Becoming extinct

Many people mistakenly think that Nature, the journal for which I work, is a "nature" magazine (in the sense of "furry animals") as opposed to a "magazine of the natural sciences". Anyone who read Nature would find 60 very heavy pages a week of technical scientific research from astronomy through to structural biology (we order each week from the cosmos to the biological molecule, running through physics, geology, zoology, immunology and cell biology en route, with all points between). We also publish a front "half" of news, reviews and stimulating comment, including book reviews and correspondence, my two favourite sections — but I think fair to say most of it aimed at professional scientists.

We get a lot of mail a day, and I mean a lot. Much of it consists of sober, or less, sober manuscript submissions. Some comes from journalists, others from readers. Most these days is over the web or by email.

Here is an example from today (Sacha is my colleague who operates the email account). I just think it is so nice that people care enough to ask a question like this from several thousand miles away — and are confident that we will know the answer! (Hope I got it right, punctuation people.)

mapletree7 said…

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Every time I see ‘went extinct’ I wince.

12:59 AM

Dave Lull said…

FWIW just as something of a confirmation here are the results of a Google battle

\"became extinct\" VS. \"went extinct\"
\"became extinct\" 470,000 (view)
\"went extinct\" 135,000 (view)
Total Pages Searched: 605,000
GoogleBattle winner is \"became extinct\"

4:29 PM

Maxine said…

Thank you, both. Though I hope the day will not come when we have to rely on Google battles for our grammar, it is a fun way to look at it.
I’ll ask one of our subeditors to put "became extinct" into the Nature style manual!

9:22 PM