* Posts by Irony Deficient

775 posts • joined 5 Aug 2008


Donald Trump wants Bill Gates to 'close the Internet', Jeff Bezos to pay tax

Irony Deficient

If you are over 55 now you don’t have a chance of surviving 8 years.

jason 7, whatever one thinks of their merits, George W. Bush was first inaugurated at age 54½, and Reagan was first inaugurated a few weeks before turning 70, and both of them were in office for eight years. George H. W. Bush was first inaugurated at age 64, ran for a second term, and lost on economic grounds rather than on his age. For whatever reason, the most recent Democratic president to be at least 55 at first inauguration and serve for eight years was Woodrow Wilson. (My guess is that if Senator Sanders were elected as president, he would not subsequently run for reëlection.)

Obama calls out encryption in terror strategy speech

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Re: We can’t arrest or detain someone because they “might” do something.

tom dial, Mark 85’s point was about arresting or detaining someone for something that hasn’t yet happened, not making the charge stick for something that has already happened. In the case of the US, see the Supreme Court case United States v. Shabani, where the court unanimously found that an actus reus was not necessary for a criminal conspiracy charge to stick, reversing the decision of the circuit court.

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We can’t arrest or detain someone because they “might” do something.

Mark 85, it depends; any jurisdiction with a “conspiracy to «something»” crime in its legal code could arrest or detain someone because that person communicated with other people about the possibility of doing «something», despite none of them actually doing that «something».

DS5: Vive la différence ... oh, and throw away the Citroën badge

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Re: Even the ladies are allowed to drive these days

Voyna i Mor, I’m not disputing that a one inch difference is “about the same height”; my disagreement is with your statement that Nelson was “above average” height. The origin of the statistic that I’d linked to was Floud et al.’s study Height, Health and History, which

was based on an analysis of changes in the heights of poor boys recruited by the Marine Society of London between 1770 and 1870, and of men who were recruited by the Royal Marines and the British Army between 1740 and 1914

If there were minimum height requirements to join the Royal Marines or the British Army between 1760 and 1800, then that would skew that source for average heights; those recruits were drawn from the general population, though.

Other data were also noted in that work, including Komlos’ average heights for convicts and indentured servants born in England and transported to North America, which were presented in a table (by decades of birth, 1710 – 1759). Since Nelson was born in 1758, the 1750s data would be of greatest relevance: the average height was 67.79 inches (172.2 cm) for transported convicts born in the 1750s and 66.88 inches (169.9 cm) for transported indentured servants born in the 1750s, with both groups being taller than the 168.2 cm average at that link and Nelson’s height of 166.4 cm.

The heights in my last comment were in feet, inches, and lines (pieds, pouces, and lignes in the French case) because Napoléon’s height was physically measured with those units, and using those units preserves the precision that they represent. Since no degree sign was present and the discussion was about height, I don’t know why you thought that angular measure was involved. Any interested party will be able to use a search engine to find conversion factors if needed.

Why would I comment on your nick? It’s not a Boolean statement like “Nelson’s height was above average”.

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Re: Even the ladies are allowed to drive these days

Voyna i Mor, Napoléon was 5′ 2″ 4‴ French (= 168.7 cm = 5′ 6″ 5‴ English), and Nelson was 5′ 5½″ = 5′ 5″ 6‴, making M. l’Empereur nearly an inch taller than The Right Honourable Viscount and 4.6 cm taller than the average Frenchman of his day; however, the Vice-Admiral was 1.9 cm shorter than the average Englishman of his day.

Commentard achieves bronze badge, goes directly to jail

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Anonymous Coward, perhaps because (epicene) “He” requires fewer keystrokes than either (singular) “They” or “He/She”.

Anonymous hack group plans to out anonymous hate group

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Re: Free Speech?

PatientOne, “we should do something about it” does not necessarily cross the free speech dividing line in the US; see here for where that boundary is found in the States.

European Parliament votes to grant Snowden protection from US

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”The US has long-standing extradition treaties with all European countries.”

JeffyPoooh, presuming that Kieren used the phrase “all European countries” to mean “all EU member states”, given that the article is about a vote in the European Parliament, then it is precisely the longest-standing treaty which would be likeliest to be most advantageous to Snowden, since it would lack coverage of “modern crimes”. Among the EU member states, that would almost certainly be the extradition treaty with Croatia, which is one of the inheritors of the 1902 extradition treaty with the Kingdom of Serbia (via the post-WWI Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, then through Yugoslavia).

US Senate approves CISA cyber-spy-law, axes privacy safeguards

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Re: Land of the free…

Jason, the US electoral college is (for 48 of the 50 states) precisely FPTP — it’s possible for a minority of popular votes to select sufficient Electors to elect the president and vice-president, which happened in the 1876 election.

Watch out VW – French prosecutors are pulling on the rubber gloves

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Re: an advantage of hierarchy

PC Paul, that’s certainly possible. It’s also possible that they didn’t care how goals were achieved as long as they got achieved, and so wouldn’t be curious enough about the “how” to even ask about it.

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an advantage of hierarchy

Spaceman Spiff, if this chronology is accurate, then in theory that initial approval could have been made as low in the VW hierarchy as the head of engine development, and his superiors might have known nothing more than “OK, Neußer’s EA189 team has met the EPA and CARB NOₓ emission limits without needing AdBlue — we can start production for the North American markets at reasonable costs”; it would depend on how much information flowed between those levels of the VW hierarchy. That being said, Winterkorn at least seems like someone who’d be interested in engineering details.

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Re: Remapped ecus?

Toltec, it is possible to both get more power and better fuel consumption via remapping, but I’d be surprised if they were achieved without also increasing NOₓ emissions. If UK MOTs don’t require NOₓ testing, then that could be a factor in the reasonably common status of remapping there.

Lies from VW: 'Our staff acted criminally but board didn't know'

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Re: Doesn’t pass the smell test

Voland’s right hand, if the best proof is in the dates, then look at when the EPA Tier 2 rules were entered into the Federal Register — 10th February 2000, in the last year of the Clinton administration, nine months before the 2000 election. (The NOₓ emission limits for Tier 2 are identical to those of California’s LEV II emission.standard, which took effect on 27th November 1999 for enforcement in model years 2004 and beyond.)

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Re: Doesn’t pass the smell test

Annihiliator, all emission limits for diesel cars and for non-diesel cars are identical under EPA Tier 2 regulations (i.e. since model year 2007); under the older Tier 1 regluations, diesel cars had higher NOₓ limits than non-diesel cars had. Every regulated emitted substance — NOₓ, CO, HCHO, non-methane organic gases or non-methane hydrocarbons (manufacturer’s choice), and particulate matter — is regulated for both diesel cars and non-diesel cars. Which of these substances are emitted only by diesel engines?

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Re:The Jeep isn't diesel

To clarify, US federal emissions regulations are US-wide, and new cars sold in every state must meet them. Because California had state emission regulations before the passage of the federal Clean Air Act, California was grandfathered in to maintain its own regulations; despite that, California’s cannot be less strict than the federal regulations. Each state has the option of following either federal (EPA) emission regulations or California (CARB) emission regulations; I think that 13 states now follow California’s, and new cars sold in CARB states must meet CARB emission regulations. Emissions testing to maintain registration, however, does vary by state, since vehicle registration is a state issue.

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Re: Doesn’t pass the smell test


1. The US NOₓ emissions limit for cars (i.e. manufacturer’s average) is 70 mg/mi (43.5 mg/km); cars can be sold here with higher emissions [up to 200 mg/mi (124.3 mg/km)] as long as enough cars with lower emissions are sold here by the manufacturer to meet the manufacturer’s average. The Euro 6 NOₓ emissions limit for cars is 80 mg/km (128.7 mg/mi); I don’t know if similar manufacturer averages apply under European emission regulations. Diesel cars are much less prevalent in the States because emissions have had a higher priority here than fuel efficiency; the reverse seems to be the case in Europe, perhaps because domestically produced petroleum has traditionally been more plentiful (and less expensive) here than there.

2. How many Russian VW diesel engines would appear in the US market, where diesel car sales are in single-digit percentages?

3. If you’d meant the US eqiuvalent of the MOT, they’re not failing because the engine’s firmware ensures that full emission controls are active only when they’re being tested. My understanding is that the UK MOT doesn’t test for NOₓ; if that’s the case, then it would be a moot point there.

VW’s case of NOxious emissions: a tale of SMOKE and MIRRORS?

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three answers

x 7,

1) The 2.0 liter four cylinder 16 valve TDI common rail variety of the EA189 engine is the most prevalent affected one in the States. (It was also available in Canada and in Europe, if not elsewhere.) Its EA288 replacement in model year 2015 cars was also affected. I’d heard on the radio that a 1.6 liter engine was also affected, but that engine wasn’t available in the States, so I’m not sure if that’s an EA189 engine or an EA188 engine.

2) The affected US market models can be found in the EPA letter linked here. Perhaps analogous agencies in other countries will have their own lists of affected models (e.g. in Mexico, the Jetta used to be called the Bora).

3) The affected EA189 engine was only available in cars with VW Group marques, viz VW, Audi, SEAT, and Škoda, with only the first two available in the States. I don’t know if the same applies to cars with either the affected EA288 engine or the affected 1.6 liter engine.

11 MILLION VW cars used Dieselgate cheatware – what the clutch, Volkswagen?

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Well, what about it?

Joe, the EPA regulates NOₓ (NO and NO₂) vehicle emissions. Nitrous oxide is not NOₓ; it’s N₂O, and vehicle emissions of N₂O are not regulated by the EPA.

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Re: Confused…

Aimee, the problem is not that emissions tests were failing; the problem is that the emission of nitrogen oxides produced outside of testing facilities are up to 40 times above the legal limits in the States, despite those emissions remaining within the legal limits inside of testing facilities.

Irony Deficient

Re: Vorsprung durch Software

David, some of your questions were answered here.

You want the poor to have more money? Well, doh! Splash the cash

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Re: Long article

Primus Secundus Tertius, it still exists; you just need to insert Print/ in the proper place in the article’s URL.

Volkswagen used software to CHEAT on AIR POLLUTION tests, alleges US gov

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Re: Enquiring minds want to know

Florida1920, more information can be found in the letter that the EPA sent to VW (PDF document):

VW manufactured and installed software in the electronic control module (ECM) of these vehicles that sensed when the vehicle was being tested for compliance with EPA emission standards. For ease of reference, the EPA is calling this the “switch”. The “switch” senses whether the vehicle is being tested or not based on various inputs including the position of the steering wheel, vehicle speed, the duration of the engine’s operation, and barometric pressure. These inputs precisely track the parameters of the federal test procedure used for emission testing for EPA certification purposes.

US librarians defy cops, Feds – and switch on their Tor exit node

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Re: 2A

DavCrav, ratified amendments to the US constitution are every much a part of that constitution as any non-amended part; this is why its thirteenth amendment is a constitutional ban (rather than a legislative ban) against owning slaves.

Ahmed's clock wasn't a bomb, but it blew up the 'net and Zuckerberg, Obama want to meet him

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Re: I hope..

Danny 14, public (i.e. state) primary and secondary schools in the USA don’t have Religious Studies teachers; religious studies in such schools would be taken as violating the US constitution’s establishment clause of its first amendment.


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Brown kid with Arab name arrested for bringing home-made clock to school

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exploding sandwiches

Vic, with the public availability of step-by-step instructions for constructing a Bacon & Avocado Exploding Sandwich, concern may rise that ne’er-do-wells could modify it to similarly arm cheese sandwiches.

Robots, schmobots. The Rise of the Machines won't leave humanity on the dole

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but what you actually do is radically different from what you were doing 20 years ago.

Twenty years ago I was writing source code using vi.

I actually do a radically identical thing today.

You tried to hide your extramarital affair … by putting it on the web?

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Re: More drivel

Anonymous Coward, “wherefore” ≠ “where”; “wherefore” = “why”.

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Re: The Dating Game

chivo243, youngsters might recognize The Dating Game’s theme song from the scene in the first Shrek movie where the magic mirror shows three princesses.

Drum roll, please .... Results are in for the collective noun for security vulns

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Re: we’re offering all seven of those that did well in the poll …

ElRegUser007, perhaps a veneration of collective nouns ?

reviewed/signed add-on enforcement in Firefox 42

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reviewed/signed add-on enforcement in Firefox 42

According to this Mozilla Add-ons Blog entry,

Starting in Firefox 42, add-on developers will be required to submit extensions for review and signing by Mozilla prior to deployment, and unsigned add-ons cannot be installed or used with Firefox.
This Mozilla Wiki page has further relevant details — e.g. the current plan (presumably not yet set in stone) is that the ESR branch starting in Firefox 45 ESR will act like Firefox 41 (only) in that the enforcement mechanism can be overridden by a preference in about:config.

If you use Firefox and depend upon unsigned add-ons (e.g. those not available through addons.mozilla.org), start thinking about what your mitigation strategy will be.

Visitors no longer welcomed to Scotland's 'Penis Island'

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Re: With all due respect to Gaelic speakers…

100113.1537, the difference between bhoid and Bhòid is to guide pronunciation — the ò indicates a longer vowel sound than o has, and they’re not allophones in Gaelic. As you’d stated, the purpose of written language is to be understood by those who read it; if you believe that the length mark is the cause of the change of meaning, then you haven’t understood what its purpose is. It is no more the cause of the change of meaning than the trema is the cause between “coop” and “coöp” in English; in both cases, the diacritic is used to indicate a different word altogether, not to cause it.

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Re: apparently…

Aha — the grammatical reason for the lenition in Eilean Bhoid (and in Eilean Bhòid, for that matter) is that in place names, even masculine nouns like eilean will cause lenition of genitives like boid (and Bòid).

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Re: apparently…

Anonymous Coward, boid is the genitive form of bod, and bhoid is the lenited genitive form of bod. Given the wording of the sign, Boid would have been the expected spelling in “Penis Island” (literally “Island of Penis”), since there was no grammatical reason for the lenition to take place there.

Fun fact: the linguistic term “lenition” means “softening”.

Manhattan-sized iceberg splits from glacier – and spotted FROM SPACE

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when measuring things in terms of Manhattans

Robert, when measuring things in terms of Manhattans, one should use a standard cocktail glass.

Yet another Android app security bug: This time 'everything is affected'

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flaw vs. floor

bluefin333, it doesn’t work as well for speakers of rhotic dialects.

“A scourge of flaws” was my first thought, but since “scourge” is already used with mosquitoes, I’d go with “a knout of flaws” instead.

Youth Hostelling with Chris Eubank becomes TV reality

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Re: I wonder if your American readers understand what’s going on here?

Anonymous Coward, no, we haven’t a clue why you’re dropping apostrophes.

Amazon UK conditions 'exhausting', claims union

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Re: So where do the Amazon-phobes shop online?

Necronomnomnomicon, “Amazon-phobe” is an inaccurate term; no fear is involved. “Amazon-periphrone” would be much closer to the mark, if this alternative Greek suffix may be adopted into English also. Since I’ve never bought anything from Amazon.com, Inc., there isn’t anything that I’d go there for. Most of my (occasional) online purchases are of books that are long out of print, and I go to bookshop sites to find them. Since they’re typically located in different states from where I live, I’m the one who pays (use) tax on them; the bookshops will pay income tax (or their owners will pay income tax if they’re run as proprietorships or partnerships) when they’re operated profitably. I don’t know what abuse (if any) their staffs are subject to. If I don’t consider the prices to be fair, then I don’t buy. I’ve found USPS media mail to be both cheap and reliable; it is slow, though, but I’m content with that tradeoff.

Assange™ is 'upset' that he WON'T be prosecuted for rape, giggles lawyer

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Re: WTF?

h4rm0ny, Article II. of the US−Sweden extradition treaty lists all of the offenses for which extradition can be granted. Which of these offenses would the US charge Assange with to allow his extradition from Sweden? (If an offense isn’t on that list, then he can’t be extradited to the US from Sweden because of it.)

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an extradition warrant to Ecuador

Velv, the US−Ecuador extradition treaty was written in 1872, and last updated in 1939; it’s the oldest extradition treaty still in effect in the US. Among its list of extraditable offenses is abortion, which is no longer an extraditable offense since it no longer has dual criminality. Which criminal offense might Assange be charged with for the US to be able to extradite him from Ecuador?

Apple, Google should give FBI every last drop of user information, says ex-HP CEO and wannabe US prez Carly Fiorina

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insert Benjamin Franklin quote on freedom

ratfox, if you insist:

In that Case the Sharpness of the Urine gives me great Pain when I make Water, which I have frequent Urgencies to do, and with little Effect. The Blackberry Jelly taken at Night about the Bigness of a Pigeon’s Egg, which I sometimes eat with a Bit of Bread, and sometimes dissolve in a Tumbler of Water and drink it, mixing sometimes two or three Tea Spoonfuls of Brandy, has constantly given me Ease and Freedom by the Morning, with long Intervals between the Calls during the following Day.
letter to Walter Dulany, 1787-11-29

W3C's bright idea turned your battery into a SNITCH for websites

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Re: Seriously?

Crisp, no — Microsoft brought you the marquee element, and Netscape Communications brought you the blink element.

Chechen women swindle ISIS via social media: 'We need roubles to join you xx'

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Re: Piracy / Privateering could be a historical precedent for this

theModge, privateers required a letter of marque — a government license — to plunder Spanish galleons. Without one, they’d have been guilty of piracy under English law, despite not touching British ships.

'White hats don't want to work for us' moans understaffed FBI

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Re: Invasive hiring process?

Boris the Cockroach, perhaps someone who would prefer to admit his two-week dalliance with the Pennsyltucky Vegetable Liberation Front during his gap year over leaving himself open to a felony charge of perjury?

Windows 10: Buy cheap, buy twice, right? Buy FREE ... buy FOREVER

Irony Deficient



[Disclosure: I bought myself a pair of Beats in-ear phones recently in a sale and they’re OK. I am currently trying to destroy them with anti-culture by playing only early-1970s Tangerine Dream and Mike Oldfield on them. I like to think Dr Dre would be appalled.]
If you bought it from an authorized retailer, Dr Dre won’t be appalled at all.

Google to French data cops: Dot-com RTBF? Baiser ma DERRIERE

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Re: Better translation

John, another improvement would be to use the imperative (baise or baisez, depending upon the circumstance) rather than the infinitive (or noun). However, as Handy Plough pointed out below, a literal translation doesn’t accurately convey the intended message.

Bloke cuffed for blowing low-flying camera drone to bits with shotgun

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US airspace rights

Boothy, yes, it’s US-wide due to the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Causby (1946). This part of that decision could be relevant in this instance:

While the owner does not in any physical manner occupy that stratum of airspace [below 500 feet (152.4 m)] or make use of it in the conventional sense, he does use it in somewhat the same sense that space left between buildings for the purpose of light and air is used. The superadjacent airspace at this low altitude [83 feet (25.3 m) in this case] is so close to the land that continuous invasions of it affect the use of the surface of the land itself. We think that the landowner, as an incident to his ownership, has a claim to it and that invasions of it are in the same category as invasions of the surface.
State governments can (and do) regulate airspace below 500 feet.

Hurrah! Uber does work (in the broadest sense of the word) after all

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Re: Potential topic for Worstall …

auburnman, in the case of New York, you could research the “Haas Act” (really a city ordinance) from 1937. This 1996 article from the New York Times provides a brief overview of the situation that led to its adoption. The number of medallions were frozen at that time; the post-WWII economic boom led to the increase of value of the medallions, and additional medallions were first issued only in 1996, but not in numbers that significantly affected the (artificial) value of the originals.

So what the BLINKING BONKERS has gone wrong in the eurozone?

Irony Deficient

coming off the gold standard in the Great Depression

Tim, the US didn’t abandon the gold standard until Nixon “shut the gold window”. In 1933 Roosevelt limited the amount of gold that could be held by individuals and corporations in the US, requiring all excess to be delivered to the Federal Reserve and exchanged for other forms of US money at $20.67 per troy ounce of gold; in early 1934 Congress devalued the dollar from $20.67 to $35.00 per ounce, but the fixed exchange rate remained until 1971.

Blessed are the cheesemakers, for they have defined the smidge

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Re: Totally wrong!

Pen-y-gors, the closest approximation to your theory would likely be smidín, a diminutive form of “breath” or “puff”. The OED notes that ‘“smidgen” (under that spelling for the headword) is

orig. and chiefly U.S. Also smidgeon, smidgin, smitchin, etc. [Origin unknown, perh. f. smitch sb.² + -en, -in, repr. dial. pronunc. of -ing¹: cf. prec.]
I think that your theory could apply to “smithereen” as coming from smidirín (“a small fragment”), though. Perhaps there was an intermediate English form “smidgereen” at some point?



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