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    • Join Date: Jan 2006
    • Posts: 9

    error or mistake


    I'm looking for a word to make clear that 1. 'doing something wrong, and you correct it', is allowed, and 2. 'doing something wrong and don't correct it' is not allowed.(both after seeing the 'wrongdoing')

    Well, 'not allowed' is maybe 'to strong'.

    If 'error' is 1., then my students 'are allowed to make errors', and 'no mistakes'.

    If 'mistake' is 1. then my students 'are allowed to make mistakes' and 'no errors'.

    I want to make clear that 'doing something wrong is allowed, as long as they correct the 'wrongdoing'. (it's hard making it understandable without using error/mistake).

    Or is there another word I could use....


  1. #2

    Re: error or mistake

    You could use more subtle terms such as: inaccuracy, miscalculation, blunder, oversight; slip-up, boo-boo, accident, by accident, inadvertently error, unintentionally error...

    In computing there's a term called "error correcting"

    • Join Date: Jan 2006
    • Posts: 9

    Re: error or mistake

    Yes, you're right, but which one to use to make the difference between; this is allowed, and this not...., and just using two words for this purpose.

    Error and mistake seems to be fine, I just don't know if the meaning is right.

    Like in; errors are allowed, mistakes not...or is it the other way round ?

    And if error and mistake are the same, why 2 words for the same description ?
    According to me there must be a very, indeed subtle, difference....
    Which one ?

  2. #4

    Re: error or mistake

    There are subtle differences. And unfortunately there is not word that means 'allowed error'.

    In English if people want to make known a mistake but show that it's not too bad and can be corrected then we use words like 'boo boo' or 'slip up'.

    They are like a nice way to say you made a mistake but it's not important.

    Otherwise you have to use a combination of words like:

    'allowable error'

    • Join Date: Jan 2006
    • Posts: 9

    Re: error or mistake

    Thanks for reply.

    I'm a native Flemish, ending up in a 'Spanish' country, teaching database and Project Management in English to adults...

    I could use boo boo in my database classes, don't think I will have problems there...

    But in the PM classes, were I have to deal with upper-management people...

    We're working in the cycle PDCA, which is Plan-Do-Check-Act.

    It is in this concept that I'm looking for a (one) word to make clear they can do 'something wrong', as long as the 'correct' is part of the 'Act' after the 'Check'.

    Something as, indeed, a mistake, yes but an error no....

  3. #6

    Re: error or mistake

    There is NO one word for 'allowable error' or 'non-dire mistake'. Sorry.

    You'll have to use a phrase of some sort. Just check with the thesaurus, e.g.

    mistake I assumed it had been a mistake error, fault, inaccuracy, omission, slip, blunder, miscalculation, misunderstanding, oversight, misinterpretation, gaffe, faux pas, solecism; informal slip-up, boo-boo, blooper, boner, goof, flub. verb 1 did I mistake your meaning? misunderstand, misinterpret, get wrong, misconstrue, misread. 2 children often mistake vitamin pills for candies confuse with, mix up with, take for, misinterpret as.PHRASES be mistaken I'm afraid you are mistaken—I've never been here before be wrong, be in error, be under a misapprehension, be misinformed, be misguided; informal be barking up the wrong tree. make a mistake he admits he's made a mistake go wrong, err, make an error, blunder, miscalculate; informal slip up, make a boo-boo, drop the ball, goof (up).THE RIGHT WORDIt would be a mistake to argue with your boss the day before he or she evaluates your performance, but to forget an important step in an assigned task would be an error. Although these nouns are used interchangeably in many contexts, a mistake is usually caused by poor judgment or a disregard of rules or principles (: it was a mistake not to tell the truth at the outset), while an error implies an unintentional deviation from standards of accuracy or right conduct ( | a mathematical error). A blunder is a careless, stupid, or blatant mistake involving behavior or judgment; it suggests awkwardness or ignorance on the part of the person who makes it ( | his blunder that ruined the evening). A slip is a minor and usually accidental mistake that is the result of haste or carelessness ( | her slip of the tongue spoiled the surprise), while a faux pas (which means “false step” in French) is an embarrassing breach of etiquette ( | it was a faux pas to have meat at the table when so many of the guests were vegetarians). Goofs and bloopers are humorous mistakes. A blooper is usually a mix-up in speech, while to goof is to make a careless error that is honestly admitted ( | she shrugged her shoulders and said, “I goofed!”)

    • Join Date: Jan 2006
    • Posts: 9

    Re: error or mistake

    Thanks Sebaylias....
    Quote Originally Posted by Sebaylias
    a mistake is usually caused by poor judgment or a disregard of rules or principles, while an error implies an unintentional deviation from standards of accuracy or right conduct
    Keywords: disregard of rules = mistake = not allowed
    unintentional deviation from standard = error = allowed
    That should do it..

  4. #8

    Re: error or mistake

    Just be warned:
    "disregard of rules" is a bit odd and would actually quite harsh, it suggests a blantant ignoring of the rules (as if they weren't impotant you they did something very wrong)
    "unintentional deviation from standard" is very 'mechanical' sounding. If you use 'unintentional deviation from standard usage' or something it might help.

    I know it's hard if you're not a Native English Speaker to detect the very subtle differnces in these words but they are important.

    I hope I've helped.

    • Join Date: Jan 2006
    • Posts: 9

    Re: error or mistake

    Great help, thank you.

    Since we're working with systems where 'rules and standards' are very important, and the tendency to 'bend' rules and standards seems to be a national sport, I needed something 'strong and to the point'.

    Maybe it's harsh, it is the only way to make them understand that 'playing' with those rules and standards is wrong and will give problems in the long run.

    Thanks for warning.



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