2005.08.22 01:21 PM

Bad Verbification

Rotten writers like me probably shouldn't throw stones, but is this really necessary?

It is much more difficult to concretize visual design issues like “the site should support user experience” or “the site should be friendly to disabled visitors”.

We decided that two developers from the student group were appointed to spend their efforts in the next iteration on concretizing the vaguely defined visual design statements.

At the third planning meeting, the concretized visual design statements were presented.

These stories were all chosen for implementation in the fourth iteration while others were sent back for further concretizing.

The number one problem in the workshops was [sic] process of concretizing visual design ideas into user stories.

The participants requested some sort of tool, which could help concretize the visual design ideas in the time of one iteration.

Cultural probes explore and bear ideas and personas concretize them.

I realize that Anders Toxboe wasn't the first to refactor this otherwise fine noun. I just wish that he (and others) would resist the temptation.

In any case, if you're interested in user-centered design and XP, it's an interesting read.

[via Larkware's Daily Grind]


Wow... didn't even think about the word being that bad - but I guess I will take it out in later versions of the paper.
Coming from speaking Danish as a first language, where the word "konkretisere" is a standard word, I thought it would be alright. Guess not. :-(

Anders Toxboe | 2005.09.10 11:57 AM

Just looked the word "Concretize" up on dictionary.com... I guess it wasn't a refactoring of the word concrete anyway:

Anders Toxboe | 2005.09.10 12:03 PM

Well, Anders, I'm so bad a writer I can't even call out another writer (in writing) without failing. Even, apparently, when English is a second language for the other writer. My apologies.

It turns out my slandering of "concretize" was, at best, misinformed. It is not just an odd sounding tech-spun verbification of an age-old noun. In fact, it's been around since at least 1884 and means to make something concrete, not like a parking lot, but as in not abstract (i.e., specific or particular). Clearly, we should all feel free to get up and move around the concrete:


In my defense I will only say that "concretize" is not a word I hear very often and when I do it's usually in some technical or software development context, which has led me to believe it was made up for the purpose, like "ideation" or "scriptify" or "referentialize".

Live and learn. Thanks for taking the time to write.

ewbi.develops | 2005.09.10 09:02 PM

No problem. If you fancy any more misspellings, check out: http://blog.anderstoxboe.com

Anders Toxboe | 2005.09.13 07:36 AM

Now that "concretize" is put to rest perhaps we might dispatch and bury the equally pretentious and never-before-heard "refactoring".

Raving Dave | 2008.08.03 08:58 PM

well.. it's like I said!

anewild | 2009.05.22 09:13 PM


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