Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I have mentioned many ships in my posts that ought to be famous. Now I will have a post on one that has become part of the English language. We say the phrase "titanic disaster" and take the word "titanic" to mean some colossal disaster, not simply a huge object, not because it is an old part of speech, as it used to mean "large", but because in 1912 a colossal liner sank in the north Atlantic. I am, of course talking of White Star's Titanic. The disaster that gave her undying fame could have easily been avoided. With such a large piece of steel sailing at high speed though iceberg country, a disaster was bound to happen. She should have gone to full stop until morning. After all, the passengers would not have cared much, as she was a floating palace rivaling the best hotels in Europe. She probably should not have even been that far north, as she could have just sailed right across the open ocean. Murdoch could have kept going at full speed toward the Iceberg so his ship could turn faster. Also, if the ship had rammed the iceberg straight on, she could have still limped to Canada. And obviously, she should have had more lifeboats. But as things turned out, the Titanic did strike an iceberg, and the lesson was learned, and never again would a liner carry too few lifeboats.