Get your damn symbols right!

May 3rd, 2008
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If it’s not enough to trump non-existent dangers of cell phones and wifi, one thing that really makes my skin crawl is seeing a cell phone or other RF device portrayed with the symbol for ionizing radiation. Not only are these devices not radiation hazards of any kind, but the radiation which is associated with cell phones, Wifi and other such devices has absolutely nothing to do with ionizing radiation. The effects on the body are entirely different, the methods of protection are entirely different and the method of generation is completely different. Actually, there’s more similarity between ionizing radiation and visible light than RF radiation.

Yet, I see it over and over and it’s so wrong, it’s about time someone explained it to these numbskulls such as here, here and here. Even mainstream sites like Engadget seem to have no idea of the difference between an X-ray machine and a cell phone.

The Trefoil is NEVER EVER correct for denoting RF radiation! Actually, in some jurisdictions it is illegal to misslabel radiation hazards, although the context its used in does not generally come across as a real hazard warning. However, there are recognized standards for how RF and ionizing radiation hazards are to be labeled, and although cell phones don’t present a radiation hazard, if they did, the label would still be wrong!

Here’s some background…

The Trefoil:
Denotes nuclear radiation, ionizing radiation and radioactive materials

The “trefoil” is currently the standard for denoting radiation hazards from ionizing radiation. This includes nuclear radiation, x-rays and particle beams. In general, nuclear radiation is ionizing and consists of alpha, beta and gamma radiation. There is one exception to this and that is neutrons, which are not charged particles and are therefore do not ionize material on their own, although they can by secondary reactions. The trefoil may also be used to denote neutron radiation, which often is accompanied by ionizing radiation anyway.

The symbol is standardized and recognized by all major regulatory agencies and standard bearers. There are even standards for how it is to be drawn and used. It may appear with text describing the nature of the hazard, whether x-rays, radioactive materials, neutron generators and so on. It also is commonly used on radioactive materials which may not have any external hazard or which are sealed. In this case the symbol would appear on a shipping slip or placard to describe the nature of the material being transported. In the US, DOT regulations divide radioactive materials into three categories for labeling, depending on the dose rate at the surface.

It was first developed in 1946 at the University of California Radiation Laboratory in Berkeley, although it is similar to other symbols which had been in existence before this. The first rendition was magenta on a blue background, although this is no longer considered the standard. It is suggested that the symbol represents radiation originating at a center point, such as a nucleus. It has also been suggested that the symbol may be intended to look like a reel of film, such as would be used in a ‘film badge’ to measure individual radiation exposure. Early variations of the symbol included the use of arrows or lightning bolts on the three fins. More information on the origin here.

Variations on the Trefoil:

Neutrons Radiation:

Some variations on the symbol exist. These include additional warnings. Another variation is the use of the letter ‘N’ in the symbol to denote neutron radiation. This, however, appears to be non-standard and is not recognized by any regulatory bodies. It has appeared none the less and may be used in such circumstances as a radiation alarm which would use the symbol to clarify what kind of radiation is being detected.

In general, the standard trefoil is considered proper for neutron sources, gamma, x-ray or other radiation fields. It may or may not be used for particle beams, depending on the circumstances.

Fallout Shelter:

The fallout shelter symbol was first standardized by the Department of Civil Defense in the United States, however it is also recognized elsewhere including Brittan and Canada. The initial intention was to use the standard trefoil design to mark fallout shelters, but this was rejected for two reasons: First, fallout shelters are intended to be safe places to take shelter from radiation or other hazards from a nuclear attack and secondly because it may cause confusion between fallout shelters and areas where radiation hazards existed or where materials were being stored.

Thus the symbol was modified into a three triangle design which does not have a central circle and where the edges of the triangles lack the curve of the radiation symbol. However, it still bares a resemblance to the original symbol.

These signs and variations on them were once common in public buildings, schools and other major structures built during the cold war. Today they are still seen from time to time on public buildings and schools.

New Symbol for Public Warnings:

In 2007, the IAEA and ISO announced the adoption of a new radiation symbol, intended to be used in special circumstances where the public may be in danger due to a radiation hazard. The sign includes the trefoil and will not replace the trefoil by itself for general purpose use. It is believed that the new design will be able to better express symbolically that there is danger and to keep away. It is intended to address the problem of populations which may not be literate or may be language isolated and unaware of the dangers expressed by the trefoil or other warning signs.

It clearly says “If you see a fan with wavy lines or sperm coming out of it, you should dance while moving to the side, away from the pirates.”

Other warning symbols for other types of radiation:

Optical radiation, including extremely intense lights and UV radiation:

For UV Radiation, a similar symbol, sometimes in violet may be used as part of a warning sign:

Laser light uses the following symbol and sign, with the class of laser included:


High Intensity Magnetic or Electromagnetic Field:

RF Radiation Uses the Following. This is what Would be used for a cell phone, IF it were over one hundred times more powerful than they generally are:

As used in:

Other:

Some non-standard or unusual warning signs I’ve encountered before:


You may have seen the biohazard symbol, shown to the right, used in the context of radiation, as in a radiation story or on a radiation suit shown in a movie or other fictional context. This is entirely wrong. The biohazard symbol has nothing to do with radiation or radioactivity of any kind, ionizing or otherwise! It is used to denote materials or areas with the potential of infectious hazards, such as bacteria or viral cultures, human tissue samples, body fluids, dead bodies or other human material which may transmit infectious disease. It may also be used to mark non-human material which is believed to pose an infectious hazard, such as biological weapons materials, contaminated foods and similar.

It may also appear on equipment or material intended to deal with biohazard situations, such as body fluid clean up kits, gloves and so on.


This entry was posted on Saturday, May 3rd, 2008 at 6:16 pm and is filed under Bad Science, Good Science, inverse square, Not Even Wrong, Nuclear, Obfuscation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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36 Responses to “Get your damn symbols right!”

  1. 1
    Mister Obvious Says:

    And what exactly would make you think that those who claim to be electrosensative or that wifi is killing babies would give a rats ass if the symbol they used was wrong? If you know enough to know the symbol is not accurate you probably know enough not to fall for that crap anyway. The trefoil is iconic and scary. That’s why.

    Still, the information provided is appreciated. It is just not going to change the mind of those wackies.


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  2. 2
    Paul Studier Says:

    The obvious meaning of the new radiation symbol is that ionizing radiation will bring the dead back to life. Not sure if the person running is now perfectly healthy or is a zombie.


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  3. 3
    DV82XL Says:

    What can you say? Stupid is as stupid does.


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  4. 4
    pace Says:

    Good catch on that incorrect usage. Although, I bet we would have better reception if our phones were actually powerful enough to emit ionizing radiation.


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  5. 5
    An Actual Scientist Says:

    I have seen a couple of variations on the trefoil. I’ve seen an N overladed for neutrons in the context mentioned of an alarmed ratemeter. If the radiation was above a certain point there was a yellow light for gamma radiation and a standard trefoil and an orange light with the neutron symbol on it. These were connected to two different detectors, obviously.

    I have also seen the symbol used in combination with a laser like warning with the beam originating from the trefoil. This was meant for a proton beam warning on an accelerator. Those are the two that come to mind, and I also believe those are not standard or recognized by ISO or the NRC or anything like that, but the meanings were obvious.


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  6. 6
    Kim Says:

    Wow. Well I learned something today :-)


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  7. 7
    Larry Grimm Says:

    A complement: You should become a health physicist.

    One minor correction – “… for labeling, depending on the activity at the surface.” should be “… for labeling, depending on the dose rate at the surface.” Activity is a measure of the disintegrations, whereas dose rate is a measure of the amount of energy available for deposition (usually measured for bodily deposition and called Rem.) You can have a very high activity (Curies or Bequerels) radioactive material that may have a very low dose rate depending on factors such as the type of emission (alpha, beta, gamma, neutron). Shielding and distance lower the dose rate. I’ve shipped a lot of high activity radioactive materials, but rarely have the dose rates on the outside of the packages been very large.


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  8. 8
    drbuzz0 Says:

    Oops! Yeah I should have known that. “Activity on the surface” doesn’t even make any sense. I corrected it.

    BTW: The idea of becoming a health physicist has crossed my mind. But that’s another topic. I got started in college with computer science because at the time it seemed like where the money was. I like computer stuff, but honestly it’s not where my heart is. But that’s a whole other topic all together which I can expand on more but at the moment it’s 2 AM and I need some sleep.

    Thanks for pointing out the error!


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  9. 9
    DelvGH86 Says:

    Cell phone radiation blends into the same kind of radiation as the nuclear power plants. It’s all basically the same except for a few minor differences in where it comes from and how strong it is. Obviously from a nuclear plant it would be stronger because it’s much more powerful but also we don’t hold those next to our heads.

    I’m not saying cell phones are dangerous to all people because that’s not known but there is increasing evidence that they cause cancer and also there are people who are sensitive to the radiation from cell phones. The symbols don’t matter because it’s all harmful in its own way, even if the finer points are different. Either way it’s unnatural and the health problems it causes are proven.


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  10. 10
    DV82XL Says:

            DelvGH86 said:

    Cell phone radiation blends into the same kind of radiation as the nuclear power plants. It’s all basically the same except for a few minor differences in where it comes from and how strong it is. Obviously from a nuclear plant it would be stronger because it’s much more powerful but also we don’t hold those next to our heads.

    Would you care to explain exactly how low power RF is the same as a neutron flux?


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  11. 11
    Luke Says:

    The UV and optical radiation symbols are interesting, I’ve never seen those symbols used before, and I’m frequently around places where you’ll see these kinds of warnings used frequently.

    On UV sources, I’ve just seen “danger ultraviolet light”, or the standard non-ionising-radiation symbol, with the caption saying UV light.

    I’ve never seen any non-laser visible light source with a warning sign before. As the famous Richard Feynman story goes… bright light can never hurt your eyes! The only thing that can hurt your eyes is ultraviolet light.

    The last three are obviously very non-standard… an X-ray source should bear the standard trefoil as a warning sign, and a microwave source should bear the non-ionising radiation symbol.

            An Actual Scientist said:

    I have also seen the symbol used in combination with a laser like warning with the beam originating from the trefoil. This was meant for a proton beam warning on an accelerator.

    Those are the two that come to mind, and I also believe those are not standard or recognized by ISO or the NRC or anything like that, but the meanings were obvious.

    In those rare occasions where proton beamlines (or similar) come out into free space outside the beamline, I expect everyone working around it would know what the beamline is, exactly where it is, and exactly what sort of hazard it could present.

    Around the accelerators or synchrotron facilities that I’ve seen, it seems that bremsstrahlung coming from bending magnets and the like is the main source of potential ionising radiation exposure, along with material activation, and it’s standard trefoil symbols that are usually encountered.

    Trefoil symbols with the R in the centre are not uncommon either, especially in very old labs or places with very old signage.


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  12. 12
    Tako Nigiri Says:

    I see one problem with the newer radiation sign, the one with the skull and person running away. I know a lot of the average layperson population would see the person running and the arrow and think, “Oh! I gotta run to the right.” People might see arrows on official signs as an instruction and just follow them. Make sure that sign is positioned so that the people run away from the danger not to it ;-)


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  13. 13
    Luke Says:

    I thought this was appropriate…

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v476/minerva2/Electromagnetic-Spectrum-1.jpg


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  14. 14
    Luke Says:

            Tako Nigiri said:

    I see one problem with the newer radiation sign, the one with the skull and person running away. I know a lot of the average layperson population would see the person running and the arrow and think, “Oh! I gotta run to the right.” People might see arrows on official signs as an instruction and just follow them. Make sure that sign is positioned so that the people run away from the danger not to it ;-)

    The new symbol is only supposed to be used in very specific contexts – inside devices that contain very large sealed sources, or inside the irradiation chamber of a food irradiation machine. It’s not visible under normal circumstances, and is only used on the hot sources themselves, where hot sources might be encountered by people without English literacy or knowledge of the trefoil symbol.

    It’s designed to say, basically, if you see this symbol, if in doubt, just get away from it.

    It’s designed to prevent a repeat of things like the Goiania accident.


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  15. 15
    An Actual Scientist Says:

            Luke said:

    In those rare occasions where proton beamlines (or similar) come out into free space outside the beamline, I expect everyone working around it would know what the beamline is, exactly where it is, and exactly what sort of hazard it could present.

    Around the accelerators or synchrotron facilities that I’ve seen, it seems that bremsstrahlung coming from bending magnets and the like is the main source of potential ionising radiation exposure, along with material

    To be honest, my memory is a bit hazy on this, but the time I remember this was actually in the context of a proton beam accelerator which was being developed for medical use. This was a long long time ago but it was a developmental model which was being used to try to come up with more effecient medical accelerators.

    Otherwise the beam would generally be in a contained chamber, although there can still be dangers from secondary radiation.

    I’d imagine everyone around there would know the hazards anyway but things were still labeled, in my experience. I’ve seen high voltage signs on big transformers with huge feedthrough insulators. Anyone who worked around that shouldn’t need a sign to know that’s a high voltage danger, but they put them there anyway.


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  16. 16
    Soylent Says:

    DelvGH86, are you aware that visible light is exactly the same kind of radiation as used by your microwave or cell phone, only much more energetic?


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  17. 17
    Q Says:

    So how are neutron radiation fields shielded? I remember hearing that the lead and the other shielding material for gamma radiation is not always suitable for neutrons. Is there a certain material that is?


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  18. 18
    DV82XL Says:

    Examples of good neutron shields are water and many plastics. Concrete is frequently used for neutron shielding, wax too is used for table-top experiments where one has a neutron source in use. It’s not that hard to stop a neutron.


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  19. 19
    drbuzz0 Says:

            Q said:

    So how are neutron radiation fields shielded? I remember hearing that the lead and the other shielding material for gamma radiation is not always suitable for neutrons. Is there a certain material that is?

    Yeah good question. Neutrons are a different animal than gammas or charged particles. The thing about neutrons is that to stop them you really have to slow them down. High speed neutrons will loose energy when they collide with light elements. By light I mean stuff like hydrogen to carbon – stuff that occurs early in the periodic table. This is why high speed neutrons can be hazardous too (in large amounts). When they hit a light atom, like hydrogen or carbon or something they knock into it and push it, in the process releasing some energy. Since we as humans are made out of hydrogen and carbon, having the atoms displaced is not a good thing. It’s almost like hitting a pool ball. It knocks them around and can cause chemical damage.

    So for this reason you want to use materials crammed with lots of light weight atoms to act as a shield. Water works reasonably well hydrocarbons do too, which is why some vehicles designed for nuclear attacks during the cold war had the crew inside and fuel tanks around them as a neutron shield (although that of course presents other dangers)

    The standard material for purpose applications of blocking neutrons is ‘borated polyethylene’ which is a high density plastic fuel of hydrogen and carbon atoms. It has boron added to it because boron-10 is an excellent neutron absorber, in addition to being a moderator it has a huge cross-section for absorbing neutrons. Natural boron is fine because it has plenty of B-10 (I think about a third, IIRC) in it, but in certain applications they actually use “enriched boron” which has more B-10 then natural boron.

    For many neutron applications a wax or plastic is the choice for solid shielding.

    Concrete works relatively well too. And as mentioned water. Water is often used because it is a good shield for both neutrons and gamma radiation and also it offers some cooling and it’s transparent. This is why a lot of materials are manipulated under water.


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  20. 20
    An Actual Scientist Says:

            DelvGH86 said:

    Cell phone radiation blends into the same kind of radiation as the nuclear power plants. It’s all basically the same except for a few minor differences in where it comes from and how strong it is. Obviously from a nuclear plant it would be stronger because it’s much more powerful but also we don’t hold those next to our heads.

    I’m not saying cell phones are dangerous to all people because that’s not known but there is increasing evidence that they cause cancer and also there are people who are sensitive to the radiation from cell phones. The symbols don’t matter because it’s all harmful in its own way, even if the finer points are different. Either way it’s unnatural and the health problems it causes are proven.

    There have been numerous studies on the affects of low level rf radiation such as that from cellular phones or wireless networks on humans and none has found any effect on health from anything close to what is used in consumer products. Even at the upper limits of the fields produced no problems are observed.

    There have been some very large studies which have been well funded and reviewed and used very good controls. These studies have followed large groups for years and tracked the rates of everything from cancer to infertility to general health. There has not been a single indication in any of these studies or chronic health issues. The only studies which found anything of the sort have been universally found to be flawed or slanted to favor the conclusion.

    We are left with only two possibilities:

    There is no risk of health issues associated with low power rf radiation.

    Or

    There is an increase in the risk, but it is so modest and weakly linked that it has not been able to stand out from the statistical noise, despite the efforts to document any health problems.

    The second can’t be ruled out entirely because it’s very difficult to do an epidemiological study on something like this which is varied and may take years to manifest and is also affected by other things. So, this is remotely possible, but there’s no reason to assume this. If this is the case, the increase in probability of a health problem must be tiny or at least not any larger than any other number of factors in a person’s life. If it were a clear cut case of RF radiation increasing the risk of brain cancer by 300%, we would have caught it by not easily. If it were more like 2% increase, but only in very very heavy users over a period of years, then it’s possible it has not stood out enough to be clear against the statistical variations.

    In this case, I have no problem exposing my family to wireless networks and alike because we know the risk is either non existent or very very small. If I had to make an assumption and were a betting man, I’d put my money on there being zero risk. But either way, it’s effectively the same because we accept all activities have some risk associated with them.

    RF radiation at the levels found in consumer items is really nothing you need to worry about.


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  21. 21
    Gordon Says:

    Remember: Lack of evidence only proves there is a conspiracy to suppress it! :-P


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  22. 22
    Alice in Blunderland Says:

            drbuzz0 said:

    Yeah good question. Neutrons are a different animal than gammas or charged particles.

    The thing about neutrons is that to stop them you really have to slow them down. High speed neutrons will loose energy when they collide with light elements. By light I mean stuff like hydrogen to carbon – stuff that occurs early in the periodic table.

    This is why high speed neutrons can be hazardous too (in large amounts). When they hit a light atom, like hydrogen or carbon or something they knock into it and push it, in the process releasing some energy. Since we as humans are made out of hydrogen and carbon, having the atoms displaced is not a good thing.

    It’s almost like hitting a pool ball.

    It knocks them around and can cause chemical damage.

    So for this reason you want to use materials crammed with lots of light weight atoms to act as a shield. Water works reasonably well hydrocarbons do too, which is why some vehicles designed for nuclear attacks during the cold war had the crew inside and fuel tanks around them as a neutron shield (although that of course presents other dangers)

    The standard material for purpose applications of blocking neutrons is ‘borated polyethylene’ which is a high density plastic fuel of hydrogen and carbon atoms.

    It has boron added to it because boron-10 is an excellent neutron absorber, in addition to being a moderator it has a huge cross-section for absorbing neutrons.

    Natural boron is fine because it has plenty of B-10 (I think about a third, IIRC) in it, but in certain applications they actually use “enriched boron” which has more B-10 then natural boron.

    For many neutron applications a wax or plastic is the choice for solid shielding.

    Concrete works relatively well too.

    And as mentioned water.

    Water is often used because it is a good shield for both neutrons and gamma radiation and also it offers some cooling and it’s transparent. This is why a lot of materials are manipulated under water.

    You said you’re not a nuclear professional, but how on earth do you know that?

    god, that’s crazy!


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  23. 23
    DV82XL Says:

            Alice in Blunderland said:

    You said you’re not a nuclear professional, but how on earth do you know that?

    god, that’s crazy!

    Because he has developed a magical power called reading…..


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  24. 24
    Tako Nigiri Says:

            DV82XL said:

    Because he has developed a magical power called reading…..

    “Every man/woman who knows how to read has it in his/her power to magnify himself/herself, to multiply the ways in which he/she exists, to make his/her life full, significant and interesting.” — Aldous Huxley

    I had to add the feminine, because the original quote was very masculine but I still think it’s very appropriate.


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  25. 25
    Burya Rubenstein Says:

    I heard that berylium and carbon are capable of *reflecting* neutrons, and that this (along with immersion in ordinary water) may
    be used to get an otherwise subcritical mass of fuel to sustain a chain reaction. How effective is this reflection, and could these
    elements make an effective neutron shield?


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  26. 26
    DV82XL Says:

            Burya Rubenstein said:

    I heard that beryllium and carbon are capable of *reflecting* neutrons, and that this (along with immersion in ordinary water) may be used to get an otherwise subcritical mass of fuel to sustain a chain reaction. How effective is this reflection, and could these elements make an effective neutron shield?

    These aren’t really reflectors in the sense of mirrors, that is the mechanism is not the same. Like neutron shields, these work by elastic scattering like Doc’s pool ball example above, the difference being that the neutrons are more often than not bounce on a very acute angle more or less back on the trajectory they came in on. This is how they increase the neutron economy of a fission reaction as the returned particles can again knock more atoms apart.

    So yes they make OK shields but the neutron’s energy is not absorbed, as in shields proper.


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  27. 27
    drbuzz0 Says:

            DV82XL said:

    Because he has developed a magical power called reading…..

    Yeah that’s basically the extent of it. I’ve had an interest in this for a while and just read a lot about it and cruised websites (reputable ones with real information) for a few years. I also have had to gain this information to debate others on it.

    It’s not that I’m brilliant or anything. Perhaps I have a good memory but it’s all just stuff I’ve read. Once you know the basic theory it’s easy to remember anyway because everything kinda fits together and it stops being individual bits of information and starts to be a more unified concept.


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  28. 28
    Burya Rubenstein Says:

    So neutron shielding materials work more like corner reflectors? About what percentage of neutrons get reflected for any given thickness of berylium or carbon?


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  29. 29
    DV82XL Says:

            Burya Rubenstein said:

    So neutron shielding materials work more like corner reflectors? About what percentage of neutrons get reflected for any given thickness of beryllium or carbon?

    This is measured in a variable called reflector worth. Reflector worth is measured in terms of the albedo, or probability that a neutron passing from core to reflector will return again to the core, and is stated in values of dollars and cents.


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  30. 30
    Spelling Nazi Says:

    It’s “numbskulls”, not numbsCulls!


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  31. 31
    Dr. Dr. Says:

    boring |-(


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  32. 32
    Itdoesntreallymatter Says:

    damn. i learned more from the comments than i did form the original post. normally the comments on any site make me feel stupider


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  33. 33
    Steve Says:

    I find it very annoying when people confuse skulls with sculls, be they numbskulls or numbsculls.

    SCULL:
    # a long oar that is mounted at the stern of a boat and moved left and right to propel the boat forward
    # each of a pair of short oars that are used by a single oarsman
    # propel with sculls; “scull the boat”
    # a racing shell that is propelled by sculls

    SKULL:
    # the bony skeleton of the head of vertebrates

    When will these people learn to suit my particular choice of pedantry?


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  34. 34
    drbuzz0 Says:

    Oh for Christ sake, I fixed it. Happy now? The spell check recognizes neither “numbscull” nor “numbskull” so it was a guess.

    I’m admittedly a very bad speller. I mean, the English language does not specify that all words be spelled by spelled according to stringent and unambiguous phonetic rules. I spell the words phonetically correct, but the pattern of letters for each and every word is completely arbitrary.

    Think about that: You’re asking a human brain to remember the pattern of characters explicitly for each and every word that is commonly used in the English language. There are over 40,000 commonly used words in the average person’s vocabulary and some half a million words in common usage.

    When you demand a person spell correctly, you are asking them to maintain a perfect database of tens of thousands of alphanumeric patterns in their brain.

    The human brain is exceptionally bad at accurately storing data patterns like numbers or alphanumeric symbol combination. The human brain tends to memorize items based on analogies, relationships and visual general information or by linking them with other memories.

    You can’t do this with numbers. They don’t have that kind of relationship, they’re just random data. Since English does not always follow phonetic rules, having to memorize all the symbol combination is equivalent to random number memorization, except much more difficult: There are only ten digits in the decimal system, but there are 26 letters. Also, consider that the exact number of letters per word varies.

    Just let me ask you, how many phone numbers do you know by heart? A few friends and family members perhaps? Do you know the serial numbers of all your property? How about the vin number of every car you’ve driven? Do you remember the number of every person you’ve ever called? How about the numbers of every person you know who you have a number written down for?

    I bet you don’t! And yet, here I am constantly being dumped on for my failure to maintain a 100% accurate mental database of somewhere around twenty million alphanumeric characters divided into about 40,000 different strings. Gee, I must be an idiot if I can’t do that!

    Knowing the symbol pattern by heart of all words in common usage represents the storage of alphanumeric data that is equivalent to memorizing more than four million places in pi precisely. It is exponentially more difficult to retain this kind of spelling information than it would be to memorize every postal code in the United States, or indeed the entire world, in countries that use a postal-code system.

    You know what? I think it’s remarkable that anyone can spell at all. I mean it’s mind boggling that that much sequence-dependent symbolic data could be stored in the human brain at all, with accuracy of even half.


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  35. 35
    Paul Studier Says:

            drbuzz0 said:

    I spell the words phonetically correct, but the pattern of letters for each and every word is completely arbitrary.

    Alas, there are two too many ways to spell 2. I have read that to read, one must look at the whole sentence and not just the letters or the whole word.


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  36. 36
    DV82XL Says:

            drbuzz0 said:

    You know what? I think it’s remarkable that anyone can spell at all.

    At least English which seems to be devoid of any rules or regularity in this matter. It is the most unsystematic of any language I know of when it comes to its own spelling, which is unfortunate because in many other ways it is almost an ideal tongue.


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