RE: "Opportunistic"

Subject: RE: "Opportunistic"
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: <Robert_Johnson -at- percussion -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2009 11:57:14 -0700

Robert_Johnson -at- percussion -dot- com wrote:

> Some of my co-workers would like to use this word, but others are
> concerned about the negative connotation. They have a point; all the
> dictionary entries I've found emphasize its negative connotation, with
> shades of unscrupulous or unethical behavior.

_How_ do they want to use it? What's the context?

"Opportunistic" has a negative connotation when applied to people, but
there are technical applications (can't think of one right now) where it
has a positive connotation when applied to a device or process. In those
contexts, it's the correct technical term, and you'd likely confuse your
readers by using a more anthropocentric substitute like ambitious or


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom


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"Opportunistic": From: Robert_Johnson

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