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#1 Twin Window

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Posted 30 September 2004 - 12:23

Please use this place to leave your comments, suggestions, observations or anything else you'd like to raise with regard to TNF.

For those who'd prefer to communicate with me privately, please PM or email me.

Over to you...!

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#2 Even Darker

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Posted 01 October 2004 - 03:53

TW

I think this may be a good time to start addressing some of the practical issues raised in recent months that have become obscured by the emotive aspects of the issues raised. I hope that we can find a way to preserve and enhance the knowledge that is locked away here.

The structure of the threads and the tools available to work with them provide a very unwieldy and unsatisfactory way of accessing the knowledge buried in TNF. The search tools are very limited and the proliferation of similar threads that was encouraged by the archived threads made the limitations worse. Even long serving members find it very dificult to locate knowledge that they know is in there somewhere.

I believe a good start in addressing this has been made by unlocking the archives and beginning to merge threads. Bira has also hinted in one of her posts that improvements in the forums may be coming, hopefully these will include more sophisticated search facilities.

However, I think these will only take us so far and I think we should also consider what other steps can be taken to make the knowledge here more accessible. Without some steps to do this the value of this accumulated wisdom will comtinue to degrade as it becomes harder and harder to locate.

It may be that the only way to move beyond the limitations of the software is for human intervention in the form of indexing or editing, an extension of what you are already doing by merging threads.

This is clearly too much for any one person to take on, but perhaps there is scope to take the SETI approach of divide and conquer. A sub-editor could be appointed for a particular topic e.g. Caracciola (Me! Me! :wave: ) with responsibility for applying whatever approach was agreed on to make the sum of the knowledge on that topic more structured and accessible. When complete, this would be verified by a more senior editor and then released to the forum members.

The approach used could range from simple cross-referencing in-situ, to copying the whole lot to a separate database and doing some more serious editing and consolidation to produce a sort of encyclopaedia article containing the sum of our knowledge, speculations and opinions on the topic.

This may all be unrealistic, as I am sure most members are, like myself, struggling just to find enough time to keep up with the new stuff, without devoting any more time to TNF. Or it may be that improved software will eliminate many of the current problems. But perhaps my suggestions will prompt some ideas from members with more experience or better ideas on tackling the issues.

#3 dretceterini

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Posted 01 October 2004 - 05:27

Reinstatement of the "Court" would be great...

#4 Twin Window

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Posted 01 October 2004 - 10:16

Thanks for your input, chaps.

Steve - definately food for thought, and I will have a long hard think about it prior to requesting further information from 'above' with regard to future plans and how they would effect things in the context of your suggestion. I do have one idea, however, and I'll get back to you on it.

Stu - I'm aware of the Court, but only as something that was active before I joined up. Was it not more of an RC thing? Forgive my ignorance here, but I'm struggling to see how it could work in TNF simply because we're primarily dealing with historical facts here. If I'm missing the point, please educate me!

#5 dretceterini

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Posted 02 October 2004 - 00:52

I joined just after the court ended. I think the point was for people to express opinions over particular situations, and try to come to a conclusion. Specific people were "appointed" judges for each situation, based on their expertise in that particular area.

Stu

#6 Wolf

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Posted 02 October 2004 - 17:21

Twinny, I think it's quite nice that You're trying to improve 'searchability' of TNF, but I found Your proposal in another thread a bit unfeasable. Lest I be labeled as 'unconstructive', I would suggest that You (and someone else that might offer help with it) add a single post to each thread containing keywords for that thread. It could maybe be handy to have a 'bogus' member called Search (or somesuch), whose pwd You'd have to share with people helping You in this task, so one could type keywords one is looking for and member name Search, to get the best search results... Just my 2c worth.

P.S. You could take a look at last post in this thread- a small request for merging three threads with very similar topic. Thanks in advance. :)

#7 Wolf

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Posted 02 October 2004 - 18:06

Oops, sorry- I forgot to put a link to the thread... *dOh* :blush: http://forums.atlasf...&threadid=69722

#8 Twin Window

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Posted 02 October 2004 - 18:28

Thanks for the suggestion, Wolf. The idea of inserting keywords isn't a great deal different to what I'm trying to do now. I've already agreed in principle to the idea of ensuring date references and three-plus marque type numbers will get changed in thread content in addition to thread titles - if I get some help - which will help achieve the same end result.

Meanwhile, here's the Preluk - the 'Opatija' circuit thread, merged from the three you requested. If the title isn't succinct enough, please let me know and I'll amend it.

#9 panzani

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Posted 02 October 2004 - 19:13

Wolf and Stuart,

The way I understand it, and Biranit of course will correct me if I am wrong, vBulletin already indexes everything it should index - it does not, however, index words with less than 3 letters, which is at least clever, as long as these 2-letter words are only marginal on English language. I would bet vBulletin does not index 'and', 'for', 'but', 'was', and a lot of other 3-letter words also, as they are just non-significant words, they just connect the ones that really matter. No Bulletin Board software can be written forecasting '23' is not just a number but perhaps the most succesful car ever built.

If the above statment is correct, merging Stu & Wolf's ideas is somewhat easy even though time consuming:
1. Any thread title with a 2-letter or 2-digit meaningful 'word' should be edited to include a 3 or 4 letters 'meaningful' something, like Stu already done with the Lotus T80 thread, and a new post, or the edition of any of the posts, should just include this new 3 or 4 letters 'something.
2. Any thread with any post including a 2-letter or 2-digit meaningful 'word' should be appended with a new post containg the 3 or 4 letters 'meaningful' something. And to to this no one needs admin power - you find it, you post on it. Dates will be easily driven this way, I guess.
3. This third step could be necessary or not - depending on the 3 or 4 letter 'somethings' that arise whilst steps 1 and 2 are done - but should be just a generic sticky helping searchers know, for instance, that 23 is M23, and also M16, and M19, and M24, and M25, and whatever. One can call this a 'cross reference serching tips' or just a 'puzzle yourself on it'.

I hope this can be of some help,

#10 bobbo

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Posted 02 October 2004 - 19:44

Panzani and everyone else:

This seems to move towards something I was going to suggest (but didn't as I thought it might become too cumbersome) and that is some sort of an index. I find that sometimes I am trying to find something by using the "search" function of TNF and the sheer size of information keeps me from continuing or following up. Of course, keeping such a thing up to date might be a full time job for some poor soul . . .

And I would also like to see the return of the Spell Checker in the REPLY options. I know that all too often the speed of my fingers outstrips the speed of my mind.

I wouldn't hold my breath 'till I turn blue if my suggestions don't get adopted. After all, TNF is pretty damn good the way it is!

Thanks for listening!

Bobbo

#11 rdrcr

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 18:20

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#12 Zawed

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 00:10

Originally posted by Twin Window
... I'm aware of the Court, but only as something that was active before I joined up. Was it not more of an RC thing? Forgive my ignorance here, but I'm struggling to see how it could work in TNF simply because we're primarily dealing with historical facts here. If I'm missing the point, please educate me!


Initially, I thought the Court would be a rather interesting concept but it ended up being quite silly to be honest. I don't really see it sitting well in TNF, as most of the issues raised tended to be related to F1 issues of the last 10 or 15 years.

#13 275 GTB-4

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 12:13

Originally posted by bobbo
And I would also like to see the return of the Spell Checker in the REPLY options. I know that all too often the speed of my fingers outstrips the speed of my mind.


This is something I feel strongly about.........NOT just int he reply options either. The number of times I have held my tongue when I have see obits, news of injured drivers etc where their name is mispelt :mad: The limited search tools are already behind the eight ball!!

Could someone at least spellcheck the title of the thread and of each post?? :

#14 RTH

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 13:07

Is it just me or is "go to first unread post" often missing from the top on threads for no apparent reason. it does make it tedious going through scores of posts already read to find a new item.

#15 Vitesse2

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 13:22

Originally posted by RTH
Is it just me or is "go to first unread post" often missing from the top on threads for no apparent reason. it does make it tedious going through scores of posts already read to find a new item.


I think it's just you! But you don't need it anyway - you can get to the first unread post from the main index page: click on the blue arrow to the left of the thread title. :)

#16 RTH

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 13:35

Well I never knew that......thanks.........and indeed it works ! ..... worryingly however the arrows on my screen are orange not blue..... I wonder what that means ?

#17 Vitesse2

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 13:38

It means I typed "blue" instead of "orange" :blush:

Perhaps I need a spellchecker ..... :stoned:

#18 RTH

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 13:45

Originally posted by Vitesse2
It means I typed "blue" instead of "orange" :blush:

Perhaps I need a spellchecker ..... :stoned:

:rotfl:

#19 D-Type

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 17:41

Is there any way to persuade people to complete their profile?

In particular I find 'location' very useful, particularly with non native English speakers. It also helps avoid jokes being misunderstood, as has happened on occasions.

Although less useful 'birthday' also helps understand someone's perspective.

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#20 Twin Window

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 18:02

Re: Spellchecker

I have learned that the company who used to provide the spellcheck facility went bust some four years ago, and consequently the service became unavailable. There are no immediate plans to alter the software on the Bulletin Board.

#21 rdrcr

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 18:39

I have a quick suggestion regarding the use of a spell-checker to aid in posting messages.

If you use a third-party one, e.g. from Outlook 2000, Word or similar word-processing software, you can then just cut and paste from the spell-checked document into the message area. It’s fast and easy. I understand that some might be limited by monitor size and resolution, but it could still help.

#22 Twin Window

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 18:43

That's right - and I do the same! (why didn't I mention it?!)

If I have the time I use either use Word, or I send an email to myself!

#23 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 22:27

Originally posted by D-Type
.....Although less useful 'birthday' also helps understand someone's perspective.


There is a thread asking people's ages... like the introduction threads... but I can't find it!

#24 bira

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 22:37

regarding the spellchecker - I am currently attempting to add one to the BB (thank Twinny for that). More details to follow...

#25 bira

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 23:08

OK, the spellchecker is installed. For comments and questions regarding this software, please post on this thread only.

#26 RTH

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Posted 05 October 2004 - 09:42

Good work, :up:

#27 ian senior

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Posted 05 October 2004 - 10:39

Originally posted by D-Type
Is there any way to persuade people to complete their profile?

In particular I find 'location' very useful, particularly with non native English speakers. It also helps avoid jokes being misunderstood, as has happened on occasions.

Although less useful 'birthday' also helps understand someone's perspective.


That's actually a very good idea. It even encouraged me to update my own profile, and even (and it was a struggle) to reveal my year of birth. I look pretty young, but I'm just backdated, yeah.....etc.

#28 RTH

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Posted 05 October 2004 - 12:44

Originally posted by ian senior


That's actually a very good idea. It even encouraged me to update my own profile, and even (and it was a struggle) to reveal my year of birth. I look pretty young, but I'm just backdated, yeah.....etc.


Are you bringing on a' Substitute' then Ian ?

Despite being called Senior you are, I see actually 6 years younger than me !

And......I used to work with someone who went to all the races with Bob Anderson .

#29 Alan Lewis

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Posted 05 October 2004 - 21:01

Originally posted by D-Type
Is there any way to persuade people to complete their profile?

In particular I find 'location' very useful, particularly with non native English speakers. It also helps avoid jokes being misunderstood, as has happened on occasions.

Although less useful 'birthday' also helps understand someone's perspective.


And someone (was it Mr. Boor?) used to publish stats based on the profiles; the geographical distribution of TNF membership, age profiles, etc.

I know I saw this in one or two old threads (and no, I'm not going to bother searching!) but I don't think it's been done for a while.

Might be interesting to see how (if) things have changed(...or maybe I should just get out more)

APL

#30 275 GTB-4

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Posted 06 October 2004 - 13:24

As an aid to research, it would be really useful if you could search WITHIN threads :rolleyes:

#31 RTH

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Posted 06 October 2004 - 14:19

For me it's the variety and looking at subjects you would not normally be drawn to that is the joy of it, and to be able to learn something new every day.

#32 Mickey

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Posted 06 October 2004 - 14:23

Originally posted by 275 GTB-4
As an aid to research, it would be really useful if you could search WITHIN threads :rolleyes:

A simple, not very powerful way to search within a thread is to open it and click on

[ Posted Image Printable Version |

(it's above the Forum Name > Thread Title, slightly to the right). This will show the full thread in one page, regardless of length. Then one can do a CTRL-F (or Edit --> Find) and input a keyword to search within the page.

It's not great, but it works :)

#33 ian senior

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Posted 06 October 2004 - 14:42

Originally posted by RTH
For me it's the variety and looking at subjects you would not normally be drawn to that is the joy of it, and to be able to learn something new every day.


Agreed, in bold italics.

#34 petefenelon

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Posted 06 October 2004 - 17:09

I'm very much a believer in the "broad church" approach to TNF, but I can think of a few things that would make the Forum a bit easier to browse and navigate, and a bit easier for people with limited time to pick and choose what to read.

I have no idea if the underlying software supports all of this, or whether it would require much manual intervention....

(i) prefixing of thread titles with some fixed tags that describe the content

e.g.

<1970s, F1, Brabham, BT46> Fan car information please?
<1960s, Circuits, Aintree> Aintree Club Circuit

Similarly, we could introduce , , , tags to categorise the sort of thread something is . threads would need to be fairly tightly policed, and should confine themselves to "just the facts, ma'am"....

It'd be nice if these keywords could be input through dropdown menus - that way there'd be no "Sterling Moss" or "Mike Hawthorne" ;)

which brings me to:

(ii) The ability to "branch" a thread if you want to say something related but not core to the discussion. For instance, if a discussion of the BT46 branches off into a discussion of Parmalat sponsorship, it'd be great if there was a way to either create a followup in a new thread (but with both the original thread and the child retaining cross-links).

I think that the net result of this would be more (but shorter and more focussed) threads that would be easier to navigate. However, that brings me onto

(iii) Scoring - it'd be great if users could "score" tags and/or posters and present threads to the user in "high score" order, so by default people could be presented with what they know they like at the top of their lists...

#35 RTH

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Posted 06 October 2004 - 17:21

For me ten-tenths compares unfavourably with Atlas partly because it has simply too many sub-divided thread catagories many with little or no activity and you waste vast amounts of time looking for something new . So I think keep it simple - it really is a winning formula at present, it's not broken !

#36 Twin Window

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Posted 06 October 2004 - 17:33

Originally posted by petefenelon

It'd be nice if these keywords could be input through dropdown menus - that way there'd be no "Sterling Moss" or "Mike Hawthorne" ;)

I'm currently going through all the thread titles manually - 271 pages of them - and amending spelling mistakes, altering words so enhance their chances of coming up in a search (eg Clark's to Clark, as the former won't come up in a search for the latter), changing dates to four digit references, and adding info if necessary (like a thread titled '???????' - seriously, I kid you not! - which I somehow doubt anyone would have searched for...) Whatever it takes, I'm trying to do it. I started at the end working forward, and I got to page 231 today.

Anything I've missed - which is inevitable, as I'm only human - will be sorted out if brought to my attention..

#37 D-Type

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Posted 06 October 2004 - 20:45

Carry on the good work. It sounds a labour of love and is much appreciated :clap:

I do like the combining of similar threads. :up: :up:

I like petefenelon's tags idea but would suggest only a few tags. You don't really need the keywords as the search finds them anyway. And you start a thread and you don't really know where it may wander to.

As to branches - is the way forward to use links. A thread on BT46 generates a reference to Parmalat. You want to develop the Parmalat theme so you start a new thread with "A reference on [BT46] thread makes me ask about Parmalat ...." or whatever. Then go back to the BT46 and say "I didn't want to hijack this thread so I have started [parmalat] to talk about Parmalat. If you see what I mean.

I have asked this before and got a half answer. Is there any way to link to a posting rather than a thread?

#38 Ruairidh

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Posted 06 October 2004 - 20:48

Originally posted by D-Type
Carry on the good work. It sounds a labour of love and is much appreciated :clap:

I do like the combining of similar threads. :up: :up:


Agreed - my thanks to Twinnie too! :clap:

#39 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 October 2004 - 21:21

Originally posted by D-Type
.....I have asked this before and got a half answer. Is there any way to link to a posting rather than a thread?


Yes, there is...

You get the post up in search (selecting the option to bring up the post...) and then copy and paste the URL.

Then, to tidy it up (ie avoid having your keyword in red letters...) you delete everything after the 'postid' number.

The downside is that if there are photos to load higher up the page, then you will have the post you want drop away out of the window as they load.

Best thing to do then is include the post number from the top right corner in your reference (but not in the link).

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#40 bira

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Posted 06 October 2004 - 22:20

Yikes, that's way too complex Ray.

EVERY post has, on the top right hand side of it, a number written in grey. For example, this post has the number 40. Ray Bell's previous post has the number 39.

If you right-click on that number and select the option "Copy shortcut" - you will have the link to that specific post, which you can then paste into a message.

For example, the direct link to Ray Bell's post, number 39, is http://forums.atlasf...665#post1809665

#41 Ray Bell

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 02:59

If, however, you have had to go to search to find the post, then you have it all there before you...

I agree, and I thank you for pointing out this option, if you have opened it by other means then this is the way to go.

#42 275 GTB-4

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 07:53

Originally posted by Twin Window
I'm currently going through all the thread titles manually - 271 pages of them - and amending spelling mistakes, altering words so enhance their chances of coming up in a search (eg Clark's to Clark, as the former won't come up in a search for the latter), changing dates to four digit references, and adding info if necessary (like a thread titled '???????' - seriously, I kid you not! - which I somehow doubt anyone would have searched for...) Whatever it takes, I'm trying to do it. I started at the end working forward, and I got to page 231 today.

Anything I've missed - which is inevitable, as I'm only human - will be sorted out if brought to my attention..


OUTSTANDING :clap: :wave: :up:

#43 275 GTB-4

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 07:56

Originally posted by RTH
For me ten-tenths compares unfavourably with Atlas partly because it has simply too many sub-divided thread catagories many with little or no activity and you waste vast amounts of time looking for something new . So I think keep it simple - it really is a winning formula at present, it's not broken !


Never!! (a truer word was said). Just look at the shambles that news of Bathurst is this year :

#44 275 GTB-4

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 08:01

Originally posted by Mickey

A simple, not very powerful way to search within a thread is to open it and click on

[ Posted Image Printable Version |

(it's above the Forum Name > Thread Title, slightly to the right). This will show the full thread in one page, regardless of length. Then one can do a CTRL-F (or Edit --> Find) and input a keyword to search within the page.

It's not great, but it works :)


Oh Mickey your so fine.....

It works!!! Not as elegant as a built in feature but it works and it will help!! Cheers :wave:

#45 RTH

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 10:01

Originally posted by 275 GTB-4


Oh Mickey your so fine.....


Name that tune! - would it have been Miss Toni Basil ?

#46 Felix Muelas

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 10:58

Originally posted by bira
...If you right-click on that number and select the option "Copy shortcut" - you will have the link to that specific post, which you can then paste into a message...


:clap: Thank you, Bira! ;)

#47 275 GTB-4

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 12:51

Originally posted by RTH


Name that tune! - would it have been Miss Toni Basil ?


It certainly would Ollie!! Rather pleasant on the eye....and a good singer to boot....and an athlete...I could go on and on.......and on :rotfl:

#48 dretceterini

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Posted 25 October 2004 - 10:04

Yes, but is it pronounced Bay-zil or Bah-zyl? :rotfl:

#49 RTH

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Posted 27 October 2004 - 12:57

Originally posted by dretceterini
Yes, but is it pronounced Bay-zil or Bah-zyl? :rotfl:


Neither really - just Basil.

#50 MCS

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Posted 27 October 2004 - 13:12

Originally posted by dretceterini
Yes, but is it pronounced Bay-zil or Bah-zyl? :rotfl:


:lol: Used to drive me mad watching TV Chef Ken Hom saying "Bay-zil" one minute and "Bah-zyl" the next...

Mark