Wednesday, April 20, 2011

ersatz

ersatz [ˈɛrzɑts, -sɑts, ɛrˈzɑts, -ˈsɑts] a.

1.) Being an imitation or a substitute, usually an inferior one; artificial: e.g. ersatz coffee made mostly of chicory (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language).

Etymology: German, replacement, from ersetzen, to replace, from Old High German irsezzan : ir-, out + sezzan, to set.

"If we look to physics to tell us what is possible, will we get all possible worlds? Or only the physically possible worlds, according to current physics? More, at least, than the latter. We will certainly construct ersatz worlds that disobey currently accepted physical laws; for instance, ersatz worlds where mass-energy is not conserved. Still, we cannot be sure of getting all possible worlds, since we cannot be sure that we have constructed our ersatz worlds at a high enough level of generality" (Counterfactuals, David K. Lewis, 1973).

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Today's word in honor of Endless and my other German-speaking readers. Didn't want you guys to think I was only doing words of French and Latin origin. Also, looking at my stats, I see that I have some readers from Spain. Would love to hear from you. Any preference in the big Barcelona–Real Madrid showdown?

10 comments:

Danny Murphy said...

I use this at the football on the weekend, although I'm a bit worried I'll get beaten up

ExoticBlogger said...

i like this word lol

amBored said...

seems useful :D

Solsby Kid said...

Great info dude :)

JayPower said...

Plan on using this somehow today! awesome word ;D

A Beer for the Shower said...

An inferior imitation? Forget using this word, I AM this word.

pixel said...

good word, i will use it at work today

Team Panda said...

The quote sounds like it can be a real opinionated subject, interesting word too, I've never heard it b4.

Blk Jesus said...

very nice

Hydriotaphia said...

A word which can very occasionally be heard used in English conversation.

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