Saturday, 15 February 2014

Telegraph Not as Clever as It Thinks it Is on Americans

"One in four Americans 'do not know the Earth circles the Sun'", the Telegraph tells us.

Firstly - the Earth does not "circle" the Sun. It orbits the Sun, sure. In an ellipse.  A kind of egg-shape. Not a circle. That's different. I suppose one could say it "ellipses" the Sun, but I'm not sure that verb exists.

Secondly - it's "One in four Americans does not know....."

Thirdly - for the same reason - it's not "One in four Americans are completely unfamiliar with Nicolaus Copernicus's theory" - that would be is completely unfamiliar.

And fourthly - just for historical balance - astrology is  "sort of scientific". It's an -ology, after all. It's just a failed, very bad form of science. It tries to make predictions based on observations, and it's testable. So it is a kind of science. Just rubbish science.

Yes, points 1 and 4 are quibbling and hair-splitting. But to criticise a nation's astronomy with grammar that bad? Public school education, Telegraph? (Doesn't excuse the Americans, mind)

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