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Kurt Wyco:
I was just wondering. Is there a definition of "err" in the dicionary that fits into the context of the phrase to "err on the side of caution"? I look the word "err" up in the Merriam Webster dictionary and Dictionary.com, American Heritage dictionary and get the same thing:
1) To make an error or a mistake.
2) To violate accepted moral standards; sin.
3) Archaic. To stray.
None of these definitions sound like they fit the meaning of the word "err" in the phrase to "err on the side of caution". The context of the phrase leads me to believe the word "err" in this instance means, to "be on the side of caution" or something like that. If none of the definitions in the dictionary fit the word err in that phrase, maybe the dictionary editors should consider adding a new definition for their next editions? Sounds fair to me, since they've already gone ahead and added phrases such as "bling-bling". Oh, my bad. SHUDDERS
Any thoughts on this, anyone?
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Donna Richoux:
[nq:1]I was just wondering. Is there a definition of "err" in the dicionary that fits into the context of the ... since they've already gone ahead and added phrases such as "bling-bling". Oh, my bad. SHUDDERS Any thoughts on this, anyone?[/nq]
Yeah, you didn't quite guess the meaning of the saying correctly. It does mean "err." Roughly, "If one is going to make a mistake, it is better to do so from being too cautious than too reckless."

I don't know if it's a quotation or a proverb. I found Theodore Roosevelt saying it here, in a piece about hunting:

A man should always notice the position of the sun, the direction from which the wind blows, the slope of the water-courses, prominent features in the
landscape, and so forth, and should keep in mind his own general course; and he had better err on the
side of caution rather than on that of boldness.
Getting lost is very uncomfortable, both for the man himself and for those who have to break up their
work and hunt for him.
So it does come down to, "It's good to be cautious," and you weren't that far off, really.
(Err is a strange word, actually; I think people started avoiding it because they honestly didn't know how to pronounce it, and were afraid of sounding stupid.)

Best Donna Richoux
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FB:
"Kurt Wyco" (Email Removed) ha scritto nel messaggio
[nq:1]None of these definitions sound like they fit the meaning of the word"err" in the phrase to "err on the side of caution".[/nq]
Why not? Mind I'm not a native speaker, but in my opinion that phrase means "it's better to err being too cautious than being too hasty".
Bye-bye, FB
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Matti Lamprhey:
(Added AEU as the question was multiposted there too)
[nq:1]I was just wondering. Is there a definition of "err" in the dicionary that fits into the context of the ... since they've already gone ahead and added phrases such as "bling-bling". Oh, my bad. SHUDDERS Any thoughts on this, anyone?[/nq]
NSOED lists "err on the side of" within its fourth sense of the verb:
4. (v.i.) Make a wrong judgement; form a wrong opinion; make amistake, blunder.
Matti
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Raymond S. Wise:
[nq:2]I was just wondering. Is there a definition of "err" ... "bling-bling". Oh, my bad. SHUDDERS Any thoughts on this, anyone?[/nq]
[nq:1]NSOED lists "err on the side of" within its fourth sense of the verb: 4. (v.i.) Make a wrong judgement; form a wrong opinion; make a mistake, blunder.[/nq]
*Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary,* 11th ed., gives it as an example under the meaning "to make a mistake":
"2 a : to make a mistake ."

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
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Evan Kirshenbaum:
[nq:2]None of these definitions sound like they fit the meaning of the word "err" in the phrase to "err on the side of caution".[/nq]
[nq:1]Why not? Mind I'm not a native speaker, but in my opinion that phrase means "it's better to err being too cautious than being too hasty".[/nq]
Exactly. When making a decision, there are typically two sorts of mistakes you can make. Type One errors (aka "false positives") boil down to "saying yes when you should have said no" and Type Two errors (aka "false negatives") boil down to "saying no when you should have said yes". There's typically a tradeoff between these two the fewer false positives you get, the more false negatives you get.

Which type of error represents "the side of caution" depends on whether the question is "Is this drug safe for general use?" or "Do the side effects of this drug outweigh its potential benefit?"

Evan Kirshenbaum + HP Laboratories >A specification which calls for
1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 >network-wide use of encryption, butPalo Alto, CA 94304 >invokes the Tooth Fairy to handle

(650)857-7572 > Henry Spencer

http://www.kirshenbaum.net /
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Kurt Wyco:
Makes sense to me now. You're right. I jumped to the wrong conclusion. If you are going to err, then err on the side of caution.
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R J Valentine:
...
} Exactly. When making a decision, there are typically two sorts of } mistakes you can make. Type One errors (aka "false positives") boil } down to "saying yes when you should have said no" and Type Two errors } (aka "false negatives") boil down to "saying no when you should have } said yes". There's typically a tradeoff between these two the fewer } false positives you get, the more false negatives you get.

Would accepting that paragraph be a Type II error?

R. J. Valentine
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Evan Kirshenbaum:
[nq:1]... } Exactly. When making a decision, there are typically two sorts of } mistakes you can make. Type One ... } false positives you get, the more false negatives you get. Would accepting that paragraph be a Type II error?[/nq]
What's the null hypothesis?

Evan Kirshenbaum + HP Laboratories >I like giving talks to industry,
1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 >because one of the things that I'vePalo Alto, CA 94304 >found is that you really can't
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