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Lunatic Conversations

Following a curious conversation at work this morning, have a poll:

Poll #1430122 Lunar Land?

Does the term "land" include solid ground on the moon?

Yes
10(90.9%)
No
1(9.1%)


I would have said "land" would be any solid ground regardless of what planet it was on. My dictionary seems to think differently though and defines it as a "solid part of the earth's surface".

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
elynne
15th Jul, 2009 13:00 (UTC)
Well, that's like the word "earth" itself; it refers to the dirt, and also to the entire planet. It's based on a long tradition of calling the place you live "here", basically.

It's obviously an Earth-oriented humano-centrist text. :P
cartesiandaemon
15th Jul, 2009 16:06 (UTC)
Dictionary definitions are just not that precise. Correctly or not, I do not think whoever wrote that entry would have intended to distinguish between those two meanings, so it doesn't mean "not mars" but "we haven't thought about it yet". After all, even if you do have a good definition of a word, it's surrounded by a halo of metaphorical yet totally unambiguous uses applied to similar situations, which don't fall into the "primary usage" of the word, yet would fall into "people would say that" whether or not they already do.
hmmm_tea
16th Jul, 2009 00:11 (UTC)
I was talking with a guy from Columbia I word with, who was arguing you couldn't really land on the sea (apparently they've got a different word for that in Spanish).

He was trying to make a similar argument about the moon, which surprised me as I would have said that landing on the moon would have been landing on land.

Dictionary definitions may not be strict (I generally view them as more guidance on what a word means), but this one did seem to back his argument up.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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