Merriam-Webster definition of parse

A. Vine avine at ENG.SUN.COM
Thu Feb 17 20:21:51 UTC 2000

Bob Haas wrote:
> Not at all, Andrea.  Your understanding of parse is the first order of
> definition in the American Heritage Dictionary.  I'm surprised that M-W
> didn't specify grammar--I noticed that this morning in my Word of the Day
> message--but the M-W definition does say something about breaking a sentence
> down into its constituent parts, does it not?

True, but I was referring to using "parse" for other things besides grammar.
For example, I parse music when I hear it.  Computer programs parse protocol
strings (one could argue this is grammar, but M-W didn't abstract the definition
at all).  I also parse information.  Yes, I am examining it in a minute way, but
I use parse to specifically indicate that I am breaking the information down
into smaller pieces.  In project management, I parse a project into what are
manageable chunks for me.

Does anyone else use parse in this sense?

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