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EPONYM

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Postby tcward » Wed Mar 16, 2005 4:42 pm

This reader response was linked to the article:

While looking at back issues of your excellent newsletter, I saw a speculation on whether or not the word sitar was related to the word guitar. I also noticed that in subsequent issues nobody had written a comment about this. In fact the two words are not related even remotely.

The Indian sitar is descended from a smaller Iranian instrument called the setar, which merely means "three strings" - se meaning three, and tar meaning string. With a Hindi accent, setar became sitar. Oddly enough most of the Iranian setars have four strings these days (which would properly make them chahartar) and the Indian sitar usually has around 17. Would this be a satdastar? (My Hindi is rusty verging upon nonexistent), Sitar is certainly easier to say.


I don't see the logic in the reader's response.

-Tim
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:07 pm

Prowling in the older archives again, I see in an early comment that Celsius is an eponym. Can anyone tell me when and why the terminology was changed from the centigrade of my youth to the Celcius of today. Centigrade made sense as decimal.
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Postby Slava » Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:56 pm

Perry Lassiter wrote:Prowling in the older archives again, I see in an early comment that Celsius is an eponym. Can anyone tell me when and why the terminology was changed from the centigrade of my youth to the Celcius of today. Centigrade made sense as decimal.
1948, to avoid confusion. Read all about it here.
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Postby Philip Hudson » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:34 pm

Slava: Confusion avoidance or no, it is Centigrade to me. I am not confused on this point at all. Of course, being an older than dirt redneck, I prefer Fahrenheit. Long may it stand! The negative °C numbers have a chilling effect on the psyche. In most of the world, 0 °F is about as cold as it is going to get. When the temperature is negative, you had better wear your clodhoppers when walking out to get the morning paper. When the temperature is over 100 °F the wise person takes precautions against heat stroke. I am a sometime scientist and know that °C fits better in scientific measurements. But, ahead of being a scientist, I am a human, and the Fahrenheit scale seems more human. I have experienced temperature extremes. -25 °F in Binghamton, NY is the coldest I have ever been, and I have been in the Arctic. When maintaining huge compressors in an engine room of a natural gas processing plant, I have experienced 130 °F, but not for long. Think Black Hole of Calcuta. Just the thought of these numbers makes me almost panic, as it should. I lose all that in Centigrade (Celsius). The same goes for all the metric system. And, any computer engineer can tell you that base 10 arithmetic is not very scientific when you are dealing with the 1s and 0s of a binary digital world. I have written conversion software from binary to base 10 and it is a pretty good trick to do.
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:08 pm

Thanks, Slava, for casting light. I must have picked up on the difference about the time the BBC did in '85. glad you and Philip join me in retro.
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:56 am

I'm with you Philip. It has been over 90 the entire
month of July here, and the drought has killed
everything especially corn and soy. Celsius or Centigrade
would tell me the temp is 33 or some such thing and that
just does not hit the horrid feeling one gets. It is forecast
to be over 100 again today, and I'm feeling ever
Fehrenheit one of them degrees.
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