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Are primes brighter and sharper than wide open zooms



 
 
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  #131  
Old October 3rd 05, 12:10 PM
Floyd Davidson
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nick c wrote:
David Littlewood wrote:
I suggest that, whatever the rights and wrongs of the meaning
of language (and I do think you have a good point, regrettable
though it is) the use of such a *******ised words is best
avoided by those who value precision of language. Those who do
use it may be suspected by some of slipshod linguistic
standards
David


"English is the most widely learned and used foreign language in the
world, and, as such, many linguists believe it is no longer the
exclusive cultural emblem of "native English speakers," but rather a
language that is absorbing aspects of cultures worldwide as it grows in
use. Others believe that there are limits to how far English can go in
suiting everyone for communication purposes. "

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_language


That is an excellent point. There should perhaps be some
emphasis on the purpose of language though, which is to
communicate information. Pedants of trivia who concern
themselves with criticism of the "correct" mechanisms of
language evolution are missing the point entirely. It makes
*no* difference why or how a change takes place. All that
counts is whether it serves the purpose well for communicating
information.

For some people that is more significant, and more apparent,
than it is for others. Barrow happens to be a very
international place, with a majority of the population speaking
English as a second language. I typically hear people born in
Mexico, American Samoa, Korea, the Philipines, and Thailand, not
to mention the local Inupiaq speakers all speaking 1) their
native language and 2) English that varies from person to
person. *Nobody* cares whether words match precise dictionary
meanings, because *point* is to communicate.

When people *communicate*, the question is not "what did they
say", but "what did they mean".

--
FloydL. Davidson http://www.apaflo.com/floyd_davidson
Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska)
  #132  
Old October 3rd 05, 01:51 PM
Chris Brown
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In article ,
David Littlewood wrote:

If you mean the very large number 10^100, as used by mathematicians,
then its name is "googol", not google.

AIUI, the name google was chosen to resonate with googol - or maybe it
was some marketer ignorant of the correct spelling. Good thing too, I
say.


It's a pun - it's "go ogle", as in, "go and look for", but it sounds a bit
like "googol", giving the idea that it returns lots of results.

And given Google's origins, I rather doubt there were any marketers
involved. It was initially a university experiment in inexpensive Linux
clustering.

  #133  
Old October 3rd 05, 02:12 PM
BC
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"Go ahead, outline "that evolutionary process" for me. I'd sure like to
see
how you get "fixed focal length" to evolve into "prime." What might the

intermediate steps look like, I wonder?"

Many of the earlier zoom lenses from the 1960's and 1970's comprised an
afocal zooming portion in the front, followed by a fixed focal length
lens group in the rear. That fixed focal length lens group was, and
still is, called a "prime lens". I suspect that this may have led to
all fixed focal length lenses being called prime lenses.

As a side note, this early type of zoom lens automatically had a
constant f/# through zoom. However, it is not nearly as common a
design form as it used to be.

As I've pointed out to you earlier, respected manufacturers such as
Panavision do use the word "prime" to mean fixed focal length. The cat
is clearly out of the bag here, and we might as well get used to
"prime" and "fixed focal length" being synonyms.

Brian

  #134  
Old October 3rd 05, 03:28 PM
Jeremy Nixon
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Chris Brown wrote:

(I'm sure the folks at the Hoover company wouldn't be too
happy about it, either.)


On the contrary, I believe they are entirely happy with the word "hoover"
having come to be a generic term for vacuum cleaner, and the currency of the
associated verb. Indeed, AIUI they positively encouraged the use.


Odd. Companies tend to fight that sort of thing tooth and nail, since they
lose trademark protection otherwise.

I understand there's a near parallel in American English with "kleenex"
(although there's no associated verb).


Yes. But no one pretends it's actually correct. We have "xerox" as well.

Or for something more modern, and with more international currency, try "to
google" - much more managable than "to search the Internet".


I really hope that one never makes it past pop-culture slang.


I believe it's in the OED.


It is not. It has made it into the New Oxford American Dictionary and the
Oxford Dictionary of English (2nd Edition), but not, thus far, the OED itself.

It is worth noting, in that case, that the word "google" actually has
another meaning, one that has almost certainly already been destroyed
beyond hope of recovery.


If you're thinking of 10^100 then you're wrong, that's a googol. The name of
the search engine is a pun on that.


No, I'm thinking of "google", to wit:

google, v. Cricket. intr. Of the ball: to have a 'googly' break and swerve.
Of the bowler; to bowl a googly or googlies; also (trans.), to give a googly
break to (a ball). Hence googler, a googly bowler.

Which *is* in the OED. The usage predates the Internet search engine by
some 90 years.

--
Jeremy |
  #135  
Old October 3rd 05, 03:31 PM
Jeremy Nixon
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David Littlewood wrote:

If you mean the very large number 10^100, as used by mathematicians,
then its name is "googol", not google.


I meant the cricket term, as mentioned in my other post.

--
Jeremy |
  #136  
Old October 3rd 05, 03:45 PM
Chris Brown
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In article ,
Jeremy Nixon wrote:
Chris Brown wrote:

It is worth noting, in that case, that the word "google" actually has
another meaning, one that has almost certainly already been destroyed
beyond hope of recovery.


If you're thinking of 10^100 then you're wrong, that's a googol. The name of
the search engine is a pun on that.


No, I'm thinking of "google", to wit:

google, v. Cricket. intr. Of the ball: to have a 'googly' break and swerve.
Of the bowler; to bowl a googly or googlies; also (trans.), to give a googly
break to (a ball). Hence googler, a googly bowler.


It's entirely unclear why you think this usage has "almost certainly been
destroyed beyond hope of recovery". If a cricket-nerd uses it, it will be
obvious from context which version they are talking about, hence there is to
be no confusion.
  #137  
Old October 3rd 05, 04:21 PM
Nostrobino
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"Floyd Davidson" wrote in message
...
"Nostrobino" wrote:
"Floyd Davidson" wrote:

[ . . . ]
Common use makes it "correct", and indicates the language has
evolved.


No. The popularity of some misusage does not automatically make it
correct,
as you seem to believe. Look in any authoritative dictionary that has
usage
notes, and you will find misusages that have enjoyed great popularity for
many, many years and are just still as wrong as they ever were.


So just show us examples... ;-)


I'll do better than that. I'll direct you to an excellent dictionary which
is just loaded with extensive usage notes, and you can while away many a
pleasant hour reading them: The American Heritage Dictionary of the English
Language, Third Edition. (I think there's a later edition now.) This is the
real big one, not the desk dictionary.

Even quicker, do a Google search on "misused words." You'll find several
lists, some of the words real oldies, still often misused. Wrong for years,
still wrong today, and they'll still be wrong in years to come. In most
cases the wrongness is in stylistic usage rather than definition, but the
principle is the same. Popularity of usage does not automatically confer
correctness.

N.


  #138  
Old October 3rd 05, 04:23 PM
Jeremy Nixon
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Chris Brown wrote:

It's entirely unclear why you think this usage has "almost certainly been
destroyed beyond hope of recovery". If a cricket-nerd uses it, it will be
obvious from context which version they are talking about, hence there is to
be no confusion.


Do you really think that, even in the nerdiest of cricket-nerd circles,
anyone can ever again use that word without everyone who hears him thinking
of the "new" meaning?

--
Jeremy |
  #139  
Old October 3rd 05, 04:38 PM
Nostrobino
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"David Littlewood" wrote in message
...
In article , Nostrobino
writes


Common use makes it "correct", and indicates the language has
evolved.


No. The popularity of some misusage does not automatically make it
correct,
as you seem to believe. Look in any authoritative dictionary that has
usage
notes, and you will find misusages that have enjoyed great popularity for
many, many years and are just still as wrong as they ever were.

As with many "quotations" - for example, "gilding the lily".


I'm not familiar with the origins of that.

My current anti-favorite is "that begs the question, question inserted
here." Ever since some TV ads appeared (again and again) with a voice-over
asking, "That begs the question, Is it better to give name of product,
forgotten or to receive?" this annoying misusage has spread like the
proverbial wildfire, among commentators, columnists and others, who
evidently think it's just a classy way of saying "raises the question."

Here in the U.S. the expression "that begs the question" was almost never
seen, except occasionally in British writing. So when the average American
reader saw "that begs the question" in, say, an English novel, he had not
the foggiest idea what it meant. (Question? What question?) Now
unfortunately we see it again and again, *never* used correctly.

N.


  #140  
Old October 3rd 05, 05:15 PM
David Littlewood
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In article , Jeremy Nixon
writes
Chris Brown wrote:

(I'm sure the folks at the Hoover company wouldn't be too
happy about it, either.)


On the contrary, I believe they are entirely happy with the word "hoover"
having come to be a generic term for vacuum cleaner, and the currency of the
associated verb. Indeed, AIUI they positively encouraged the use.


Odd. Companies tend to fight that sort of thing tooth and nail, since they
lose trademark protection otherwise.

I understand there's a near parallel in American English with "kleenex"
(although there's no associated verb).


Yes. But no one pretends it's actually correct. We have "xerox" as well.

"Biro" is another example, at least in the UK.

Or for something more modern, and with more international currency, try "to
google" - much more managable than "to search the Internet".

I really hope that one never makes it past pop-culture slang.


I believe it's in the OED.


It is not. It has made it into the New Oxford American Dictionary and the
Oxford Dictionary of English (2nd Edition), but not, thus far, the OED itself.

It is worth noting, in that case, that the word "google" actually has
another meaning, one that has almost certainly already been destroyed
beyond hope of recovery.


If you're thinking of 10^100 then you're wrong, that's a googol. The name of
the search engine is a pun on that.


No, I'm thinking of "google", to wit:

google, v. Cricket. intr. Of the ball: to have a 'googly' break and swerve.
Of the bowler; to bowl a googly or googlies; also (trans.), to give a googly
break to (a ball). Hence googler, a googly bowler.

Which *is* in the OED. The usage predates the Internet search engine by
some 90 years.

Being English, and having gone to a cricketing school, I know about
googlies (even if I could never bowl them). I have however never, ever,
heard the term "google" in that context. If you say it's in the OED,
fine. It's not in the Concise Oxford in my office, but it is mentioned
as an "also..." in Chambers. Probably never been used in real life since
WG Grace hung up his bat.

David
--
David Littlewood
 




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