SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1995

Resolving Term Disputes with Weighted Onometrics


This article describes a system that brings greater rationality to the process of selecting preferred terms for senses or concepts. Since vocality disputes (term disputes) occur in every discipline and within every personal vocabulary, the principles covered here are useful to a broad audience. This article refines the term-evaluating formalism called onometrics, previously introduced by the author. Onometrics holistically focuses our attention on term qualities that otherwise might be overlooked. Weights of relative importance are assigned to 16 criteria, the top ones being: transparency, precision, unequivocalness, precedent, and conciseness. Each criterion is assigned a weight of importance. For each criterion suggestions are given for measuring (rating) compared synonyms. A template useful in forming comparative profiles for any term dispute is presented. For illustration, the template is applied to three disputes currently unsettled among terminologists: 1. glossary-vocabulary, 2. designator-designation, and 3. polysemic-polysemous. Approximately 64 terms are defined.

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Gilreath, CT
, Gainesville, FL
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Developed by Committee: E02
Pages: 25–52
DOI: 10.1520/STP13744S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5295-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1984-0