Scientific English as a Foreign Language
Answers to Lesson of September 5, 1997
Elaborate and Fabricate

PLEASE don't ever write "The sample was elaborated......" To "elaborate" in English means the following:

ELABORATE (elaborated, elaborating, elaborately, elaborateness, elaborative, elaborator, elaboration):

What you typically want to express is "The sample was fabricated....."

FABRICATE (fabricated, fabricating, fabricative, fabricator, fabrication):

As you can see, the difference in meaning is great. Try these.

1. The sample was fabricated by sputter deposition.
2. This is a very elaborate experiment. It will take many weeks.
3. The work elaborated the procedure at length.
4. The last stage of sample fabrication was accomplished by annealing.
5. The elaborate sample fabrication procedure was the result of many months of hard effort.

A Brief History of Gravity

It filled Gallileo with mirth
To watch his two rocks fall to Earth.
He gladly proclaimed,
"Their rates are the same,
And quite independent of girth!"

Then Newton announced in due course
His own law of gravity's force:
"It goes, I declare,
As the inverted square
Of the distance from object to source."

But remarkably, Einstein's equation
Succeeds to describe gravitation
As spacetime that's curved,
And it's this that will serve
As the planet's unique motivation.

Yet the end of the story's not written;
By a new way of thinking we're smitten.
We twist and turn,
Attempting to learn
The Superstring Theory of Witten!

-B. Elliot

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Created May 11, 1998, by Nancy Burnham and Fred Hutson.