HD: 1969 Words
Posted: 29 April 2012 03:50 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Microchips and moonwalking

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Posted: 29 April 2012 06:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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tokamak, n. The type of nuclear fusion reactor gets its name from the Russian toroidalnaya kamera s magnitym polem “toroidal chamber with magnetic field.”

You’ve taken this from the OED (but omitted the second n in magnitnym); the problem is that that expansion ignores the -ak of tokamak.  Oddly (except that it was of course originally top-secret), there does not appear to be clear historical documentation of the origin of the word, but the two possibilities cited by Wikipedia are “тороидальная камера с магнитными катушками” (toroidal’naya kamera s magnitnymi katushkami)—toroidal chamber with magnetic coils—and “тороидальная камера с аксиальным магнитным полем” (toroidal’naya kamera s aksial’nym magnitnym polem)—toroidal chamber with axial magnetic field.  The first is the only one cited by Russian Wikipedia; the second (the one I’m familiar with) is the only one given by M-W and AHD.  The OED version is wrong on the face of it.

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Posted: 29 April 2012 10:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Although you say “debugger” is only rarely applied to people, I recall Stan Kelly-Bootles definition: “de person who sold us dis system.”

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Posted: 29 April 2012 07:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Nothing to do with word origins, but it’s said that the last actual “ticker tape” parade was given in October 1969 to honor the World Series champion “miracle Mets” (Events of 1969).  Ticker tape machines ceased to be used in 1970, and regular old shredded paper or confetti was used thereafter.

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Posted: 29 April 2012 07:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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telnet, n. Largely forgotten today, telnet is a protocol used on TCP/IP networks for logging into another computer remotely.

Telnet is still useful.  I use it almost every day at work to log into a customer’s system and run a host program or run a query on their database.

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Posted: 30 April 2012 04:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Rote Armee Fraktion

I suspect the Baader-Meinhof Gang may have chosen that name because its acronym is RAF, which even 25 years after the end of the Second World War would still have had significant nightmarish overtones to most Germans, particularly in connection with bombs ...

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