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Satisfice
A rare word with two distinct meanings
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
2013/05/03
8:14am
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Glenn
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I saw it in print with little context. It is a heading.
satisfice

One dictionary has it as meaning this, from the point of view of the person to be pleased:
satisfice to be satisfied with a minimum or merely satisfactory level of performance, profitability, etc. rather than a maximum or optimum level.

But another dictionary has it defined from the point of view of the person who is to do the pleasing:
satisfice to act in such a way as to satisfy the minimum requirements for achieving a particular result

Each is potentially useful in its own way, but the duality is disturbing. It would be hard to use without a clarification. So then, what is the point of using it? To impress? I suspect that might backfire.

2013/05/03
12:17pm
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New River, AZ, USA
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Never heard that word, but could have guessed its meaning from context. The duality of usage is indeed confusing, but it wouldn’t be the first time a word doubled as a verb and an adjective.

Your comment about it being used “to impress” reminded me of the op-eds W.F. Buckley Jr. used to do. Seemed his agenda was to use at least one word in every column he wrote that would send readers scrambling for a dictionary. He was a great writer/speaker, but that facet of his work always bugged me.

Not unlike your use of the term “transfenestral” in this thread. 🙂   I speak German well enough to get the root of that term, and the rest from context. But it gets flagged by spell-check, doesn’t show in any of my dictionaries, and is totally absent from Ngrams. No doubt you coined that term, but that’s one of the fun things I like about language. You can be creative without really breaking any rules.

 

2013/05/03
3:23pm
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Glenn
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What!? Transfenestral isn’t in the dictionary!? Well, it ought to be!

If it catches on, it will be documented here that I was the originator.

2013/05/03
5:56pm
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RobertB
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I have never seen or heard it either. All due respects to Glenn’s apparent recognition of it, that is whatever might transpire as recognition or attention, to me it vaguely reminds of ‘proactive,’ one of those at first sounding mildly impressive but ultimately only vaguely grating neither here nor there thanks but no thanks things people liked to kick around around the motivational speaking circuits and now the freedom of infovisation net.  

But why am I thinking the greasy pan calls the kettle black?

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