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Instantiate Options
lenam
Posted: Monday, August 16, 2010 7:49:16 AM

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I have hardly come across the word “instantiate”. The definition for “instantiate” is to represent a concept by an instance. I most often use “substantiate with an example” instead. I would like to know if I can use “instantiate” whenever i want to say "expain with an example."

"Happiness is a conscious choice, not an automatic response." ~ Mildred Barthel
thar
Posted: Monday, August 16, 2010 8:00:33 AM

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lenam wrote:
I have hardly come across the word “instantiate”. The definition for “instantiate” is to represent a concept by an instance. I most often use “substantiate with an example” instead. I would like to know if I can use “instantiate” whenever i want to say "expain with an example."


I have never used it, so I can't give any nuances, but I would say to take it at face value:

" I have produced good marketing ideas"
"Can you instantiate that?"
"I designed a marketing campaign for....etc"

It is literally asking "give me a specific instance"

If taken as just this, it is a bit less loaded than "substantiate" which means give substance to, fill out, give me more detail, ie make substantial, big and strong. The nuance is "I don't believe you, I need proof"
For instance see the use of the opposite "unsubstantiated allegations"- you have said it but you can't prove it.

I would say instantiate is just a needless jargon-heavy extra way of saying give me an example!

to put it in question above re marketing
"can you substantiate that" would mean give me paperwork proof
but
"can you give me an example" would be normal speech.
"can you instantiate" is showing off, trying to appear superior! Shame on you
lenam
Posted: Monday, August 16, 2010 8:08:14 AM

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Thanks Thar. I too was of the same idea. Your explanation is too good.

"Happiness is a conscious choice, not an automatic response." ~ Mildred Barthel
thar
Posted: Monday, August 16, 2010 8:11:05 AM

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and you are too kind!!
Maybe if you use it enough, it will spread and become normal usage. I suppose it is marginally shorter than saying "give me an example", just a lot harder to say!
grammargeek
Posted: Monday, August 16, 2010 10:20:46 AM

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If somebody told me to "instantiate" something, I wouldn't have a clue what they were talking about. I've never even heard that word before now.
beng
Posted: Monday, August 16, 2010 10:45:43 AM
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"instantiate" means to create an instance. It is widely used in programming
kisholoy mukherjee
Posted: Monday, August 16, 2010 10:50:40 AM

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Instantiate means to give an instance or give an example. I am surprised that this word wasn't heard of before by native speakers. Or is it one of 'those words'?

Gotcha, bud, again
thar
Posted: Monday, August 16, 2010 10:56:18 AM

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beng wrote:
"instantiate" means to create an instance. It is widely used in programming


That makes sense, although I must say I have never seen it in any programming I have done, mostly Java or C# and versions. I think we just "created instances". Maybe I was in a tech-speak free zone, or too low level, or its a BE conservatism thing.

When I looked it up to check it was a real word before commenting, it didn't have programming examples, it used linguistics.

I guess the answer is not to use it unless as a precise technical term, otherwise you look like you have been reading too many dictionaries!
kisholoy mukherjee
Posted: Monday, August 16, 2010 10:59:49 AM

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thar wrote:
beng wrote:
"instantiate" means to create an instance. It is widely used in programming


That makes sense, although I must say I have never seen it in any programming I have done, mostly Java or C# and versions. I think we just "created instances". Maybe I was in a tech-speak free zone, or too low level, or its a BE conservatism thing.

When I looked it up to check it was a real word before commenting, it didn't have programming examples, it used linguistics.

I guess the answer is not to use it unless as a precise technical term, otherwise you look like you have been reading too many dictionaries!


I am not a prolific programmer myself but 'instantiate' is indeed used in programming:
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_instantiating_in_java

Since you specialize in Java, you should find the following familiar.
http://www.javaying.com/2006/10/class-instantiation.html

Gotcha, bud, again
blue2
Posted: Monday, August 16, 2010 12:02:10 PM

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I've never come across the word "instantiate" before myself. I've just looked it up and it isn't in the Cambridge Dictionary which doesn't carry everything (hence my discovery of TFD which I love). I did look it up on the Corpus of Contemporary American English and there were 36 sentence samples most from academic writing: theology, ethnology and such. I like the American Corpus because you can clearly see your word example and it tells you where the sentence samples come from. The British Corpus does not.
Should you be interested:
http://www.americancorpus.org/

"Ignorant men don't know what good they hold in their hands until they've flung it away." - Sophocles
Luftmarque
Posted: Monday, August 16, 2010 12:06:35 PM

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beng wrote:
"instantiate" means to create an instance. It is widely used in programming

Yes, I have only used the word as a technical term in programming, where it means to "create" an instance of some abstract type or class.

}- Luftmarque لوفتمارك -{ Le doute n'est pas une condition agréable, mais la certitude est absurde.—Voltaire
xsmith
Posted: Monday, August 16, 2010 4:05:55 PM
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Instantiate:

Thanks for adding a new word to this native speaker's vocabulary. I cannot wait to use it. Applause Hmm, maybe I can use it in my next letter to a bank that cannot credit a payment to my account although I have sent them reams of proof and argued with a host of customer service reps and their supervisors..
srirr
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 12:18:09 AM

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I am with Kisholoy and Mark. Instantiate is used in computer programming languages. I have used it and heard it.
For general English, the use may not be so common.


We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. ~ Swami Vivekanand
lenam
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 1:39:33 AM

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I agree with all your comments. Instantiate is indeed a technical word. What if I use it in general English as Thar has stated? Would it be unsuitable?

"Happiness is a conscious choice, not an automatic response." ~ Mildred Barthel
srirr
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 1:51:21 AM

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lenam wrote:
I agree with all your comments. Instantiate is indeed a technical word. What if I use it in general English as Thar has stated? Would it be unsuitable?


I don't think technically it is wrong. Dictionary defines this as a valid entry. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/instantiate


We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. ~ Swami Vivekanand
thar
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 2:09:11 AM

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Think
lenam wrote:
I agree with all your comments. Instantiate is indeed a technical word. What if I use it in general English as Thar has stated? Would it be unsuitable?


I would be cautious at using it in general English.

If you are talking to an normal person they will not know what the heck you are talking about Think

If you use it to a computer programmer they will think you are a super-freak who thinks real life is a computer programme Anxious

I'd leave it to the specialists if I were you Whistle

(with apologies to programmers and linguistics geeks everywhere)
excaelis
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 10:37:30 AM

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Oh Lord, more geekologisms ! (I just had to postantiate my feelings on this.)

Sanity is not statistical
thar
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 11:42:40 AM

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excaelis wrote:
Oh Lord, more geekologisms ! (I just had to postantiate my feelings on this.)


One can be born with genius, aspire to brilliance, and achieve excellence, but true geekdom comes from the soul Boo hoo!
Luftmarque
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 1:28:16 PM

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Just to keep the record straight, I am a recovering programmer, not a current practitioner. (I suppose one never becomes a non-geek though!)

}- Luftmarque لوفتمارك -{ Le doute n'est pas une condition agréable, mais la certitude est absurde.—Voltaire
thar
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 1:48:14 PM

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excaelis wrote:
Oh Lord, more geekologisms ! (I just had to postantiate my feelings on this.)


at least, in its defence, instantiate is still better than aboutness!
Regina Lynn
Posted: Thursday, July 06, 2017 3:06:29 PM

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I would take "Instantiate" as previously mentioned, as "give me an example", whereas "substantiate" to mean "Prove it"
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Saturday, July 08, 2017 8:34:32 AM

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Hello Regina!
Welcome to the forum.

Can anyone give an example of its use in normal English?


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
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