2

Is there a word for the action of moving through the easiest path? I've found "desire path" or "trail blazing", which comes close to the concept I'm looking for, but it lacks any amount of poetry. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

To give context, I'm a physicist working with my team on publishing work that strongly revolves around paths of least resistance. None of us are necessarily experts in the field of English and are hoping to describe new principles in a way that doesn't require saying "the path of least resistance transition principle" or "the path of least resistance gravitation principle."

  • 1
    Are you talking about the path of least resistance, or about navigating that path? – Lawrence Feb 15 '17 at 23:55
  • 2
    ... But there seems no easier way. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 16 '17 at 0:10
  • 2
    A Google search for path of least resistance PLR shows that a number of people use the acronym. Presumably they explain it early in their document. You could then say things like PLR transition principle and PLR gravitation principle. – RichF Feb 16 '17 at 0:17
  • 2
    Also consider "optimal pathway(s)." – pyobum Feb 16 '17 at 0:21
  • 3
    Please include an example sentence. All single word requests require you to show how it will be used. – Hank Feb 16 '17 at 0:21
1

The OP, who is a physicist, asks:

Is there a word for the action of moving through the easiest path? I've found "desire path" or "trail blazing", which comes close to the concept I'm looking for, but it lacks any amount of poetry. (emphasis added}.

I suggest the primrose path, which comes from Shakespeare. A problem with my answer is immediately obvious in the last six words in this definition from Wikipedia:

The primrose path refers to a life of ease and pleasure, or to a course of action that seems easy and appropriate but can actually end in calamity. (emphasis added).

If I knew how to put the last six words in tiny type, I would have. But physicists have had no problem with co-opting English words and assigning completely different meanings to them: color, charm, flavor. Thus, I see no reason why the OP physicist could not co-opt the primrose path and change its meaning to omit the bad consequences of tripping along it.

From The Phrase Finder

Ophelia:

I shall the effect of this good lesson keep,

As watchman to my heart. But, good my brother,

Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,

Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven;

Whiles, like a puff'd and reckless libertine,

Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,

And recks not his own rede

0

I belive what you're looking for is least action:

least action

In nature a system is forced to evolve in a way that [requires] the least possible action, [and] thus the least energy available to it.

You may be seeking an analogy of this principle, more or less.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.