Education: What's the Word?

It all began, as so many things in Britain do, with a letter to the London Times. Sir Alfred Hurst, chairman of the London Builders' Conference, had a question: "Is this new word of the scientists, 'fissionable,' admissionable?" With that, the debate was on.

Both scientists and laymen had ideas, and all week long they aired them to their hearts' content. "In my opinion, even though I am a scientist." wrote Chemist A. L. Bacharach, "fissionable (an Americanism, I believe), is not admissible, though fissile is." Nonsense, cried a gentleman from Churchfields. Woodford, "it is unquestionable that 'fissionable' is objectionable to...