Why do we use the word "protocol"?

Kazuo Kinoshita kkinoshi at virus1.virus.kyoto-u.ac.jp
Tue Apr 25 05:07:32 EST 1995

In article <0098F5A5.97EFBDE0 at Msu.oscs.montana.edu>,
uvsmr at Msu.oscs.montana.edu (Matt Rognlie) wrote:

> This has interested me for some time.  If you look up the word "protocol" in a
> good dictionary, it has nothing to do with "scientific procedures".  Why
are we
> using this word, then?  Should we rewrite the dictionary or quit using it?

I think we should rewrite.

I looked up the word in The American Heritage Dictionary, which is an
on-line electronic dictionary on the Macintosh.  It contained description
as follows.

> 4. The plan for a course of medical treatment or for a scientific experiment.

Interestingly, it also listed a meaning of "protocol" when we say IP
(internet protocol) or ftp (file transfer protocol), common words in this
world of Internet.

> 5. Computer Science. A standard procedure for regulating data
transmission between computers.

Even worst expression in the past times could find place in a dictionary
only if it is used by most people as such, couldn't it?

                                Kazuo Kinoshita
                                1st Department of Medical Chemistry
                                Kyoto University
                                Kyoto, Japan
                                e-mail: kkinoshi at virus.kyoto-u.ac.jp

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