Friday, November 30, 2012

light-year: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Friday, November 30, 2012

“Light-year” is always a measure of distance rather than of time; in fact it is the distance that light travels in a year. “Parsec” is also a measure of distance, equaling 3.26 light-years, though the term was used incorrectly as a measure of time by Han Solo in Star Wars.

Please, Star Wars fans, don’t bother sending me elaborate explanations of why Solo’s speech makes sense; I personally heard George Lucas admit in a TV interview that it was just a mistake.

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