[DWJ] "Orthogonal" (orthogonally to T-shirt slogans)

Jameela Lares Jameela.Lares at usm.edu
Sun Jun 6 18:25:14 EDT 2010

One of the difficulties I have with the word is that the two meanings of "ortho" (correct + right in the sense of angle) fight against each other.  An orthogonal relation is so right that it's wrong.

Jameela Lares
Professor of English
The University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Drive, #5037
Hattiesburg, MS  39406-0001
601 266-4319 ofc
601 266-5757 fax
From: dwj-bounces at suberic.net [dwj-bounces at suberic.net] On Behalf Of Colin Fine [colin at fine.me.uk]
Sent: Sunday, June 06, 2010 4:15 PM
To: Diana Wynne Jones discussion
Subject: Re: [DWJ] "Orthogonal" (orthogonally to T-shirt slogans)

Jameela Lares wrote:
> 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.
Ah, but there is a two-stage process here. I predict that it will retain
its metaphorical use (which is different from its formal mathematical
use) in technical and technological contexts. The question is whether it
will spread much beyond these contexts.


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