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    Re: Sextant Terms
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2007 Oct 23, 20:43 -0400

    Nicol�s de Hilster, you wrote: 
    "the spiegelboog (mirror-staff in English). This instrument was capable of 
    measuring backward in a range from 10 - 90 degrees using a single mirror." 
    This unusual Ducth word reminds me of a question I've been meaning to ask:
    In this thread we've been discussing the convergence of all terms for angle 
    measuring instruments in English. Pretty much everything is called a 
    "sextant" today regardless of its function or angular range. Many other 
    navigation cultures take their lead from English. But is the same true in 
    other cultures with a long history of navigation science? At least in 
    German, it seems that the word "oktant" is still used when the range is 
    limited to 90 degrees. I've seen a couple of German oktants, for sale on 
    ebay. These were instruments from the 20th century when the term octant was 
    mostly out-of-favor in English. 
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