Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Word of the Day - Salinisation

The process whereby soluble salts accumulate within the soil.

That's just one of several definitions of the word I found with a simple Google search. Surprising really because, according to one well-known authority, the word either doesn't exist or it should be spelt salinization - I'm not sure which:

So, we could smile to read contestant Snezana declare that "Salinisation (sic) of land is one of the major environemtal (sic) crises facing Australia", and Kirra warn that "the biggest problem in our enviroment (sic) today is our lack of water".

At worst we'd have wondered how badly we teach English as Angelique demanded help for an "environmnet" in danger, and Natalia wept for an "enviornment (sic) that sustains us". (Andrew Bolt in The Hun)

And you might wonder whether it's really so much worse than when young Andrew was at school and somehow omitted to learn that salinisation is both a bona fide word in English and, in Australian usage, spelt pretty much as it appears in Snezana's declaration. At least, I think that's the case.

But I could be wrong about that - if so, I'm not the only one. All these people seem to be labouring under the same misapprehension. Someone ought to write to them and tell them, don't you think?

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