# Thursday, April 02, 2009

Jeff Atwood has a post on "five dollar words" where he discusses (and briefly defines) these three words.  They're helpful, all the more so if you know the concepts but never knew they had a name. Then in the comments people start to talk about Normalization, Instantiation, Canonicalization, Covariance, Deprecation, Atomic, ACID, SOLID and so much more. Many provide links (how did we ever live before Wikipedia?) and if not, well, you have access to a search engine I'm sure. Having these words lets you have conversations you couldn't otherwise have. Reminding yourself of the definitions every once in a while can't hurt.

Most of these are pretty straightforward to remember if you have some Latin and Greek - enough to know the scientific prefixes. For example idem means "same" and "potent" refers to power - the function always has the same power. Mutable means change-able (think about the word mutant) and im- negates that, so the value can't be changed. (Swapping in im- for idem- in the first word results in another perfect valid word whose meaning can be worked out from its parts.) I learned a lot of Latin and Greek prefixes in high school and university, and I'm really glad I did. I can't write a sentence in either language, but I can work out what a lot of "intellectual" words mean just by going through their parts.


Thursday, April 02, 2009 4:30:01 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #