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Technical committees must consider the relationship of the terminology they define to the understanding by the general public of these same terms. Some definitions originate within the technical community and move outward to enter the general domain without any serious difficulty. For others, special care is required to avoid conflict with existing interpretations or to make internal revisions because of changes over time in common or legal usage. As examples, national and international standard definitions of the words “quality,” “grade,” “nonconformity,” and “defect” are presented with particular reference to the effectiveness of the use of notes integrated with single-sentence definitions. The need for a uniform set of definitions within ASTM is also discussed with reference to a project dealing with statistical terms.
quality, grade, nonconformity, defect, consensus standards, terminology standards, notes, statistical definitions
President, Quality Planning Services, Rochester, NY