Vocabulary: Apogee

I always forget which is which between apogee and perigee, so I had to look it up the other day.

In the dictionary that Apple uses, it says that apogee is "the point in orbit where an object is furthest from the Earth." It then gives a figurative definition that apogee is also "the highest point or climax of something" and uses the example "the White House is considered the apogee of American achievement.

Of course, that made me mix the two in my head and think that the White House is the point in human achievement is the point where you're furthest from the Earth. Given the short sighted policies in a lot of our politics, you have to wonder if that isn't actually the case.


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7 thoughts on “Vocabulary: Apogee”

  1. Thems sounds like fighting words.

    Have you ever heard what happened to Jimmy on the blog? Got whipped to and fro and now hardly ever shows up.

    I'd hate to have to do the same thing to a girl. You're going to have to try and get in my good graces again... maybe a post of your own would help.

  2. Do you generally pronounce aphelion more like "ap hee lee yon" or "af ee lee yon"?

    I've read all that wikipedia has to say about the pronunciation.
    I don't subscribe to prescriptive linguistics; I'm just surveying.

  3. I'm an ap-hee-lee-yon person.

    And for apogalacticon (the point in an object's orbit furthest from the galactic center), I'd say ap-o-galac-ticon.

    Changing the "ph" to an "f" seems really odd to me since aphelion is pretty much a compound word, the "p" and "h" didn't end up together because people wanted an "f" sound, they're together because you slammed together some latin roots. The same thing can't be said for "photographer".

  4. I have to go with Nathaniel on this: I prefer ap-helion. I've been roped into a-felion on occasion, depending on which pronunciation the prof I'm TAing for has used in class, so as not to confuse the poor kiddies even more. Though it's actually Greek roots, but I can't rule out that they didn't pass through Latin on their way to us.

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