Help: synonym for 'monitorable'

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Lilalena, May 5, 2013.

  1. Lilalena Registered Senior Member

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    Just overheard the phrase: in order to be valid their electoral system should be 'monitorable'
    There must be a real word for this already. I'm sure someone here knows the right word.
     
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  3. KitemanSA Registered Senior Member

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    Surveilable.
    Observable.
    Inspectable.
     
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  5. Neddy Bate Valued Senior Member

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    verifiable ?
     
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  7. Enmos Staff Member

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    Transparent?
     
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    I looked at the thesaurus in Dictionary.com for all the synonyms for the verb, "to monitor." Sticking -able on the end of "monitor" is much better than doing it to any of those words.

    This is English. We build new words all the time. Sometimes they're used once and forgotten, other times people find them useful and propagate them. It doesn't matter, as long as they work. And the only measure of that is that they are understandable. This one is.

    -Able/ible is one of our most useful Latin suffixes, because it's not limited to words of Latin origin. Don't be afraid to use it. This is doable.
     
  9. andy1033 Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

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    Personally i think the word has to be relative to the scenario your talking about. As you can use many words instead of the one op wants, but in terms of elections, transparency probably is the best one.
     
  10. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    This metaphorical usage of the word has become popular in recent years, but it is still not in the dictionary.

    The term "Transparency (social)" is in Wikipedia, but the article is not yet considered authoritative even by Wikipedia's standards. The definition it presents is:
    a general quality, implemented by a set of policies, practices and procedures that allow citizens to have accessibility, usability, utility, understandability, informativeness and auditability of information and process held by centers of authority (society or organizations). Feedback mechanisms are necessary to fulfill the goal of transparency.​
    Monitoring is a specific practice that provides citizens with the specific benefit of auditability.

    I would not equate the broad term "transparency" with the much narrower term "monitorability." An election may be well-monitored, yet still not be accessible (no transportation to the polls), understandable (ballots printed only in one of a country's many languages), or useful (the Soviet system with only one candidate).
     
  11. Lilalena Registered Senior Member

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    266
    Ok 'transparent' is pretty good, I didn't think of that. Thanks!

    I agree with 'transparent' and 'auditable' as the closest synonyms but they would probably have to revise the sentence. Which would still be preferable...because monitorable is
    such a clunker.

    It's funny that the closest words to 'monitor' didn't come up as items in the synonyms list.

    I know that we should allow language to evolve but not to the point of losing precision or pushing perfectly good words out of use.
    I like 'doable' and in my opinion it's got a right to exist because it's short and precise at the same time, and probably simpler-sounding
    than its equivalents. I also like the word 'rewatch' as in I just finished rewatching the entire season of ... because it doesn't seem to have any equivalents--it was invented by necessity. But 'monitorable'...

    I wonder what word the likes of Kingsley Amis would have used.

    Or now that I think of it maybe he would have just said 'possible to monitor'...
     
  12. andy1033 Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

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    Fraggle, like you know most people do not look up meanings to words. Its a slang word used by the media and we have picked up on it.

    Maybe one day that new definition will be added to the dictionary, as alot of people use it today in media.
     
  13. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    maybe alot will be added too.
     
  14. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    transparent would probably be the best fit.
     
  15. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    I offered an argument against that. Please rebut rather than restate. Transparent is a much broader term than monitorable.
     
  16. Lilalena Registered Senior Member

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    It's hard to rebut or restate because I agree with most of what you said, while at the same time preferring 'transparent'. In the end I came to realize that my reasoning is more subjective than logical - 'monitorable' just hurts my ears. I did mention that to go with 'transparent' means you have to modify the sample sentence to accommodate the thing you mentioned (which I also agree with) that 'transparent' is considerably broader than 'monitorable'.

    I agree with this too, that's what sent me here. Even though I considered that 'monitorable' is still a more precise word than any of the synonyms, I resisted the idea of using it. I mean it's not a new phenomenon that the word describes so I can't believe that there isn't an older equivalent word for it. So I came here to sciforums to ask.

    I'll settle for transparent for now but I'm sure the word I'm looking for will turn up one day.
     
  17. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

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    And why can't we say - "The electoral system should lend itself to effective monitoring", or "Effective monitoring of the electoral system should be possible." etc.
     
  18. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    We can. However, English is an analytic language, which means we rather freely combine morphemes to build new words for expressing new concepts. It's entirely within our tradition to coin the word "monitorable."

    Analytic languages can be very efficient. This makes them easy to speak slowly, increasing the ease of understanding. It also makes them easier to write and read. "The electoral system should be monitorable" is a much more efficient use of breath (or keystrokes and screen space) than "The electoral system should lend itself to effective monitoring." Fourteen syllables vs. nineteen, thirty-two letters and spaces vs. sixty-three.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
  19. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    in my opinion monitorable is the ability to be monitored or watched.
    having the ability is useless unless it's actually done.
    when it's actually done it's transparency.
     
  20. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

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    Screw efficiency! Churchill would never have said "the electoral system should be monitorable", for it lacks rhythym and elegance, attributes that can be found in "the electoral system should lend itself to effective monitoring".
     
  21. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    We all use different styles of speech and writing to suit the occasion, topic, audience and our own mood. Churchill knew that his words would be printed in newspapers all over the world. I'm sure he realized that they would be in history books, and even Bartlett's. Moreover, he had to inspire the population of (at the time) the most important nation on earth to make it through a depression and a war. All in all, he understood the need for inspirational rhetoric.

    We don't need that when we're talking to our friends and colleagues, or posting on SciForums. My friends constantly criticize me for bringing my "public speaking" style into the lunchroom or the karaoke bar. One lady says my e-mails are so long that her boss has told her she spends too much time and too many computer resources on them.

    And journalists have to strive for concision. Efficiency is a requirement in their jobs. They have to leave enough space for the advertisements.
     
  22. Buddha12 Valued Senior Member

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    Would "overseen by appropriate officals" be appropriate?
     
  23. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    24,690
    In countries where monitoring is an issue, I think they'd like to have private citizens doing it. That's the whole point: they don't trust the officials.
     

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