For Love of Blog and Allosaur Discussion

Discussion in 'General CPA Stuff' started by turgy22, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. rokapoke Man Among Gods

    You better hope ants aren't involved with your countertops -- methinks your wife would not like to see ants there.
  2. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Took me a second, but I got it. If the Formica company is to be believed, their founders came up with the name because they were using the resin as a substitute for mica in electrical insulation. You know, "substitute for mica" → "for mica" → "formica"

    The resin is made with formaldehyde, though.
  3. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Dude, I am pretty much doing the first sentence in the quote because you're making it way too complicated than this needs to be. As I stated before, yes, I recognize that not all dinosaurs are lizards and when the term was coined way back when, it was based off of a few fossils that looked lizard-like. But that's not what the issue is about.

    Pygmy Allosaur is of type Lizard. The argument was made that it should be type Dinosaur or another, which I forget. I said that Dinosaur means "<terrible> lizard" so it sort of fits. That's it. It doesn't matter what all dinosaurs are *now*, or that it is a misconception, or whatever. The only part that it really relevant is what dinosaur translates too and how it is applicable to the card, and you're actually the one with all of the extra fluff.
  4. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    I think your conclusion that I'm doing this is causing you to miss something.

    Zero. Zero dinosaurs are lizards. They're not remotely like lizards. I mean, they had two eyes, four limbs, one mouth, one tail, and such. But I don't think that those traits really scream, "lizardlike."

    Fossils that were erroneously reconstructed in a way that made the observers at the time believe they were lizards.

    Why not?


    It was originally a dinosaur. Wizards of the Coast decided to consolidate creature types on old cards, so creatures with unique types were usually errata'd and thrown into more common types. Some mistakes were made (like the elf that was accidentally given "human" as one of its types, which I posted earlier). In this case, they had the right creature type, and then they changed it. As Turgy pointed out in his article, the allosaurus was a real dinosaur. It's not something Wizards contrived on their own, like Shivan Raptor. If they want to make Shivan Raptor a lizard, well, they did make it up in the first place. Yeah, it doesn't look like a lizard, but it's also not a real animal. This card is different, in that it is obviously based on a real dinosaur and was labeled as a dinosaur when it was printed, but changed to something else after the fact.

    Again, by that logic, we'd use etymology for everything else. Since "whale" originates in a term meaning "sheath fish" we should errata all whales to be fish.
  5. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Again, not arguing that. But the translation of "dinosaur" is "terrible lizard". It doesn't matter what they actually *are*, what matters is what dinosaur translates to. That's all.
  6. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    You keep telling me that things don't matter. What's your basis for this? And you're still ignoring my point that etymology isn't a substitute for meaning, and that if we went by etymology, whales would be fish.
  7. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Because it has no bearing on the translation of "dinosaur". The four letters "saur" mean "lizard". And I'm ignoring your point because it doesn't matter here, that isn't what I'm arguing.
  8. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    I asked you how it is that you're determining what I'm saying doesn't matter, whereas what you say apparently does matter. You responded by telling me that something I said doesn't matter. Actually, I'll put it this way...

    -Allosauruses are dinosaurs.
    -Dinosaurs are not lizards.
    -Therefore, Pygmy Allosaurus is not a lizard.

    It could end there. You say it doesn't. You say that there's a technicality here that's important...

    -The etymology of the word "dinosaur" includes a word for "lizard."
    -Something with "lizard" in its name is a lizard.
    -Therefore Pygmy Allosaurus is a lizard.

    I say, hold on. That's not the only technicality there is...

    -The "saur" morpheme includes other animals that aren't lizards, such as crocodiles. Irrelevant!
    -The name "dinosaur" was created during a time when there was a mistaken understanding of what these creatures looked like. Immaterial!
    -We don't conflate etymology with meaning in other matters. Of absolutely no import whatsoever!

    Have you ever heard of special pleading?
  9. rokapoke Man Among Gods

    In the court of public opinion, I think you would both be found guilty of still arguing this largely irrelevant point. Hopefully nobody learns their biology from Magic cards (and if they do, they're probably creationists, too).
  10. turgy22 Nothing Special

    Unless it's to find out where babies come from.
  11. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Look at the thread title. Pygmy Allosaurus is (more or less) the topic. Any argument about Pygmy Allosaurus, no matter how silly, is relevant. Oh yes, you've walked into the dinosaur zone! :p

    Alternatively, if you are Spiderman, perhaps you've walked into the δεινόςσαῦρος zone?
  12. rokapoke Man Among Gods

    Google translation from Greek to English: deinossafros.
  13. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Google translator isn't very smart. But I just checked and you can, if you want to, put a space between the words so that it recognizes them individually. "δεινός σαῦρος" gets translated as "formidable lizard."
  14. rokapoke Man Among Gods

    I just checked and you are correct (which you already knew, obviously). With regard to the Greek language, I only know the letters, really, because they're useful for engineering purposes. So that's my excuse for not doing that right the first time.
  15. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    You're probably better with Greek letters than I am, then. They don't show up much in chemistry, except sometimes when there's crossover with physics, which I try to avoid. Still, on close inspection I recognize the delta and know that it's pronounced like a "d." Same thing with the nu and "n", the sigma and "s", the rho and "r" and maybe the vowels too. So it does look kinda sorta like "dinosaur."
  16. TomB Administrative Assistant

    Talk about zero population growth...:rolleyes:
  17. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    The bolded statements are the problem right there. *You* are making the leap to those. All I said was that because "dinosaur" contains "lizard" as part of its translation, that may be why the Allosaur was changed to Type-Lizard. That's it, I never said *any* of that other stuff.

    Truth, but it bugged the hell out of me when Oversoul initially said "saur" does not mean lizard when in fact it does.
  18. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    It's true that you didn't say dinosaurs are actually lizards. And I was aware of that, because you said the opposite of that, here...

    I didn't mean to imply that you actually said the opposite of what you'd said. That would be silly (in stark contrast to the rest of this thread). And engaging in oversimplifying when I'm also trying to simultaneously point out other oversimplifying is probably not the best approach. What I was getting at with that framing was that you'd picked a certain detail, one in etymology, to point out as a point of import, but summarily dismissed any related details as immaterial. I contend that this amounts to special pleading.

    So yeah, acknowledged that you never said dinosaurs are actually lizards, but you have pointed out the existence of "lizard" in the etymology of "dinosaur" and I inferred (from posts like the very one I'm quoting) that you're claiming this detail is relevant to changing Pygmy Allosaurus' creature type from dinosaur to lizard. I don't think that's the case, so we disagree there. But the bigger problem is that even when I've said why I find that approach to be problematic, you declared that none of what I said mattered. I think the thing that you think matters doesn't matter, and I can tell you why (or I think I at least summarized it). You've decided that the thing you think matters really does matter, without justification, and that the things I think matter do not, also without justification. Special pleading.

    Oh, and it's not necessarily the case that the etymology of "dinosaur" was the impetus behind changing the creature type from dinosaur to lizard. It's a possible reason, but you're speculating. Maybe the WotC employee who made the change had exactly the thought process you've outlined, but maybe it was something else entirely. Maybe the person consulted a dictionary definition of "dinosaur": many dictionaries erroneously refer to dinosaurs as lizard-like even though they aren't (because apparently lexicographers suck at biology) or outright call them reptiles (which is murkier territory taxonomically, but still incorrect in this case). Maybe the person saw Shivan Raptor or some other extant lizard card and used the similarities in appearance to make the change. Maybe the person just decided that a land-dwelling creature with scales, limbs, and a tail didn't fit into any other major existing creature type. Maybe it was the same person who made Giant Solifuge an insect and this is someone who derives perverse pleasure from sneaking bad creature types onto cards. There are all sorts of possible explanations. We don't know what the real reasoning was.

    Also, I'd better point out that you are still conflating etymology with meaning. The morpheme "saur" is borrowed from a Greek word that was used to refer to lizards. It already existed in English to refer to reptiles in general before "dinosaur" was a word, as in the word "saurian." However, meaning changes, while the etymology will always be what it was. Saying that "saur" could be translated as "lizard" (it could also be translated as "crocodile" and came to be used in that way a lot more in English anyway), which is correct, is different from saying that "saur" means "lizard." And I do realize that you don't actually think that dinosaurs are lizards. I wouldn't want to accuse you of saying something when you'd actually flat-out said that it wasn't the case...

  19. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    *Of course* I'm speculating! I never claimed that it was fact. Hence the smilie as seen from my original post:

    I was referring to your initial statement about it
    Not what came after.
  20. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    So we agree that dinosaurs aren't lizards and neither of us knows the exact rationale behind the erratum, although obviously it was part of the consolidation process and came about because there weren't any other dinosaurs in the game. Speculation can be fun, but the points I raised are still valid. It's still the case that the connection between "dinosaur" and "lizard" is an accident of history, with nuance that I expounded on a bit. You've declared that none of that matters, but you didn't say why it doesn't matter, nor why the etymological connection does matter.

    And what's wrong with my initial statement?

    Because you initially said

    And it IS quite right. There isn't any ambiguity about it.

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