special


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special

1. denoting or relating to the education of physically or mentally handicapped children
2. Austral history slang a convict given special treatment on account of his education, social class, etc.
3. short for special constable
4. Austral, NZ, US and Canadian informal an item in a store that is advertised at a reduced price; a loss leader

SPECIAL

(language, specification)
A specification language developed at SRI around 1976.

["SPECIAL - A Specification and Assertion Language", L. Robinson et al, TR CSL-46, SRI, Jan 1977].

special

A very abused English word in the information industry. Phrases such as "it is a special type of format" or "it uses a special code for that purpose" are found frequently in documentation. However, anything that is newly created to solve a problem is merely another solution. What makes something special is that it is way out of the ordinary, not just one more approach to the same problem. See specialty software.
References in classic literature ?
"Special's at Willington now, come through without a stop.
They have been ringing us up all down the line, ever since the special left."
"Take this and deliver it," said he to his adjutant, handing him the papers and still taking no notice of the special messenger.
Prince Andrew felt that either the actions of Kutuzov's army interested the Minister of War less than any of the other matters he was concerned with, or he wanted to give the Russian special messenger that impression.
Nupkins, reddening with passion, 'how dare you select such an inefficient and disreputable person for a special constable, as that man?
And committed the special would have been, only Jinks, who was the magistrate's adviser (having had a legal education of three years in a country attorney's office), whispered the magistrate that he thought it wouldn't do; so the magistrate made a speech, and said, that in consideration of the special's family, he would merely reprimand and discharge him.
"Your special will be backing down directly, sir," he announced, "but I am sorry to say that we hear very bad accounts of the line.
"He drove up just two minutes after the train had gone, came straight into the office and ordered a special. Paid for it, too, in Bank of England notes before he went out.
They were thoroughly organized and well armed, and they were held in readiness to be hurled in special trains to any part of the country where labor went on strike or was locked out by the employers.
There he heard allusions made to the invasion, and a special prayer for peace.
Close on the rear of this came a couple of cabs, the forerun- ners of a long procession of flying vehicles, going for the most part to Chalk Farm station, where the North-Western special trains were loading up, instead of coming down the gradient into Euston.
But I see no need for anything special. It is for ordinary use."