[Haskell-cafe] Ordering vs. Order

Alexander Solla ajs at 2piix.com
Thu Oct 7 04:15:37 EDT 2010

On Oct 7, 2010, at 1:02 AM, Christian Sternagel wrote:

> Hi all,
> I'm not a native English speaker and recently I was wondering about  
> the two words "order" and "ordering" (the main reason why I write  
> this to the Haskell mailing list, is that the type class "Ordering"  
> does exist).
> My dictionaries tell me that "order" (besides other meanings)  
> denotes an ordered structure on elements and "ordering" (as only  
> meaning) denotes some request that I made at some entity. So, to me  
> it seems that calling the type class "Ordering" is wrong ;)
> However, I do know that there are many publications about "ordered  
> structures" which use the word "ordering" (most of which I'm aware  
> of, not by native speakers).
> What do native speakers have to say about that?

They're pretty much synonymous.  Given a specific context, an order is  
"the" relation that orders a set, whereas an ordering is "a" relation  
that orders a set.  For example, a set with three elements can be  
ordered in three different ways.  Each of them is an ordering.  But  
none is "THE" order.  (If the elements are integers, then they can  
inherit THE integer order, if you wanted the set to inherit that  
notion of an order)

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