Answered Help for a camcorder noob required please!

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Making Forum' started by Derek S-H, Jul 15, 2015.

  1. Derek S-H

    Derek S-H
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    I've just bought a JVC GZ-MG330REK camcorder from Ebay. It's my first ever camcorder and I wanted something that was literally point-and-shoot, nothing too complicated.

    I shot some test footage tonight, and it recorded fine and played back okay through the LCD viewfinder.

    The problems arose when:

    1. My Blu-Ray recorder (Panasonic DMR-BWT735) didn't recognise it when connected up via USB. My plan was to copy my footage off the camcorder's hard drive onto the Blu-Ray recorder's hard drive direct, bypassing any complicated PC gubbins.

    2. My PC didn't recognise the camcorder either!

    I've had a look at the manuals for both the recorder and the camcorder, and both suggest that it's just a question of connecting it up and various menus pop up automatically, which hasn't happened.

    What am I doing wrong?

    If anyone does reply, please keep your answers as non-technical as possible because I am obviously an idiot!

    Thanks very much
    Derek
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015
  2. Best Answer:
    Post #25 by rogs, Jul 18, 2015 (1 points)
  3. Terfyn

    Terfyn
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    Have you loaded the CD-ROM into your PC? P50 of the Instruction Manual suggests there is a "backup" option.
    Have you tried plugging the Audio/Video cable into your TV or recorder? Is there a picture transmitted?
    There is a SCART socket on the back of your recorder. If you can get a picture, then you can buy a SCART plug adapter with the A/V sockets on and record into the recorder that way.

    Also please note the USB at the back of your recorder is for an additional HDD which needs to be registered to your recorder. The USB on the front is for pre-recorded material on a USB memory stick.

    Afterthought:-
    Unfortunately this camera has now been replace by the 750 and I wondered if this camera was on e-bay because there was a fault. Normally a PC would recognise the camera USB as an external drive and, if it did not connect directly, the PC would request you load a driver of some sort. If the PC did not get this far then the USB may not be transmitting.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015
  4. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    As neither the recorder or your PC detect the camcorder it is worth trying an other USB cable - we often overlook the simple but obvious solutions :blush:
    Or try recording to an SD card instead of the hard drive and then plug the card into the PC or recorder to see if you can get at your recordings that way.

    Do you get any new icon appear on the LCD screen when the USB cable is plugged in? It might be worth checking the manual to see if an icon should be displayed.
    Just checked Here and pages 14 & 15 do not mention an icon for USB connection

    Mark.
     
  5. Derek S-H

    Derek S-H
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    Thank you both SO SO much for taking the time to try and help me. I will try and answer you both at once!

    My first choice would be to use the Blu-Ray recorder as a copying device. To this end, USB connection is out as the HDD device needs to have a minimum capacity of 160 Gb and the JVC is only 30Gb (this popped up on the TV screen tonight, it didn't last night!).

    I tried using the SD card option. I recorded some test footage again and the recorder said the card was "incompatible", though not why!:mad: I then formatted the card in the recorder, recorded some new footage and it was still "incompatible". I then formatted the card in the camcorder, recorded some footage and it came up with some files - hurray! But when I tried to access them, it said they were empty!:facepalm:

    And I didn't explain myself well at all in my initial query (no surprise there). The PC did detect some files on the camcorder through the USB, but said I had incompatible drivers and I needed to search for some. But I don't really want to use the PC for this purpose anyway, so I didn't bother.

    This only leaves Terfyn's initial suggestion: to try and use an AV cable connected to a Scart (I didn't get a CD-ROM with this auction). This seems the least complicated, most straightforward solution if it actually works! I do have a spare Scart with Red, White and Yellow RCA inputs, my only concern with it is that is only uses 11 of the 20 available pins and the Panasonic manual says this:

    "A 21-pin Adaptor is required for Audio/Visual terminal"

    and I don't really know what that means.

    Plus the JVC manual (page 31) says this when using the AV cable:

    "This camera is designed to be used with NTSC-type color television signals. It cannot be used with a television of a different standard."

    Again, don't know what that means either! I've sourced this on Amazon:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=3.5mm+4+Pole+Jack+Plug+to+3+x+RCA+Phono+Composite+%26+Audio+Cable

    though there's some moaning about poor quality.

    And this:

    Scart Adaptor with 3 Phono Sockets - Black: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

    which has 20 pins.

    Neither break the bank, so it's just a question of whether they'll work or not.

    Any other thoughts would be much appreciated.

    Thanks!

    p.s. Found these:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/G-HiTech-3-...Plug+to+3+x+RCA+Phono+Composite+&+Audio+Cable

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/HQ-Plated-S...5&keywords=Scart+Adaptor+with+3+Phono+Sockets

    Worth paying extra or not?
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2015
  6. Terfyn

    Terfyn
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    NTSC is the American standard for TV. PAL is the UK standard. This applies to the A/V signals.

    First you should always format the card in the camera. The formatting sets up a specific series of folders on the card for file storage.

    The A/V cable is a minefield!! There are two types of cable, one that works with Panasonic and Canon and another that works with Sony. It is to do with the way the 3.5mm plug is wired up. Get your cable form Maplins as they tell you which cable works with which make of camera.

    The downloading through your Panasonic Blu-Ray recorder worries me. It should work but I have a Panasonic BR player and I know it is very specific about what it likes. If you look at the Manual, the rear USB is designed for a nominated HDD and the front USB is for pre-recorded files, usually made by a PC based video editor.
    The best route is through your PC as you have more options with drivers.

    The fact that the camera did not come with its CD-ROM is again a concern. The CD would have had suitable drivers on it and the process of downloading would have put these on your PC. You may find a download on the JVC site. (I only found the Manuals but I was not looking for support software)

    What files did the PC find? What were their extensions i.e. .MTS ?
     
  7. Derek S-H

    Derek S-H
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    Terfyn, what are you doing up at this time?!

    There is no rear USB connection on my Panasonic recorder, just on the front under the flap.

    I do know the difference between the NTSC and PAL, but both my TV and recorder are Multi Region (DVD only for the recorder) so this should work.

    I've also had a look on the Maplin website and they don't sell 3 x RCA to 3.5 mm, just 2 x RCA to 3.5 mm, which is why I went to Amazon to look.

    I have no idea what files came up when I connected the camcorder to the PC but, to be honest, I am really reluctant to go down that route as I've just never used the DVD burner, I've always used my previous Sony DVD recorder or the Panasonic. Probably because I've never needed to, seeing as this is my first camcorder.

    Mind you, I may not have a choice - I had no idea that simple AV cables could be so bloody complicated!
     
  8. Derek S-H

    Derek S-H
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  9. Terfyn

    Terfyn
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    Terfyn, what are you doing up at this time?!
    Cant sleep worrying about your camera.:D

    There is no rear USB connection on my Panasonic recorder, just on the front under the flap.
    There is one shown under the Ethernet connection.

    I do know the difference between the NTSC and PAL, but both my TV and recorder are Multi Region (DVD only for the recorder) so this should work.

    I've also had a look on the Maplin website and they don't sell 3 x RCA to 3.5 mm, just 2 x RCA to 3.5 mm, which is why I went to Amazon to look.
    Maplin 4 Pole Jack to Triple Phono Composite - Panasonic Camcorder Cable 1.5m. Check it out. Also one for Sony.

    I have no idea what files came up when I connected the camcorder to the PC but, to be honest, I am really reluctant to go down that route as I've just never used the DVD burner, I've always used my previous Sony DVD recorder or the Panasonic. Probably because I've never needed to, seeing as this is my first camcorder.
    Life can become far more interesting. You invest in a video editor. (I use Corel's VideoStudio Pro X8) This will cover all your needs to compile video films, add sound, titles, effects and music. Then you create DVDs, SD card or web output. I don't have a Blu-Ray burner so I store my AVCHD videos on a SD card and play them back on my Blu-Ray player. It gives excellent results without worrying about buying a Blu-Ray burner. Incidentally standard DVDs, burnt with AVCHD files give exactly the same results in a BR player.

    Mind you, I may not have a choice - I had no idea that simple AV cables could be so bloody complicated.

    IMO you really need to find a way to get the files out of your camera somehow. The SD card route seemed the best option but, I guess, you could do with the CD-ROM. I am still wondering if the firmware in the camera has become corrupted? It should be a normal action to download files from the HDD to the SD card. My Panasonic HC-V700 and 750 use only SD card storage so it is a simple matter to insert the card into my PC card reader, put the video files into an appropriate folder and create a suitable compilation for downloading to standard DVD for my family and AVCHD for my viewing.

    Keep at it and don't lose the faith.:clap:

    The Windows Vista Compatibility table clams that a normal USB Mass Storage driver will work with your camera. This driver will be already loaded in your PC.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2015
  10. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    A scart plug can have a maximum of 21 pins but many don't have all of them connected. For your camcorder you only need 6 of the possible 21 pins connected.
    Just be aware that scart is directional so you need to get the right connections, or one with a switch so it can be used either way - like this: V7 Adapter Scart/video Black - Scart To 3xcinch/s-video M/f - Ebuyer

    This is the JVC AV cable you need - JVC AV Cable | www.partmaster.co.uk

    Mark.
     
  11. Derek S-H

    Derek S-H
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    Thank you both again.

    I cycled out to Maplin this afternoon and bought:

    1 x Camcorder Cable (though it did say "For Panasonic Camcorders", which worried me slightly)
    1 x directional SCART adaptor

    Total cost = £33!

    I then experimented using my current Panasonic recorder and my old Sony DVD recorder (RDR-HXD890) which the Panasonic replaced in my affections in a number of configurations.

    The AV input on the Panasonic produced absolutely nothing no matter which SCART I used. Also, similar happened with the Sony but this machine has a Line 2 input under a front flap of RCA Red, White and Yellow and this DID produce a signal, albeit one that had a horribly distorted, black and white picture but perfect sound.

    I don't know whether it was the AV cable that was responsible for this or not. I suppose I won't know until I get a specific JVC AV cable like the one Mark linked in his post? Mind you, I can't see any difference between that JVC cable and this:

    3.5mm Jack to 3 RCA Phono Lead Video/Audio/AV Cable For Sony/JVC/Canon Camcorder | eBay

    other than the price, of course!

    So it's back to Maplin for a refund and it looks like I can buy a much cheaper Scart adaptor online, but the AV cable saga rumbles on.

    Interestingly, another GZ-MG330 has come onto Ebay and this auction does feature the CyberLink CD-ROM. Currently stands at £20.50 with no bids OR I could buy my own copy from the Cyberlink website OR I could keep trying the AV cable/SCART route.

    Choices, choices, none of which are definitive....:( So much for my attempt at plug and play.
     
  12. Derek S-H

    Derek S-H
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    Quick update:

    Have just connected the camcorder to the PC using the USB and it brings up a menu with the following options on the touchscreen:

    Playback on PC (Playback data on PC)
    Create DVD (Save video on DVD)
    Back up (Save data on PC)
    Direct Print (Print still image)

    When I tap OK on the first option it just brings up a static screen of a laptop.... HANG ON! It's installing driver device software and oh, it asked me to load the CD-ROM that came with the camcorder.:thumbsdow

    Now what?
     
  13. Terfyn

    Terfyn
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    Sorry about the A/V cable, the difference is that the 3.5mm plug (known as a Tip, Ring, Ring, Sleeve or TRRS) is connected differently for the different makes of camcorder. You cannot see the difference as the connections are hidden inside.

    The CD-ROM is available on the Partmaster site at £47.14!! but it looks genuine.
     
  14. Derek S-H

    Derek S-H
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    Thanks Terfyn.

    Okay, these are my choices:

    1. CD-ROM from Partmaster at £47.14.
    2. Download from CyberLink at £29.76 + additional back up CD for £8 extra or not.
    3. Ebay auction for another GZ-MG330REK this time with CyberLink CD-ROM: currently at £20.50 with two days to go.
    4. AV cable from Partmaster at £13.31.

    Which one? The AV cable is the cheapest but no guarantee it will work. The CD-ROM/download should work, but it means fiddling with the PC which I'll only do if I have to. If I win the auction, I could sell one of the camcorders to fund the cost of buying it yet again.

    Any advice from either of you much appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015
  15. Terfyn

    Terfyn
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    I'm sorry but IMO you should stop buying any more and put the camera back on e-bay. :thumbsdow
    First are you certain than the camera will perform if you buy any of these add-ons? Even if you are satisfied, you are using an old model which may let you down sooner than later - the HDD has a rotating drive which may wear eventually. Second the fact that you have problems moving files to the SD card (which - lets face it - should be easy) suggests to me that the firmware may need updating.

    So if you should do this - where to next?
    My view is that you should go for an SD card based camera. No moving parts (zoom and wobble control excepted) and a simple trusted method of transferring video files.
    The Trinity (Canon, Panasonic and Sony) all do a range of excellent cameras. My current favourites are Panasonic, I have a HC-V700 (circa 2011) which is still performing as new (I let my Grandchildren use it under supervision AND as a second camera) and a HC-V750 bought last year and now replaced with 4K versions. I have even updated the firmware on my 750 over the Internet. The cameras have no internal memory so everything is on the card.
    To recover your videos, the process is simple. Download the video files into your PC for storage and further editing. You could then upload these files to another SD card to use in your BR recorder.

    Others will extol the virtues of Canon and Sony but again IMO you can't go wrong if you go SD card based. Sorry again to be so negative about your current camera but progress is very slow and, from what you tell me, may go nowhere.
     
  16. Derek S-H

    Derek S-H
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    Thanks Terfyn, I appreciate your opinion.

    I didn't explain myself clearly regarding the SD card thing, probably because I'm still finding my way with all this. I did manage to record some footage on the SD card but, like the internal HDD, I couldn't access it for some reason through the BR recorder - it just came up as empty files even though I could see my recordings on the camcorder's LCD screen.

    Thinking back, I suppose I should have tried to access that footage through the PC as well, but maybe the same driver issues may have come up?

    I hear what you're saying and will do some research on SD card-based camcorders, but I think I'll hang onto this a little bit longer. I'm not certain any of the solutions may work but I do like the camera's design and simplicity in use.

    I always knew that this would be a 3 stage process: you record your footage as step 1, you access your footage as step 2 and you copy or burn your footage onto disc as step 3. I just haven't got to step 2 yet, that's all!

    Will let you know how I get on if you're interested.
     
  17. Terfyn

    Terfyn
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    Would the files be in the right format for your BR recorder? The PC route is the best as you can look at the folders and files easily.
    I suggest you back off from the BR recorder until you find out what is happening with the SD card. You need to find a working route to get the files off the camera. You don't need any special software to open a SD card and look at the files.

    Please keep in touch and let us all know how you sort it.
     
  18. Derek S-H

    Derek S-H
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    Thanks, Terfyn, very much appreciated with your help so far.

    Talking to you has made me realise that I don't need to fear my PC so much! I mostly just use it for web browsing, e-mail and shopping, nothing too technical.

    I presume that if I were to acquire the JVC drivers somehow, either through download or disc, that the SD card route would become more straightforward? Your last paragraph suggests I should be able to do this now?

    What do I need to do please? I presume I need to shoot some footage and store it on the SD card, then I connect up the camcorder with the SD card still in it to the PC via USB. Then what?

    Thanks.
     
  19. Terfyn

    Terfyn
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    Now I'm basing this on my Panasonic but I understand that the style of the folders should be similar. Record on to your SD card. Remove card and insert it into your PC. Go to "Computer" and Open the card. You should see something like DCIM and SD VIDEO and PRIVATE. Click on SD VIDEO then PRG:- MOV***.MOD are the video files. (See P60 of the User Manual)
    I hope this is right, others will correct me if I'm wrong.

    Please note that your camera records in Standard Definition and all recent camcorders record in High Definition or 4K. This may be a reason why your BD recorder is causing difficulties
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015
  20. Derek S-H

    Derek S-H
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    Terfyn - thanks again for your detailed reply, I actually understood some of it!

    I recognise some of the file names you stated as they appeared on the BR recorder. But even though it is an HD machine, it does have SD capabilities as it has Freeview SD channels, and even though I may record something in HD, I'll always convert the file to SD so that I can burn onto blank DVD, not Blu-Ray. So I'm hoping that your last paragraph won't apply, but it's an interesting thought.

    Unfortunately, my boring weekend work shift started last night so I won't have a chance to tackle any of this until next week, but will keep you informed of any progress.

    I'm quite excited about having to crack this, it's like solving a murder mystery such as on "Murder She Wrote"!
     
  21. Terfyn

    Terfyn
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    I prefer "Castle":clap: Quite fancy Becket.:rolleyes:
     
  22. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    The system you describe is the Folder and file system used for AVCHD camcorders using the H264/AVC compression codec. The OP's camcorder is a SD one and uses mpeg2 compression and uses a somewhat unusual file container (.mod). A quick google reveals conversion to a mpeg2 programme stream container (.mpg) shouldn't be that hard.

    JVC Everio GZ-MG330 - JVC Everio GZ-MG330

    How To Convert The MOD Camcorder Video Format To MPG Instantly

    Once in the correct format for DVD, any DVD authoring package will be able to author DVD'd

    Example

    DVD Flick

    It's possible this software will work without file conversion.

    The recorder uses a internal hard disk, so requires a USB cable to transfer files. I guess using Windows auto driver search will locate a suitable driver if the camcorder is connected to a PC by usb.
     
  23. Terfyn

    Terfyn
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    We are still trying to get the files out of the camera and, if you check, the JVC has a file structure like the AVCHD one.
    I have no doubt if we can get the files out of the camera then your suggestions would be useful.
     
  24. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    What's the source of your information re the file structure ?

    The camcorder predates AVCHD by a considerable margin. It's basically one of the models that were the first digital SD camcorders. Storage varied, some recorded to mini DVD-R disks.

    It's basically one of the first attempts to create a digital SD camcorder und use a real time mpeg2 encoder. Frankly the results were little or no better (frequently worse due to dire bitrates) than the previous generation of the best analogue camcorders).

    The first camcorders that truly improved on the previous analogue generation, used a new much higher bitrate (and consequently less compressed ) codec, namely DV compression .

    DV compression records data for each and every frame (intraframe compression), as result the results are way superior to this class of digital camcorder, though the files are of course much larger.

    The file structure used is hard to read

    I once had to try and extract the files from a friends same generation camera (Mini DVD). The only software I found was from Nero, and frankly compared to my Sony TRV950 the quality was dire (in this case on a un-finalised DVD-R mini disks). add to this 720 x 480 29.97fps - NTSC based).

    The content was precious, a film of a South African Safari holiday)

    Relating this relatively ancient camera to your modern AVCHD camcorder using H264 AVCHD compression is not relevant in any way (it's a throwback to a failed technology).

    It's digital of course, but I have to say so far all you have done is mislead the OP.

    I imagine all this took place before you became hooked on video production.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2015
  25. vkmast

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    If the files are what glt suggests, you might want to read here or here.
     
  26. rogs

    rogs
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    Best Answer
    Page 60 of the manual for that JVC camcorder lists the folder structure.

    Page 53 has instructions for simplest way to copy the video files directly to a PC, without needing the CDROM, and without any quality loss.

    Copies of both those pages attached to this post.
     

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  27. Terfyn

    Terfyn
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    The Instruction Manual.
     
  28. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    Unfortunately you omitted the key information. The actual video files have a .mod extension.

    I cannot understand why, if you had the actual information as to the actual file structure, you did not post simple instructions how to locate the actual files and copy them to a PC, rather than a vague reference to a totally different file structure.

    The logical inference is your post is based on hindsight, a unfortunate casualty of allowing unlimited editing, based on later posts like ROGS who really understand the issues.

    If he can see and browse the camcorder internal disk, I can post very simple instructions to copy the video files to a PC.

    I still I have no idea if the OP can actually access the internal hard disk when connected to a PC. If he can copying them to a PC is a basic windows function.

    I have to ask why you did not simply include the information within your post ?
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2015
  29. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    Thanks rogs. If only this info had been posted earlier, we may have saved some time.
     
  30. Derek S-H

    Derek S-H
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    Thank you everyone for your help with this, especially rogs with his links.

    I have accessed the manual online and read it numerous times, but I've no idea how those pages slipped me by.:blush:

    I've quoted you, Graham, because you seem a bit unnecessarily critical of Terfyn in my opinion. I feel that everyone posts replies to queries with the best intentions to help, not with any intention to deceive.

    And this is a learning process and it does take time. I'm not using modern camcorder standards, so it's always a question of having to find my way round a solution and everyone's input helps.

    The last thing I want is for members to criticise each other for misleading posters. All the information provided not only helps me, but helps anyone else in future who searches this Forum.

    Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to assist me. I am confident that I will get there in the end!
     
  31. Terfyn

    Terfyn
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    It is clear from your arrogant and silly remarks you did not understand the issue. We were trying to sort out how to access the files on the HDD. If you had bothered to read the previous posts you would have realised this. Before I started this I had no idea of the file structure BUT I bothered to read the Instruction Manual unlike yourself. Again you have interfered and commented without any attempt to sort the problem out - just to do what you do best - criticise any attempt to help other people.
    Obviously rogs "understood the issue" when he had bothered to read the manual like I did. All he did was sum up the information I had found and provided.
    Derek, I'm used to these two pedants being offensive. They have done it before and it is just a childish attempt to show how clever they are. I say get a life and leave others to enjoy theirs.
     

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