Tacticslion |

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"Bless his heart" is code for, "What an idiot!"

<snip>

Apparently it's a very common code in the South.

... yes, and no.

To set the record a little straight, "bless his heart" or "bless your heart" is a little more nuanced than straight up "what an idiot!" though it *does* mean that, as well.

Effectively, as southern manners have no place for especially harsh language (it exists and is used in the south - extensively - but the actual *manners* has no place for such), certain phrases become somewhat of a catch-all, allowing for subtle communication and inferences that rely on context beyond simple phrase-coding.

This, of course, varies from location to location, but basically anything south of the Mason-Dixon line and across to somewhere near the eastern border of Texas (given my vague understanding and knowledge - that far west means my knowledge gets weaker).

So the phrase "bless <pronoun> heart" is often use as a way of patronizing, in one method or another, but... that isn't always meant as a direct *insult*.

See, one of the more irritating (to many) parts of Southern manners is a casual arrogance - not a purposeful one, in fact, the arrogance is couched in the language and appearance of humility... what's more, such manners expect, and even *demand* humility of its practitioners. In a perverse sort of way, however, this breeds a subtle arrogance that can be patronizing toward those without said manners (sometimes justifiably, sometimes not); and it can feel even more extremely so - especially when Southern Manners as a codex says "if you can't say something nice, don't say nothin' at all"^ which is morphed from "be nice to people, verbally" into "say something nice, even if you must engage on a verbal topic of someone else doing something you disagree with or otherwise think of in a 'lesser' way"... hence it becomes a patronizing statement, but at the same time, one that is not meant to be cruel or angry.

^ There are, of course, exceptions. Explaining them is complicated. Look at my "On the Problems with Communication, Discourse, and Social Justice" thread for a manifold and plentiful amount of examples of the complexities of explaining complex linguistic interaction... within the same language... to others. That thread is *rife* with misunderstandings, starting with how several people took my OP, and many of the side conversations within it.

So, for example, when my four year old comes up to me, and declares, firmly, "I wove da hole wowld dairy dairy much!"* I would smile and say "What a wonderful idea, bless you're heart!" because I am his father, and he's adorable.

In the same way, if some teen or young adult told me, "Man, we should get rid of fossil fuels immediately, and just switch to clean power!" I'd respond with, "That's a great thing, bless you're heart!" because I like the concept, and find it a good idea... if completely untenable within the parameters given**.

In the same way, if some adult told me, "Why don't we just patch Windows to stop all the viruses? It's stupid that we haven't fixed that, yet!" I'd probably go, "That'd be a great thing, bless you're heart!" because, while the concept is impossible to implement, and it's kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinda "stupid"*** for someone with extensive computer exposure to not really understand why that doesn't happen, at the same time, I find the concept - a world without computer viruses - admirable, hence I find something nice to comment on from a statement that has no worldly merit behind it other than "nice sentiment.

Often, such responses will get shortened to "bless <pronoun> heart" because people talk slang (i.e. use cultural short-hands) all the time, especially when they talk slang, and even when they "don't" talk slang.

Generally (but not always) the meaning can be inferred by way of the context in which it is used, but sometimes it's entirely opaque to outside observers, because the person themselves use it in a way that, while completely internally consistent to themselves, might not mesh with others' internally calibrated understanding of the phrase... except in a general sort of way.

Incidentally, this also doesn't cover the exception(s) to all this, which are many and varied, and most prominently include "meaning exactly what it says" (i.e. the genuine and heartfelt desire for the soul/spirit/mind/heart to be blessed/happy/have-a-good-life/etc.) which is *often* intended *at the same time* as the phrase is used for some kind of patronizing purpose (when it is used for patronizing purposes, which it isn't always).

(Also, for the record, I don't think I've used said phrase, except for describing it, or making hypothetical statements, such as the above, for a very long time.)

Soooooooooo... while the joke among Southerners is that it's code for "that guy is stupid!" it's a joke because, while true, such an understanding is exceptionally shallow. Also, most Southerners (much like any group of colloquial speakers) would probably be hard-pressed to genuinely explain such things****. It's not a nuance we actually spend much time talking about, ever, and few people actually naval-gaze as much as I about, "But, wait, what do we *really* mean when we say <X>, exactly?!? Whaaaaaa-?"

... which is, again, part of why it's a joke among Southerners.

I also didn't go into it's real-world roots, dating to the extremely strong Bible Belt- and Christian-centric Culture of the Deep South from whence the phrase originated and holds many of its meanings, including the implication of giving (indeterminate) "blessings" ... with the unspoken implication "because he needs it"... but I figure doing so would really be over-the-top, and kind obtu- DANG IT, ME, I DID IT AGAIN.

* <"I love the whole world; very, very much!">

** Point in fact, I'd lllllooo*oooooooooo*vvvvveee to get us off fossil fuels, but I don't think, economically, it's going to happen as quickly or easily as many activists call for. And that's about as far as I'll go on that.

*** This is harsher language than I'd want to use, buuuuuuut my language skills are failing me at present, and it works for my over-all comparison purposes. Point in fact, it could simply be ignorance (generally arriving from certain generational or location-based information gaps) or even frustration talking instead of actual stupidity.

**** You'd likely get an explanation; it would likely be more succinct and coherent than mine, but it would also lack a lot of the nuances and other information. But that's because I'm a chatterbox.

captain yesterday |

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I was raised in a cheese factory. :-)

As in we lived in three separate houses that were converted cheese factories.

It's actually quite common in Green County, where at one point there was over 300 hundred just in that one county:-D

I also had a friend that lived in a converted barn, but they were loaded so it was way nicer than you would think, but he was still an idiot, so.

Tacticslion |

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NobodysHome wrote:Apparently it's a very common code in the South.

Extremelyso.To the point that the only people you usually have to actually

explainit to are the people who didn't grow up there.Everyone else just

knows.

Which is also part of the humor. SO MUCH TO UNPACK LINGUISTICALLY FROM A SMALL PPPHHHRRRAAASSSSEEEE.

captain yesterday wrote:"Were ya/was he or she/must've been raised in a barn" is very popular up here, of course the answer being "yes" a good amount of the time is beside the point. :-)One of our

wonderfulfriends had a grand old time exchanging offensive Christmas cards with us every year.It all started one year when he sent us one of those uber-cutesy kids' cards showing a farmer with a chicken under one arm. Inside, he wrote the caption

** spoiler omitted **So NobodysWife found the all-time winner with a card that showed Jesus exiting a house at night, and someone yelling from inside, "Jesus Christ! Close the door! What were you, born in a barn?!?!?"

We always loved that one. And our friends declared us "winners" because of it. (More likely they ran out of silly cards...)

Yeah, early in my marriage, I really surprised my wife when I (entirely innocently) mentioned in great excitement at one of the farm fairs we went to, that,

**It's not dirty, it just... looks that way:**

*massive*cocks!"

... which just sent her into hysterics, until I realized what it sounded like, and I was mortified... and then ended up in hysterics. She still doesn't let me forget that day.

EDIT: to fix coding, and again to NOTE that I fixed co dong.

Celestial Healer |

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I won the offensive greeting card game with my best friend this year. The greeting card I gave her:

**Nasty:**

On the inside was "Hope getting another year older isn't too hard to swallow."

Tacticslion |

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WHY IS LANGUAGE SO COMPLEX AND INTERESTIIIIIIIIIING?!

Communication, how you vex me! I long for your secrets! I want them as mine oooowwwwwnnnnn~!

But seriously people and their words are FIENDISHLY complex - especially, and even if it seems straightforward on the surface! And everything I want to say has all of these riders and explanations that have to come with it to make any sort of sense... and I'm currently on a phoooooooonnnneeee~!

NobodysHome |

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Apologies for those who have seen this before (probably most of you):

Let a = b

a^2 = ab (multiply both sides by a)

a^2 - b ^2 = ab - b^2 (subtract b^2 from both sides)

(a+b)(a-b) = (a-b)b (factor out (a-b) from both sides)

(a+b) = b (divide by (a-b))

(b+b) = b (since a = b from the start)

2b = b (addition)

2 = 1 (divide by b)

Thus, 1 + 1 = 2 = 1.

We win!

(There's a MUCH better one that deals with -1 = 1, because it's a "mathematician's proof" in that everything looks perfectly legit to a layman.)

NobodysHome |

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Since I have a few minutes, here we go. Since I need a convenient square root sign, I'm going to use the good old "root" we used back in my TeX days.

**More fun:**

root(-1) = root(-1) (Identity applies to imaginary numbers)

root(-1/1) = root(1/-1) (Just separating -1 into a fraction. Totally legit.)

root(-1)/root(1) = root(1)/root(-1) (Separating the square roots)

-1 = 1 (Cross-multiplying)

It's a great way to introduce students to, "Just because you can do it to real numbers, doesn't mean you get to do it to complex numbers. Be CAREFUL!"

EDIT: Hey, you can't add quotes to the name of a spoiler! Who knew?

Orthos |

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Apologies for those who have seen this before (probably most of you):

Let a = b

a^2 = ab (multiply both sides by a)

a^2 - b ^2 = ab - b^2 (subtract b^2 from both sides)

(a+b)(a-b) = (a-b)b (factor out (a-b) from both sides)

(a+b) = b (divide by (a-b))

(b+b) = b (since a = b from the start)

2b = b (addition)

2 = 1 (divide by b)Thus, 1 + 1 = 2 = 1.

We win!

(There's a MUCH better one that deals with -1 = 1, because it's a "mathematician's proof" in that everything looks perfectly legit to a layman.)

I don't know enough about math to refute it but it feels to me like something was done wrong in the middle somewhere.

LordSynos |

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**Sad Kidlet:**

I've said before I don't mind too much when the kidlet is sick, because I get *all the hugs*. This was not like that. This was heart wrenching. I hope he never gets this sick, ever again.

Tacticslion |

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NobodysHome, I'm calling you out!

"Out!"

There.

Now, that done, I'mma show off this thing:

Apologies for those who have seen this before (probably most of you):

Let a = b

a^2 = ab (multiply both sides by a)

a^2 - b ^2 = ab - b^2 (subtract b^2 from both sides)

(a+b)(a-b) = (a-b)b (factor out (a-b) from both sides)

(a+b) = b (divide by (a-b))

(b+b) = b (since a = b from the start)

2b = b (addition)

2 = 1 (divide by b)Thus, 1 + 1 = 2 = 1.

We win!

(There's a MUCH better one that deals with -1 = 1, because it's a "mathematician's proof" in that everything looks perfectly legit to a layman.)

... and point out what it looks like, and what's actually happening.

Let a = b Okay, a = 2 = b

a^2 = ab (multiply both sides by a) 2^2 = 2*2

a^2 - b ^2 = ab - b^2 (subtract b^2 from both sides) (2^2)-(2^2) = (2*2)-(2*2)

(a+b)(a-b) = (a-b)b (factor out (a-b) from both sides) Hmm... let's take this one a bit more slowly.

~ ~ (2^2)-(2^2) = (2*2)-(2*2)

~ ~ (2*2)-(2*2) = (2*2)-(2*2)

~ ~ [(2*2)-(2*2)] = [(2*2)-(2*2)]

~ ~ [2(2-2)] = [2(2-2)]

~ ~ 2(2-2) = 2(2-2)

And so, we've shown where the error lies: the factoring. The problem is not, in actuality, within the factoring itself, but rather within the way in which the factoring is applied. This point, here, is effectively and intellectual sleight of hand - a kind of parlor trick one can work with numbers, but only by using abstracts after first defining them as the same.

If you wanted to factor out "(a-b)" from both sides, in the letter form, you'd do so as follows:

~ *a^2 - b ^2 = ab - b^2*

~ ~~(a+b)(a-b) = (a-b)b~~ *ab-b^2 = ab-b^2* because, recall, a=b

~ *b(a-b) = b(a-b)*

... and proceed from there.

~~(a+b) = b~~ *b = b* (divide by (a-b)) 2 = 2

~~(b+b) = b (since a = b from the start)~~

~~2b = b (addition)~~

~~2 = 1~~ *1 = 1* (divide by b)

Thus, ~~1 + 1 = 2 = 1~~ *1 = 1*.

Booya. Math. Slammed. >:D

Since I have a few minutes, here we go. Since I need a convenient square root sign, I'm going to use the good old "root" we used back in my TeX days.

** spoiler omitted **

It's a great way to introduce students to, "Just because you can do it to real numbers, doesn't mean you get to do it to complex numbers. Be CAREFUL!"

... eh, okay, I'm done. Do *not* want to have to deal with that on a forum post. Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh.

EDIT: Instead, I'll just give you this: "[root(-1)] [2^3] [sigma] [pi], and it was delicious." Actually, I did not. I am still recovering from being sick. But I *thought* about it.

EDIT: Heh, other weird mathematics. The funny thing is that it's 0, *unless* you (effectively) average everything instead of *truly* summing it... unless you *actually change the problem*, in which case it's 1. With partial sums, yeah, of course it's half. The average of 0 and 1 is half after all... ;P

EDIT: the rest in a different post - this one was too large. :D

Tacticslion |

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Math is being used in this thread.

Please stop, as my hate will only increase in size and potency.

Meh. By this point, my dear friend, I can only presume that it's gone beyond "critical mass" and all the way around to "it's at acceptable levels forever after" again.

EDIT: Or, perhaps, you'd be interested in this? Warning: it goes to a Numberphile video. It asks the question about why so many people hate math, and tries to answer it.

Also, to appease you: Gundam is AWESOME~!

EDIT: Also, I'll take my other math news, to my own thread!

Tacticslion |

EDIT: SEPARATED INTO A NEW POST

EDIT: Hey, you can't add quotes to the name of a spoiler! Who knew?

You can, it just gets weird if the entire title isn't quoted.

[spoiler = "title here" ]blah, math [ / spoiler ]

... becomes,

**title here:**

... which works quite well, but,

[spoiler = I said "title here" ]blah, math [ / spoiler ]

... becomes,

[spoiler=I said "title here"]blah, math [/spoiler]

... which obviously doesn't. :)

EDIT: Sorry, I didn't get all the way to it, but you can kind of get around the quote problem, by,

[spoiler = I said 'title here' ]blah, math [ / spoiler ]

... which becomes,

**I said 'title here':**

... which works. :D

Hope that helps!

I had to figure this out the hard way.

EDIT: fixing coooooooooooooding. Sheesh, you try and help a guy out, and you make errors in your own stuff... ;P

Pecan Sandie Duncan |

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Freehold DM wrote:Tacticslion wrote:Lies and heresySuch language to be used in a thread and it isn't even auto-censored? For shame, paizo.I say that we divide and conquer.

It takes sum skill to make a math post that doesn't divide opinion or subtract from the genial conversational tone. Plus, my distractions have multiplied since taking math in school, and my attention span is but a fraction of what it once was- OOO! Yummy pi!

lynora |

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Kidlet is having soooo much trouble with math homework tonight. And I am cursing the years of stupid curriculum that focused so much on the 'shortcuts' and different techniques that my twelve year old doesn't know how to do basic multiplication and division and it's slowing him down so much he can't get through his homework even though he's actually good at math and understands the concept. Ugh. So now I get to assign him extra homework over his next school breaks so he can get some actual practice doing simple problems so he can be able to do it for himself when it comes up in his school work.

>.<

I love math, but common core is [expletive deleted]

NobodysHome |

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NobodysHome, I'm calling you out!

Lots of thorough analysis

I'm afraid it's far, far simpler. There's nothing wrong with the factoring. Since a = b, a - b = 0.

So when you divide both sides by (a-b), you're dividing by 0, and that's a no-no.(I was reminded of this "proof" while working with Impus Major, and the "wonderful" common core text claimed that y = x^2/x and y = x were "equivalent functions", and I had to insist with great vehemence that no, no Sir they were not!)

Phenomenal Cosmic Power Gamer |

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captain yesterday wrote:You know when you start a discussion called only "Cheese" don't be surprised when I send the whole thing into the ditch talking about cheese. :-)Oh, linky linky linky!!! I have to participate in Cheesehood!

NOW THIS IS A GAME IDEA I CAN GET BEHI-... aw, dangit, you're talking about *actual cheese* aren't you? DANG IT, WISCONSIN! SOME OF NEED TO USE THAT TERM, TOO!

Tacticslion |

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Tacticslion wrote:NobodysHome, I'm calling you out!

Lots of thorough analysis

I'm afraid it's far, far simpler. There's nothing wrong with the factoring. Since a = b, a - b = 0.

So when you divide both sides by (a-b), you're dividing by 0, and that's a no-no.(I was reminded of this "proof" while working with Impus Major, and the "wonderful" common core text claimed that y = x^2/x and y = x were "equivalent functions", and I had to insist with great vehemence that no, no Sir they were not!)

That explains why I had to look at it for a loooooooooooooooooong time before I finally figured out what you were factoring.

(That said, it was pretty clear from the get-go that most of the time you were doing anything, it was just a fancy way of saying 0 = 0, I just hadn't really consciously thought of the "divide by 0" aspect.)

((That said, I still maintain that "null" needs to become a *valid* concept in math, instead of just a "ah, dang, I messed up" concept that it currently is, and that dividing by zero has actual in-world applications, at *least* as accurate as some of the more bizarre "out there" math-things that exist, depending on what you're actually doing when you divide by zero. But then again, I also regularly fuss at the Numberphile folk for being "entirely wrong" in simple linguistics; and, for example, in the video I linked, I narrow my eyes at them for actually changing the problem, then claiming it's the same thing, by adding parenthesis marks in different places - they, of all people, should know that adding parenthesis marks is either an act to tell you only what standard order of operations are, or actively changes the math into something else, so *of course* you'd get a different number... ;P

... er, point of the long rant, is, you might want to take my opinion with a grain of salt.))

lynora |

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Well, got my words for the day in spite of being stuck in the mid manuscript doldrums ( that dreaded part of the book where the plot has stalled and you can't figure out how to get things moving towards the conclusion again) and being interrupted to be a math tutor for the kidlet all evening. So that's something, I guess. :)

Also, loving the math discussions. :)

captain yesterday |

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At least you didn't grow up in a town so obsessed with cheese, they named their sports teams The Cheesemakers, and had a festival called Cheese Days.

But it could've been worse, at least we weren't The Pretzelmakers of Freeport.