|Scientific term||Public meaning||Better choice|
|aerosol||spray can||tiny atmospheric particle|
|positive trend||good trend||upward trend|
|positive feedback||good response, praise||vicious cycle, self-reinforcing cycle|
|theory||hunch, speculation||scientific understanding|
|error||mistake, wrong, incorrect||difference from exact true number|
|bias||distortion, political motive||offset from observation|
|sign||indication, astrological sign||plus or minus sign|
|values||ethics, monetary value||numbers, quantity|
|manipulation||illicit tampering||scientific data processing|
|scheme||devious plot||systematic plan|
|anomaly||abnormal occurrence||change from long-term average|
I feel like some of the ‘better choices’ could still be improved upon. Terms like ‘difference from exact true number’ or ‘offset from observation’ sound like hedging terms, and may still lead to misinterpretations.
There’s a lot to ponder in this table. It strikes me as an important document – a compilation of one of humanity’s most tragic miscommunications.