seminal (hehe)

May 17, 2010 at 3:52 pm | | science community

This has got be be a joke, right? The letter to the editor suggests that the term seminal is “sexist” because it refers to semen (figuratively meaning full of potential).

No way this is serious.

P.S. The letter writer describes the word as “distasteful.” Hehe.


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  1. Trolling physicists gets easier and easier every year.

    Comment by mitch — May 17, 2010 #

  2. A friend of mine came across a quote in college that we like to throw at each other, even 10 years later. It goes something like this: “The language of science is quite phallic, with its ‘hard facts’, ‘penentrating insights’ and ‘seminal arguments.'”

    I confess, years later, I have no response to that.

    Comment by Chemjobber — May 18, 2010 #

  3. i actually think he makes a good point. who doesn’t think about semen whenever the word “seminal” comes up? awkward!

    Comment by susan — May 18, 2010 #

  4. i never have. now i will, i suppose.

    Comment by sam — May 18, 2010 #

  5. […] maybe this isn’t a joke. First of all, it turns out that the first letter was serious (see “Only Males Respond“). Also, this second letter makes be think that […]

    Pingback by Everyday Scientist » i have a seminal contribution for you… — September 16, 2010 #

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