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Oh my particle



I've read articles, or tried to, about the Higgs Boson, which is "The subatomic particle scientists say gives everything in the universe mass." So I knew that the HB is also referred to in the media as "The God Particle." I didn't know that name was offensive to scientists until I heard a discussion of the controversy on "All Things Considered," the National Public Radio program.

"All Things" staffers said they'd received complaints from scientists when they used the "God Particle" name, the complainants arguing that the Higgs Boson has to do with science, not religion, and that it is offensive and misleading to suggest otherwise. The "All Things" people interviewed Dick Teresi, who in 1993 co-wrote a book, "The God Particle: If the Universe is the Answer, What is the Question?" His co-author was Leon Lederman, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist. Teresi said he deserved the blame or credit for the "God Particle" name, but he said it was sort of a light-hearted working title that he expected the publisher to reject. Both he and Lederman were atheists, he said, with no intent to suggest that God had the Higgs Boson in His hand. To Teresi's surprise, he said, the publisher liked the title, and the term "God Particle" was on its way. He mentioned the "Big Bang" as another scientific theory that has acquired a popular nickname.

"I am a stylist, closet editor and personal shopper."

Is a closet editor an editor who has to work in tight quarters, possibly employed by a desktop publisher? Or an editor who is in the closet figuratively, keeping his sexual orientation secret? (In that case, closeted editor would be more grammatically correct.) Or someone hired to go through your closet and throw out all the unstylish items? I could use somebody like that, although I probably couldn't afford as much editing as is needed.

 "An Iowa native and graduate of Drake University, Ash has never stepped foot in Fayetteville, and he did not interview for the coordinator job with Bielema." Set foot is the original, but stepped foot works about as well, I suppose. It's closer to the real thing than many of the mistakes of idiom that we see.

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