Science: Faux Pas

Just as it is a bloomer to talk about the price of sea foods to a man whose wife has died of oyster ptomaine—a faux pas to discuss prohibition in a house recently disgraced by the tippling of its breadwinner—so it is a serious breach of taste to "speak of earthquakes in California. Ever since the geological disaster in San Francisco in 1906, all convulsions of the earth's crust have been referred to euphemistically; people do not say "since the earthquake" but "since the fire." What must be the courage, then, of Dr....

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