Thursday, January 14, 2010

Jeremy Clarkson is helping to destroy the English language

What the hell are "torques?" I realize that there is a valid way to use the word, such as to say "calculate the torques exerted at points A and B" but that's not what I'm bitching about.

Jeremy Clarkson often babbles on about whatever car he has just smoked the tread off of while hooning around the track as having "500 hp and 600 torques." I know he's an entertainer and as such about as into accuracy as Rush Limbaugh, but "torques" is not a unit. Horsepower is a unit of measure, torque is a way to describe twisting forces and common units for quantifying torque are newton meter (SI) and foot pound (Imperial.)

It grates on my nerves whenever I hear Clarkson say it, and now I'm starting to see that butchery of the language parroted in automotive blogs. Even Wikipedia has it more or less right, it's NOT hard to find the right way to express such things on the internet.

1 comment:

Scott said...

I was just about to say that torque is not a unit, but you stated that clearly. I have also seen the word misused to the point that I had second guessed my own understanding that was grilled into me at A&M.