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Author: Subject: Last chemical order?
Pumukli
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[*] posted on 23-5-2019 at 12:41
Last chemical order?


Dear Mods,
(and everyone to whom it may concern)

I wanted to ask a long time ago whether anyone feels a certain unease about the title of that thread in Fundamentals -> Reagents and Apparatus acquisition -> Last chemical order?

English is not my mother's language but the word "last" has some inherent negative, pessimistic connotation in the above context because it suggests a finished thing, the last thing, as in the "Last Supper". "There was no more supper after the last one and won't be more purchases either."

On the other hand the word "latest" feels much more appropriate: it suggests an ongoing process with stages as one equips his/her lab with new supplies. It sounds more positive, more optimistic. The latest purchase was an achievement wich is worth celebrating but at least bragging about. And it is expected that there will be more such achievements (and braggings) to come.

Of course, for a native speaker the above reasoning may sound silly. What do you think?

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woelen
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[*] posted on 23-5-2019 at 13:10


Good point, I changed the title.



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fusso
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[*] posted on 27-9-2019 at 17:20


Now I think latest is also inappropriate too. Latest can mean...the one who came the last. So latest chemical order can mean "the chemical order that used the longest time to arrive you've ever experienced". Maybe rename the thread again?

[Edited on 190928 by fusso]




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j_sum1
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[*] posted on 27-9-2019 at 17:47


If Google was ever an authority on such matters…


28-09-2019 11-40-28 AM.png - 43kB
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[*] posted on 28-9-2019 at 01:14


Quote: Originally posted by fusso  
Now I think latest is also inappropriate too. Latest can mean...the one who came the last. So latest chemical order can mean "the chemical order that used the longest time to arrive you've ever experienced". Maybe rename the thread again?


I think any natural language has this problem. To cite Edsger Dijkstra: "So-called "natural language" is wonderful for the purposes it was created for, such as to be rude in, to tell jokes in, to cheat or to make love in"

In Russian the word which is used in the meaning of "last" means also "worst". It was a time when it was not polite to ask people in a queue "who is the last one". You should say an analogue of "who is the uttermost" otherwise you would get an answer "there is no one". But despite this duality everybody can understand who is the last in a queue.

[Edited on 28-9-2019 by teodor]
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