Today’s New Word: “Tuttled”

April 1st, 2006

So remember Jerry Taylor, the man from Tuttle, OK that threatened to call the FBI on a Linux vendor because an unrelated hosting company had misconfigured Apache?

Well, this story is just getting funnier and funnier.

First off is this story from the Tuttle Times. It basically repeats Taylor’s view that the CentOS people were expected to help him with his problem, and that he was somehow entitled to their help. But there are some funny tidbits in the story:

“Phone calls from across the country started coming in to the newspaper and city offices, and e-mails from Switzerland, Australia, Wales and England were received. Many of the web sites discussing the exchange are in foreign languages.” I hate to break it to you, but Australia, Wales, and England all speak English.

(Ok, so they did switch from talking about email to web, but it still sounds funny.)

“In their search to find out more, web surfers discovered that the Tuttle Times online forums were hacked, and theorized that it was in retribution for the e-mails. Those forums, however, were corrupted several months ago, and the newspaper’s now former web hosts did not repair it after numerous requests. New forums should be available at the Times site in the coming weeks.” I’m so glad to know that your forums were merely corrupted for months and not hacked. Sounds like the IT problems in this town extend well past the city building.

Taylor said: “[CentOS is] a free operating system that this guy gives away, which tells you how much time he’s got on his hands.” Grumble.

Quoting Tuttle Mayor Paxton (trying to say what was more important than this): We have issues with sewer. People here want better park facilities. They want a library. I think this has just validated every stereotype people have about Oklahoma.

Tuttle is more than 7 times larger than my hometown in Kansas, and yet my hometown has had a library for years.

Jerry Taylor also reported having 500 e-mails and numerous phone messages when he arrived to work Monday.

There’s a new blurb on the Wikipedia page about Tuttle about all this. And in their talk page about the now-deleted article on Jerry Taylor, one person wrote: “Mr. Taylor’s actions have coined a new term of art “Tuttled”, in reference to the invocation of criminal consequences by one who is ignorant of the true situation. Since this is now a part of the English vernacular the story behind the term should be explained to give it an historical context. It is no longer about the action of a single person and an attempt to publicly vilify him, it is about a world-wide common experience of dealing with a Kafka-esque minor government official who, through ignorance, creates problems far beyond their normal sphere of influence. The page should be returned to the public.”

The Register has two new stories about it. The first reports that Taylor has been interviewed by all sorts of media and says that he did the right thing. The second, Linux conquered, Tuttle man takes on London is a story about the grandson of the namesake of Tuttle, OK — who happens to be the current US ambassador to the UK. This person is refusing to pay the regular London car fees. The mayor of London said: “It would actually be quite nice if the American ambassador in Britain could pay the charge like everybody else and not skive out of it like some chiseling little crook.”

And finally, there’s some incredibly funny photoshop work on this one over at fark.com (you have to scroll down a ways). Also, this comment:

“A small-town American politician wants a British newspaper to turn off the Internet.

Say that to yourself a few times. Please.”

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  1. pete

    No, in Wales they speak Welsh, as well as or instead of English.

    Reply

    John Goerzen Reply:

    According to Wikipedia, only 20% of the people in Wales know any Welsh at all, and almost none are monolingual in Welsh. Though they are both official languages.

    But I was correct that they speak English in Wales. Though certain English people would probably claim otherwise, just as they would about the United States :-)

    Reply

  2. pete

    Well, I grew up in Wales and there are parts where many of the old people only speak Welsh. Welsh is compulsarily taught in schools up to the age of about 14. It felt as though you were stating that people in Wales only spoke English, which is why I commented. I don’t know the statistics, but Wikipedia’s claim of 20% of people knowing any Welsh sounds very unlikely – you can’t miss the language when you’re in Wales, all the road signs are in Welsh first then English, and also all government documentation.

    Reply

    John Goerzen Reply:

    That’s interesting, and I stand corrected. I’d enourage you to go and update the Wikipedia article — or at least post in its Talk page — so that can get corrected.

    I wasn’t trying to say that people speak only English in those areas. I did know about the Welsh language already, believe it or not. And of course there are large immigrant populations in some areas too.

    Just trying to make a little joke.

    Reply

  3. cliff

    This is some good reading. Your dummied down version of a few days ago, helped me to understand what’s going on.
    On your 3-31 blog, I have never even thought that there would be people not accustomed to the howling of the pack.

    Reply

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