1281: "Minifigs"

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1281: "Minifigs"

Postby AUS » Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:36 am UTC

Image
"The LEGO Group is already the world's largest tire manufacturer."

This year, the LEGO movie will come out. Next, LEGO movies will out-populate regular movies.
Last edited by AUS on Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:38 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby rhomboidal » Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:37 am UTC

I at first thought it meant LEGO fans, and that they would somehow bioengineer themselves into plastic/protein hybridized cyborgs to eventually overtake and overthrow the hopelessly outmatched human population in a darkly comical Amageddon of all-destroying toys...

I'm still thinking that.

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby BlitzGirl » Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:47 am UTC

rhomboidal wrote:I at first thought it meant LEGO fans, and that they would somehow bioengineer themselves into plastic/protein hybridized cyborgs to eventually overtake and overthrow the hopelessly outmatched human population in a darkly comical Amageddon of all-destroying toys...

LEGO fans are surprisingly benign. They'd probably just make a stop-motion version of an apocalypse using all those billions of minifigs.

(It's us OTTers you have to watch out for, especially now that 1190: Time is broken.)

Edit: Time has since been fixed. The world is safe...for now...
Last edited by BlitzGirl on Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:36 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby rwald » Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:01 am UTC

The LEGO Group is already the world's largest tire manufacturer


I think Randall meant to say that the LEGO Group is one of the world's smallest tire manufacturers. That is, they manufacturer some of the world's smallest tires.

ba dum tss

Thanks folks, I'll be here all week. Try the salmon.

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby Antior » Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:08 am UTC

By the way, before anyone does something stupid...

'Legos' is not a word. It's 'LEGO bricks' or possibly 'LEGO blocks'.

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby bachaddict » Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:15 am UTC

There are about 86 LEGO pieces per person on earth. Pretty impressive for a single company, but then I have 26,000 pieces.

rwald wrote:
The LEGO Group is already the world's largest tire manufacturer


I think Randall meant to say that the LEGO Group is one of the world's smallest tire manufacturers. That is, they manufacturer some of the world's smallest tires.

ba dum tss

Thanks folks, I'll be here all week. Try the salmon.


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slinches wrote:Also, the OTC isn't a disease. In fact, it's the cure. As we all know, Time heals all wounds.

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby da Doctah » Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:46 am UTC

Antior wrote:By the way, before anyone does something stupid...

'Legos' is not a word. It's 'LEGO bricks' or possibly 'LEGO blocks'.
Jegos, on the other hand, is a perfectly good word. It's the Pima or Tohono word for what used to be called a "duststorm", and what meteorologists the last few years have delighted in calling a "haboob".

My take: if you think the "wall of dust" phenomenon of central Arizona resembles something from Denmark, then use words like "dust" and "storm" that ultimately come from Old Norse. If you think it's more like something from North Africa, then use the Arabic word "haboob" in good health.

But if you think it's something sui generis to the American Southwest, then use the word for it that the people who got here first came up with.

(The above utter digression from the topic is brought to you by a guy who will try the salmon tomorrow night, but is right now heating up some frozen fish sticks.)

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby ps.02 » Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:57 am UTC

Antior wrote:By the way, before anyone does something stupid...

'Legos' is not a word.

"Before anyone does something stupid"? I don't get it. What stupid thing did you have in mind, and how does it relate to the LEGO trademark?

(The only context in which 'legos' is not a word is the one in which you're trying to help the company protect their trademark. To the rest of us, it has always been a word. Although, mind you, I still would never call off-brand plastic blocks 'legos'. I mean, that's just wrong.)

It's 'LEGO bricks' or possibly 'LEGO blocks'.

No, in this comic it's 'LEGO people'. HTH.

Also, while outnumbering the world population may be a first, I wonder how many other humanoid toys have outnumbered the population in the country or region in which they are the most popular. E.g., how many Cabbage Patch Kids existed in the US in 1985?

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No Bag Puns in this Post

Postby Eternal Density » Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:05 am UTC

Antior wrote:By the way, before anyone does something stupid...

'Legos' is not a word. It's 'LEGO bricks' or possibly 'LEGO blocks'.
That was stupid. (And absolutely right. :D)


ETA it's stupid because you said 'before anyone does something stupid' as if that would help avoid argument, which naturally invited argument.
rwald wrote:
The LEGO Group is already the world's largest tire manufacturer


I think Randall meant to say that the LEGO Group is one of the world's smallest tire manufacturers. That is, they manufacturer some of the world's smallest tires.
That's no longer funny.
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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby Gargravarr » Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:46 am UTC

In related news, Lego Minifigures have become angrier.

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby Slothrop » Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:10 am UTC

My googling ability has been through a harsh reality-check this morning. Does anyone know where I can find the time series for average human mass? All of a sudden, figuring out whether we'll at least still outweigh the figures seemed much more important than work.

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby Dave Rogers » Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:38 am UTC

I, for one, welcome our new Lego overlords.

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby Djehutynakht » Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:39 am UTC

We've seen Toy Story. Pixar is warning us.

They will obliviate us. Just wait...

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby TG333 » Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:50 am UTC

What makes LEGO people so much better than us is their ability to tread on LEGO bricks all day without shedding a single tear.
I don't wanna hear your excuses! The building has to be at least... three times bigger than this!

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby iain_benson » Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:51 am UTC

ps. wrote:(The only context in which 'legos' is not a word is the one in which you're trying to help the company protect their trademark. To the rest of us, it has always been a word.


Possibly in the US, but 'legos' has never been a word in the UK. Nobody would have ever considered pluralising LEGO until the internet happened! I guess we Brits do do strange things with the English language though ... A person tires after too much exercise, but one puts tyres on a car! :roll:

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby stickler » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:13 am UTC

It's 'LEGO' to refer to the bricks. As in "I just stood on some bloody LEGO". It's obvious, do the maths... ;)

I want to start up a secret organisation that no-one knows about, like in fight club. Except with a room LEGO instead of fighting. Being an adult is boring.

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby Klear » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:26 am UTC

Maybe we should stop to consider the consequences of blithely giving lego such a central position in our lives.

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby YellowYeti » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:30 am UTC

stickler wrote:
I want to start up a secret organisation that no-one knows about, like in fight club. Except with a room LEGO instead of fighting. Being an adult is boring.


Shhh! You mean you didn't you get that e-mail? We were wondering why you hadn't turned up....

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby tjunction » Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:23 am UTC

iain_benson wrote:Possibly in the US, but 'legos' has never been a word in the UK. Nobody would have ever considered pluralising LEGO until the internet happened!


Yes, the plural of lego is lego, like sheep.

There is no need to capitalize it though, unless you are a trademark geek.

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby orthogon » Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:01 am UTC

Legos? WTF?

1. I and everyone I know have always used Lego as a mass noun, not a count noun; stickler's usage example is exactly the sort of thing I might say, and probably have said.
2. If it were a count noun, the plural would be legoes
3. If we're talking about Internet conventions, it should probably be lego's

Anyway, Lego is great. I always used to think that Lego is good preparation for working with electronics (or maybe software); you have these standard components that you plug together and you get to concentrate on building up a complex system from the basic components. Meccano on the other hand was for people who are going to go into mechanical or civil engineering. You spend a lot more time worrying about the material properties, the geometry of the problem, and literally the nuts and bolts. For the record, I was always a Lego kid.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby Klear » Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:12 am UTC

orthogon wrote:3. If we're talking about Internet conventions, it should probably be lego's


You win.

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby sonar1313 » Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:35 am UTC

No wonder they've always looked so placidly content. They've known all along and are simply biding their time.

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby Epod » Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:21 pm UTC

Gargravarr wrote:In related news, Lego Minifigures have become angrier.



They are reacting to overcrowded habitat. I'm no Lego population biologist (which should totally be a thing), but have you seen how many are jammed under the sofa in the living room these days?

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby orthogon » Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:29 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:Jegos, on the other hand, is a perfectly good word. It's the Pima or Tohono word for what used to be called a "duststorm", and what meteorologists the last few years have delighted in calling a "haboob".

My take: if you think the "wall of dust" phenomenon of central Arizona resembles something from Denmark, then use words like "dust" and "storm" that ultimately come from Old Norse. If you think it's more like something from North Africa, then use the Arabic word "haboob" in good health.

But if you think it's something sui generis to the American Southwest, then use the word for it that the people who got here first came up with.)


This reminds me of the way news media suddenly started using the word tsunami following the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004. Until then English speakers would have referred to such phenomena as tidal waves. Educated people knew that the technical term was tsunami, but in normal speech would be as likely to use it as to say that their grandfather died of a myocardial infarction. What was strange was that the media didn't say "a tsunami, commonly/formerly/often referred to as a tidal wave", they just erased the term from history as though either (a) they'd called these things tsunamis all along, or (b) this was actually some new thing that nobody had heard of before. In fact most of the coverage was closer to (b), so perhaps the scientists were at fault for not wanting to point out that this was the same thing and thereby encourage the perceived misuse of tidal wave.

Google ngrams confirms my subjective impression: tidal wave was more common until the '80s, and then somewhat more common until the 2004 tragedy catapulted tsunami into the lead.

BTW +1 for the use of sui generis.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:44 pm UTC

BlitzGirl wrote:
rhomboidal wrote:I at first thought it meant LEGO fans, and that they would somehow bioengineer themselves into plastic/protein hybridized cyborgs to eventually overtake and overthrow the hopelessly outmatched human population in a darkly comical Amageddon of all-destroying toys...

LEGO fans are surprisingly benign. They'd probably just make a stop-motion version of an apocalypse using all those billions of minifigs.

(It's us OTTers you have to watch out for, especially now that 1190: Time is broken.)


It's not broken, it's just sleeping.

Anyway, "Leggo my LEGO!"

Still waiting for the official LEGO PunSaw to hit ToysRus
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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:47 pm UTC

bachaddict wrote:There are about 86 LEGO pieces per person on earth. Pretty impressive for a single company, but then I have 26,000 pieces.


Yeah, well, there's roughly 5E30 bacteria in the world as of 1988, so our personal LEGO collections are totally outnumbered there. Wonder how many nanoLEGOs (and bleeping bleep to you pseudopurists who want to use "LEGOblocks") each bacterium has in its playroom?
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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby SerMufasa » Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:54 pm UTC

What I'd be interested in seeing is the number of Lego Blocks in the world vs Lego People. You'd think there would be vastly more blocks, but the surge in minifig collecting has to be narrowing the gap.
Although I guess technically the minifigs are composed of blocks as well.
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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby pkcommando » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:04 pm UTC

Clearly the time has come for preemptive measures.

From on, before going to bed, pop the legs off of your minifigs and store them in a separate (sealable) container. And maybe a third for either the arms, or the heads.

Unless this wanton dismemberment of LEGOKind is what sparks the revolution in the first place.

Or just invest in a good vacuum cleaner.

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby orthogon » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:08 pm UTC

pkcommando wrote:Clearly the time has come for preemptive measures.
From on, before going to bed, pop the legs off of your minifigs and store them in a separate (sealable) container. And maybe a third for either the arms, or the heads.

I'm not worried. Not only do they lack opposable thumbs; they can only pick up objects of circular cross-section and between 1.5 and 2mm in diameter. That's got to hamper you taking-over-the-world potential.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby Actaeus » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:11 pm UTC

Where'd the data for this comic come from?

By the way -- there are already more minifigs now then there were people alive in 1978 when the minifig was introduced.

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby BrianB » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:17 pm UTC

Actaeus wrote:Where'd the data for this comic come from?

By the way -- there are already more minifigs now then there were people alive in 1978 when the minifig was introduced.


I think people are making a basic, but flawed, assumption.

While we can estimate the number of people in the world with some confidence level, I don't think we can do the same for minifigs.

Is the graph based upon total minifigs produced by LEGO? What about minifigs that die a death in the garbage and recycling streams. What about the minifigs that die a death by burial in the back sandbox never to be seen again?

Truth is, there is no way to know how many minifigs are really still in existence.

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:18 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
da Doctah wrote:Jegos, on the other hand, is a perfectly good word. It's the Pima or Tohono word for what used to be called a "duststorm", and what meteorologists the last few years have delighted in calling a "haboob".

This reminds me of the way news media suddenly started using the word tsunami following the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004. Until then English speakers would have referred to such phenomena as tidal waves. Educated people knew that the technical term was tsunami, but in normal speech would be as likely to use it as to say that their grandfather died of a myocardial infarction.

But tidal wave for an earthquake induced wave is a misnomer (it has very little to do with tides), I don't see what's wrong with using dust storm and sandstorm for storms that transport huge amounts of respectively dust or sand... You could say a word from a language used where they are native are preferable, but it's not like they don't exist in English speaking countries (I think they exist in Australia and the US). So why would you use an Arabian word, in scientific English, but especially in general English? Even the Latin terms that were grandfathered as scientific English terms due to Latin being the commonly used academic language in Western culture were mostly Anglicised...

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby Gargravarr » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:19 pm UTC

Epod wrote:
Gargravarr wrote:In related news, Lego Minifigures have become angrier.

They are reacting to overcrowded habitat. I'm no Lego population biologist (which should totally be a thing), but have you seen how many are jammed under the sofa in the living room these days?

Ok, I looked under my sofa but couldn't see any. Which only proves how deep the conspiracy goes. Officially, all my Lego people were recycled 10 years ago, when my parents cleaned out their basement. Officially.

But how does Minecraft fit into all of this?

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby Kit. » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:24 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:so perhaps the scientists were at fault for not wanting to point out that this was the same thing and thereby encourage the perceived misuse of tidal wave.

I don't see how they would be at fault here.

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby peewee_RotA » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:25 pm UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:
orthogon wrote:
da Doctah wrote:Jegos, on the other hand, is a perfectly good word. It's the Pima or Tohono word for what used to be called a "duststorm", and what meteorologists the last few years have delighted in calling a "haboob".

This reminds me of the way news media suddenly started using the word tsunami following the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004. Until then English speakers would have referred to such phenomena as tidal waves. Educated people knew that the technical term was tsunami, but in normal speech would be as likely to use it as to say that their grandfather died of a myocardial infarction.

But tidal wave for an earthquake induced wave is a misnomer (it has very little to do with tides), I don't see what's wrong with using dust storm and sandstorm for storms that transport huge amounts of respectively dust or sand... You could say a word from a language used where they are native are preferable, but it's not like they don't exist in English speaking countries (I think they exist in Australia and the US). So why would you use an Arabian word, in scientific English, but especially in general English? Even the Latin terms that were grandfathered as scientific English terms due to Latin being the commonly used academic language in Western culture were mostly Anglicised...


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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby hamjudo » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:30 pm UTC

The Lego carnage at my house is terrible. At best, only one in ten minifigs is intact. Lots and lots of heads without torsos, torsos without legs or heads. Hands just loose in the bins. Most tragically, there are some torsos without arms. The arms aren't supposed to come off.

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby Klear » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:34 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:This reminds me of the way news media suddenly started using the word tsunami following the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004. Until then English speakers would have referred to such phenomena as tidal waves. Educated people knew that the technical term was tsunami, but in normal speech would be as likely to use it as to say that their grandfather died of a myocardial infarction. What was strange was that the media didn't say "a tsunami, commonly/formerly/often referred to as a tidal wave", they just erased the term from history as though either (a) they'd called these things tsunamis all along, or (b) this was actually some new thing that nobody had heard of before. In fact most of the coverage was closer to (b), so perhaps the scientists were at fault for not wanting to point out that this was the same thing and thereby encourage the perceived misuse of tidal wave.

Google ngrams confirms my subjective impression: tidal wave was more common until the '80s, and then somewhat more common until the 2004 tragedy catapulted tsunami into the lead.

BTW +1 for the use of sui generis.


When you turn off the smoothing, you'll see that tsunami has overtaken tidal wave a couple of times before, some of the spikes (1977, 1979, 1994) seem to correspond with some notable tsunamis that happened there. Also note that the term tidal wave is used constantly, and isn't in decline after the latest spike (2004 was a record-breaker, after all) so I'd guess that tidal wave is used in some contexts, (maybe scientific literature), and the term tsunami is what the newspapers report when it happens.

I might be wrong in that analysis, though I'm pretty sure I've been using tsunami before 2004. Then again, English isn't my first language, so that's not really relevant.

bachaddict wrote:There are about 86 LEGO pieces per person on earth. Pretty impressive for a single company, but then I have 26,000 pieces.


I'm slightly creeped out by the fact that you know this.

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby orthogon » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:35 pm UTC

Thanks to peewee_RotA - I was totally about to embark on making exactly that point as though I'd worked it out for myself, when I now realise I absorbed the whole thing from xkcd1010.
Kit. wrote:
orthogon wrote:so perhaps the scientists were at fault for not wanting to point out that this was the same thing and thereby encourage the perceived misuse of tidal wave.

I don't see how they would be at fault here.

Maybe "at fault" is overstating it, but it would have helped the public understanding of science if they'd said "this was a tsunami, a large wave caused by an earthquake: these used to be referred to as tidal waves". As it is, there are probably people going around thinking "you never hear about tidal waves much these days, but there seem to be a lot more tsunamis. It's probably to do with global warming". You can say that they're obviously the same thing, but I offer in response typhoons, hurricanes and tornadoes, which I'm pretty sure aren't all the same thing.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby Kit. » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:59 pm UTC

Klear wrote:so I'd guess that tidal wave is used in some contexts, (maybe scientific literature),

There are "tidal" waves in some scientific contexts, but they have nothing to do with tsunamis.

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Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

Postby orthogon » Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:32 pm UTC

Klear wrote:When you turn off the smoothing, you'll see that tsunami has overtaken tidal wave a couple of times before, some of the spikes (1977, 1979, 1994) seem to correspond with some notable tsunamis that happened there. Also note that the term tidal wave is used constantly, and isn't in decline after the latest spike (2004 was a record-breaker, after all) so I'd guess that tidal wave is used in some contexts, (maybe scientific literature), and the term tsunami is what the newspapers report when it happens.

I might be wrong in that analysis, though I'm pretty sure I've been using tsunami before 2004. Then again, English isn't my first language, so that's not really relevant.


Thanks - I didn't notice there was a zero setting for smoothing.

I think it's probably the other way around - people use "tidal wave" in everyday conversation and literature, often figuratively ("a tidal wave of cheap heroin" etc.), which explains the steady level, but when one actually happens the media, advised by scientists, have been reporting it using the preferred term since the 1960s. This has gradually introduced the term into everyday speech so that it's now used more than tidal wave.

tl;dr: I was wrong to criticise the news media. And I'm sorry for the distraction. Let's talk about Lego.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.


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