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Help me jazz up my English paper with science vocab!

  1. May 23, 2005 #1
    Here is the sentence in question which needs a jazz infusion:

    "In Slaughterhouse-Five, Vonnegut is so jaded by death that he is unable to draw any meaningful distinction between any different kinds of death, whether they are the deaths of the innocent millions killed in Nazi concentration camps, the innocent millions killed in Allied bombings of civilian cities, or an innocent bottle of champagne killed by the slow diffusion of it’s carbon dioxide out of solution and into the atmosphere."

    I want to change the last bit so it doesn't sound like the carbon dioxide diffused out of the champagne and into the atmosphere on it's own free will, but rather that the atmosphere maliciously sucked the carbon dioxide out of it's natural habitation in the champagne. Is there any sciencey word for the quality of a low pressure systems to induce diffusion where it would otherwise not occur?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 23, 2005 #2
    "...or an innocent bottle of champagne killed by careless prolonged exposure to a carbon dioxide-sucking ambient atmosphere."

    "...or an innocent bottle of champagne killed by deliberate, prolonged exposure to the open air."

    "...or an innocent bottle of champagne killed by the slow vampirism of exposure to a CO2 hungry lower pressure system."
  4. May 23, 2005 #3


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    Synonym to diffusion:


    def. A flowing outward.
    Usage 1: the red-blood-cell sodium ion efflux
    Usage 2: the uptake and efflux of sodium ions

    Source: http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=efflux
  5. May 23, 2005 #4
    How is the word cant used when it means empty, solemn speech, implying what is not felt; insincere talk; hypocrisy. Is it right if I use it as the media had nothing in mind except releasing a barrage of cants to the public. "Cants" doesn't sound right to me..
  6. May 23, 2005 #5
    I wouldn't use it at all. It's a very obscure word.
  7. May 23, 2005 #6
    I think I've settled on "or an innocent bottle of champagne killed by the slow assimilation of it’s carbon dioxide out of solution and into the atmosphere."
  8. May 23, 2005 #7
    Isn't it "its" and not "it's"?
  9. May 23, 2005 #8
    Whatever pops your cork.
  10. May 23, 2005 #9
    I don't know, no one can ever convince me one way or another.

    If you were to rephrase "The dog of Mr. Shapiro," you would say "Mr. Shapiro's dog," not "Mr. Shapiros dog," so it makes sense to me that you would just as well say "The carbon dioxide of it," and "It's carbon dioxide."
  11. May 23, 2005 #10
    Conventional usage: its = possessive of "it"
    it's = "it is"
  12. May 23, 2005 #11


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    If you don't mind my saying so, I liked your original version better than any of the alternatives. It's succinct and more easily comprehended by someone with no scientific background.
  13. May 23, 2005 #12
    It's definitely it's. "Its" is the plural of "it". "It's" is the possessive.
  14. May 23, 2005 #13
    "Its" is the possessive. Stop this debate.

    **Anyway, I agree with Danger. Although I don't like the sentence -- or perhaps paragraph -- in the first place, how it was first is probably the best. I think you just made the sentence more overblown and pompous =P.
    Last edited: May 23, 2005
  15. May 23, 2005 #14
    What's "its'"
  16. May 23, 2005 #15


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    Ack, no, the possessive of "it" is "its." The contraction for "it is" is "it's." And unless you're talking about clones of Cousin It, then the plural of "it" is "they."
  17. May 23, 2005 #16
  18. May 23, 2005 #17
    Don't make me question my grasp of the written english language! It's DEFINITELY "it's". Definitely definitely definitely. Like "the bone was the dog's," not "the bone was the dogs." "Its" is the plural of "it."

    Edit: "Pronouns have their own possessive forms (my, your, his, her, its, our, their)" Hmmm, I guess I was wrong :rolleyes: *hangs head in shame* Sorry!
    Last edited: May 23, 2005
  19. May 23, 2005 #18
    Yes, "it's" does seem very logical. But, remember, English isn't very logical.

    Read the others' posts for explanations.
  20. May 23, 2005 #19
    I agree. You just want to make your point about Vonnegut, and get out of that sentence. No need to draw attention to the sentence itself.
  21. May 23, 2005 #20


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    Sorry, but it's its. And I blame you Brits for this idiosyncrasy of possessives! :rofl: :tongue2:
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