Alternative to state-of-the-art?

Subject: Alternative to state-of-the-art?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2001 11:17:50 -0500

Tom Johnson would like to say <<..."non-proprietary" using something a
little more mainstream. We're trying to emphasize that a component to our
equipment is readily upgradeable and is not some piece of proprietary
equipment that requires specialized parts. The initial word that raised its
ugly head was "state-of-the-art." Yuck!>>

Yuck indeed, particularly since that's the wrong buzzword; "state of the
art" means that your product exhibits all the newest, greatest, most
advanced features possible and thus, represents the state (current, most
advanced condition) of the art (engineering or whatever). If the equipment
is "readily upgradeable", those are the words you should use. If you want
to emphasize that it uses standard parts, say "uses standard components". If
you want to emphasize that it conforms with a standard (e.g., USB, PCI),
then say "standards-compliant" or "industry-standard". Where there's no
single, easy word that says what you want, don't be scared to use multiple
words. Words are cheap; we'll make more. <g>

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
"User's advocate" online monthly at

"When ideas fail, words come in very handy."--Goethe

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