<The trickster microbes> that are shaking up the tree of life

NewAmerica

Senior Member
Mandarin
If "The trickster microbes that are shaking up the tree of life" be written as "
The impostor microbes that are shaking up the tree of life", would the meaning remain the same? What is the nuance between?

Source: nature 14 MAY 2019
 
  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Trickster and impostor do not mean the same thing
    Loki is portrayed as a scheming coward who cares only for shallow pleasures and self-preservation. He’s by turns playful, malicious, and helpful, but he’s always irreverent and nihilistic.
    An impostor/imposter is "one who pretends to be another in order to deceive someone:"
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    These microbes are causing problems for classification and history, but it would be unfair to describe them seriously as trickster microbes. The word is used solely because they're named after Loki, the archetypal trickster-god.
     
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