By: Rachel Womek
As you have no doubt surmised, Constant Reader, pet peeves are the topic of my blog today. Both literal and figurative.
A few days ago I borrowed a newly acquired book from my sister. The book was just recently published and is available in hardback only. My house is full of books. There are books in nearly every room, on shelves and on tables. I am currently fostering a stray dog, a year old puppy. I’ve been caring for this puppy about a month now and she has never displayed any interest in books or destructive behavior towards books; until now.
Yes, you’ve guessed it Reader: the puppy ate the brand new book recently borrowed from my sister! not only is this highly inconvenient but it is also strange and aberrant behavior. When dogs chew they commonly chose items that are well used and favored by the dogs favorite people: things that are drenched in the scent of that person. This new book could not have accumulated as much scent as the other books. Why did the puppy chose the new book over the old ones covered in aroma? Odd. Now I will have to buy my sister a new book. Ce la vie!
Here is a figurative pet peeve of mine. The use of the word “theory” used to mean the word “hypothesis”. A hypothesis, as you may well know Constant Reader, is a scientific guess. In the scientific method the hypothesis comes first. A scientist guesses that if A happens perhaps B will occur. A theory is an idea, well tested, that is thought to be correct and is backed by much scientific evidence.
If a theory stands the test of time it then becomes a scientific law. An example of a scientific theory is the theory of gravity. Another is the theory of evolution. I find it interesting that the former theory is so widely accepted and the latter so widely denounced. The same rigorous testing was applied to both. Nobody is jumping off a cliff claiming that “gravity is only a theory”. But I digress. In America at least people have a habit of using the word theory in place of the word hypothesis. ‘I have a theory that X has a thing for Y”…etc. So in the future remember: Hypothesis is to Guess as Theory is to Fact.
What, Constant Reader, are your pet peeves?