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Subject: Disparate - it's a hard word! rss

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Dean
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I was asked to remove the word "disparate" from an error message in our software today. Only one other person knew what it meant.

Yeah, I'm the weird guy at work. I know wurds. It's not a skill that I thought might engender wild bouts of jealousy, but a modicum, a smidgen of respect, nay, tolerance, might be nice. No. It's just plain strange and oh, so very pointless to have a decent vocabulary.

shake

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Adrian Hague
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RAWKET LAWNCHA!!!
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Do you mean dis pirate?
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Robert Wesley
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soblue "disparrot" were ONLY: "pining for the *fnord*!" whistle
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col_w
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I know what it means, but it does sound like an odd choice of word for an error message to end users. What was the full error message?
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Dean
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You're right, I could have chosen a better word. It was a diagnostic field showing the time on a piece of hardware. Multiple connected devices should have had the same time. If they weren't they were "Disparate". I suggested "Inconsistent", which everyone liked.

For the record, I agree with the change. It's a better word. It's just that having to explain a common (or so I thought) English word, followed by the usual ribbing and jocularity at my expense can get a little tiring.
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col_w
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It's surprising how many words discombobulate the average person.
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Steve Vondra
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it's a perfectly cromulent word.
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Dean
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Your support embiggens me!

...

No, not that way. blush
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Hiding Tiger
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Sounds like they were getting desperate.
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¡dn ʇǝƃ ʇ,uɐɔ ı puɐ uǝllɐɟ ǝʌ,ı
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I once had an English prof ask me to remove the word "diorama" from an essay that I did, explaining in it that I had built a diaorama of a room that I was describing the features of.
She said that she felt it was an poor choice of words and it didn't belong.
Hello! What the hell else was I supposed to call it?
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John O'Haver
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Reminds me of an episode from Deadwood when the newspaper publisher is composing a public notice with the saloon keeper. Went something like this...

Editor: "The medicine will be distributed gratis."
Saloon keeper: "Make that free gratis."
Editor: "Gratis means free."
Saloon keeper: "Ok. Take out gratis."
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Bryan Thunkd
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GreenDude wrote:
Multiple connected devices should have had the same time. If they weren't they were "Disparate".


Actually you misused the word.

Disparate - Essentially different in kind; not allowing comparison.

Two times that are not the same are different but not disparate. They are easily compared as they are the exact same type of thing, as opposed to apples and oranges for example.
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You're in software, which means your messages are probably translated for i18n. That word might have issues being translated to other languages. Words like "invalid" translate poorly in other languages and we aren't allowed to use them.
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Dean
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Thunkd wrote:
GreenDude wrote:
Multiple connected devices should have had the same time. If they weren't they were "Disparate".


Actually you misused the word.

Disparate - Essentially different in kind; not allowing comparison.

Two times that are not the same are different but not disparate. They are easily compared as they are the exact same type of thing, as opposed to apples and oranges for example.
Yeah. I looked it up and felt suitably embarrassed. blush
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MABBY wrote:
I once had an English prof ask me to remove the word "diorama" from an essay that I did, explaining in it that I had built a diaorama of a room that I was describing the features of.
She said that she felt it was an poor choice of words and it didn't belong.
Hello! What the hell else was I supposed to call it?


You could draw a diagrama instead.
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Oh, so you actually think about what you are saying?
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Thunkd wrote:
GreenDude wrote:
Multiple connected devices should have had the same time. If they weren't they were "Disparate".


Actually you misused the word.

Disparate - Essentially different in kind; not allowing comparison.

Two times that are not the same are different but not disparate. They are easily compared as they are the exact same type of thing, as opposed to apples and oranges for example.


Because they are both fruit...both grow on trees..both can be purchased at a grocery store...clearly no comparison at all.

So, why are they used as the paragon of incomparability?
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Bryan Thunkd
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Lord_Prussian wrote:
Because they are both fruit...both grow on trees..both can be purchased at a grocery store...clearly no comparison at all.

So, why are they used as the paragon of incomparability?


I know. They actually are the same type of thing... but it would have been a little random to say apples and SUV's.

I'm not sure why they've gotten pegged as the example of things that can't be compared, but I think it has something to do with the fact that preferences are subjective and can't be objectively compared. But it's a crap example, just another phrase that doesn't really make a lot of sense.
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I'm free-basing midichloriens and the force is, like, an energy that connects and penetrates us all, man.
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I once wrote a fiction story for a class in high school, and I used the word "undead".

My instructor crossed out the word, and wrote "dead" with a note that read, "if they were undead, they would be alive".

I instantly lost all respect for her.
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Daniel VandenBurg
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do you work with morons?

I would have added dictionary definition cntrl V
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Dean
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No, they're not morons. They're just content using their subset of the English language. This is fine by me, as long as I'm not mocked for using my subset.

Actually, the mocking isn't even the big deal. I'm a big boy, I can take a bit of ribbing. I just don't get the attitude. shake
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kSwingrÜber
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Reminds me of the story (urban legend?) of the guy who said a co-worker was a bit pedantic, and got in trouble for suggesting that the said co-worker was a pervert of some sort...

...jeeze, how difficult IS it to learn a few thousand of the zillions of words in our wonderful (crazy) English language?

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