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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One likes to think that literature has the power to render comprehensible different kinds of unhappiness. If it can't do that, what's it good for?

Elif Batuman



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Blog Statistics

Dates
First entry - 6/27/2003
Most recent entry - 1/18/2019

Totals
Posts - 2543
Comments - 2592
Hits - 2,112,432

Averages
Entries/day - 0.45
Comments/entry - 1.02
Hits/day - 372

Updated every 30 minutes. Last: 7:41 AM Pacific


  09:25 AM

After yesterday's word post that discussed spite mounds, I got a couple of notes from some folks that I thought I should share.

First, Friend Rick shared the photo that had moved him to talk about bygone spite mounds:


He added the comment "I had felt there was some mound (if that makes any sense), though certainly not the likes of which there was in the regrading days!" It's true, it does have that feel.

Second, Friend Leon pointed out another, similar term: nail house, which is a Chinese term for the same thing[1]. There's an article about nail houses with some quite amazing photos. Here's one:


Leon also noted the term spite house, which has a different sense of spite. A spite house is deliberately built or modified in order to spite someone—for example, to block someone's view. There's a related term spite fence, a construction that has the same purpose but is generally cheaper to build.

I will note that Leon is from a land down under, so it's possible that in his ozzy dialect, spite house has a different meaning. I'm sure he'll let us know if so. :-)

[1] A calque, I guess.

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