The Internet is funny, because you encounter so many people you'd never meet in real life - and so many situations you'd never encounter in real life.
Yesterday a post appeared in my Facebook news feed discussing a rescue operation that involved someone trying to tow a boat and ended up getting his truck in the water. People had posted a number of snarky remarks along the lines of "How stupid can you be" and "Wannabe boater."
I thought, "That's so cruel." Seriously, even the most experienced person can end up in a bad situation, because things happen. And, if someone is a beginner at something and ends up in trouble you don't tell them they're stupid even if you think they are - you encourage them and give tips on how to do it better.
I posted something along the lines of, "Ooops. Imagine the feeling when the car started to slip. Can't have been fun" and hoped it would awaken some empathy in people. We've all been there at some time or another. You know, when you feel things are starting to go wrong and you can't stop it, and all you can do is go along for the ride and hope for the best. Being helpless isn't a fun feeling.
Of course, people commented on my comment pointing out that it wasn't a car, it was a truck. Because that's the important part in all this...
It made me think, "What do you think a truck is if it's not a car? A spaceship? A submarine?" I didn't write that, but I thought it. lol!
And this leads me to today's topic.
An umbrella term is something that covers a group of things. Some distinguish between umbrella term and blanket term, but it's the same concept. A blanket term covers a group of things that can be very different, but it's easier to use the blanket term than to specify. For example, talking about "Swedes," "Americans," or "pop music" are huge generalizations, but still give an idea of the concept.
I digress. Back on topic...
Airplane is a good example, because most people are less emotionally involved in the different types of planes than they are in different types of cars. Most people who see something flying in the air with wings won't specify "It's a Cessna 172" - we say it's a plane.
Building is another good example. A single-family home is a building. A garage, shed, factory, or hangar are all buildings.
The funny thing is that few people would debate this when it comes to buildings and planes. When it comes to cars they go crazy. But seriously, a sedan is a car. A cabriolet is also a car. Pickup trucks, SUVs, vans and even Ferraris are cars.
And, while I'm ranting about people ranting about language and having no idea what they're talking about (LOL) "penultimate" means second to last. A lot of people use the word as if it meant "most important" but it really doesn't. When someone tells me "It's of penultimate importance" I tend to think it's not important at all. =D