Monday, March 1, 2010

Crazy English

I've been looking forward to camping in the coming month(s). My manfriend and I are planning a trip to Congaree National Park in South Carolina sometime between now and the second week in April. It should be fun. They offer guided canoe tours for free (no need to own a canoe) when the weather is above 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Anyhow, Manfriend bought a new alcohol stove to try out. Alcohol is a cleaner burning fuel than white gas and doesn't leave that gas smell behind if you accidentally spill it on yourself. We tried it out last night and all went well. As a chemist and generally cautious person, I tend too read all the warnings on a package I haven't seen before.

The English warnings on the metal alcohol container said, "flammable." However, I noticed that the Spanish warning said "inflammable." Later I come to find out that inflammable is also an English word and it means flammable. I find this difficult to comprehend, because combustible is the opposite of incombustible. I'll chalk this anomaly up to the many inconsistencies in the English language. Apparently the prefix "in" is derived from Latin in all these instances.

Anyway, alcohol is flammable and if it is high enough proof or percent (twice the proof) it is easily ignitable (100 proof or 50% and higher).

1 comment:

Ray's Cowboy said...

I hope you have a safe but yet wonderful weekend on your camp out.
Take acer.