[DWJ] T-shirt slogans

Helen Schinske hschinske at aol.com
Fri Jun 4 20:45:04 EDT 2010

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jameela Lares" <Jameela.Lares at usm.edu>
To: "Diana Wynne Jones discussion" <dwj at suberic.net>
Sent: Friday, June 04, 2010 5:20 PM
Subject: Re: [DWJ] T-shirt slogans

> It would appear that "orthogonal" has only been recently used outside of 
> math and science.  Even hyper-language users like Supreme Court Justices 
> did not recognize it. See 
> http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/11/AR2010011103690.html + 
> most of the hits I got on google past the first page with math/science.
> Either the word will stay in general use or go back to its specialized 
> users.  I rather imagine it will be the latter.  I can't see that 
> "orthogonal" fills any special needs for the general population.

Well, *I* use it fairly often, but I realize I am not typical. There are a 
lot of words in that category that come easily to my tongue and seem to me 
to be the obvious ones to use in a particular situation, but in fact my use 
of them is much more due to their being common parlance in my family than 
anything else. I can't at the moment remember whether orthogonal is one of 
them, or whether I picked it up on Usenet or somewhere, but it's certainly 
an Erwin-ish sort of word (Erwin being my family name).

I will admit to having a bunch of math/science geeks in my family (one 
veteran of Boeing Computer Services, hired in the early days, one physicist, 
specialty aerospace engineering, one electrical engineer, one 
microbiologist, and one polymath sister who did most of a PhD in molecular 
biology -- plus various doctors).

Helen Schinske 

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