[Ads-l] fool-proof and fail-proof

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Aug 20 19:53:19 UTC 2015


Don't forget "fail-safe."

JL

On Thu, Aug 20, 2015 at 1:48 PM, Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at ix.netcom.com>
wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM>
> Subject:      Re: fool-proof and fail-proof
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> When I worked in an automobile factory in the 1990s, I was told that
> both English and Japanese had undergone a movement away from using
> "fool" ("baka" in Japanese) to describe these mechanisms so as to not
> insult workers. A summary can be found of the Japanese issue on various
> websites, including http://thequalityportal.com/pokayoke.htm,
> http://www.themanagementor.com/EnlightenmentorAreas/mfg/QM/pokayoke.htm
> and http://leanmanufacturingtools.org/494/poka-yoke/.
>
> I don't see a webpage describing this for the English words, so my
> memory might be bad or maybe it's just not out there.
>
> The word "poka-yoke" (with or without the hyphen) has entered English in
> lean manufacturing. It isn't on the Oxford Dictionary site, but it is
> defined in Wiktionary (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/poka-yoke): "A
> methodology of using low-cost techniques to error-proof production
> processes." I think "poke-yoke" is more about the mechanism itself, but
> perhaps it covers the concept as well.
>
> Benjamin Barrett
> Formerly of Seattle, WA
>
> Learn Ainu! https://sites.google.com/site/aynuitak1/home
>
> > Stephen Goranson <mailto:goranson at DUKE.EDU>
> > 20 August 2015 at 10:19
> > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> > -----------------------
> > Sender: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > Poster: Stephen Goranson <goranson at DUKE.EDU>
> > Subject: fool-proof and fail-proof
> >
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > OED has fool-proof from 1902.
> >
> > OED does not have a fail-proof entry, but does include a quote under
> > risk, =
> > n.:
> >
> > 2007 N.Y. Times 20 May (T: Style Mag.) 161/3 It [sc. the city of Cartag=
> > ena] passes the 'staggering home drunk through predawn streets while
> > bellow=
> > ing Shakira' test, a fail-proof diagnostic of any locale's risk level.
> >
> > Fail-proof seems to be increasing in use. E.g., a recent comment on
> > the Ira=
> > n nuclear plan: "I believe verification is a long way from fail proof."
> >
> > Google Ngram shows a slight decrease for fool-proof in recent years.
> >
> > An antedating for foolproof:
> >
> > [AHN] Evening Star [Washington DC] 11-14-1895 p. 3 col. 1
> >
> > [ad for a bicycle, apparently:]
> >
> > ..the '96 tire will be "foolproof." You CAN'T put it on wrong.
> >
> >
> > Stephen Goranson
> >
> > http://people.duke.edu/~goranson/
> >
> >
>
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>



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