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pronunciation:
rot
intransitive verb
 
 
The term is not as obsolete as I had presumed. Dennis Glanzman told me James Sherwood used it in his blog The London Cut Diary about the US presidential visit to London in May 2011: I also thought the Duchess of Cornwall looked terribly grand in her diamond fender.  
 
{More}

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Eric Deggans 727-642-8907  
 
Phone: (727) 893-8521  
 
Email: deggans@tampabay.com  
 
Twitter: @Deggans  
 
Blog: The Feed {more}

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- That dude was a little prick, but he did a fine job of making the Superfriends look like the square, hokey, boring, fist-resting-on-hips, knobs that they were. Did they ever make a Mxyzpltlk for the new Justice League? I like Justice League! Way different from their '80s counterparts. I just wish I had more time to watch it. 10 Amusing Collective Nouns Examples of Collective Nouns 1. A cuddle of teddy bears 2. A conjunction of grammarians 3. A promise of barmen 4. An obeisance of servants 5. A staff of employees 6. A fraid of ghosts 7. A nastiness of villains 8. A promise of tomorrows 9. A prudence of vicars 10. A clique of photographers http://wordsilove.org/archives/115/vag/

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Well, its hard to teach wit - but all of us can learn the next best thing: the approximation of it by obfuscation, i.e. using big, difficult, and obscure words. So, to do our part in improving the quality of insults on teh Interweb, Neatorama has come up with a list of 10 Insulting Words You Should Know:

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MEGA LIMITED TERMS OF SERVICE ("TERMS") 1. Welcome to MEGA. We are an Internet services provider and provide services made available at our website at https://mega.co.nz, subdomains and related sites ("website"), which enables users (depending which MEGA plan they are on), amongst other things, to encrypt by way of user controlled encryption ("UCE"), use our application programming interface ("API"), upload, store, manage, download and decrypt files, information, material and other data ("data") and give access to that data to others (all together, services). If you have questions about how to use our services or the great things you can do with Mega, see our FAQ first. 2. These terms are binding and apply to any use of the services and website by you and anyone that you allow to access your data or our services. By using our services or the website, you and they irrevocably agree to these terms. If you do not like these terms or don't want to be bound, you can't use our services and the website. 3. We can change these terms at any time and we will provide you notice of the change, whether via our website, by sending you an email or via any messaging service we provide. Your continued use after that notice means that you agree to the changed terms. 4. If you comply with these terms, then we grant you a non-exclusive, non-transferable, worldwide licence to access and use our service via the website in accordance with these terms and any plan you have subscribed for. Your data 5. If you allow others to access your data (e.g. by, amongst other things, giving them a link to, and a key to decrypt, that data), in addition to them accepting these terms, you are responsible for their actions and omissions while they are using the website and services and you agree to fully indemnify us for any claim, loss, damage, fine, costs (including our legal fees) and other liability if they breach any of these terms. 6. Our service includes UCE. You should keep your encryption keys safe and confidential and not release them to anyone unless you wish them to have access to your data. If you lose or misplace your encryption keys, you will lose access to your data. We strongly urge you to use robust anti-virus and firewall protection. 7. You must maintain copies of all data stored by you on our service. We do not make any guarantees that there will be no loss of data or the services will be bug free. You are completely responsible to remove all data prior to termination of services. 8. Our service may automatically delete a piece of data you upload or give someone else access to where it determines that that data is an exact duplicate of original data already on our service. In that case, you will access that original data. 9. We will store your data on our service subject to these terms and any plan you subscribe to. If you choose to stop using our services, you need to make sure you retrieve your data first because, after that, we may, if we wish, delete it. If we suspend our services to you because you or someone you have given access to has breached these terms, during the term of that suspension, we may if we wish deny you access to your data. If we terminate our services to you because you or someone you have given access to has breached these terms, we may if we wish delete your data immediately. In circumstances where we cease providing all our services for other reasons, we will, if reasonably practicable and we are not prevented by law from doing so, give you 30 days access to retrieve your data. What does it cost you? 10. Once you have purchased a plan for our services, you need to pay the fees (if any) for that plan (and any other taxes or duties). We can also change the fees for our services at any time if we give you notice. You can't withhold payment for any reason or claim any set-off without getting our written agreement. 11. If at any time you do not make a payment to us when you are supposed to (including on termination), we can (and this doesn't affect any other rights we may have against you)... 11.1 ...make you pay, on demand, default interest on any amount you owe us at 10% per annum calculated on a daily basis, from the date when payment was due until the date when payment is actually made by you. You will also need to pay all expenses and costs (including our legal costs) in connection with us trying to recover any unpaid amount from you; and/or 11.2 ...suspend or terminate your use of the service. What you must do 12. You must: 12.1 make sure you always give us and keep up to date your correct contact and billing details, particularly if these change; 12.2 comply with these terms and any other agreements you have with us; 12.3 make sure that you comply with all laws and rules that relate to your use of the website, the service and any data you upload to our service. Intellectual Property Our IP 13. The license that we give you to use the website and our services does not give you the right, and you can't reproduce or use any of our copyright, intellectual property or other rights other than for the purposes of using the services and the website or as allowed under any open source licences under which we use intellectual property provided by others. The open source code that we use, where we obtained it, and licences for that code are all referenced in our FAQ. 14. You are not allowed to, and you can't let anyone else, copy, alter, distribute, display, licence, modify or reproduce, reverse assemble, reverse compile (whether digitally, electronically, by linking, or in hard copy or by any means whatsoever) or use any of our copyright, intellectual property or other rights without getting our permission first in writing, unless in order to use our services and the website or as allowed under any open source licences under which we use intellectual property provided by others. The open source code that we use, where we obtained it, and licences for that code are all referenced in our FAQ. 15. Without limiting any other provision of these terms, you are only permitted to use the API if: you register at the developer registration page and agree that you may only publish or make available your application after we have approved it pursuant to our application approval process and license agreement available on request at api@mega.co.nz. Your IP 16. You own, or warrant that you are authorised to use, any intellectual property in any data you store on, use, download, upload or otherwise transmit to or from, our service. You grant us a worldwide, royalty free licence to use, store, back-up, copy, transmit, distribute, communicate and otherwise make available, your data, for the purposes of enabling you and those you give access to, to use the website and the services and for any other purpose related to provision of the services to you. What you can't do 17. You can't: 17.1 assign or transfer any rights you have under these terms to any other person without getting our written agreement; 17.2 do anything that would damage, disrupt or place an unreasonable burden on our website or service or anyone else's use of our website or a service including but not limited to denial of service attacks or similar; 17.3 infringe anyone else's intellectual property (including but not limited to copyright) or other rights in any material. 17.4 resell or otherwise supply our services to anyone else without our prior written consent; 17.5 use our website or a service, including, without limitation, any communication tools available through the website, or any forum, chat room or message centre that we provide: 17.5.1 to store, use, download, upload or otherwise transmit, data in violation of any law (including to breach copyright or other intellectual property held by us or anyone else); 17.5.2 to send unwelcome communications of any kind (including but not limited to unlawful unsolicited commercial communications) to anyone (e.g. spam or chain letters); 17.5.3 to abuse, defame, threaten, stalk or harass anyone; 17.5.4 to store, use, download, upload or otherwise transmit, unsuitable, offensive, obscene or discriminatory information of any kind; 17.5.5 to run any network scanning software, spiders, spyware, robots, open relay software or similar software; 17.5.6 to upload anything or otherwise introduce any spyware, viruses, worms, trojan horses, time bombs or bots or any other damaging items which could interfere with our, or anyone else's, network or computer system; 17.5.7 to use any software or device which may hinder the services (like mail bombs, war dialing, pinging etc.); 17.5.8 to attempt to gain unauthorised access to any services other than those to which you have been given express permission to access; or 17.5.9 to try to trick or defraud anyone for any reason (e.g. by claiming to be someone you are not). 18. If you register with us, we will provide you with a password to associate with your specific username. You need to make sure your username and password is secure and confidential. Make sure you tell us straight away if you think or know someone else has used your password or there has been any other security breach. We will hold you responsible for anything done using your username and password. MAKE YOUR PASSWORD A STRONG ONE AND KEEP IT SECURE. Infringement Notices 19. We respect the copyright of others and require that users of our services comply with the laws of copyright. You are strictly prohibited from using our services to infringe copyright. You may not upload, download, store, share, display, stream, distribute, e-mail, link to, transmit or otherwise make available any files, data, or content that infringes any copyright or other proprietary rights of any person or entity. We will respond to notices of alleged copyright infringement that comply with applicable law and are properly provided to us. If you believe that your content has been copied or used in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, please provide us with the following information: (i) a physical or electronic signature of the copyright owner or a person authorized to act on their behalf; (ii) identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed; (iii) identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit us to locate the material including for example the uniform resource locator(s) (URL); (iv) your contact information, including your address, telephone number, and an email address; (v) a statement by you that you have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and (vi) a statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and, under penalty of perjury (unless applicable law says otherwise), that you are authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner. 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We can immediately suspend or terminate your access to the website and our services without notice to you if you breach any of these terms or any other agreement you have with us. If you are not a registered user, we may suspend or terminate your access to website and our service at any time, without notice to you. 23. We may also terminate or suspend our services or any part of our services, for all users or for groups of users, at any time and for any reason or no reason. 24. All charges outstanding on your account must be paid at termination. Communication Conditions 25. As with any other web-based forum, you must exercise caution when using any communication tools available on the website. However, while we are not obligated to, we have the right to remove any communication at any time, for any reason or no reason, without any liability to you. Export Control 26. 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- Betty Bouffant  
Bolloxinion  
Chief Boot Knocka  
Caspar Milquetoast  
 

Synonyms for breasts: breast augs, breasties, breastworks, briskets, bristen, brown eyes, bubatoes, bubbied, bubbies, boovies, borsties, bosiasm(s), bosoms, boulders, bouncers, bra-busters, brassiere food, bread bags, beef bags, berks, bezongas, big chester, bikini fillers, bikini stuffers, blaaters, blossoms, bobbers, boobiferous, boobifers, boobulars, boom-booms, 44s, air bags, amply endowed, apple dumplings, appurtenances, assets, atom bombs, babaloos, babooms, baby bar, the, baby pillows, babys dinners, bags, bags of mystery, bajongas, ballasts, balloons, baloobas, bamboochas, baps, barges, bazonkers, bawangos, bazoongies, bazumbas, bean bags, beanbags, beauties, begonias, bejonkers, bell peppers, bellys, bubs, buckets, buddies, buddings, buds, buffers, bulbs, bumps, burgeoning bunnies, busters, butter bags, buzwams, cabmans rests, cadabies, Cafe la Mama, cajooblies, carry a bundle, casabas, cats, chalubbies, charmers, chebs, chee chees, cherrylets, cherry-topped sundaes, chest and bedding, chest bunnies, chest flesh, chest pillows, chest puppies, choozies, chubbies, chubblies, chubs, chudleighs, chumbawumbas, chungas, chupas, chussies, chichitas, chicken-breasted, classy pair, coat hangers, cokernuts, cones, cow-tits, croopers, desirable fleshy parts, devils, Cupids kettledrums, cups, diddleys, dollies, Dollys, draggy udders, droopers, dubbies, dubs, dumplings, Dutch Alps, dzwonies, east and west, easts and wests, ellens, endearing physical attributes, fat flabs, fat sacks, featherweights, feeding bottles, female appurtenances, female bubbies, female charms, female goodies, female upper bombosities, filled-out, flab hangings, flabby melons, flapjacks, flat-chested, flesh bombs, fleshy charms, fleshy interests, fleshy parts (of a woman), floppers, floppy tits, floppy whites, flops, flyspecks, fore-buttocks, fountain(s), front bumpers, frontal development, fulsome, full load, gazungas, gentlemans pleasure, gib teesurbs, globular hemispheres, good set of lungs, goonas, grapefruits, grapes, graysons, groodies, growths, grudies, guavas, gubbs, hammertons, hammocks, headers, hills, hills of paradise, Hindenburgs, honchos, honeydew melons, honeydews, howitzers, hubbies, Irish draperies, ivory hills, jaboos, jabs, jiggle bosoms, jigglers, jigglies, Jersey Cities, jibs, juicy peaches, jumblaaters, jumbos, kajooblies, lactoids, large-breasted, little drinks, loblollies, lollies, lollos, love pillows, loves strawberries, love bubbles, love buds, lung nuts, lung warts, lulus, maiden pinks, majonkers, mamas, mamazulons, mammaries, mammary mounds, mammets, mamms, mams, manapuas, mangoes, masob(s), massive mammaries, mastos, mastunculi, matched set pair, mazoomas, memories, mezoomas, midgies, milk bar, milk bags, milk bottles, milk buckets, molehills, mollicoes, mollies, moon balloons, mosob(s), mosquito bites, mounds, mounds of lilies, mount everests, mount of lilies, mountains, milk sacks, milk shop, milk wagons, milkers, milkshakes, mulligans, mumbas, mimpins, mochi hills, nacks, nancies, nature's founts, nenes, niblets, nice handfuls, nice pair of eyes, nice puppies, nice set, ninnies, ninny jugs, nippers, nipply doo dahs, nips, niptastic mate, nit tits, nobs, nodules, noogies, nuggies, nugs, nungers, nupies, of classic proportions, oomlaaters, oranges, orbs of snow, other parts, ottomans, overblaaters, pair of Cupids kettledrums, pair of headlights, pair of kettledrums, palookas, palpable characters, panters, pantry shelves, pap heads, papayas, peach of a pair, peaks, peanuts, pechitos, pectoral bubbies, pectoral bulges, pectoral eminences, pectoral excurvations, pectoral handfuls, pectoral ninnies, pendulant breasts, perkies, personalities, picayunes, pillows, pimples, pimples on a chest, pimples on the chest, pips, Play-Doh, playground, the, pleasant eminences, pleasingly plump, plumpies, pneumatic bliss, pointers, pokers, pom-poms, pontoons, porcelain spheres, poundering complexities, pretty lungs, prominent bosom, pumpkins, 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glands, kettledrums, kitten's noses, knackers, knick-knacks, jobbies, jubes, jubbies, jugs, junoesque, kahunas, maracas, marshmallows, Mary Poppins, meguffies, melons, mcguffies, meat loaves, milk cans, milk churners, milk jugs, love muffins, lungs, M & Ms, lovelies, lovely bunch of cokernuts, lumps, Manchester City, manchesters, over the shoulder(s), orbs, num-nums, nummies, nubbies, nubbin, nubbins, nubs, nuggets, Norgen-Vaazes, norgs, norgies, norkers, norks, Norma Snokkers, nackers, nay-nays, nards, nick-nacks, murphies, milky way, the, muffins, points of interest, plungers, pride and joy, potatoes, ponts, poonts, pap, pecs, pair, pears, peaches, piss in the dugout, plaster job, piggies, pects, stubs, stuffing, spuds, silicones, tale of two cities, sweets, swingers, sweaterful, stacked, set, Rubenesque, smarties, smosabs, shoulder boulders, three-penny bits, tetons, teat, tit man, tit-bits, tissue-paper titties, tit, titticulture, TNT, tom-tit, tomatoes, toora-loorals, top ones, 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hypomastia, intermammary cleft, inverted nipple, falsy, fill out, fertility symbols, fetish, full-bosomed figure, full-figured, frontage

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Watchbird, by Robert Sheckley

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Title: Watchbird

Author: Robert Sheckley

Illustrator: Ed Emshwiller

Release Date: August 2, 2009 [EBook #29579]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

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WATCHBIRD

By ROBERT SHECKLEY

Illustrated by EMSH

Strange how often the Millennium has been at hand. The idea is peace on Earth, see, and the way to do it is by figuring out angles.

When Gelsen entered, he saw that the rest of the watchbird manufacturers were already present. There were six of them, not counting himself, and the room was blue with expensive cigar smoke.

"Hi, Charlie," one of them called as he came in.

The rest broke off conversation long enough to wave a casual greeting at him. As a watchbird manufacturer, he was a member manufacturer of salvation, he reminded himself wryly. Very exclusive. You must have a certified government contract if you want to save the human race.

"The government representative isn't here yet," one of the men told him. "He's due any minute."

"We're getting the green light," another said.

"Fine." Gelsen found a chair near the door and looked around the room. It was like a convention, or a Boy Scout rally. The six men made up for their lack of numbers by sheer volume. The president of Southern Consolidated was talking at the top of his lungs about watchbird's enormous durability. The two presidents he was talking at were grinning, nodding, one trying to interrupt with the results of a test he had run on watchbird's resourcefulness, the other talking about the new recharging apparatus.

The other three men were in their own little group, delivering what sounded like a panegyric to watchbird.

Gelsen noticed that all of them stood straight and tall, like the saviors they felt they were. He didn't find it funny. Up to a few days ago he had felt that way himself. He had considered himself a pot-bellied, slightly balding saint.


He sighed and lighted a cigarette. At the beginning of the project, he had been as enthusiastic as the others. He remembered saying to Macintyre, his chief engineer, "Mac, a new day is coming. Watchbird is the Answer." And Macintyre had nodded very profoundly—another watchbird convert.

How wonderful it had seemed then! A simple, reliable answer to one of mankind's greatest problems, all wrapped and packaged in a pound of incorruptible metal, crystal and plastics.

Perhaps that was the very reason he was doubting it now. Gelsen suspected that you don't solve human problems so easily. There had to be a catch somewhere.

After all, murder was an old problem, and watchbird too new a solution.

"Gentlemen—" They had been talking so heatedly that they hadn't noticed the government representative entering. Now the room became quiet at once.

"Gentlemen," the plump government man said, "the President, with the consent of Congress, has acted to form a watchbird division for every city and town in the country."

The men burst into a spontaneous shout of triumph. They were going to have their chance to save the world after all, Gelsen thought, and worriedly asked himself what was wrong with that.

He listened carefully as the government man outlined the distribution scheme. The country was to be divided into seven areas, each to be supplied and serviced by one manufacturer. This meant monopoly, of course, but a necessary one. Like the telephone service, it was in the public's best interests. You couldn't have competition in watchbird service. Watchbird was for everyone.

"The President hopes," the representative continued, "that full watchbird service will be installed in the shortest possible time. You will have top priorities on strategic metals, manpower, and so forth."

"Speaking for myself," the president of Southern Consolidated said, "I expect to have the first batch of watchbirds distributed within the week. Production is all set up."


The rest of the men were equally ready. The factories had been prepared to roll out the watchbirds for months now. The final standardized equipment had been agreed upon, and only the Presidential go-ahead had been lacking.

"Fine," the representative said. "If that is all, I think we can—is there a question?"

"Yes, sir," Gelsen said. "I want to know if the present model is the one we are going to manufacture."

"Of course," the representative said. "It's the most advanced."

"I have an objection." Gelsen stood up. His colleagues were glaring coldly at him. Obviously he was delaying the advent of the golden age.

"What is your objection?" the representative asked.

"First, let me say that I am one hundred per cent in favor of a machine to stop murder. It's been needed for a long time. I object only to the watchbird's learning circuits. They serve, in effect, to animate the machine and give it a pseudo-consciousness. I can't approve of that."

"But, Mr. Gelsen, you yourself testified that the watchbird would not be completely efficient unless such circuits were introduced. Without them, the watchbirds could stop only an estimated seventy per cent of murders."

"I know that," Gelsen said, feeling extremely uncomfortable. "I believe there might be a moral danger in allowing a machine to make decisions that are rightfully Man's," he declared doggedly.

"Oh, come now, Gelsen," one of the corporation presidents said. "It's nothing of the sort. The watchbird will only reinforce the decisions made by honest men from the beginning of time."

"I think that is true," the representative agreed. "But I can understand how Mr. Gelsen feels. It is sad that we must put a human problem into the hands of a machine, sadder still that we must have a machine enforce our laws. But I ask you to remember, Mr. Gelsen, that there is no other possible way of stopping a murderer before he strikes. It would be unfair to the many innocent people killed every year if we were to restrict watchbird on philosophical grounds. Don't you agree that I'm right?"

"Yes, I suppose I do," Gelsen said unhappily. He had told himself all that a thousand times, but something still bothered him. Perhaps he would talk it over with Macintyre.

As the conference broke up, a thought struck him. He grinned.

A lot of policemen were going to be out of work!


"Now what do you think of that?" Officer Celtrics demanded. "Fifteen years in Homicide and a machine is replacing me." He wiped a large red hand across his forehead and leaned against the captain's desk. "Ain't science marvelous?"

Two other policemen, late of Homicide, nodded glumly.

"Don't worry about it," the captain said. "We'll find a home for you in Larceny, Celtrics. You'll like it here."

"I just can't get over it," Celtrics complained. "A lousy little piece of tin and glass is going to solve all the crimes."

"Not quite," the captain said. "The watchbirds are supposed to prevent the crimes before they happen."

"Then how'll they be crimes?" one of the policeman asked. "I mean they can't hang you for murder until you commit one, can they?"

"That's not the idea," the captain said. "The watchbirds are supposed to stop a man before he commits a murder."

"Then no one arrests him?" Celtrics asked.

"I don't know how they're going to work that out," the captain admitted.

The men were silent for a while. The captain yawned and examined his watch.

"The thing I don't understand," Celtrics said, still leaning on the captain's desk, "is just how do they do it? How did it start, Captain?"


The captain studied Celtrics' face for possible irony; after all, watchbird had been in the papers for months. But then he remembered that Celtrics, like his sidekicks, rarely bothered to turn past the sports pages.

"Well," the captain said, trying to remember what he had read in the Sunday supplements, "these scientists were working on criminology. They were studying murderers, to find out what made them tick. So they found that murderers throw out a different sort of brain wave from ordinary people. And their glands act funny, too. All this happens when they're about to commit a murder. So these scientists worked out a special machine to flash red or something when these brain waves turned on."

"Scientists," Celtrics said bitterly.

"Well, after the scientists had this machine, they didn't know what to do with it. It was too big to move around, and murderers didn't drop in often enough to make it flash. So they built it into a smaller unit and tried it out in a few police stations. I think they tried one upstate. But it didn't work so good. You couldn't get to the crime in time. That's why they built the watchbirds."

"I don't think they'll stop no criminals," one of the policemen insisted.

"They sure will. I read the test results. They can smell him out before he commits a crime. And when they reach him, they give him a powerful shock or something. It'll stop him."

"You closing up Homicide, Captain?" Celtrics asked.

"Nope," the captain said. "I'm leaving a skeleton crew in until we see how these birds do."

"Hah," Celtrics said. "Skeleton crew. That's funny."

"Sure," the captain said. "Anyhow, I'm going to leave some men on. It seems the birds don't stop all murders."

"Why not?"

"Some murderers don't have these brain waves," the captain answered, trying to remember what the newspaper article had said. "Or their glands don't work or something."

"Which ones don't they stop?" Celtrics asked, with professional curiosity.

"I don't know. But I hear they got the damned things fixed so they're going to stop all of them soon."

"How they working that?"

"They learn. The watchbirds, I mean. Just like people."

"You kidding me?"

"Nope."

"Well," Celtrics said, "I think I'll just keep old Betsy oiled, just in case. You can't trust these scientists."

"Right."

"Birds!" Celtrics scoffed.


Over the town, the watchbird soared in a long, lazy curve. Its aluminum hide glistened in the morning sun, and dots of light danced on its stiff wings. Silently it flew.

Silently, but with all senses functioning. Built-in kinesthetics told the watchbird where it was, and held it in a long search curve. Its eyes and ears operated as one unit, searching, seeking.

And then something happened! The watchbird's electronically fast reflexes picked up the edge of a sensation. A correlation center tested it, matching it with electrical and chemical data in its memory files. A relay tripped.

Down the watchbird spiraled, coming in on the increasingly strong sensation. It smelled the outpouring of certain glands, tasted a deviant brain wave.

Fully alerted and armed, it spun and banked in the bright morning sunlight.

Dinelli was so intent he didn't see the watchbird coming. He had his gun poised, and his eyes pleaded with the big grocer.

"Don't come no closer."

"You lousy little punk," the grocer said, and took another step forward. "Rob me? I'll break every bone in your puny body."

The grocer, too stupid or too courageous to understand the threat of the gun, advanced on the little thief.

"All right," Dinelli said, in a thorough state of panic. "All right, sucker, take—"

A bolt of electricity knocked him on his back. The gun went off, smashing a breakfast food display.

"What in hell?" the grocer asked, staring at the stunned thief. And then he saw a flash of silver wings. "Well, I'm really damned. Those watchbirds work!"

He stared until, the wings disappeared in the sky. Then he telephoned the police.

The watchbird returned to his search curve. His thinking center correlated the new facts he had learned about murder. Several of these he hadn't known before.

This new information was simultaneously flashed to all the other watchbirds and their information was flashed back to him.

New information, methods, definitions were constantly passing between them.


Now that the watchbirds were rolling off the assembly line in a steady stream, Gelsen allowed himself to relax. A loud contented hum filled his plant. Orders were being filled on time, with top priorities given to the biggest cities in his area, and working down to the smallest towns.

"All smooth, Chief," Macintyre said, coming in the door. He had just completed a routine inspection.

"Fine. Have a seat."

The big engineer sat down and lighted a cigarette.

"We've been working on this for some time," Gelsen said, when he couldn't think of anything else.

"We sure have," Macintyre agreed. He leaned back and inhaled deeply. He had been one of the consulting engineers on the original watchbird. That was six years back. He had been working for Gelsen ever since, and the men had become good friends.

"The thing I wanted to ask you was this—" Gelsen paused. He couldn't think how to phrase what he wanted. Instead he asked, "What do you think of the watchbirds, Mac?"

"Who, me?" The engineer grinned nervously. He had been eating, drinking and sleeping watchbird ever since its inception. He had never found it necessary to have an attitude. "Why, I think it's great."

"I don't mean that," Gelsen said. He realized that what he wanted was to have someone understand his point of view. "I mean do you figure there might be some danger in machine thinking?"

"I don't think so, Chief. Why do you ask?"

"Look, I'm no scientist or engineer. I've just handled cost and production and let you boys worry about how. But as a layman, watchbird is starting to frighten me."

"No reason for that."

"I don't like the idea of the learning circuits."

"But why not?" Then Macintyre grinned again. "I know. You're like a lot of people, Chief—afraid your machines are going to wake up and say, 'What are we doing here? Let's go out and rule the world.' Is that it?"

"Maybe something like that," Gelsen admitted.

"No chance of it," Macintyre said. "The watchbirds are complex, I'll admit, but an M.I.T. calculator is a whole lot more complex. And it hasn't got consciousness."

"No. But the watchbirds can learn."

"Sure. So can all the new calculators. Do you think they'll team up with the watchbirds?"


Gelsen felt annoyed at Macintyre, and even more annoyed at himself for being ridiculous. "It's a fact that the watchbirds can put their learning into action. No one is monitoring them."

"So that's the trouble," Macintyre said.

"I've been thinking of getting out of watchbird." Gelsen hadn't realized it until that moment.

"Look, Chief," Macintyre said. "Will you take an engineer's word on this?"

"Let's hear it."

"The watchbirds are no more dangerous than an automobile, an IBM calculator or a thermometer. They have no more consciousness or volition than those things. The watchbirds are built to respond to certain stimuli, and to carry out certain operations when they receive that stimuli."

"And the learning circuits?"

"You have to have those," Macintyre said patiently, as though explaining the whole thing to a ten-year-old. "The purpose of the watchbird is to frustrate all murder-attempts, right? Well, only certain murderers give out these stimuli. In order to stop all of them, the watchbird has to search out new definitions of murder and correlate them with what it already knows."

"I think it's inhuman," Gelsen said.

"That's the best thing about it. The watchbirds are unemotional. Their reasoning is non-anthropomorphic. You can't bribe them or drug them. You shouldn't fear them, either."

The intercom on Gelsen's desk buzzed. He ignored it.

"I know all this," Gelsen said. "But, still, sometimes I feel like the man who invented dynamite. He thought it would only be used for blowing up tree stumps."

"You didn't invent watchbird."

"I still feel morally responsible because I manufacture them."

The intercom buzzed again, and Gelsen irritably punched a button.

"The reports are in on the first week of watchbird operation," his secretary told him.

"How do they look?"

"Wonderful, sir."

"Send them in in fifteen minutes." Gelsen switched the intercom off and turned back to Macintyre, who was cleaning his fingernails with a wooden match. "Don't you think that this represents a trend in human thinking? The mechanical god? The electronic father?"

"Chief," Macintyre said, "I think you should study watchbird more closely. Do you know what's built into the circuits?"

"Only generally."

"First, there is a purpose. Which is to stop living organisms from committing murder. Two, murder may be defined as an act of violence, consisting of breaking, mangling, maltreating or otherwise stopping the functions of a living organism by a living organism. Three, most murderers are detectable by certain chemical and electrical changes."

Macintyre paused to light another cigarette. "Those conditions take care of the routine functions. Then, for the learning circuits, there are two more conditions. Four, there are some living organisms who commit murder without the signs mentioned in three. Five, these can be detected by data applicable to condition two."

"I see," Gelsen said.

"You realize how foolproof it is?"

"I suppose so." Gelsen hesitated a moment. "I guess that's all."

"Right," the engineer said, and left.

Gelsen thought for a few moments. There couldn't be anything wrong with the watchbirds.

"Send in the reports," he said into the intercom.


High above the lighted buildings of the city, the watchbird soared. It was dark, but in the distance the watchbird could see another, and another beyond that. For this was a large city.

To prevent murder ...

There was more to watch for now. New information had crossed the invisible network that connected all watchbirds. New data, new ways of detecting the violence of murder.

There! The edge of a sensation! Two watchbirds dipped simultaneously. One had received the scent a fraction of a second before the other. He continued down while the other resumed monitoring.

Condition four, there are some living organisms who commit murder without the signs mentioned in condition three.

Through his new information, the watchbird knew by extrapolation that this organism was bent on murder, even though the characteristic chemical and electrical smells were absent.

The watchbird, all senses acute, closed in on the organism. He found what he wanted, and dived.

Roger Greco leaned against a building, his hands in his pockets. In his left hand was the cool butt of a .45. Greco waited patiently.

He wasn't thinking of anything in particular, just relaxing against a building, waiting for a man. Greco didn't know why the man was to be killed. He didn't care. Greco's lack of curiosity was part of his value. The other part was his skill.

One bullet, neatly placed in the head of a man he didn't know. It didn't excite him or sicken him. It was a job, just like anything else. You killed a man. So?

As Greco's victim stepped out of a building, Greco lifted the .45 out of his pocket. He released the safety and braced the gun with his right hand. He still wasn't thinking of anything as he took aim ...

And was knocked off his feet.

Greco thought he had been shot. He struggled up again, looked around, and sighted foggily on his victim.

Again he was knocked down.

This time he lay on the ground, trying to draw a bead. He never thought of stopping, for Greco was a craftsman.

With the next blow, everything went black. Permanently, because the watchbird's duty was to protect the object of violence—at whatever cost to the murderer.

The victim walked to his car. He hadn't noticed anything unusual. Everything had happened in silence.


Gelsen was feeling pretty good. The watchbirds had been operating perfectly. Crimes of violence had been cut in half, and cut again. Dark alleys were no longer mouths of horror. Parks and playgrounds were not places to shun after dusk.

Of course, there were still robberies. Petty thievery flourished, and embezzlement, larceny, forgery and a hundred other crimes.

But that wasn't so important. You could regain lost money—never a lost life.

Gelsen was ready to admit that he had been wrong about the watchbirds. They were doing a job that humans had been unable to accomplish.

The first hint of something wrong came that morning.

Macintyre came into his office. He stood silently in front of Gelsen's desk, looking annoyed and a little embarrassed.

"What's the matter, Mac?" Gelsen asked.

"One of the watchbirds went to work on a slaughterhouse man. Knocked him out."

Gelsen thought about it for a moment. Yes, the watchbirds would do that. With their new learning circuits, they had probably defined the killing of animals as murder.

"Tell the packers to mechanize their slaughtering," Gelsen said. "I never liked that business myself."

"All right," Macintyre said. He pursed his lips, then shrugged his shoulders and left.

Gelsen stood beside his desk, thinking. Couldn't the watchbirds differentiate between a murderer and a man engaged in a legitimate profession? No, evidently not. To them, murder was murder. No exceptions. He frowned. That might take a little ironing out in the circuits.

But not too much, he decided hastily. Just make them a little more discriminating.

He sat down again and buried himself in paperwork, trying to avoid the edge of an old fear.


They strapped the prisoner into the chair and fitted the electrode to his leg.

"Oh, oh," he moaned, only half-conscious now of what they were doing.

They fitted the helmet over his shaved head and tightened the last straps. He continued to moan softly.

And then the watchbird swept in. How he had come, no one knew. Prisons are large and strong, with many locked doors, but the watchbird was there—

To stop a murder.

"Get that thing out of here!" the warden shouted, and reached for the switch. The watchbird knocked him down.

"Stop that!" a guard screamed, and grabbed for the switch himself. He was knocked to the floor beside the warden.

"This isn't murder, you idiot!" another guard said. He drew his gun to shoot down the glittering, wheeling metal bird.

Anticipating, the watchbird smashed him back against the wall.

There was silence in the room. After a while, the man in the helmet started to giggle. Then he stopped.

The watchbird stood on guard, fluttering in mid-air—

Making sure no murder was done.

New data flashed along the watchbird network. Unmonitored, independent, the thousands of watchbirds received and acted upon it.

The breaking, mangling or otherwise stopping the functions of a living organism by a living organism. New acts to stop.

"Damn you, git going!" Farmer Ollister shouted, and raised his whip again. The horse balked, and the wagon rattled and shook as he edged sideways.

"You lousy hunk of pigmeal, git going!" the farmer yelled and he raised the whip again.

It never fell. An alert watchbird, sensing violence, had knocked him out of his seat.

A living organism? What is a living organism? The watchbirds extended their definitions as they became aware of more facts. And, of course, this gave them more work.

The deer was just visible at the edge of the woods. The hunter raised his rifle, and took careful aim.

He didn't have time to shoot.


With his free hand, Gelsen mopped perspiration from his face. "All right," he said into the telephone. He listened to the stream of vituperation from the other end, then placed the receiver gently in its cradle.

"What was that one?" Macintyre asked. He was unshaven, tie loose, shirt unbuttoned.

"Another fisherman," Gelsen said. "It seems the watchbirds won't let him fish even though his family is starving. What are we going to do about it, he wants to know."

"How many hundred is that?"

"I don't know. I haven't opened the mail."

"Well, I figured out where the trouble is," Macintyre said gloomily, with the air of a man who knows just how he blew up the Earth—after it was too late.

"Let's hear it."

"Everybody took it for granted that we wanted all murder stopped. We figured the watchbirds would think as we do. We ought to have qualified the conditions."

"I've got an idea," Gelsen said, "that we'd have to know just why and what murder is, before we could qualify the conditions properly. And if we knew that, we wouldn't need the watchbirds."

"Oh, I don't know about that. They just have to be told that some things which look like murder are not murder."

"But why should they stop fisherman?" Gelsen asked.

"Why shouldn't they? Fish and animals are living organisms. We just don't think that killing them is murder."

The telephone rang. Gelsen glared at it and punched the intercom. "I told you no more calls, no matter what."

"This is from Washington," his secretary said. "I thought you'd—"

"Sorry." Gelsen picked up the telephone. "Yes. Certainly is a mess ... Have they? All right, I certainly will." He put down the telephone.

"Short and sweet," he told Macintyre. "We're to shut down temporarily."

"That won't be so easy," Macintyre said. "The watchbirds operate independent of any central control, you know. They come back once a week for a repair checkup. We'll have to turn them off then, one by one."

"Well, let's get to it. Monroe over on the Coast has shut down about a quarter of his birds."

"I think I can dope out a restricting circuit," Macintyre said.

"Fine," Gelsen replied bitterly. "You make me very happy."


The watchbirds were learning rapidly, expanding and adding to their knowledge. Loosely defined abstractions were extended, acted upon and re-extended.

To stop murder ...

Metal and electrons reason well, but not in a human fashion.

A living organism? Any living organism!

The watchbirds set themselves the task of protecting all living things.

The fly buzzed around the room, lighting on a table top, pausing a moment, then darting to a window sill.

The old man stalked it, a rolled newspaper in his hand.

Murderer!

The watchbirds swept down and saved the fly in the nick of time.

The old man writhed on the floor a minute and then was silent. He had been given only a mild shock, but it had been enough for his fluttery, cranky heart.

His victim had been saved, though, and this was the important thing. Save the victim and give the aggressor his just desserts.


Gelsen demanded angrily, "Why aren't they being turned off?"

The assistant control engineer gestured. In a corner of the repair room lay the senior control engineer. He was just regaining consciousness.

"He tried to turn one of them off," the assistant engineer said. Both his hands were knotted together. He was making a visible effort not to shake.

"That's ridiculous. They haven't got any sense of self-preservation."

"Then turn them off yourself. Besides, I don't think any more are going to come."

What could have happened? Gelsen began to piece it together. The watchbirds still hadn't decided on the limits of a living organism. When some of them were turned off in the Monroe plant, the rest must have correlated the data.

So they had been forced to assume that they were living organisms, as well.

No one had ever told them otherwise. Certainly they carried on most of the functions of living organisms.

Then the old fears hit him. Gelsen trembled and hurried out of the repair room. He wanted to find Macintyre in a hurry.


The nurse handed the surgeon the sponge.

"Scalpel."

She placed it in his hand. He started to make the first incision. And then he was aware of a disturbance.

"Who let that thing in?"

"I don't know," the nurse said, her voice muffled by the mask.

"Get it out of here."

The nurse waved her arms at the bright winged thing, but it fluttered over her head.

The surgeon proceeded with the incision—as long as he was able.

The watchbird drove him away and stood guard.

"Telephone the watchbird company!" the surgeon ordered. "Get them to turn the thing off."

The watchbird was preventing violence to a living organism.

The surgeon stood by helplessly while his patient died.


Fluttering high above the network of highways, the watchbird watched and waited. It had been constantly working for weeks now, without rest or repair. Rest and repair were impossible, because the watchbird couldn't allow itself—a living organism—to be murdered. And that was what happened when watchbirds returned to the factory.

There was a built-in order to return, after the lapse of a certain time period. But the watchbird had a stronger order to obey—preservation of life, including its own.

The definitions of murder were almost infinitely extended now, impossible to cope with. But the watchbird didn't consider that. It responded to its stimuli, whenever they came and whatever their source.

There was a new definition of living organism in its memory files. It had come as a result of the watchbird discovery that watchbirds were living organisms. And it had enormous ramifications.

The stimuli came! For the hundredth time that day, the bird wheeled and banked, dropping swiftly down to stop murder.

Jackson yawned and pulled his car to a shoulder of the road. He didn't notice the glittering dot in the sky. There was no reason for him to. Jackson wasn't contemplating murder, by any human definition.

This was a good spot for a nap, he decided. He had been driving for seven straight hours and his eyes were starting to fog. He reached out to turn off the ignition key—

And was knocked back against the side of the car.

"What in hell's wrong with you?" he asked indignantly. "All I want to do is—" He reached for the key again, and again he was smacked back.

Jackson knew better than to try a third time. He had been listening to the radio and he knew what the watchbirds did to stubborn violators.

"You mechanical jerk," he said to the waiting metal bird. "A car's not alive. I'm not trying to kill it."

But the watchbird only knew that a certain operation resulted in stopping an organism. The car was certainly a functioning organism. Wasn't it of metal, as were the watchbirds? Didn't it run?


Macintyre said, "Without repairs they'll run down." He shoved a pile of specification sheets out of his way.

"How soon?" Gelsen asked.

"Six months to a year. Say a year, barring accidents."

"A year," Gelsen said. "In the meantime, everything is stopping dead. Do you know the latest?"

"What?"

"The watchbirds have decided that the Earth is a living organism. They won't allow farmers to break ground for plowing. And, of course, everything else is a living organism—rabbits, beetles, flies, wolves, mosquitoes, lions, crocodiles, crows, and smaller forms of life such as bacteria."

"I know," Macintyre said.

"And you tell me they'll wear out in six months or a year. What happens now? What are we going to eat in six months?"

The engineer rubbed his chin. "We'll have to do something quick and fast. Ecological balance is gone to hell."

"Fast isn't the word. Instantaneously would be better." Gelsen lighted his thirty-fifth cigarette for the day. "At least I have the bitter satisfaction of saying, 'I told you so.' Although I'm just as responsible as the rest of the machine-worshipping fools."

Macintyre wasn't listening. He was thinking about watchbirds. "Like the rabbit plague in Australia."

"The death rate is mounting," Gelsen said. "Famine. Floods. Can't cut down trees. Doctors can't—what was that you said about Australia?"

"The rabbits," Macintyre repeated. "Hardly any left in Australia now."

"Why? How was it done?"

"Oh, found some kind of germ that attacked only rabbits. I think it was propagated by mosquitos—"

"Work on that," Gelsen said. "You might have something. I want you to get on the telephone, ask for an emergency hookup with the engineers of the other companies. Hurry it up. Together you may be able to dope out something."

"Right," Macintyre said. He grabbed a handful of blank paper and hurried to the telephone.


"What did I tell you?" Officer Celtrics said. He grinned at the captain. "Didn't I tell you scientists were nuts?"

"I didn't say you were wrong, did I?" the captain asked.

"No, but you weren't sure."

"Well, I'm sure now. You'd better get going. There's plenty of work for you."

"I know." Celtrics drew his revolver from its holster, checked it and put it back. "Are all the boys back, Captain?"

"All?" the captain laughed humorlessly. "Homicide has increased by fifty per cent. There's more murder now than there's ever been."

"Sure," Celtrics said. "The watchbirds are too busy guarding cars and slugging spiders." He started toward the door, then turned for a parting shot.

"Take my word, Captain. Machines are stupid."

The captain nodded.


Thousands of watchbirds, trying to stop countless millions of murders—a hopeless task. But the watchbirds didn't hope. Without consciousness, they experienced no sense of accomplishment, no fear of failure. Patiently they went about their jobs, obeying each stimulus as it came.

They couldn't be everywhere at the same time, but it wasn't necessary to be. People learned quickly what the watchbirds didn't like and refrained from doing it. It just wasn't safe. With their high speed and superfast senses, the watchbirds got around quickly.

And now they meant business. In their original directives there had been a provision made for killing a murderer, if all other means failed.

Why spare a murderer?

It backfired. The watchbirds extracted the fact that murder and crimes of violence had increased geometrically since they had begun operation. This was true, because their new definitions increased the possibilities of murder. But to the watchbirds, the rise showed that the first methods had failed.

Simple logic. If A doesn't work, try B. The watchbirds shocked to kill.

Slaughterhouses in Chicago stopped and cattle starved to death in their pens, because farmers in the Midwest couldn't cut hay or harvest grain.

No one had told the watchbirds that all life depends on carefully balanced murders.

Starvation didn't concern the watchbirds, since it was an act of omission.

Their interest lay only in acts of commission.

Hunters sat home, glaring at the silver dots in the sky, longing to shoot them down. But for the most part, they didn't try. The watchbirds were quick to sense the murder intent and to punish it.

Fishing boats swung idle at their moorings in San Pedro and Gloucester. Fish were living organisms.

Farmers cursed and spat and died, trying to harvest the crop. Grain was alive and thus worthy of protection. Potatoes were as important to the watchbird as any other living organism. The death of a blade of grass was equal to the assassination of a President—

To the watchbirds.

And, of course, certain machines were living. This followed, since the watchbirds were machines and living.

God help you if you maltreated your radio. Turning it off meant killing it. Obviously—its voice was silenced, the red glow of its tubes faded, it grew cold.

The watchbirds tried to guard their other charges. Wolves were slaughtered, trying to kill rabbits. Rabbits were electrocuted, trying to eat vegetables. Creepers were burned out in the act of strangling trees.

A butterfly was executed, caught in the act of outraging a rose.

This control was spasmodic, because of the fewness of the watchbirds. A billion watchbirds couldn't have carried out the ambitious project set by the thousands.

The effect was of a murderous force, ten thousand bolts of irrational lightning raging around the country, striking a thousand times a day.

Lightning which anticipated your moves and punished your intentions.


"Gentlemen, please," the government representative begged. "We must hurry."

The seven manufacturers stopped talking.

"Before we begin this meeting formally," the president of Monroe said, "I want to say something. We do not feel ourselves responsible for this unhappy state of affairs. It was a government project; the government must accept the responsibility, both moral and financial."

Gelsen shrugged his shoulders. It was hard to believe that these men, just a few weeks ago, had been willing to accept the glory of saving the world. Now they wanted to shrug off the responsibility when the salvation went amiss.

"I'm positive that that need not concern us now," the representative assured him. "We must hurry. You engineers have done an excellent job. I am proud of the cooperation you have shown in this emergency. You are hereby empowered to put the outlined plan into action."

"Wait a minute," Gelsen said.

"There is no time."

"The plan's no good."

"Don't you think it will work?"

"Of course it will work. But I'm afraid the cure will be worse than the disease."

The manufacturers looked as though they would have enjoyed throttling Gelsen. He didn't hesitate.

"Haven't we learned yet?" he asked. "Don't you see that you can't cure human problems by mechanization?"

"Mr. Gelsen," the president of Monroe said, "I would enjoy hearing you philosophize, but, unfortunately, people are being killed. Crops are being ruined. There is famine in some sections of the country already. The watchbirds must be stopped at once!"

"Murder must be stopped, too. I remember all of us agreeing upon that. But this is not the way!"

"What would you suggest?" the representative asked.


Gelsen took a deep breath. What he was about to say took all the courage he had.

"Let the watchbirds run down by themselves," Gelsen suggested.

There was a near-riot. The government representative broke it up.

"Let's take our lesson," Gelsen urged, "admit that we were wrong trying to cure human problems by mechanical means. Start again. Use machines, yes, but not as judges and teachers and fathers."

"Ridiculous," the representative said coldly. "Mr. Gelsen, you are overwrought. I suggest you control yourself." He cleared his throat. "All of you are ordered by the President to carry out the plan you have submitted." He looked sharply at Gelsen. "Not to do so will be treason."

"I'll cooperate to the best of my ability," Gelsen said.

"Good. Those assembly lines must be rolling within the week."

Gelsen walked out of the room alone. Now he was confused again. Had he been right or was he just another visionary? Certainly, he hadn't explained himself with much clarity.

Did he know what he meant?

Gelsen cursed under his breath. He wondered why he couldn't ever be sure of anything. Weren't there any values he could hold on to?

He hurried to the airport and to his plant.


The watchbird was operating erratically now. Many of its delicate parts were out of line, worn by almost continuous operation. But gallantly it responded when the stimuli came.

A spider was attacking a fly. The watchbird swooped down to the rescue.

Simultaneously, it became aware of something overhead. The watchbird wheeled to meet it.

There was a sharp crackle and a power bolt whizzed by the watchbird's wing. Angrily, it spat a shock wave.

The attacker was heavily insulated. Again it spat at the watchbird. This time, a bolt smashed through a wing, the watchbird darted away, but the attacker went after it in a burst of speed, throwing out more crackling power.

The watchbird fell, but managed to send out its message. Urgent! A new menace to living organisms and this was the deadliest yet!

Other watchbirds around the country integrated the message. Their thinking centers searched for an answer.


"Well, Chief, they bagged fifty today," Macintyre said, coming into Gelsen's office.

"Fine," Gelsen said, not looking at the engineer.

"Not so fine." Macintyre sat down. "Lord, I'm tired! It was seventy-two yesterday."

"I know." On Gelsen's desk were several dozen lawsuits, which he was sending to the government with a prayer.

"They'll pick up again, though," Macintyre said confidently. "The Hawks are especially built to hunt down watchbirds. They're stronger, faster, and they've got better armor. We really rolled them out in a hurry, huh?"

"We sure did."

"The watchbirds are pretty good, too," Macintyre had to admit. "They're learning to take cover. They're trying a lot of stunts. You know, each one that goes down tells the others something."

Gelsen didn't answer.

"But anything the watchbirds can do, the Hawks can do better," Macintyre said cheerfully. "The Hawks have special learning circuits for hunting. They're more flexible than the watchbirds. They learn faster."

Gelsen gloomily stood up, stretched, and walked to the window. The sky was blank. Looking out, he realized that his uncertainties were over. Right or wrong, he had made up his mind.

"Tell me," he said, still watching the sky, "what will the Hawks hunt after they get all the watchbirds?"

"Huh?" Macintyre said. "Why—"

"Just to be on the safe side, you'd better design something to hunt down the Hawks. Just in case, I mean."

"You think—"

"All I know is that the Hawks are self-controlled. So were the watchbirds. Remote control would have been too slow, the argument went on. The idea was to get the watchbirds and get them fast. That meant no restricting circuits."

"We can dope something out," Macintyre said uncertainly.

"You've got an aggressive machine up in the air now. A murder machine. Before that it was an anti-murder machine. Your next gadget will have to be even more self-sufficient, won't it?"

Macintyre didn't answer.

"I don't hold you responsible," Gelsen said. "It's me. It's everyone."

In the air outside was a swift-moving dot.

"That's what comes," said Gelsen, "of giving a machine the job that was our own responsibility."


Overhead, a Hawk was zeroing in on a watchbird.

The armored murder machine had learned a lot in a few days. Its sole function was to kill. At present it was impelled toward a certain type of living organism, metallic like itself.

But the Hawk had just discovered that there were other types of living organisms, too—

Which had to be murdered.

—ROBERT SHECKLEY

Transcriber's Note:

This etext was produced from Galaxy Science Fiction February 1953. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed. Minor spelling and typographical errors have been corrected without note.





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"ô" -- latin small letter o with circumflex, U+00F4 ISOlat1
"õ" -- latin small letter o with tilde, U+00F5 ISOlat1
"ö" -- latin small letter o with diaeresis, U+00F6 ISOlat1
"÷" -- division sign, U+00F7 ISOnum
"ø" -- latin small letter o with stroke, = latin small letter o slash, U+00F8 ISOlat1
"ù" -- latin small letter u with grave, U+00F9 ISOlat1
"ú" -- latin small letter u with acute, U+00FA ISOlat1
"û" -- latin small letter u with circumflex, U+00FB ISOlat1
"ü" -- latin small letter u with diaeresis, U+00FC ISOlat1
"ý" -- latin small letter y with acute, U+00FD ISOlat1
"þ" -- latin small letter thorn, U+00FE ISOlat1
"ÿ" -- latin small letter y with diaeresis, U+00FF ISOlat1
 
Latin Extended-B -->
ƒ "ƒ" -- latin small f with hook = function = florin, U+0192 ISOtech
 
Greek -->
Α "Α" -- greek capital letter alpha, U+0391
Β "Β" -- greek capital letter beta, U+0392
Γ "Γ" -- greek capital letter gamma, U+0393 ISOgrk3
Δ "Δ" -- greek capital letter delta, U+0394 ISOgrk3
Ε "Ε" -- greek capital letter epsilon, U+0395
Ζ "Ζ" -- greek capital letter zeta, U+0396
&Eta ; "Η" -- greek capital letter eta, U+0397
Θ "Θ" -- greek capital letter theta, U+0398 ISOgrk3
Ι "Ι" -- greek capital letter iota, U+0399
Κ "Κ" -- greek capital letter kappa, U+039A
Λ "Λ" -- greek capital letter lambda, U+039B ISOgrk3
&Mu ; "Μ" -- greek capital letter mu, U+039C
&Nu ; "Ν" -- greek capital letter nu, U+039D
&Xi ; "Ξ" -- greek capital letter xi, U+039E ISOgrk3
Ο "Ο" -- greek capital letter omicron, U+039F
&Pi ; "Π" -- greek capital letter pi, U+03A0 ISOgrk3
&Rho ; "Ρ" -- greek capital letter rho, U+03A1

there is no Sigmaf, and no U+03A2 character either -->
Σ "Σ" -- greek capital letter sigma, U+03A3 ISOgrk3
&Tau ; "Τ" -- greek capital letter tau, U+03A4
Υ "Υ" -- greek capital letter upsilon, U+03A5 ISOgrk3
&Phi ; "Φ" -- greek capital letter phi, U+03A6 ISOgrk3
&Chi ; "Χ" -- greek capital letter chi, U+03A7
&Psi ; "Ψ" -- greek capital letter psi, U+03A8 ISOgrk3
Ω "Ω" -- greek capital letter omega, U+03A9 ISOgrk3
α "α" -- greek small letter alpha, U+03B1 ISOgrk3
β "β" -- greek small letter beta, U+03B2 ISOgrk3
γ "γ" -- greek small letter gamma, U+03B3 ISOgrk3
δ "δ" -- greek small letter delta, U+03B4 ISOgrk3
ε "ε" -- greek small letter epsilon, U+03B5 ISOgrk3
ζ "ζ" -- greek small letter zeta, U+03B6 ISOgrk3
&eta ; "η" -- greek small letter eta, U+03B7 ISOgrk3
θ "θ" -- greek small letter theta, U+03B8 ISOgrk3
ι "ι" -- greek small letter iota, U+03B9 ISOgrk3
κ "κ" -- greek small letter kappa, U+03BA ISOgrk3
λ "λ" -- greek small letter lambda, U+03BB ISOgrk3
&mu ; "μ" -- greek small letter mu, U+03BC ISOgrk3
&nu ; "ν" -- greek small letter nu, U+03BD ISOgrk3
&xi ; "ξ" -- greek small letter xi, U+03BE ISOgrk3
ο "ο" -- greek small letter omicron, U+03BF NEW
&pi ; "π" -- greek small letter pi, U+03C0 ISOgrk3
&rho ; "ρ" -- greek small letter rho, U+03C1 ISOgrk3
ς "ς" -- greek small letter final sigma, U+03C2 ISOgrk3
σ "σ" -- greek small letter sigma, U+03C3 ISOgrk3
&tau ; "τ" -- greek small letter tau, U+03C4 ISOgrk3
υ "υ" -- greek small letter upsilon, U+03C5 ISOgrk3
&phi ; "φ" -- greek small letter phi, U+03C6 ISOgrk3
&chi ; "χ" -- greek small letter chi, U+03C7 ISOgrk3
&psi ; "ψ" -- greek small letter psi, U+03C8 ISOgrk3
ω "ω" -- greek small letter omega, U+03C9 ISOgrk3
ϑ "ϑ" -- greek small letter theta symbol, U+03D1 NEW
ϒ "ϒ" -- greek upsilon with hook symbol, U+03D2 NEW
&piv ; "ϖ" -- greek pi symbol, U+03D6 ISOgrk3
 
General Punctuation-->
• "•" -- bullet = black small circle, U+2022 ISOpub
bullet is NOT the same as bullet operator, U+2219 -->

… "…" -- horizontal ellipsis = three dot leader, U+2026 ISOpub
′ "′" -- prime = minutes = feet, U+2032 ISOtech
″ "″" -- double prime = seconds = inches, U+2033 ISOtech
‾ "‾" -- overline = spacing overscore, U+203E NEW
⁄ "⁄" -- fraction slash, U+2044 NEW
 
Letterlike Symbols -->
℘ "℘" -- script capital P = power set = Weierstrass p, U+2118 ISOamso
ℑ "ℑ" -- blackletter capital I = imaginary part, U+2111 ISOamso
ℜ "ℜ" -- blackletter capital R = real part symbol, U+211C ISOamso
™ "™" -- trade mark sign, U+2122 ISOnum
ℵ "ℵ" -- alef symbol = first transfinite cardinal, U+2135 NEW
alef symbol is NOT the same as hebrew letter alef, U+05D0 although the same glyph could be used to depict both characters --> 
 
Arrows -->
← "←" -- leftwards arrow, U+2190 ISOnum
↑ "↑" -- upwards arrow, U+2191 ISOnum
→ "→" -- rightwards arrow, U+2192 ISOnum
↓ "↓" -- downwards arrow, U+2193 ISOnum
↔ "↔" -- left right arrow, U+2194 ISOamsa
↵ "↵" -- downwards arrow with corner leftwards = carriage return, U+21B5 NEW
⇐ "⇐" -- leftwards double arrow, U+21D0 ISOtech
ISO 10646 does not say that lArr is the same as the 'is implied by' arrow but also does not have any other character for that function. So ? lArr can be used for 'is implied by' as ISOtech suggests --> 
⇑ "⇑" -- upwards double arrow, U+21D1 ISOamsa
⇒ "⇒" -- rightwards double arrow, U+21D2 ISOtech
ISO 10646 does not say this is the 'implies' character but does not have another character with this function so ? rArr can be used for 'implies' as ISOtech suggests --> 
⇓ "⇓" -- downwards double arrow, U+21D3 ISOamsa
⇔ "⇔" -- left right double arrow, U+21D4 ISOamsa
 
Mathematical Operators -->
∀ "∀" -- for all, U+2200 ISOtech
∂ "∂" -- partial differential, U+2202 ISOtech
∃ "∃" -- there exists, U+2203 ISOtech
∅ "∅" -- empty set = null set = diameter, U+2205 ISOamso
∇ "∇" -- nabla = backward difference, U+2207 ISOtech
∈ "∈" -- element of, U+2208 ISOtech
∉ "∉" -- not an element of, U+2209 ISOtech
&ni ; "∋" -- contains as member, U+220B ISOtech
should there be a more memorable name than 'ni'? --> 
∏ "∏" -- n-ary product = product sign, U+220F ISOamsb
prod is NOT the same character as U+03A0 'greek capital letter pi' though the same glyph might be used for both --> 
&sum ; "∑" -- n-ary sumation, U+2211 ISOamsb
sum is NOT the same character as U+03A3 'greek capital letter sigma' though the same glyph might be used for both --> 
− "−" -- minus sign, U+2212 ISOtech
∗ "∗" -- asterisk operator, U+2217 ISOtech
√ "√" -- square root = radical sign, U+221A ISOtech
∝ "∝" -- proportional to, U+221D ISOtech
∞ "∞" -- infinity, U+221E ISOtech
&ang ; "∠" -- angle, U+2220 ISOamso
&and ; "∧" -- logical and = wedge, U+2227 ISOtech
&or ; "∨" -- logical or = vee, U+2228 ISOtech
&cap ; "∩" -- intersection = cap, U+2229 ISOtech
&cup ; "∪" -- union = cup, U+222A ISOtech
&int ; "∫" -- integral, U+222B ISOtech
∴ "∴" -- therefore, U+2234 ISOtech
&sim ; "∼" -- tilde operator = varies with = similar to, U+223C ISOtech
tilde operator is NOT the same character as the tilde, U+007E, although the same glyph might be used to represent both --> 
≅ "≅" -- approximately equal to, U+2245 ISOtech
≈ "≈" -- almost equal to = asymptotic to, U+2248 ISOamsr
&ne ; "≠" -- not equal to, U+2260 ISOtech
≡ "≡" -- identical to, U+2261 ISOtech
&le ; "≤" -- less-than or equal to, U+2264 ISOtech
&ge ; "≥" -- greater-than or equal to, U+2265 ISOtech
&sub ; "⊂" -- subset of, U+2282 ISOtech
&sup ; "⊃" -- superset of, U+2283 ISOtech
note that nsup, 'not a superset of, U+2283' is not covered by the Symbol font encoding and is not included. Should it be, for symmetry? It is in ISOamsn --> 
⊄ "⊄" -- not a subset of, U+2284 ISOamsn
⊆ "⊆" -- subset of or equal to, U+2286 ISOtech
⊇ "⊇" -- superset of or equal to, U+2287 ISOtech
⊕ "⊕" -- circled plus = direct sum, U+2295 ISOamsb
⊗ "⊗" -- circled times = vector product, U+2297 ISOamsb
⊥ "⊥" -- up tack = orthogonal to = perpendicular, U+22A5 ISOtech
⋅ "⋅" -- dot operator, U+22C5 ISOamsb
dot operator is NOT the same character as U+00B7 middle dot --> 
 
Miscellaneous Technical -->
⌈ "⌈" -- left ceiling = apl upstile, U+2308 ISOamsc
⌉ "⌉" -- right ceiling, U+2309 ISOamsc
⌊ "⌊" -- left floor = apl downstile, U+230A ISOamsc
⌋ "⌋" -- right floor, U+230B ISOamsc
⟨ "〈" -- left-pointing angle bracket = bra, U+2329 ISOtech
lang is NOT the same character as U+003C 'less than' or U+2039 'single left-pointing angle quotation mark' --> 
⟩ "〉" -- right-pointing angle bracket = ket, U+232A ISOtech
rang is NOT the same character as U+003E 'greater than' or U+203A 'single right-pointing angle quotation mark' --> 
 
Geometric Shapes -->
◊ "◊" -- lozenge, U+25CA ISOpub
 
Miscellaneous Symbols -->
♠ "♠" -- black spade suit, U+2660 ISOpub
black here seems to mean filled as opposed to hollow --> 
♣ "♣" -- black club suit = shamrock, U+2663 ISOpub
♥ "♥" -- black heart suit = valentine, U+2665 ISOpub
♦ "♦" -- black diamond suit, U+2666 ISOpub
 
C0 Controls and Basic Latin -->
" """ -- quotation mark = APL quote, U+0022 ISOnum
& "&" -- ampersand, U+0026 ISOnum
< ; "<" -- less-than sign, U+003C ISOnum
> ">" -- greater-than sign, U+003E ISOnum
 
Latin Extended-A -->
Œ "Œ" -- latin capital ligature OE, U+0152 ISOlat2
œ "œ" -- latin small ligature oe, U+0153 ISOlat2
ligature is a misnomer, this is a separate character in some languages --> 
Š "Š" -- latin capital letter S with caron, U+0160 ISOlat2
š "š" -- latin small letter s with caron, U+0161 ISOlat2
Ÿ "Ÿ" -- latin capital letter Y with diaeresis, U+0178 ISOlat2
 
Spacing Modifier Letters -->
ˆ "ˆ" -- modifier letter circumflex accent, U+02C6 ISOpub
˜ "˜" -- small tilde, U+02DC ISOdia
 
General Punctuation -->
  " " -- en space, U+2002 ISOpub
  " " -- em space, U+2003 ISOpub
  " " -- thin space, U+2009 ISOpub
‌ "‌" -- zero width non-joiner, U+200C NEW RFC 2070
‍ "‍" -- zero width joiner, U+200D NEW RFC 2070
‎ "‎" -- left-to-right mark, U+200E NEW RFC 2070
‏ "‏" -- right-to-left mark, U+200F NEW RFC 2070
– "–" -- en dash, U+2013 ISOpub
— "—" -- em dash, U+2014 ISOpub
‘ "‘" -- left single quotation mark, U+2018 ISOnum
’ "’" -- right single quotation mark, U+2019 ISOnum
‚ "‚" -- single low-9 quotation mark, U+201A NEW
“ "“" -- left double quotation mark, U+201C ISOnum
” "”" -- right double quotation mark, U+201D ISOnum
„ "„" -- double low-9 quotation mark, U+201E NEW
† "†" -- dagger, U+2020 ISOpub
‡ "‡" -- double dagger, U+2021 ISOpub
‰ "‰" -- per mille sign, U+2030 ISOtech
‹ "‹" -- single left-pointing angle quotation mark, U+2039 ISO proposed
lsaquo is proposed but not yet ISO standardized --> 
› "›" -- single right-pointing angle quotation mark, U+203A ISO proposed
rsaquo is proposed but not yet ISO standardized --> 
€ "€" -- euro sign, U+20AC NEW

e.g.,


HTML: Special Characters


HTML Entities and/or ISO Latin-1 codes can be placed in source code like any other alphanumeric characters to produce special characters and symbols that cannot be generated in HTML with normal keyboard commands.

For example, to render Dsseldorf the HTML source should read

Düsseldorf or Düsseldorf

While many similar lists are available on the Web (run your favorite search engine using "ISO Latin" or "HTML Entities"), none I've seen account for the standard character sets of different operating systems (e.g. Windows vs. DOS vs. Macintosh, etc.); this list should produce the same results on all platforms.

Punctuation HTML Entity
(case sensitive)
ISO Latin-1 code name or meaning
en dash
em dash
¡ ¡ inverted exclamation
¿ ¿ inverted question mark
" " " quotation mark
left double curly quote
right double curly quote
' ' apostrophe (single quote)
left single curly quote
right single curly quote

«
»
«
»
guillemets (used as quotation marks in some languages, e.g., French)

(Its there, but you can't see it!)
    non-breaking space
Symbols
& & & ampersand
¢ ¢ cent
© © copyright
÷ ÷ divide
> > > greater than
< < < less than
µ µ micron
· · middle dot
pilcrow (paragraph sign)
± ± plus/minus
Euro
£ £ British Pound Sterling
® ® registered
§ § section
trademark
¥ ¥ Japanese Yen
Diacritics

á
Á
á
Á
lower-case "a" with acute accent
upper-case "A" with acute accent

à
À
à
À
lower-case "a" with grave accent
upper-case "A" with grave accent

â
Â
â
Â
lower-case "a" with circumflex
upper-case "A" with circumflex

å
Å
å
Å
lower-case "a" with ring
upper-case "A" with ring

ã
Ã
ã
Ã
lower-case "a" with tilde
upper-case "A" with tilde

ä
Ä
ä
Ä
lower-case "a" with diaeresis/umlaut
upper-case "A" with diaeresis/umlaut

æ
Æ
æ
Æ
lower-case "ae" ligature
upper-case "AE" ligature

ç
Ç
ç
Ç
lower-case "c" with cedilla
upper-case "C" with cedilla

é
É
é
É
lower-case "e" with acute accent
upper-case "E" with acute accent

è
È
è
È
lower-case "e" with grave accent
upper-case "E" with grave accent

ê
Ê
ê
Ê
lower-case "e" with circumflex
upper-case "E" with circumflex

ë
Ë
ë
Ë
lower-case "e" with diaeresis/umlaut
upper-case "E" with diaeresis/umlaut

í
Í
í
Í
lower-case "i" with acute accent
upper-case "I" with acute accent

ì
Ì
ì
Ì
lower-case "i" with grave accent
upper-case "I" with grave accent

î
Î
î
Î
lower-case "i" with circumflex
upper-case "I" with circumflex

ï
Ï
ï
Ï
lower-case "i" with diaeresis/umlaut
upper-case "I" with diaeresis/umlaut

ñ
Ñ
ñ
Ñ
lower-case "n" with tilde
upper-case "N" with tilde

ó
Ó
ó
Ó
lower-case "o" with acute accent
upper-case "O" with acute accent

ò
Ò
ò
Ò
lower-case "o" with grave accent
upper-case "O" with grave accent

ô
Ô
ô
Ô
lower-case "o" with circumflex
upper-case "O" with circumflex

ø
Ø
ø
Ø
lower-case "o" with slash
upper-case "O" with slash

õ
Õ
õ
Õ
lower-case "o" with tilde
upper-case "O" with tilde

ö
Ö
ö
Ö
lower-case "o" with diaeresis/umlaut
upper-case "O" with diaeresis/umlaut
ß ß ess-tsett

ú
Ú
ú
Ú
lower-case "u" with acute accent
upper-case "U" with acute accent

ù
Ù
ù
Ù
lower-case "u" with grave accent
upper-case "U" with grave accent

û
Û
û
Û
lower-case "u" with circumflex
upper-case "U" with circumflex

ü
Ü
ü
Ü
lower-case "u" with diaeresis/umlaut
upper-case "U" with diaeresis/umlaut
ÿ ÿ lower-case "y" with diaeresis/umlaut

`
´
`
acute accent with no letter
grave accent/reversed apostrophe with no letter

Notes:

  1. The " entity was mistakenly omitted from the HTML 3.2 specification. While use of " generates error reports when validating against 3.2, browsers have continued to recognize the entity and its use is generally safe (sticklers may wish to use " instead). The omission has been corrected in the HTML 4.0 specification.

  2. The non-breaking space (  or  ) can be used not only to prevent the separation of words by line wraps, but also to force a space equal in size to a keyboard/spacebar space (useful for indentation or wider word separation) or to "hold" space in the empty cell of a table (as in the table above).

  3. The middle dot (· or ·) can be used as a bullet and embedded anywhere in text. Because it is equal in size to a period, however, it may be necessary to apply or tags to enhance its graphic effect (use of or elements is not recommended, as these will alter the character's vertical spacing relative to other characters in the same line).

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lunge rie ads - TV ads, depicting gorgeous female models wearing scanty undergarments, are designed to make grown men groan, drool, and reach out to grab something.

e.g., The new Victoria's Secret sexy lunge rie television commercials, don't quite make me jump off the couch, but they sure make my eyes pop!

submitted by Charlie Lesko

smucker - To hit somebody.

e.g., Jim was picking on Sally, so Sally decided to smucker him.

submitted by Alyza DeBauch

voter-freud - When political pundits attempt to use polling data to "psychoanalyze" the electorate, with varying degrees of success. The use of polling data, as if it were a crystal ball, to predict election results, is more art than science.

e.g., "At last, the presidential election is here. Thank God we'll be experiencing much less voter-Freud." "'Much less"? Won't it all go away today?" "Are you kidding? The political pundits need something to argue about. Polls show the President's popularity is at an all time low."

submitted by Mitchel Yerzy - (www)

westbound - The Westbound Freight. That train we all board for our final journey.

e.g., A mournful whistle sounded and our best friend had hopped the Westbound.

submitted by Steve McDonald

"come, play..." scent - A small, seemingly insignificant happening, such as a brief whiff of a somewhat familiar perfume, that instantly evokes a nostalgic recall of a past, happy event. {ED. Reading those words evokes memories well over 60 years old -- the sulfur smells of a coal fire in the blacksmith shop down the street from my grandmother's house. Getting too close, the fire burns my eyes.}

e.g., I am sitting in my comfortable leather chair, reading, pleasantly warmed by the fire burning low in the fireplace, when I come to the words, "a summer night baseball game in a small town." Long forgotten images start swirling through my mind. I feel light-headed, sit back in my chair, and close my eyes. Am I having a "come, play..." scent moment? Suddenly, I am back there....

My father, home early from work, enters through our front door. He is wilted and sweating from the hot, early evening July sun. "Hey kids," he says, spotting me, my sister, and brother watching TV in the living room, "It's going to be a beautiful night. Let's go see the Triplets beat the crap out of Wilkes Barre tonight!"

My mother comes in from the kitchen, wiping her hands on her apron. "Good idea," she says, "It's too hot to cook." While my mother gets ready, my sister and brother run around, yelling and shrieking, hitting each other, like all little kids do when they're excited. Before long, we pile into the car and are off to the ball park home of the Triplets, the NY Yankee farm team, serving all of us baseball-crazed denizens living in the industrial-based, three small adjacent communities, collectively called, "the Triple Cities."

Now, once again the dusty aroma of the wooden bleachers, baking in the sun, rises, a pleasant smell, while the rest of the crowd comes in, noisily, bumping and jostling each other to get as comfortably arranged on the hard wood seats as possible. We hear the satisfying, sharp "crack" of bats hitting balls while the Triplets continue warm-up practice, then shouts of derision, boos, and insults from the crowd when it's Wilkes Barre's turn to warm up.

The game starts. It's Whitey Ford, our best pitcher's turn on the mound, and our fans greet him with great cheers and shouts, "Kill them, Whitey!" "Let's go, Triplets!"

Hot dogs are meant to be eaten outdoors. They taste the best then-- the vinegary and sharp bite of the mustard flows into the beefy juices of the slightly salty flavored meat. Bubbles in the bottle of my Nehi cream soda pop run up and tickle my nose. I drink it too quickly -- I feel hot in the warm sun, and anxious for the soda's cooling effect.

The game progresses as the teams strive mightily to overcome the other -- the crowd loud in its favoritism, moves, and intermittently sits and stands through the long innings, while the sun steps down and weakens in its arc, until a chill touches the air.

The night clicks on the stadium lights, bright and shining in the dark, and swarms of moths, like luminous clouds of living confetti, flutter up to, and dance in a circle all around the glow. High above, night stars twinkle in celebration of a perfect summer night. I'm out of school with long days until September, and I'm here, young and vigorous, having a great time, yelling and laughing with my neighbors, enjoying the company of my Mom and Dad, and even the two "brats" behave, and I am remembering it all -- a special summer night baseball game in a small town, the night when the Triplets "beat the crap" out of Wilkes Barre.

submitted by Charlie Lesko

"rap" punzel - A contemporary folk tale about a female American singer, famous for her musical renditions in the Rap music genre.

e.g., Winner of five grammy awards for her hit albums and singles, Sylvia "Rap" Punzel had led a life of total seclusion away from the musical stage. Her stern stepmother-manager kept her from all social contact, in their tower-mansion, high in the hills of Hollywood. A. Gootkindova Prince, famous in his own right as an Eastern European folk singer, met her one night when they were both guests on the David Letterman Show, and immediately fell in love with her. Unfortunately, "Rap" Punzel's empty life left her emotionally cold, distant, and unfeeling. Undeterred, A.G. Prince followed her to her mansion-tower, and, every evening, serenaded her, patiently, with warm and gentle love songs and lullabies. In time, "Rap" Punzel relaxed, let down her hair, and returned his love. They married, and unlike most Hollywood love stories, they lived together, happily ever after.

submitted by Charlie Lesko

"so shall" ite - A dictator of either gender.

e.g., Our neighbor, Beverly, is a down-to-earth contributor to our community. She pitches in at PTA functions, chauffeurs kids and runs errands at sports events, and handles her assignments on her church committee without any complaint. When it comes to her husband, Will, however, she acts as a true "so shall" ite.

submitted by Charlie Lesko

"the" - As in the word the but with quotes, "the." Vernacular-punctuative distinction placed on the noun preceded by article; when spoken, emphasis is simply placed on article rather than noun.

e.g., I went to see "the" Kate the other day. Variants: I went to see "the Kate" the other day. I went to see The Kate the other day.

submitted by Ronnie Donn

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