Favorite

Words, May 15 

Where'd you get that peeper? Myanmar?

“WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Marine scientists studying the carcass of a rare colossal squid said Wednesday that they had measured its eye at about 11 inches across — bigger than a dinner plate — making it the largest animal eye on Earth.”

I believe there's such a thing as too much eye. But, this column is more concerned with nomenclature than animal optics. I've been sifogging along thinking that a really large squid was called a giant squid. Until this article appeared recently, I'd never heard of colossal squid. It sounds like adjective inflation, but thanks to the Internet I now know that a giant squid and a colossal squid are two different creatures, to scientists anyway, and that the principal difference is, as one might expect, size. The colossal is bigger — “The largest known invertebrate,” according to one source.

The colossal squid has been known to the scientific community since 1925, my sources say, but “the popular press” (except for me) first took notice in 2003, when a specimen was pulled from the ocean. The largest colossal squid yet — the one with the dinner-plate eye — was found last fall off the coast of New Zealand. During my research, I came across TONMO (“The Octopus News Magazine Online”) and from now on, I'll get all my octopus news there. If or when fishermen turn up with a humongous squid, I know TONMO will be able to put it in perspective.

Another term that's had me going lately is Myanmar. That's the country victimized by a colossal cyclone. Or is it, as Homer Simpson might say. Most of the news media are calling it  Myanmar, but some are saying Burma. Turns out the ruling military junta changed the name to Myanmar some time back, but the democratically elected parliament and other foes of the generals continue to call it Burma. In a situation like this, I always ask myself “What would Erroll Flynn do?” What he did in 1945 was save the country from the Japanese. The movie was called “Objective, Burma.” That pretty much settles it for me.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by Doug Smith

  • The L word and the C word

    I was excited to see the newspaper headline "Bielema liberal." "After all those neo-Nazis, we've finally got a coach who thinks right," I told friends. "I wonder if he belongs to the ADA."
    • May 1, 2014
  • Who's exasperated?

    Jim Newell was gripped by exasperation himself after reading this item in the business section. "Exacerbated" is the word the writer wanted, he sagely suggests.
    • Apr 24, 2014
  • We will run no race before it's ripe

    "What year would Oaklawn recognize as its 100th anniversary? After all, Oaklawn's advertising material is ripe with 'Since 1904,' but it's widely reported the first race wasn't run until 1905."
    • Apr 17, 2014
  • More »

Most Shared

  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Latest in Words

  • The L word and the C word

    I was excited to see the newspaper headline "Bielema liberal." "After all those neo-Nazis, we've finally got a coach who thinks right," I told friends. "I wonder if he belongs to the ADA."
    • May 1, 2014
  • Who's exasperated?

    Jim Newell was gripped by exasperation himself after reading this item in the business section. "Exacerbated" is the word the writer wanted, he sagely suggests.
    • Apr 24, 2014
  • We will run no race before it's ripe

    "What year would Oaklawn recognize as its 100th anniversary? After all, Oaklawn's advertising material is ripe with 'Since 1904,' but it's widely reported the first race wasn't run until 1905."
    • Apr 17, 2014
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

July

S M T W T F S
  1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Pay attention

    If anyone thinks that a crisis with the Power Ultra Lounge shooting, then he hasn't been paying attention to Little Rock.
  • Another Jesus

    If you follow the logic of Jason Rapert and his supporters, God is very pleased so many have donated money to rebuild a giant stone slab with some rules on it. A few minutes on Rapert's Facebook page (if he hasn't blocked you yet) also shows his supporters believe that Jesus wants us to lock up more people in prison, close our borders to those in need and let poor Americans fend for themselves for food and health care.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Another Jesus

    • IBS, were you there in Benghazi to personally witness all of Hillary's blunders like you…

    • on July 23, 2017
  • Re: Another Jesus

    • If God felt it necessary to replace the ten commandments, he could do it like…

    • on July 23, 2017
  • Re: Football for UA Little Rock

    • He's BSC. Students and tuition-paying parents should be VERY vocal that a football program won't…

    • on July 23, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation