Bill Nye provides insight on science slang


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Bill Nye is a national treasure, FACT!


“Hinny” is no more “science slang” than “mule” is.


Hey, I knew about half of those. I are smart!


Exactly. And arsole is no more slang than methane. Slang isn’t just a word scientists use but that some people haven’t heard of. Slang needs to be informal, colloquial, usually limited to verbal communication, and rarely used outside a specific community. Most of those words were just the proper words for things.


And you guys are just no fun. :rofl:


I don’t find silly inaccuracy clothed as fact to be particularly “fun”, frankly.


And I think this pretty well proves my point. There is a difference between “inaccurate” (which is just plain wrong) and using an interesting hook to draw folks into a conversation in an area they may not be familiar or comfortable in. Are the terms strictly “slang?” Maybe not, but this in not a lexicographic presentation, it is a fun bit to make science interesting to the general public. I will take that for what it is worth.


Um, no. The terms above aren’t even remotely slang; in fact, exactly the opposite is true. I love Bill Nye but asserting the opposite of the truth is not of service to science. It’s quite literally misinformation.

For example “hinny” (the offspring of a female donkey and a male horse, they are significantly different from mules) is a rather old term that was NOT coined by scientists, and also is NOT “slang” of any sort (unless you’re a Scot, referring to your mate). It’s literally “the” word for such an offspring, FFS.


How about Bill Nye teaches critical thinking…


If you choose to make this your hill to die on, you be you. I think it is nothing more than a cute hook to draw attention. Let’s face it, Bill’s audience tends younger and less fussy. I don’t have a problem with it.


Context: Vanity fair has a series of these videos with personalities “teach us” some words from their place of origin, which is why they are going with this title.


Roger that.


“Masshole” is slang, FFS. “Hinny” is NOT, nor are nearly all of the terms in the Bill Nye video. “Context”, you say? Mmhm, yeah.

@docosc Condescend all you like, I simply do not appreciate gross inaccuracy in the name of “science”, much less the exact opposite of the truth. Why should I care if you have a problem with either the video or my opinion? Where’s the attitude coming from?


As I said, you be you. I really am not interested in arguing over what is a pretty silly thing. This is not earth shaking research, it is a fun video aimed at younger people. Nothing to be taken too seriously. I like Bill Nye, when I was a kid he was one of my science heroes and inspired by future doings. Eventually I outgrew his style of “science communication,” but still appreciate it for a less sophisticated audience. I do understand your point, and even agree it is a valid argument, just not in agreement that it is anything to get exorcised about. BTW, if you took my reply as condescending, it was not meant to be. I am generally a silly person and enjoy other silly people. If you require seriousness, I am probably not your cup of tea.


For why the title is what it is? Yes.
A defense or approval of it? No.


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