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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2008 > May > May 12

Word Court 'UFO'

From: Terry Colvin <fortean1.nul>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2008 01:27:25 -0400 (EDT)
Archived: Mon, 12 May 2008 06:54:11 -0400
Subject: Word Court 'UFO'


Source: The Atlantic Magazine - Washington, DC, USA


June 2008

p. 128

Word Court
by Barbara Wallraff

Edward Doogan of Philadelphia writes:

"I have a question about the term 'UFO'. It is my understanding
that the term refers to any object moving in the sky that the
viewer is unable to identify - hence 'unidentified flying
object'. Now I hear many people use this term to refer to
supposed alien aircraft. It drove me crazy when I heard a host
on a National Public Radio show say that people in Texas thought
they saw a UFO. She meant an alien craft, but she said "UFO". By
definition, they did see a UFO: it was flying in the sky and
they couldn't identify it. Am I right in my understanding of
this term?"

You're right about what the letters stand for, but I think
you're being too literal about what the abbreviation means. Is a
'flying saucer' an actual saucer that flies? Is a 'golden
parachute' either golden or a parachute? 'UFO' is a useful term
that stops short of declaring that, yes, the thing is an alien
spacecraft while leaving open the possibility that it might be


Terry W. Colvin
Sierra Vista

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