✨ Cuteness Rey ✨ is a user on vulpine.club. You can follow them or interact with them if you have an account anywhere in the fediverse. If you don't, you can sign up here.
✨ Cuteness Rey ✨ @rey

so uh

basically, a friend went to a bbq joint for lunch on monday, and long story short, my phone ended up suggesting "Solutions" as the word to go after "Gender," cuz of course gender is going to get involved in any discussion between two trans people, so i went with it, and ve responded with...


so guess what i worked on tonight


that's about all i can say about that

@rey FINALLY a reliable supplier of gender fluid!

secretly, this was a good excuse to play around with jekyll and bang out a bit of creative writing. hoping to use this as a vehicle(*) for future urges of writing.

(*) pronounced 'VEE-hick-uhl' in official NASA pronunciation guide

@rey Yay, Jekyll! My go-to tool for static sites lately.

@rey Do you offer a bulk discount on purchases of gender fluid? o-o

@KS still working on getting our full line of gender fluid SKUs online! short answer: yes

@rey don't quote me, but in needs more blockchain

@rey that could say gender fluid 1 lad for an extra pun

@rey Adding to the joke:
Beneath the big bottle of "Gender Fluid, 1 gal" is an identical bottle marked "Gender Fluid, 1 guy". :-P

@emanate omfg, done

eventually i'm gonna have to split this up into subpages huh

@rey Trans and solutions?

There is a chemistry joke about solubility and double bonds in here somewhere, I just can't see it.

(Chemists have been using the term trans and cis to describe a the bond geometry of carbon-carbon double bonds for a very long time.)

@Canageek with all due respect, this is very serious website and there's no room for humor here

(but if a chemistry joke precipitates accordingly, i'll take it)

@Canageek @rey I think that "precipitate" in the non-chemical sense is a strictly transitive verb, so this doesn't quite work. almost

@kara @rey It scans to me. I've seen it written that X precipitates Y, X precipitates out of solution, and If X precipitates then. Are those all the same type of verb? @DialMforMara

@Canageek @kara @rey "X precipitates Y" is transitive. The other two look like unaccusative intransitive verbs.

@DialMforMara @kara @rey X precipitates Y would be a kind of old fashioned way of saying it. Today it would be on addition of X, Y precipitated from solution.

@Canageek @kara @rey So "precipitates" has become almost entirely unaccusative.

@DialMforMara @kara @rey I guess? That might just be that 3rd person passive has become more common over time.

@Canageek @kara @rey
That's not passive voice. Passive would be "Y was precipitated from solution (by the addition of X)."

"Y precipitated from solution" is an active unaccusative intransitive verb.

@DialMforMara @kara Ok, so what are these examples?

"Irradiation in hydrocarbon media leads to the formation of products which precipitate as their concentration increases."

"X was precipitated by the addition of pyridine into a solution of TfOH in Et2O" (I guess I'm wrong about that being old fashioned)

"Addition of counterions such as K+ induces these negatively charged clusters to precipitate into crystals suitable for structure analysis using X-ray diffraction"

@kara @DialMforMara "The aqueous solubility of these clusters must be low, as as they precipitate extremely fast under a yellow solution." (Under a yellow solution? Odd way to say that)

"and lactams used to precipitate uranyl(VI) species from nitric acid solutions."

"these phases are highly insoluble and generally precipitate as microcrystalline or amorphous powders"

@DialMforMara @kara "Once formed, the hydrolyzed uranium complex can con- dense to generate large oligomers and precipitate as uranium oxide based nanoparticles or colloids."

Also: Are all of these what a linguist would call 3rd person passive? As they all seem to be what a chemist would call 3rd person passive.

@Canageek @kara
4 and 6 here are active unergatives. 5 ("used to precipitate uranyl species") is a control construction embedded in the passive clause headed by "used".

@DialMforMara @kara I no longer know what the words you are saying mean, but is it safe to say we use it in a bunch of ways?

(Also, this is only examples from papers that aren't decades old, and that use precipitate as a verb of some sort. It can also be a noun. Oh and only exactly precipitate, not Products precipitates or precipitated.)

@Canageek @kara Yes. You use it in a bunch of ways, most of them not passive, and your discipline's insistence on calling them passive displays a disappointing but not uncommon lack of understanding of how your own language works.

This isn't your fault; it's institutional.

@DialMforMara @kara To be fair, now that I reread one as a paragraph, I agree that is active to the point I'd ding a student if they handed that in on a paper. (I think the rest of the paper is passive? "The reaction products were subjected to standard spectral and elemental analyses."?)

@Canageek I've said it before and I'll say it again: you're encouraging bad writing as a status symbol. The insistence on using passive voice stems from a misunderstanding of the role of passive voice. It's like if you were expected to write your papers in Comic Sans.
And yes, "were subjected" is passive.

@DialMforMara You still haven't read the paper I have on why scientists use passive voice as a tool.

@Canageek And when I read it, my problem with it will still be that scientists don't know what passive voice is and therefore cannot use it effectively, whether as a shibboleth or just as part of normal writing.

@DialMforMara I mean, I think this might just be chemists are bad writers in general.

@Canageek Yes! And part of the problem is the institutional insistence on passive voice with no explanation of what passive voice is or when it's appropriate to break that rule.

The other part is the hard sciences' disrespect for social sciences and liberal arts, but I digress.

@DialMforMara Actually, at McMaster we were allowed mostly to use passive or active voice after a certain point as long as we did it consistently. I just prefer passive.

In fact we were given this paper as a guide to how to write papers: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10 which includes the line "Use the active voice whenever possible"

It is becoming more common to see active voice in papers.

@Canageek This brings scientific writing in line with writing in other disciplines, but does not get rid of the problem of people not knowing what passive voice is well enough to use it effectively.

@DialMforMara I mean, I can usually tell if a paper is written by a chemist or a physicists and make a guess at how old it is by the voice. So I may not know the formal way of describing it, but I could probably spot someone who isn't a scientist who was pretending to be one.

@kara @DialMforMara 4 is just badly written period. (I would have written ""The aqueous solubility of these clusters is low, demonstrated by the fact they precipitated extremely quickly from a yellow solution."

@DialMforMara @kara (I agree 6 is active. It seems more then the authors in my field can't keep passive and active straight. Also their tenses.)

@Canageek I just said that to you three times. Thank you for catching up to the program.

@DialMforMara Let me expand: I agree these examples are active now that I reread them, which means I don't think the problem is that chemists don't know what passive voice is, but that not all of us are good at writing in it. Plus a few of these examples are from a group known to be bad writers that my boss complains about)

@Canageek Either way youall need better training in how to write, from someone who makes their living studying languages.

@DialMforMara I have told you my Aunt Andrea taught how to write for Engineering and Science at MIT, right? (She started studying math, but got her PhD in English, so she was able to speak science, and teach how to write it)

@Canageek I don't think you told me that. I'd say that's a job I want, but the grading would drive me batty.

@DialMforMara But something I've noted reading papers in the humanities (history mostly) is that they aren't actually much better writers then scientists.

In fact, when I took Science Technology and the World, the prof started by saying he had a lot of scientists and engineers talk to him before taking the class, and a lot of them were worried they wouldn't be able to write well enough. He said that history majors don't write NEARLY as well as science majors think they do, so not to worry about it.

@Canageek Everyone needs to learn to write better in formal registers. That's why I want to be an editor.

@Canageek @kara
1. "Products precipitate" is active unergative intransitive.
2. "X was precipitated by" is passive, and possibly unaccusative intransitive, but I've only studied transitivity in active contexts.
3. "Addition of counterions causes these clusters to precipitate" is infinitive and, I believe, a control construction.

@DialMforMara @kara Right, it should have been increased to make it passive, right?

@rey @DialMforMara @Canageek you're ALL missing that I said "non chemical usage"

@rey @Canageek
yeah I was not around for that part of the conversation

@rey @DialMforMara @kara Yeah, I missed the non- and just saw chemical sense