Further Antedating of "Black Hole"
David A. Daniel
dad at POKERWIZ.COM
Thu Apr 17 00:47:26 UTC 2008
Fred Shapiro says: >Here's a more notable antedating, since it casts into
serious question >whether Wheeler really was the coiner:
OH MY GOD. WHETHER OR NOT WHEELER REALLY WAS THE COINER OF BLACK HOLE HAS
BEEN CAST INTO SERIOUS QUESTION!!!
You have got to be kidding.
OK. Here is where, had I any pride, and somewhat less curiosity, I would
leave this useless, irrelevant list. And, yes, in terms of any worthwhile
human endeavor, this list, along with its opinions and its findings and its
oh so high opinion of itself, is totally irrelevant.
We have a man, Johnny Wheeler, who, in his lifetime and with his brain, did
things that really mattered, that, in fact, killed hundreds of thousands of
people, won global wars, changed the course of history, changed the entire
thought process of weapons development, changed the way scientists and
laymen alike relate to the world and the universe, may have changed basic
human interaction forever. And now our list is to - gasp! - be thrown into
paroxysm because... THERE MAY BE SERIOUS QUESTION AS TO WHETHER WHEELER
REALLY WAS THE COINER OF BLACK HOLE! Who, with any view to any realistic
endeavor of the human mind, would really give a flying fuck if Wheeler is
the coiner or not?
"Well, but that is what we do here! We really do give a rat's ass if Wheeler
coined 'black hole' or not!"
Uh huh, well that is fine, that is fun, that is interesting, that is how we
amuse ourselves. But let us not confuse this with something that really
matters. Let us not be strident in our proclamations that Wheeler may not
have coined a term when everything else he did makes it totally irrelevant
whether he coined the term or not.
Let us not think, for example, that whether people in Michigan say pop or
soda is important. It is not important; it is merely interesting. Let us not
think, for example, that whether people in Texas use glottal kitten is
important. It is not important; it is merely interesting.
And, jeeeeeez! Can't you guys lighten up on Tom Zurinskas? OK, he goes a bit
overboard with his truespel thing. So what? If he went and got a PhD in some
linguistic field, and still promoted his truespel, you would then take him
more seriously? If your answer is negative then be careful, as it has been
proposed on this list that Tom's problem is a lack of paper. Everyone on
this list goes overboard on their own thing, their own view of the
(Um... I just had a thought that some folks may equate the issues of this
list with issues of human communication and come in with questions like,
"how can you think that human communication is not important?" Well, in a
year or more on this list I have seen nothing of such import. All I have
seen is just fun and interesting, that's all. How about y'all spend more
ivory tower time trying to figure how your areas of endeavor could better
the human condition and less time on how many angels can dance on the head
of a linguistic pin?)
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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