Originally Posted by edmorel
HWS is real, he is not a sock puppet and he is legitimately a foreigner. He is also funny if you don't read his threaks like you read The Economist.
I was thinking about this when I was running and concluded that he's most likely foreign. A few things came to mind:
He always says 'lip the pussy', which makes no sense in any other language because licking is always assumed to come from the tongue and not the lips. The only single word I can think of that involves both the lips and the act of licking (via the tongue) are the reflexive verbs that translate as 'to lick one's lips'. Unless hws were a poster with a lot of linguistics training to adequately hide a morphological mistake as phonetic (why go through all the trouble?), he is most likely a legitimate foreigner confusing 'lip' and 'lick' with each other because of their similar connection to the human face as well as the the plosive consonants on the end of each word being phonetically similar (unvoiced plosives only separated by a small difference in the location of the articulators -- coincidentally, the lips and tongue). A foreigner trying to learn these words most likely originally would hear them in speech and try to phonetically transcribe them (confusing the K in 'lick' with the P in 'lip'), whereas someone who isn't exposed to the words in speech would almost always get the phrasing correct since 'lick' translates quite literally across all Indo-European languages due to a common etymological root (leigh-*).
Less complicated than the above is the translation of his prepositions. When I asked if he lived in Switzerland (the country where he'd most likely hear German, French, and Italian which he commonly uses words and phrasing from in his English), he said 'I live close of Alps'. He's using the preposition 'a' which generally means 'to' unless it's referring to a location of origin in which case it best translates as 'of'. It's unlikely that somebody simply messing around with an online translator could replicate this common mistake unless he were specifically trying to make the mistake in the first place, which would presuppose knowledge of the intricacies of translation (meaning he had already learned both and was well-versed in them as well as their idiomatic differences -- unlikely).
What really threw me off was how he used 'Flugzeug' instead of 'airplane', which made no sense to me at all. The words are recent lexical entries and have no common phonetic or morphological root. They don't even come close to translating by cognative relationship, so why would he mistake one for the other? But this doesn't mean he's a sock puppet messing around with online translators, it simply means he is using translators. Given the two aforementioned examples (of which I'm sure there's more), this mistake can be indicative of nothing more than a mistake in itself; the phonological evidence in my first example seems to indicate that he's exposed to at least three foreign languages in his everyday life (which is why I guessed he was Swiss).