long URLs (was Re: Where words come from)

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jan 4 18:46:21 UTC 2009

On Sun, Jan 4, 2009 at 11:12 AM, Jonathan Lighter
<wuxxmupp2000 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Probably old news for many, but WTH:
> =A0
> =A0
> http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20090102/sc_livescience/wherewordscomef=
> rom;_ylt=3DAq1igEm6lDe03zYsFXm1E5YPLBIF
> =A0
> JL=0A=0A=0A

For those who, like me, saw this post (and many others) as
interspersed with sequences of
and with the very long URL split across two lines and interrupted with a

1. You can now access this article at http://tinyurl.com/a5c6ql .

2. You can also shorten the given URL by cutting off everything after
the semicolon: that is, to http:// followed by


This is true of many websites: When you access an article through
their home page or a link somewhere, they often send you to a URL that
includes various data that they want to keep track of about their
viewers. But if the URL includes some form of the title, as in this
case, then you don't need anything past that. (There may also be a dot
and an extension, as in


where all you need is

   http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/04/jobs/04babies.html  .)

I apply this kind of truncation when posting URLs, at least whenever I
remember to do so. I also have a bookmark to http://tinyurl.com to
make tiny URLs.

Mark Mandel

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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