[Ads-l] suite

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jun 15 17:49:18 UTC 2020

The online OED contains information about the sense of "suite" in the
software domain. (See further below.) However, there is no information
about the biological sense of "suite".

The phrases "suite of bacteria", "suite of microorganisms", "suite of
viruses" apparently are employed to describe a collection of organisms
that reside within a shared environment. For example, the organisms
might reside within bats, guts, sewage, birth canals, conifers, or
white-tailed deer.

The organisms are compatible with one another, i.e., they are able to
co-exist. Yet, it seems likely to me that the organisms within the
same suite (and co-located within the same environment) will
occasionally compete with one another for biological resources.
Organisms in the same suite might even kill one another sometimes.

Below are some excerpts from a quick web search shown below:

the whole suite of bacteria living on our bodies

strict suite of bacteria in their guts to help them digest their food

Babies born via cesarean section aren't exposed to the suite of
bacteria that populate their mothers' birth canals

vast suite of microorganisms that inhabit human bodies

conifers host a suite of microorganisms including mutualistic ectomycorrhizal

Synthetic biology may be able to create a suite of microorganisms that
will benefit crops in various ways

there is increasing evidence that bats are reservoirs for a diverse
suite of viruses, including hantaviruses

There are four coronaviruses that are a part of the suite of viruses
that cause "the common cold" in humans.

Hemorrhagic disease is a suite of viruses that occur annually in
white-tailed deer populations

Nowadays, a software suite refers to a collection of programs that
reside within the same computational environment and display some
degree of compatibility with respect to interface and/or data files.
See the following two definitions:

[Begin excerpt]
Software suite
A software suite or application suite is a collection of computer
programs — usually application software or programming software — of
related functionality, often sharing a similar user interface and the
ability to easily exchange data with each other.
[End excerpt]

[Begin excerpt]
Updated: 11/13/2018 by Computer Hope
Software suite
A software suite is a collection of two or more software programs that
are bundled and sold together. The software programs may have
correlative features and functionality, or they may be completely
different from one another, but share a similar theme.
[End excerpt]

The definition in the Oxford English Dictionary seems to be obsolete
although it may have been accurate back in 1967.  Nowadays, the
programs are often run concurrently, and not "run one after the

OED   suite, n.
[Begin excerpt]
2. h. Computing. A collection of related programs which can be run one
after the other without interruption.
1967   Oxford Computer Explained 9   This Suite is run twice a day.
1980   R. McCrum In Secret State xi. 98   It was just a suite of
programmes that wasn't in Lister's index.
[End excerpt]


On Mon, Jun 15, 2020 at 11:30 AM Jonathan Lighter
<wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Merriam does not include the generalized term.
> JL
> On Mon, Jun 15, 2020 at 10:26 AM MULLINS, WILLIAM D (Bill) CIV USARMY CCDC
> AVMC (USA) <0000099bab68be9a-dmarc-request at listserv.uga.edu> wrote:
> > Likewise in computers -- a "suite of software tools".
> >
> >
> > ----
> >
> > The use of "suite" to mean "assortment" is very common in biology-speak,
> > and not at all new.
> >
> > On Sun, Jun 14, 2020, 3:58 PM Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > 'expected constellation (of traits or the like)':
> > >
> > > "Every animal has its normal suite of viruses and bacteria that it
> > normally
> > > carries. People do as well."
> > >
> > > So says a scientist on CNN.  Much snazzier than "assortment."
> > >
> > > JL
> > >
> > > --
> > >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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