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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:20 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Came across a new word for the pandemic's reduced-activity/lockdowns' effects on wildlife: the anthropause.

Yes, it seems to be being used quite a bit. I like it.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 1:06 pm 
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If "anthropause" has been around for a while, this is the first time I've seen it. Speaking of firsts and revelations:

Having just read a headline about a "record number of cases", it hit me that there was there nothing specifically about the pandemic in the wording, yet I reflexively inferred it anyway, and even though anyone else would have done the same these days, it was still just a presumption. Normally I wouldn't be able to do that, but such are the times. It only now occurred to me that I've probably been reading similar "shorthand" headlines without thinking about it, and for quite some time.

Anthropause. I like the word, too. Brings to mind the cycle of breathing.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 2:02 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
If "anthropause" has been around for a while, this is the first time I've seen it.

I hope you're not suggesting that I had implied that I thought that the term had "been around for a while," are you? I didn't.

Nanohedron wrote:
Anthropause. I like the word, too. Brings to mind the cycle of breathing.

Does it? It doesn't to me. Perhaps I'm too literal. I just took it (the meaning, that is) from the somewhat macaronic roots of the word - "human" and "pause". In other words, a pause in human activity. Where does breathing come into it?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 2:38 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
If "anthropause" has been around for a while, this is the first time I've seen it.

I hope you're not suggesting that I had implied that I thought that the term had "been around for a while," are you? I didn't.

No, that wasn't my suggestion at all; that would be putting words in your mouth. But your mention of having seen it with some frequency made me think that I might have missed it previously. Not the same thing!

benhall.1 wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
Anthropause. I like the word, too. Brings to mind the cycle of breathing.

Does it? It doesn't to me. Perhaps I'm too literal. I just took it (the meaning, that is) from the somewhat macaronic roots of the word - "human" and "pause". In other words, a pause in human activity. Where does breathing come into it?

When I say "brings to mind", I can only be speaking for myself, and that was the case here as well. I don't expect others to see things the way I do, much less get on board. "Cycle of breathing" was something of a metaphor, linking "pause" to the pause between inhalation and exhalation; a point of oscillation like the swing of a pendulum. Just as forests breathe, "anthropause" made me think there might possibly be recurring nodes of pause between oscillations in the cycle of human activity, the difference being that normally we don't notice them enough to think of them that way. And then again, maybe there's no such thing. But that's the image that the word brought to mind for me.

I have the soul of a poet, you know. A frustrated one, but a poet nonetheless. :wink:

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 3:00 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
"Cycle of breathing" was something of a metaphor, linking "pause" to the pause between inhalation and exhalation; a point of oscillation like the swing of a pendulum. Just as forests breathe, "anthropause" made me think there might possibly be recurring nodes of pause between oscillations in the cycle of human activity.


Hey, nobody asked me but I'll chime in. I also got a pendulum swing type of image. Some years ago I was reading about the mathematical modelling of predator/prey situations in ecology, e.g., rabbit and fox population. The numbers of each oscillate and that's what came to mind when I thought of the current situation in most of the world (not where I am though, I'm getting my lockdown from the news). This is from Weisbergs' Simulation and Similarity

Quote:
After World War I, there was an unusual shortage of aquatic life in the Adriatic Sea off the coast of Italy. This seemed especially strange because fishing had slowed down considerably during the war. Most Italians believed that this should have given the natural populations a chance to increase their numbers, but this did not happen. The Italian biologist Umberto D'Ancona was on the case. After carefully analyzing the statistics of fish markets he discovered an interesting fact: The population of sharks, rays, and other predators had increased during the war while the population of squid, several types of cod, and Norwegian lobster had decreased.


It turns out that after you invent predator prey mathematical modelling (well, if you're D'Ancona you bring your work up in passing with your father-in-law who just happens to be the well-known mathematician and physicist Vito Volterra and he invents it for you).

Quote:
...intense levels of general biocide, which kills both predators and prey at the same time, would be relatively favourable to the prey, whereas lesser degrees of a biocide would favour the predators. From this he reasoned that heavy fishing, a general biocide, favours prey, and light fishing the predator.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 3:12 pm 
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All bar one of Google's hits for anthropause is in the last couple of days and seem to stem from a paper published 22 June where the word is proposed. I saw it first on the BBC web site.

The odd one is from a, presumably earlier, book of science fiction stories where it means something different. I wonder if those who proposed searched for earlier usage.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 3:19 pm 
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david_h wrote:
All bar one of Google's hits for anthropause is in the last couple of days and seem to stem from a paper published 22 June where the word is proposed.

That recently! A powerful word, then.

david_h wrote:
The odd one is from a, presumably earlier, book of science fiction stories where it means something different. I wonder if those who proposed searched for earlier usage.

I almost hope not, actually. Seems like a reasonable scientific term in its own right - one that anyone with a grasp of the professional vernacular might coin independently.

Do you know what the fictional usage was?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:07 am 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Do you know what the fictional usage was?
The link from Google is a mile long. Do a web search for the phrase "The line was called the anthropause, and only at night"

The important bit, I think, is that it was used for a line or boundary rather than a pause in something. That's like as in similar constructions that come to mind (heliopause, menopause, etc)

So it could be that this new term is etymologically 'wrong'. Maybe, if they were interested, someone with a big dictionary could look some some similar words up.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:20 am 
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I've found the book, or rather, short story, that the term 'anthropause' was used in. It's a short story called The Hero, by Karl Schroeder, included in an SF anthology called Eclipse 2, published, as far as I can see, just online, in 2008.

Searching for 'anthropause' always leads one back to the word 'andropause', which is basically a term for the male menopause.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:33 pm 
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david_h wrote:
The important bit, I think, is that it was used for a line or boundary rather than a pause in something. That's like as in similar constructions that come to mind (heliopause, menopause, etc)

So it could be that this new term is etymologically 'wrong'. Maybe, if they were interested, someone with a big dictionary could look some some similar words up.

I'm not sure that "wrong" is right. :wink: The Greek-derived Latin word means "stop, cessation, end", but I'm unclear if it also implies the possibility of being a temporary halt, as subsequent iterations of the word in other languages appear to do. Nosing around in some dictionaries, I haven't yet found any use of "pause" that is considered proper within scientific terminology. Not to say that a convention isn't there; I just haven't found it at this time.

Adding to the muddle is the fact that although "anthropause" is a Greek-Latin compound, we must also admit that the word is arguably English, so lacking any apparently firm scientific application of the word "pause", it seems that the coiner must probably be let off the hook. As far as English itself goes, a thesaurus search confirms my suspicion that in our language, the word invariably means a temporary hold first - permanence is remotely possible, but never implied.

If in English we're to readily convey the idea that the hold is temporary, there's a better term out there for the same thing: the Great Pause.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:12 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Nosing around in some dictionaries, I haven't yet found any use of "pause" that is considered proper within scientific terminology.

Well, what about "menopause" and "andropause"? They're scientific terms, aren't they? Or did you mean that you hadn't found a scientific term using "pause where that was taken to mean a temporary, as opposed to permanent, halt?

Great Paws. I like it. Implies good things for wildlife. :D

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:15 pm 
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Ooh! Ooh! I know.

Anthroruption

:D

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:43 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
Nosing around in some dictionaries, I haven't yet found any use of "pause" that is considered proper within scientific terminology.

Well, what about "menopause" and "andropause"? They're scientific terms, aren't they? Or did you mean that you hadn't found a scientific term using "pause where that was taken to mean a temporary, as opposed to permanent, halt?

I mean that I haven't found what's prescribed either way. In the construction of terms, there may not even be a scientifically prescribed usage of "pause", from what I can tell; I can't really rely on the existence of a few words like "menopause" to conclude such a thing, because they don't actually tell me that a prescribed scientific vocabulary generated them - they only tell me that "pause" was used in that particular way. If the rule is precedent, then "anthropause" ignores it.

A comprehensive list of scientific terms with "pause" in them would be enlightening.

benhall.1 wrote:
Ooh! Ooh! I know.

Anthroruption

:D

Image

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:16 pm 
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I've found it in Wiktionary, and it looks sufficient to me, but not entirely helpful, since it says that the suffix "-pause" is "indicative of a pause or discontinuance". In other words, it could be either temporary or permanent.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:19 pm 
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I think that science fiction usage, as a boundary, fits in better with the scientific uses. It seems to be a line beyond which the influence of humans stops, or something like that. In that case it is spatial boundary like the heliopause, but I guess it would be a good term (in fact or fiction) for when we all die out.

I think a compund using 'interlude' or a related term (inter<something>) would be better. Nano's 'plain English' Great Pause has the right feel for me.

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