As much as we all like to consider ourselves straight talkers, we all use certain euphemisms when we’ve done something we wished we hadn’t. Scientists are particularly good at this because they can envelop a faux pas in layers and layers of academic journal language – the phrase “unplanned rapid disassembly,” for example, is a formal way to say “accidentally exploded.” Plus: Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques made a video where he demonstrates the amazing attributes of honey in microgravity!
“If you read in a frog paper…” (Blue Electric Angels on Tumblr)
Honey in Space (Canadian Space Agency)
As much as we all like to consider ourselves straight talkers, we all use certain phrases to diminish the reality of a situation.
After all, who wouldn’t turn to a phrase like “wardrobe malfunction” to play down a pair of pants that ripped in an unfortunate way?
And who among us hasn’t occasionally, when we’ve done something we wished we hadn’t, reframed our own involvement in the error by using classic phrase “mistakes were made”?
Scientists are particularly good at this because they can envelop a faux pas in layers and layers of academic journal language.
A Tumblr site called Blue Electric Angels noted this with a post that said, “if you read in a frog paper ‘specimen was released in the field immediately after capture’ chances are very good that what it actually means is ‘i dropped the damn frog and despite the fact that we fell all over each other no one could recapture it’.”
The site Bored Panda collected a few more of these detours from the road to knowledge, which, among other things, share the true meaning of unnerving euphemisms.
“Unplanned rapid disassembly” means “accidentally exploded,” “underwent a thermal event” means “caught fire”, and
“impromptu dissection…” well, you can guess that one, I think.
I’ve heard boxing called the “sweet science,” but I came across something sweeter in a video posted by the Canadian Space Agency.
You know how honey drizzles down in that peculiar way when you’re getting it out of the jar? Well, astronaut David Saint-Jacques just made a video where he demonstrates honey drizzling in microgravity! Like, sideways honeydripping! It’s sweet in every sense of the word.