About

I'm Mike Pope. I live in the Seattle area. I've been a technical writer and editor for over 30 years. I'm interested in software, language, music, movies, books, motorcycles, travel, and ... well, lots of stuff.

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I feel like being wrong is really important to doing decent work. To do any kind of creative work well, you have to run at stuff knowing that it's usually going to fail. You have to take that into account and you have to make peace with it. We spend a lot of money and time on stuff that goes nowhere.

Ira Glass



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Blog Statistics

Dates
First entry - 6/27/2003
Most recent entry - 6/24/2016

Totals
Posts - 2387
Comments - 2537
Hits - 1,855,549

Averages
Entries/day - 0.50
Comments/entry - 1.06
Hits/day - 391

Updated every 30 minutes. Last: 3:25 AM Pacific


  04:40 PM

We seem to be going multi-media around here.

The Monty Hall Game Show Problem. (video) A visual explanation of a probability exercise with a famously counterintuitive solution. I'm with Mr. Explainer -- I think I'd rather have the goat.

National Grammar Day. Nominally interesting -- if only people really were interested in grammar -- but in fact it's just a peevology fest. (Stop harassing people about apostrophe[']s already, for heaven's sake.) Oh, well.[1] [via John McIntinre, copy editing god, who nails this thing exactly right -- read his post]

Cool new feature in Office: The Blue Squiggle. The Microsoft Office spelling checker can now optionally check spelling in context, which will find an error such as "Can I fine a good example?". (That error would pass ordinary non-contextual spell check, of course.) See also the post's comments and counter-comments for a discussion of limits of this feature. [via Language Log]

Why Doesn't Predictive Text Do Swear Words? (video) "I believe predictive text can be a real force for good, turning rude messages into politer versions, such as 'Sips off, you ducking yanker.'"

[1] FWIW, punctuation isn't grammar. Oh, well.

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