Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Is "Earth" Truly the Right Name For a Ball of Liquid Blue?

In random ponderings, I have always thought "Earth" was an odd name. The crust of our planet is about 70% ocean, and only 30% above-water landmass that is habitable to We The Species who think it's our job to go about naming things.

We decided our planet should be descriptive instead of being named after a god, so wouldn't it make more sense if we were named for WATER?

Figuring my spacey questions might be a welcome breather between Trump rants and film remake freak-outs, I posed this question to a blog forum I infrequently lurk. This particular philosophical discussion yielded thought-provoking responses.
Planet  Water

ETYMOLOGY  / Language History: Greek era , Old German erda

Indo-European roots akin to Crimean Goth airtha, old Saxon ertha, Olde English eorthe, Middle English erthe

Greek hydor or hudor, Latin unda wave, Old English wæter; akin to Old High German wazzar

The Greek word for water now survives as the prefix hydro- (as in words like hydrogen or hydration). But with the widespread "borrowing" of languages, perhaps we might even be Wazer or Wave? Had humans known more about planetary properties during the time of naming, we might be something entirely different.

If we changed our planet name, what would be more descriptive?

Yourfindit: If we rename the whole planet, then all the Aliens will have to go through a long process of correcting and updating their records.

Legbamel: Mess?

LolitaV: I always though the name should start with Sector; like Sector Z8474895-AJ1248_X.

Aningenious: I'd go with Skaron 6 it's quite cool and any aliens would have to be mad to attempt to invade a planet called Skaron 6.

Nothingprofound: It's always fascinated me that we're the one planet NOT named after a Latin deity.

Exit2013: It doesn't matter... sooner or later this planet will be a waterworld. Seriously.

PetLvr: We have friends that named their chihuahua "Paul" because they heard someone on a TV show make fun of people who name their pet dogs human names... we can do that for the planet Earth. I vote for "Planet Melvin."

Planet Earth

Theresa111: Globe ? Earth's fine by me, kinda used to it. I have given the name some thought throughout my existence and figured someone simply named it before being privy to the rest of the planets elements.

Sam1982: Who had the naming rights anyway?

kdawg68: We should probably ask the insects what they think, since they do outnumber us vastly. Or, we could just go with "Insectia."

Animemania: If we held a poll to change the planet's name...that would be just awful. We'd be stuck calling Earth "Planet Stupid" or something.

crazyTsu: But mud is everywhere (well in most places), not only here. What's in a name? we name things according to what we are familiar with. Our familiarity has not evolved so much and I aint no marine creature either so no oceanworld for me.

Flamingpoodle: The 71/29 split only applies to the earth's surface. Besides, we call it earth because we live on the eartherns part.

Well, if we're going to split hairs, it's actually 70.78% to 29.22% -- but who's counting? ;) I originally rounded because the point of the exercise was "early colloquial assumptions versus current knowledge." If we really wanted a descriptive name, we’d have to include core material, and we aren't about to call our planet "Giant Ball of Mostly Molten Silicon and Iron."