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Field Notes

Covering the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest

March 22, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Kelp Armageddon, or Kelpocalypse? You be the judge!

Time for a guest post, this from Andy Ritchie, restoration hydrologist on the Elwha project for the National Park Service. Our subject: kelp.

He had some interesting feedback on my post about the sediment in the Elwha blowing out the kelp at the mouth of the Elwha as restoration kicks in all the way to saltwater. Kelp Armageddon, you see. Or, maybe Kelpocalypse? Here’s Andy, in the email last night:

“I enjoyed your blog post on the ongoing ecosystem shift in the algal community in the vicinity of the mouth of the Elwha.

“However, I propose that the term “Kelpocalypse” would be more suitable. I believe that it is a better candidate because (1) it sounds cooler and (2) Armageddon is a specific place name for a battle (which is in a sense appropriate), while ‘Apocalypse’ is sort of a disaster and a triumph at the same time (like the Elwha dam removal) AND ‘Kelpocalypse’ nicely changes the original word to not make it ironic when you talk about burying kelp. On the other hand, if you said, ‘kelp apocalypse,’ that would be ironic, which is sort of beautiful:

” ‘Apocalypse’ is from the ancient Greek ἀπό (apo) [away from] + καλύπτω (kaluptō) [to cover], meaning a ‘lifting of the veil,’ which obviously is NOT happening with the kelp, BUT that’s captured in the word kelpocalypse, since the ‘apo’ goes away, and thus we’re left with ‘kelpocalypse’ or, as I like to think of it, ‘the covering o’ the kelp.’ ”

“In closing, here’s why kelpocalypse is a word: http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2013/mar/11/why-we-need-invent-new-words.”

Well. So what do you think? Is he onto something here?

Who’s going to argue with The Guardian?

I’m kind of liking kelpocalypse … though it is quite the tongue twister. And it’s giving my spell check fits.

 

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