Re: "Oxygen" misnomer.
- From: "Yusuf B Gursey" <ybg@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: 3 Apr 2007 13:15:21 -0700
On Apr 3, 11:46 am, Daniel al-Autistiqui <govend...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On 3 Apr 2007 01:49:46 -0700, "athel...@yahoo" <athel...@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Now you see...it's bad enough to perpetuate Lavoisier's mistake in his
*own* language (and English "oxygen" is cognate with French
"oxygène"). It's even worse to perpetuate it in another language by
using the *native* root for "acid" -- and to do that well after the
discovery of the mistake seems ridiculous.
You apparently said absolutely nothing on this matter. If you were
trying to come up with a name for oxygen in a new language (say, an
artificial language), how would you render it? I hope you would not
use a root that means "acid" but has never been used in the name for
oxygen in any existing language.
5. Nitrogen was once called azote (and in French still is), on the
basis that it does not support life. We now know that nitrogen is
required for all forms of life.
Well, was the name changed in English for precisely that reason?
Does that mean that the French need to
change its name or that historical accounts in English require an
obligatory footnote explaining that the basis for the name doesn't
In any case, I'd have to wonder why the name for nitrogen was changed
in English but not in French.
7. The Rubaiyat opens with a serious "mistake" on Fitzgerald's part,
where he reveals that he thinks that the stars are not visible in the
day time because they have been put to flight by a stone. Ought this
"mistake" to be corrected, or at least marked by a footnote, to make
sure readers are not misled by it?
What makes you believe that this is a "mistake"? Could it be possible
that you don't exactly understand everything about the linguistic
nuances that FitzGerald takes when writing the poem?
And is it actually FitzGerald who is responsible for this mistake, or
non-mistake as the case may be? Or is it Omar? (BTW, do you consider
at any rate it is just poetic licence. even if it appears in Khayyam's
Omar Khayyam was a great astronomer who accurately reformed the
"Fitzgerald", with a lower-case "g", to be an acceptable variant
spelling of the Rubaiyat translator's name? At least one dictionary
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