Geiger » giga

Chiefly in:   giga counter

Classification: English

Spotted in the wild:

  • I remember doing an experiment in our physics lesson one that involved testing the radioactivity of different radioactive isotopes with a giga counter. Well after we finished a few of use stayed behind (nerdy I know) and played with the giga counter a bit. We tried different things and didn’t get much of a reponse. Then we put a mobile phone next to it, that was on standby and it affected the giga counter readings quite a lot. After that we got someone to call the phone and the giga counter went crazy. (Message board post, Apr 9, 2006)
  • “What’s that noise?” asked Sam. Leia spun round. “That’s my giga-counter!” cried Leia. She ran into the cabin of the boat, and came out with an old giga-counter, a device used for detecting radioactivity, she pointed it towards the sphere and it started ticking faster. (Star Wars fan fiction)
  • Below is my reply to our friend in Daewoo who suggested i use a Giga-counter to check if my balls were effected by the Microwave Underpants. (Blog post, August 17, 2005)
  • The fact that the danger that keeps people out cannot be seen but heard through clicks on a giga-counter makes it all the more mysterious. (Windows Vista forum, March 26, 2007)
  • I would visit Area 51 if I was you, there’s always the chance you would see something or find something interesting. Get/Take a giga counter too, and see where the most radiation is. (Message board post, Oct 23, 2004)

Analyzed or reported by:

Terms that contain proper names are often an open invitation for eggcornification. If you’ve never heard of Hans Geiger (1882-1945)[1], you may easily be led to think that the name of the instrument for measuring radioactivity comes from the very large numbers you tend to end up with when using it.

As an aside, in German, the stressed (first) syllable of Geiger’s name is pronounced with the diphthong [aɪ] (the sound in _bite_ or _lie_).

[1] I have an unfair advantage here as I went to the same secondary school as he did and, before each physics lesson, waited right in front of a display illustrating his achievements.

| link | entered by Chris Waigl, 2007/09/16 |

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