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Thanks for your understanding.

Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2018-11-25 06:25:33

Dixon Wragg
From: Cotati, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 1364

"persec" for "parsec"

Recently I encountered this online:

It’s been rendered as par-secs, perhaps a reference to seconds.
FB discussion

This got me curious. Looking up “parsec’ in The Online Etymology Dictionary yielded this:

interstellar distance measure, 1913, from first elements of parallax second. It is the distance at which an object has parallax (viewed from Earth) of one second of arc, or about 3.26 light-years.

Space and time being, in some sense, aspects of the same thing (see Einstein’s relativity theories), it’s no surprise that measures of the two things can become intertwined, especially when we’re talking about astronomical distances. Hence, people commonly misconstrue the light-year as a measure of time. So it’s easy to imagine that some people might think “parsec” is a measure of time, or at least based upon the distance something travels in a second, in the same way a light-year is based upon the distance light travels in a year. In this scenario, the “par” in parsec (short for parallax) gets confused with “per” as in ”[some distance] per second”. If this is indeed how some people are construing it, it’s an eggcorn.

Studying emission lines…they found that the gaseous emission region is as small as a few persecs in radius.
physics paper

I need a ship that can do the kessel run in a lot less than 12 persecs.
nerd discussion

MUSH T-Shirt Kessel Run 12 Persecs Millenium Falcon
clothing catalog

Clearly, if the creation rate of technological civlllzatlon Is anywhere near 2×10[to the]-11 and L is as much as 10 persecs, then the poaching fraction A must be small.
astronomy paper




#2 2018-11-30 13:16:57

From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2681

Re: "persec" for "parsec"

A plausible eggcornish replacement.

Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.



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