November 10, 2021


Smoked Fish for One

Apple's Eight Buffalo

I'm a bit of a word nerd, so the eight buffalo sentence has intrigued me for some time. Whenever I read it I have to perform the mental gymnastics necessary to understand it, but I eventually get there.

There's been a lot of well-deserved snickering on the various Apple podcasts lately about the new Apple M1 Max chips and the Macs that include them (Upgrade, ATP, for example). Confusion sets in when you're speaking about these chips and the computers that include them because, without a bit of context, you can't tell whether the spoken word is Macs or Max.

"The new M1 Max," when spoken, could leave a listener thinking the speaker is referring to the M1 Max chip. But the listener might also think the speaker is referring to the new Mac computers that include any M1 chip - M1 Macs.

The Upgrade podcast offered a simple solution that makes sense and should eliminate any confusion - follow "Max" with "chip" and the meaning will always be fairly clear. "M1 Max chip" means the chip, and "M1 Macs" (without the "chip") means multiple M1 Mac computers.

So the solution is relatively simple and the problem can be avoided.

But, as I was thinking about that, the Eight Buffalo sentence crept into my head. Can I get there with the Max/Macs confusion? It's not the same, granted, because the words are not the same. It's still fun to think about, though.

Here's what I've got so far.

Mac's Max'd Max Mac Max'd Mac's Max Mac.

Count 'em - Eight!

Here's the key:

I guy named Mac has two M1 Max computers - one is maxed out, and the other has less than maximum specifications (maybe he opted for the more affordable 2 or 1 TB drives, for example). As any self-respecting computer nerd would do after ordering two nearly identical computers, Mac ran some sort of head-to-head performance test on both of them and, surprise, the one with the maxed out configuration performed better - it "maxed" the other one.

Mac's (a guy named Mac has two computers)
Max'd (one has maximum specifications
Max (it includes the M1 Max chip)
Mac (it's a Mac - a MacBook Pro, by definition)
Max'd (that first computer beat the second one, below, in a head-to-head performance test)
Mac's (Mac has a second computer)
Max (it also includes the M1 Max chip)
Mac (and it also is a Mac, and, indeed, is a MacBook Pro by definition).

I suppose you could add another "Max'd" before the Max of the second computer, which would make each computer an M1 Max Mac with maximum specifications, but then the concept of one beating the other in a head-to-head test sort of loses meaning. If the two computers are identical, how could one beat the other? I suppose it could be in a test that would pickup on the slightest of differences, but it seems unreasonable to me.

The Max Macs sentence is a bit of a stretch, no question. The words are not the same, and you have to accept a couple of slang definitions for "Max'd" (maxed out specifications, and winning a competition). These nuances ensure the sentence will never rival the eight buffalo sentence, but it's fun to think about nonetheless.
article published in /2021/11/10
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Occasionally I find myself in St. Pete Beach without Renee. It's not the same without her, of course, but one perk of the solo trips is having smoked fish at Ted Peters. It's just not her thing, so we never go when we're down here together.

Well, I've been down here for work the last couple days, and I'm heading home tomorrow. So smoked salmon, German potato salad, and Miller High Life in a frosted mug was an easy call.

photo published in /2021/11/10
Daystream founder and dev
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