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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Will S.F. Scientists' 'Seminal' Work Lead to Terms Such as 'Ball-Sack-Like'?

Posted By on Wed, Jan 28, 2009 at 10:10 AM

click to enlarge "Not unlike a ball sack, no..."
  • "Not unlike a ball sack, no..."
This month, San Francisco medical scientists cured a rash of British prudery by demonstrating that the term "seminal" -- a word meaning both "semen-like", and "highly original and influencing the development of future events" -- does not constitute sexist language.

In September, the Telegraph of London reported the British Sociological Association had recommended the banishing of the terms "seminal" and "disseminate" because they are derived from the word "semen" and thus imply a male-dominated world.

The January issue of the journal Stem Cells, however reported that scientists at UC San Francisco and Stanford University have succeeded in isolating stem cells from human testes possessing an ability -- not unlike embryonic stem cells -- to divide into different types of human tissue. They termed them multipotent germline stem cells for their quality of -- get this -- being highly original and influencing development of future events.

Thanks to the San Francisco research, British sociologists may now be compelled to refer to influential scholarship as "ball-sack-like," rather than "seminal," and the dissemination of literature as "to spunk the literature."

As usual, research has shown that British sociologists might best have left well enough alone.


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Matt Smith

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