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back to article Higgs data shows alternate reality will SWALLOW UNIVERSE

That Higgs Boson we all got excited about last year because it would reveal the mysteries of the universe? One boffin now says his analysis of the data suggests the Higgs is, in fact, an obituary for the universe. Speaking at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Boston yesterday, Joseph Lykken of …

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Headmaster

Alternative

It's alternative.

You mean to employ an adjective there but have erroneously deployed a verb.

The source managed to get it right in the quotation... but El Reg just couldn't quite manage to transcribe a snippet into a title without completely buggering up the grammar.

Tut, tut.

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Headmaster

Re: Alternative

No, alternate can definitely be used as a noun or an adjective in American according to Webster and is found in older English writers, e.g. Pope ("alternate passions fall and rise").

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Re: Alternative

You see that's the wonder of English prose, even when it's wrong, it's write.

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Silver badge

Re: Alternative

Alternative: another exclusive option

Alternating: changing between two or more options with some sort of pattern.

Hence, "I never wanted to grow old, but I disliked the alternative more." "The colour test consisted of alternating blocks of red, green and blue."

Dunno what the dictionary says, but that's my definition.

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Re: Alternative

It's either 'alternating' or 'alternative'.

Alternate is incorrect.

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Re: Alternative

Alternative?

You mean lots of leather and bad guitars?

It could be a nirvana for some, I suppose.

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Re: Alternative

Well, I'veonly got my Pocket Fowler (Oxford Fowler's Modern English Usage) here with me at work, but:

p37-38:

alternate, alternative

1 Both words are adjectives and nouns and come from Latin alternus meaning 'every second' and have had closely related meanings over several centuries of use.

Fowler does say that these days alternate as a noun is much less common, though more common in American English, though alternate as a noun meaning a variant was in use in the 18c.

Garner (Garner's Modern American Usage) is also OK with 'alternate' as both noun and adjective. For use as a noun:

alternate; alternative. A. As Nouns. Alternative is needed far more often than alternate.

.

.

Alternate = (1) something that proceeds by turns with another; or (2) one that substitutes for another.

The Chicago Manual of Style recognises bothuses as well:

"alternate, adj. & n.; alternative, adj. & n. Alternate implies (1) substitute for another {we took the alternate route} or (2) taking turns with another {her alternate chaired the meeting}. Alternative implies a choice between two or more things {I prefer the second alternative}."

OK. I'll shut up now. I've probably been doing too much editing :-). I'd better stop before we get into whether it's OK to start sentences with conjunctions (er - yes. It is. According to Garner, Fowler and Chicago anyway, and that's good enough for me and my Editors :-P).

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Devil

Not a big deal

Won't this mean some of us grow goatie-beards, wear leather and plot to murder our boss? (not all changed then)

And Apple will be a charity for the homeless and abandoned kittens.

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Trollface

Obligatory Daily Fail angle

It will drive down house prices!!

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Re: Obligatory Daily Fail angle

You forgot the "...coming over here from an alternative universe and taking all our reality..." bit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Obligatory Daily Fail angle

And from the Daily Express "complete eradication of cancer predicted" and "would Diana have saved the Universe?"

And in the Sun "Lisa, 19 from Cardiff, says 'now I know that the universe is going to implode there's no point in putting my top on'"

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Pint

Re: Obligatory Daily Fail angle

It will drive down house prices!!

Bubbles always drive prices UP!

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Joke

Re: You can't bake a universe without breaking Higgs

I want a Unicorn - should save on fuel ....which could save the Planet long enough for a Unicorn to come play with it!

Result!

Pass the Teapot (and BTW, you definitely get a Nobel vote from me, your theory is at least as probable as some schmuck claiming that (maybe, he's not TOO sure of his numbers) we will all die ...someday!

<drinks Tea, as his Coffee limit for the day already reached>

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TRT
Silver badge

Re: You can't bake a universe without breaking Higgs

Unicorns? A source of cheap filler for burgers...

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Bad news? I think not

In the current state of things as we understand them, everything will continue forever. At some point the stars run out of fuel though, and the universe will become a rather dull place.

This seems a much nicer alternative.

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TRT
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Re: Vacuum state of the universe

Is that anything to do with a Dyson sphere?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Vacuum state of the universe

The dodgiest thing of all is how big the Universe was supposed to be at the end of inflation - about a centimetre across. The period of inflation has to be extremely small to expand to that size while exceeding the speed of light at the moving boundary.

I get the feeling that most journalists who refer to "inflation" think of the Universe as being quite big at the time.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Vacuum state of the universe

No, a Dyson sphere is an all too real construct designed to frustrate people who just wanted to get the dust off the floor. Personally I prefer VAX, simply because it shares a name with a minicomputer that also blew a lot of hot air out of a hole round the back,

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Silver badge

Re: Vacuum state of the universe

To put the whole 120 orders of magnitude thing in context, it is worth remembering that the difference between the shortest lengh in the universe (if we accept that this is what the Planck lenth is) and the (postulated) size of the universe itself is only around 61 orders. Being out by 40 orders of magnitude is ridiculously bad, 120 orders just doesn't compute.

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Expanding bubble of doom? Milla Jovovich will save us.

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Boffin

Well that's a relief!

Granted, that's the worst-case scenario. The destruction however might be limited merely to our own galaxy

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Alert

We need Donnie Darko

The rules of the tangent universe were documented by Roberta Sparrow (Grandma Death); we need water to form the portal between the two universes and be on the lookout for an unusual metal object that is the transitional artifact vessel.

Oh and we need Maggie and Jake Gyllenhall to tell each other to "Go s*ck a f*ck"

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JDX
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A little bubble of an ‘alternative' universe will appear and then expand out and destroy us

Isn't that at least 2 episodes of StarTrek TNG/DS9?

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Silver badge

Re: A little bubble of an ‘alternative' universe will appear and then expand out and destroy us

No, that was anti-time. Completely different bubble of death.

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JDX
Gold badge

Re: A little bubble of an ‘alternative' universe will appear and then expand out and destroy us

S2E17 "Playing God"

While Dax mentors her first Trill initiate, a proto-universe threatens to destroy the station and Bajor.

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Silver badge

Re: A little bubble of an ‘alternative' universe will appear and then expand out and destroy us

OK, so there are *two* bubbles of death In Star Trek. My one was the last two episodes of TNG, All Good Things. My apologies for doubting your Trekkiness.

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WTF?

Wow

wow

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Boffin

@ Change an input and “you get a different end of the universe.

The current uncertainty bounds straddle the bang/whimper boundary.

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TRT
Silver badge

Re: @ Change an input and “you get a different end of the universe.

Step through that door and the anomaly will be corrected...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ Change an input and “you get a different end of the universe.

Upvoted for sneaking T S Eliot into a thread on cosmology.

Perhaps there is another universe out there that consists entirely of dark matter. Then it could have begun, not with a bang, but a WIMPer.

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Anonymous Coward

Relax.....

By that time, the ever expanding big bang remmnants (i.e. us) would have dissipated into nothingness anyway.

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