1521

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 either gummy or tabletty ones are good

One possible counter-argument is that chewable supplements are generally less tasty and more expensive than candy. But I’m a bit biased against that argument because I have weird tastes and I like the taste of chewable supplements a lot more than normal people do. (Also, if you have even a little hope that they might work, they come with the added perk of the placebo effect, and that’s worth something.)

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1519

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sometimes cathy does ask good questions

As a kid, I never had any trouble grasping which words were nouns and which were verbs, because my mind very clearly categorized all nouns as either tangible or intangible “things.” I didn’t realize that other people’s minds didn’t do this… I was sure they did, because they even used the word “thing” to refer to intangible nouns, as in the sentence Abby quotes Cathy as saying.

I was very surprised and confused when I found out that John actually had trouble telling which words were nouns, and that in fact many people do. It had never occurred to me how complex and counterintuitive the whole business can be, and how it’s usually a more effective teaching strategy to define a “noun” by the roles it plays in the structure of sentences, instead of what concept it refers to.

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1515

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happy Isis number

I’ve heard at least three pronunciations of “bonobo”:

BONE-uh-boe
BAWN-uh-boe
buh-NOE-boe

Norma’s is the first, and the absolute most fitting for the behavior of the bonobo species.

(That is, if you use the more recent definition of the verb “to bone,” and not the earlier definition meaning “to remove the bones from.”)

As for the word “beau,” I’ve recently had the depressing experience of saying it and having a friend think it was some lower-class modern slang. I guess maybe he was confusing it with “bae”? Also I guess not everyone grew up on old Lucy Maud Montgomery novels like I did?

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1514

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 every Boy Scout must rate the probability of God's existence at no less than 84% at any time during his Scouthood

If those laws were ever enforced, every competent criminal in Arkansas would hire an atheist as his partner in crime: “Article 19, Section 1: No person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in the civil departments of this State, nor be competent to testify as a witness in any Court.

I guess Abby’s point applies to the truth or falsity of information, like whether evolution happened or whether there’s a God, but it doesn’t apply to the type of belief that deals in matters of opinion, like value judgements. If I say that I believe doing drugs is wrong, or tofu is delicious, or Enterprise was the worst series of Star Trek, I’m not assigning a probability to the truth of that statement. I’m just stating that it’s the opinion I hold.

Then again, maybe all issues are matters of opinion, if opinion can include which definition of a word is the correct one. If my definition of “unicorn” could include a rhinoceros, my estimate of the probability of their existence goes way up. Same if my definition of “God” could include powerful forces like love and gravity, or the collective intelligence of life on Earth.

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