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xkcd: Etymology-Man - 語源マン


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男: Earthquake!

女: We should get to higher ground-. there could be tidal wave.
 (高台に逃げなきゃ!「高潮(tidal wave)」が来るわ。)

男: You mean a tsunami. "Tidal wave" mean a wave caused by tides.

語源マン: You know. That doesn't add up.

男女: Etymology-man!

言語マン: What does "tidal wave" mean? there are waves caused by tides, but they're "tidal bores", and they're not cataclysmic.
 (「高潮」はどういう意味か?潮により発生する波のことだ。でも、それらは「潮津波(Tidal bores)」で、地殻変動的ではない。)

It can refer to the daily tide cycle. but that's obviously not what people mean when they say "a tidal wave hit."

It's been obvious for centuries that these waves come from quakes. so why "tidal"?

Remember that until 2004, there weren't any clear photos or videos of tsunamis.

Some modern writers even described them rearing up and breaking like surfing waves

Of course, in 2004 and 2011, it was made clear to everyone that a tsunami is more like a rapid, turbulent inrushing tide-.

Exactly what historical accounts describe.

Maybe those writing about Lisbon in 1755 used "tidal wave" not out of scientific confusion, but because it described the wave's form -. A description lost in our rush to expunge "tidal wave" from English.

"Tsunami" is now the standard, and I'm not trying to change that. but let's be a tad less giddy about correcting "tidal wave"-.

Especially when "tsunami" just means "harbor wave", which is hardly...

Alt-text: 'I can't believe I'm saying this, but I wish Aquaman were here instead--HE'D be able to help.'


 ピンチの時に空から現れ、「Tidal wave」の語源をひたすら語る「語源マン」。いい加減、早く逃げないと津波が...。





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