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    Re: Poor St. Hilaire
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2007 Oct 16, 23:55 -0400

    John,
    
    Navigation suffers from more than its fair share of confusing terminology.
    The classic is the expression "horizontal parallax". In modern English,
    horizontal refers to something that is lying flat, but once upon a time, it
    referred to anything relating to the horizon. So horizontal parallax means
    the value of the parallax at the horizon. Perhaps a better modern term would
    be "Zero Altitude Parallax" --ZAP instead of HP. Of course, it's too late to
    make any actual change in terminology in celestial navigation but when one
    is teaching the concept, maybe this would help??
    
    In the case of the "estimated position" of the St. Hilaire article, the
    problem is not archaic word usage but translated word usage. If you take the
    French phrase and translate it literally, word for word, you get "estimated
    position" but if you look at the way the phrase is defined and used in
    French navigation lingo, it means no more nor less than "dead reckoning
    position". Personally, if I had translated this article, I would have used
    "dead reckoning position", but it's a judgement call. This is a frequent
    issue when translating technical French to English. Many words have obvious
    cognates in English that mean something very different, and many other
    cognates have subtly different meanings. There is always a compromise
    between literal translation, word for word, and paraphrase translation,
    which attempts to translate concept for concept.
    
     -FER
    
    
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