Things the Dope has made you notice

I didn’t know what a merkin was until I came here.

And I just noticed that the executive producer of The Simpsons is named David Merkin.
Hee hee hee.

So, what bit of knowledge has the Dope filled you with that made you realize something you wouldn’t have caught otherwise?

How utterly, utterly bad other boards are. And how much I hate sigs and avatars.

What is a merkin?

It’s a wig. For down there.

You know.

Depending on context, it’s either a pubic wig, or a (generally affectionate) on-line nickname for an American (I assume based on how an American saying “American” sounds to English ears). Cecil speaketh.

What has the Dope made me notice? Oddly – for a non-audible medium – I’ve learned how to recognise a Canadian accent when I hear one (or at least how to differentiate some Canadian accents from American). I read time and again on here how Canadians say “aboot”, without really understanding how it sounded. Eventually I heard an honest-to-god Canadian say it on the news, and recognised it immediately. Since then, I’ve found I can identify speakers as Canadian even when they don’t utter that particular shibboleth.

Actually, that particular dialect is from the maritimes – mainly Newfoundland. It’s an accent primarily derived from the Irish Gaelic settlers who arrive there in the late 17th century. It’s an accent you won’t find natively anywhere else in Canada. Think of it as a Canadian equivalent of Boston.

Although I’m surely not one who should talk seeing as how my spelling and stuff sucks, I can’t hardly read other boards where people have no sense of spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc. Drives me nuts. It’s like trying to converse with twelve year olds trying to play grown up.

I seem to notice the word “shibboleth” more often than I would otherwise.

Perhaps not exactly what you were asking: This board has convinced me to not use the Handicapped toilet unless all the others are taken. Yes, I still believe that these toilets are not “reserved.” But some here have shown me that when I don’t need 'em, there might be someone else who does.

I’ve gained (a little) humility.

Thanks to the death pool, I pay more attention to dying celebrities than I used to. As in: Oh, I bet that guy’s going to knock me out of the top ten.

I think I first learned about the arrow in the FedEx logo on the SDMB.

This is exactly how I feel, and am. I can’t always spell, and I know my grammer isn’t the greatest, but I usually try, and know what a spell checker is. How hard it is to capitalize something, or spell something out? I have a friend from Ireland that doesn’t always spell things out and it drives me nuts.

It’s made me realize that the only answer to any question that starts “Am I the only one who…” is “no.”

The Fed Ex logo.

The use of the word “gypped” and why it’s wrong.

Dead celebrities. I think, “Ooooh, did I have him on my list?” When they annouce how old the Dead Celebrity was, I calculate how many points he was worth. I think, “Well, I didn’t have him, but some lucky Doper just scored 23 points!”

How much better this message board is over others, with regard to spelling, grammar, general civility and the use (or non-use) of avatars, huge pics and scrolling quotes in sigs.
I read one board where some posters capitalize every word, and others have absolutely no idea of how to compose a post that makes any sense at all. It makes me insane.

That cigarette butts are litter. When I was still smoking (4 months smoke-free and counting!), I honestly didn’t think of cigarette butts as a littering problem and would gaily flick them off into the street or grind them underfoot. It had simply never occured to me that I was littering, as I’d never just throw down a sandwich wrapper or drinks can - I thought poorly of people who did, and would tut and fuss before happily chucking the remains of my cig on the ground.

Then on one of the annual anti-smoking pile-ons in the pit, I noticed that non-smokers thought of smokers as litterbugs. It made me begin to notice that many, not all, smokers are inconsiderate with their smoking litter, and the thread in question inspired me to begin stubbing my smokes and disposing of them correctly. I doubt I’d have ever bothered if I hadn’t realised in here what a nuisance cigarette butts are for other people.

Lost gloves.

Me too. From this thread. Things You Never Noticed and Now You Can’t Stop Noticing

I also learned about the “11” hiding in the Big Ten logo.

Big Ten Logo

I kinda miss Avatars. I think it might be interesting to see what some folk here would choose, actually. :wink: I don’t like big sigs and detest image sigs, so I don’t miss that in the slightest. It seems only some people are allowed to have ordinary text sigs displayed though. (Charter members?)

I’ve always noticed stuff like that on other boards and it’s always bugged me but I sort of ignored most of it. (Except for the really poor spellers and people who abbreviate already short words into single letters/numbers – this one bugs the living hell out of me) What I did notice on joining here though was how much I actually missed good, intelligent, properly spelled, grammatically-correct conversation, even of the Mundane and Pointless variety. In a way it’s served to higlight the other boards where this sort of thing is the exception and not the rule.

You too can have a sig, young padawan. Just go into the User CP to set it up, and when you post, check the box for “Show your signature”. Like so…