Agglomeration Advisor: Granules and pellets and prills, oh my!
Columnist William H. Engelleitner discusses confusing agglomeration terms.
Syndicated columnist William Safire is a talented linguist who in his regular feature, “On Language,” discusses the origins of words and expressions, historical and current
word meanings, and the ever-changing English language, as well as phrases adopted from other languages that
have become part of our usage. Reading his column, I am often reminded how in the field of size enlargement
(also called agglomeration) terms can be well-defined in most good scientific dictionaries and general dictionaries
such as Merriam-Webster’s, while historical preference and even current industry usage don’t necessarily conform to these dictionary definitions. We commonly use the same term for two very different processes
or agglomerates (products of agglomeration), multiple terms for the same process or product, and outright inaccurate terms for both. This can cause confusion when we try to communicate with one another. With this in
mind, in this column I’m going to explore some common and confusing agglomeration terms.