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The terminology used in the computer and communications fields adds tremendous confusion not only for the lay person, but for technicians as well. What people outside the field do not realize is that terms are made up by anybody and everybody in a nonchalant, casual manner without any regard or understanding of their future ramifications.

Programmers display error messages that make sense at the moment and never give a thought that people actually have to read them when something goes wrong. Marketing people turn everything upside down, naming things based on how high-tech and sexy they sound. In addition, they change the names of well-known products as a way of introducing something new. Even Worse is naming specific products and technologies with generic words. See naming fiascos and technical writer.

A Perfect Example
Following is an example of two protocols that are used to keep routers up-to-date with network information. IS-IS (Intermediate System to Intermediate System) and OSPF (Open Shortest Path First) do similar things. In fact, OSPF evolved from IS-IS, yet every element associated with these standards has a different name. This constant changing of names, changing of menus, changing of parameters, etc., is what makes this field incomprehensible and discourages a lot of talented people from entering it.

IS-IS              OSPF

 Subdomain          = Area

 Level-1 area       = Non-backbone area

 Level-2 subdomain  = Backbone area

 L1L2 router        = Area Border Router

 Intermediate       = Autonomous System
  System               Boundary Router

 End system         = Host

  system            = Router

 Link               = Circuit

  data unit         = Packet

 Designated         = Designated
  Intermediate         Router

 Link-State PDU     = Link-State

 IIH PDU            = Hello packet

 Complete Sequence  = Database description
  Number PDU
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a branch of vocabulary; the sum total of the terms used in a particular area of science, technology, industry, art, or public life and connected with a corresponding system of concepts. The establishment of a terminology is conditioned by social, scientific, and technological development, since every new concept in a specialized area must be designated by a term.

A system of terminology must correspond to the current state of development in a given area of science, technology, or human activity. Terminology changes over the course of history and derives from various sources. For example, with the development of philosophy and science in the Middle East, the terminologies of the Muslim countries were based on Arabic. Renaissance Europe tended to base its terminologies on Greek and Latin. More recently, an increasing number of terms have been based on national languages accompanied by borrowing from foreign languages. Russian terminology also makes extensive use of foreign elements of terminology combined with native elements, for example, superoblozhka (“dust jacket”) and ocherkist (”essayist”).

Terminologies are subject to regulation, standardization, and lexicography. The compilation of terminological dictionaries for various languages, as well as of specialized terminological dictionaries, is of great importance. Aspects of terminology are dealt with by conventional and machine translation, by information retrieval systems, and by the field of documentation. In the USSR, the Committee on Scientific and Technological Terminology of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and the State Committee on Standards of the USSR deal with terminology. International organizations concerned with terminology include the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and UNESCO (INFOTERM).


Lotte, D. S. Osnovy postroeniia nauchno-tekhnicheskoi i dr. terminologii: Voprosy teorii i metodiki. Moscow, 1961.
Reformatskii, A. A. Chto takoe termin i terminologiia. Moscow, 1959.
Kak rabotat’ nad [nauchno-tekhnicheskoi] terminologia. Moscow, 1968.
Sovremennye problemy terminologii v nauke i tekhnike. Moscow, 1969.
Kandelaki, T. L. “Znacheniia terminov i sistemy znachenii nauchnotekhnicheskikh terminologii.” In Problemy iazyka nauki i tekhniki. Moscow, 1970.
Lingvisticheskie problemy nauchno-tekhnicheskoi terminologii. Moscow, 1970.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
We have a brand new, super powerful terminology system and it can be deployed to your existing Wordbee deployment in one click.
In 1990, an international committee was formed with representatives from many anatomical organizations, again with the intention of providing standardized anatomic terminology. Those efforts resulted in the publication of Terminologia Anatomica: International Anatomical Terminology, commonly referred to as TA, in 1998.
(2009) succinctly articulated the essential attributes of the effective anatomical terminology when they stated that nomenclature has to be "simple, logical and consistent".
Besides the evaluation of terminology, the parents knew and tend to use, the results were analyzed to assess the effects of different parameters on the terminology families used.
"Changing the terminology of small PTCs may be one strategy to reduce patients' anxiety levels and help them consider less invasive management options," the authors write.
"Officials and experts should be careful in choosing the terminology. Because, separatism is not just a problem for Eurasian geography, but as we have seen in the case of Catalonia, for the whole world," said the article.
In this paper, therefore, the development of an ontological approach to resolve the meaning of digital forensic terminologies starts with a terminology database.
Even when terminology is translated, participants may have a different understanding than the intended meaning; misunderstandings have the potential to skew study results.
The European Banking Authority (EBA) said it has published final guidelines on standardized fee terminology for payment accounts in the EU.
He added: "I can only hope this incident will highlight the need for correct usage of terminology that is accurate and inoffensive.
buvo ikurta Terminologijos ir zinijos sklaidos asociacija (GTW, Association for Terminology and Knowledge Transfer), kurios pagrindinis tikslas buvo organizuoti terminologijos ir ziniu inzinerijos kongresus, taciau palaipsniui ji tapo nuolatine institucija su savo veiklos sritimi.
Encyclopedia of K-9 Terminology features black and white illustrations by Dan Sayers and is a weighty encyclopedia of information for any interested in the terminology of Breed Standards and the language of K-9.