On May 31, 2010, at 1:25 PM, Deborah MacPherson wrote:
Maybe something like that. Thanks also David E for your comments. To some extent data about buildings and infrastructure does need handle terms having multiple meanings, more often though it is the opposite where multiple terms have the same meaning.
I "of course" meant both synonyms & homonyms but was too lazy to write it that way. Language is rather like that... there's a language nuance for every point & perspective on the compass. Whether or not I am aware of that nuance & use it correctly is yet another facet of complexity.
Attempting to impose the correct nuances of language on architects/builders/contractors throwing up drywall is not a good idea. Good technology stays out of the way.
I have been told by a friend who actually attempted a "naming rationalization" project at a large retailer that while synonyms (e.g. tax_id, emplID, SSN, SIN, EIN, TID, ...) are difficult, far more prevalent & dangerous are homonyms. People are familiar with a term & simply reuse it.
How all this folds into taxonomies & ontologies is yet to be determined.