Saturday, February 16, 2013

Please Describe This Elephant

For John, BLUFIf you can't properly name it, how do you expect us to understand what you are describing?

Why I am wary of the Main Stream Media Number 32,483.  That would be more than one a day for my whole life.

At any rate, this article from Fox News On Line refers to the famous Supermarine SPITFIRE Fighter, with the magnificent Rolls Royce MERLIN engine, as a "jet".

By the way, that MERLIN engine sure sounds sweet as the SPIT flies by at some airshow.

Before you run off blaming Fox News, remember that it is an Associated Press report.  One of our vaunted news services.

We have to learn the names of things, so we can describe what we see to others.  Maybe half the problem in our Nation's Capitol is that politicians (and bureaucrats) are conceptualizing different things when they hear this word or that.

And those of us out across the Fruited Plain may be thinking of something different altogether.

Hat tip to the Instapundit.

Regards  —  Cliff


kad barma said...

I always marveled at the number of words my Grandfather had for all the hardware and other mechanical things around the dairy. (I learned only a fraction of them, and have undoubtedly forgotten even more). Orwell hit the nail on the head when he centered his story of Big Brother and the decline of civilization around the impoverishment of our language.

Unfortunately, to far too many people, if it flies, it must be a "jet".

Neal said...

I've always been impressed that Orwell's message was not so much predictions of a corrupt government, but rather the willing decline of a civilization by altering the way in which we communicate. Thus, Newspeak replaces Oldspeak as a means of quashing and eliminating unclean or forbidden thoughts and ideations. That is a singular fear about today's political and journalistic adventurism with language. Orwell said it best:
"political prose was formed "to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind".

In defense of folks today who regard anything that flies as a "jet," there are a diminishing part of our population who have actually HEARD a Merlin engine at full power. Only pilots would know that reciprocal aircraft engines power flight via a constant speed, variable pitch prop (with the notable exception of much smaller fixed pitch props generally on much simpler aircraft).

BTW Cliff....the early P-51's sported the same RR Merlin before going over to the big Allisons.