I checked the etymology of conflagration and flatus. They are both Latin. Conflagration comes from con - (expressing intensive force) + flagrare - to blaze. And flatus comes from flare - to blow. "Flaring your flatus" is therefore redundant, but it makes me think of those tall pipes flaring the gas off a landfill or oil derrick so I like it anyway.
|Gas Flaring in Louisiana, with gravity in full effect|
Photo by me, 2010
It's in a comment after an economics article in The Guardian in 2011 answering another commenter who wanted to know why oil prices go up when anybody in Libya farts.
This user has 305 comments on Guardian stories. Skimming over them I see farts are sort of his pet topic. He would get along with my step-sister. I think she would enjoy the term "fartisinal" quite a lot.
I'm not really a fartficionado. I only know about flaring flatus from stories my father told us when we were little about what he got up to when he was in engineering school. And when I went to that same school my brother's friends confirmed it is a real thing that engineering students do. Lots of astronauts were engineering students once. So I consider the probability that somebody tried to light a fart in zero g is better than the odds of being one of the people on earth to make up a formal word for it.
There's a TV show called Going Deep with David Rees where he spends about 25 minutes investigating the details of things people think they know all about, like how to tie your shoes. Of course I watch every episode. These are my people. David Rees was on The Daily Show last week. Trevor Noah clearly doesn't get it. "But if you are compelled to investigate the details of every trivial aspect of life, how do you LIVE?"
I'm still trying to figure out what he means. How do YOU live, Trevor Noah? Ignorant of the fascinating details of the world? What kind of life is that?!
What kind of life indeed...ReplyDelete