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DISCRETE

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DISCRETE

Postby Slava » Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:10 pm

The GWoTD for Thursday:

Dr. Goodword wrote:• discrete •

Pronunciation: dis-kreetHear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Separate and distinct, detached from any others that might be similar or related.

Notes: Today's Good Word is often confused with its homophone (word pronounced the same), discreet "prudent, circumspect so as not to cause embarrassment to others". Just remember that discrete and discreet are two discrete words that you do not have to be discreet in using. Discrete is distinguished by the T standing between its two discrete Es. You may use the adverb discretely and the noun, discreteness, discreetly or indiscreetly.

In Play: Separate is fuzzier than discrete; discrete emphasizes separateness and distinctness: "This problem may be reduced to three clearly discrete issues." If a company has three separate divisions, the divisions may have little autonomy; however, if the divisions are discrete, they must have considerable autonomy.

Word History: The Latin word discretus, from which English borrowed today's Good Word, is the past participle of the irregular verb discernere "to separate, take apart", made up of dis- "apart" + cernere "to distinguish, to perceive". As you can see, we also borrowed the present tense of this verb for our discern. English also borrowed the French word discret which had drifted off to the meaning "discerning, prudent" and spelled the two discrete and discreet, often confusing them as we still do today. By the 17th century the two spellings and the two meanings had aligned themselves to the match we have now. (Today we very indiscreetly offer our discrete thanks to Marleen Adams for suggesting today's often confusing Good Word.)
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Postby misterdoe » Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:55 pm

Back in the days of quadraphonic stereo (the Middle Ages :) ) I used to see the word "discrete" on my dad's quad records and 8-track tapes :!: and wonder what was "indiscreet" about the others. Only later did I realized the word meant that, rather than just send the same sounds to each speaker, quadaphonic sound sent discrete sounds to each speaker, or pair of speakers. It sounded odd to hear bass from only the left side (for example), but I was just a kid. What did I know? :P

(No one told me -- until after I found out for myself :oops: -- that playing a quad 8-track tape in a conventional stereo player would wipe the extra ("quad") tracks clean. )
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Postby bamaboy56 » Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:30 am

I guess we're starting to tell our age. I still have a working 8-track player/record player combo I listen to. 8-track cassettes and records without scratches on them are getting hard to find!
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:22 am

I still have a quadraphonic record player. But I only have
one remaining 33rpm, Gabrieli. It is a terrific sound.
But never caught on, sad really.
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Postby Philip Hudson » Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:57 pm

Luke:
What does 33rpm mean? Did I miss out on some recording medium? Do some people say 33rpm for 33-1/3rpm? I am no expert on this topic.
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:22 pm

I just abbreviated it. I figured anyone familiar with vinyl
would know, Sorry: 33rpm is 33 1/3 rpm: revolutions
per minute.
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Postby bamaboy56 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:14 pm

LIke I said, finding vinyl without scratches is getting hard to do. Wish I could figure out a way to remove small scratches from my records. It's not hard to understand where the saying "You sound like a broken record" comes from. I tried weighing the needle down with a coin but that didn't help much. Sad! Even sadder, my Saturday Night Live 8-track broke its ribbon. Now I need to try to fix that, too. One day, I may have to just break down and go all digital. I'll hold out as long as I can.
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Postby Philip Hudson » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:37 am

bamaboy56

There are very good computer programs that can take a digitized vinyl recording and remove the scratching sounds. I had a program for this several years ago, but in it one had to look at graph of the sound waves and cut out snippets with a mouse to get rid of the anomalies. Perhaps I will try again. I have a good turntable but have used the signal digitizer for something else so it is not available. You will need a turntable, a signal digitizer, a PC, and a computer program that zaps the snaps, crackles, and pops.

Somehow I missed the eight track tapes.
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Postby misterdoe » Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:33 am

There are turntables (and cassette players) that connect directly to your computer by USB that have that software built in.
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:58 pm

I've got a Crosley repro radio that looks old fashioned, but has a turntable on top and a CD player. I have played old LP's and transferred them to the CD's enough to know it works. Now I need to do it another 100 times, then transf the discs to the laptop to comveert to mp3! Oh well, let's see what the next post says.
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Postby Philip Hudson » Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:47 pm

misterdoe,

Thanks. Will wonders never cease?
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Postby misterdoe » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:49 am

Perry Lassiter wrote:I've got a Crosley repro radio that looks old fashioned, but has a turntable on top and a CD player.

I was planning to buy one of those myself, but I made the mistake of leaving my vinyl records and most of my cassettes (and even a few CDs) in the basement of the house I grew up in. Repeated episodes of deadbeat tenants destroying their apartments after they'd been evicted led to my folks declaring bankruptcy... The records and tapes are still there, apparently, but I can't get to them. :(
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:13 pm

Got a lawyer friend? Seems to me you may have rights to recover your property. Or the new owner might be friendly.
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