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Re: Reasonable definitions

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2011 12:24:44 -0800
Message-ID: <CAAWBYDBZQ7vtNLrTAgBtvRm+zotyh_9yT_W63boxZ7nn=z=13g@mail.gmail.com>
To: Michael Witten <mfwitten@gmail.com>
Cc: www-style@w3.org
On Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 10:45 AM, Michael Witten <mfwitten@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, 15 Nov 2011 10:13:34 -0800, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
>> On Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 7:22 AM, Michael Witten <mfwitten@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> The CSS 2.1 specification uses some very confusing (if not erroneous)
>>> terminology in describing the fundamental concepts of the Box Model:
>>>
>>>  http://www.w3.org/TR/2011/REC-CSS2-20110607/box.html#box-dimensions
>> [snip]
>>> The uses of the words `perimeter', `edge', `width', and `box' are
>>> completely unreasonable unless the following statements are
>>> considered reasonable:
>>>
>>>    * The `perimeter' of an area really means the `outer perimeter'
>>>      of an area.
>>>
>>>      The word `edge' is a suitable synonym for the word `perimeter'.
>>
>> Yes, this seems reasonable.  The spec says exactly that.
>
> So, it would be reasonable if the spec were to define `orange'
> as a suitable synonym for `perimeter'?---just because that's
> what the spec says.
>
> Reasonable definitions are usually chosen so as to avoid clashes with
> existing usage, especially when the proposed synonyms already have
> some kind of relationship to each other in common language.

Hyperbole helps no one.

Using the word "edge" to refer to the entire perimeter of something is
a perfectly reasonable and common thing to do in English.  Referring
to a specific line on a box as being an "edge" is *also* a perfectly
reasonable and common thing to do in English.

Since both uses are perfectly appropriate English constructs, and
there's no ambiguity in the usage, I don't see a problem to be solved.

~TJ
Received on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 20:25:38 GMT

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