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

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Three Stars of Christmas: a rant.

 How do you persuade someone to buy something?

Do you tell them it's useful, beautiful, amusing? Tell them that it'll make them look clever, sophisticated, classy?

Okay, but what if it's a star on a stick? Or even three stars on sticks?


proclaims my Blooms catalogue next to a photograph of three LED-outlined stars on sticks standing on a fake-snow-sprinkled table.

The text goes on:

Three glittering stars - let's call them Venus, Orion and Sirius after the stars in Orion's Belt - twinkling in the December night sky.

And then, I'm afraid, they lose me.

The thing is, that if you're trying to persuade me to buy something then you have to convince me that you understand what it is you're selling. And there are two problems, here, already.

Firstly, the star Sirius isn't in Orion's Belt. It's in the constellation Canis Major; and Orion and Venus aren't even stars.

Secondly, that twinkling in the December sky bit?

At the bottom of the description it says:

 indoor use only.

Word To Use Today: LED. You say this as three letters, L - E - D, which stand for Light-Emitting Diode. LEDs are semi-conductors which glow when a current is applied to them. 

Diodes were originally called rectifiers because they could convert alternating current to direct current, but the scientist William Henry Eccles renamed them diodes, a combination of the Greek di- two, and -ode, short for electrode. The -ode bit of electrode comes from the Greek hodos, which means path or connection.

Elecktron is Greek for amber.

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