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Who knows this word? (please help me) Options
dsa42
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 11:24:50 AM
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I know there is a word for this, but I've forgotten it, and no amount of searching helps me locate it. The definition for the word is an idea or topic that is used as a single item to evaluate something. For example, I use the word "coprophage" as a word that I look up in a dictionary to evaluate that dictionary and see if I want to buy it. The word "coprophage" does not appear in many (most) dictionaries, so by looking up that single word, I know whether the dictionary is an outstanding one or not.

Can anyone help me?
IMcRout
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 11:48:39 AM
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Welcome to the forum, dsa42.

I am not completely sure whether to take your question seriously or not.

Looking at the definition of 'coprophagy' or 'coprophagia', I can't help but get this coprophagous grin on my face.

As to the word you are looking for, the terms 'assessment' and 'appraisal' come to mind, but I feel this is not what you mean.
dsa42
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 12:27:46 PM
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IMcRout wrote:
Welcome to the forum, dsa42.

I am not completely sure whether to take your question seriously or not.

Looking at the definition of 'coprophagy' or 'coprophagia'


Sorry. That is my favorite word, but perhaps I should not have used it, because it does make my inquiry seem spurious. I really am serious.

IMcRout wrote:
As to the word you are looking for, the terms 'assessment' and 'appraisal' come to mind, but I feel this is not what you mean.


No. Those aren't the word I'm looking for. The word really is specific to mean something like "a single item used to assess a source." I have this image in my mind of a razor dividing the assessed items into two groups, those that pass, and those that do not. Somewhat like Occam's Razor assesses algorithms and divides them into two groups.
ialcolea
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 12:36:40 PM
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i've never saw this word in my life.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 12:51:55 PM

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The only 'association' I get with the idea of one word used to test something is "shibboleth"

shibboleth n
a custom, phrase, or use of language that acts as a test of belonging to, or as a stumbling block to becoming a member of, a particular social class, profession, etc.
Collins English Dictionary

Couldn't be that, could it?
Hope2
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 12:59:07 PM

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I don't know a single word, but the idiom is to separate the wheat from the chaff, or to winnow.
TFD -
http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/separate+the+wheat+from+the+chaff
Quote -
"to choose what is of high quality over what is of lower quality As we learn more about computer programs for the classroom, we are able to separate the wheat from the chaff and get the right software for our kids."

Edit - but you want the word that is the name such as the criteria used to separate two functions?
IMcRout
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 1:12:55 PM
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acid test?
Romany
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 1:14:46 PM
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Do you mean something like a criterion or benchmark? A single standard against which something else is judged?

Btw - I too have never heard of coprophage with an 'e'. I thought that the noun was spelt with a 'y' i.e. 'coprophagy'?
thar
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 1:43:14 PM

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Presumably a coprophage is an organism that eats......copra Whistle
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 1:47:51 PM

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Hmmm... Think ... I don't think that's quite the definition, thar. Good try Dancing but no cigar Not talking , sorry.
thar
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 2:09:18 PM

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OK, how about diet copra...?



Geology joke babygrows. Now that is a niche market!

sorry for the threadjack, but how often do I get to post geology jokes (don't answer that!)
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 3:38:17 PM

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co-prophage?
dsa42
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 3:48:50 PM
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Romany wrote:
Btw - I too have never heard of coprophage with an 'e'. I thought that the noun was spelt with a 'y' i.e. 'coprophagy'?


Well, this is not at all related to my question, and I'm sorry I brought it up. :)

However, coprophagy is a noun covering the act. Coprophagous is the adjective.

Coprophage is a noun used for the entity that eats copros. Rabbits are coprophages. They have an extra appendage that comes off of their intestine called a cecum. Inside this cecum they have special bacteria that create vitamins they need. Occasionally they excrete the matter from their cecum which exits their anus as a soft, sticky pellet covered in mucus. They eat this to get their vitamins.

Sorry again.

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/coprophage

http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Coprophages

and for fun:

http://x-files.wikia.com/wiki/War_of_the_Coprophages
dsa42
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 3:52:07 PM
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thar wrote:
Presumably a coprophage is an organism that eats......copra Whistle


Almost. Eats Copros. Copra is from a coconut?
dsa42
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 3:54:28 PM
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thar wrote:
OK, how about diet copra...?



Geology joke babygrows. Now that is a niche market!

sorry for the threadjack, but how often do I get to post geology jokes (don't answer that!)


Almost. :) I actually worked with a biological archaelogist at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago who had some specimens of coprolite. Coprolite is fossilized copros. It would be difficult to eat that! :)
dsa42
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 3:57:01 PM
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Returning to the real question

Hope2 wrote:
I don't know a single word, but the idiom is to separate the wheat from the chaff, or to winnow.
TFD -
http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/separate+the+wheat+from+the+chaff
Quote -
"to choose what is of high quality over what is of lower quality As we learn more about computer programs for the classroom, we are able to separate the wheat from the chaff and get the right software for our kids."

Edit - but you want the word that is the name such as the criteria used to separate two functions?


You've got it exactly. "I use the word c... as a ______ to winnow out the good dictionaries."
dsa42
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 4:01:23 PM
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IMcRout wrote:
acid test?


Good synonym. I looked it up in a couple of thesauri but couldn't use it to locate the word for which I'm searching.

Thanks for the suggestion.
Romany
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 4:34:51 PM
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Damn, Hope.

I posted the same word right under your post, and I hate it when people do that! What a twit I am. Sorry girl, I simply missed it.

dsa -

Well, as you may have guessed, I'm not a Science person so with my limited experience I was stymied. Thanks so much for explaining it, that was kind.
And yeah - copra is dried coconut which is about as indigestible as coprolite would be!(And which smells shocking, which I guess coprolite doesn't.)
FounDit
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 4:35:40 PM

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IMcRout's "acid test" made me think of assay. Probably too easy, and thar would have likely already thought of that one.

as•say (v. æˈseɪ; n. ˈæs eɪ, æˈseɪ)

v.t.
1. to examine or analyze: to assay a situation.
2. to analyze (an ore, alloy, etc.) to determine the content of gold, silver, or other metal.
3. to analyze (a drug) to determine potency or composition.
4. to test or evaluate: to assay one's strength.
5. to attempt; try; essay: to assay a dance step.

Edit: After posting, another word came to me that seemed closer to what you described: Touchstone...Think Maybe not.
dsa42
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 4:53:32 PM
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Romany wrote:
Do you mean something like a criterion or benchmark? A single standard against which something else is judged?


No, but close. A benchmark is a standard of excellence, something by which similar things are measured.

My word is not a benchmark by which similar things are measured, but an item that determines whether some dissimilar things is a benchmark or not.

A criterion is a rule or principle for evaluating or testing something. In my case, I have set a criterion for evaluating dictionaries, and that criterion is that it passed my _______ which is to contain the word c.... (sorry, I had to edit my first version of this sentence)

Thanks for the suggestions.
Romany
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 5:31:02 PM
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Right. Gonna think about it a little more. The [truth] word is out there....
IMcRout
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 5:34:29 PM
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Okay, a few more:

to clear the bar

requirement

prerequisite

sine qua non

hallmark
dsa42
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 5:41:20 PM
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FounDit wrote:
assay


Thanks for the suggestion. No, that wouldn't be it.


FounDit wrote:

Edit: After posting, another word came to me that seemed closer to what you described: Touchstone...:-.


Maybe. The World English Disctiony defines Touchstone as "1. a criterion or standard by which judgment is made " That sounds right. But Mirriam-Webster says "something set up as an example against which others of the same type are compared <his book has long been a touchstone for travel writing that aspires to be literature>" and that sounds more like benchmark.
dsa42
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 5:56:01 PM
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IMcRout wrote:
Okay, a few more:

to clear the bar

requirement

prerequisite

sine qua non

hallmark


All good suggestions. Thanks. Sine qua non and hallmark are very close, but both of these (and in fact requirement and prerequisite) mean just something that is required or necessary to have. They don't mean something that's used in a test to distinguish good from bad.

Clear the bar to me (I can't find a dictionary that has it) is to make the cut, not a test to decide if something has made the cut or not.

Thanks again - I really appreciate all the suggestions. I'm using them all in several thesari to see if I can find anything to jog my mind.
thar
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 6:02:30 PM

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Heck, I didn't answer because I couldn't think of anything. I would just call it a test word! But I am sure there is a word for it - where is leonAzul when you need 'im?
If I were feeling lexicological I would call it a sine qua non for considering the dictionary satisfactory. But that is not one word, and not a test. It is just the phrase that sprang to mind. (Well, what sprang to mind was actually sine non qua so I checked it to find what I really meant!)Whistle
dsa42
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 6:11:27 PM
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thar wrote:
Heck, I didn't answer because I couldn't think of anything. I would just call it a test word! But I am sure there is a word for it - where is leonAzul when you need 'im?
If I were feeling lexicological I would call it a sine qua non for considering the dictionary satisfactory. But that is not one word, and not a test. It is just the phrase that sprang to mind. (Well, what sprang to mind was actually sine non qua so I checked it to find what I really meant!)Whistle


Test word sounds exactly like the definition! :)
IMcRout
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 6:37:37 PM
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litmus test
dsa42
Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 1:12:44 PM
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IMcRout wrote:
litmus test


Thanks. Perfect synonym. I used it in every thesaurus I could find, but didn't find my word. :( I'll use this if no one can give me any other suggestions.

Thanks everyone for your help with this.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 1:30:31 PM

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filter, strainer, kieselguhr, Maxwell's demon?

Heisenberg/Schrödinger Feline Agent? Dancing Whistle
leonAzul
Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 7:19:28 PM

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The closest I can think of is "touchstone".

I can't think of a one-word description for a word as a test, but the process of checking for the presence of a word is easily a "touchstone"; by extension the word itself could be understood as a sort of touchstone, although "litmus" might work as well.
Ray41
Posted: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 8:09:01 AM

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dsa42 wrote:
I know there is a word for this, but I've forgotten it, and no amount of searching helps me locate it. The definition for the word is an idea or topic that is used as a single item to evaluate something. For example, I use the word "coprophage" as a word that I look up in a dictionary to evaluate that dictionary and see if I want to buy it. The word "coprophage" does not appear in many (most) dictionaries, so by looking up that single word, I know whether the dictionary is an outstanding one or not.

Can anyone help me?



Think Bit left field but?

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/basis

basis - the fundamental assumptions from which something is begun or developed or calculated or explained; "the whole argument rested on a basis of conjecture"

2. anything upon which something is based; a fundamental principle.

3. the principal constituent; fundamental ingredient.



basis
n pl -ses [-siːz]
1. something that underlies, supports, or is essential to something else, esp an abstract idea
2. a principle on which something depends or from which something has issued
IMcRout
Posted: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 9:28:36 AM
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I'm coming back to your image ...

Quote:
I have this image in my mind of a razor dividing the assessed items into two groups, those that pass, and those that do not. Somewhat like Occam's Razor assesses algorithms and divides them into two groups.


... and find 'knife edge' - "4. a critical point in the development of a situation, process of making a decision, etc." (TFD).

I think 'cutting edge' can be used in the same way.

Both would fit your 'razor' image.
FounDit
Posted: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 3:48:35 PM

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secernment, or discrimination test?
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