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Old 03-09-2018, 10:00 PM
Melbourne Melbourne is offline
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The Dark Side of the Moon

Did Pink Floyd invent the phrase "Dark Side of the Moon"? Or were people already confused about that before they used the idea?
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Old 03-09-2018, 10:06 PM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is offline
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Huh? Astronomers were already well aware of the Moon's lack of rotation on it's axis, hence it's constant dark side. For the Floyd, it was a euphemism.
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Old 03-09-2018, 10:16 PM
blondebear blondebear is offline
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..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry O'Driscoll
There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it's all dark.

Last edited by blondebear; 03-09-2018 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 03-09-2018, 10:17 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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It's a very old phrase, findable in the 19th century and early 20th century, as in this cite from 1916.

Quote:
Some part of the moon is always lighted up by the sun, but there is a time when we can't see that lighted side. This is during that part of its trip about the earth when it gets exactly between us and the sun; the lighted side is then toward the sun and away from us, and we see nothing. This occurs at the end of the fourth and beginning of the first quarters, or at moon.” The dark side of the moon being turned toward us, we are in “the dark of the moon.” AS the moon emerges from its position ...
As in that quote, the usage was mostly astronomical and the meaning was the unlit side rather than the side facing away from Earth. A few cites can also be found for "far side of the moon" meaning the side that never gets lit and therefore was never observed by astronomers.

It seems to have mostly dropped out of common use by the time Pink Floyd used it.


Here's an earlier thread
arguing about what the phrase means. (I thought we had just done this, but I didn't find it.)
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Old 03-09-2018, 10:20 PM
DPRK DPRK is offline
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In defence of astronomers, I hope you meant they were aware of the rotation of the Moon on its axis. Whence the pretty phases.

ETA the hard-to-observe side is so because of tidal locking, not because it's always dark there.

Last edited by DPRK; 03-09-2018 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 03-09-2018, 11:21 PM
DPRK DPRK is offline
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ETA2 for "whence the pretty phases" substitute "and the pretty phases". Anyway, I see the astronomical meaning of the phrase has been adequately addressed.
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Old 03-10-2018, 02:29 AM
Novelty Bobble Novelty Bobble is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoieGrasIsEvil View Post
Huh? Astronomers were already well aware of the Moon's lack of rotation on it's axis, hence it's constant dark side. For the Floyd, it was a euphemism.
Just for the sake of clarity, The moon does rotate on its axis (but it does so at the same rate it orbits the earth) and all faces of the moon get sunlight ( but we on the earth don't get to see all faces when lit by the sun)
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Old 03-10-2018, 05:32 AM
Ludovic Ludovic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melbourne View Post
Did Pink Floyd invent the phrase "Dark Side of the Moon"? Or were people already confused about that before they used the idea?
I'm not sure why you think there was any "confusion". "Dark" in this case means "obscured" or "hidden". Other instances of this are "Dark Energy", "Dark Matter", and "Deepest Darkest Africa" although the last two can also imply things other than obscurity.
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Old 03-10-2018, 09:42 AM
John DiFool John DiFool is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoieGrasIsEvil View Post
Huh? Astronomers were already well aware of the Moon's lack of rotation on it's axis, hence it's constant dark side. For the Floyd, it was a euphemism.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
Just for the sake of clarity, The moon does rotate on its axis (but it does so at the same rate it orbits the earth) and all faces of the moon get sunlight ( but we on the earth don't get to see all faces when lit by the sun)
I think it might have just gotten a bit more breezy in here...
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Old 03-10-2018, 09:46 AM
WordMan WordMan is offline
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I assumed that the OP was asking whether Dark Side of the Moon was an existing metaphor for “on the other side of crazy” - I don’t know but I only heard it via the album

I assumed the metaphor came about because the dark side of the moon was long-known thing that Waters seized upon.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:01 AM
Novelty Bobble Novelty Bobble is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John DiFool View Post
I think it might have just gotten a bit more breezy in here...
Not really, whether the post I replied to was joking or not I don't know as it isn't possible to tell from the post itself, hence my use of the words "for the sake of clarity'"
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:07 AM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoieGrasIsEvil View Post
Astronomers were already well aware of the Moon's lack of rotation on it's axis, hence it's constant dark side.
Astronomers knew that? I think they knew something different.

1. The moon does rotate on its axis, at an angular rate that equals the rate of revolution of its orbit around Earth due to tidal locking. That's why it always keeps the same side facing Earth. Since the moon's orbit is slightly elliptical, there's a slight apparent "wobble" that lets just a bit over 50% of the surface be visible from earth.

2. The far side gets as much sunlight as the near side. The side that's dark is the side that happens to be facing away from the Sun at any given moment. You can see the edge of the shadow on most nights.
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Old 03-10-2018, 04:27 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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In any event, I don't see how the Pink Floyd song could contribute to any confusion about the actual physical moon. There really isn't any meaningful astronomical content to the song.
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Old 03-10-2018, 05:38 PM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
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You mean everything under the Sun isn't in tune?
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Old 03-10-2018, 08:01 PM
drad dog drad dog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WordMan View Post
I assumed that the OP was asking whether Dark Side of the Moon was an existing metaphor for “on the other side of crazy” - I don’t know but I only heard it via the album

I assumed the metaphor came about because the dark side of the moon was long-known thing that Waters seized upon.
Is that a thing you read? I always thought it was just a vaguely existential image that could be death, madness, alienation, the good stuff.
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Old 03-10-2018, 09:37 PM
blondebear blondebear is offline
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Followup question: Is the Dark Side of The Moon the same side as the Bad Side Of The Moon?

Last edited by blondebear; 03-10-2018 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 03-11-2018, 12:38 AM
Lucas Jackson Lucas Jackson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
In any event, I don't see how the Pink Floyd song could contribute to any confusion about the actual physical moon. There really isn't any meaningful astronomical content to the song.
Album, not song.
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Old 03-11-2018, 04:52 AM
WordMan WordMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drad dog View Post
Is that a thing you read? I always thought it was just a vaguely existential image that could be death, madness, alienation, the good stuff.
I believe we’re saying the same thing: living your life with that existential dread, the good stuff, always present. Living in a place that is constant in its dark, cold, alienation.
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Old 03-12-2018, 10:28 AM
Just Asking Questions Just Asking Questions is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves View Post
You mean everything under the Sun isn't in tune?
No, but it is in chune.
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Old 03-12-2018, 05:47 PM
bibliophage bibliophage is offline
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The confusion between the dark side and the far side of the moon apparently goes back to at least 1810, as this blog attests.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grammarphobia blog
In fact, the earliest published reference for “the dark side of the moon” in the database, from the Oct. 1, 1810, issue of the Rural Visitor, a Burlington, NJ, newspaper, seems to be an example of confusion:

“Men may be found possessing great professional knowledge, much integrity, and yet be as utterly unnoticed as though they tenanted the dark side of the moon.”

...

As for the 1973 Pink Floyd album, The Dark Side of the Moon, it’s probably responsible for some of the recent confusion.

But from what we’ve read, the band chose the title as an allusion to the dark side of lunacy, not of Luna.
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Old 03-13-2018, 09:22 AM
DesertDog DesertDog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blondebear View Post
Followup question: Is the Dark Side of The Moon the same side as the Bad Side Of The Moon?
Side, my ass. The whole thing is bad.
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