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Old September 29th 05, 04:56 AM
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Eugene wrote:
Just some links you may want to check out...

Please stop spreading misinformation. The first usage of a term is not
necessarily the correct one.

No, but it can be good to distinguish between slang terminology
and standard terminology.

For instance, in audio people often talk about "acetate masters"
when they mean "lacquer originals." The slang terminology is
wrong on two counts because the originals of disc recordings
are made on cellulose nitrate lacquer and never acetate and they
are originals, not masters, according to long established terminology.
The use of the slang "acetate master" has caused very little real
confusion over the 70 years in which it has been in common use,
but it is still not correct because the disc is neither made
of acetate nor a master. (Wikipedia gets the definition of
"master recording" wrong, so I don't think it is a very good
source for standard technical vocabulary.)

An example in photography is the use of the word "macro"
as a synonym for "extreme close-up." Photomacrography,
from which we get "macro," has a very well established
technical meaning requiring the image size to be equal to
or larger than the object size. The Wikipedia article
"Macro Photography" starts out with the standard definition
which it calls the "classical definition" and then goes
on to discuss the extended use of the term in photographers'
slang without being particularly clear that the extended
meaning is still non-standard terminology. BTW it is better
to use "photomacrography" than "macro photography" since
"macrophotography" can mean the making of large photographs
by analogy with the difference between "photomicrography"
and "microphotography" which should never be confused with
each other.

The use of "prime lens" for "fixed focal length lens" appears
to originate in cinema where the need for a handy term
for a non-zoom lens was felt long before such a term was
needed in still photography. As a handy bit of slang, it
has much to recommend it: it is easy to say and quickly
understood. As a technical term, it has two major difficulties:
the word "prime" has little connection to what is meant,
and there was a prior use of the term in which the word
"prime" actually made sense.

If you start referring to zooms as "prime" you're just going
to make yourself sound stupid.

No, because you would always also be using an additional term
such as "supplementary lens" or "teleconverter" which would
supply the context which would make the meaning clear.

Whatever you think it meant originally, is not what it means now.

You know, sometimes words have two meanings.

Most of us can live with slang terminology and standard technical
terminology without getting particularly confused. Slang terminology
can be very handy: I'm not going to stop saying "Hypo" when I know
that fixer is actually thiosulphate. It isn't very likely that someone
will think I mean the actual chemical "sodium hyposulphite" AKA
"sodium hydrosulphite" which is AFAIK not used in photography.
But it is still good to distinguish between slang and proper technical
language. If I ordered "sodium hyposulphite" from a chemical supplier
who served dyers it is just possible I might get the wrong chemical.