View Single Post
Old October 2nd 05, 08:48 PM
external usenet poster
Posts: n/a

Floyd Davidson wrote:

It does not necessarily have to be that one grew out of the
other. However, I *don't* see them as totally unrelated.

Ok, I'll bite. What relationship do you see between the term
"prime lens" used to mean the main lens as opposed to a supplementary
lens or attachment, and the term "prime lens" used to mean a
fixed focal length lens?

Rather, it is a logical progression.

Again, what is the logical connection between the two?

And the newer meaning
does not necessarily negate correctness of the older meaning
any more than and older meaning makes a new one incorrect.

Of course. Though having a word with multiple meanings or
an unclear meaning within a technical lexicon could create
problems. That's part of why I think "prime lens" in the
sense of "fixed focal length" while a useful bit of slang until
someone comes up with something better, shouldn't be regarded
as a part of the proper technical vocabulary of photography.

So? I could probably come up with a single paragraph that used
at least 4 or 5 different meanings for the word "prime".

It would be interesting to see such a paragraph in which
at least four out of the five uses had no obvious connection
to the concept of "first" indicated by the word "prime."
I would like to see you try.

that make the more recently evolved meanings incorrect just
because there is also an older meaning?

No, but creating additional meanings for an existing technical
term could be a problem. It makes a lot of sense to deprecate
the use of a new meaning for a technical term if it is seen as
beginning to erode the usefulness of the established
technical use of the term.

Language just doesn't work that way. As the late Steve Allen
used to say on TV about timing being everything in comedy,
context is everything in word usage.

Right, if context is not actually everything, it is a lot of it.
I've got no strong objection to "prime lens" as a handy bit
of slang to refer to fixed focal length lenses, but if it starts
to look as if some people are treating it as if it were a proper
part of the technical lexicon then it may be time to object.