Languages will change significantly on interstellar flights

It's a captivating idea: build an interstellar ark, fill it with people, flora, and fauna of every kind, and set your course for a distant star. The concept is not only science fiction gold, it's been the subject of many scientific studies and proposals. By building a ship that can accommodate multiple generations of human [...]

By |2020-07-12T15:27:56+00:00July 12th, 2020|Language, Science, Space exploration, Space travel|0 Comments

Language matters in science and mathematics – here’s why

What do you get when you cross a mafia mobster with a sociologist? An offer you can’t understand. It’s an old joke, and you could substitute “sociologist” with just about any other “ologist” - the broader point being that professions use language in ways that make it hard for outsiders to understand. So, do sociologists, [...]

By |2016-11-18T12:40:32+00:00November 18th, 2016|Education, Language, Math, Science|0 Comments

Scientific language is becoming more informal

We are not supposed to use first-person pronouns, and contractions aren’t allowed. These rules also discourage unattended anaphoric pronouns and say that split infinitives should be rarely used. And to start a sentence with an initial conjunction is as bad as to include a listing expression, and so on. Exclamation marks are forbidden! The rules [...]

By |2018-02-22T00:22:19+00:00November 9th, 2016|Language, Science, Scientific language|0 Comments

How do new elements get named?

It is highly unusual for words to become the subject of avid discussion—and even of consideration by lexicographers—before they have even been coined! This is the curious situation at present in the world of science, where the announcement of four new chemical elements has created something of a stir. They can now take a permanent [...]

By |2018-02-22T00:22:51+00:00February 1st, 2016|Elements, Language, Naming, Periodic Table, Science|0 Comments