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BS: Language Pet Peeves

Mrrzy 18 Aug 20 - 06:00 PM
Nigel Parsons 19 Aug 20 - 05:22 AM
Doug Chadwick 19 Aug 20 - 05:54 AM
Lighter 19 Aug 20 - 07:32 AM
Bill D 19 Aug 20 - 09:42 AM
Lighter 19 Aug 20 - 12:57 PM
Mrrzy 19 Aug 20 - 02:02 PM
leeneia 19 Aug 20 - 05:37 PM
Bill D 19 Aug 20 - 07:19 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Aug 20 - 07:35 PM
Charmion 19 Aug 20 - 09:20 PM
Lighter 19 Aug 20 - 09:32 PM
meself 19 Aug 20 - 10:08 PM
Mrrzy 20 Aug 20 - 09:11 AM
Steve Shaw 20 Aug 20 - 09:34 AM
leeneia 20 Aug 20 - 11:17 AM
Charmion 20 Aug 20 - 05:37 PM
leeneia 22 Aug 20 - 12:14 PM
Lighter 22 Aug 20 - 01:27 PM
Nigel Parsons 22 Aug 20 - 04:27 PM
Lighter 22 Aug 20 - 07:11 PM
JennieG 22 Aug 20 - 08:34 PM
leeneia 22 Aug 20 - 11:53 PM
JennieG 23 Aug 20 - 01:09 AM
Lighter 23 Aug 20 - 08:04 AM
Mrrzy 23 Aug 20 - 09:53 AM
leeneia 23 Aug 20 - 03:04 PM
Lighter 24 Aug 20 - 12:10 PM
Joe_F 24 Aug 20 - 09:42 PM
leeneia 25 Aug 20 - 12:22 AM
Steve Shaw 25 Aug 20 - 06:01 AM
Lighter 25 Aug 20 - 09:31 AM
Nigel Parsons 25 Aug 20 - 09:34 AM
Mrrzy 25 Aug 20 - 09:45 AM
Lighter 25 Aug 20 - 10:01 AM
Steve Shaw 25 Aug 20 - 11:39 AM
leeneia 26 Aug 20 - 07:00 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Aug 20 - 07:06 PM
Lighter 26 Aug 20 - 08:10 PM
Mrrzy 26 Aug 20 - 10:05 PM
Thompson 27 Aug 20 - 10:09 AM
leeneia 27 Aug 20 - 11:42 AM
Bill D 27 Aug 20 - 12:14 PM
Mrrzy 27 Aug 20 - 01:15 PM
meself 27 Aug 20 - 02:38 PM
Thompson 27 Aug 20 - 05:59 PM
Steve Shaw 27 Aug 20 - 06:34 PM
Mrrzy 28 Aug 20 - 09:21 AM
Charmion 28 Aug 20 - 10:08 AM
Charmion's brother Andrew 28 Aug 20 - 10:18 AM

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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 18 Aug 20 - 06:00 PM

Ok now this:

each design includes a yellow diamond-shaped star

Again... What?!?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 19 Aug 20 - 05:22 AM

each design includes a yellow diamond-shaped star
I have no problems with that. a quick google will give pictures of such a display (as a 4-pointed star). Perhaps you were expecting the more common 5 pointed star.
A quick look at flags will show you stars with many differing numbers of points:
3: The international brigade (or, on cars, Mercedes Benz)
4: Aruba, Nato
5: USA, Tunisia
6: Israel, Morocco
7: Australia
8: Phillipines
And there are flags with even pointier stars.
But it is just a representation. Most pictures of our nearest start show it as being almost spherical, and not pointy at all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 19 Aug 20 - 05:54 AM

each design includes a yellow diamond-shaped star

If we are talking about the proposed Mississippi state flag, the yellow (5 pointed) star is made up of 5 diamond shapes, as against the solid, white or blue 5 pointed stars shown elsewhere in the designs.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Aug 20 - 07:32 AM

In any case, it truly is an example of incomprehensible writing.

The writer should have said, "a star consisting of five diamond shapes" or something like that.

The valuable principle of omitting needless words refers only to *needless* words.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Aug 20 - 09:42 AM

I worked for a woman once whose pet peeve was "pre-recorded earlier".


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Aug 20 - 12:57 PM

You mean like "prepare in advance"?

Personally, I think such redundant phrases reflect a natural desire for emphasis and not the speaker's foolishness.

They make easy targets, though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 19 Aug 20 - 02:02 PM

Right, I finally found out they meant A star made out of diamonds.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 19 Aug 20 - 05:37 PM

This is pure peevishness on my part. I'm tired of clicking on YouTube videos that begin with an over-chirpy young person exclaiming "Hi guys! What's up?" The person is usually too close to the camera.

What's up is I was hoping for a good video.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Aug 20 - 07:19 PM

....pre-recorded earlier at a previous time before this... ;>)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Aug 20 - 07:35 PM

At the last school I taught in, we had a PE teacher who would round up his kids on the field of play by shouting "OK, listen up, guys!" notwithstanding that there were both boys and girls in the group! I fell out, temporarily, with the same bloke when, as as a form teacher collating subject reports, I sent one back to him in which he had written, about one of the many kids who understandably lack enthusiasm for enforced sportiness, "This boy is completely disinterested in PE." The dispute went as far as the headteacher (ironically, a graduate in English from Cambridge University), who overruled me! Good times though...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Charmion
Date: 19 Aug 20 - 09:20 PM

We are often addressed as “You guys” by chirpy young folks in service occupations. When I feel extra-curmudgeonly, I will stiffly inform these nice people that I am a woman, and no “guy”, thus earning a full dose of that whipped-puppy expression that I have learned to dread, for it means : “You are unhappy with me already and I don’t know *why*!”

Of course, my curmudgeonlyness just multiplies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Aug 20 - 09:32 PM

> "OK, listen up, guys!" notwithstanding that there were both boys and girls in the group!

About the norm in the U.S. for 30 years or more. So no exclamation point is required in these parts.

The usage of "guy" is surprisingly nuanced.

Grown American women call each other "girls" or "gals," but "guys" may be even more common among females under fifty or so. But it would sound very weird to me to hear a lone female addressed as "guy" by anybody. Men and boys, of course, are often addressed as "guy." (I don't intend to get into the complications of "bud," "buddy," "bro," "brah," "boy," "dude," and earthier terms.)

"You guys" long ago became essentially the Northern equivalent of genderless Southern and African-American "y'all."

P.S. Plural "youse" seems to be on the way out. And I've never heard anybody say "youse guys" who wasn't on a movie screen, though I can easily imagine it being used occasionally for emphasis.

Neither of my middle-class grandparents, born in NYC in the 1880s, ever said "youse." Everybody was "you" (plurals: "both of you," "all of you.")


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: meself
Date: 19 Aug 20 - 10:08 PM

It is ironic that at just about the point at which the universal "man" (i.e., as in "mankind") was fully purged from the language, the universal "guys" was gaining a firm foothold. For some reason, that one doesn't seem to bother the language police.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 20 Aug 20 - 09:11 AM

Guys has been genderfree for a while now. Yeah, wonder why too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Aug 20 - 09:34 AM

It was about the "listen UP" just as much as it was about "guys."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 20 Aug 20 - 11:17 AM

It's the fake familiarity of "Hi guys!" in a video that irritates me. "Guys" as a vaguely non-gender term is okay, coming as it does from these obvious C-students, but I resent the way they sound like I'm their drinking buddy. They may not care about nuances in language, but they do know the difference between a buddy and a stranger.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Charmion
Date: 20 Aug 20 - 05:37 PM

Oh, yes, leeneia!

We are completely unknown senior citizens who might well part with a nice tip — why can’t we be Sir and Ma’am? Must we plunge into the deep waters of familiarity at very first contact?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 22 Aug 20 - 12:14 PM

Exactly!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 22 Aug 20 - 01:27 PM

"Guys" makes me feel like a teen again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 22 Aug 20 - 04:27 PM

Guys are cords used to provide angular tension to support a tent.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 22 Aug 20 - 07:11 PM

That's not what the servers (i.e., waiters and waitresses) mean.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: JennieG
Date: 22 Aug 20 - 08:34 PM

I don't like being chirpily addressed as "Hi, guys!" either. Anyone approaching us for a charity donation and addressing us in such a way gets short shrift and no money.

While we're at it, what's with "shut up!" in the context of "well, really?" I've seen it on TV a few times and, being an Olde Pharte as what I am, am totally puzzled by it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 22 Aug 20 - 11:53 PM

Hi, Jennie. I don't think I've heard the kind of "Shut up!" you mean. Is it an expression of incredulity? My mother-in-law went through a phase where everything anybody said was met with incredulity. A favorite response was "Get out!", which sounds like your "Shut up!"

I was grateful that as an in-law, I could just sit nearby and pretend none of this was happening. After a while I was reading a psychology book, and the author said that incredulity was a fad of the time, and it saved the speaker from having to listen and formulate an appropriate response to the other person. In time, people starting ignoring the MIL, and that broke her of the habit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: JennieG
Date: 23 Aug 20 - 01:09 AM

leeneia, your MIL's "Get out!" sounds very much like the context of "Shut up!" Yes, it was used in the context of incredulity and I can see it would get irritating very quickly.

I remember an Irish TV series from several years ago, 'Father Ted' (I just looked it up, it was in the late 1990s) in which the housekeeper kept repeating "ah, go on, go on, go on, go on......." to the point of irritation.

Speaking of irritation, a colleague in my last job used the expression "the irrits" meaning something which annoyed her - as in "it gives me the irrits". Or even "a strong dose of the irrits", if it was even more so. Far from bugging me I quite like it, and sometimes use it myself. She was from Victoria, Oz, so perhaps it was a Victorian thing; they are quite different to those of us who hail from New South Wales with different patterns of speech. My Posh Melbourne Grandmother's way of speaking was very Melbournian despite having grown up and married in N.S.W.; my grandparents moved to Melbourne, Victoria, upon marriage.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 23 Aug 20 - 08:04 AM

When I was a lad, the expressions used were "Go way!" "Get outta here!" and "Are you kiddin'me?" "You're kiddin' me!" or "You gotta be kiddin' (me)!"

Since then, there's been "No way!" "Get out!" "Get outta town!" and "Shut up!"

In certain cirles, "F--- off!" has long been used instead of "Get outta here!" Also the substitution of "s---tin'" for "kiddin.'"


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 23 Aug 20 - 09:53 AM

Sir and Ma'am are now scary to some people because of the awkward transgender issue, which also, as a nonbinary person, bugs me. That is, if you look like a bloke, I don't think it's fair of you to chastise people who automatically Sir you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 23 Aug 20 - 03:04 PM

I've been addressed as sir, although I don't try to look masculine at all. True, my hair is short, but I always tell the beautician, "Maximize the waves; I don't want to look like a boy."

When somebody calls me sir, we all pretend it didn't happen.

If somebody's gender is a mystery, don't use Sir or Ma'am. How about "my friend" instead?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 24 Aug 20 - 12:10 PM

If "Hi, guys" bugs you, what do Mudcatters think of "Latinx," a new, gender-neutral word for Hispanic persons.

It's becoming common among American academics, though not yet among the people it designates.

It's pronounced "LatEEn-ex," btw.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Joe_F
Date: 24 Aug 20 - 09:42 PM

"Ex", not "equis"? What a bastard formation!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 25 Aug 20 - 12:22 AM

Thanks for the explanation about Latinx. I doubt if it will catch on. For one thing, x already means something else, so why should we all have to learn that it now means "gender unspecified"? For another thing, it sounds like something you use to clean the bathroom.
====================
I was just on YouTube, finally seeing who Lada Gaga is, when I came across this song by Weird Al Yankovic about grammar and usage. Everybody here would probably enjoy it.

grammar song


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Aug 20 - 06:01 AM

That's a brilliant song. But I'm still on a campaign to finally excise the silly word "whom" from the language. Fighting the good fight means being technically wrong a lot of the time but I couldn't care less. As for "whomever," help me somebody!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 25 Aug 20 - 09:31 AM

> "Ex", not "equis"?

It's unwittingly language-inclusive too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 25 Aug 20 - 09:34 AM

"Whom" is a useful part of the language.
The fact that many people are confused by it, or unable to use it correctly is no reason to do away with it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 25 Aug 20 - 09:45 AM

Yeah, I like whom too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 25 Aug 20 - 10:01 AM

> no reason to do away with it

How *do* we do away with words and usages we personally dislike?

Last time I looked, "ain't" and "Between you and I" and "Me and him played ball" were still going strong.

In the words of Kafka, "In the fight between you and the world, bet on the world."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Aug 20 - 11:39 AM

"Whom" is used far less in speech than in (certainly more formal styles of) writing. I'd far rather rejig the sentence than write "whom." I may be technically incorrect in saying this, but the only time I feel uneasy about using "who" instead is when a quantity word precedes it, for example "many of whom." It will fade away, unfortunately not before I do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 26 Aug 20 - 07:00 PM

I've just identified another peeve: insane. "Insane" seems to be the go-to adjective for lazy minds. In the last few days I've seen it used to describe the following:

- a photograph of Saturn and its rings
- the remarkable sight of 250,000 snow geese taking off for the south
- an airline insisting a passenger wear a mask

I think that insane is too valuable a word to be thrown around carelessly like this. We need a word which means "out of his mind but not medically mentally ill."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Aug 20 - 07:06 PM

Quite possibly related to that I suppose is the use of the word "unreal."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 26 Aug 20 - 08:10 PM

Like, crazy, man!

In my youth I recall using "wild."

Must start again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 26 Aug 20 - 10:05 PM

Insanity, fyi, is a legal rather than medical term.

Nuts.
Loony.
Bats, in the belfry or not
Cuckoo
Mad, as a hatter or not
That last is more Brit than murrican


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Thompson
Date: 27 Aug 20 - 10:09 AM

I get particularly annoyed by people who are injured after an accident, or are killed after a car crash. They should arrest the serial killer attacking poor accident victims.
Killed *in* a car crash, for goodness sake!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 27 Aug 20 - 11:42 AM

I agree, Steve. "Insane, unreal and surreal" merely seem to mean "unusual." I particularly dislike "surreal." It's used by people who think they are intellectual because they wear Van Gogh's Starry Night knee socks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Aug 20 - 12:14 PM

When my brother was about 3-4, he briefly adopted, as a way of showing displeasure with someone, the phrase "You oughta be in an insane-aylum!"

We never quite figured out where he got the original, but he dropped it after people laughed a few times.

I've always thought it could be a useful construction.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 27 Aug 20 - 01:15 PM

Thompson, I totally agree. Adds insult to injury.

The origin of that phrase is interesting, the "sult" part relates to sauté and somersault, and has to do with not literally jumping on someone while they are down.

Note I didn't say After they are down!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: meself
Date: 27 Aug 20 - 02:38 PM

I hear 'surreal' being used every day by people who I am quite sure have no intellectual pretensions whatsoever, and who quite possibly have never heard of Van Gogh. It has entered the general parlance, and there ain't nothin' no one can do about it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Thompson
Date: 27 Aug 20 - 05:59 PM

Sauté in the sense of leaping?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 27 Aug 20 - 06:34 PM

"Nuts.
Loony.
Bats, in the belfry or not
Cuckoo
Mad, as a hatter or not
That last is more Brit than murrican"

Nutty as a fruitcake
Daft as a brush
Away with the fairies
Mad as a box of frogs
Barking
Doolally-tap
Crazy as Joe Cunt's cat

(Sorry about that last one but it ain't half good...)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Aug 20 - 09:21 AM

Yes, as in jump.

And I thought after 4 hours one sought medical attention...

From an advice column:
My husband has been having trouble sustaining an erection for over a year now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Charmion
Date: 28 Aug 20 - 10:08 AM

In Canada, one is as crazy (or mad) as a bag of hammers.

"Away with the fairies" is heard without inverted commas only in the Atlantic provinces and among those of recent Irish descent. It usually means intoxicated or suffering from senile dementia, and applies only to those deemed harmless.

Canadians not only go mad (i.e., insane) like the Brits, we can also be mad (angry) like the Americans. Another aspect of our mixed-up culture.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Charmion's brother Andrew
Date: 28 Aug 20 - 10:18 AM

I have always heard and used, "dumb as a bag of hammers." One is "as crazy as a shithouse rat."


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