On 2/14/14 6:56 AM, Frank Guerino
I think Rich Cooper's feedback caused me to go back and do
some research. Along with some minor changes to their
definitions, I would flip Syntax and Grammar. The results would
A Data Dictionary defines "data" by giving you
details about that data element (e.g. Attribute/Field Name,
Description, Data Type, Constraints, etc.)
Yes, as any description of Data boils down to describing (or
1. entity types -- classes, subclasses, properties, and
2. relation semantics -- covering domains, ranges, transitivity,
equivalence, symmetry, inverses etc..
A Term is a word that is accompanied by a
Maybe "references" instead of "accompanied" since a Term has the
duality of denotation and description/definition reference.
A Vocabulary is usually a listing or grouping of
words that are common a domain of context (usually without
But FOAF and Schema.org are vocabularies, and I don't think anyone
would consider them devoid of definition.
A Glossary is a more detailed Vocabulary that is
tied to a specific and limited Context. Unlike a Vocabulary
that only provides a list or grouping of words or terms that
are common to a context, a Glossary provides the long name,
short name or acronym, and a description/definition. It
rarely gets into a things like synonyms and antonyms.
A Dictionary is often used interchangeably with a
Glossary but is often considered to handle much more, like
getting into phonetics, derivations, etc.
A Data Model is a representation of how to
aggregate and interrelate Data, which is defined by a Data
Dictionary. This includes but is not limited to things like
Primary and Foreign Key representations, how to deal with
permutations, time, history, and much more.
A Taxonomy is a categorization of "anything"…
Words, Glossaries, Types, etc. Taxonomies can take on
multiple forms, such as lists, hierarchies, interactive
A Syntax is a set of rules for structuring
elements, such as words and symbols to create things like
phrases, sentences, and paragraphs.
A Grammar is a means of defining how words are
used to create meaning, within a Language.
A Language is the inclusion of all of the above.
You left out signs i.e., its signs, syntax, and entity relation
semantics. The roles that entities play in a relation is vital to
understanding what the relation means. Even something as basic as an
IRI denoting the subject, predicate, and object of a relation lays
the foundation for powerful insights what a particular relationship
An Ontology is the development of a combination of
one or more of all of the above with the intent to
facilitate higher order activities, such as communications,
translation, learning, understanding, teaching, and making
At this juncture, I am of the opinion that Ontology and Data
Dictionary are synonyms modulo RDBMS marketing which has
successfully claimed (at least temporarily) ownership of:
1. data dictionary
3. data model .
In similar vein, RDF has made a play for:
BTW -- I forgot to add Schema to my original question :-)
 http://bit.ly/1cchBvV -- My Glossary of Terms .
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