[Air-l] Research request: word search

Charles Hendricksen veritas at u.washington.edu
Mon Apr 4 10:11:17 PDT 2005

superoptional / suboptimal

Ken Friedman wrote:
> Dear Colleagues,
> The Danish designer and author Per Mollerup wrote me a query.
> He seeks a word for a specific concept to describe situations when more of
> something yields a worse result than fewer.
> One example he gives is when you water a plant just enough, it helps the
> plant, while giving it too much water kills it.
> Standards are another case in point. If you have one standard for an entire
> field, you are standardized. If you have twenty standards in the same 
> field,
> you are less standardized..
> Per also gives the example of romance. If you have one romance, it is
> romantic. If you have one hundred romances going on at the same time,
> it won't be romantic at all.
> He suggests naming these phenomena with a neologism,
> "more-is-lessuals."
> I have the sense that a word may already exist to cover such cases, but
> I can't recall it.
> If anyone knows of such a word, I will welcome a note at
> <ken.friedman at bi.no>
> Thank you.

  Charlie Hendricksen, PhD
  Research Collaboration Architect

"Information technology structures human relationships."
"Meaning arises from parsimonious redescription."

Dissertation link: http://depts.washington.edu/bkn/public/pubs/diss.html
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