Discovery of an Invention

Janey walked into the dining room where her father sat reading a book. Beside her floated a bundle of wires connected to a sealed cannister, altogether about the size of a basketball. “Dad! I invented antigravity!”

He didn’t look up from his book. “You can’t invent a phenomenon, Janey. You can only discover it. Einstein didn’t invent general relativity, he discovered it.”

She sighed in exasperation. “Fine. I discovered antigravity, except for how it’s been a theoretical thing for decades. I invented a way to harness and use it.”

“That is also a discovery,” he said. “How physical laws can interact to produce an antigravity effect. What you invented is a device that takes advantage of that discovery.” He turned the page.

“God, Dad, fine. I’m not even going to show you the other cool thing I ‘discovered.'” She pulled out something that looked a bit like an electric razor. With a little fiddling, it hummed and the air around her and her device shimmered. A moment later they were gone.

Nose still deep in his book, her father said, “Janey, use of the proper words is important for effective communication. I’m just trying to help.” He turned the page.

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