Musings from Southern New Mexico

Category: language

Quit Using Our Words

Often I hear a drooling political prostitute use the vernacular of science for moron-baiting purposes. Among the techno-babble words recently acquired by the anti-intelligentsia is “optics.”

The book on optics (Opticks, as he wrote it) was written by Newton himself. Optics is the science of light. “The way morons will see it, if properly guided by my propaganda” is not functionally equivalent. Is it that the words “perception” and “appearance” have too many syllables? Optics is a fairly narrow area of study. I mean that it is very specific, though many would argue that its vast and growing set of applications shouldn’t be called narrow. Screw those guys. Within the field, the word “optics,” when not applied to the field itself, generally refers to items such as filters, lenses, and mirrors. In what way is this similar to “appearance?”

But I guess it sounds educated to the sorts of people that prefer the airheads who deliver their daily dose of bovine excreta to sound smart.

It beats having to listen to actual smart people who will almost certainly disagree with their preferred delusions, I suppose.


I have been a bit of an amateur linguist since high school. Recently, I decided to look into which languages were the most spoken. I made a post on that, based on minimal intertube research. Now that I have a new table plugin (courtesy of Tobias Bäthge), I decided to take another stab at it. This time, I spent a couple of hours on Wikipedia and the CIA World Factbook. I included countries whose contributions were over 10,000,000 speakers. For some languages, however, this wasn’t enough. So I also included either the first two countries or the first three if the third was a significant contributor).

[table id=3 /]


Unfortunately, the “All Countries” number is only a rough estimate. Someday I may be induced to do an actual study. For now, however, I think this is adequate for informational purposes.

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