# I hate the word 'theory'

1. Nov 28, 2014

### Staff: Mentor

Theory has a clear dichotomy of meaning.

1. 95% of English speakers: I have a theory. Translation -- I just pulled this out of thin air or my posterior.
I was just in a thread where a poster did this, and I get it.

2. 5% of English speakers: Theory of Evolution. Translation -- An extensively tested, refined, and widely accepted scientific hypothesis. ...Too bad it is not the LAW of Evolution.

I avoid the word theory when posting in the science forums.

Does anyone have a word that causes them issues when not dealing with nerds?

2. Nov 28, 2014

### Staff: Mentor

Words that often make me cringe when uttered by non-scientists:

random, chaos, energy, vibration

3. Nov 28, 2014

### Staff: Mentor

Photon.

4. Nov 28, 2014

### Bystander

Entropy.

5. Nov 28, 2014

### PeroK

Quantum leap.

6. Nov 28, 2014

### ShayanJ

Only once, I heard Higgs field from a chemical engineering student, which counts as a layman relative to physics, and it was completely enough for me for years!!! He wanted to use Higgs field in mass transfer(of course in the chemical engineering meaning)!

And once I heard something about how music reduces brain's entropy and so makes us enjoy it!oo)

And once I heard someone said how length contraction in SR can lead to cooling of the material!(I don't remember his argument)

And another time I heard from the same SR guy, how gravitational acceleration of earth depends on temperature "according to his calculations"!

Last edited: Nov 28, 2014
7. Nov 28, 2014

### Danger

Velocity, when no vector is provided.

8. Nov 28, 2014

### zoki85

Phonon

9. Nov 28, 2014

Staff Emeritus
Momentum.

10. Nov 28, 2014

### vela

Staff Emeritus
frequency — what's the frequency of an electron?

11. Nov 28, 2014

### Bandersnatch

Singularity

12. Nov 28, 2014

### WWGD

Are you all just jealous of the non-chaotic random high-velocity & low-entropy quantum accounting with singular photons I have been researching? Plenty of momentum, and plenty of \$'s in my research, after applying for funding using 37 buzz words. Besides, I am a lesbian Vietnam Vet Eskimo.

13. Nov 28, 2014

### phinds

absolute movement (OK, it's a phrase, not a single word but it makes me cringe)

14. Nov 28, 2014

### Bandersnatch

That you, Deepak Chopra? Writing a new book, are we?
By the way, it won't work without a turbo-encabulator and at least one reciprocating dingle arm.

15. Nov 28, 2014

### WWGD

No problem, my son, I can always use the turbo-encabulator within. And it is Six-Pack , not Deepak.

16. Nov 29, 2014

### Staff: Mentor

I don't get the premise of this thread: why hate the word? The word didn't do anything wrong, the person who misused it did.

17. Nov 29, 2014

### phinds

Yeah, but some words are WAY more subject to misuse than others. I think that's the point of the thread.

18. Nov 29, 2014

### Bystander

I think most of us were taking our cues more from the text than from the thread title.

19. Nov 29, 2014

### Medicol

Brown moonlight. I am scared! People saying so may have a bad eyesight.

20. Nov 29, 2014

### Danger

Okay, I've absolutely never heard of that. Explain?
That is, I've never heard of it as a concept, only as a designation for a fish or mineral or suchlike.