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Subject: RE: English Language Tags

   <Account> - a ledger of financial, numeric, date, or text entries

This is an excellent example to take the discussion deeper than English versus what we so blithely call 'foreign' languages.

The "human readable" tag, <Account>, has at least two extremely common meanings in business:

-- A list of bookkeeping entries

-- A customer or client

We also have:

-- An arrangement to keep money in a bank or do business with a firm (quite distinct from entries in the bank's or firm's books)

as well as others.


I mention this because it illustrates one good reason to start with some kind of language-free identifier, and then allow for tag names in natural languages.  The identifier points us to a statement of the meaning of the tag.  The tag name in natural language may be added.

For those who know the meaning of the tag, it will help them recall it.  For those who do not know the meaning, it may or may not help and may very well lead to misunderstanding.


By the way, this <Account> also shows the difficulty of crafting good definitions.  I don't know much about accounting, so perhaps this is a good definition of one usage of 'account.'  It is different, though, from the perhaps more common usage whereby a ledger has many accounts and an account is One of the heads or subdivisions of the ledger.

A. n.
1. A book that lies permanently in some place.
d. Commerce The principal book of the ‘set of books’ ordinarily employed for recording mercantile transactions.
Its distinctive feature is that its contents consist of ‘debtor-and-creditor accounts’. Usually each person (or firm) with whom the trader has business relations has an account in the ledger, headed with his name, and showing the sums charged to his debit on the left page or half-page, and on the right those credited to him. In the system of ‘double entry’ the ledger includes other accounts of similar form to these, but headed with the designations of certain branches or subdivisions of the trader’s own business.  [OED]



Joaquin Miller
Chief Architect
Financial Systems Architects


San Francisco
phone: +1 (510) 336-2545
fax:   +1 (510) 336-2546
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