Friday, November 21, 2008

Blogging Is Heroic. The Rest Is Commentary.

Warner Fred Flinstone, last seen undressing his G.I. Joe doll, is upset that he wasn't consulted on a matter of usage:

Yahoo News featured an interesting short report issued by Agence France-Presse on November 20. In it we discover that a consortium of French, German and Hungarian mathematicians are claiming to have proven that Einstein's famous equation, e=mc2, is correct. The report is all good except for one very small aspect. They call the effort of these mathematicians "heroic" in contradiction to the root meaning of the word. Mathematics isn't "heroic" and it is a degradation of true heroics to say it is.

Unfortunately, while a small thing too casually used in the AFP report, it proves a sort of degradation of our language. [Like that last sentence -- RA] Not only that, but it further devalues real heroism, making the word mean less with each garbled usage.

Flintstone goes on for eleven more paragraphs, whinging that the word heroic is losing value faster than your 401(K) because of its application to pussy eggheads. He sighs, ungrammatically, that "[m]edical missionaries in third world nations risking their own safety and health to save the lives of people that have no access to modern medicine is even heroic." To Warner's mind, such as it is, "hero" should be applied only soliders, firefighters and the well-worn residents of his toychest.

I'm guessing Warner failed first year algebra, and can't bear to think that something he can't even fantasize about doing correctly might be heroic.

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