Welcome to the NavList Message Boards.


A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding

Compose Your Message

Add Images & Files
    Re: The expression "terrestrial navigation"
    From: Stephen N.G. Davies
    Date: 2017 Feb 20, 09:46 +0800
    Just a half cent worth from an ex-RN Brit, but back in the 1960s we only ever referred to what is here always referred to as ‘celnav’ (celestial navigation) as ‘astro’ as in astro-navigation or navigation by the stars. I can’t say I ever remember hearing or reading the term ‘terrestrial’ in the context of the bread and butter stuff. My sense (trying to recall 50+ years in the past) is that there was a presumed set of practices called ’navigation’ within which were many sub-elements such as passage planning, visual and blind pilotage, chart work, tides and all that therein lies, meteorology and astro.
    Stephen D
    Dr Stephen Davies
    c/o Department of Real Estate and Construction
    EH103, Eliot Hall
    University of Hong Kong

    Office: (852) 2219 4089
    Mobile: (852) 6683 3754 


    On 19 Feb 2017, at 9:48 PM, Bill Lionheart <NoReply_Lionheart@fer3.com> wrote:

    Before seeing this discussion and the references cited I would not
    have thought terrestrial navigation meant anything other than
    navigating on land!  A quick search showed me that it is used in the
    way I imagined when describing the navigation of non-human animals
    (terrestrial animals as oppose to marine or aquatic animals), and as
    list members pointed out now widely used to mean coastal navigation or
    pilotage. A rather silly usage in my opinion.
    The semantic difficulty is that when we say "X navigation" for
    adjective X does X mean the reference points we use (celestial bodies,
    terrestrial land marks/beacons, or orbiting space vehicles) or the
    medium in which we travel. I am no linguist but are we a victim here
    of the very simplified grammar of case in English? In other languages
    perhaps an ending would indicate navigation by land (marks),
    instrumental case, rather than navigation on land locative case.
    (perhaps speakers of more grammatically complicated languages will
    chip in?)
    We could make it simple be saying "navigation on land", "navigation at
    sea", "navigation by stars", "navigation by land marks" Doesn't sound
    nearly as fancy but seems more specific to me. Perhaps such
    specificity is useful in titles of books or papers?
    Bill Lionheart
    On 19 February 2017 at 06:28, Henry Halboth  wrote:
    > Frank,
    > Prior to posting my previous on this subject I had checked m copy of the
    > International Maritime Dictionary wherein I found the term "geo-navigation"
    > defined, but again no reference to "terrestrial navigation" whatsoever.
    > Henry
    > On Sat, Feb 18, 2017 at 2:43 PM, Frank Reed 
    > wrote:
    >> Don S, you wrote:
    >> "The earliest use that I have found is 1831, by Sir Walter Scott in his
    >> novel Castle Dangerous, though the usage seems metaphorical."
    >> Sir Walter Scott... a monkey with a typewriter. :) Wikipedia has a very
    >> informative article on the Infinite Monkey Theorem, by the way. In this
    >> context, I call that an accidental hit. Words get paired together in
    >> innumerable combinations, and the pairing "terrestrial navigation" pops up
    >> here and there throughout the available literature. But this new modern
    >> usage does not appear in the expected places. To me the most compelling
    >> evidence was discovering that there are no books with that phrase in the
    >> title except a few accidental cases like extra-terrestrial navigation and,
    >> most importantly, those two exam prep manuals (one as yet unpublished!).
    >> A similar accidental hit, while I'm thinking of it, is the first recorded
    >> usage of the word chronometer, around 1718 if I remember correctly. But it
    >> does not qualify as the origin of the later word and its still current
    >> meaning because it was intended as pure satire --a funny, overly-academic
    >> sounding word designed to parody the new scientific lingo of the day.
    >> Frank Reed
    >> View and reply to this message
    > View and reply to this message
    Professor of Applied Mathematics

    View and reply to this message

    Browse Files

    Drop Files


    What is NavList?

    Join NavList

    (please, no nicknames or handles)
    Do you want to receive all group messages by email?
    Yes No

    You can also join by posting. Your first on-topic post automatically makes you a member.

    Posting Code

    Enter the email address associated with your NavList messages. Your posting code will be emailed to you immediately.

    Email Settings

    Posting Code:

    Custom Index

    Start date: (yyyymm dd)
    End date: (yyyymm dd)

    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site