What’s in a word? “DITA” as a substring match

Web searches easily bring up all the usual false matches for our favorite markup topic, DITA. One of my favorites is Dita as the name of a field hockey stick, of which we’re told at its web site that dita is Urdu for “gift from heaven.” That’s one of the better unintended associations, so we’ll go with it.

But aside from full-string matches across the web, what about substring matches across the dictionary? Why, even more fun!

The most applicable substring match is “editable,” which of course is what authoring in DITA is all about. This word might make a good adjective for a DITA blog name. If you want to use it that way, just mention that you got the idea here! :-)

Next up is “creditable,” which when it comes to DITA can also mean “Well, we picked it because the alternatives were worse.” Being ever the irrepressible optimist, I hear that as a definite compliment about DITA’s fit for today’s technical content, thank you very much!

Next is “meditation,” a state of serene contemplation, as in, “Which semantic phrase is more appropriate here, citation or variable name?” If more people would meditate on DITA semantics in this way, don’t you agree the world would be a better place?

Next is “auditable,” which is one of the reasons DITA has a prolog and topicmeta. If you went to a new release and didn’t update your vrmlist, who’s going to stand by you when the taxman cometh? Hear my words: Keep your DITA metadata up to date, and your content will always be auditable.

Then there’s “hereditary.” If that isn’t Darwinian, what is? I rest my case.

Let’s see, we’re left with “extraditable” and “expeditate,” neither of which sounds pleasant for the person or critter in those situations, so we’ll just pass on those terms.

Which leaves the closing question on everyone’s mind, Do these forms of matching work for  languages other than English? Oh, absolutely! You can find out why “dita” shows up in so many Italian and Portuguese pages on this site:  http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/dita .

And “dita” is a substring in the Spanish term for “expedite”–that’s the oh-so-clever allusion I’ve chosen for the expeDITA Content Collaboration Tool open source project.

So there we have it–everything you never knew, or perhaps never cared to know, about words that include “dita.” Use that knowledge with care!

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3 Responses to What’s in a word? “DITA” as a substring match

  1. Too funny, Don. I suppose this post dispels the rumor that you have no sense of humor. Leave it to you to do a substring search for DITA in vocabulary.

    Nice words that came up, for the most part, and very applicable. It’s also interesting to see that you haven’t lost your writing chops by applying those terms to DITA concepts. I like the meditation piece because I do spend a lot of time telling folks to think through their semantics. Though you missed the opportunity to say, “if your meditation on the semantics is fruitful, then the content will be extraditable by improved searching algorithms”. :D

    That’s one more word on the list.

  2. Don says:

    I might have to expeditate you for that last one, Julio, creditable as it was. Thanks for the overall thoughts!

  3. Don says:

    And along comes another embedded use of “dita”: iDITArod, the race that tests the endurance of dogs and drivers in the worst of conditions. Heck, I could say that about just commuting on Mopac here in Austin. That’s why my next license plate may as well say “iDITArod!”

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