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    Re: The expression "terrestrial navigation"
    From: Bill Lionheart
    Date: 2017 Feb 19, 10:49 +0000

    Before seeing this discussion and the references cited I would not
    have thought terrestrial navigation meant anything other than
    navigating on land!  A quick search showed me that it is used in the
    way I imagined when describing the navigation of non-human animals
    (terrestrial animals as oppose to marine or aquatic animals), and as
    list members pointed out now widely used to mean coastal navigation or
    pilotage. A rather silly usage in my opinion.
    The semantic difficulty is that when we say "X navigation" for
    adjective X does X mean the reference points we use (celestial bodies,
    terrestrial land marks/beacons, or orbiting space vehicles) or the
    medium in which we travel. I am no linguist but are we a victim here
    of the very simplified grammar of case in English? In other languages
    perhaps an ending would indicate navigation by land (marks),
    instrumental case, rather than navigation on land locative case.
    (perhaps speakers of more grammatically complicated languages will
    chip in?)
    We could make it simple be saying "navigation on land", "navigation at
    sea", "navigation by stars", "navigation by land marks" Doesn't sound
    nearly as fancy but seems more specific to me. Perhaps such
    specificity is useful in titles of books or papers?
    Bill Lionheart
    On 19 February 2017 at 06:28, Henry Halboth  wrote:
    > Frank,
    > Prior to posting my previous on this subject I had checked m copy of the
    > International Maritime Dictionary wherein I found the term "geo-navigation"
    > defined, but again no reference to "terrestrial navigation" whatsoever.
    > Henry
    > On Sat, Feb 18, 2017 at 2:43 PM, Frank Reed 
    > wrote:
    >> Don S, you wrote:
    >> "The earliest use that I have found is 1831, by Sir Walter Scott in his
    >> novel Castle Dangerous, though the usage seems metaphorical."
    >> Sir Walter Scott... a monkey with a typewriter. :) Wikipedia has a very
    >> informative article on the Infinite Monkey Theorem, by the way. In this
    >> context, I call that an accidental hit. Words get paired together in
    >> innumerable combinations, and the pairing "terrestrial navigation" pops up
    >> here and there throughout the available literature. But this new modern
    >> usage does not appear in the expected places. To me the most compelling
    >> evidence was discovering that there are no books with that phrase in the
    >> title except a few accidental cases like extra-terrestrial navigation and,
    >> most importantly, those two exam prep manuals (one as yet unpublished!).
    >> A similar accidental hit, while I'm thinking of it, is the first recorded
    >> usage of the word chronometer, around 1718 if I remember correctly. But it
    >> does not qualify as the origin of the later word and its still current
    >> meaning because it was intended as pure satire --a funny, overly-academic
    >> sounding word designed to parody the new scientific lingo of the day.
    >> Frank Reed
    Professor of Applied Mathematics

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