Pet Peeve

Sun 15 July 2007

The word "depreciate" means "to lessen the price or value of".  This is an accounting jargon term referring to the process by which assets lose value over time.  It is pronounced 'Dee Pree Shee Ate".

The word "deprecate" means "to express disapproval of" or "to urge reasons against; protest against".  This is a programming jargon term describing the process by which APIs become less favorable over time.  It is pronounced "Deh Preh Kayt".

These words, while they have similar meanings, are not synonyms.  Please do not confuse them, especially when using their jargon senses.  It sounds like nails on a chalkboard to me, having worked on accounting software.  I would like to be able to use phrases like "a deprecated depreciation function" without eliciting bewilderment.

Both Java and Python consistently use "@deprecated", and "DeprecationWarning".  English usage of these terms may be shifting, but "DepreciationWarning" or "@depreciated" will still get you runtime or compiler errors, so please stick to "deprecate" consistently while talking about code.

Thank you.
© Glyph 2015; All Rights Reserved Excepting Those Which Are Not.