Blessings on thee, little man,
Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan!

Yeah, that's how it starts. The John Greenleaf Whittier poem, that is. From 1855. Last time I looked, it was 158 years later. We don't write poetry like that anymore, and we sure don't talk the way they did back then. Hell, they hadn't even heard of the typewriter, much less radio, TV, the Internet, YouTube comments ...

English is living, moving, growing, changing, evolving. Despite the deference shown to the Oxford English Dictionary and its etymological citations (which, it must be said, often substitute for actual answers on the site), I don't think a site about English should look like it was printed on vellum. I'm just saying.

I mean, it's a very nice looking site. No doubt about it. I'm sure Mrs. Johnson, my 8th-grade English teacher, would have loved it. I'm just wondering if it captures enough of the vibrant now of English as she is spoke today.

Ho-hum. Maybe I'm just tired. Tired and bored. But sepia and beige and Moroccan-leather red just aren't doing it for me anymore. Sorry.

Still raining, still dreaming

Is everyone still asleep in here? I guess the color palette did you in, yeah?

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  • It’s a little misleading comparing Youtube comments with the poets of yesteryear. You need to scout out 19th-century outhouse graffiti if you want to compare like with like. – tchrist Jan 10 '13 at 21:53
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    Thanks for explaining my joke. I was worried people wouldn't understand it. – Robusto Jan 10 '13 at 22:09
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    Absolutely. While we're at it, let's burn all pre-20th-century literature. We don't write like that anymore so we sure don't want to be exposing our kids to it. – MetaEd Jan 10 '13 at 23:53
  • @MετάEd You mean pre-21st-century, of course. – tchrist Jan 11 '13 at 0:20
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    You folks are taking this waaay too hard. Next will be reductio ad Hitlerum, if I'm not much mistaken. – Robusto Jan 11 '13 at 0:32
  • Ok...so you suggest another style. 'Valentine pastel'? 'Hot dog stand'? 'Tron'? Tron it is. – Mitch Jan 11 '13 at 1:11
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    Let's ease into modernism. I suggest spectrum green 8x8 pixel fonts on black to begin with. – StoneyB on hiatus Jan 11 '13 at 1:54
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    No. Valentine pastel, hot dog stand and Tron. All together. Of course, what else would I have in mind? Something interesting? – Robusto Jan 11 '13 at 2:07
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    I should put up a bonus and award it to Robusto. I can only upvote once. LOL! Bravo! I fear, however, that my fifth-grade teacher, Sister Mary Xavierita, BVM, would not have approved of the tone; luckily, I never cared. – John Lawler Jan 12 '13 at 19:54
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    But, having belatedly had my attention called to the Hadean tones of Meta -- ghostly ghrey everywhere -- I see that I too don't frequent the place because it's, um, less than universally fascinating. As is Main recently; I note today that the latest seven or ten questions are all closed. Regardless of color scheme. – John Lawler Jan 12 '13 at 19:59
  • @JohnLawler: Glad you enjoyed it. If you haven't seen my recent blog entry, you might enjoy that as well. It is written in the language-as-living-entity spirit (though celebrating that life rather than merely bitching about the colors of EL&U). – Robusto Jan 14 '13 at 3:39
  • Alas I can't log in to the blog, for some technical reason. – John Lawler Jan 14 '13 at 5:12
  • @JohnLawler: Can you get into the blog itself and click on the articles from there? – Robusto Jan 14 '13 at 13:15
  • I think I can read them, but I'd rather discuss them. And of course if I can't log, I can't blog myself. – John Lawler Jan 14 '13 at 14:39
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    As the saying goes, "To err is human, but if you really want to screw things up, use a computer." – Robusto Jan 14 '13 at 16:23

I think the site looks very good, better than any other SE site. It is easy on the eye, balanced, neat—I like it. I vote against any changes unless I get to review and veto them should they displease me!

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    Said the ancient doggy in charge of guarding the gates of Hades. How's the feng shui down there? – Robusto Jan 11 '13 at 2:08
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    @Robusto: We're having some problems with E-rays of late, but we're working on it, dowsing and all. – Cerberus_Reinstate_Monica Jan 11 '13 at 2:25

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