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View Full Version : Great Wall seen from moon debunked on snopes



Tom
2001-Nov-12, 08:17 PM
I don't know what caused this to be posted today, but here it is! (http://www.snopes2.com/science/greatwal.htm)

Hale_Bopp
2001-Nov-12, 09:10 PM
One of the big New York City garbage dumps is visible from low Earth Orbit. No one puts that on the list of objects, but space shuttle astronauts have been seeing it for many years.

Guess we only talk about the good objects we can see from space.

Rob

Donnie B.
2001-Nov-13, 02:13 AM
That would be Fresh Kills, I'd guess.

As a name for a landfill, how a propos! But the name predates the dump by centuries. "Kill" is a Dutch word for "stream", so it doesn't mean "happy hunting ground" either.

GrapesOfWrath
2001-Nov-13, 09:15 AM
On 2001-11-12 15:17, Tom wrote:
I don't know what caused this to be posted today, but here it is! (http://www.snopes2.com/science/greatwal.htm)


I think it has been there awhile, but just recently updated. Don't know why it was updated.

MHS
2001-Nov-15, 12:12 PM
That would be Fresh Kills, I'd guess.

As a name for a landfill, how a propos! But the name predates the dump by centuries. "Kill" is a Dutch word for "stream", so it doesn't mean "happy hunting ground" either.

I have never heard of the word 'Kill' and I AM Dutch!

> Michiel <

P.S.: Maybe it just isn't being used anymore...

GrapesOfWrath
2001-Nov-15, 12:34 PM
What? You've never heard of the Catskills? I've never been there, but wouldn't the star-gazing be better there? :)

Check out www.dictionary.com (http://www.dictionary.com/) and one of its definitions for kill, which refers to a regional note for "stoop" (http://www.dictionary.com/cgi-bin/dict.pl?term=stoop).

Donnie B.
2001-Nov-15, 12:54 PM
Whew, thanks for the reference, GOW. I'm glad I wasn't hallucinating or something... /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

MHS
2001-Nov-15, 04:16 PM
What? You've never heard of the Catskills? I've never been there, but wouldn't the star-gazing be better there? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Check out http://www.dictionary.com and one of its definitions for kill, which refers to a regional note for "stoop".

No, I've never heard of the Catskills, but I looked it up and it's an area near New York. But how could I know that? I'm dutch remember, that means that I live in The Netherlands. (I think we're having a little misunderstanding here, but I can't figure out what it is...).

> Michiel <

P.S.: 'fil' is a dutch word and does mean something like 'stream'...

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: MHS on 2001-11-15 11:25 ]</font>

David Hall
2001-Nov-15, 04:32 PM
Nevertheless, I just did a quick google search and came up with quite a few instances of place names that claim "Kill" is a derivative from Dutch meaning stream or river. (put in kill +river +dutch + meaning and see what comes up.) There must be something to it.

It's possible that it's not a word in common Dutch use now, but at one time was common enough to get transferred to many place names. It may even have been from some sort of local dialect that made it to America but was not very strong back in it's native home.

One of my coworkers is Dutch, and she's quite knowledgeable about languages. I plan on asking her about it next time I see her. You've all made me curious about it now.

David Hall
2001-Nov-15, 04:38 PM
On 2001-11-15 11:16, MHS wrote:

P.S.: 'fil' is a dutch word and does mean something like 'stream'...


Whoops, missed this one the first time through. I think herein lies the answer. The word that was imported into English and was once pronounced "kil" in Dutch must have in the last 200 years or so changed to "fil"

This link has an answer to this very same question. It doesn't mention "fil" though.

http://www.takeourword.com/Issue014.html

MHS
2001-Nov-15, 07:50 PM
Whoops, missed this one the first time through. I think herein lies the answer. The word that was imported into English and was once pronounced "kil" in Dutch must have in the last 200 years or so changed to "fil"

This link has an answer to this very same question. It doesn't mention "fil" though.

I feel so stupid! The word I was talking about WAS 'kil'. So the difference between 'kill' en 'kil' lies in the extra 'l'. My excuses for messing things up here /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_confused.gif.

(Isn't this board great?! Some american guy /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif is teaching me dutch words!!)

> Michiel <


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: MHS on 2001-11-15 14:55 ]</font>

Donnie B.
2001-Nov-15, 09:20 PM
(Isn't this board great?! Some american guy /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif is teaching me dutch words!!)

> Michiel <



My pleasure, Michiel! I'm sure you can teach me some English too... /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

But back to the OP...

There are plenty of signs of mankind on the night side of Earth. Lots and lots of artificial light sources.

And the smoke from the WTC was photographed from space, though I don't know if it was naked-eye visible.

James
2001-Nov-16, 12:28 AM
On 2001-11-15 16:20, Donnie B. wrote:



(Isn't this board great?! Some american guy /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif is teaching me dutch words!!)

> Michiel <



My pleasure, Michiel! I'm sure you can teach me some English too... /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

But back to the OP...

There are plenty of signs of mankind on the night side of Earth. Lots and lots of artificial light sources.

And the smoke from the WTC was photographed from space, though I don't know if it was naked-eye visible.


I do believe it was photographed by either the space shuttle or ISS. I think it was ISS. Anyway, IIRC, the smoke, when it was, at first, heading away from New York, I think it was seen as far south as, I believe, Virginia or even North Carolina! Amazing. And, from what I've heard, the rubble is still smoldering, at possibly temps reaching 1400 degrees F!

David Hall
2001-Nov-21, 03:04 PM
I talked to my Dutch friend and she didn't know anything about the word kil either. She also says she says she's never heard of fil either. (Not sure what your last post meant MHS, did you mean to say you made a mistake and there isn't a fil after all?) But she thinks my hypothesis of changes in language sounds probable. I guess we should just leave it to the language experts and trust them as to the origins of this name.

BTW, want an online dictionary? I just discovered the mother of all dictionary sites. click on the "language dictionaries" link at left to see what I mean. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

http://www.yourdictionary.com/index.shtml

_________________
David Hall
"Dave... my mind is going... I can feel it... I can feel it." (http://www.occn.zaq.ne.jp/cuaea503/whatnots/2001_feel_it.wav)

<font size=-1>(edited a mistake)</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David Hall on 2001-11-21 10:05 ]</font>

GrapesOfWrath
2001-Nov-21, 03:48 PM
Hmmm. All the Dutch dictionaries agree that kil means the same as chilly--they're probably even cognate. So, how did the NY version develop? I'm betting that the word kil was first applied to places where you could keep food cool, or where you might find ice. The chamber of commerce of the Catskills probably decided that "Cats streams" sounded more attractive than "Cats colds", and did a little finagling with the local etymology.

MHS
2001-Nov-21, 06:11 PM
'kil' in the meaning of 'chilly' is pretty common and sometimes even used here /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif. And you're right about my last post; i made a mistake; there is no 'fil' after all...

> Michiel <

David Simmons
2001-Nov-21, 10:55 PM
On 2001-11-21 10:48, GrapesOfWrath wrote:
Hmmm. All the Dutch dictionaries agree that kil means the same as chilly--they're probably even cognate. So, how did the NY version develop? I'm betting that the word kil was first applied to places where you could keep food cool, or where you might find ice. The chamber of commerce of the Catskills probably decided that "Cats streams" sounded more attractive than "Cats colds", and did a little finagling with the local etymology.


Tracing the derivation of words is difficult. The Oxford English Dictionary and Webster's International agree that the American English word "kill" meaning "stream" is derived from the Old Dutch "kille" meaning river bed or channel via the Dutch "kil." How the Dutch got from "kille" (channel) to "kil" (chilly) is obscure in any reference I can find.

It is easy to get confused about this unless you are experienced, which I am not. For example, the German word "gift" means "poison." My friends and I spent some time trying to figure out how we got from the German "poison" to the English "something given."

But it turns out that English "gift" is not derived from the German but from the Old English "giefen" meaning "to give" so the mystery wasn't a mystery at all.