Ob, ob, ob, oblete? Oblate?

Subject: Ob, ob, ob, oblete? Oblate?
From: "Barbara Yanez" <BarbaraYanez -at- cogentsystems -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 4 Feb 2003 10:51:51 -0800

Hello all


We are updating and revamping a software package for a new client. They
provided us with their old software, written by them (or someone they
hired - I don't know who.)

It is an archiving system and has photos of suspects, along with other
information pertaining to criminal records and other information.

In this software, the photo utility displays a front view of the
suspect, with the title FRONT, and then an angled view (not totally a
profile, sort of a quarter turn but more from the top looking down) with
the title OBLETE. I had not heard of that word so I looked it up and,
no, it does not exist.

What does exist of course is OBLATE - which, I had heard of but is not
very commonly used- least of all in software to be used by law
enforcement who are not generally known for their wide vocabularies
(ahem). According to Merriam Webster, the definition is, "Flattened at
the poles, as a spheroid generated by the revolution of an ellipse about
its shorter axis"; and the second definition is "lengthened," -
"equivalent to the latin OB + Prolate." There are two other definitions
but they don't' fit at all.

At any rate, I guess you could say that this view is "oblate" - as it is
rotated - and yes, the face is an ellipse - but it seems a bit stilted
to use that word - esp. in law enforcement. "Angled" or "quarter turn -
side view" something like that seem to work better for these types of
users. And heck, if they couldn't even spell it right, obviously they
don't know much about the word! Apparently they have been using this
software for many years - with the word misspelled. Seems no one has
caught the misspelling in all that time!

I am thinking of suggesting that they toss that word out of the new
software we make for them, and using a simpler, more clear term, for
these users. What would you do? Would you describe a quarter turn view
of someone as "oblate"? Or would you use a simpler term for these types
of users? Does "oblate" even fit?

Thanks mucho!


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