deponti (deponti) wrote,
deponti
deponti

Erudition and ego...

What the scientific, erudite types have to realize:

When an Ordinary Person sees a beautiful grasshopper, s/he is quite interested.

IMG_8313


But if told that it is a Cyrtacanthacris tatarica tatarica, and that the classification is Animalia > Arthropoda > Insecta > Orthoptera > Acridoidea > Acrididae > Cyrtacanthacridinae > Cyrtacanthacris > Cyrtacanthacris tatarica (Linnaeus, 1758) > Cyrtacanthacris tatarica tatarica (Linnaeus, 1758) (I am not joking), s/he would 1) be totally zapped and bewildered, 2) lose interest.

Of course, a side effect would be 3) being very impressed by the person who is giving that information...which may have actually been just gleaned off the Internet (as I did.)

This whole thing of having ids in a long-dead language and translating that Latin (and Greek) in a suitably pseudo-friendly, condescending way to These Lesser Mortals is something I find many scientists (and pseudo scientists from WhatsApp University) guilty of.

And it's true of every field of human endeavour. I appear much more knowledgeable if, instead of saying, "enjoy this rAgam", I say, "listen to the prayOgams of Podalangapriya"; more learned-sounding if, instead of "enjoy the rocky landscape", I say, "Look at the mixture of metaingenious rock and the patterns of the earlyite (not the laterite)"; instead of "Look at how beautiful that fish-shaped cloud is", I say, "Cumulonimbus clouds take on so many interesting forms"..and so it goes.

Not you, of course, and never me...but Those Others 😃
Tags: humour, languages, learning, scientific names, thoughts
Subscribe

  • The flower

    What is a flower But Beauty? When the petals are scattered The fragrance has gone It's dead, I agree. The flower has faded... The bloom is now…

  • Loss and grief during the pandemic

    Keep calm and carry on" only works for some people, but this unwritten rule seems to become mandatory. We're expected to get over our grief by hiding…

  • More K2...cake batter

    Me: After I finish mixing the cake batter, you can choose between the whisk and the spatula. I will give the other one to K1. K2: I will wait and…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 0 comments