Author Topic: Word suggestion - arclight  (Read 414 times)


  • Eulexic
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Word suggestion - arclight
« on: November 06, 2019, 11:33:20 AM »
re the lethargic game.

I tried arclight and got 'sorry, not known'.
A check in COD indeed showed it written as two words;

Wiktionary, however, does show it as a single word, as does the Google Ngram viewer.

It would be logical; most other -light compounds (spotlight, headlight, footlight etc) seem to be written that way.


  • Lexicomane
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Re: Word suggestion - arclight
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2019, 09:25:24 PM »
I didn't see ARCLIGHT but I agree with Mikes logic.


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Re: Word suggestion - arclight
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2019, 07:09:52 AM »
Arclight was also the name given to a B-52 carpet bombing raid. Originally, Operation Arclight was the name given to deployment of B-52s to Guam, in order to provide bombing support for operations in Vietnam, but the name became a standard term for deploying B-52s to saturate an area with bombs from high altitude.

An Arclight raid was terrifying to experience for those on the ground. B-52s flew in formations of 16 aircraft, each carrying 30 tons of bombs. The bombs were unloaded from an altitude of 40,000 feet, from which altitude they took 13 minutes to reach the ground, by which time the B-52s had turned round and were already 130 miles away from the target. The bombers could not be seen or heard by people in the target zone, so when the saturation rain of bombs arrived, it was literally as if they had come from nowhere. Furthermore, the raids were accurate - they could deliver their saturation bomb loads within an area of about 400 square metres if so desired, which meant that anything in that area was pulverised by 480 tons of high explosive arriving all at once.

To give an indication of the effect these raids had, a captured Vietcong officer, who had endured Arclight raids within the tunnels that the Vietcong dug to hide their activities, has suffered such a degree of shell shock, that if someone clapped their hands behind him by surprise, he spontaneously soiled his trousers. In the case of anyone caught above ground when the bombs landed, the shock waves turned them into an aerosol.

Planners at the former Strategic Air Command, once the B83 nuclear bomb was available, even came up with the idea of a nuclear Arclight. A single B-52 could carry 16 of these weapons, each with a 1 megaton yield, and a formation could theoretically unload 256 of these weapons at once over a target area, again from 40,000 feet, giving the crews 13 minutes to get out of the target zone. So a nuclear Arclight, if ever it had been deployed in anger, would have obliterated everything within a 30 mile radius once the bombs landed.

That's right, someone actually came up with the idea of nuclear carpet bombing.
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Alan W

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Re: Word suggestion - arclight
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2019, 12:38:28 PM »
From what I can see, arclight is used less often than arc-light, which in turn is used less often than arc light. And all of these are used much less frequently than arc lamp.

One place where the single-word form is used fairly often is India, often in relation to the movie industry. For example, the news website, on 3 September: "After working for six decades, Dilip Kumar bid adieu to the arclights in 1998." But even in India, arc light is used more often.

On balance, I'm not convinced the word ought to be added.
Alan Walker
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