skunked term; was RE: Define Epigeal and Hypogeal

Jim McKenney
Tue, 05 Jan 2010 06:32:20 PST
Those of you who had the patience to read through the posts dealing with the
meanings of the terms epigeal and hypogeal deserve a bonus.


As it turns out, it's not unusual for terms to acquire meanings which vary
among different usage groups; sometimes these variant meanings are mutually
contradictory. The word clone provides a good example. 


For writers, such terms pose a big potential problem: if several meanings
are attached to a term, how will readers know which of the several meanings
is intended? As a result, careful writers either avoid such terms or use
them with enough supporting material to make the intended meaning clear.
Some of you perhaps think I overdid the “supporting material” in my posts on
this topic. Well, now you know why. 


There is a name for such a term: skunked term. You can read about it here:…


Scroll down to “Skunked Terms”. 




Jim McKenney

Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone

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