why do people love to be ignorant, and how to get them to stop?

just a few small examples: "Apocalypse" means "disclosure"; it has nothing to do with cataclysm or the end of the world, except in the sense that there was allegedly once an apocalypse (disclosure) ABOUT the end of the world.

"UFO" means "unidentified flying object"; but everyone seems to think it only means "alien space ship".

"PIN" (personal identification number)... how many times have you heard someone say "PIN number" ie "personal identification number number"?

2 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    "Apocalypse" in colloquial use stems from its presence as a literary genre. Specifically, because Apocalyptic Literature (such as the Book Of Revelation and the Apocalypse/Revelation of Peter) reveal/disclose the ultimate fate of humanity. Dante's "Inferno" and the other books in the series are likewise part of the Apocalyptic genre...wherein the protagonist visits Hell in one book and Heaven in another.

    Apocalyptic literature focuses on the execution of the disclosure, the event or scenario wherein "God" "discloses" that knowledge he's withheld from humanity for so long. Hence the cataclysmic "Apocalypse".


    UFO means "unidentified flying object", but there's an underlying assumption that humans as terrestrial creatures can identify terrestrial objects. Thus anything unidentified is assumed to not be terrestrial, and thus is assumed to be extraterrestrial. Until proven otherwise.

    Etc, etc.

  • 1 month ago

    PIN number is a redundancy like saying Hot Water Heater. Saying what is your PIN is correct.

    You are also correct when you point out the use of Apocalypse, but then, we see other examples where a noun becomes a verb due to the events surrounding it. Being "Borked" is an example, so I believe the "misuse" may be forgiven.

    And yes, UFO means any flying object, or object seen in suspended in the sky, that hasn't been recognized for what it is. What should they call an unidentified object (or of unidentifiable, or unexplained origin)  that is stationary and located on the ground?

    A crashed UFO, or a stationary one located on the ground, seems to be an improper use of the term.

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