The task is to invent names for things

David L Neil DomainAdmin at
Tue Oct 26 20:48:27 EDT 2021

On 27/10/2021 12.29, Stefan Ram wrote:
> dn <PythonList at> writes:
>> On 27/10/2021 11.16, Stefan Ram wrote:
>>> The Mental Game of Python - Raymond Hettinger (PyBay 2019)
>>> |  "The computer gives us words that do ### things.
> ...
>> Alternately, if your question was to identify the mumbled word, it is
>> (seemed to me to be) "does".
>   Thanks!
>   Yes, my question was about the word at the place of the
>   "###". It does not even seem mumbled to me, but pronounced
>   with certainty and intention. That's why it makes me wonder.
>   As if there was a term "does things".

That is a colloquialism:
- my computer does things
- my program[me] does stuff

The "stuff" is something of a euphemism. In our profession, I would
suggest it is used to avoid detail, eg as a 'signal' to a non-IT person
that a more detailed answer would likely bore, or 'go over your head'.
In PM-circles we identify the beginning and end of a project - the rest
of the project plan 'stuff', is known as 'the miracle that happens in
the middle'. Want more detail? Do we have more detail? What do I know?

If a dog owner said: "my dog does things" it would again be a euphemism,
but in this case employed to avoid saying something distasteful, ie that
the puppy is not (yet) house-trained.

That said, I suspect if you tried to use it in an English
(language/literature) essay, the teacher/prof would take exception to
such informality, and demand a 'better' noun!

Believe it or not, my second trainee-discussion of the day included a
question similarly-worded: 'why does the computer/interpreter/run-time
do these things?'.

Rather than 'literature', I taught this guy one of my favorite
excursions into the world of poetry (the specific type of poetic stuff
is "doggerel"):

I really hate this dumb* machine,
I wish that they would sell it.
It never does quite what I want,
but only what I tell it!

* you might regard this word as a euphemism for another

Upon which note, and your observation that I am no English-major, it's
probably time we went to do things...
Regards =dn

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