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English Versus Sciencespeak

  • Kevin R. Grazier
  • Stephen Cass
Chapter
Part of the Science and Fiction book series (SCIFICT)

Abstract

Despite its worldwide popularity as a “common” language (for example, in air traffic control, business, even as the language of science), English is a difficult language to learn—with its synonyms, homonyms, silent letters, and special cases. In his charming book Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way, author Bill Bryson says, “Any language where the unassuming word fly signifies an annoying insect, a means of travel, and a critical part of a gentleman’s apparel is clearly asking to be mangled.” Throwing scientific jargon into the mix adds yet another level of complexity, because many words have different meanings to a scientist than to a member of the general public (or often even a scientist outside their own speciality).

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin R. Grazier
    • 1
  • Stephen Cass
    • 2
  1. 1.SylmarUSA
  2. 2.New YorkUSA

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