kurt's nightmare

Generally, I post once a week. Topics are randomly selected and depend mostly upon whether it's baseball season or not. Other topics will include sex, politics, old girlfriends, music, and whatever else pops into my little brain. If you'd like to read, or ignore, my blog about China: http://meidabizi.blogspot.com/

Location: Dayton, OH, Heard & McDonald Islands

I'm an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Dayton. I represent no one but myself, and barely do that. I'm here mostly by accident.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Kirsten Loves Logic

  • Nathalie Dupree used to have a cooking show. One evening, she made this enormous mess, and looking straight into her camera, told the audience "Don't do as I say, do as I tell you."
  • There is, in the south suburbs of Louisville, a large billboard, advertising a tattoo parlor. With no indication of irony (or jest), its slogan? "Done while you wait."
  • In the McDonald's on High Street, a couple of miles north of campus, there used to be a sign in the parking lot. "Parking for Drive Through Only." It's no longer there; my guess is that the McDonald's folks got tired of it being stolen by philosophy professors.
  • A friend of mine told me the other day of a movie he recommended, saying, in part, that "it was like no other movie." I asked him, given that there might be another movie that was "like no other movie," if these two movies would, then, be like each other.
  • A house in Miamisburg had a sign in front, saying "House and/or lot for sale." How annoyed would the people be if someone just bought the lot?
  • A tip o' the hat to "Bow Legged Lou" (I'm not sure who he is, but my guess is that he watches too much tv) for reminding me of this one. My friend Bob and I went to a local bar (Tanks, in this case), and he just stood at the door, refusing to go in. He stood there about five minutes; I came out and asked him what his deal was. He said "the sign says 'You must be 21 to enter.' I'm 34."
I couldn't find a picture of that famous sign reading "In case of flood, this sign will be underwater."

I may have a few more; I'll add them when I think of them. I would ask my many readers for examples of their own, but that seems a request that would fall on deaf ears.


Blogger Bowlegged_Lou said...

What about the "Must be 21 to enter" signs outside of Flanagan's?

10:21 AM  
Blogger Bazarov said...

"Clean Dirt Wanted" is one of my favorites. I love seeing signs like that but they tend to be like jokes for me: forgotten immediately after being told them.
Shouldn't the request fall on blind eyes? My computer doesn't talk to me (since we're being stringent).
One last contribution...I recently looked up "nonplussed" and it has two definitions which oppose one another. I guess there's a formal definition but the way it gets used nowadays has the exact opposite meaning. I've pasted in the entry from Encarta's online dictionary:


1. confused: surprised, confused, and uncertain what to do or say

2. cool and collected: calm and unperturbed ( informal )

10:31 AM  
Blogger kmosser said...

Thanks lou. What's your story?

bazarov, I think the second definition started being used that way (incorrectly, according to a good prescriptivist); evidently, that characterization needed a word, so it got "taken over."

Bi-monthly may be even worse.

10:40 AM  
Blogger Bowlegged_Lou said...

My bad, I thought the story ws originally told about Flanagan's, since I assumed Tank's management to be the highly logical sort.

PS-there's no such thing as too much TV

Another favorite logic gaffe is when folks use the word "ever" instead of "up to this point/so far" when describing something as the "best ______ ever!" Because, no matter how many more movies/shows/books/etc are created, these critics KNOW that they won't be better that Dreamgirls.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Bazarov said...

Hmm...I thought that's why we had "nonchalant". Maybe I'm not well-versed enough with the English language to catch the subtleties that separate synonyms.
I've always been confused by "flammable" and "inflammable", and then there's the "habitable" and "inhabitable". You'd think they'd be antonyms. I guess it's a sign of the evolution of language and demonstrates a lack of intelligent design.

11:43 AM  
Blogger kmosser said...

Woody, on the old show "Cheers," mentions that problem about flammable and inflammable. His take on it:

"Boy, I learned about that one the hard way!"

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


"A friend of mine told me the other day of a movie he recommended, saying, in part, that "it was like no other movie." I asked him, given that there might be another movie that was "like no other movie," if these two movies would, then, be like each other."

This reminds me of the number 2 being the only even prime number. Since it is the only one, it is actually odd. Thus, a number which is simultaneously odd and even.

--The friend in question

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Since it is the only one, it is actually odd."

Far be it from me to quibble with your mathematics, but I don't think uniqueness (i.e., a set that is a singleton) implies that the unique thing (or the member of the set in question) is odd.

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You might not think so, but you would be wrong.

From Websters:

Odd: 1 a : being without a corresponding mate b (1) : left over after others are paired or grouped (2) : separated from a set or series

2:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good point. However, in mathematics "odd" has a precise definition, so 2 qualifies as odd in both senses only by committing the fallacy of ambiguity.

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for explainign the joke to me. In exchange, let me explain to you that the sing outside of Tanks that says "Must be 21 to enter" actually means "Must be 21 OR OLDER to enter!"

I will now go look for a blog that is not completely devoid of irony.

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Thank you for explainign the joke to me. In exchange, let me explain to you that the sing (sic) outside of Tanks that says "Must be 21 to enter" actually means "Must be 21 OR OLDER to enter!"

I will now go look for a blog that is not completely devoid of irony."

Well, if you didn't figure out the irony in the original blog entry, I'm not sure how you're going to be able to spot irony anywhere else.

Maybe it would help if you knew Kirsten?

8:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what the fuck?


8:24 PM  
Blogger Bowlegged_Lou said...

The last seven posts are much more fun if we read them as a single individual arguing with him/herself.

7:25 AM  
Anonymous Frodo said...

Why must I know kirsten to get it? I wish I'd ‘known’ Kirsten but then again who does, does kirsten 'know' kirsten?

I just referred to my work behavior as "consistently different". Can I be of two minds and if so, is it true what they say two mimes are better than one. Tell me, if a mime kills another mime in the forest does it count. Oh well its cold, I've got a cold, it’s the cold and flu season that are upon me, I wax Marxotic. Soon the medicines will wear off and I'll wonder just who is this Frodo fellow; he is no friend of wine. True but he is all that.

1:40 PM  
Blogger Bazarov said...

I just found another one.


1. read something carefully: to read or examine something, usually in a careful and thorough way or taking time to do it

2. read something quickly: to read through or scan something quickly


10:00 AM  
Blogger kmosser said...

I perused your comment. I agree.

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