RE: Defining a word: can the word appear in the definition?

Subject: RE: Defining a word: can the word appear in the definition?
From: "Davis, Michele" <MDavis -at- tricord -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2001 13:24:30 -0600

> This is what I have:
>
> Aggregation
> Our Illumina software takes multiple appliances and places them in a
> cluster. This allows it to be managed as a single, shared resource.
> Aggregated appliances manage growth by simplifying the addition and
> management of appliances.
>
> I repeat the word aggregation, and an engineer thinks it shouldn't be
there.

So long as understanding the definition doesn't require that the reader
first understand the word, there's no absolute reason not to repeat the word
in the definition. For example, "pollute: the act of polluting" is useless
to the reader, since they can't understand the definition without
understanding the root word (pollute); conversely, saying something like
"pollute: when one pollutes, one fouls the environment", is acceptable,
though it's not a shining example of a definition and it's wordier than
necessary ("to foul the environment" would be a better definition).

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