Songs without words

Robin Hamilton robin.hamilton2 at BTINTERNET.COM
Sun Apr 25 07:00:37 UTC 2010

Could this be termed an instance of Bot-Speak?

I notice that when I'm reliably informed by some generous and terminally ill
person that I'm about have untold millions of dollars transferred to my bank
account (please provide details), I'm addressed as robin.hamilton2, not an
identity that I'm accustomed to using when discussing the weather with

Thus the iTunes copywriters reflect common usage in their whoopla
advertising, but the iTunes Bot reduces all tracks, whether instrumental,
vocal, or a mix of both, to the generic "songs".

Does Whitman's song of himself chuckle in the background?

Thus Robot shall speak in pieces to Android ...  It's a wired world, my
hearties, whether eclectic, electric, or electronic.



----- Original Message -----
From: "Douglas G. Wilson" <douglas at NB.NET>
Sent: Sunday, April 25, 2010 7:29 AM
Subject: Re: Songs without words

> ---------------------- Information from the mail
> header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Douglas G. Wilson" <douglas at NB.NET>
> Subject:      Re: Songs without words
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Robin Hamilton wrote:
>> ....
>> "The usage of "song" to mean "music contained in a single track" in
>> software
>> such as iTunes will doubtless accelerate this trend."
>> Well, yes, this might be the case, if that were what iTunes indicates
>> when
>> it uses the term "song".  Here's the first relevant google hit, from the
>> iTunes website:
>> "The Country Throwdown Tour is giving away 7 free songs as a teaser
>> before
>> their tour. Here are the songs that you can download for FREE on iTunes."
> --
> Responding to this (tangential) point only ....
> iTunes (at least my copy!) uses "song" to mean "track" or "audio file".
> If I rip a CD containing a four-movement four-track symphony, all
> instrumental, the software will inform me that there are "4 songs". If I
> have another "album" containing 12 tracks/files of lessons in how to
> speak Swahili, with no music whatsoever, the software will tell me that
> there are "12 songs".
> I suppose this is based on the assumption that any audio track
> presumably contains a recording of somebody singing a 'song'. Probably
> from the accountant's standpoint this is reasonable: I guess there are
> not many spondulicks in recorded symphonies ... or language lessons ...
> or famous speeches ... or bird calls (hmm, maybe the bird calls can be
> called 'songs' anyway).
> -- Doug Wilson
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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