Re: [SystemSafety] Concerning definitions (was Re: Does "reliable" mean "safe" and or "secure" or neither?)

From: Peter Bernard Ladkin < >
Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2016 16:18:42 +0200

> [Paul Bennett] I use the OED definitions for the most part (always one that seems to fit the bill).

> [PBL] One would surely expect professional engineers to use the technical definitions of these terms established in his area of expertise. ...

> [CMH] One would surely expect professional engineers to be less cavalier in frequently adding new definitions to common words, which change the meanings in confusing, unhelpful ways. But one's expectations would sadly go unfulfilled.

I don't agree that the technical definitions of the words Paul mentioned change the meanings in "confusing, unhelpful ways". The example I gave was supposed to illustrate that - I'm sorry the message didn't get through.

> I would rather trust professional lexicographers to design a safety-critical system by themselves than professional (or academic) engineers to write competent definitions by themselves.

I've been working with professional lexicographers for a few years analysing the technical vocabulary being introduced along with the new domains of electrotechnology. We're working on a follow-up project specialising in the terms in safety and security. We are well aware of the complexities of the vocabulary and its interconnections.

Paul is a self-employed professional engineer, something which is specially treated in Germany as an "engineering bureau", but not in the UK I don't think. If he doesn't think it's appropriate to use the existing technical terms in IEC 60050, I'd rather like to know why, because people such as Paul are our "user base". So I asked. Is there something wrong with that?

PBL Prof. Peter Bernard Ladkin, University of Bielefeld and Causalis Limited

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systemsafety_at_xxxxxx Received on Tue Apr 26 2016 - 16:18:52 CEST

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