Proofreading in the Yellowstone volcano article

In the article about the Yellowstone volcano, Is Yellowstone Park sitting on a supervolcano that’s about to blow?, Cecil mentions that the Yellowstone supervolcano, while potentially problematic should it supererupt, is only number nineteen on the USGS list of dangerous volcanoes. He also mentions that one of the more dangerous ones is “Kilueha.”


I hate to be a spelling nazi, but it’s Kilauea.

Anglicization of Polynesian names isn’t standardized. The spelling given undoubtedly reflects our house style, which is basically the Chicago Reader’s house style. Reader style tends to be idiosyncratic. If you’re interested I can ask Jim the copyeditor why we do it that way.

Thanks for the clarification on that, Ed; I was unaware that such considerations existed, and yes I would be interested in the reason for the Reader’s idiosyncratic style.

FWIW, I would still have a sense that an Anglicization, however idiosyncratic, should attempt to preserve the Polynesian pronunciation, and I confess I can’t see how key-LOO (to rhyme with MOO)-ay-HAH (Kilueha) preserves key-LOW (to rhyme with COW)-ay-AH (Kilauea).

But I’m also the guy who has a personal problem with the way certain Chinese terms are Anglicized (if they want it pronounced fung shway, they shouldn’t spell it like they want it pronounced FENG SHWEE). :slight_smile:

I would be VERY interested in why you do it that way, because when I Google “Kilueha”, I get only 6 pages of results, none of which are from anything official (and the 6th of which is Unca Cece’s article! :D). You can imagine that Googling “Kiluaea” produces just a few more results. :wink:

Besides, the volcano has an officially recognized Anglicized name, which, presumably, we should be using.

Nice informative article Cecil, but you neglected to point out that the Park has been experiencing a “swarm” of earthquakes up to 3.8, I believe, in just the past two weeks and that many of the trails have been closed since 2005 due to the fact that they are too “hot” to walk on! These recent quakes indicate, according to some scientists, that the warning signs have begun!

An NPR article I heard on the way home tonight would perhaps be the other side of the story. The geologist from the Park Service indicated that the swarm in 1985? was much more severe. Perhaps things are lessening?

This has got to be a daunting situation for poor Jim. Question 18 of the Who is this man called Cecil Adams? reports that “Veteran Straight Dope readers may remember that a column once referred to ‘talking books for the deaf.’ Very funny. It was a new copyboy’s first day on the job. His body has never been found.”

So I fear something like: “‘Kilueha,’ Jim? Kilueha? Oh well, it’s into the volcano with you.” Let’s just hope Jim the copyeditor has his cites ready…

Lawd. You sound like a copy editor.

… while I fear to derail the thread, I do have a burning question: Is Jim the Copyeditor related to Joe the Plumber? Or are they on the same TV show?

I don’t think so…LOOK! :eek:

Posted by geologist Christopher C. Sanders on January 1, 2009.

“I am advising all State officials around Yellowstone National Park for a potential State of Emergency. In the last week over 252 earthquakes have been observed by the USGS. We have a 3D view on the movement of magma rising underground. We have all of the pre warning signs of a major eruption from a super volcano. - I want everyone to leave Yellowstone National Park and for 200 miles around the volcano caldera.”

Sanders is apparently a private geologist, not connected with the USGS or any official group.

And if this is the same guy, he does not inspire confidence.

The web page itself does not inspire confidence in the author! Somebody needs to set up a web programming course for “The end of the world is coming!!!” nuts.

I never said the “end was coming!” I was only pointing out that constant swarms have been occurring since Dec. 26, 2008. The USGS DOES say that over 400 earthquakes have occurred since Dec. 26, 2008. I checked the govt. sites, University of Utah, etc. and stats first and got to this geologist from a link on one of those sites. Anyone who wants to debate or ignore facts will still be in denial even after an event occurs.

Obviously, time will tell what or when an event is happening in Yellowstone. As someone who lived in the Northwest when St. Helens erupted in 1980, we lived in darkness for several days and it caught us totally by surprise. No one was warned then either and this is a sulfuric supervolcano, for Heaven’s sakes! An eruption is now 20,000 to 60,000 years overdue by ALL estimates I’ve seen so far and the last two eruptions wrecked havoc for a 600-mile radius. If such an event was coming soon and the government actually knew about it, do you really believe they would have the means to move everyone out of the parameter areas, and set them up somewhere else until the event happened? Obviously, NOT! Getting the facts and information is easy for those individuals who care about truth and reality.

Hugs to all,

Calm down. Seriously. Your source is a lunatic.

For anyone interested, the NPR show has a transcript Here. The National Park Service geologist is named Hank Heasler.

The audio interview takes about 4 mins.

Not sure whether you misunderstood me (and thus may have thought I insulted you). I wasn’t referring to you when I said “the author…”; I was referring to the author of the web page you cited.

Having lived in Hawaii 2-1/2 years and visiting the volcano itself, I must say this is the first time I’ve ever encountered the Kilueha spelling. In Hawaii itself, all you see is Kilauea. And not just for the volcano on the Big Island; there’s also a nice little town on the island of Kauai called Kilauea, I believe named after the same location in Hawaiian mythology.

*It has been reported that approximately 500 small earthquakes measuring up to 3.9 magnitude have occurred at Yellowstone since December 27 of last year. It is being said that although tremors are common in this area, it is not common to have so many in such a short period of time.

Professor Robert B. Smith, a geophysicist at the University of Utah, says that because it is not normal they are paying close attention to the activity.

According to Howard Pankratz of The Denver Post: ‘Earthquake swarm’ continues to rock Yellowstone – The Denver Post *

Check it out…

Peace and hugs to all.

Yes there have been many earthquakes before around there. (I think 3000 in 3 months in the 80’s). However you combine record rate a ground swell due to magma buildup and now earthquakes and it does seem a little nerve wracking.

On consulting with the copy desk, I’ve established that this wasn’t an example of idiosyncratic Reader style, this was a mistake - the spelling Kilueha isn’t unheard of, but certainly rare. The column has been amended. To avoid a repetition of such embarrassments, some thought was given to subjecting the copyediting department to the volcano treatment described above. On second thought, however, we put Jim in charge of caring for an infant who evidently never sleeps. That’ll teach him.

The idea that an event with a geologic scale of hundreds of thousands of years can be judged regular enough to be “overdue” has been debunked several times.

So they wouldn’t even try? What purpose would a coverup serve? Oh, right, “to prevent a panic.” Wouldn’t that just delay the panic until after the event?