Jump to content

  • Log in with Facebook Log in with Twitter Log in with Windows Live Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account

Submit your paper to J Biol Methods today!
Photo
- - - - -

It's SUPERNATE!


  • Please log in to reply
29 replies to this topic

#1 seanspotatobusiness

seanspotatobusiness

    Veteran

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 148 posts
4
Neutral

Posted 18 July 2009 - 03:44 AM

'Supernatant' is an adjective, not a noun.

I sometimes feel like a lone voice in the wilderness. Perhaps I should give it up...

#2 GeorgeWolff

GeorgeWolff

    Veteran

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 294 posts
0
Neutral

Posted 18 July 2009 - 04:06 AM

Tho some dictionaries indeed call it an adjective, Miriam Webster (and some others) apparently disagrees - note the term "noun". In fact it and others see it as both. Remember dictionaqries offer conventional use and change over time.

Question - why does this pedant think it so important to show their (apparently limited) knowledge of a trivial subject. I'm all for you giving up.

superernatant

Main Entry: suˇperˇnaˇtant
Pronunciation: "sü-p&r-'nA-t&nt
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin supernatant-, supernatans, present participle of supernatare to float, from super- + natare to swim -- more at NATANT
: the usually clear liquid overlying material deposited by settling, precipitation, or centrifugation

Edited by GeorgeWolff, 18 July 2009 - 04:07 AM.


#3 seanspotatobusiness

seanspotatobusiness

    Veteran

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 148 posts
4
Neutral

Posted 18 July 2009 - 05:06 AM

Tho some dictionaries indeed call it an adjective, Miriam Webster (and some others) apparently disagrees - note the term "noun". In fact it and others see it as both. Remember dictionaqries offer conventional use and change over time.

Question - why does this pedant think it so important to show their (apparently limited) knowledge of a trivial subject. I'm all for you giving up.

superernatant

Main Entry: suˇperˇnaˇtant
Pronunciation: "sü-p&r-'nA-t&nt
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin supernatant-, supernatans, present participle of supernatare to float, from super- + natare to swim -- more at NATANT
: the usually clear liquid overlying material deposited by settling, precipitation, or centrifugation


My first BioForum enemy... ;) My knowledge on the subject wasn't so limited. I'm well aware that since most people use it as a noun, it will eventually make its way into dictionaries as a noun. I'm just irritated that when I write supernate in a report, my lecturer/supervisor marks it wrong and writes supernatant. The English section of the forum seemed an appropriate place to vent. You might think it's pedantry on my part but there is surely something to be said for protecting language against constant degradation. Broken English is the new lingua franca and I expect more of this sort of thing to pour out of non-native English countries and overwhelm the 'correct' counterpart. Supernatant is then yet another anomoly in the language which makes it harder to learn.

So I wont give it up! Your reposte fills me with renewed vigour - someone has to stand and fight the GeorgeWolffs (GeorgeWolves?) of this world!

#4 hobglobin

hobglobin

    Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional...

  • Global Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,508 posts
94
Excellent

Posted 18 July 2009 - 06:21 AM

Why not both noun and adjective?

Adjective
1. (chemistry) of a liquid; floating on the surface above a sediment or precipitate; "the supernatant fat was skimmed off".

Noun
1. A liquid lying above a sediment (floating on the surface).

Usage Frequency: Supernatant
"Supernatant" is generally used as a noun (singular) -- approximately 82.61% of the time. "Supernatant" is used about 92 times out of a sample of 100 million words spoken or written in English. Its rank is based on over 700,000 words used in the English language. Some parts-of-speech are not covered due to the samples used by the British National Corpus.

from Websters-online

I think it's not the only word that can be used in both ways (not sure though). Perhaps the biologists changed the use of it for the sake of convenience and it was then generally accepted...(?)

Edited by hobglobin, 18 July 2009 - 06:26 AM.

One must presume that long and short arguments contribute to the same end. - Epicurus
...except casandra's that belong to the funniest, most interesting and imaginative (or over-imaginative?) ones, I suppose.

#5 GeorgeWolff

GeorgeWolff

    Veteran

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 294 posts
0
Neutral

Posted 18 July 2009 - 11:28 AM

Right - it is either.

And it is nothing but pedantry. Glad we have a new self-styled martyr but you're wrong pal. Now try to pay some attention to your science.

Edited by GeorgeWolff, 18 July 2009 - 11:31 AM.


#6 seanspotatobusiness

seanspotatobusiness

    Veteran

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 148 posts
4
Neutral

Posted 18 July 2009 - 12:49 PM

Right - it is either.

And it is nothing but pedantry. Glad we have a new self-styled martyr but you're wrong pal. Now try to pay some attention to your science.


I'm not wrong. As if it wasn't clear enough in the structure of the word (to a native speaker, at least), there are many sources online that support what I'm saying: [1] [2].

#7 casandra

casandra

    carpe diem by the jugulum

  • Global Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,034 posts
56
Excellent

Posted 18 July 2009 - 09:21 PM

Right - it is either.

And it is nothing but pedantry. Glad we have a new self-styled martyr but you're wrong pal. Now try to pay some attention to your science.


I'm not wrong. As if it wasn't clear enough in the structure of the word (to a native speaker, at least), there are many sources online that support what I'm saying: [1] [2].

Hi seanspotatobusiness....first, it's the rule (?) of the majiscule, and now, it's a...a....an adjective, you dolts....so what's next? ;) ..so you wanna protect the English language from constant degradation, eh? And you don't want it overwhelmed by a bastardised version from non-native countries.....ok, I can understand this but George has a point about this tantamounting to pedantry or even worse (altho I may be off here). But for the sake of discussion...don't you think that rules regarding language are not carved in stone cos language itself is alive, changeable and can evolve? How many English words do we have now- about a million- isn't this a testament to its richness and variety, depth and resilience? Supernate/supernatant...what's the big deal.....as long as you have experienced/knowledgeable people and in this case, the scientists and researchers, in agreement....does it really make a lot of difference when there's already common or shared understanding?

Perhaps the other native speakers can throw in their precious cents.....what do you think guys?
"Oh what a beauteousness!"
- hobglobin, personal comment about my beauteous photo......

#8 bob1

bob1

    Thelymitra pulchella

  • Global Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,521 posts
371
Excellent

Posted 19 July 2009 - 04:42 PM

Supernate is also a verb!

The Oxford English Dictionary, the definitive source for all English language, has "supernatant" as adjective and noun (in biology and medicine), pretty convincing argument I would say.

From the OED:

A. adj. a. Swimming above, floating on the surface (as a lighter liquid on a heavier).
1661 BOYLE Certain Physiol. Ess. (1669) 244 Whilst the substance continu'd fluid, I could shake it,..with the super~natant Menstruum, without making between them any..lasting Union. 1782 WITHERING in Phil. Trans. LXXII. 329 The powdery parts are allowed to subside until the supernatant liquor becomes clear. 1826 HENRY Elem. Chem. II. 133 When the silver has entirely precipitated,..the clear supernatant liquor is to be poured off. 1839 Penny Cycl. XV. 217/2 Milk from which the supernatant fluid, or cream, has been removed is termed skim-milk. 1867 J. HOGG Microsc. I. iii. 227 After allowing the precipitate to settle for a day, draw off the clear supernatant fluid with a syphon. 1897 Allbutt's Syst. Med. IV. 424 A grayish-white deposit of pus with a supernatant cloud of mucus.

b. Said of that part of a floating body that is above the surface.
a1687 PETTY Treat. Naval Philos. I. i, The supernatant part of the Ship. c1850 Rudim. Navig. (Weale) 154. 1867 SMYTH Sailor's Word-bk., Supernatant part of a ship... This was formerly expressed by the name dead-work.

c. fig.
1903 F. W. H. MYERS Human Pers. I. 351 Certain disintegrated elements in the primary supernatant consciousness.

B. n. Biol. and Med. A supernatant substance.
1922 Brit. Med. Jrnl. 19 Aug. 297/2 To this high refinement..Otto, Munter, and Winkler attribute the potency of their products as compared with supernatants obtained by the centrifuge only. 1955 New Biol. XIX. 91 The supernatant is decanted and again spun usually at about 10,000 to 20,000 g for twenty minutes. 1977 Proc. R. Soc. Med. LXX. 192/2 The supernatants were decanted into plastic counting vials and mixed with 10ml Instagel.

#9 swanny

swanny

    Veteran

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 367 posts
8
Neutral

Posted 19 July 2009 - 09:57 PM

Right - it is either.

And it is nothing but pedantry. Glad we have a new self-styled martyr but you're wrong pal. Now try to pay some attention to your science.


I'm not wrong. As if it wasn't clear enough in the structure of the word (to a native speaker, at least), there are many sources online that support what I'm saying: [1] [2].

Hi seanspotatobusiness....first, it's the rule (?) of the majiscule, and now, it's a...a....an adjective, you dolts....so what's next? :D ..so you wanna protect the English language from constant degradation, eh? And you don't want it overwhelmed by a bastardised version from non-native countries.....ok, I can understand this but George has a point about this tantamounting to pedantry or even worse (altho I may be off here). But for the sake of discussion...don't you think that rules regarding language are not carved in stone cos language itself is alive, changeable and can evolve? How many English words do we have now- about a million- isn't this a testament to its richness and variety, depth and resilience? Supernate/supernatant...what's the big deal.....as long as you have experienced/knowledgeable people and in this case, the scientists and researchers, in agreement....does it really make a lot of difference when there's already common or shared understanding?

Perhaps the other native speakers can throw in their precious cents.....what do you think guys?

As you say, casandra, the language is alive. How many words from the 19th century, let alone earlier centuries, now have different meanings, implications or nuances? As for 'non-native' countries bastardising the language, I think that (i) the native English speakers have done a pretty good job there anyway (the English and Americans being two countries separated by a common language, as Shaw once wrote); and (ii), the English language is as it is precisely because non-English languages have fed into it, or been fed into it. How much of the language is French, German, Greek, Latin, Indian, Danish, Dutch, etc? Or is the concern here that the changes are not being made by us, but by 'outsiders'. There are a number of books that have considered this, so the debate will continue to rage.

Personally, I am more concerned about the degradation of punctuation in written English, because I consider it far more important to the understanding of a document than the question of whether we should use supernatant or supernate. Sorry, sean... but you are probably doubly correct in your initial posting: from the evidence presented here by others, I think supernatant certainly may be an adjective; equally, however, I think you should give up, lest you have the epithet "don Quixote" added to your enigmatic potato interest.

Edited by swanny, 19 July 2009 - 10:42 PM.

Heart disease kills more women than breast cancer, but heart attack symptoms differ from men's symptoms. Get to know your heart... it could save your life.

#10 Dominic

Dominic

    Enthusiast

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 47 posts
2
Neutral

Posted 20 July 2009 - 04:26 AM

supernate - wasnt he clark kents younger brother?

makes about as much sense as you lot

d

#11 casandra

casandra

    carpe diem by the jugulum

  • Global Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,034 posts
56
Excellent

Posted 20 July 2009 - 08:08 AM

supernate - wasnt he clark kents younger brother?

makes about as much sense as you lot

d

:lol:...I thought it was superdork but I guess that's Clark Kent too.....and when were we ever full of sense...full with sense ? You didn't give your own sents, dom.....
"Oh what a beauteousness!"
- hobglobin, personal comment about my beauteous photo......

#12 Dr Teeth

Dr Teeth

    Veteran

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 221 posts
1
Neutral

Posted 20 July 2009 - 08:16 AM

I'm not wrong. As if it wasn't clear enough in the structure of the word (to a native speaker, at least), there are many sources online that support what I'm saying: [1] [2].



Hmmm, while others cited legitimate sources such as Merriam-Webster, you cited tripatlas.com...

Science is simply common sense at its best that is rigidly accurate in observation and merciless to fallacy in logic.
Thomas Henry Huxley

#13 mdfenko

mdfenko

    an elder

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,710 posts
123
Excellent

Posted 20 July 2009 - 08:22 AM

i think that the real problem is being missed here:

I'm just irritated that when I write supernate in a report, my lecturer/supervisor marks it wrong and writes supernatant.

the instructor should not have marked it wrong. if he/she had a preference then it could have been pointed out without penalizing a student for using a correct but slightly different term.
talent does what it can
genius does what it must
i do what i get paid to do

#14 casandra

casandra

    carpe diem by the jugulum

  • Global Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,034 posts
56
Excellent

Posted 20 July 2009 - 07:01 PM

Personally, I am more concerned about the degradation of punctuation in written English, because I consider it far more important to the understanding of a document than the question of whether we should use supernatant or supernate. Sorry, sean... but you are probably doubly correct in your initial posting: from the evidence presented here by others, I think supernatant certainly may be an adjective; equally, however, I think you should give up, lest you have the epithet "don Quixote" added to your enigmatic potato interest.

hi swanny... but still there are not so many punctuation marks to play around with and I completely agree that even the slightest misuse can drastically change the meaning or the emphasis of a sentence or written thought. I'd have to say tho that the new lingua franca is the abbreviated, acronymed or txted format of words due to the evil influence of the internet...actually, laziness abounds (plus a very busy crazy lifestyle)and so we don't wanna waste time writing the complete words...don't U agree (but DIIK)? ;)

Edited by casandra, 20 July 2009 - 07:04 PM.

"Oh what a beauteousness!"
- hobglobin, personal comment about my beauteous photo......

#15 perneseblue

perneseblue

    Unlimited ligation works!

  • Global Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 578 posts
16
Good

Posted 20 July 2009 - 09:08 PM

Another interesting drift is the use of the word "data" (plural) verse "datum" (singular).

"The data is" rather than "The data are"
May your PCR products be long, your protocols short and your boss on holiday




Home - About - Terms of Service - Privacy - Contact Us

©1999-2013 Protocol Online, All rights reserved.