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It is possible for a terminology group to struggle for years to define a term or a series of terms without reaching a consensus. At least one deterrent has been the lack of an orderly approach to the definitions process. This paper discusses what has been learned by ASTM Committee D-13 on Textiles from eight years of experience in dealing with a growing, incomplete terminology for the burning behavior of textiles. The key to dealing with such complex terminology is to develop a hierarchical system of terms and definitions that interlock and build on one another. First there must be a common understanding of what a definition is and what it is not. Then the most basic terms, fire and flame in this instance, must be defined within the field of use. These concepts, plus the role of adjectives, antonymns, the delimiting phrase, single-use terms, and common usage, are discussed.
terminology, flammability standards, textiles
E. I. du Pont de Nemours,