Thursday Trivia : Astro Pet Hates

November 27, 2008

Tomorrow morning it will be Thanksgiving Day. Of course I have pretty much no idea what this all means, but for sure nobody does any work.  So I have been squeezing in some extra work tonight in a late night drifting kinda way, roaming around the ADS.  I just found a fascinating paper. As I skimmed the abstract however, my teeth began to grind, as I came across the phrase “..we might expect these sources to be heavily extincted quasars..” Aaaggghh !!!! “Extinct” is an adjective. There is no verb “to extinct”, so things can’t be “extincted”. Yeah, I know “extinguished” isn’t quite right either, as it sounds like something wiped out rather than heavily reduced. But you can’t say “extincted”. There is no such word. You just have to find a different way to say it. Seeing it in print is even worse … what was the editor doing ? Of course I know I should relax; language evolves, often by just such incorrect extrapolations; and maybe enough people are using “extincted” now, in both astronomy and evolutionary studies, that it has become de facto a correct useage. Correct grammar (and spelling) is wotever the peepul say. But please … can I have this one just a bit longer ??

Anyhoo. Flame off. Your turn. Astro Pet Hates. Could be scientific, grammatical, or political, as long as there is a Connexion Astronomickal.