May 14, 2010

Those who swear by the dictionary for uses of words may need to cross check as the meaning explained in the bible of lexicon may not be error free.

Dictionary source for the meaning of many words. What if it has errors? Who could identify them?

Stephen Hughes, a physicist with Queensland University of Technology, who spotted a 99-year-old mistake in the Oxford English Dictionary.

"The word 'siphon' has been in correct since 1911" says hughes

The definition in the Oxford dictionary and many other dictionaries stated that atmospheric pressure was the force behind a siphon. But in fact it is the force of gravity at work.

'It is gravity that moved the fluid in a siphon, with the water in the longer downward arm pulling the water up the shorter arm,' Hughes was quoted as saying by The Sydney Morning Herald.

The physicist discovered the error after viewing an enormous siphon in South Australia, transferring the equivalent of 4000 Olympic swimming pools from the Murray River system into the depleted Lake Bonney.

Hughes is now determined to set the record straight, and says the issue should not be taken lightly.