Bad SF lexicon

Jeff Prucher jprucher at YAHOO.COM
Mon Nov 7 21:03:03 UTC 2005

--- "Mark A. Mandel" <mamandel at LDC.UPENN.EDU> wrote:
> Jeff Prucher <jprucher at YAHOO.COM> wrote:
>     >>>>>
>                  I've found two distinct ways that people refer
> to terraforming the Earth.  One is used largely by environmentalists, and
> refers to the affect humans have had on the Earth's environment (global
> warming, extinctions, etc.).
>  <<<<<
> Do they use it transitively? In that sense, "terraforming the Earth" seems
> redundant.

I'm not sure I understand you (I have a stinking cold, so my brain isn't at
100%).  Do you mean that it seems redundant because the "terra" in "terraform"
already means Earth, so they'd be talking about making the Earth more like the
Earth?  How does transitivity fit in?

Here are some citations, in case they make things clearer:

1999 S. Brand "The Clock of the Long Now" 134: The fact is that humans are now
so powerful that we are in effect terraforming Earth.

2001 G. Dozois, Preface in "Worldmakers" xiii: After all, we've already
inadvertently "terraformed" our own Earth, radically changing our climate and
ecosystem, and we didn't even mean to do it!

Jeff Prucher

Yahoo! Mail - PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2005

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