Alphadictionary.com

Our Sponsors

Technical Translation
Website Translation Clip Art
 

ORTHOGONAL

Use this forum to discuss past Good Words.

ORTHOGONAL

Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:43 pm

• orthogonal •

Pronunciation: or-tha-gê-nêl • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: 1. At right angles, perpendicular (to). 2. Totally irrelevant, not at all germane to some point under discussion. 3. Statistically unrelated or independent.

Notes: Today's word comes from Greek via Latin and hence has all the derivational accoutrements of classical words. The noun is orthogonality and you can make a verb, orthogonalize "to place at right angles" out of it. The adverb has the usual suffix: orthogonally.

In Play: Today's word is useful in discussions of both practical and philosophical matters. Practically, we may say, "The trunk of a capital 'T' is orthogonal to its cross bar." To stretch that sense a wee bit, we might comment, "I wouldn't say that she drank too much last night but Wanda Round left the party somewhat less than orthogonal." On a more philosophical note: "Jack Uzzi raises so many orthogonal issues in staff meetings, it seems he is totally solipsistic."

Word History: Today's Good Word comes from Greek orthogonios "at right angles" based on orthos "right, correct" + gonia "angle". The original root came into Greek as both gonia and gona "knee", so apparently originally meant "knee" and "angle", two meanings obviously related. The same root came up in Latin genu "knee", which underlies genuflect "bow", based on a combination meaning "knee-bending". In English we have the very predictable knee and kneel from the same PIE root. Orthos "right" (in both senses) appears in many English words, such as orthography "correct spelling" and orthodoxy "correct belief".
• The Good Dr. Goodword
User avatar
Dr. Goodword
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3485
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:28 am
Location: Lewisburg, PA

Postby Ferrus » Sat Feb 24, 2007 8:38 pm

A most excellent word.

With the third meaning, would a variable that appears to be correlated to another but is only so because of a third determinant be orthogonal or is it only those statistics that are altogether inapposite?
Ferrus
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 99
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2006 8:33 pm
Location: Birmingham, UK

Postby gailr » Sat Feb 24, 2007 11:17 pm

Orthogonal drawings are fine exercises in technical precision, but no one renders them on black velvet to sell at starving artist sales...

-gailr
User avatar
gailr
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1945
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 11:40 am

Postby swapnil_ghan » Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:18 am

Another great word I wasn't aware of its second and third meaning


Senator responded with orthogonal answers when people queried him about the promises he had made in past.


ha ha ha very common situation.


:lol: :lol: :lol:
swapnil_ghan
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2007 12:13 am

Postby Perry » Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:15 am

Orthogonal Meditation: letting your mind go off on tangents.
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."
Anonymous
User avatar
Perry
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2306
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:50 am
Location: Asheville, NC

Postby skinem » Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:23 pm

Ferrus wrote:A most excellent word.

With the third meaning, would a variable that appears to be correlated to another but is only so because of a third determinant be orthogonal or is it only those statistics that are altogether inapposite?


Stargzr would probably know better than I, because I'm going WAAAY back to some of the stats stuff I did years ago, but I believe that it is only those statistics that are altogether inapposite.
User avatar
skinem
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1197
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 4:33 pm
Location: Middle Tennessee

Postby tcward » Mon Feb 26, 2007 4:22 pm

And of course we techno-nerds immediately think of Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) when we hear the word 'orthogonal'. OFDM is the technology used in the 802.11g radios these days, which succeeded the 802.11b radios of just a couple years ago.

Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing: Divides a range of available bandwidth spectrum into a series of frequencies known as tones. Flarion uses the 5 GHz channel and divides each channel into 400 discrete tones (each at slightly different frequency). Orthoganal tones do not interfere with each other when the peak of one tone corresponds with the null. All frequencies fade but the rapid switching, frequency-hopping technique is supposed to allow more robust data service.

From http://www.auditmypc.com/acronym/OFDM.asp

Image
An orthogon from the Al Hambra.
User avatar
tcward
Senior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 789
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 5:18 pm
Location: The Old North State

Postby Stargzer » Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:15 pm

skinem wrote:Stargzr would probably know better than I, because I'm going WAAAY back to some of the stats stuff I did years ago, but I believe that it is only those statistics that are altogether inapposite.


Stargzer never had a stats course; just ran standard deviations on data in physics and chem labs. Didn't really know what they meant, but they looked good on the lab report. Especially when accompanied by a computer printout, done in FORTRAN, PL/I, or BASIC, of course. Nowadays it would be done in Excel. :wink:

From Stargzer's Dictionary of Corrected Computer Acronyms:

GIGO: Garbage In, Gospel Out.
Regards//Larry

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
User avatar
Stargzer
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2546
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:56 pm
Location: Crownsville, MD


Return to Good Word Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests