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Old 22-11-2010, 13:54   #1
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Why Circumnavigate when You Can Circumvent ?

In the news just now...

World's 'largest solar-powered boat' to circumvent globe

This is a case of what I call thesaurism, which should have been caught by an editor. "Circumvent" indeed means to "go around," but with the sense of "avoiding." Unless they plan to fly, this is a bizarre way to describe the adventure.

Cool boat, though.

Cheers from a writer who is constantly annoyed by such transgressions as the media gets ever sloppier...

Steve
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Old 22-11-2010, 14:35   #2
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Originally Posted by Microship View Post
In the news just now...

World's 'largest solar-powered boat' to circumvent globe

This is a case of what I call thesaurism, which should have been caught by an editor. "Circumvent" indeed means to "go around," but with the sense of "avoiding." Unless they plan to fly, this is a bizarre way to describe the adventure.

Cool boat, though.

Cheers from a writer who is constantly annoyed by such transgressions as the media gets ever sloppier...

Steve
That's pathetic! In a headline, in a national newspaper. I wish I could just say UFB, but, alas, one can't these days. Reminds me of a movie I've seen on the direct-tv schedule, the plot being a dullard gets transported/awakes 500 years into the future and finds himself the smartest human alive.
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Old 22-11-2010, 14:35   #3
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That's what you get when you rely on spell check alone.
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Old 22-11-2010, 14:48   #4
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Speakeasy - I stumbled across that movie during some down time, foolishly browsing Deep Cable in full work-avoidance mode, and stared at in horror for about ten minutes. How utterly depressing (and badly done to boot). But yes... as a caricature of current trends, it may not be all that absurd. /facepalm

Perchance - spellcheck is dangerous. I just read an amazing and fascinating book (Absolutely Small, about quantum mechanics), and it was hugely educational. But dang, don't book companies have copy-editors anymore? There were at least 50 occurrences of homonymically incorrect words. Maddening.

Back to that solar boat... I hope those wing panels retract (though such mechanisms introduce their own hazards). They don't look green-water friendly to me... not to mention side ties at marinas with pilings.
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Old 22-11-2010, 14:49   #5
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Yes, the grammar is funny but what made me laugh was this....

"A catamaran, claiming to be "the world's largest solar-powered boat," is now trying to circumvent the globe without using any fossil fuels"

Wow, let me get this right, a BOAT going round the world without using any fuel? Whatever next?
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Old 22-11-2010, 14:58   #6
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Simonmd - indeed! What a strange concept... amazing that nobody ever considered such a thing before. You'd think some sailor would have tried it.

So much is lost in the passage of a story through the media. I recently wrote a little book (Reaching Escape Velocity) about the whole process of launching audaciously ambitious projects by leveraging sponsorship, volunteers, and media... and in the latter discussion I went into some detail about the need to fine-tune sound bites (as distasteful as that is to geeks). I compared the media to the digestive tract of a horse... you put straw into one end, and something quite unlike straw comes out the other. But if you insert bricks, you get bricks out.

I bet some writer, scribbling madly during a long conversation full of straw, completely overlooked the main points of the story and distilled it down to that... not knowing enough about nautical history to sense that it was quite a silly statement. And, apparently there are no editors anymore... so there it is for our amusement, complete with absurd word choice. And the public loses a few more brain cells.

*sighing*

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Old 22-11-2010, 15:22   #7
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Circumvent the world?

I'd love a boat that would help me circumvent the world. I've been trying to do that all my life. Unfortunately the 17.5 M price tag places it firmly in the ironic hulled boat category, which I avoid, irony being a poor material to build a hull from (in my opinion).
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Old 22-11-2010, 16:13   #8
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... Wow, let me get this right, a BOAT going round the world without using any fuel? Whatever next?
Indeed!
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Old 22-11-2010, 16:16   #9
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eeeeps--pregnant catamaran-triamranish-landing field for other ufos ufo,,,,geeez...but will it fly to mars???? interesting concept , tho....couldnt they have made the panels look more like sails??? or would that have been cheating?
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Old 22-11-2010, 17:22   #10
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I'd love a boat that would help me circumvent the world. I've been trying to do that all my life. Unfortunately the 17.5 M price tag places it firmly in the ironic hulled boat category, which I avoid, irony being a poor material to build a hull from (in my opinion).
I am with hummingway on this one. I have however had some success in circumvention when snoozing in the v berth on occasion.

Todd
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Old 22-11-2010, 17:34   #11
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I considered naming my steel boat Irony... and the dinghy and kayak could be Entropy and Recursion. Sort of my version of the Holy Trinity.

I think all of us use our boats to circumvent the world, at least on some level!
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Old 22-11-2010, 17:45   #12
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That's pathetic! In a headline, in a national newspaper. I wish I could just say UFB, but, alas, one can't these days. Reminds me of a movie I've seen on the direct-tv schedule, the plot being a dullard gets transported/awakes 500 years into the future and finds himself the smartest human alive.
You're thinking of Idiocracy. See trailer here: IMDb Video: Idiocracy

It's a comedy based on the premise that stupid people reproduce at a much higher rate than smart people so in 500 years.... you get the point. We saw it as an in-flight movie years ago. It was lame, but every time I look around at Walmart I start thinking the basic premise is not so far off the mark.
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Old 22-11-2010, 18:09   #13
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It's based on a classic science fiction short story called "The Marching Morons" by C.M. Kornbluth. The story has a truly dark ending quite different from the one in the movie.
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Old 22-11-2010, 18:21   #14
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"A catamaran, claiming to be "the world's largest solar-powered boat," is now trying to circumvent the globe without using any fossil fuels"
That would be impossible...what is the boat made of, straw?

journalists do not report the news, they make up the news to fit their preconceived notions of what should be.
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Old 22-11-2010, 18:25   #15
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ROFLCOPTER!
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