Dear Towertalk Reflectorites,
I was pleased to see QST publish the letter from K0OVQ (Sept. 2002 QST,
page 25--lower right hand corner) explaining that the plural of antenna is
antennas, not antennae. This has been a pet peeve of mine for many
years. If one wants to be cute then I guess we are stuck with aerials.
Antennae apply to arthropods--not electromagnetic radiation devices.
(See definitions below.)
ANTENNA pl. -tennas (for 1), tennae (for 2) 1. a conductor by which
electromagnetic waves are sent out or received; aerial. 2. Zoological--
one of the jointed, moveable, sensory appendages occurring in pairs
on the heads of insects and most other arthropods.
But the most glaring misuse of a word that really drives me crazy is
"lightening" when someone means lightning. I am hoping that by
publishing the definition of "lightening" it may make people think twice
before using it when "lightning" is meant.
LIGHTNING a brilliant electric spark discharge in the atmosphere,
occurring within a thundercloud, between clouds, or between a
cloud and the ground.
LIGHTENING the descent of the uterus into the pelvic cavity, occurring
toward the end of pregnancy, changing the contour of the abdomen and
facilitating breathing by lessening the pressure under the diaphragm.
Knowing the definition for lightening makes one laugh uncontrollably
when one sees it used in place of the proper word, lightning.
And one other battle that we have already lost--FORTE, meaning
"strong point", which is from the French and should be pronounced "FORT".
The musical use of the word FORTE is pronounced For-Ta from the
Italian. But misuse is so commonplace that the two-syllable
pronunciation for "strong point" is now acceptable. (Well, not to me!)
These definitions are from the 2500 page Random House Dictionary,
2nd Ed. Unabridged.
John ("there is no E in lightning") Brosnahan W0UN
Signal Hill Ranch
45066 FM 187
Vanderpool, TX 78885