Events vs Instants

One of the most common causes of confusion among people who are trying and failing to understand relativity is the use of the word “event”. Physicists use this word in a way that is contrary to many people’s understanding – namely to refer to a particular point in both time and space rather than to everything that appears to some observer to have occured at a particular instant in time.

So many “refutations” of relativity include references to something like “the event when observer A is exactly one km from observer B”- which has no meaning since it involves more than one position in space. If such arguments used the word “instant” they would still be meaningless but it would be easier to flag the problem in that, because of relativity of simultaneity, what appears as an instant to A is not an instant to B.