Science in regular text

Everyone is talking about the supermoon tonight. The moon will appear 12% larger tonight, and is the closest it gets to earth all year. According to the article, this won’t make a difference to the naked-eye observer. But everyone agrees it’s still cool.

The local paper wrote about the supermoon, and assured people that there is no scientifically based evidence for a change in human behavior during full moons. They close the article by saying “That’s lunacy.” The journalist thought he or she was making a joke.

Moon-mad. That is exactly what lunacy is. Lunacy is the madness that people perceive happens during a full moon. And so the journalist completely undercuts his or her own pun. It is literally lunacy, rather than the figurative lunacy that the journalist was aiming for.

This post is dedicated to Paternal Clause who would have ben 88 years old today. He hated seeing history, science, and language being mangled in print even more than I did.

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2 responses to “Science in regular text

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