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A. C. Fraser-Smith writes in Eos (June 18, 1985, p. 498) a satirical note complaining about the use of the term “magnetosphere” to describe a nonspherical phenomenon. It is as though all other English words had logical origins.

What is really fun about our language is the tracing of words back to their original roots. Future generations will find excitement in learning that at the time “magnetosphere” was coined, the phenomenon thereby described was believed to be quasi-spherical.