Java but still...)

    6. swm Bronze badge

      A student wrote a program containing roughly:

      if(char == '/') { // handle /

      ...

      else if(char == '\') { // handle \

      ...

      }

      and was getting errors. The student assistant was mystified and so was I for a while until I remembered that the character \ deletes the end of line character so the next line was included in the comment.

      1. boltar Silver badge

        "The student assistant was mystified and so was I for a while until I remembered that the character \ deletes the end of line character so the next line was included in the comment."

        Thats not the only error. In:

        if(char == '\')

        The \ will escape the single quote, you need '\\'.

  3. Oengus Silver badge

    Browser differences

    I was testing a vendors system that we were implementing and noted that some "Tool Tip" functions didn't work (some "Tool Tip" functions did work). The vendor tested it and demonstrated that the system was working. I retested and still had an issue. I noticed that the vendor was using Google Chrome and I was testing with Internet Explorer as our company had some legacy systems that insisted on using IE so the default browser was IE. When I tested with Chrome the "Tool Tip" function worked where it didn't work in IE. As a programmer from way back I decided to investigate and inspect the HTML code. I found that the vendor failed to fully qualify the object in the code on some buttons. In IE the unqualified objects didn't work properly but in Chrome and Firefox they worked as expected. I reported my findings to the vendor and a patch was made overnight.

    Simple coding discipline would have prevented the issue but someone at the vendor was lazy.

    1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      Re: Browser differences

      [coding discipline] AND [web interface] = 0

      But probably that's just my limited and aged perception as I left the trade a little while ago.

  4. Bloodbeastterror

    I had never realised (sic) that Canadians are illiterate(*) too... :-)

    (*) "Illiterate? Don't know the meaning of the word."

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      See my comments above: not only are Canadians members of the Commonwealth, but they aren't afraid of French speakers either (since many of them are French speakers)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        since many of them are French speakers

        They may think they are French speakers, but in reality they are Canadian speakers. Canadian TV shows are often subtitled when shown on French TV. We once had a Quebecois in for a job interview in our French office, he was not happy that the French guys interviewed him in English because he was easier to understand that way...

  5. gerdesj Silver badge

    I had never realised (sic) that Canadians are illiterate(*) too... :-)

    Canadians are likely to be keen on French style spellings, for some reason that escapes me. Anyway, colour etc were the original spellings across the board until the US decided they were un-American a few years back.

    1. Julian Bradfield

      The OED says: The form colour has been the most common spelling in British English since the 14th cent.; but color has also been in use continually, chiefly under Latin influence, since the 15th cent., and is now the prevalent spelling in the United States.

      And if you're talking about the original spellings, here's the OED's list of recorded forms:

      ME coleour, ME coleure, ME colewre, ME colovre, ME coulur, ME culur, ME kolour, ME–15 collore, ME–15 colowr, ME–15 colowre, ME–15 culoure, ME–16 coler, ME–16 coleur, ME–16 colore, ME–16 coloure, ME–16 colur, ME–16 colure, ME–16 cullour, ME–16 culour, ME– color (now U.S.), ME– colour, lME clour, lME (in a late copy) 15–16 collor, 15 colloure, 15 collyr, 15 cooler, 15 cooller, 15 coollor, 15 coollour, 15 coollur, 15 coolore, 15 cooloure, 15 coullar, 15 coulloure, 15 coulore, 15 cowler, 15–16 coller, 15–16 coolor, 15–16 coolour, 15–16 couler, 15–16 coullour, 15–16 coulor, 15–16 couloure, 15–16 culler, 15–16 cullor, 15–16 culloure, 15–17 collour, 15–17 couller, 15–17 coullor, 15–17 coulour; Sc. pre-17 coiller, pre-17 coller, pre-17 colleur, pre-17 collor, pre-17 collour, pre-17 colloure, pre-17 colore, pre-17 coloure, pre-17 colowr, pre-17 colowre, pre-17 colur, pre-17 couler, pre-17 couller, pre-17 coullour, pre-17 coulour, pre-17 culler, pre-17 cullor, pre-17 cullour, pre-17 culloure, pre-17 culour, pre-17 17–18 color, pre-17 17– colour.

      1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        the many historical values of colour

        The joy of finally all agreeing on a spelling is that we don't have to guess what a word is (coulor, culler, cullour etc) or need to sound it out to guess what is meant (is 'culler' meant to be colour or collar? let me read the sentence to see which fits) but can have the word go straight from eye to comprehension. Faster understanding and communication, and ambiguity and time-wasting are removed.

        1. lglethal Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: the many historical values of colour

          "Faster understanding and communication, and ambiguity and time-wasting are removed."

          Ahhh so thats why Americans have to be different. I didnt realise their lawyers had managed to subvert the language as well...

          1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
            Paris Hilton

            Re: the many historical values of colour

            "Faster understanding and communication, and ambiguity and time-wasting are removed."

            Hi Paris,

            What colour color knickers panties are you wearing?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "And if you're talking about the original spellings, [...]"

        IIRC there was a monk who thought that the perfectly correct "coud" was wrong. He decided that as there were the similarly used words of "would" and "should" - it would henceforth be "could".

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The problem with Canada

      is that half the people speak French and the other half let them.

      Jerry Sadowitz

  6. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    " 'You don't spell background-color with a U,' and walked away."

    I've never encountered the word 'backgrond', despite programming for around 2 decades.

  7. MJI Silver badge

    I cannpt be the only person

    Who deals with this with header files and own classes.

    Oh and to improve things I have software running in US with the word Colour on some dialogues.

    Oh another word for header files.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: I cannot be the only person

      "Colour on some dialogues."

      And, of course, the dialogues have to be implemented by dialogs in the program that your company uses to implement its programmes.

  8. Richard IV

    I've never quite understood

    ... why properties involving color aren't just overloaded with a colour version. Similarly for center.

    Mind you, colo(u)r has to be one of the more phonetically incorrect spellings out there. Without the u it's even more so.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: I've never quite understood

      You're right. As any fule know, "colour" rhymes with "yellow".

      1. Anonymous IV
        Headmaster

        Re: I've never quite understood

        > @disgustedoftunbridgewells As any fule know, "colour" rhymes with "yellow".

        However Nigel Molesworth wrote, "As any fule kno".

        As any fule kno...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I've never quite understood

          "As any fule kno..."

          IIRC the "k" was sounded in words like "knife" in English in Shakespeare's time? In Swedish it still is in the exact equivalent "kniv".

          When people have problems with some words starting "psy.." - it still amuses me to say "The P is silent - as in snow".

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: I've never quite understood

            Or like P.G.Wodehouse's character Psmith.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: I've never quite understood

        "As any fule know, 'colour' rhymes with 'yellow'."

        /me ponders for a moment... 'old yellow' - now you're making me foam at the mouth!

        heh - only kidding... or?

        coat, please

        1. A K Stiles
          Facepalm

          Re: I've never quite understood

          As a child from the frozen wastelands beyond the north of England, who's family moved south during his school age, I have experienced the blunt end of juvenile delight at the fact I made an audible pronunciation distinction between the nation 'Wales' and a school of 'Whales'.

          I have also spent far more time than necessary attempting to determine the problem with an OAuth routine I was writing, which eventually turned out to be because I was passing a header requesting 'Authorisation'.

          Oh what a frabjous day that was!

    2. James 51 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: I've never quite understood

      Honour is another one that I just do not understand. Why keep the silent h but drop the still pronouced u?

      1. BoldMan

        Re: I've never quite understood

        > Honour is another one that I just do not understand. Why keep the silent h but drop the still pronouced u?

        The H isn't silent in 'Honour' except in America where they can't pronounce the word 'Herb' properly either!

        1. Alister Silver badge

          Re: I've never quite understood

          The H isn't silent in 'Honour' except in America

          What nonsense, I've never heard it pronounced with a hard "H" ever, on either side of the Atlantic.

          1. MJI Silver badge

            Re: I've never quite understood

            I have always used the H in honour

            1. Alister Silver badge

              Re: I've never quite understood

              I have always used the H in honour

              So you pronounce it hhonour?

              How strange.

            2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: I've never quite understood

              I have always used the H in honour

              Likewise.

              I think it depends where you grew up and who you learned your English from..

              1. onefang Silver badge

                Re: I've never quite understood

                The honourable thing to do is to honour the H.

                The H may or may not be silent, but my spell checker thinks the U is invisible.

              2. A K Stiles
                Coat

                @CrazyOldCatMan Re: I've never quite understood

                I think it depends where you grew up and who you learned your English from..

                Or indeed from whom one learned English.

                Would have chosen the Grammar Nazi icon but for a softening in my resolve against the mutation of the language - After all, it's not French!

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @CrazyOldCatMan I've never quite understood

                  "After all, it's not French!"

                  A neighbour's German girlfriend was an English teacher in Bavaria. One day she was talking about the mistakes her pupils made in examinations. One example was in using "From where do you come?". She said that she failed the pupil because he had used a German word order - rather than "Where do you come from?".

                  She was a bit disconcerted when we pointed out that it was a perfectly good - some would say a very good - English word order avoiding a dangling preposition.

        2. Mike Richards Silver badge

          Re: I've never quite understood

          The British pronunciation of herb postdates the American. It was long pronounced 'erb' here, but a process of removing French pronunciations from English meant that the 'H' became sounded in British English.

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: I've never quite understood

            The silent French H is long since gone from English, which seems to owe more to not wanting to drop our aitches ('arvy, arry, 'ill etc.) and sound common, even when they shouldn't actually be pronounced, than to deliberately avoiding French pronunciation. We see the h in hotel or herb, so we say it.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I've never quite understood

              My childhood regional pronunciation appeared to make no distinction between "ion" and "iron". In some areas of the UK the "r" is definitely there.

        3. onefang Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: I've never quite understood

          "The H isn't silent in 'Honour' except in America where they can't pronounce the word 'Herb' properly either!"

          The only get too lazy to pronounce the H in 'erb when they are smoking it.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: I've never quite understood

        Why keep the silent h

        Because (to a lot of people) it isn't a silent H..

    3. Korev Silver badge

      Re: I've never quite understood

      The Ggplot2 visualisation package for R spells colour correctly, but color[sic] also works.

      1. Joe Werner

        Re: I've never quite understood

        Well, Hadley Wickham implemented that only a few years back. Before it was always the non-American spelling (I find it strange to call it British when the Irish, Canadians, Aussies, Kiwis and likely many others use it - should be call it CE (Commonwealth English) ? ;) ).

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: I've never quite understood

          "should be call it CE (Commonwealth English) ?"

          No, just call it "English" and call the alternative "wrong".

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I've never quite understood

          "should be call it CE (Commonwealth English) ?"

          IIRC there was a BBC R4 programme that examined the various forms of English in the Commonwealth. Some of them are almost incomprehensible to each other's native speakers - not by accent but by usage and grammar. Within their own cultures they have an evolved consistency.

          I suspect Swedish/Norwegian/Danish speakers in the old Scandinavian immigrant parts of the USA use an archaic form of the language compared to the modern Scandinavian country forms. Even in Stockholm "Rinkeby"*** Swedish is becoming prevalent amongst the young. That is modern Swedish reformed through the influence of different immigrants' native languages' grammars and word order.

          A person can sound fluent in a foreign language but their choice of certain word orders can reveal their origins. A strength of English for non-native speakers is that it still tends to make sense even when the word order is non-standard.

          ***Rinkeby being a suburb of Stockholm with a particularly high long-established immigrant population.

    4. Paul Shirley

      Re: I've never quite understood

      Used to alias common things like color-colour but when auto completion appeared in programmers editors it became just pointless extra work. Can't remember if we ever 'corrected' Sony's hilarious MargePrim to the intended MergePrim in the PSX devkit... Sony never did.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I've never quite understood

      "Mind you, colo(u)r has to be one of the more phonetically incorrect spellings out there."

      Along with "pour"?

      Some of the apparently incorrect phonetics depend on which regional accents are common. The Tudor court received pronunciation (RP) of English was very different from the BBC RP in the 1930s - and again nowadays. Even HM The Queen has changed her pronunciation over the course of her reign.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: I've never quite understood

        The Tudor court received pronunciation

        Indeed. That was during the great vowel shift that fundamentally altered some of the vowel sounds:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Vowel_Shift

        Some English dialects preserve the older ways of using the vowels.

  9. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    What sort of environment doesn't give you a compile/link/runtime error for calling a function that doesn't exist ?

    Or had Microsoft implemented a whole range of correctly-spelt functions & whatever that did almost, but not quite the same as the american-spelt ones ... just to be mean to the Canadians and Brits ?

    1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

      It's not a function, it's a markup language for designing interfaces. As it's XML, if a tag isn't an expected one it is simply ignored..

      Really they shouldn't rely on Intellisense to sanitise the code.

  10. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Can you C it?

    I did this about a year ago:

    int y = x^2; /* square of x */

    1. Def Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Can you C it?

      That's ridiculous. Who uses /* for comments outside of CSS these days? And that comment isn't even close to be being accurate.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Can you C it?

      "int y = x^2; /* square of x */"

      It's not often I have to code that sort of calculation. Doing it this week I went through n**2 and then n^2 and Math.pow(n,2) - before the compiler finally accepted pow(n,2)

      ***Guess what inappropriate language I had to use to write system utilities in the 1960s.

      1. Phil Endecott Silver badge

        Re: Can you C it?

        > pow(n,2)

        What's wrong with n*n ?

        With pow(), if you're lucky your compiler will spot that the 2 is a constant and generate a multiply anyway. If you're unlucky it will do something horrible involving exp(). Less typing, works in every language, and better result to just write n*n.

  11. MacroRodent Silver badge
    Facepalm

    C fun

    Early in my C programming career, I wrote the equivalent of

    switch (some_enum_variable)

    {

    constant_a:

    some_code1();

    break;

    constant_b:

    some_code2();

    break;

    constant_c:

    some_code3();

    break;

    }

    and spent many hours wondering why none of the branches ever activated... (no, the compiler did not even warn about this. It is syntactically perfectly correct C).

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
      Angel

      Re: C fun

      > the compiler did not even warn about this

      Nowadays they do. Even spurious indentation gets flagged, as in

      if ( cond ) do_this(); do_that();

      I have to admit this has saved me some time on occasion.

      Modern compilers --->

    2. really_adf

      Re: C fun

      switch (some_enum_variable)

      {

      constant_a:

      some_code1();

      break;

      constant_b:

      some_code2();

      break;

      constant_c:

      some_code3();

      break;

      }

      OK, looks like I'd be in the same situation you were. What's the problem?

      1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

        Re: C fun

        There's no case statements, so no execution.

      2. MacroRodent Silver badge

        Re: C fun

        OK, looks like I'd be in the same situation you were. What's the problem?

        Missing keyword "case" before each enumeration constant name. Without it, the names are interpreted as labels for use with goto statements.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: C fun

          Reminiscent of the alleged Fortran error in NASA satellite code, where what should have been written as a DO loop was written as something like:

          DO 20 I=1.10

          ...do stuff with I here...

          20 CONTINUE

          One almost impossible-to-spot typo completely changed the code.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: C fun

            IIRC there is a C typo that gives one apparent iteration rather than 10

            for (i=0; i<10; i++);

            {

            // do something 10 times

            }

            Someone once wrote a list of the 10 most common errors for someone starting to write in C - when they had been fluent in Pascal. IIRC Pascal FOR loops always did at least one iteration irrespective of the stated loop end condition.

        2. really_adf

          Re: C fun

          Without [case], the names are interpreted as labels for use with goto statements.

          Oh good grief. I've no idea how I've never made that mistake (or perhaps it was picked up by the compiler).

          Thanks Binky and MacroRodent.

  12. Christoph Silver badge

    Re the passer-by noticing the problem instantly: Back in the seventies I wandered past the electronics guy who had a very large sheet of paper pinned up showing a very intricate maze of components he was designing.

    "What's this?" I asked. "Output converter for a non-standard Gray code".

    "Oh. Err ... why can't you use a lookup table in an EPROM?" "Aaaargh!"

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Boffin

      74 TTL Series Logic

      I was delighted by the revelation at college that you could implement logic functions from a mass of spaghetti wiring into a single chip solution by simply by using a multiplexer & tying up the inputs to +5 or 0V at college (Aided by a truth table).

      I walked into a independent electronics store some years later with my notes while looking to create a circuit that would switch a Amstrad satellite receiver (SRD510 if memory serves), using the non existent 7 segment display (on that model) that any channel number over 50 would switch* on a 22KHz tone generator & switch to a second LNB for TV1000 & the like.

      The shop assistant took one quick look at my notes & exclaimed "Blimey you really know your Boolean logic".

      *I'm aware that there was a link (& fitted on my unit) on the board that would make it think it was a SRD520, that gave a switched output for driving an external frequency extender up to the full 2Ghz (There was also a later mod that gave that function without the use of an external frequency extender, possibly at the cost of some of the fine tuning of the frequency).

  13. littlesmith

    Archimedes

    Acorn built very British computers back then. The BASIC dialect for the Archimedes had a command for colour selection which was spelled "SETCOLOUR".

    Never saw that anywhere else.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Archimedes

      It should be "spelt", not "spelled"!

      I think some of the BBC Micro software accepted both spellings of "colour". The ZX Spectrum had documentation in British English, but I think it avoided both spellings in commands, using INK or something instead for setting the colour.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Archimedes

        It should be "spelt", not "spelled"!

        Only if you are baking bread!

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Archimedes

      I've seen 'colour' and other things spelled that way in wxWidgets, as I recall...

  14. John Styles

    Does the accidentally redefining 0 in a FORTRAN program count here? Because I genuinely did that in real life and spent a while puzzling over it.

  15. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge
    Trollface

    In ftre the letter "u" will be dropped from the vocablary as the special snowflakes from across the pond seem to be too lazy in sing it when writing complete sentences.

    Words like color and backgrond and seplchre shold be easier to spell and se for them.

    1. ArrZarr Silver badge
      Joke

      When the English rise again, the letter Z will be dropped to standardise. Without the left-pondian instinct to mis-utilise the letter, which I despize, the letter will no longer be needed.

      1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        The Z will still be required, however Jay Zed will need to stop calling himself Jay Zee.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          US Rappers

          And of course 36p known in the rest of Europe as 0.41 Euro.

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: US Rappers

            Would that be pronounced Ooro or Oyro?

      2. DuncanL

        Dropping the Z

        I foresee a lot of confused kids when going to the "oo"...

        1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Re: Dropping the Z

          Dad, do they call it an 'oo because "ooh look a panda!" ?

  16. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

    Code blindness

    To be fair, years ago, I was on a customer site implementing a custom mail routing program. I spent an hour looking at a line that was something similar to :

    /* output route type. N=Rooty. P=Tooty */

    fprintf(filey,"Route type %c\n",cRouteType);

    It crashed. Over, and over again. Eventually after an hour I rubbed my eyes, looked at it again, and realised the line actually said :

    fprintf(filey,"Route type %s\n",cRouteType);

    I saw what I wanted to see for far too long before seeing what was actually there.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: Code blindness

      In those cases I've learned to delete the line and type it out again rather than trust my eyes.

  17. kmac499

    Me to US colleague from the hot shot team flown in to 'fix things'

    "In Europe we use A4 paper"

    1. MJI Silver badge

      A4 paper

      Some US do.

      At least Matt Le Blanc does

    2. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
      Happy

      PC LOAD LETTER

      FTW....

  18. PerlyKing
    WTF?

    Measurements too

    The thing which threw me the last time I was "over there" is that the former colonials called their system of weights and measures the English system!? That's the one where 16 fl. oz. == 1 pt. - sacrilege!

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: Measurements too

      To be fair to the failed colony, their weights and measures were the same as ours back then. We diverged.

      My favourite oddity is that our pounds are the same, but an American (short) hundredweight is 100lb, but our (long) hundredweight is 112lb (8st) because we use stones and they don't.

      Another is their saying "a pints a pound the world round" which only applies to the USA. In the rest of the world "A pint of pure water weighs a pound and a quarter" - because Americans men drink like British women *, their pints are smaller.

      * Or it's because of the whole divergence thing.

      1. lglethal Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Measurements too

        As we always say in Aus - American beer is like sex on a boat - it's f%&king close to Water!

        1. aqk
          Coat

          Re: Speaking of appropriation-Measurements too

          That's an old Canadian joke-

          - Why is American beer like making love in a canoe?"

          - "Because it's FUCKING NEAR WATER!"

    2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Measurements too

      There has been a down sizing in pints (20 - 16 floz) in Canadian pubs too.

      Local pub dropped the price of beer, while shifting to the new size of pint, I think it worked out to a 10% drop in price & 20% less beer.

      Good news though if you keep sweet with the barmaids, they still have a stock of the old glasses.

      1. onefang Silver badge

        Re: Measurements too

        Ah good old USA measurement systems, the country that officially went metric in the 1860's, only no one told the people.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Measurements too

          the country that officially went metric in the 1860

          Yeahbut - metric is an evil system designed by the One World Government to oppress the people and Take Away Their Rights!

          (Yes - I have had that said to me by someone from the US who was offended that I pointed out that the French[1] invented the metric system..)

          [1] You know - the people who designed the political system later used by the nascent US and who provided weapons and military assistance to the rebellious colonists..

          1. MJI Silver badge

            Re: Measurements too - temperatures

            Tell people that insist of using Fareinheight he was German.

            Tell them they have to use Kelvin.

            270 here today!

  19. SF14

    Ah yes, the semicolon. I was going to delete a month of data from a table, language in question was the SQL procedure in SAS (interpreted).

    PROC SQL;

    DELETE FROM HISTORY;

    WHERE PERIOD = '199201';

    Took forever, emptied the whole table, then gave me a syntax error for the last line. That semicolon on the DELETE line really shouldn't have been there.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      "DELETE FROM HISTORY;"

      oops!

      2 lessons:

      a) do backup first

      b) use 'SELECT *' in place of 'DELETE' in a test query before changing it to 'DELETE'

      1. EarthDog

        And use a transaction block for a test run through so you can roll back

        1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

          Also, if you must work directly on important data, write the condition statement *first* in case you get as far as DELETE FROM IMPORTANTTABLE and then accidentally press F5..

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can have travel advantages

    Many years ago we had a small customer who was extremely unhappy because one of our products would occasionally (once every few weeks or months) lose a message. This was a rock-solid product, and despite months of debugging we couldn't reproduce the error. We had no idea if there was a real problem, or if the local support guys were no good, or if the customer was imagining it. Unfortunately the messages in this setup related to intruder detection, even one lost message was potentially serious. One Monday morning we came in to an ultimatum, "It's happened again. If I don't see an engineer in my office by the end of the week your kit is going in the river".

    Said office was in Melbourne, I was the designated engineer and I was in Europe. The following day I was in Paris at the Australian embassy queueing for a fast track visa, Wednesday I was on a flight to Australia. 8am Friday morning I was picked up at the airport by the local support guy, taken to my hotel for a shower & to put my suit on (it was that sort of customer) and at 10am I was giving a very jetlagged introduction to the customer. The cost of my ticket may have exceeded the sale price of the product, but reputations were on the line. One good thing about this (for me) was that when you bought an economy-class ticket to Australia at almost no notice it was so expensive that I got bumped to Business class for the same price.

    Customer was so happy to see a Real Engineer™ that he agreed we could start on Monday, so I had a weekend of sightseeing and wine tasting to recover from the journey.

    On Monday we started debugging the live system, and mid-week had a breakthrough. Incoming messages were put in a small circular buffer, indexed by a variable i, the code was something like (this is simplified):

    buf[i] = msgptr;

    The code was fast, the buffer small and rarely required. The bug manifested when two messages arrived a mS apart, and the second one had to be put in the next buffer element. It should have worked, except for one little typo. The code was actually

    buf[1] = msgptr;

    both messages went into the same element, and the second message overwrote the first. My excuse was that we were using dot-matrix printers in those days, and a 1 looked like a lowercase i.

    It had to be my excuse, because I wrote that part of the original code...

    When I returned a week later and owned up, my boss was less than impressed when he had to sign the expenses claim, but he signed it.

    1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

      Re: Can have travel advantages

      Nice one. I thought as I read through it that it would be a timing issue, had those too many times..

      System is installed, works fine, then years later it fails. Why? It was configured to have a unique id keyed on time to millisecond granularity, and a system upgrade now meant that there could be multiple records every millisecond. Poor design - fixed by adding a random number, greater precision, and a check if I remember.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Can have travel advantages

      and a 1 looked like a lowercase i

      In the long-ago far distant days when I pretended to be a programmer (as opposed to now pretending to do support) I very, very quickly learn to put cross-lines on 7's and slashes through zeros.

      It only took one (fortunate) compile error where I'd misread my own handwriting and used a 1 instead of a 7 in an address pointer that would have caused a catastrophic dump..

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Can have travel advantages

        "I very, very quickly learn to put cross-lines on 7's and slashes through zeros"

        I learned to do that with zero when I started in computing. Then in 1970 I bought a jacket in a shop and paid with a cheque. The salesman looked at it - then asked me to initial my "correction that had changed 1971 to 1970".

        IIRC a Z was also horizontally crossed to differentiate it from 2. Not sure about 5 and S - did one of them have short bar above/below?

  21. EarthDog

    He should've used North

    It seems to have died out but it combined the elements of C, Fortran, and uniquely Canadian constructs. I can't remember all the details but programs looked sort of like this,

    While beer>0 eh?

    if needsbeer(hoser) eh

    openbeer(hoser) eh

    if beer < 3 eh

    hoser<- buddy eh

    fin

    fin

    It also came with the Hockey framework and the back bacon library.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Delights of spelling

    #define colour color /*sic*/

    #define centre center /*sic*/

    For a delightful history, read David Crystal "Spell it out".

    1. Phil Endecott Silver badge

      Re: Delights of spelling

      > #define colour color /*sic*/

      Sadly this doesn't work when the things you want to change are e.g. background_color, getColor() etc.

  23. Deltics
    Coat

    You don't spell background-color with a U

    Ah, so it should have been `backgrond-color` ?

  24. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    I was getting tired of listening to one of our colonial brother mangling the English language.

    "Don't you know the Queen's English?" I asked.

    "Oh, is she?" he replied.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      "Don't you know the Queen's English?" I asked.

      "Oh, is she?" he replied.

      To which you doubtless replied "not really. Sort of German with a side-order of Danish"

    2. aqk
      Joke

      Queen's English?

      ...And the American who asked his secretary to contact Mr. Smith.

      To which the secretary replied "I'm afraid Mr Smith is now in the United Kingdom".

      "Oh Dear, That's too bad. Do you think I should I send flowers?"

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I used to have a method for bugs in execution that apparently defied the "obvious" logic of the code being obeyed.

    I pored over the code while drinking a glass of whisky. If I failed to spot the error when I had finished that drink - then I would pour another one and try again.

    By the time I was on the third glass I was having to think very, very hard about what each statement actually did. If that didn't find the bug - then I went to bed. If I was really lucky the answer occurred to me as I woke up the next morning.

    The first time that worked on the third glass my boss was pleased that a critical bug had been fixed - but didn't offer to replenish my whisky.

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Headmaster

      You are missing your u in pour, you poor thing.

  26. RobThBay

    Grey vs gray

    A long time ago (late 90's) when I was developing a website I came across something similar. I wanted to have some text to appear as grey. The browsers kept showing it in green. It turns out the US way to spell grey is gray and it appears that the browsers back then just looked at the first 3 letters of the colour. Therefore grey must be green.

  27. Matthew "The Worst Writer on the Internet" Saroff

    Why has no one quoted Alexei Sayle?

    Americans have different ways of saying things. They say 'elevator', we say 'lift'... they say 'President', we say 'stupid psychopathic git.

    1. Robert Baker

      Re: Why has no one quoted Alexei Sayle?

      Or: they say trump, we say fart.

  28. Expectingtheworst

    Whitespace today is the distance to the car in front.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Whitespace today is the distance to the car in front.

      Where "sufficient distance" is a variable predicated on the brand of car..

      (Those of us who used to ride motorbikes a lot all got taught the phrase "only a fool breaks the two-second rule")

  29. aqk
    Coffee/keyboard

    And Americans also say Zee, not Zed as Canadians do.

    But then, Americans also pronounce a Kilometre as "kill-ommiter" as though it is some sort of speedometer, instead of the proper (and Canadian) pronunciation "Kilo-Metre"

    I'm waiting for them to start saying "Kill-oggram" for Kilogram, but they haven't fully figured out the metric system yet. Perhaps in another hundred or so years.

    Strangely, the Brits have also started to use the American pronunciation "Kill-ommiter". Perhaps they will soon also pronounce the letter Z as "zee", and the Americanization of Britain will be complete.

    I for for one, still pronounce that jugband the CANADIAN WAY! - as "Zed Zed Top"!

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