what this country really needs is a good word for frozen walrus carcass

September 27, 2005

Vocabulary of the Moment
Last year I kisrael'd some "difficult to translate words" (there's a lot of those in Howard Rheingold's book "They Have A Word For It".) The BBC has an article about a new book by Adam Jacot de Boinod called "The Meaning Of Tingo" with some different words from other languages... my favorites:
walking in windy weather for fun (Dutch)
skimming stones on water (Netherlands again...great word!)
"frozen walrus carcass", a game that fortunately involves pretending to be a frozen walrus carcass, not utilizing an actual one (Inuit)
"to borrow objects from a friend's house, one by one, until there's nothing left" (Pascuense language of Easter Island)
Cool stuff!

HOWTO of the Moment
Had to Google this up for a coworker...if you (poor thing) are writing a DOS Batch file and you want to prompt for and use a line of input from the user, the SET command now (as of NT4/Windows XP/Windows 2000) supports a /P parameter, something like:
SET /P varname = enter varname value:
Which does "what you'd expect", except you should be aware it will stomp over system variables.

Like I said, I guess this is a rather new (if obvious) addition the the DOS/Windows Batch pantheon...this page mentions truly ugly hacks like using the FORMAT or LABEL command and temporary files to get the same effect.