Monday, March 12, 2007

Concatenation

This is a more amusing entry from my archives to relieve the trepidation...

Concatenation (DD definition link)

Ok, I originally thought this word was pretty blah, and only useful in a very limited context dealing with actual links (a series of "if, then" commands in programming is quintessential concatenation, even to the point that "cat" is the command "to concatenate" the links). But as I started exploring the flexibility of this word, I immediately thought of dominos (a concatenation of dominos), but realized that was the wrong direction. Dominos, like Rube Goldberg puzzles, are pushed. The previous item drops/falls and propels the next item. A concatenation requires pulling, as in actual chain--that the second item can't go until the first one goes. So, that obviously led me to traffic (a concatenation of cars in stop and go traffic on the Beltway, or a concatenation of cars waiting for the red light, or the pace car at Nascar leading a concatenation of cars). Really works in traffic. And I suppose a concatenation of lemmings for the weak-willed metaphors.

2 comments:

Jordyne said...

Why not just use "sequence", "succession", "series", or "string"?

Lauren said...

Well, there is the issue about push v. pull, or in some of your substitutes, merely the linear absent any direction. Concatenation really has a pull issue which makes it interesting to try to use.