"March 1, 2018 Newsletter"
Our newsletters are dedicated to the discussion of waterfalls, rapids and spillways of Wisconsin... searching for new ones, discussing new details about sites already known, and discussions of general interest. If you have not yet subscribed to our free newsletters you can do so below.
This issue is about definitions... What is a waterfall, a rapids, or a spillway? A “boring” subject but we have problems with many dictionary definitions! Read the dictionary definitions below and then read our suggestions... your comments and thoughts welcome!
A perpendicular or very steep
descent of the water of a stream.
Dictionary.com: A steep fall or
flow of water in a watercourse from a
from a river or stream falling over an
edge of rock to a much lower level.
A waterfall is a place where water
flows over a vertical drop or a series
of steep drops in the course of a
stream or river. Oxford:
A cascade of water falling from a
height, formed when a river or stream
flows over a precipice or steep
incline. Collins English:
A waterfall is a place
where water flows over the edge of a
steep, high cliff in hills or
mountains, and falls into a pool
below. National Geographic:
waterfall is a river or other body of
water's steep fall over a rocky ledge
into a plunge pool below.
Thesaurus: A steep descent of the
water of a river.
Spillways: Webster: a passage for surplus water to run over or around an obstruction (such as a dam). Dictionary.com: A passageway through which surplus water escapes from a reservoir, lake, or the like. Cambridge: a passage for extra water from a lake created by a dam. Wikipedia: A structure used to provide the controlled release of flows from a dam or levee into a downstream area, typically the riverbed of the dammed river itself. Oxford: a passage for surplus water from a dam. Collins English: channel that carries away surplus water, as from a dam. National Geographic: A channel or passageway through which flood/surplus water escapes or release safely from a reservoir or dam. Theaurus: A channel for an overflow of water, as from a reservoir.
We have problems with several waterfall definitions... Cambridge says “much lower levels” (does not have to be “much” lower)!... Wikipedia says “series of steep drops” (does not have to be a “series”)!... Collins says “high cliff” and “falls into a pool” (does not have to be a “high cliff” and does not have to “fall into a pool”)!... National Geographic says “rocky ledge” and “plunge pool” (does not have to be a “rocky ledge” or “plunge pool”)!... Thesaurus says “river” (does not have to be a “river”). Note that only three of the eight definitions preclude a spillway from being a “waterfall”! The definitions in rapids are mostly good... Cambridge says “dangerous”, “steep” and “narrow” (a rapids does not have to be “dangerous”, “steep”, or “narrow”)! The definitions in spillways are mostly good... Cambridge says “lake” and “dam” (does not have to be a “lake” or a “dam”)!... Wikipedia says “controlled” (does not have to be “controlled”)!... Oxford says “dam” (does not have to be a “dam”)!... National Geographic says “reservoir or dam” (does not have to be a “reservoir or dam”)!
Our suggestions for definitions (which
we intend to pursue with dictionary
people) would be as follows:
perpendicular or steep descent of
water in a stream”;
Rapids... “A part of
a stream where the current moves
swiftly, the surface being usually
broken by obstructions”;
passageway for water to run over an
Regards to everyone and Happy