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Talk:Term of art

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Revision as of 23:30, 14 March 2009 by Howard C. Berkowitz (Talk | contribs)

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 Definition A common word or phrase, as opposed to jargon, which has a precisely defined meaning in a specific context [d] [e]

Howard, great idea for a page. Did I spur you into this one? David E. Volk 20:12, 14 March 2009 (UTC) was Hayford complaining about my using the phrase "term of art". Now that you mention it, though, it does tie into such things as "semi-automatic". While I commented on the Forum, I think the compromise there is to disambiguate. Howard C. Berkowitz 20:31, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
Nag, nag, nag, that's all he does! Hayford Peirce 20:32, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
Seriously, this might be a good collaborative article just to explore some of the language usage issues, not just adjective vs. noun, but jargon vs. term of art vs. slang vs. specialized technical language. Context can be everything — an English composition teacher might dismiss n-propanol from iso-propanol (2-pronanol), but the IUPAC notation is intended to disambiguate, just as the WHO conventions for international nonproprietary drug names have meaning.
Is Staphylococcus aureus' jargon? Remember, "jargon" often has a slightly derogatory flavor. Howard C. Berkowitz 20:50, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
As Dr. Johnson, the August Lexicographer, advised Boswell: "My dear friend, clear your mind of cant. You may talk as other people do: you may say to a man, 'Sir, I am your most humble servant.' You are not his most humble servant. You may say, 'These are sad times; it is a melancholy thing to be reserved to such times.' You don't mind the times. You tell a man, 'I am sorry you had such bad weather the last day of your journey, and were so much wet.' You don't care sixpence whether he was wet or dry. You may talk in this manner; it is a mode of talking in Society: but don't think foolishly." Hayford Peirce 21:21, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
First observing,
an ant 
move a rubber tree plant
I'm not terribly sure of your point, Hayford. When I am talking of a specific issue, in precise terms, I shall not bend to popular whim if doing so leads to inaccuracy. After all, this is not a purely social gathering, but an encyclopedia with a stated goal of accuracy. Howard C. Berkowitz 23:30, 14 March 2009 (UTC)