The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Friday, November 09, 2018

The time that marketing failed to understand the culture

Bunny sent along a story where a company tried to market themselves at a gaming convention by handing out d20s with their logo on it. Let's just say they rolled a critical failure.

“So bitchin' luck to little Dorothy and that chick companions. May they live long in their invisible country and be superhappy!”

It's amazing how a little Internet outtage can focus the mind. I finally figured out what my NaNoGenMo 2018 entry should be and I finished it just prior to the Internet coming back online.

Years ago, I came across some programs that would translate text to some vernacular, like Jive:

It's amazin' how some little Internet outtage kin focus de mind. I finally figured out whut mah' Nashunal Novel Generashun Mond 2018 entry should be and ah' finished it plum prio' t'de Internet comin' back online. What it is, Mama!

Um … yeah … let's not speak of that one again, shall we? Good.

But I had some other ones too. One converted text to Valleyspeak, and another one converts text to sound like the Swedish Chef:

It's emezeeng hoo a leettle-a Internet oooottege-a cun fucoos zee meend. Bork Bork Bork! I feenelly feegoored oooot vhet my Neshunel Nufel Genereshun Munt 2018 intry shuoold be-a und I feenished it joost preeur tu zee Internet cumeeng beck oonleene-a. Bork Bork Bork!

Um … okay, it's not as bad as Jive—it's not like I want to burn my eyes after reading it so I'll use that one too.

My thought, which came after several failed attempts at coming up with a hook for this years NaNoGenMo, is to “translate” one of the Oz books (the first one that exceeds 50,000 words—turns out it's The Emerald City of Oz, #6 in the series) to Valleyspeak, but to have all the spoken parts “translated” to Swedish Chef.

The original programs are written in lex and I didn't feel like going through the hassle of trying to combine the two properly. So I converted each one to LPeg. That will make it easier to combine the two. The Valleyspeak program was a straightforward translation into Lua (um, pun unintended).

The Swedish Chef version however … it wasn't quite so easy. It took a close reading of the lex man page to figure out what was going on with that code (darn that lack of Intarwebs! <shakes fist at ISP>). Then about an hour or two converting that to LPeg, what with the backtracking and look-aheads going on in the original code.

Once both of those were working, I then set about combining the two. The first time I generated a “novel,” the translators flipped—at the start, it was in Valleyspeak with speech in Swedish Chef, but about halfway through it was in Swedish Chef with speech in Valleyspeak! Turned out there was some speech that spanned paragraphs, and as per the American style, when that happens, the trailing quote is left off the initial paragraph.

Some more fighting code, and I finally have my novel—The Valley Girl of Oz, Bjork Bjork Bjork.

So, until next year, read and enjoy.

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