Posted by: Rose | May 28, 2009

True Story

Three geologists were returning, on a train, from fieldwork in Scotland.  As you would imagine they were reviewing their trip, basically talking ‘shop’.

They were joined on their table seat by an unsuspecting member of the public, Mr Joe Bloggs. When Joe got up to leave the train, he could no longer contain himself. With more than a hint of worry in his voice, he asked if they were from the MoD. He wanted to know if they had been talking in code!!! The poor man had been sat there the entire journey, terrified that he was eavesdropping upon a conversation of top security.

I was recently talking to an A-Level geology teacher about how the best thing his prospective students can have for studying the subject is a good memory. Like all sciences, geology has a language all of its own.

If I do a quick trawl of my memory, this is what falls out….

hornblende, greenschist, porphyroblast, recumbent folds, allochthonous, pahoehoe, lath, galena, rhyolite, turbidite, dextral, strike-slip, horst and graben, cleavage, groundmass, ophiolite, anticline, psammite, pyroxene, orthorombic, gniess, belemnite, isotropic, ductile and, of course, garnet.

The Ammonite. The world's most popular fossil?

The Ammonite. The public's favourite fossil?



  1. I like the garnet cleavage personally 🙂

    Oh and what about fish-head and thingumy? (Sorry, memory’s crap. Why I never became a geologist)

    • Ahem! Pilchard and Catfish (aka Pitcher and Berger)

      • I rest my case y’honor

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