Talk:Lunar Regolith

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What use of "Lunar Soil" is a misnomer? According to a definition in Merriam-Webster's Dictionary any unconsolidated material on the surface of a planet is soil.--Farred 05:59, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

  • According to Wikipedia:"Lunar soil is the fine regolith found on the surface of the Moon." Wikipedia notes:"Some have argued that the term 'soil' is not correct in reference to the Moon because soil is defined as having organic content, whereas the Moon has none. However, standard usage among lunar scientists is to ignore that distinction." Whose definition is it that opposes a dictionary definition?--Farred 06:37, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Merriam Webster is blatantly incorrect in this case, and I wouldn't exactly call Wikipedia a reliable source. The general geologic definition of soil requires that regolith must have been so modified by chemical and biological processes that it is capable of supporting life. Some lunar/planetary scientists may disregard the difference. I know one who all but reams any students who do. Regardless, the terms refer to the same thing and are described within the same article. Regolith is the more accurate term. - Jarogers2001 06:12, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Merge request

I would like to merge Lunar Soil with this article. Lunar soil currently has one sentence that is not already contained within this article, and both substances are of the same chemical and mineralogical composition, and are produced by the same processes. They are the same substance. - Jarogers2001 06:45, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

I second the request for merge. T.Neo 07:37, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

  • Jrogers2001 writes that Merriam Webster is “blatantly incorrect” in one of the definitions of the word soil that it reports. However Merriam-Webster merely reports the definitions of words that are in or were in common use. There is nothing blatant about the definitions of soil that were reported. Neither Merriam-Webster nor Lunarpedia nor geology professors nor their professional organizations have the power to enforce the use of certain definitions of words in the English language in general. Professional organizations can limit the meanings of words included in Journals that they control. Professors can refuse credit for a course to a student who applies different meanings than the approved meanings of words in course work. People can argue that certain usages are wrong in an attempt to influence the public, but alternate meanings of words are not wrong in any absolute sense. They are merely meanings used by different subsets of speakers of English or meanings used in different contexts.
  • If Lunarpedia wishes to restrict the use of the word soil to material that includes organic content, then I sign on for the effort. Let us be clear about what we are trying to do. The goal is to persuade people to use the word soil in a way that we find most conducive to good communication. There will be some resistance to any effort to teach most English speakers to use the word regolith. Can I use the words dirt and ground that most people already know in an effort to avoid writing that is meaningless to most people and most spell checkers?--Farred 20:18, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I think professors in the areas of geology, agricultural science, and ecology would support restricting the use of the word soil to material that includes organic content, as indicated in the article “Soil” in the 1997 edition of the McGRAW-HILL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF Science & Technology. Professors of Civil Engineering are likely to use the word soil to indicate naturally occurring loose material whether or not it supports plant growth as indicated in the article “Soil mechanics” in the same source. Professors in one specialty trying to tell professors in a second specialty how to use words within that second specialty would seem to me to be a breech of professional courtesy. So Lunarpedia might consider avoiding any policy which would irritate some educated people.-- 12:16, 17 October 2008 (UTC)