Inc/decrement, vt. -Reply

Subject: Inc/decrement, vt. -Reply
From: "Mark D. Walker" <MWALKER -at- CONNECT4 -dot- SLC -dot- UNISYSGSG -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 21 Sep 1994 07:44:22 -0700

Shelly wrote:

> "increments" and "decrements" were used as VERBS!

To which Richard replied:

> I have been using these verbs for about 30 years, and I was
> astonished to discover today that they ain't in the dictionary.

> May I have a show of hands on this one? Did you know that these
> verbs aren't verbs? Do only programmers increment registers?

To which I reply:

Engineers also increment and decrement registers, counters, etc.
Increment and decrement may not be in the dictionary, but they are
valid engineering terms. I have, in the past, gone 'round and 'round
with editors and other English majors about those two words
(especially decrement), and am sure I will again, sooner or later.

I remember reading somewhere (I don't remember where) that if all
engineering, technical, and scientific words were included in the
dictionary, it would triple in size. In other words, there are an
awful lot of tehcnical terms that are not in the dictionary.

Mark Walker

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