Author Topic: Satisficing  (Read 262 times)

Offline AnasaziWrites

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Satisficing
« on: April 17, 2022, 06:06:33 PM »
Is it not fun to discover someone has coined a new word that describes a complex subject in a single word?
This from the first paragraph of a book review in the April 16-17 edition of the Wall Street Journal, describing a person's quest for the perfect audio system.
Could apply to any tool or endeavor--penmanship perhaps?

Adding the attribution (which I forgot when posting originally).



« Last Edit: April 19, 2022, 03:14:18 PM by AnasaziWrites »

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Satisficing
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2022, 09:27:42 PM »
I think it is a bunch of fun!   ;D
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
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Offline K-2

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Re: Satisficing
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2022, 03:27:18 PM »
Beautiful, @AnasaziWrites - So so beautiful!  You always give me Spencerian Goals (which mine may never satisfice)

Pedantry Ahoy:  It's not exactly a new word, although it may be new to you.  It first appears in the English record in the 1560s, as a Northern English vernacularization of the Latin term satisfacere.  It starts off as a colloquial alternative to "satisfy", but by the 1950s its modern sense of "do just enough to meet the requirements" has become an independent formation.
/Pedantry

--yours truly, K

Here's our word of the day in a 14th-15thC Bātarde:
« Last Edit: April 18, 2022, 04:51:49 PM by K-2 »

Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Satisficing
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2022, 03:48:46 PM »
Beautiful, So so beautiful!  You always give me Spencerian Goals (which mine may never satisfice)
Thanks, @K-2 . Actually, an example of satisficing on my part. I had only six minutes to grab a pen, ink, and a scrap of paper to dash that off, let it dry, and post it before another engagement. Sufficient, but not my best.
Quote

Pedantry Ahoy:  It's not exactly a new word, although it may be new to you.

 Quite right--better would have been "new to me" and not relying on the claim by the author of the article referenced.

Quote

Here's our word of the day in a 14th-15thC Bātarde:
Love it. I'd be happy with one tenth the talent you show in your drawings and lettering. Ever think you were born in the wrong century?
Looks like an Invent ink--Stargazer maybe?

Offline K-2

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Re: Satisficing
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2022, 11:26:57 PM »
Yep, @AnasaziWrites - your source got its source correct - Herb Simon seems to have been the first to use it in a printed piece.  BUT.... MOAR PEDANTRY:

Herb Simon's first use of it came in a 1956 article: "Evidently, organisms adapt well enough to 'satisfice'; they do not, in general, 'optimize'" (Psychol. Rev. 63, 129/2).  But writers for the popular press often mistake the earliest appearance of a term in print for its earliest use, and credit that first print source with the coinage.  However, in Simon's piece here, the use of scare quotes around satisfice actually distances him from the word's coinage, particularly as this passage's formulation works to oppose it with 'optimize' - a term that itself first appears in its modern usage in an economics journal in 1941: "The loan and storage operations may then be employed to guide and direct the use of the nation's agricultural resources along lines which will optimize the use to which they are put." (Amer. Econ. Rev. 30, 152).  Writers often use scare quotes to disown terms!

That's why it's not really so that Shakespeare coined all these words - Rather, it's a slight misunderstanding of the fact that these words all first appear in print in the first printed edition of his plays.  But please note that if a play (that is meant to be performed live, not read in a book) uses a word, it must mean that people already know what it means (because during a play, you can't really stop and define it).  People don't like to watch things that they can't understand or that they have to work too hard to understand.  Shakespeare was very very popular in his time.

Add to this that most colloquial speech was not captured in books up until people started printing drama/plays.  Writing was much much more formal then, because it was much more laborious to produce and reproduce, so you'd always try to put your best foot forward (and to keep said foot out of mouth).  So in the medieval & renaissance periods, the printed word, like the manuscript word before it, tended to be very conservative!

Now add to that further that in the era of early print, most plays weren't readily available in a book.  After all, theatre companies make money on what they perform; there's no such thing as copyright law just yet, so they feel very proprietary about their scripts; so they really don't want you reading the scripts much less taking them and performing them for yourself.  The First Folio of Shakespeare's collected plays came out 7 year after he died!
/PEDANTRY


Love it. I'd be happy with one tenth the talent you show in your drawings and lettering. Ever think you were born in the wrong century?
Looks like an Invent ink--Stargazer maybe?


You are always too kind about my little drawings and my (I think rather unfashionable) broad edge work.  I tell you, my kids and my students often make like I was born in the wrong century!  (and I don't mean the last one!). No - I'm glad for those 20th & 21st century miracles of medicine (vaccines! antibiotics!) and science (just say no to asbestos and lead!) and engineering (automobiles! aeroplanes! even a high speed mag-lev train!) - I'm glad I was born in a time when I could survive my childhood, enjoy enough surplus to learn how to read and write, and be able to travel the world by swift and safe means.

It is an Invent ink: "All the Best"!  (out of an Opus 88 that I fitted with a Pilot Parallel nib)

Here's "satisfice" in an Elizabethan context (and in a 16th Century italic)