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notable negative harmony

  • Bayes error (ML n.): the least wrong you can be; a component of the irreducible error (along with the error associated with bad data).

  • pie barm (Wigan n.): Meat pie in a bread roll. A serious shibboleth, see also Wigan kebab, pea wet.

  • pop socket (gadget n.): A sticky telescopic piece of plastic that lets you hold your phone with two fingers. Very trendy for unclear reasons..

  • stolen valor (US n.): military fraud, false honours.

  • Boeotian (adj.): dumb. Named after an ancient region of Greece: Idiotsville. Trying to think of a comparable British expression but can't.

  • epazote (culinary n.): Delicious Mexican herb. See also wormseed, Jesuit's tea, Mexican tea.

  • proda (nautical): 1) shore, edge, liminal. 2) usage peculiar to Peter Watts (a marine biologist and novelist): prologue, prolegomenon.

  • choker (NBA pej. n.): a team that loses out in the playoffs despite a strong regular season record.

  • Pentalobe (trademark n.): Apple's fucked-up proprietary screw head: intentionally difficult to unscrew to prevent unofficial repairs and homebrew.

  • to cam out (US v.): to ruin a screw head by stripping the cavities with the wrong driver.

  • matutinal (arch. adj.): morning..

  • to go to fatigue (card game v.): to play to the bitter end, until there are no cards left..

  • Baby Rudin (maths culture n.): the Principles of Mathematical Analysis of Walter Rudin, "baby" in contrast to his other heavier books.

  • front-cloth comedian (C19th UK n.): Warm-up guy in music hall shows; performed in front of the fallen curtain while scenery was shifted.

  • Dutch nightingale (): a frog. Part of a long series of slanders from the great C17th rivalry with the East India and Oostindische companies..

  • atmospheric aberration (optics n.): blurring effect of the Earth's atmosphere, like a bad lens; incoming light gets spread out over a region.

  • External Locus of Control (psychology n.): belief that things happen to you; that the course of your life is determined by your environment, Laws, gods, peers.

  • negative harmony (music theory n.): covering a song using a particular algorithm to mirror the chords; going around the circle of fifths with a chain of plagal cadences (e.g. dominant seventh becomes a minor sixth). Listening to a few of these reveals how limited much music is, clinging to the same two cadences. So negative harmony gives us an alternate reality's cliches. Makes banal standards sound fresh:

  • prosumer (marketing n.): pro consumer; power user.

  • homestuck (internet n.): shut-in; arrested development; grounded. I can't find any prior art besides the great comic.

  • brick weed (stoner n.): low-quality cannabis in a dense block; its being compressed indicates it was smuggled internationally and is thus old.

  • sphexish (Classicist pej. adj.): deterministic; preprogrammed; literally "like a wasp".

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