All entries for April 2005

April 21, 2005


I just had a project meeting – editing and compiling the final report for my 4th year project. 30,000 words written by 7 people takes a lot of sorting. 11.5 hours worth to be precise. Apparently the problems with my report style are; I use far too many words to say simple things, and my sentences, as a result of this, are somewhat lenghty, and; I use ';' far too much. Ah well!

And then I came here, and found this which shocked me. 893 comments (and counting), on a 3 line entry! To be fair, this is a hijacking, but still!

April 10, 2005

Scientific Genius, and minor ammusement for a sunday afternoon

Thought this was Great. The wonderful names you get in particle physics are well known – is this a competition which the astronomers are just getting in on?

From the BBC:

European project to build an Extremely Large Telescope (ELT)

Which is comic enough, for me, anyway. But swiftly followed up by this:

Concepts for ELTs include the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) being considered by the US and Canada; and the Euro50 and Overwhelmingly Large Telescope (Owl)

I like the idea of sitting down and deciding that the concept you're going to be spending the next few months designing will be called the 'Overwhelmingly Large Telescope'.

There is however a question that I'd like to ask. The English language has many fine words, and 'Overwhelmed' is an excellent example. We also have the word 'Underwhelmed', though I've got an idea this is a more recent development. However, there seems to be a gap – "Whelmed" – why is it conspicuous by it's absence? What would it mean if it was not? Why has it either been lost from or never entered into common usage? Does anyone have any answers to these vital questions of etymology and, er, something else?

May the day come swiftly when common parlance will allow any journalist and critic to use the prhase 'A pleasantly whelming experience'. Let us unite.

April 2005

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