TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Art of the Edge? From:Scott Goodhue <goodhue -at- SMTPGATE -dot- DISCLOSURE -dot- COM> Date:Mon, 4 Dec 1995 17:01:33 EST
This message concerns my original posting, and the subsequent
Call for Neologism:
The term "state of the art" has been used for some time to refer to
the highest level of development. In your opinion, is it hackneyed? I
posed the question once to an STC PIC a while ago and one member
suggested: "Bleeding edge." This may be too bloody for many. I
considered " the fore-running cusp" for a softer sound, but neither
terms seem adequate to me. They just don't have the ring of an
engineering feat. I've also run across "state of the edge," but it's
a mere substitution of one word for another. Any suggestions
sgoodhue -at- disclosure -dot- com <<
The responders favored the following substitutes for "state of the
1. "Leading-edge" (greatest number of nominations)
2. "Cutting-edge" (second greatest number of nominations)
3. "State of the art" should be left "as is" (a trailing third)
Marvin W. Miller <Marvin_Miller -at- sec -dot- sel -dot- sony -dot- com> of the
state-of-the-art-is-hackneyed group asked, "Does that mean any movie
made using the PIXAR system is state of the art art?"
Al Ruttbottom <aer -at- pcsi -dot- cirrus -dot- com> noted that engineers he worked
with defined state of the art as "the current, well-known and
established art, technique or technology...not the leading edge,
rather it is likelier the trailing edge or the least buggy, prob'ly
most conservative implementation..."
In considering this, I ran across the dilemma:
If a leading-edge product proves to be too buggy, and is revised but
is more advanced than the state of the art upon re-release, would it
be called "on the re-sharpened edge?"
At any rate, the terms have to be used with the knowledge that they're
predisposed to being temporary, victims of inexorable progress. But
hey, to most readers, it's a given that they'll have to upgrade
anyway, that the term applies to concurrent circulation.