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View Poll Results: What sounds right to you?
Demographics definition 4 21.05%
Demographic definition 13 68.42%
Other (suggestions appreciated ) 2 10.53%
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  #1  
Old 19.04.2011, 11:52
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Is this real English or Denglish? [Technical English]

Hi All,

I'm in a bit of a dilema at work, and in the name of surfing EF with a purpose I would be grateful for your help on the following language check:

Which one sounds right to you, as a native speaker?

"Demographics definition"

OR

"Demographic definition"

The context: One of these is the name of a subcomponent in a software application where you can set up the format in which a person's demographic information appears. This format is then available for selection in another part of the application.

I have a clear idea of what sounds right to me, but I've been here so long even Denglish is starting to sound OK . The other EN speakers in the office are in the same situation.

Thanks in advance for your help
Puddy
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  #2  
Old 19.04.2011, 11:56
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Re: Is this real English or Denglish? [Technical English]

As a fresh of the boat English lawyer... I'd go with Demographic rather than demographics... it is an individual's demographic information rather than general information about a group of people's differing demographics.
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Old 19.04.2011, 11:57
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Re: Is this real English or Denglish? [Technical English]

To me, you are describing the section that allows people to define how users put their information on demographics in.

So "Demographics definition"

However, is definitions the right word, e.g. wouldn't something like configuration would be better?

"Demographics configuration"

(need poll )
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Old 19.04.2011, 11:57
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Re: Is this real English or Denglish? [Technical English]

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Hi All,

I'm in a bit of a dilema at work, and in the name of surfing EF with a purpose I would be grateful for your help on the following language check:

Which one sounds right to you, as a native speaker?

"Demographics definition"

OR

"Demographic definition"

The context: One of these is the name of a subcomponent in a software application where you can set up the format in which a person's demographic information appears. This format is then available for selection in another part of the application.

I have a clear idea of what sounds right to me, but I've been here so long even Denglish is starting to sound OK . The other EN speakers in the office are in the same situation.

Thanks in advance for your help
Puddy
First one is my guess? Second one relates to the action of defining actual demographic information. Even though it sounds wrong.
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Old 19.04.2011, 12:02
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Re: Is this real English or Denglish? [Technical English]

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As a fresh of the boat English lawyer... I'd go with Demographic rather than demographics... it is an individual's demographic information rather than general information about a group of people's differing demographics.
Interesting point and something I wondered about, but for this reason...

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Second one relates to the action of defining actual demographic information.
...I'd go for plural, as you are not actually reporting the terms for a particular person, but rather altering the demographic parameters and how these are set up...

This is like another "problem" I've never understood. Why do people write "table of contents"... surely it should be "table of content", as the word content describes whatever is inside said document?
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Old 19.04.2011, 12:04
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Re: Is this real English or Denglish? [Technical English]

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To me, you are describing the section that allows people to define how users put their information on demographics in.

So "Demographics definition"

However, is definitions the right word, e.g. wouldn't something like configuration would be better?

"Demographics configuration"

(need poll )
I agree it should be "Demographics configuration" +1
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Old 19.04.2011, 12:13
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Re: Is this real English or Denglish? [Technical English]

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Interesting point and something I wondered about, but for this reason...



...I'd go for plural, as you are not actually reporting the terms for a particular person, but rather altering the demographic parameters and how these are set up...

This is like another "problem" I've never understood. Why do people write "table of contents"... surely it should be "table of content", as the word content describes whatever is inside said document?

Ahh but Carlos... you are altering demographic parameters (singular demographic)... the info relates to an individual and the parameters of that individual. You wouldn't refer to an individual's demographics criteria so I would go for singular demographic.

As for table of contents it is to do with the type of content.... content singular suggests one content i.e. the content of this box is cotton wool... the plural suggests multiple contents i.e. the contents of this box is cotton wool, keys and a horse.

A table of contents is needed when there are multiple sections therefore lots of things rather than just one section.
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Old 19.04.2011, 12:23
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Re: Is this real English or Denglish? [Technical English]

I'd go with "A/S/L?"
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Old 19.04.2011, 12:24
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Re: Is this real English or Denglish? [Technical English]

Poll added

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As a fresh of the boat English lawyer... I'd go with Demographic rather than demographics... it is an individual's demographic information rather than general information about a group of people's differing demographics.
Indeed, but it's actually setting up the format of the demographic info, not the demographics themselves...

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First one is my guess? Second one relates to the action of defining actual demographic information. Even though it sounds wrong.
Yes, it does 'sound' wrong but because it's not defining the demographics themselves it doesn't quite work.

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Interesting point and something I wondered about, but for this reason...

...I'd go for plural, as you are not actually reporting the terms for a particular person, but rather altering the demographic parameters and how these are set up...

This is like another "problem" I've never understood. Why do people write "table of contents"... surely it should be "table of content", as the word content describes whatever is inside said document?
Exactly, it's the parameters we're defining. But I am trying to make it sound like normal English that non-technical people would consider correct. The question is whether using the plural implicitly implies that it's the parameters we're defining and not a person's demographics...

Table of content indeed. Content is theoretically uncountable and the dictionaries I quickly browsed deny its existence. A search for "table of content" turned up 1.8 million results, but table of contents turned up 87.7 million. The former appeared to be used by contrary scientists and mathematicians .

Puddy
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Old 19.04.2011, 12:25
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Re: Is this real English or Denglish? [Technical English]

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Ahh but Carlos... you are altering demographic parameters (singular demographic)... the info relates to an individual and the parameters of that individual. You wouldn't refer to an individual's demographics criteria so I would go for singular demographic.
Yein. I fully see where you are coming from... but... ()... if you are altering the demographic parameters, the full title should be "demographic parameters definition". (Omiting my point about the appropriateness of definition)

Having removed the "parameters", I would use "demographics", i.e. the plural, as you are changing many different single demographic entries and how these are presented, again vs. reporting them for a single person once the template is set.

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As for table of contents it is to do with the type of content.... content singular suggests one content i.e. the content of this box is cotton wool... the plural suggests multiple contents i.e. the contents of this box is cotton wool, keys and a horse.

A table of contents is needed when there are multiple sections therefore lots of things rather than just one section.
But we're talking about a document and not a box of cotton wool. Usually documents only contain letters and words, or at a push Chapters, which themselves are all the same (i.e. balls of cotton wool if you will). Indeed, Fowler's suggests the following:

Quote:
4. Content and contents both mean 'what is contained' in physical and abstract sense. There is little difference in meaning; content is more usual when the thing in question is a mass noun and contents is more usual when a number of countable items is involved, ...
Figures of course are covered by the "Table of Figures", for which I can see the need to be plural.
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Last edited by Carlos R; 19.04.2011 at 12:38.
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Old 19.04.2011, 12:29
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Re: Is this real English or Denglish? [Technical English]

...Could the person who would suggest something different let us in on it, pls? Thx
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Old 19.04.2011, 12:32
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Re: Is this real English or Denglish? [Technical English]

I would also echo Carlos' point about the use of "definition". What's wrong with "Demographic information"?
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Old 19.04.2011, 12:33
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Re: Is this real English or Denglish? [Technical English]

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...Could the person who would suggest something different let us in on it, pls? Thx
I did...

"Demographics configuration"
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Old 19.04.2011, 12:58
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Re: Is this real English or Denglish? [Technical English]

OK for a bit more background:

E.g.
In the "Demographics definition" component, select a demographic characteristic that you want to define the format for, e.g. a person's B'day (this changes according to country) e.g. DD.MM.YY, dd/Mmm/yyyy etc. This task is performed by an administrator and depends on how they want to set up different installations of the software. One office in Germany might need it set up one way, but the office in Spain has different date formatting requirements.

Now in the "Demographics assignment" component this predefined format can be applied by normal routine users.

I personally would prefer to go for something else completely, and if I have a good argument for it, I could possibly get it through. It needs to be short but include the concept: The place where you can select individual demographic characteristics, (e.g. age, date of birth, address), and select the format in which each of these should appear to routine users.

It was decided (by a German speaker) that the plural should be applied, but only (I suspect) because they do that in such cases in German...
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Old 19.04.2011, 13:01
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Re: Is this real English or Denglish? [Technical English]

Banging the same drum: this screams "configuration" at me... so I'll stick with my original (modified) suggestion...
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Old 19.04.2011, 13:07
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Re: Is this real English or Denglish? [Technical English]

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Banging the same drum: this screams "configuration" at me... so I'll stick with my original (modified) suggestion...
Yep, noted.

I will suggest the full "Demographic parameters configuration" and see how much they scream...

Thanks to you all and especially Carlos R

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Old 19.04.2011, 13:10
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Re: Is this real English or Denglish? [Technical English]

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Yep, noted.

I will suggest the full "Demographic parameters configuration" and see how much they scream...

Thanks to you all and especially Carlos R

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Old 19.04.2011, 13:38
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Re: Is this real English or Denglish? [Technical English]

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As a fresh of the boat English lawyer...
Don't believe this person. He clearly doesn't even know the difference between 'of' and 'off'.
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Old 19.04.2011, 14:08
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Re: Is this real English or Denglish? [Technical English]

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Where do I send my bill and CV to?
www.caron.ch Check out the job posting I made today

As for the bill... Please accept a thousand "Swiss Thanks (STH 1000)" for your efforts

And if you get a job here, I'll shout you a beer

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Old 19.04.2011, 14:10
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Re: Is this real English or Denglish? [Technical English]

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Don't believe this person. He clearly doesn't even know the difference between 'of' and 'off'.
Well spotted
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