Be careful what you wear, or, how to almost become an X-files episode

An Australian man’s jacket almost set the building on fire.

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Published in: on September 19, 2005 at 19:44  Comments (8)  

8 Comments

  1. “We tested his clothes with a static electricity field meter and measured a current of 40,000 volts, which is one step shy of spontaneous combustion, where his clothes would have self-ignited,”1
    Ouch. The words, not the potential. Might just have well have said “we waived a scientifical meter-thingy at it, and it was the highest we’ve ever seen!”
    Do people use words with a precise meaning incorrectly because they aren’t fully aware of the precise meaning, or because they think it sounds good? There are so many sub vocabularies that no one could possibly know them all — I wouldn’t want to decipher most legal documents.
    1.http://go.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=oddlyEnoughNews&storyID=9677185&src=rss/oddlyEnoughNews

  2. “We tested his clothes with a static electricity field meter and measured a current of 40,000 volts, which is one step shy of spontaneous combustion, where his clothes would have self-ignited,”1
    Ouch. The words, not the potential. Might just have well have said “we waived a scientifical meter-thingy at it, and it was the highest we’ve ever seen!”
    Do people use words with a precise meaning incorrectly because they aren’t fully aware of the precise meaning, or because they think it sounds good? There are so many sub vocabularies that no one could possibly know them all — I wouldn’t want to decipher most legal documents.
    1.http://go.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=oddlyEnoughNews&storyID=9677185&src=rss/oddlyEnoughNews

  3. My favorite line:
    Firefighters took possession of Clewer’s jacket and stored it in the courtyard of the fire station, where it continued to give off a strong electrical current.
    I’ve got this mental image of a jacket sitting in the middle of a large open parking lot, softly glowing yellow (because electricity is yellow, unlike radiation, which everyone knows is green).
    And then an ant crawls under it, and becomes MEGA-ANT, and Superman battles it across Metropolis before flinging it into the sun.
    Don’t worry – he’ll be back in about a hundred books, once the writers have run out of inspiration again. Only this time he’ll be SOLAR MEGA-ANT.

  4. My favorite line:
    Firefighters took possession of Clewer’s jacket and stored it in the courtyard of the fire station, where it continued to give off a strong electrical current.
    I’ve got this mental image of a jacket sitting in the middle of a large open parking lot, softly glowing yellow (because electricity is yellow, unlike radiation, which everyone knows is green).
    And then an ant crawls under it, and becomes MEGA-ANT, and Superman battles it across Metropolis before flinging it into the sun.
    Don’t worry – he’ll be back in about a hundred books, once the writers have run out of inspiration again. Only this time he’ll be SOLAR MEGA-ANT.

  5. Of course it’s yellow; electrons are amber-colored, by definition.
    Sigh.

  6. Of course it’s yellow; electrons are amber-colored, by definition.
    Sigh.

  7. The people being quoted probably did use the correct words.
    I’ve been misquoted by the press enough to know that media types are idiots and if you explain something technical or complex to them, they’ll invariably get it wrong when they print it in the papers.

  8. The people being quoted probably did use the correct words.
    I’ve been misquoted by the press enough to know that media types are idiots and if you explain something technical or complex to them, they’ll invariably get it wrong when they print it in the papers.


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