"Floyd Davidson" wrote in message
Floyd Davidson wrote:
The "correct" use has evolved. Get used to it because it
The word "evolved" suggests that one use of the term grew out of
the other. This does not appear to be the case. Both uses of
"prime lens" appear to be current and I believe that they are
almost totally unrelated to each other.
It does not necessarily have to be that one grew out of the
It sure does, if it evolved.
However, I *don't* see them as totally unrelated.
Rather, it is a logical progression.
That's what I want to see: that logical progression from "fixed focal
length" to "prime."
And the newer meaning
does not necessarily negate correctness of the older meaning
any more than and older meaning makes a new one incorrect.
For instance in:
"With the Zeiss Mutagon 0.6x there is now a wide-angle converter
available which matches the optical performance level of the Zeiss
Vario-Sonnar 1,7-2,2/3,3-33 lenses used in high quality digital
camcorders from Sony. . . . The Mutagon is threaded to the front
of the prime lens, as distinguished from the well-known Zeiss Mutar
which is inserted between the lens and the camera."
This clearly shows that the term "prime lens" has been in recent
use to describe a zoom lens when used with a supplementary lens.
So? I could probably come up with a single paragraph that used
at least 4 or 5 different meanings for the word "prime". Does
that make the more recently evolved meanings incorrect just
because there is also an older meaning?
Like most words in the English language, "prime" has many different
meanings. But not an *infinite* number of meanings; you cannot legitimately
just add new meanings willy-nilly because you happen to like them, or
because you support someone else's usage based on his misunderstanding of
the term in the first place.
Some people misuse words because they misunderstand them, and apparently
think such misuse is perfectly legitimate and the actual meaning is
unimportant. This is a somewhat annoying thing, and many years ago I coined
the term "Humpty-Dumptyism" to describe it. (I must admit I'm somewhat
disappointed that Humpty-Dumptyism has not, after all this time, really
caught on as an expression. :-) )
For those not very familiar with Lewis Carroll, I should explain (much
Humpty Dumpty, sitting on his wall, had a conversation with Alice in which
he used a certain word in an incomprehensible way. Alice told him she didn't
understand his use of that word. Humpty then gave her a quite lengthy, and
thoroughly wrong, definition for the word. "But the word doesn't mean that
at all," Alice protested. "The word means," Humpty replied, "what I choose
it to mean."