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Author Topic: Why's it called a cantrip?  (Read 19774 times)

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DG

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Re: Why's it called a cantrip?
« Reply #50 on: October 06, 2011, 09:05:00 pm »
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Repetition is what makes something "spammable"

That's the Dominion interpretation that you've worked backwards. If we start from unsolicited mail, then that typically isn't repeated. Spam mail is unwanted mail sent typically sent to a wide range of unknown recipients who never asked for it. An item of spam can have single issue with massive distribution. A recipient of spam may see many examples of it that are all different and not repeated.

I cannot think of any context other than Dominion in which I have heard the word spammable.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2011, 09:07:07 pm by DG »
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rinkworks

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Re: Why's it called a cantrip?
« Reply #51 on: October 06, 2011, 09:07:19 pm »
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Spam email came to be called spam because it's stuff that's "spammed," as in, mindlessly sent out everywhere en masse.  It's an odd word, because that meaning of it actually derives from Monty Python.  The "spam spam spam" routine -- buncha dudes repeating something over and over again.  The focus is on the sending of it, which is repeated, not on a recipient receiving it, which may or may not be receiving multiple copies.

"Spammable" is at least as legitimate a word as the verb form, which is what birthed the noun -- not the other way around!  It's probably not a great word to describe playing lots of copies of an actually useful Dominion card, but when I read someone say "spammable" in here the first time, I knew exactly what it meant.

Edit:  Wikipedia
« Last Edit: October 06, 2011, 09:11:48 pm by rinkworks »
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ChaosRed

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Re: Why's it called a cantrip?
« Reply #52 on: October 06, 2011, 11:48:20 pm »
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Spam email came to be called spam because it's stuff that's "spammed," as in, mindlessly sent out everywhere en masse.  It's an odd word, because that meaning of it actually derives from Monty Python.  The "spam spam spam" routine -- buncha dudes repeating something over and over again.  The focus is on the sending of it, which is repeated, not on a recipient receiving it, which may or may not be receiving multiple copies.

No, it was called spam because it was cheap, awful product to digest. Mass produced  to be sure, but an email that's proliferated to a lot of people that you enjoy (say email from your favorite sports team) isn't dubbed spam. Spam is junk, it has nothing to do with how much it can proliferate.

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"Spammable" is at least as legitimate a word as the verb form, which is what birthed the noun -- not the other way around!  It's probably not a great word to describe playing lots of copies of an actually useful Dominion card, but when I read someone say "spammable" in here the first time, I knew exactly what it meant.

No, spammable is jargon. At least "spam" is a brand name luncheon meat of BAD meat product (particularly consumed in England where canned meat is *still* somewhat acceptable).

Spammable isn't a real word, its gaming jargon, which doesn't mean you can't use it, but it does explain why I disliked the term. Spammable usually refers to abilities in a game that are so mindless, you can endlessly click them without worry of context or tactic.  Haste in City of Heroes was a "spammable" power that you put on auto-attack, because at any point in a fight it was useful, so you can could click it without context or worry. If you had the right combos, Haste actually became "perma spam", a dumb, mindless power that was always on and you never had to worry about.

Even gaming powers that have long recharges can be dubbed "spammable", in fact many are. When you are told to spam powers in WOW that cripple or slow down opponents, it doesn't matter that these powers don't pop up every second (some pop up every 15 seconds). You spam them because they are junk powers, you don't need to think about, because they are useful in any PVP match, in any context. Powers like SAP are not 'spammable' because they require pre-requisites or particular context to fire, despite the fact they propagate (or recharge) faster than other powers that are dubbed "spammable". You are taught to spam powers as a fighter that cripple opponents, which means the moment it recharges, hit it without even thinking about it. This is why its not a good term for Dominion, a Lab might have +actions, but you often have to think when is the best time to play it for a particular hand. If you know you have no +buy and you are at 8 already and you know there's one gold left in your last 3 before a reshuffle, you have to think about NOT playing it. That's not a spammable power, by normal gaming definition.

I really feel it's a completely inappropriate to describe a cantrip, which is a much more elegant term, because it refers to a lighter cast of little significance and difficulty. Spam is junk, stupid junk  you don't care about. The joke in the Monty Python sketch is that the dumb restaurant served an abundance of it, even though its awful. The term was applied to unwanted, useless email back in the days of Pine...and it meant the email was unsolicited and junk. Meanwhile other email might have been pervasive, but if it was well-received, or useful it wasn't dubbed as spam.

Even in your own link, the emphasis is on junk, and being unsolicited. Bulk mail, you actually want isn't spam.

It doesn't describe the situation nearly as well as a cantrip.

It's a silly thing to argue (its becoming like the spam sketch itself), so I'll withdraw from this thread.

Bottom line: Spam as a descriptor sucks, stick with cantrip, it works much better. Copper and Curses are spam. A Lab isn't.
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DStu

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Re: Why's it called a cantrip?
« Reply #53 on: October 07, 2011, 03:12:52 am »
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I don't agree with your definition that "to spam" is only about being junk. The Wiktionary http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/spam , its definied (next to actually sending spam as)
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    To relentlessly attack an enemy with a spell or ability.


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Copper and Curses are spam. A Lab isn't.
Nobody says a Lab is spam. It's spammable. Curses are spam. They are not spammable. They are not even playable...
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ftl

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Re: Why's it called a cantrip?
« Reply #54 on: October 07, 2011, 06:24:47 am »
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That's the Dominion interpretation that you've worked backwards.

No, at best it's the Super Smash Brothers interpretation that I've worked backwards from. I've played that game far more than Dominion. It sticks out in my mind because someone on the SSBB forums at one point posted a parody of "Prince of Bel Air" in which the refrain was something like "just keep spamming Marth's forward-air." And oh god Samus's range-spam is crazy-good...

Or other games. I'm 99% sure I've heard World of Warcraft gamers use the term. I've definitely heard it among Starcrafters, though it was in the context of "don't just spam buttons to raise your actions-per-minute, make every click count." and not about strategic choices.

It's not just a Dominion term; I think it's pretty widespread in gaming, though maybe not as widespread in board games as in e-gaming? Dunno. I never really separated those cultures too much because most people I know who's are in one are in the other. Didn't realize the term hadn't spread there, especially since it came up here in this thread in Dominion (and I didn't even bring it up myself). 

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I really feel it's a completely inappropriate to describe a cantrip, which is a much more elegant term, because it refers to a lighter cast of little significance and difficulty.

Sure, I wasn't claiming that 'spammable' should replace 'cantrip' or anything. I like 'cantrip'.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2011, 06:31:07 am by ftl »
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rinkworks

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Re: Why's it called a cantrip?
« Reply #55 on: October 07, 2011, 09:38:55 am »
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Spam email came to be called spam because it's stuff that's "spammed," as in, mindlessly sent out everywhere en masse.  It's an odd word, because that meaning of it actually derives from Monty Python.  The "spam spam spam" routine -- buncha dudes repeating something over and over again.  The focus is on the sending of it, which is repeated, not on a recipient receiving it, which may or may not be receiving multiple copies.

No, it was called spam because it was cheap, awful product to digest. Mass produced  to be sure, but an email that's proliferated to a lot of people that you enjoy (say email from your favorite sports team) isn't dubbed spam. Spam is junk, it has nothing to do with how much it can proliferate.

There's nothing else to say here, except that you're wrong.  I supplied a reference.  Where's yours?  Here's another:

Quote
There were several thousand such newsgroups, and each one got the ad.  Quickly people identified it as "spam" and the word caught on. Future multiple postings soon got the appelation. Some people also applied it to individual unwanted ads that weren't posted again and again, though generally it was associated with the massive flood of the same message. It turns out, however, that the term had been in use for some time before the famous green card flood.
...
My research shows the term goes back to the late 1980s and the "MUD" community. . . . The term spamming got used to apply to a few different behaviours. One was to flood the computer with so much data as to crash it. Another was to "spam the database" by having a program create a huge number of objects, rather then creating them by hand. And the term was sometimes used to mean simply flooding a chat session with a bunch of text inserted by a program (commonly called a "bot" today) or just by inserting a file instead of your own real time typing output.

Note two things:  (1) the consistent emphasis on repetition, and (2) the verb came first, or at the very least hand-in-hand with the noun form as meaning "the product of spamming."

You go on to say how spam is typically* junk and therefore makes the term unsuited to Dominion cantrips.  But I already conceded to that point when I said, "It's probably not a great word to describe playing lots of copies of an actually useful Dominion card."

(*Or "always," if you prefer.  I'd say "typically," because I'd call the Encyclopedia Britannica spam if it were mass mailed, but I'm not picky on this point.)
« Last Edit: October 07, 2011, 09:43:50 am by rinkworks »
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ChaosRed

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Re: Why's it called a cantrip?
« Reply #56 on: October 07, 2011, 11:27:04 am »
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rinkworks, I respect you way too much to continue debating this point, much further. Spam is a BRAND NAME. That's its origin. It goes back to rationing and World War, where canned protein was quite useful. To turn that into a verb makes the word jargon. Your own "Wikitionary" link, essentially admits the term is jargon.

Go to a dictionary, find "spammable"...it comes up with nothing...

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/spammable

That's because its jargon, not really a word.

Spam was, and always has been associated as poverty food. The term applied to electronic mail was developed decades later and SPECIFICALLY refers to unwanted, junky content, something you were stuck with, but didn't really want, just like the real spam in the days of bomb shelters.

But you know, I am just noob, and a nerdy gamer, who has seen gamer jargon come and go. Jargon in some ways is organic and personal. Some people repeat the "cool story bro" meme, others kinda sneer at it. It's how gaming jargon goes. Cantrip matches better for me, I'll use it, you like "spammable", you should use it.

My apologies I belabored the point, most especially since my experience with this game is just six weeks old. So point conceded my friend, your advice on this forum is too valuable to me to continue to antagonize you. Cheers.

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DG

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Re: Why's it called a cantrip?
« Reply #57 on: October 07, 2011, 11:48:01 am »
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It's probably worth noting that during the rationing of world war II there wasn't such a thing as junk food. All food was good food. Rationing continued for a surprisingly long time after the war ended as well, although spam was certainly considered low quality by the 1970s.
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rinkworks

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Re: Why's it called a cantrip?
« Reply #58 on: October 07, 2011, 12:57:17 pm »
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To turn that into a verb makes the word jargon. Your own "Wikitionary" link, essentially admits the term is jargon.

Go to a dictionary, find "spammable"...it comes up with nothing...

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/spammable

That's because its jargon, not really a word.

That same reference also lists "spam" to refer to junk email as both a noun and a verb.  Does that make those uses not jargon?  Anyway, I'm not sure that "words" and "jargon" are mutually exclusive, or that vocabulary that qualifies as "jargon" is necessarily subjective and personal.  "Port" and "starboard" are sailing jargon; they're legitimate English words, and their meanings are fixed and specific.  Jargon just means "the language, especially the vocabulary, peculiar to a particular trade, profession, or group."  It's not (necessarily) non-standard English; rather, words that are usually only used by, or which derived from, a specialized group.  You may argue that "spam" is computing jargon and/or gamer's jargon, but the verdict on that classification says nothing about its legitimacy or specificity as an English word.  Perhaps you mean "slang," but none of the cited resources on dictionary.com cite any of the modern definitions as slang, and dictionaries (most of which I'm not very fond of) are usually pretty good about that.

We're now up to three references (the third being your own dictionary.com) that specify what the verb form of "spam" means -- and, for that matter, the noun form as being the product of spamming, not "junk" in general -- and thereby contradict your claim that "Spam is junk, it has nothing to do with how much it can proliferate."  It has everything to do with how much it can proliferate, as every resource cited thus far has said.  I'm boggled and frustrated that you're still insisting otherwise.

As for "spammable," if it helps I'll withdraw my claim that it's "at least as legitimate" as the verb form.  Still, even as mere slang, its definition is clear and logical, given the fact of the verb form.  Lots of legitimate verb derivatives, by the way, are missing from abridged dictionaries, particular -er and -ers.  Similarly, you can often find -able adjectives without their equally legitimate -ably adverbs and -ability nouns; ditto with -y adjectives missing their -ily and -iness counterparts.  (Often -ier and -iest, too, but for some reason the rules of English decree that not every adjective's -ier and -iest forms are "correct.")
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