For Some, Software Engineering is a Matter of Principle

I’ve long been irritated when people mix up “principal” and “principle” in job titles and elsewhere. If you’re unsure about this yourself, please read Grammar Girl’s estimable explainer on the subject. Recently, while doing some prospecting on LinkedIn – and learning the ins and outs of advanced and Boolean searches – I thought to check how widespread the error is…

Screenshot 2014-09-14 15.52.34 Screenshot 2014-09-14 15.52.55
I’m happy to report that nine out of ten software engineers got it right. Alas, searching the totality of titles for “principal” pulled 603,243 results vs 26,630 for “principle” giving an error rate of only 4%, so software engineers appear more prone to this error than others.  Assuming, of course, that all of the “principle” titles really should be “principal” titles.

To the four thousand plus principle software engineers who probably should be principal software engineers, I’d suggest either fixing it, or really committing to the principle and becoming principled software engineers, like these two:

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After all, who would want to hire any other kind?

Bus Stop Followup, still no PARK(ing)

It’s been well over a year since the MBTA decommissioned a pair of bus stops near limeduck world HQ, and the space is still vacant. They finally removed the bus stop sign, but there’s still a no parking sign. No car parking, bike parking, no EV charging, no pocket park, no Bridj stop, no hopscotch board. I’ve got to say I’m (still) disappointed. I don’t miss the bus stop much, but every time I walk by, I think, “meh.” It’s in front of the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, you’d think they could do something with it.

This bus stop has run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile

Well, interestingly enough, this Friday, many Cambridge parking spots will be turned into something else, but this area, since it’s not a parking spot, will remain a void.

This Friday is PARK(ing) Day, a sort of open-source urban intervention wherein people occupy parking spots (the do feed the meters) and create temporary parks and other 200 square foot oases for the day. Our Fair City, Cambridge, is participating and the map below shows the location of most of the sites so far.

PARK(ing) day 2014 map of Cambridge

I’m looking forward to PARK(ing) Day and I hope it gives Cambridge – and maybe others – some good ideas about using spare street space for something interesting, maybe even more than once a year.

Photo Matching Fail

I’ve walked by this advert for a tanning salon countless times, and each time I got a vaguely uncomfortable feeling and quickened my pace. I recently took the time to stare down my fear and figure out just what’s wrong with this advert. Do you see it?


The whole tanning business sort of gives me the creeps, and the photo of the gun-like thing pointed at the model’s bony hip bone is pretty uncool, but the real problem is on the right side of the central collage:


Eeek.  What’s the photo equivalent of a proofreader? And where exactly are that dude’s left hands going and what are they doing there?