Dichotomous meanings - word meanings that are generally not congruent at all - theory & myth. Theory - system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained. (Scientific) Or Theory - an idea, usually spontaneous, intended to justify an action or explain a situation. (Everybody else) Myth - a traditional story of early history of a people or a story explaining some natural or social phenomenon. Usually involves supernatural beings or events. (Academic) Or Myth - a widely held but false belief or idea. (Everybody else) There are two sets of meanings here - The first of each word's defintions is used mostly by academicians and scientists. The second one is the version that most everyone uses in daily conversation. For science trained people discussing results with non-Science folks using either one of these words has the potential to destroy communication. Not just my opinion. Why I posted this: does anyone remember a great post from quite a few years back that discussed how scientists wreck effective communication this way? Not to say we can't find other ways to do this.... Maybe a link to a Ruth Goldberg editorial in Science?