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You may use / to shorten long URLs to about less than 26 characters.

I agree, but I think that should be "... fewer than about 26 characters."

Yes. Thank you. It was a brain-fart, I guess.

Ayaz Ahmed Khan
On 18 Jul 2004, Donna Richoux wrote re: long URLs vs tinyurl.com

I was kinda glad Jan didn't go into a long explanation of why he chose this way, but I figure he's entitled to his preference.

The usual reason for avoiding tinyurl is for security: you can't tell where you're being pointed,

You don't know for sure where you're being pointed with any URL. For quite a while, Mark Israel's FAQ had a URL that had once been a legitimate place to find some aspect of English usage I forget what. One day when I was testing URLs, I found that that URL had become a pointer to a place where porn was purveyed.
URLs expire and are then up for grabs. It's deplorably customary to fail to date Web pages, so you too often are not sure how old a URL is that you find on the Web, or how certain you can be that it will point to something useful.
and some people don't like clicking on "blind" links.

Links in general are "blind". A tiny URL is as good as the source that gives it to you.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
As is "redd". A week or so ago Matti was kind enough to link to, or maybe copy, a report on the ecological health of the River Kennet; this document mentioned concerns over the state of the gravel-beds in which salmonids spawn, and if it didn't actually use the word "redds" for these places, it must have been uncharacteristically trying to avoid jargon.
Have you already mentioned "rhed"?
(The online OED has no entry for "pronunication". How would one pronunicate? Speak in favor of nuns, maybe?)

Ah, pronunication. I'm surprised at its absence from OED in these multi-cultural times. The term is a rare example of the combination of Latin and Arabic roots, and an even rarer one of a new English word directly coined by an Arab. Few readers will need me to remind them of the process of "nunation" in Arabic, or to describe it in any more detail than as the effect of the insertion of a nun , or letter n. (I believe my old Master, Professor Beeston, may actually have invented this term "nunation"; but I can't swear to it.)
"Pronunication" is simply the addition of a nun at the beginning of certain words, usually foreign ones, as a mark of contempt or anger; the word was certainly coined by the late King Hussein, though he disapproved of the practice itself. The process is believed to be ultimately based on the English practice of suffixing n to a before a vowel, with some influence from the English "no" and certain vernacular forms, and is done as follows: "American" becomes "Namerican" in educated mouths and Name'riikii among the common people; similarly, "Nenglish" or Nin'gliizii , and so on.

Readers unfamiliar with the colloquial language may care to try speaking a few examples aloud: it's surprisingly effective at projecting the attitudes I mention, and I think is actually more powerful when the base word starts with a consonant. There may well be a case for promoting its use in English.
Mike.
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index/ships/male/mh3.jpg&imgrefurl=http://xroads.virginia.edu/~ma02/inde
x/ships/male/male3.html&h=500&w=285&sz=23&tbnid=NpsAutDGiVEJ:&tbnh=126&t
bnw=72&start=3&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dfigurehead%2Bmale%26hl%3Dfr%26lr%3D%26
Be articulate. No one can use your ridiculously overlong reference without painstaking care, which simply isn't worth the effort.

Not true for me. The way Jan originally posted the link, it works just fine. Now, once it's quoted and requoted, those symbols interfere.

I just went back to check it didn't work for me. I had suspected as much, that's why I didn't try it then, and I haven't tried it yet.

I know that there were times when very long URLs worked for me, but this one doesn't.
I was kinda glad Jan didn't go into a long explanation of why he chose this way, but I figure he's entitled to his preference.

... and accept the consequences, as with everything we write here.

Skitt (in Hayward, California)
www.geocities.com/opus731/
I just went back to check it didn't work for me. I had suspected as much, that's why I didn't try it then, and I haven't tried it yet.

If you haven't tried it yet, how did you know that it didn't work for you?
I know that there were times when very long URLs worked for me, but this one doesn't.

I did try it, and it didn't work.
Fran
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
I just went back to check it didn't work ... didn't try it then, and I haven't tried it yet.

If you haven't tried it yet, how did you know that it didn't work for you?

Ah, my bad. I tried it, but was not successful in reaching it. What I didn't try is to patch the URL.
I know that there were times when very long URLs worked for me, but this one doesn't.

I did try it, and it didn't work.

I wound up using the shorter one, provided by Daniel James.
Skitt (in Hayward, California)
www.geocities.com/opus731/
I agree, but I think that should be "... fewer than about 26 characters."

Hmm. A tiny URL is less long than 26 characters because there are fewer than 26 characters ... that's a fairly close call.

Unlike the pizza(s) in the other thread, which can only be restricted to a countable sense by arbitrarily limiting the context (as IIANM from the affect-vs-effect-&c. thread you would concur), characters are 'digital' entities that are essentially discrete, so here I may be biased to the countable side of the fence, so to speak. But I think that proximity is also at play here; the notion of number gains strength against that of measure because "less than 26 characters" taken alone is clearly incongruous. Conversely, in your paraphrase or in "... less in length than 26 characters", of course "fewer" is impossible. In another variation, "... less than 26 characters (long / in length)," again I think measure trumps number.

This whole mess can be sidestepped by phrasing the sentence to use "shorter" instead of "less (long / in length)": e.g. "... to make long URLs shorter than about 26 characters."
Incidentally, another URL-shortening service is at

; there may well exist others. (I wonder why I didn't write "more" here.)
OTOH I'd have written "You can use ..." rather than "You may use .." because the "may" form seems to be granting permission rather than stating a possibility.

On reflection I agree, but I think that my initial impression was of an ellipsis, reading something like "You may prefer to use ...".
I didn't notice the word ordering "to about less than 26" on first reading ... I think "to less than ... usually 24 for new links, and less (long) for older ones that were allocated their tiny URLs some time ago).

It was actually that word-order that first tripped me up; my "fewer" emendation was partly prompted by my having just read some messages from the other thread.
It looks like Ayaz changed his mind about what he was typing part-way through and muffed the edit. We all do that.

Certainly; in conversation 'changing horses in midstream' usually passes without notice, and with no significant impairment of the communication.

Odysseus
Know. Don't think it a good idea, for several reasons,

Be articulate. No one can use your ridiculously overlong reference without painstaking care, which simply isn't worth the effort.

It's not my fault when you are choosing to use a braindead newsclient. Refs enclosed in should wwork on simple command-click, despite spaces and returns in between.
And there are many disadvantages to using tinyurl:
1) It may well stop working.
2) You cannot see where it points to.
3) If the site it points to is reorganized it breaks,but you could probably have found it from the full url.
4) It is worthless for archiving purposes.
5) Think of some more.

No tinyurl please, and if you feel you must
please give the original url as well,
but then, what's the point.
Jan
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
should wwork ... tinyurl please, and if you feel you must please give the original url as well, but then, what's the point.
Yabbut you could have given
and everybody would have been happy.

Skitt (in Hayward, California)
www.geocities.com/opus731/
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