Re: Where does the term "element" come from?
At 7:27 AM -0500 12/24/09, Costello, Roger L. wrote: >This is a book element: > > <book>...</book> > >Why "element"? > >Who decided to call it element? > >When was the term first used? > >There is the Periodic Table of elements. Is that where the term comes from? > >In hindsight, is there a better term? The developer(s) of anything new have several options: * keep it as the idea of one and only one person, or * find a way to communicate about it. Words are the way our species communicates abstract ideas, and that means when there is something new to talk about, or a new distinction to be made, they must either: * make up new words, or * adopt/adapt existing words. Both are confusing. New words are hard to remember, pronounce, and spell consistently. Adopted/adapted words can be misleading because people already have meanings for them. It is my opinion that the jargon of any field will seem silly and confusing to those new to it, and to some extent arbitrary even to those familiar with it. And what prompted me to state the obvious? Your request for a better term. There could have been other terms, but any other term for this concept would either be a made-up-word or a re-purposed word, and could prompt the same question. There simply aren't good options for naming new things. -- Tommie -- ====================================================================== B. Tommie Usdin mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Mulberry Technologies, Inc. http://www.mulberrytech.com 17 West Jefferson Street Phone: 301/315-9631 Suite 207 Direct Line: 301/315-9634 Rockville, MD 20850 Fax: 301/315-8285 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Mulberry Technologies: A Consultancy Specializing in XML and SGML ======================================================================
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