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March 21, 2016


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Small typo: it should be "thermionic tube" (because electrons are released by heating an element).

But an interesting journey from wondering why an obscure bit of technology should be your word of the week, to an example of intelligent use of social media.

Jamie: Thanks -- fixed!

I don't know why journalists are suddenly using "shuttered" so much, but it looks like the word has really only been used since about the beginning of the twentieth century, and it's used the most by novelists (mostly in the literal sense) and journalists (mostly in the figurative sense).

I haven't really looked through the data thoroughly, but after glancing through the hits for a couple of decades, I'd say it appears that the figurative sense is on the rise in recent years.

@Jonathon: I picture an elegant old train with wooden shutters. A hand reaches across, from just out of the frame, and slowly lowers the slats...

Thyristors were *not* identified as the cause of the power surge. The thyristors were burned out by the high voltage spike on the affected section of track. This causes the propulsion motors to stop working and the affected cars to be taken off the trains.

Cthulu: Thanks for clarifying!

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