Saturday ramble: names

It has been a fun old week getting through some very interesting and, for me at least, novel novels and fantastic fantasies. This morning I was following a nice discussion of the importance of the choice of genre. Suddenly I am ill equipped to add to the conversation and I will ramble on about why. What is in a name? Well pretty much everything if one is communicating, but the flip side is Feynman’s anecdote that you can learn every name we call a sparrow (in different languages and vernacular etc) but still know nothing about the bird. Then again, as a chemist it is very important to be precise. A recipe that says take stuff and add to thingy until whatsit, before gently adding a punch of… is just nonsense that will cause no end of problems. Knowing the difference between caffeine and nicotine or acid and base is clearly essential.
Then this morning I was involved in a chat about curries and the mix got interesting. What is a korma? Is there a definition of Vindaloo against which I can test the offering at the local takeaway? Do we somewhere has the global standard Madras locked in an environmentally controlled unit to be observed but highly skilled chefs?
The answer, I suppose for curry, is that it is a local phenomenon, a local ranking scale. I do not think the Vindaloo in Denmark is as strong as in England but I do know it will be spicier than the Korma.
As a chemist, though, I am in deep water on precise definitions of genre of Ebooks; at least I am happy to get guidance, but Heisenburg like I will not observe too closely lest I alter the outcome.
Interestingly, my own latest Ebook which is supposed to be a helpful book for those of us born with cleft lip and palate is quite high up the chart for occult religion! That came as a surprise to me as I thought I had gotten rid of the passage about goat sacrifices!
I must away to enjoy the sunshine on this rare springlike morning.


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