This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Sunday Rest: sinusoidal. Word Not To Use Today.

It's often quite easy to guess what words mean.

Take the horrible word sinusoidal, for instance. It clearly means to do with the sinuses.

The only trouble with that is that actually the horrible word sinusoidal has nothing at all to do with the sinuses.

If you're a mathematician or a physicist you'll already know that something sinusoidal follows a path that looks like this:

File:Simple sine wave.svg

That's a sine wave. They're important, but if you're not a mathematician or a physicist then you probably aren't aware of bumping into them much.

Fortunately that means that very nearly all of us have no reason whatsoever to use the word sinusoidal.

So let's all give thanks for that.

Word Not To Use Today: sinusoidal. This word comes from the Latin word sinus, a bend.


  1. That word hurts, and not just my sinuses.
    The mathematicians can keep it!

    1. I begin to feel sorry for them. Though I suppose as they must have made the thing up, perhaps they deserve it.

  2. Musicians (or at least keyboardists and proponents of IDM) would be aware of sine waves too.

    1. IDM...Google says that's Internet Download Manager...oh dear. That's way too technical for me. Can't I just carry on pressing the keys according to the blobs on the music?

    2. No, no, no ...

      IDM is the unflinchingly pretentious initialism for 'intelligent dance music'.

    3. Ah. Like a JS Bach Siciliana or Minuet, then. Thanks, Ed, I can do that.