Please Stop Baiting Your Breath

The word “bated” is unusual these days, so it’s understandable why people – and their AutoCorrect – explain that they’re waiting with “baited” breath. But please don’t. “Bated” is short for “abated,” meaning “reduced;” I’m waiting with bated breath is similar to I’m holding my breath, I’m so excited. Waiting with “baited” breath… I shudder to imagine what you mean, there.


Engineering for the Horse that Won’t Drink

You can lead a horse to water, as the saying goes, but you can’t make him drink. This is an important saying, but it lacks the logical follow-up question: “So how do you make sure you can still get to town?”

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From Whence Comes Trust in Software?

In the past few months, I’ve engaged in a number of discussions on trust. Specifically, in relation to software found on the internet, and most specifically with regard to software in public repositories like, a NuGet repo, an NPM repo, and so on. I’ll lay out some of what people have told me, offer some observations, and then – most important – ask you what you think.

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Grammar Police: Apostrophes

The English language is absolutely mucked up about this, so if you’re constantly getting apostrophes wrong, don’t feel bad. Our rule set here is silly, and we use the same character for too many things.

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