Re: Pet Peeves

Subject: Re: Pet Peeves
From: Ned Bedinger <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
To: Al Geist <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2007 23:10:38 -0700

Al Geist wrote:
> Fred Ridder wrote:
> There actually is a legitimate reason for avoiding the word "via" to
> mean "by way of" if you are writing about anything that involves
> printed circuit boards. In the world of circuit board layout and
> manufacturing, "via" is a noun that refers to the physical mechanism
> that connects a trace on one layer of a multi-layer circuit board to
> another layer. Our corporate style guide recommends against the
> prepositional use of "via" on the basis of possible confusion with
> the noun usage.
> In microelectronic design, the vehicle that connects one layer in a "chip"
> to another layer is also called a "via," so the problem has nothing to do
> with the age of the word, or with localizers.

That would depend on what you mean by 'nothing to do with the age of the
word...' Via is still around to be borrowed from Latin exactly because
Latin was ancient and well established as a written language, at a time
when less well established written language folded. Latin was the
language of western education for a thousand years because it was the
only written language there that survived the Dark Age. There you have
my capsule history of Latin in science, technology, and English. And via
is here for circuit designers and style arbiters because it is too apt,
and too old, to die.

Otherwise, you may be right. For sure, MS has had R&D ties to chip
manufacturers, and maybe the vocabulary preferences of circuit design
have found their way into the MMOS. I don't really know why via gets
special consideration in MMOS, but Fred's idea seems to me to have more
explanatory power than I can find by extending the usual assumptions
about comprehension and translation problems.


Ned Bedinger
doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com


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Re: Pet Peeves: From: Ned Bedinger
Re: Pet Peeves: From: Fred Ridder
RE: Pet Peeves: From: Al Geist

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