Re: Summary paper ballot...no, paper summary ballot

From: Arthur Keller <arthur_at_kellers_dot_org>
Date: Wed Jun 23 2004 - 17:58:19 CDT

I prefer precision in speech. That's why I still like Paper Summary
Ballot. And frankly I think that's no more a mouthful than Summary
Paper Ballot. Same number of syllables. Note that paper is a *key*
part of our system, and must be explicit. That's the point, after
all.

Best regards,
Arthur

At 12:37 PM -0600 6/23/04, charlie strauss wrote:
>There has been some discussion on whether "summary paper ballot" or
>"paper summary ballot" is a better term. As you can imagine its not
>an excruciatingly large difference but it is important to decide and
>then use the term precisely. Its important to create this lexicon
>to give policy makers the tools the need to discern and describe
>difference precisely.
>
>The genesis of this issue was a need to describe the concept of a
>ballot which is not the commonplace markable paper ballot that we
>are all used to. This new OVC ballot is a full and complete listing
>of the voters selections but it is not markable by the voter since
>it itself is not the device used to make selections. It is thus
>"reduced" but "complete" and "filled in", and the word "summary"
>seems to convey this. However it does need to be called a "ballot"
>also because we are emphasizing that it is the legal record of the
>vote.
>
>thus logically the adjective "summary" is modifying the term
>"ballot". one can have a paper ballot that is not a summary ballot.
>
>However, if you just say the terms "paper summary ballot" and
>"summary paper ballot", that logic-be-damned, the latter has a
>better ring to it and is easier to say. This distinction is
>important, at least to me, because I spend a lot my time talking not
>writing about these systems.
>
>Hence the root of the dilemma.
>
>My feeling is that the solution is to realize we need to define two
>phrases as its too much of a mouthful to go around saying or
>writing "paper summary ballot" in every instance, when I think that
>after the first couple invocations the concept of "paper" will
>become implicit.
>
>My nomination there for is to settle on two phrases that emphasize
>the distinctions one is making.
>
>summary ballot
>summary paper ballot.
>
>a summary ballot could in principle be an electronic one and the
>term is equally useful in that context. When paper is implicit to
>the context already dropping the shorter phrase summary ballot is
>more handy than the fully qualified verision. The second phrase is
>used when one wants to emphasize the paper explicitly hence moving
>the "paper" close to ballot in this context is useful, and as a
>bonus easier to say than he other way around. But I will add my
>favoritism of this order is only slight.
>
>the key point is that it is important to to use the terms precisely
>and that having a shorter to type or easier to say version aids this
>goal.

-- 
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Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA  94303-4507
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Received on Wed Jun 30 23:17:22 2004

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