Casting or fly fishing, like any other hobby, has it’s own language. Part of the process of ‘joining the club’ is that at first you are perplexed then you gain some understanding then you become perplexed again as you realise you don’t actually know as much as you thought you did. I expect the final stage is when you do know something and are regarded as something of an authority, I hope to find out one day, I am still in one of the perplexed phases, not sure which one, I just hope it’s the second stage perplexion.
First phase perplexion (is there such a word?) is when you ask questions but don’t understand the answers. As you gradually start to understand some of the answers you move into the understanding phase. Because your understanding is now a lot better your questions get a bit more complex, and if you are really unlucky the anwers may involve mathmatical formulae. If you are an Engineer you now move into a different class, if you are a poet you go back to being perplexed.
It also doesn’t help when different countries use the same word to describe a different action than we would use the word for, and then you get objections from Engineers to terms that are more strictly related to geometry rather than maths. If I said casting arc to a poet I suspect he would immediately know what I was on about, but the word arc to an Engineer means something entirely different so now we try and use the description casting angle, ie, the change of the angle of the butt during power application ( rotation), I think they think an arc would just describe the shape the tip makes during rotation (a very shallow arc if you want to perform good SLP (see Essentials) but I am probably wrong about that.
The FFF are trying to sort out this confusion. They have a definitions committee to try and define words like drift, casting angle, rotation, drag, creep etc etc. I wish them the best of luck, seriously. If they can manage to produce a list of definitions that everyone agrees with, and understands, they will have done the world of flycasting a great service. I just hope they do it by email because if they are all in the same room I can see blood being spilled if some of the discussions about definitions we see on on some forums is anything to go by.