One Letter doth a difference Make

Adventures of depreciated.

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I don’t know when it happened. There I was, merrily programming along when I hit the dreaded ‘depreciated function’. In programming this means that while you can currently use the function, eventually it will not be supported and if you keep using it, life will stink. Using a depreciated function is like holding onto the bridge at Khazad Dum. You can fight it, but life is going to stink pretty soon.

Functions get replaced with newer ones all the time. That was not what surprised me. What surprised me was that my eyes and brain were lying to me.

The lying i

depreciated derives from Latin pretium=price. It’s used to describe things which have reduced in value over time. Buy a new car? A month later it has depreciated.

deprecated derives from Latin de=away, and prevari=pray meant to ward something off by prayer. It can also be used to mean to express disapproval of; deplore; belittle, but somehow was adopted in a modern way by computing to mean some feature which is still supported, but no longer recommended, and may not be supported in the future.

Notice the difference between the two words? The dread extra i.

My entire computing life I had been reading, and saying, and writing deprecated as depreciated.

And the funny thing is, you probably have been to. I intentionally used depreciated 3 times in this article 😉 and I am willing to bet that none of my programming friends noticed. If you did leave a response below and I will Venmo you a dollar. No cheating!

Thanks to Twitter, I can trace exactly when I discovered and corrected my brains lying ways.

I felt partially vindicated as I am not the only one saying, reading, and typing this word wrong. Search for ‘depreciated’ on stackoverflow and you will find thousands of programmers with the same problem.

A Solution

So what can we do about this monumental problem? If you are a programmer, put on a sweet soundtrack, and started editing all the questions on stackoverflow. Not only do you gain 2 points of karma, you help rid the world of incorrect and unnecessary ‘i’s.

If you liked this, or just think I am nerdy 🤓 hit the 💚 and it will make me happy.

I would love to meet you on Twitter.

The latin roots and some technical bits sourced from this English stackoverflow article.

Written by

Code, design, cook. Make stuff. Cookies. @BYU grad.

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