NO DOUBT there are plenty of rocket scientists in the United States (many of them in Baltimore), but society, abetted by the news media, has transformed the phrase into a metaphor. So far in 1993, "rocket scientist" has appeared a dozen times in The Sun and The Evening Sun, almost always as a figure of speech:
"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize this market is expensive." Eric Kobren, investment expert, in a column, July 14.
"You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see that this is inappropriate." Dr. Brian Newmark, a child therapist, quoted in a story about ABC's "Tales From the Crypt," June 27.
"It doesn't take a r.s. to guess the movie's answer." Movie review, June 25.
"You don't have to be a r.s. to think employee morale [as a result of salary negotiations in Howard County schools] doesn't affect it." Howard school board chairman Dana F. Hanna, quoted in a news story, May 21.
"It wouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out there'll be a lot of the same people involved." Dennis Conner, sailing champion, quoted in a sports story, May 20.
"You don't have to be a r.s. to figure that out." Edgar Dippold, a manufacturing engineer, quoted in a news story, May 14.
"It does not take a r.s. to discover that opinion polls are all flawed no matter how constructed." George F. Hillegas III, letter to the editor, April 11.
"And I'm no r.s." Column, March 30.
"You needn't be a r.s. to follow the instructions." Column, March 14.
"It doesn't take a r.s. to figure out that you're going to need a big volume of business." Richard Dunne, owner of the Irish Center in Annapolis, quoted in news story, Feb. 21.
"It doesn't take a r.s. to figure that out." Column, Jan. 20.
"Why else would a parent, a r.s., admit that he doesn't understand the draft document that was presented to parents six weeks ago for comment?" Column, Jan. 10.