Snellens, Nurdles, and Deduplication

by | Oct 22, 2022 | Change |


Snellen is the technical name of the eye chart we look at when we have an eye test. The one with the big ‘E’ at the top.

Obelus is the technical name of the division sign – the line with a dot on top and underneath.

An Octothorpe is the technical name for the number sign aka pound sign aka hashtag.

A nurdle is a small dab of toothpaste.

The cornicione is the outer crust of a pizza.

A quercu tree is an oak tree.

And yes, unintended overlap assistance provision is the technical term for deduplication.

Technical names and terms tend either to be derived from the person who defined it, a more precise description of something, or latin. The challenge is very few people know the technical names. The common names have a much greater reach and understanding. Yes, there can be value to define the terms we use so that there is a shared understanding. However, unless you are writing your PhD thesis or putting together a pub quiz, you will likely have more communication success if you use everyday terms.

The language choice is communication is mostly about the audience with whom you are communicating, not you.

Change makers forget this at their peril.

Photo by William Warby

1 Comment

  1. Philippe Page

    Nice perspective. You are actually pointing the a deep problem of our current digitalised society: Context preservation.
    It is the context of the information exchange that gives the true meaning to data. We Humans excel at this, naturally. Machines don’t and thus the richness of communication gets lost in translation.


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