Thursday, October 28, 2010

Context is everything

Gotta love the intersection between science / clinical trial acronyms and automated word choice suggestions:

Yes, lots of people eat rye bread in the former colonies, but that's not quite what I was going for.

In other news, I started quite the debate on Twitter today when I asked whether it should be wildtype, wild-type, or wild type. According to a Nature subeditor who replied, wild type is a noun, wild-type is an adjective, and wildtype can be either.


  1. The last time I was in the Former Colonies(TM), everything seemed to be served on sourdough.

    Possibly, I am missing the point.

    Also - your Twitter link is broken; it appears to have an extra #!/ in it (or, possibly, a /#!, depending on how you look at it).

  2. Somehow the patronising colonial attitude of Microsoft products never seizes to amaze me... At least it didn't suggest we eat brioches instead, in the style of the French revolution. (=

  3. I nearly laughed out loud when I read Anthony's comment above. In my skimming, I read 'at least it didn't suggest we eat britches instead, in the style of the French revolution' and immediately wondered why my history teacher left that interesting bit of trivia out :).

    Sigh. Back to britches there (I hope).

    Now that you have raised the context issue, I will be sure to pay attention to what suggestions are provided!

  4. Cath> I'd go with 'wt' most of the times after the first time anyway ;) But I think I went with "wild type" compared to "deletion mutant" in my last paper. That said, it doesn't mean anything.... ^^

  5. Ricardipus, whaddyamean last time? Don't you live in a former colony?!

    Are the Twitter links broken for everyone else? They work fine for me, but maybe that's just because it's my account...

    Anthony, I started to reply to your comment with "at least it wasn't Clippy", which led to, well, other trains of thought...

    Mermaid, as in "once more undo my britches, my friends, once more"? (Yeah, wrong war, I know).

    Chall, I would if the report I'm working on didn't include mentions of the Wilm's Tumour gene, WT1!

  6. broken for me too and i totally missed the twitter debate....

  7. I liked Clippy. Primarily because I could swear at him.
    "It looks like you're writing a letter."
    "No, fuck off and tell me the full reference for Ennis et al. 1967, wanker"
    "I don't understand what you're asking"
    "Of course not. You're a useless tosser who should go back to Seattle with all the other idiots who live there"
    etc etc

  8. I can't help come over and explain further:

    Some journals will use wildtype, over at the big N it's wild type, as in "results shown are compared with wild type". But when it's used as an adjective it's hyphenated, i.e. "wild-type bloggers cannot agree on anything, especially if Microsoft is involved".

  9. Cath - I may have to revoke your citizenship. We live in a former Dominion. The Colonies were south of the border.

    Also - what about Clippy's other avatars? The little Einstein figure is particularly irritating, as is the @#*$&%ing little dog. Grrr. Literally.

  10. The Twitter links are working for me, when I'm logged in and logged out of Twitter, on a Mac and on a PC, and in Firefox, Safari, and Chrome... anyway, they don't really add much to what's in the post.

    Bob, sounds... therapeutic?

    Not everyone in Seattle is an idiot. At least one of them is a good Yorkshire lass who grew up around the corner from me!

    Nico, thanks for the further explanation! I've seen all three versions used, so it's all very confusing (and embarrassing. I have a degree in genetics FFS).

    Ricardipus, I knew that. I was just testing you.

    (Also, I get confused by my Dad always referring to Mr E Man as "that colonial bastard").

  11. :D

    "...who drinks my beer and steals my daughter."

    See? I've been reading your archives.

  12. Not everyone in Seattle is an idiot. At least one of them is a good Yorkshire lass who grew up around the corner from me!
    Grrl spent most of her life in/around Seattle, too. Luckily she doesn't act like a paperclip either.

  13. You gotta love word. My favorites MS corrections are electro orate (electroporate) and pathogen city (pathogenicity).
    Regarding the wt issue, I use parent strain unless I am referring to an isolate (ex. clinical or soil). She didn't feel lab strains were technically wt strains. I guess it stuck because I still use it now.

  14. Ricardipus, there's some good stuff in there! :)

    Bob, glad to hear it!

    MXX, unfortunately parent strain doesn't work in the context of primary human cell lines and mutant versus normal genes/proteins in patient samples!

    Pathogen city is awesome. Sounds like a good sci-fi movie. I just got a new computer at work and I'm having to teach all the programmes not to autocorrect Cath to Chat or Cat. (It doesn't help that I often mistype it as Caht).


I promise to respond to all respectful non-spam comments! Don't be shy! Oh, and please don't type my surname in your comments; I know you all know what it is, but I'd prefer Google to rank other pages before this blog.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.