RE: A little respect for "unvalidated"

Subject: RE: A little respect for "unvalidated"
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 22 Sep 2009 09:07:30 -0400

Robert Lauriston confused us with:
> "I wonder how many people would ever be confused by 'un' in front of a
> word that they knew."
> Most of my dictionaries don't define "unvalidated."

It's a core/base word "validated", with an ordinary prefix "un".
Once again....... to clarify where you seem to be trying to go with this...

DO you assert that it is an improper action by users of English to take a word in common usage and ON THEIR OWN INITIATIVE apply an ordinary prefix to it, in order to convey meaning that can reasonably be expected to be understood by other users of English? Is it your position that a prefix is suitable ONLY in those instances where somebody else has prescribed it for you in a dictionary? Anybody simply applying the "rule" by which that prefix works, and not cleaving to a prescription-already-written-in-a-god-book is acting frivolously and living on the extreme fringe of language usage?

> The OED defines it
> as "not validated or proven to be accurate or true."

Hooray for the OED. They agree with me.

> If in the medical device field "unvalidated" means the device failed a
> validation test, then that usage would confuse me.

THAT would be jargon.

For the rest of us, the OED meaning would apply.

Unlike doctors and pharmaceutical companies and medical equipment companies, apparently, the rest of us understand a difference between "unvalidated" (nobody has validated it) and "invalidated" (somebody has actively tested and found that it fails validation).

This starts looking like "assure", "ensure", and "insure".

Fortunately, most of us here, and most of our customers are not contaminated by that peculiarity that you suggest exists within the medical industry. Woe unto medical users of my company's product, then. All others can be expected to 'get' what I mean when I say - in context - that certain products or versions of product are validated for FIPS compliance or Common Criteria EAL or IEEE somethingorother, while others are "unvalidated". NOT INvalidated. UNvalidated.

In fact, I think that most competent users of English can be expected to get that, if something is unvalidated, you can't know if it is (or would be) invalidated... even if they'd never before met the word "unvalidated"..... or even the word "invalidated" for that matter. But that perception/belief of mine has not been validated. Go figure.

- Kevin

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A little respect for "unvalidated": From: Dan Goldstein
RE: A little respect for "unvalidated": From: Combs, Richard
RE: A little respect for "unvalidated": From: Handy, David
RE: A little respect for "unvalidated": From: Dan Goldstein
Re: A little respect for "unvalidated": From: Robert Lauriston
RE: A little respect for "unvalidated": From: McLauchlan, Kevin
Re: A little respect for "unvalidated": From: Robert Lauriston

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