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aether

What the hell is with all of these alternate spellings? The previous three words were aesthete, which can also be spelled esthete; aesthetic, which can also be spelled esthetic; and aesthetics, which can also be spelled esthetics. Now we get to aether. It’s merely an alternate spelling of two of the senses of the word ether. Geez.

Aether is the air above the clouds.

In physics, aether is an esoteric, elastic substance that was once believed to permeate space. It was also believe that aether was the medium through which light and electromagnetic radiation vibrates. It is now known that this is bunk, so don’t expect to hear about aether much except as a rhetorical throwback to this former notion.

The word aether gets confusing because there is one sense of the word ether for which aether is not a valid alternate spelling. This is the definition of ether within the chemistry realm, in which ether is a type of liquid, but more on that when we get to ether’s entry in this project.

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