diamond geezer

 Sunday, November 09, 2014

Pedants Corner

Some of you never read my comments, so never notice that I am being taken to task by readers who believe that something in my post is wrong. Sometimes it is indeed wrong, and I apologise and update the text. At other times, well, here are few choice comments from the last few months...

8 Nov 2014 - A walk around Deptford
Pedantic note. I know it's not very helpful, but "forty pages of rainforest" is wrong, though a common mistake. Rainforest wood is too hard to turn into paper. If paper is made from wood (rather than recycled paper and other stuff) then it's going to be softwoods from Norway, Russia, Canada and so on. Not tropical hardwoods from rainforests. Good piece though.

5 Nov 2014 - The A10 bus route
I don't think BP, M&S and IBM are acronyms; an acronym can be pronounced as if it's a word (like NIMBY). I think they're just abbreviations.
Strictly speaking, a series of letters that abbreviate a phrase but is unpronounceable is an initialism, I believe, but it's never used and wouldn't be generally understood. So calling it an abbreviation or an acronym is a matter of choice and I think the trend is going towards the latter, though it wouldn't have been considered correct until fairly recently.

30 Oct 2014 - Chiltern Open Air Museum
Also, Newlands Park would seem now to be no longer part of Bucks New University. It was sold in 2008. The campus is now run by a private educational and residential company: Chalfont Campus

23 Oct 2014 - Life in a Northern Town
Sorry for the pedantry, I know you were channeling The Dream Academy , but Kingston upon Hull has been a city since 1897, "confirmed by Letters Patent issued under the Great Seal dated 18 March 1975" [1]
City status, typically, raises the place above the status of a borough. If Hull were not a city, it would be a borough. As it is a city, it is not a borough. 'Town', prior to 1973, was not a legal status. It was an informal term applied to cities, boroughs and urban districts, and perhaps to some places that were legally just parishes. (Not to mention London Town, which is legally all sorts of things, and is bigger than the City of London.) Since 1973 it has been possible for a place to be legally declared a town and have a town council. However, this does not mean that the historic informal sense has ceased to exist. If it is OK to call Colchester a town, though it is legally a borough, it should also be possible to call Hull a town, though it is legally a city.

21 Oct 2014 - Folkestone Triennial
Lovely blog and photos. Small niggle though, in Kent they are hop gardens, not fields.

18 Oct 2014 - The Radio Times archive
I believe the term Teletext with a capital became a registered trademark when the Daily Mail's Teletext (UK) won the franchise to provide commercial teletext services on Channel 3 (the name never caught on despite a brief rebrand by Tyne Tees as Channel 3 North East) and Channel 4, taking over from Oracle. The BBC's Ceefax, ITV/Channel 4's Oracle, Sky Text and independent satellite / ancillary terrestrial services (4-tel and regional ITV in the 600s) from the likes of Intelfax had happily used the term Teletext for many years. All that changed with the advent of Teletext (UK), forcing any mention of teletext in general terms by those other providers to be lower case.

10 Oct 2014 - The New Tube for London
Like the "New Bus for London" these trains appear to be "air-cooled". It a loose term...and means they will not be "air-conditioned". Some may say that it not important or there are tech reasons for it but the reality is that when people are packed like sardines in the rush-hour it will be they who suffer.
"Air conditioning" is where fresh and recycled air is processed in a central location to specified relative humidity and temperature and then pumped to where needed, as in some office blocks. "Air cooling" is just that, the air is cooled to a specified temperature etc.

8 Oct 2014 - Cody Wilds
Strange how incorrect names get into popular use. "Gasometer" for what is correctly called Gasholder. So common that most people accept it. Wikipedia states that the origin of Gasometer dates back to William Murdock who invented gas lighting and he called his gas container a gazometer, although this term was incorrect as it was a gasholder, the gasometer became the popular name.

18 Sept 2014 - The Untied Kingdom
DG, Sorry to be an utter pedant but only England and Scotland are countries. Wales is a Principality. North Ireland is a Province. I know you like to get these things right.
They're only "Countries" or "Principality" or "Province" through usage and convention - because we choose to call them that. In terms of international treaties, only the UK is a country.
Yes, that's how languages work! So, you're basically saying that I'm right, thanks for the confirmation.
No that's not how language works (usually). The definition of a word is given by how it's used, yes, but it still has overall meaning. For example, the colour "green" is defined by people all (or mostly) using it to refer to things roughly the same colour. But if we commonly referred to the colour of one particular green thing with one word, and the colour of another green thing with another word, etc., it would be reasonable to say "bugger this, they're clearly all just green", and to shoot down anyone that tries to correct us with their "real" colour.

16 Sep 2014 - Contactless
Being extremely pedantic DG will be using a contactless card to travel today because Oyster uses contactless technology.

4 Sep 2014 - East/West Cycle Superhighway
A pedant would note that the Embankment does have one TfL bus route, the N550.

6 Aug 2014 - London Borough Tops
DG - can you perhaps explain why this series is being billed as a 'Local History Month'? Surely the highest point in a borough changes very little over history - any changes would have happened in what is called 'Pre-History'! Sorry for the pedantry.

14 July 2014 - Isle of Man (North)
To be pedantic, the Snaefell cars do not use any form of 'ratchet', and work purely by adhesion. The centre 'Fell' rail is used only for emergency braking.

19 May 2014 - Fawley Hill
Note from Pedant's Corner: the owner is Sir William McAlpine and his wife is Lady McAlpine. It's not correct to call him Lord McAlpine nor, indeed, to call his wife Lady Judy.

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