Margot Adler »« How PGP works

How rogeting leads to sinister buttocks

With the appearance of software that can detect plagiarism, those who are too lazy to compose their own prose have been forced to take steps to try and avoid detection. Thus the word ‘rogeting’ has entered the lexicon, coined by a lecturer in business information systems who found strange phrases in his students’ essays.

Rogeting stands for the practice of replacing phrases in the copied text with alternatives from dictionaries so as to fool the software. This can lead to humorous results since the alternative may not match the context of the original, and can result in replacing “to stay ahead of the competition” with “to tarry fore of the conflict” and “more powerful personalised services” with “Herculean personalised liturgies”.

And what about “sinister buttocks”? It apparently originates (somehow) from the phrase “left behind”. That would actually make a good description of the series of bizarre but best-selling Christian fundamentalist novels about the rapture called Left Behind.

Comments

  1. corwyn says

    And what about “sinister buttocks”? It apparently originates (somehow) from the phrase “left behind”.

    On the off chance that someone doesn’t know, ‘sinister’ is latin for ‘left’.

  2. moarscienceplz says

    I’m not an expert on Latin, but Google Translate gives “sinistram poterat” as the Latin translation for “turn left”, and “sinistram” for “left side”. So I’m not sure “sinister” is truly Latin. However, it is the proper term in English heraldry for the left side of a coat of arms.

  3. moarscienceplz says

    This reminds me of Flip Wilson, who on his TV show in the early ’70s, would replace the phrase, “Far out!” with, “Infinitely distant!”

  4. Andrew G. says

    moarscienceplz @2: “sinister” is the masculine nominative singular, while “sinistram” is the feminine accusative singular.

  5. kellym says

    Please tell me that I’m not the only one who thought that “Sinister Buttocks” was a rogeting of “Bad Ass.”

  6. says

    @moarscienceplz #2 – Latin can be tricky. Sinister is a noun. Sinistram adds a suffix that roughly means “the direction of”, turning the noun into an adjective. Sinister is used where in English we might use “of the two, the one on the left,” whether it is the left side of a shield or the left of two columns on a porch. Sinistram would be used when you are describing something (“my left hand”) or indicating a direction (“turn left.”)

  7. Andrew G. says

    #10 that’s… I think I’ll go as far as to say wrong.

    “Sinister” in Latin is an adjective. Like all Latin adjectives it inflects in number, gender, and case to match the noun, so you have (in the nominative case) “sinister oculus” (left eye), “sinistra manus” (left hand), “sinistrum latus” (left side/flank), because those nouns are masculine, feminine and neuter respectively. (As in English, though, the noun may go unsaid, leaving the adjective functioning as a noun.)

    “Sinistram” is the feminine accusative singular, so you’d use “manum sinistram” to mean “left hand” as the (direct) object of an action; when you’re not talking about actual hands, “sinsitram” alone is used for “(towards the) left”, hence #2’s results from google translate. “Sinistram” would not be used for describing something which is not a feminine singluar accusative noun.

  8. says

    corwyn:

    On the off chance that someone doesn’t know, ‘sinister’ is latin for ‘left’.

    As a fan of the X-Men, I’m getting a good laugh out of their villain Mr. Sinister right now…

  9. Holms says

    The funny thing for me is the fact that sinister came to its current meaning of creep / scary because of it being associated with left- (sinister) handed people. Lefties were just *that* disliked back then.

  10. Silentbob says

    @ 15 Holms

    Indeed. To this day the technical term for left-handed is sinistral, and for right-handed, dextral.

    You only have to compare the modern dictionary definitions for the derivative words:

    dexterous – skillful or adroit in the use of the hands or body
    sinister – threatening or portending evil, harm, or trouble; ominous

    … to see a some very obvious anti-lefty prejudice. ;-)

  11. Mano Singham says

    Holms and Silentbob,

    I was wondering about the connection between sinister and left and your comments clarified it. Weird how people once viewed such a trivial thing.

  12. Rob Grigjanis says

    Holms and Silentbob: Many of us lefties have long been aware of such rightie prejudice. See also gauche; clumsy, awkward, graceless. The word ‘left’ itself comes from the Old English for ‘weak’.

  13. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    what about “sinister buttocks”? It apparently originates (somehow) from the phrase “left behind”. That would actually make a good description of the series of bizarre but best-selling Christian fundamentalist novels about the rapture called Left Behind.

    Thinking of which Fred Clark’s Slacktivist blog on Patheos here :

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/tag/left-behind/

    has been doing a superb job of deconstructing and analysing that particular really very nasty and appallingly badly written series for many years

  14. Donnie says

    @18 : Rob Grigjanis

    Holms and Silentbob: Many of us lefties have long been aware of such rightie prejudice. See also gauche; clumsy, awkward, graceless. The word ‘left’ itself comes from the Old English for ‘weak’.

    That is why I became amphibious! Errr, I mean, ambidextrous. I write left handed but I was amphibious as a young lad. My school teacher forced me to pick a hand. She was so exasperated from me switching hands between writing when one hand became tired, sh did not care which hand. This was early 70s, so the right-hand preference was slowly being eliminated unlike in Old England.

    I choose my left hand for writing – maybe because Dad was left handed? I use my right hand for all sports – though I can use the left hand in a pinch. However, fine motor skills like writing, knife work in the kitchen, and chopsticks require the use of my left – though I can use the right in a pinch.

    Amphibious for the win!!!!! Of course, using a fricken’ rotary dial phone growing up still causes me nightmares.

    P.S. Obligatory Bizzaro Comic by Dan Piraro regarding “Being left-handed in the Middle Ages”.

    http://bizarrocomics.com/files/2014/05/Bizarro-05-14-06GAYsm.jpg

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