Ryan's Posts

Logophile Tuesdays – Pronoun Problems

Logophile Tuesdays – Pronoun Problems

There has recently been another kerfuffle over the complexities involved with attempting to adapt the gender-binary nature of our language to a more inclusive format. In short, someone asserted that “they” shouldn’t be used as a gender-neutral singular pronoun. Others disagreed. I fall somewhere in the middle on the linguistic debate. “They” can be and is used to refe... »

My Little Fiasco: Friendship is Tragic

My Little Fiasco: Friendship is Tragic

Why do I take joy in ruining beautiful things? For those who have somehow remained unexposed the the phenomenon, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is a delightful cartoon about the lives and times of a group of magical ponies in a magical land full of magical adventures. For those not familiar with the finest products of indie tabletop role-playing games, Fiasco is one of the best. It creates on... »

Science for the People: Cities of the Future

Science for the People: Cities of the Future

Around here I am a maker of pretty things and a complainer about other things that aren’t pretty enough for my tastes. In another life, I am an engineering researcher and science teacher. At CONvergence this year, those worlds collided a bit and I had the privilege of joining Desiree Schell, Jamie Bernstein and Shawn Lawrence Otto to discuss the fantasies and realities of our future cities. ... »

Logophile Tuesdays: Portwomanteau

Logophile Tuesdays: Portwomanteau

Anne brought to my attention, this week, the use of an appalling portmanteau: “womenpreneurs.” This is unclear if this is a more grievous offence to women, or language. I would argue that it is a worse crime against the latter. Regarding women, it is simply adding gender to a term that was previously fairly gender-neutral and celebrating the long tradition of reminding ladies that prof... »

Logophile Tuesday – Verbal Irony

Logophile Tuesday – Verbal Irony

Perhaps my favorite form of wordplay is clever verbal irony. That is, simple phrases that are internally contradictory in delightfully evocative ways. Douglas Adams introduced me to the joy of this in the »

Logophile Tuesday – Contronyms

Logophile Tuesday – Contronyms

A few weeks ago, I complained that “literally” had lost its original meaning and was now its own antonym. Thanks to fellow language lovers, I learned there is a word for that: contronym. A contronym is a word that is its own opposite. While I was aware of “literally,” and it annoyed me, there were many more that I had not considered. Here for your pondering pleasure, a shor... »

Design Diaries – Gambit

Design Diaries – Gambit

Yesterday I talked a bit about how very ridiculous the original costume for Gambit was. Today I will talk about recreating the train wreck of a thing. There is a reason that the Gambit that showed up in the Wolverine movie looked nothing like the original. The original costume would look ludicrous on screen. It does not translate to the physical world very well at all. Why they chose to replace th... »

Gambit – Best Worst Costume Ever

Gambit – Best Worst Costume Ever

A couple of weeks ago, my plan to write this post was unseated by a pressing need to comment on the rather more temporally relevant news that Thor is going to be a Lady. Now that nerdsplosion has passed, I can get back to something really important: 90s Gambit. Gambit was my favorite X-man as a kid. He was witty, charming, roguish, and involved in the sort tragically doomed romance with Rogue that... »

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