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aetiology

Posted September 27, 2013 By Joel

Good grief! This makes five words in a row where the word is an alternate spelling of the same word but with the leading “a” chopped of.

Aetiology, which is spelled etiology in the United States, is the study of the cause of things. In the field of medicine, aetiology (or etiology) is the causes or origins of a disease or abnormal condition.

I am Canadian. Our spellings are a mix of American and British spellings. Sometimes we use British spellings, like colour and centre, but sometimes we use American spellings, like organization and synchronize. I can’t tell you whether we use the British spelling, aetiology, or the American spelling, etiology, for this word.

I’d never heard or seen the word aetiology or etiology until now and I’ll probably never use it again. Under the circumstances, I’m way too lazy to look up the correct Canadian spelling when there is so little gain. As far as I’m concerned, my fellow Canadians can use whichever spelling they like. I’m probably done with the word.

aether

Posted September 27, 2013 By Joel

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.

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aesthetics

Posted September 27, 2013 By Joel

This is getting tiresome. The previous entry was on the word aesthetic, in which I had to point out that aesthetic can also be spelled esthetic. The entry before that was on the word aesthete, in which I had to point out that aesthete can also be spelled esthete.

Now we get to the word aesthetics. Guess what, folks. Aesthetics can also be spelled esthetics. Anyone who didn’t see that coming isn’t paying attention. Shame on you.

As with aesthetic and aesthete, here in Canada, we use the British spelling, aesthetics.

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aesthetic

Posted September 27, 2013 By Joel

Like aesthete and esthete, in the United States aesthetic can be spelled esthetic. Canada sides with the British on the spelling of the word. Again, I have no idea about the other English-speaking countries, but I assume that they each follow the same rule as they do for aesthete versus esthete, whatever that rule may be.

The word aesthetic (or esthetic for that matter, seeing as though they are different spellings of the same word) is an adjective that means artistic, or concerned or dealing with beauty. It can also mean having a heightened sense of beauty.

This begs the question, what is beauty? I’m not beautiful, nor am I, to use a more masculine term, handsome. However, that is the perception of only me and anyone who has ever seen me. But who knows? Maybe there is someone out there who would find me handsome. I have my dreams, even if they forever remain only dreams.

aesthete

Posted September 27, 2013 By Joel

An aesthete is someone who possesses one or both of two qualities: A deep sensitivity to the beauty in art, nature, and life in general; and/or a professed interest in the arts, but not in political affairs.

Here’s what’s interesting about the word aesthete: If a rightwing nut job uses it to describe someone then it’s intended as a grave insult. If a leftwing nut job uses it to describe someone then it’s intended as a great compliment.

It’s the same word, but it’s said with opposite intents depending on who utters it. So you have to know the speaker to know whether you should respond with, “Why, thank you,” or with, “Drop dead, Philistine bastard.”

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Aertex

Posted September 26, 2013 By Joel

Excuse me? What the hell? The dictionary I’m using put a trademark note next to Aertex? How did a company get it’s product name, which also happens to be the company’s name, in the dictionary? Did money change hands? Enquiring minds want to know.

And, if money didn’t change hands, how do I get my company’s name, Klebanoff Associates, Inc., into the dictionary? I want some free publicity too.

According to The New Penguin English Dictionary (1986), Aertex is a cellular cotton fabric.

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aerospace

Posted September 26, 2013 By Joel

Aerospace is the science and industry of flight through both the atmosphere enveloping our planet and the literally astronomically vast areas of space beyond our insignificant little planet.

I don’t know about you, but I’m old enough to remember seeing the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey during its first run in theaters. The film depicted, among other things, people taking routine space flights on Pan Am airlines. I was convinced that by 2001 that would be reality.

Needless to say, it didn’t happen. Not only did it not come to be, but when kids today stream a video of the film they probably don’t realize that Pan Am was a real airline at the time the film came out. It was. It’s not now.

I am massively pissed off about the commonplace space flights that the film implied would be around by 2001 haven’t yet happened. Apparently, it’s more important to spend money acquiring the weapons needed to kill each other many times over, and occasionally using those fatal toys—because if you’ve got them it would be a shame to not use them, don’t you know—than to take the occasional jaunt at least over to our nearest neighbors in the solar system.

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aerosol container

Posted September 26, 2013 By Joel

Oh, come on. Why is aerosol container in the dictionary? It’s a metal container for aerosols. Isn’t that a little too obvious to be included in a dictionary?

If aerosol container is in the dictionary why aren’t water bottle, shopping bag bag, wine decanter, and shit box in there too. Alright, that last one is something completely different, but you get my point.

When you follow the word aerosol with the word container it doesn’t change the meaning of either word, nor is the resulting term difficult to figure out from the two words. So, if the dictionary is going to provide a definition for aerosol container it should provide one for every other type of container as well. A little consistency in these matters would be nice.

aerosol

Posted September 26, 2013 By Joel

When you think of the word aerosol you probably think of old-style deodorants. That is to say, you think of it unless you are too young to have been around when aerosol deodorants were the primary means of keeping your pit stench down to a socially acceptable level. (Forget about antiperspirants. We weren’t afraid to sweat, mainly because we didn’t have much choice. Although why we didn’t wear exclusively yellow shirts so the underarm stains wouldn’t show is beyond me.)

That is, or rather was, one use of aerosols. But that’s not the only definition of the word.

For one, an aerosol is a suspension of particles that is distributed throughout a gas. This is useful when, well, I don’t know when it’s useful, but I’m sure it is. At least, I think it is. Well, maybe it is. But I don’t really know. Don’t ask me. Ask a chemist. Would a chemist be sitting here writing this crap? No he or she would not.

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aeroplane

Posted September 26, 2013 By Joel

Huh. The British spell airplane as aeroplane, or so my dictionary tells me. I never knew that. I’d seen the word before, but I always assumed that aeroplane was simply an old spelling that went out of fashion long ago. If the dictionary is correct, then an example of a word that we Canadians use the American spelling rather than the British spelling.

Aeroplane is not to be confused with Aeroplan, which is a frequent flier program that was formerly owned by Air Canada. Air Canada has since spun off Aeroplan into a more general customer loyalty program that includes a number of other partners. Aeroplan is now owned and run by a publicly traded, independent company.

However, Aeroplan is still Air Canada’s frequent flier program. Plus, because Air Canada is part of Star Alliance, you can earn and use Aeroplan points on Star Alliance airlines.

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