Writing for Business


October 17, 2012  2:45 PM

I don’t like it, you don’t like it … but there may be some slight excuse for “decisioning”

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

 

I’m carrying on from yesterday’s post on decisioning, which generated some heated responses. The flamebait: “Is “decisioning” an acceptable word?” Among the responses:

@kemulholland: No, “decisioning” is not acceptable in any context except a Dilbert strip. Kill it with FIRE.

@KellyDrill: No no no no no.

@EastBeachEdit: Only if “choicing” is too.

@H_E_Sarah: Not just no, but *ALL-CAPS EXPLETIVE deleted* NO!

@kemulholland: Thanks for starting my day with the post on “decisioning” – I’m awake! My claws are sharp! Let the editing begin!

This morning, I heard from the other side, in a tweet from @intelligentform informing me that “decisioning”  is “actually a technical term in IT, particularly in regards to Decision Management and Business Rules.”

No further explanation was provided and I didn’t really find such a vague allusion satisfactory as an argument. We define technical terms on WhatIs.com. We try to avoid jargon as much as possible and at least mark it as such when we have to refer to it. So I did a little search for a definition of “decisioning” and here’s what I found, among the expected marketing gobbledygook:

From ZootWeb.com: 

Decisioning
The process of obtaining an automated decision based on pre-determined pass/fail criteria.

Although I’m sure there must be a better word, that definition at least differentiates decisioning from human decision-making  — decisioning is an automated decision-making process. I don’t like it, but I can understand why we might want to have a different word for when software makes a decision as opposed to when a human does.

The Free Dictionary allows it as a transitive verb:

tr.v. de·ci·sionedde·ci·sion·ingde·ci·sions  Sports

To defeat by a decision, as in boxing: decisioned his opponent in the third round.

Ohhhhhhh… it comes from sports. I should have known.

I thought I’d run a Google search just to see how many hits “decisioning” gets: 410,000

First time I searched, though, I inadvertently entered Google’s predictive text-generated search term, “decisioning solutions.”

Apparently someone thought it was a cool term to use as their company name. Uh, no.

There were also generic references, as in this article:
Realtime decisioning solutions will be a differentiator for customer service

Anyway, if you’ve finished retching, I’ll give you the numbers for “decisioning solutions”: 41,300.

And you thought “decisioning” was as bad as it got.

 

Follow me on Twitter @tao_of_grammar

October 16, 2012  1:31 PM

Do we really need words like “decisioning”?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

 

Which is correct?
Business activity monitoring provides an immediate real-time monitoring and ____________ capability.
a. decisioning
b. decision-making

Continued »


October 15, 2012  3:26 PM

“Us chickens” or “we chickens”? It depends on the case.

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

 

Which is correct?
The bring your own device (BYOD) policy is popular with employees but it really puts a strain on __ help desk jockeys.
a. us
b. we

Continued »


October 12, 2012  6:04 PM

Could care less or couldn’t care less?

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

Which is correct?

I’d like to use responsive design to make sure our site renders well on mobile devices, but our lead developer ______________________.
a. could care less
b. couldn’t care less

Continued »


October 11, 2012  8:14 PM

“Sceptical” or “skeptical”?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
Responding to rumors that attackers were planning a massive cyber attack, security experts remained ________ of the potential of such an attack to cripple the Internet.
a. skeptical
b. sceptical

Continued »


October 9, 2012  7:14 PM

The difference between “someday” and “some day”

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
The message from human resources asked if she could come for an interview __________ next week.
a. someday
b. some day

Continued »


October 5, 2012  10:55 AM

Splitting infinitives and changing rules

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is preferable?
1. To reduce its vulnerability, the government planned to gradually reduce its number of Internet connections.
2. To reduce its vulnerability, the government planned to reduce its number of Internet connections gradually.

Continued »


October 4, 2012  2:24 PM

The “so-called” problem

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is preferable?
1. Encryption is the conversion of data into so-called ciphertext, which cannot be easily understood by unauthorized people.

2. Encryption is the conversion of data into a form called ciphertext, which cannot be easily understood by unauthorized people.

Continued »


October 3, 2012  1:22 PM

Em dashes and spaces: AP vs. Chicago

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

I’m taking another run at yesterday’s Q&A. I was apparently wrong about being wrong. I’d been using em dashes correctly all along, if only by accident, since we loosely follow AP style on WhatIs.com. All right … here it goes again. (Pls. note correct AP-style ellipsis. YES — I learned something else already today!)

Which is correct?
1. Vendors—including Apple, Google and Microsoft—all have their own versions of auto-correct programs and, as a result, their own particular auto-correct fails.

2. Vendors — including Apple, Google and Microsoft — usually have their own versions of auto-correct programs and, as a result, their own particular auto-correct fails.

Continued »


October 2, 2012  9:03 PM

Do you put spaces around em dashes?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
1. Vendors—including Apple, Google and Microsoft—all have their own versions of auto-correct programs and, as a result, their own particular auto-correct fails.

2. Vendors — including Apple, Google and Microsoft — usually have their own versions of auto-correct programs and, as a result, their own particular auto-correct fails.

Continued »


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