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

Subject: Defining a word: can the word appear in the definition?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2001 14:28:00 -0500

Michele Davis provides more information: <<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.>>

Here's how I'd revise your definition with only minor edits:

Aggregation: Illumina* takes multiple appliances and places them in a
cluster called an aggregation** that can be managed as a single, shared
resource. Aggregated appliances manage growth by simplifying the addition
and management of appliances.

* I deleted "our" and "software"; the first, because to the reader of the
docs, it's _their_ software, not yours; the second, because it's should
generally be clear from context that Illumina is software.
** Adding the words "called an aggregation" explains that you're introducing
your own name for what the user considers to be a cluster or group.

You could edit more intensively to further simplify the meaning (if brevity
is important):

Aggregation: Illumina groups multiple appliances into a cluster called an
"aggregation" that you can manage as a single, shared resource. This
aggregation helps you manage growth by simplifying the addition and
management of appliances.

And last but not least, if you want to minimize repetition of the noun in
the definition:

Aggregation: a group of appliances that you can manage as a single, shared
resource, thereby helping you to manage growth by simplifying the addition
and management of appliances.

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

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