Following through a chain of tweets recently I came across the profile of TesPro, a company in India, with a web site at tespro.in which consisted of only the company name and a couple of words, “under updation”.
Updation? My failure antennae were throbbing gleefully. But I’ve been caught out by my own certainty too many times, so I searched for the word on the web:
- updation noun. (India, nonstandard) The act of updating something
- updation noun. (informal) updating; the act or process of bringing up-to-date
- The -(t)ion derivational suffix can’t be applied to update. Derivations are almost all irregular, and restricted in the words they can appear on.
And here’s how my internal dialog continued:
OK, so it’s maybe a bit informal and used mostly in India, but as the web site is based in India let’s just calm ourselves down. There’s no issue here, right?
But the web is a global tool and a couple of trusted references for English – Oxford and Cambridge dictionaries – don’t have the word.
Yeah, but the site’s in India, for a company offering services in India.
One of my team is Indian. She’s never used or even heard the term. And in any case, the company is on Facebook and LinkedIn and don’t say they’re only offering their services to India.
OK, so let’s accept that the word is non-standard and could be seen by anyone in the world. You still understood it easily enough didn’t you?
Yes, but …
… and we know how malleable English is and how new words are being coined all the time …
… yeah, but in a competitive world seeing something like that might be enough to make me go somewhere else. And the page is pretty spartan too:
Now you’re changing your complaint. Have I won?
You’re right and, no, you haven’t. I’ve just demonstrated to myself again that oracles are heuristic and that you can get conflicting information from them. And that some are more authoritative on some issues than others but which you accept evidence from and to what extent are dependent on many factors including the needs and intent of the stakeholders.
Great, so this wasn’t a total wastation of our time, then.