Is the usage of the word hiatus correct in the title?

I read this in a formal document and I am slightly surprised by hiatus being used in this context. I understand the intention of the sentence as 'One gap in the current understand...'.

I have never seen hiatus been used in this context. Is this a correct usage?

  • 1
    It grates a bit. A hiatus, be it spacial of temporal, is a gap in some expected continuity. It is mostly used with sequences and other smoothly well-behaved domains. Should I expect the current understanding to be smooth and continuous? Because that isn't how I regard most scientific fields of knowledge. I think of them more as fractal. – Phil Sweet Jun 16 at 17:37
  • 2
    Hiatus is a strange word. According to the wiktionary, it comes from a series of ancient words related to the concept of yawning, or gaping open. Its modern usages in English are largely a matter of convention, but it usually applies to a gap in a sequence of things. In the context you describe, the scientific field might be one that uses the word in a way that applies to understanding. The Wiktionary article has quite a few. But in my opinion, it’s more likely that the writer wanted to use a fancy word, and reached just a little too far. – Global Charm Jun 16 at 17:47

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