1413: "Suddenly Popular"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

User avatar
Pfhorrest
Posts: 5448
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC
Contact:

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:38 am UTC

WilliamLehnsherr wrote:Was tsunami really an obscure word prior to the one in 2004? I'm pretty sure I was taught the word in primary school. Then again I'm from Australia and hence pretty close to the part of the world where that word is mostly used. And I might be falling into the trap of believing everything I know is common knowledge.

I'm from California and I also was wondering if tsunami was an obscure word prior to 2004. Mostly as a pedantic thing that people would correct people who said "tidal wave" with though, not as a thing that was in the news or anything like that. Not sure why anyone was saying "tidal wave" either, for that matter.
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)

ps.02
Posts: 378
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:02 pm UTC

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby ps.02 » Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:41 am UTC

WilliamLehnsherr wrote:Was tsunami really an obscure word prior to the one in 2004?

Not to me. I've not lived close enough to an ocean to worry about them, but it seems like it's always been a common enough term. I don't think I've really heard them called tidal waves since about third grade.

As for the Suddenly Popular list, I suppose it's cheating to include PHB or tech buzzwords like "synergy" and "virtualization." How about these, though:

1986: O-ring. Maybe I'm not giving people enough credit, but it doesn't seem like most people would have ever used that word before that gasket on the Challenger failed. (Also, redundant jargon is redundant. I mean, what other shapes of rings are there?)

1990?: Carpal tunnel. Repetitive stress injuries are hardly new, but when people started getting them on computers, instead of, say, on assembly lines in widget factories, suddenly it seemed everyone was talking about them.

2006?: App. While a common term for a software package in my field, widespread use of the term by the rest of the world seems to be pretty recent. Could be worse, I guess. It could have been a term like "applet" or, gods forbid, "snap-in." Still, it would have been neat if the generic term for software on a phone had become "TSR."

2008: Toxic assets. Oh man. I got so tired of news radio people using the term like a shibboleth, as though they had no clear idea what it meant. Also "underwater" loan or mortgage, but that term probably was in some use prior to that year.

Honorable mentions, and I'm not sure exactly when they exploded ex nihilo into the common vocabulary: bipolar, Asperger's, gluten.

niky
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:34 am UTC

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby niky » Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:43 am UTC

Ugh... Gluten. Lump that in with autism and vaccines...

If the ocean currents stop in 2022, crap... I haven't got much time to stock up for the climapocalypse... though if we're back down to controlled hydroplaning on melting glaciers by 2028, I won't have to stock up more than a decade's worth of food...

User avatar
Pfhorrest
Posts: 5448
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC
Contact:

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:50 am UTC

Ugh2, on the topic of autism: the rise of "autist" (on the internet at least) as a replacement for "retard". As if the latter wasn't already offensive enough, the former makes me want to skin someone alive, burn the skin in front of their own eyes, then choke them to death with the ashes.
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)

User avatar
orthogon
Posts: 3079
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 7:52 am UTC
Location: The Airy 1830 ellipsoid

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby orthogon » Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:56 am UTC

sjorford wrote:Where's "trochee" on this list?

Thermohaline drone desertion? Insect-borne militia movement?


LaurieCheers beat you to it:

LaurieCheers wrote:Oh come on Randall, what happened? Getting sloppy? Getting over your obsession?

1993: Velociraptor


Oh, hang on, I think this post might be talking about his raptor obsession. As you were.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

User avatar
dorkomatic
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:38 am UTC
Location: Cardiff, UK

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby dorkomatic » Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:17 am UTC

pkcommando wrote:I'm wondering where in that timeline 'meme' fits.

I've had fun conversations with people around my age who don't know the word is older than they are.


At first I thought "that's easy - it's from Dawkin's 'selfish gene' - in the 70's" (so I'm older than the word.)
But then I looked at google's Ngram and found that the word seems to have been used for FAR longer...

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?c ... me%3B%2Cc0

Which is nothing short of WEIRD!

User avatar
orthogon
Posts: 3079
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 7:52 am UTC
Location: The Airy 1830 ellipsoid

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby orthogon » Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:55 am UTC

dorkomatic wrote:
pkcommando wrote:I'm wondering where in that timeline 'meme' fits.

I've had fun conversations with people around my age who don't know the word is older than they are.


At first I thought "that's easy - it's from Dawkin's 'selfish gene' - in the 70's" (so I'm older than the word.)
But then I looked at google's Ngram and found that the word seems to have been used for FAR longer...

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?c ... me%3B%2Cc0

Which is nothing short of WEIRD!

If you look at the underlying texts, they all appear to be instances of the French word même, in quotations from French or references to the French word in otherwise English texts.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

User avatar
dorkomatic
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:38 am UTC
Location: Cardiff, UK

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby dorkomatic » Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:18 am UTC

orthogon wrote:
dorkomatic wrote:
pkcommando wrote:I'm wondering where in that timeline 'meme' fits.

I've had fun conversations with people around my age who don't know the word is older than they are.


At first I thought "that's easy - it's from Dawkin's 'selfish gene' - in the 70's" (so I'm older than the word.)
But then I looked at google's Ngram and found that the word seems to have been used for FAR longer...

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?c ... me%3B%2Cc0

Which is nothing short of WEIRD!

If you look at the underlying texts, they all appear to be instances of the French word même, in quotations from French or references to the French word in otherwise English texts.


That's a relief. I wouldn't want to think of Dawkins as a time-traveller. ;^P

User avatar
orthogon
Posts: 3079
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 7:52 am UTC
Location: The Airy 1830 ellipsoid

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby orthogon » Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:24 am UTC

dorkomatic wrote:
orthogon wrote:
dorkomatic wrote:
pkcommando wrote:I'm wondering where in that timeline 'meme' fits.

I've had fun conversations with people around my age who don't know the word is older than they are.


At first I thought "that's easy - it's from Dawkin's 'selfish gene' - in the 70's" (so I'm older than the word.)
But then I looked at google's Ngram and found that the word seems to have been used for FAR longer...

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?c ... me%3B%2Cc0

Which is nothing short of WEIRD!

If you look at the underlying texts, they all appear to be instances of the French word même, in quotations from French or references to the French word in otherwise English texts.


That's a relief. I wouldn't want to think of Dawkins as a time-traveller. ;^P

Well, he has travelled from the year 1941 to bring us his message of radical atheism.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

User avatar
Klear
Posts: 1965
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:43 am UTC
Location: Prague

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby Klear » Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:06 pm UTC

Re: Tsunami - I'm sure I've known the word long before 2004 and Czech Republic doesn't even have a sea...

ps.02
Posts: 378
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:02 pm UTC

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby ps.02 » Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:01 pm UTC

niky wrote:Ugh... Gluten. Lump that in with autism and vaccines...

No, see, the "Suddenly Popular" list is about words and terms that almost nobody knows, until one day somehow everybody knows them. Gluten seems to be such a word. I don't think most people had even heard of it until a few years ago, and now everyone uses it. (It can be argued that the public still doesn't know quite what gluten is, but they do know the word.) I don't think the terms autism or vaccine were ever particularly obscure. Certainly I knew what they were long before I ever heard they supposedly correlated with each other.

OP Tipping
Posts: 258
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2007 6:23 am UTC

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby OP Tipping » Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:34 pm UTC

DNA evidence? Why? I would've thought that was a popular one since the 70s at least.
a) Please explain the specific MEDICAL reason for ordering this MEDICATION !
b) Please state the nature of your ailment or injury.
c) One a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your pain?
d) Please state the nature of the medical emergency.

speising
Posts: 2353
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:54 pm UTC
Location: wien

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby speising » Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:42 pm UTC

ps.02 wrote:
niky wrote:Ugh... Gluten. Lump that in with autism and vaccines...

No, see, the "Suddenly Popular" list is about words and terms that almost nobody knows, until one day somehow everybody knows them. Gluten seems to be such a word. I don't think most people had even heard of it until a few years ago, and now everyone uses it. (It can be argued that the public still doesn't know quite what gluten is, but they do know the word.) I don't think the terms autism or vaccine were ever particularly obscure. Certainly I knew what they were long before I ever heard they supposedly correlated with each other.

ngrams for gluten.
there's a spike in the 18(!)40's, but no supporting evidence that it's popularity increased significantly in our lifetimes. an increase in the late 90's, but nothing like it already was.

User avatar
mathmannix
Posts: 1446
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 2:12 pm UTC
Location: Washington, DC

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby mathmannix » Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:59 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Though I'm not sure if I trust Randall's research...I had to look up Militia Movment, Supermax, and Butterfly Ballot, and I was alive in all of those years.
Really? I feel like you must not have been paying much attention to national events if you didn't pick up on "militia" after the Oklahoma City bombing or different ballot terminology during Bush v. Gore.


While "butterfly ballot" definitely gained recognition during Bush v. Gore, "chad" (the common noun) was something I heard much more during that time period, and had never heard of before. But of course, it has to be distinguished from the much more familiar proper noun Chad, and none of the other examples in the comic need disambiguating. Relatively speaking, Butterfly Ballot still remained obscure, I think...

OP Tipping wrote:DNA evidence? Why? I would've thought that was a popular one since the 70s at least.


DNA evidence was apparently first used in the 1980's - but its recognition got a huge spike in 1995, however...
I hear velociraptor tastes like chicken.

Nathan
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:40 pm UTC

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby Nathan » Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:09 pm UTC

I had to look up "supermax". Never heard it before.

User avatar
Introbulus
Posts: 84
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:09 am UTC
Location: New York
Contact:

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby Introbulus » Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:03 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Introbulus wrote:I'd like to see the list going the opposite direction myself - I'm not interested in what Randall suspects will be popular terms in the next 20 years, especially since all attempts to predict future trends thus far have proven completely catastrophic.
Well yeah, but it is after all a comic that tries to be funny more often than merely informative (not that I mind the pure infographic ones, of course).

But just think of what he could've done with past suddenly-popular phrases. Don't tell me you wouldn't have gotten a chuckle out of "Raptors" or "I am your father".

Though I'm not sure if I trust Randall's research...I had to look up Militia Movment, Supermax, and Butterfly Ballot, and I was alive in all of those years.
Really? I feel like you must not have been paying much attention to national events if you didn't pick up on "militia" after the Oklahoma City bombing or different ballot terminology during Bush v. Gore.

Well, when I say "alive" what I really mean is that I was a living human being. From 1993 to 1999 I was in Elementary school, so the Oklahoma City Bombing probably didn't register to me at all (I do distinctly remember O.J. Simpson though). Middle school I may have become slightly more globally aware, but as another person said, the whole "chads" thing was more recognizable than Butterfly Ballot.

I'm still not entirley sure what a Supermax is.

Al Quada, and other terror cells and the like, definitely registered though - My dad was working for the National Guard at the time, and I distinctly remember it being on radios and news stations. He turned them off as often as possible out of disgust (but that's not here nor there).

Tsunami I have to admit I probably learned just a little bit before 2005.

Viral I definitely knew before it became a web thing.

Again though, I feel like this chart is cheapened by giving us a bunch of amusing 'future' popular phrases. I'd be more interested to see what sort of phrases pop up in research for ages much further in the past, or better yet a larger chunk of that 1990's region (Gotta Catch 'em All would probably pop up at around 1998 when the show started getting popular.)
If you can read this, you are wasting your time.

User avatar
PinkShinyRose
Posts: 834
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:54 pm UTC
Location: the Netherlands

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:38 pm UTC

ps.02 wrote:2006?: App. While a common term for a software package in my field, widespread use of the term by the rest of the world seems to be pretty recent. Could be worse, I guess. It could have been a term like "applet" or, gods forbid, "snap-in." Still, it would have been neat if the generic term for software on a phone had become "TSR."

Honorable mentions, and I'm not sure exactly when they exploded ex nihilo into the common vocabulary: bipolar, Asperger's, gluten.

Applet was probably more common when it was still common practice to run java programs in web browsers, but isn't it still common for things on the panels of most linux desktop environments and maybe also in other UNIX-derivatives (can any users enlighten me on this?)? It seems to be used interchangeably with "widget" in those cases. Do users of these desktop environments count as "general population"?

User avatar
drachefly
Posts: 197
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:25 pm UTC

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby drachefly » Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:02 pm UTC

Introbulus wrote:Middle school I may have become slightly more globally aware, but as another person said, the whole "chads" thing was more recognizable than Butterfly Ballot.


I'm not sure why. Butterfly Ballots are more vivid an image, more obviously the result of shenanigans, and, IIRC, skewed the results more.

Introbulus wrote:I'm still not entirley sure what a Supermax is.


High security prison.

speising
Posts: 2353
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:54 pm UTC
Location: wien

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby speising » Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:07 pm UTC

drachefly wrote:
Introbulus wrote:I'm still not entirley sure what a Supermax is.


High security prison.

actually, a musician. i didn't know he was popular in the US, though.

schapel
Posts: 244
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:33 am UTC

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby schapel » Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:17 pm UTC

scotty2haughty wrote:Didn't the big tsunami hit in 2004? I was in Australia at the time, which is the only reason I remember the date.

It was in late December 2004. I remember because as the events on Lost approached that date, I was anticipating the tsunami being worked into the story somehow. But unless I missed it, the show never mentioned it at all.

Polixenes
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:35 pm UTC

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby Polixenes » Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:27 pm UTC

speising wrote:
drachefly wrote:
Introbulus wrote:I'm still not entirley sure what a Supermax is.


High security prison.

actually, a musician. i didn't know he was popular in the US, though.


I was going to guess a kind of cinema complex, but prison it is.

Never heard of Militia Movement as an actual phrase. I automatically think of the Irish Republican Army as a likely example.
Butterfly Ballot - meaningless to me, but Googling tells me it's where Hanging Chads come from and that was all over the news even where I live.
Radicalize - Wikipedia's entry shows it as pertaining particularly to USA, UK, Canada, Metherlands and Denmark and since I live in none of those countries I'm not surprised I never heard of it.

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 26767
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:59 pm UTC

speising wrote:
ps.02 wrote:
niky wrote:Ugh... Gluten. Lump that in with autism and vaccines...

No, see, the "Suddenly Popular" list is about words and terms that almost nobody knows, until one day somehow everybody knows them. Gluten seems to be such a word. I don't think most people had even heard of it until a few years ago, and now everyone uses it. (It can be argued that the public still doesn't know quite what gluten is, but they do know the word.) I don't think the terms autism or vaccine were ever particularly obscure. Certainly I knew what they were long before I ever heard they supposedly correlated with each other.

ngrams for gluten.
there's a spike in the 18(!)40's, but no supporting evidence that it's popularity increased significantly in our lifetimes. an increase in the late 90's, but nothing like it already was.
I suspect the "gluten" spike would be after the Google Books data.

http://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=gluten

Introbulus wrote:But just think of what he could've done with past suddenly-popular phrases. Don't tell me you wouldn't have gotten a chuckle out of "Raptors" or "I am your father".
"Raptor" fits the spirit and has already been mentioned. "I am your father", though, seems to be another suggestion that misses what "obscure" means.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

User avatar
PinkShinyRose
Posts: 834
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:54 pm UTC
Location: the Netherlands

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:10 pm UTC

NAS seems to be getting awfully popular these days, but it doesn't seem to show on Ngrams yet.

dtilque
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 5:53 am UTC
Location: Nogero

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby dtilque » Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:12 pm UTC

WilliamLehnsherr wrote:Was tsunami really an obscure word prior to the one in 2004? I'm pretty sure I was taught the word in primary school. Then again I'm from Australia and hence pretty close to the part of the world where that word is mostly used. And I might be falling into the trap of believing everything I know is common knowledge.


Yes, it was. Many people probably encountered the term in elementary school, but then promptly forgot it. Along with a large number of other science terms they rarely, if ever, encountered again. If you remember it, it may be because you like learning about the sciences. That's not unusual for someone in this forum, but is for the general mass of people.

Hmm, I note that Randall has the term lahar in about 2016. That's rather ominous, especially to anyone in the Seattle/Tacoma area. I'd start worrying if I were you...
“This world is a strange madhouse. Currently, every coachman and every waiter is debating whether relativity theory is correct. Belief in this matter depends on political party affiliation.”
-- Albert Einstein, 12 September 1920

User avatar
Hamsvlekiss
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 3:58 pm UTC

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby Hamsvlekiss » Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:57 am UTC

Of all the disasters implied here, it's the sudden importance of frog mating that disturbs me the most . . .

project2051
Posts: 178
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:20 pm UTC

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby project2051 » Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:37 am UTC

ps.02 wrote:1986: O-ring. Maybe I'm not giving people enough credit, but it doesn't seem like most people would have ever used that word before that gasket on the Challenger failed. (Also, redundant jargon is redundant. I mean, what other shapes of rings are there?)


I've never known them to not be called that by pretty much everyone around me well before then. Then again I grew up on a farm working with hydraulics and equipment then went on to be an Aviation technician, so I guess it could be "environmental".
Last edited by project2051 on Sun Aug 31, 2014 1:54 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
addams
Posts: 10268
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:44 am UTC
Location: Oregon Coast: 97444

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby addams » Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:34 am UTC


By Vectron's Knees!
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

Plutarch
Posts: 103
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:29 am UTC
Location: London, UK

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby Plutarch » Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:44 am UTC

WilliamLehnsherr wrote:Was tsunami really an obscure word prior to the one in 2004? I'm pretty sure I was taught the word in primary school. Then again I'm from Australia and hence pretty close to the part of the world where that word is mostly used. And I might be falling into the trap of believing everything I know is common knowledge.

I don't think the word 'tsunami' was that well known in Britain before that. I'm guessing a bit here, but I remember around that time a TV football journalist got in some trouble for making a joke out of the word, because it sounds similar to 'Toon Army,' which is what Newcastle United supporters call themselves. I think he made the joke at that moment because the word Tsunami had suddenly become more widely used. Other people were not impressed at his joke, given that a Tsunami had recently caused a terrible tragedy.

User avatar
orthogon
Posts: 3079
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 7:52 am UTC
Location: The Airy 1830 ellipsoid

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby orthogon » Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:11 am UTC

Plutarch wrote:
WilliamLehnsherr wrote:Was tsunami really an obscure word prior to the one in 2004? I'm pretty sure I was taught the word in primary school. Then again I'm from Australia and hence pretty close to the part of the world where that word is mostly used. And I might be falling into the trap of believing everything I know is common knowledge.

I don't think the word 'tsunami' was that well known in Britain before that. I'm guessing a bit here, but I remember around that time a TV football journalist got in some trouble for making a joke out of the word, because it sounds similar to 'Toon Army,' which is what Newcastle United supporters call themselves. I think he made the joke at that moment because the word Tsunami had suddenly become more widely used. Other people were not impressed at his joke, given that a Tsunami had recently caused a terrible tragedy.

We did quite a lot on the prevalence of tsunami back in this thread.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

niky
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:34 am UTC

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby niky » Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:08 am UTC

ps.02 wrote:
niky wrote:Ugh... Gluten. Lump that in with autism and vaccines...

No, see, the "Suddenly Popular" list is about words and terms that almost nobody knows, until one day somehow everybody knows them. Gluten seems to be such a word. I don't think most people had even heard of it until a few years ago, and now everyone uses it. (It can be argued that the public still doesn't know quite what gluten is, but they do know the word.) I don't think the terms autism or vaccine were ever particularly obscure. Certainly I knew what they were long before I ever heard they supposedly correlated with each other.


I know... but then, tsunami is a term most everyone learns in school but doesn't think about until... bang... there's a tsunami... and... what was that word again? Vaguely familiar.

Nah... my beef with the word is the reason gluten has become a trending topic... too much pseudoscience wrapped around alarmist media and quack theories surrounding it... as with vaccines... for the same reason... autism.

-

A bit disappointed Randall didn't do "pink slime"

schapel
Posts: 244
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:33 am UTC

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby schapel » Sat Aug 30, 2014 1:50 pm UTC

niky wrote:Nah... my beef with the word is the reason gluten has become a trending topic... too much pseudoscience wrapped around alarmist media and quack theories surrounding it... as with vaccines... for the same reason... autism.

I thought the gluten thing was this:

About 1% of people have celiac disease, which means they should avoid gluten in their diet. This caused food manufacturers to market gluten-free products to those consumers.

Many consumers who do not have celiac disease see gluten-free products and think they are supposed to be healthier in the same sense as fat-free or sugar-free foods.

This isn't pseudoscience. This is using a shortcut to aid in decision making. Everyone does it, because we almost never have enough information or enough time to process all available information to make the most rational decision possible. Robert Cialdini's book Influence explains how we can use these mental shortcuts to manipulate others. I would call people who think gluten-free products are healthier for the general population to be ignorant of why gluten-free products exist, but it's not pseudoscience.

I wasn't aware of the connection between gluten and autism until your post. The first page that came up on a Google search explains that although there is little research to confirm that gluten can make autism worse, there is some scientific merit to believing there may be a connection between autism and gluten in some cases. So this isn't pseudoscience either.

Something that is pseudoscience lacks evidence, plausibility, or cannot be reliably tested, but is presented as scientific. I would call believing in a connection between autism and vaccinations pseudoscience because there is no evidence for this belief and much evidence to the contrary.

User avatar
Klear
Posts: 1965
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:43 am UTC
Location: Prague

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby Klear » Sun Aug 31, 2014 2:47 pm UTC

niky wrote:I know... but then, tsunami is a term most everyone learns in school but doesn't think about until... bang... there's a tsunami... and... what was that word again? Vaguely familiar.


I don't really see much difference between "tsunami", "earthquake", or "tornado". Why is it that a lot of people consider(ed) the first one much more obscure?

User avatar
orthogon
Posts: 3079
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 7:52 am UTC
Location: The Airy 1830 ellipsoid

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby orthogon » Sun Aug 31, 2014 5:06 pm UTC

Klear wrote:
niky wrote:I know... but then, tsunami is a term most everyone learns in school but doesn't think about until... bang... there's a tsunami... and... what was that word again? Vaguely familiar.


I don't really see much difference between "tsunami", "earthquake", or "tornado". Why is it that a lot of people consider(ed) the first one much more obscure?

It's frustratingly difficult to prove, since Google ngrams measures incidence in books rather than everyday speech, but I'm sure that ordinary people in the UK used to call them "tidal waves" at least until the late 1980s. Perhaps those other words were exotic but more easily anglicised, whereas the difficult initial ts- was too tricky for us. Maybe we've become more international since then, with the arrival of foreign cuisines, footballers and martial arts, and so more receptive to foreign words as a result. Or maybe increased availability of information via the interweb has made us more careful in our use of terminology. Who knows?
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

User avatar
Klear
Posts: 1965
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:43 am UTC
Location: Prague

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby Klear » Sun Aug 31, 2014 6:10 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:It's frustratingly difficult to prove, since Google ngrams measures incidence in books rather than everyday speech, but I'm sure that ordinary people in the UK used to call them "tidal waves" at least until the late 1980s. Perhaps those other words were exotic but more easily anglicised, whereas the difficult initial ts- was too tricky for us. Maybe we've become more international since then, with the arrival of foreign cuisines, footballers and martial arts, and so more receptive to foreign words as a result. Or maybe increased availability of information via the interweb has made us more careful in our use of terminology. Who knows?


Incidentally, the correct Czech version of the word is "Cunami", which makes sense, since the word is Japanese, not English, but the Anglicism is very prevalent. And the Czech version just feels wrong for some reason.

Google Ngram sadly doesn't list Czech, but the Czech National Corpus shows 16 vs. 498 results advantage to "Tsunami".

User avatar
addams
Posts: 10268
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:44 am UTC
Location: Oregon Coast: 97444

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby addams » Sun Aug 31, 2014 8:13 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
Klear wrote:
niky wrote:I know... but then, tsunami is a term most everyone learns in school but doesn't think about until... bang... there's a tsunami... and... what was that word again? Vaguely familiar.


I don't really see much difference between "tsunami", "earthquake", or "tornado". Why is it that a lot of people consider(ed) the first one much more obscure?

It's frustratingly difficult to prove, since Google ngrams measures incidence in books rather than everyday speech, but I'm sure that ordinary people in the UK used to call them "tidal waves" at least until the late 1980s. Perhaps those other words were exotic but more easily anglicised, whereas the difficult initial ts- was too tricky for us. Maybe we've become more international since then, with the arrival of foreign cuisines, footballers and martial arts, and so more receptive to foreign words as a result. Or maybe increased availability of information via the interweb has made us more careful in our use of terminology. Who knows?

All of that.
And; From what I understand...

oh, dear what was it?
Tsunami, when translated is a better description of Reality.

Tidal Wave is a Thing.
Tsunami means Bay Wave.

When the Wave is bottled up in a Delta, it is often a Disaster.

You asked "Who know?"
I took a guess.

This does not back me. (shrug)
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/tsunami
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

niky
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:34 am UTC

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby niky » Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:16 am UTC

schapel wrote:I wasn't aware of the connection between gluten and autism until your post. The first page that came up on a Google search explains that although there is little research to confirm that gluten can make autism worse, there is some scientific merit to believing there may be a connection between autism and gluten in some cases. So this isn't pseudoscience either.


The only connection is via the unproven "leaky gut syndrome", of which any evidence is purely anecdotal and theoretical.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leaky_gut_syndrome

While it's not really that big outside the educational community, It's a crapstorm of misinformation that those of us who study developmental issues have to deal with on a daily basis... all thanks to the Internet... and Facebook.
Last edited by niky on Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:28 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

StapleHorseOctopus
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:56 am UTC

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby StapleHorseOctopus » Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:26 am UTC

I'm pretty sure I first encountered "tsunami" in the 1980s. Possibly in a history book for children...

As for suddenly popular words, µg/l, or ugl (pronounced "uggle") in my country, referring to the number of micrograms alcohol in one's blood. Although most people still don't get that the first letter is supposed to be a lowercase Greek letter 'mu'.

User avatar
orthogon
Posts: 3079
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 7:52 am UTC
Location: The Airy 1830 ellipsoid

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby orthogon » Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:47 am UTC

StapleHorseOctopus wrote:I'm pretty sure I first encountered "tsunami" in the 1980s. Possibly in a history book for children...

As for suddenly popular words, µg/l, or ugl (pronounced "uggle") in my country, referring to the number of micrograms alcohol in one's blood. Although most people still don't get that the first letter is supposed to be a lowercase Greek letter 'mu'.

Well, I blame the Greeks for making "mu" look like a "u", "eta" look like an "n", and "nu" look like a "v". ;-)
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

schapel
Posts: 244
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:33 am UTC

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby schapel » Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:27 pm UTC

niky wrote:
schapel wrote:I wasn't aware of the connection between gluten and autism until your post. The first page that came up on a Google search explains that although there is little research to confirm that gluten can make autism worse, there is some scientific merit to believing there may be a connection between autism and gluten in some cases. So this isn't pseudoscience either.


The only connection is via the unproven "leaky gut syndrome", of which any evidence is purely anecdotal and theoretical.

According to WebMD, some children with autism may have a sensitivity or allergy to gluten. There's not enough scientific evidence to say for sure whether this is true or not, but believing it is not pseudoscience. Pseudoscience is when you state something is scientific when it's not plausible or there is lots of scientific evidence against it.

User avatar
PayasYouDraw
Posts: 91
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:57 pm UTC

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Postby PayasYouDraw » Mon Sep 01, 2014 7:44 pm UTC

StapleHorseOctopus wrote:I'm pretty sure I first encountered "tsunami" in the 1980s. Possibly in a history book for children...

As for suddenly popular words, µg/l, or ugl (pronounced "uggle") in my country, referring to the number of micrograms alcohol in one's blood. Although most people still don't get that the first letter is supposed to be a lowercase Greek letter 'mu'.


You'd think given the popularity of a certain childrens book and film series, the word "muggle" would have caught on for that.
Ah-ooooh! Rolling back the rivers in Time!


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 49 guests