Homology/similarity/identity: proper usage.

D. Pat Beckfield beckfdp at pallas.network.com
Fri Feb 1 16:51:32 EST 1991

In article <OWHITE.91Feb1084317 at haywire.nmsu.edu> owhite at nmsu.edu (smouldering dog) writes:
>In article <1991Jan31.155713.27154 at ns.network.com> beckfdp at pallas.network.com (D. Pat Beckfield) writes:
>>   If they do carry out the same functions, but you're still concerned by
>>   evolutionary relations, you can call them "analogous" -- having the
>>   same function, but not necessarily the same origin.
>>   D. Patrick Beckfield                          pat.beckfield at network.com
>in the literature, two similar sequences are RARELY referred to as
>	owen white		(owhite at nmsu.edu)
I must point out that this is a failing of the authors of the literature,
not the English language.  

If the author is not confident enough of the origins of the material, but
is confident that it is homomorphic with and carries out the same functions
as other material, then the correct word in the English language is
"analogous".  The word is ideally suited to the situation as described.
I can state this emphatically as a professional technical writer, 
condescension not withstanding.


D. Patrick Beckfield                          pat.beckfield at network.com
7600 Boone Ave N                              (612) 424-4888
Network Systems Corporation
Minneapolis, MN  55428-1099

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