Who names things?

Most of the time, names arise mysteriously out of the collective creativity of language. Common names for plants and animals are a very rich source of information about them and their history of interaction with humans. One inspiration for this blog was a desire to learn where names like wormwood, sassafras, and lungwort came from. However, they have… Read More »

Why do they call it that?

I edit scientific papers; although my background is in astronomy, geology papers may be my favorite. I love the lingo of geology—greywacke, gneiss, drumlin, plagioclase feldspar, obsidian, alluvial fan—and I’ve always been curious about the origins of some of the more exotic terms. When I started to investigate them, I found that even common terms often have an… Read More »