A Few Things

Jun 25 2009 Published by under Synaptic Misfires

First off, how many is a "few"? I mean, I think of a "couple" as two, and a "few" as three. But what does that make five? "Some"?

Anyway, please head on over and congratulation Southern Fried Scientist for his Quark win!!! 3quarksdaily picked his post on dolphin-safe tuna for their quark award! I'm so jealous, but it's a great post and totally deserves it. The other quarks went to Daylight Atheism and Bad Astronomy, and they were both worth checking out. Clearly I need to write some better stuff before next year...I want a quark to hang on my wall...
Secondly, you should check out a post AK wrote on defining neurotransmitters. When we discuss neurotransmission, even in scientific papers, we tend to think very simplistically about it. This is something that is necessary in papers where you might have a 39,000 word limit, but it's not necessarily a good thing.

Next, I'm sure you all have heard about the Dancing Cockatoo, Snowball, who can dance to the rhythm of music (though he's got TERRIBLE taste, I mean, the Backstreet Boys?! That's so...1998...). Check out the new book about the brain, music, and language, at the official blog by Oxford University Press! There's also apparently a documentary, though I think it'll be over by now. I don't know if I support this kind of research, though. I mean, the BACKSTREET BOYS!? How did THAT pass animal welfare regulations?

7 responses so far

  • angela says:

    I also define a 'couple' to be two and a 'few' to be three...
    Thanks for the links!

  • Andrew says:

    I had a boss once who used "couple" to mean about 3-4, "few" to mean maybe 6 or so, and "several" to mean perhaps 10 or more.
    This would get very confusing, because to me "couple" is either exactly 2, or for uncertain quantities "almost certainly 2", "few" is usually around 3 or 4, and "several" around 4-6.

  • Charlie B. says:

    5 is "several"...

  • Zachary says:

    "Several" is 5-7 for me. I guess I use "couple" for 2-3 and "few" for 3-4, approximately -- but I don't have a clear idea of how I use the latter two.

  • Richard Simons says:

    Fifty grains of rice is a few, fifty birthday cakes is a lot. To me, it really depends on what you are talking about but I agree, a few is at least three.

  • Thanks for the compliment! I'm glad you liked my post.

  • DD says:

    5 is a handful, pentadactyly speaking.

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