January 2016 Archives

On the Semantic Naming of Things

Let’s say I opened a restaurant and people liked it.

Then I add an item to the menu called “Fish and Chips”. My restaurant’s version would serve a smoked salmon with a light butter/caper topping and fresh potato chips (crisps for those of you across the pond). I could certainly do it … but people would be confused.

No amount of explaining to each patron would prevent the next patron from being confused by the name. Even if I explained on several pieces of my printed materials and told customers if they asked, people would still certainly miss it, because they know what “Fish and Chips” means.

If I then claimed that the name wasn’t confusing because I had explained the differences several times, I would be wrong. It still is confusing. Claiming it isn’t doesn’t make it so.

About Joel Berger

user-pic As I delve into the deeper Perl magic I like to share what I can.