How 'nifty' relates to saving energy


Goya : Art expressing the effect of a sleep of reason
Goya : The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters
We are IT engineers not linguists, but in terms of human languages between the two of us in the IT team we have a command a command of english, german, dutch, norwegian, french and spanish. 

Being able to communicate effectively is essential for IT staff. They should be encouraged to blog !

We have a thing called DSLs - Domain Specific Languages (so DSL is basically geek jargon for jargon).  

A nifty DSL is apt -and well suited to the task being just as terse and / or expressive as it needs to be - but where does the word "nifty" come from ? ...


So Andreas and I were having dinner and I was looking for the english for the german "verneunftig" reason which is in turn derived from the platonic dianoia (understanding) and noesis (knowledge)

This word means reason, suitability, aptness and so on. If you say it out loud as it is pronounced it sounds a little as though it may be related to the word nifty.  Nifty means suitability and aptness, so not being a linguist I declared that as the correct etymology. 

I have since looked it up and find nobody knows - so it may be that I am correct http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=nifty

So why suddenly does every gadget widget and consideration that Andreas and I discuss boil down to its degree of nift (an invented word).  Andreas considers charts I produce nifty at explaining excess waste to an engineer, or work flow considerations as being verneunftig (or not).  Like it of not all engineers are putting great energy working to secure a greater degree of reason, aptness and understanding from what they deliver. They try to be vernuenftig - or nifty.

Training on all terrain vehicles in Germany
Training on all terrain vehicles in Germany (Photo credit: The U.S. Army)


The word is especially well suited to energy management - where a suitable solution, is nifty - it is apt, suited for purpose and reasonable.  Just to give a contra-example of non- niftyness .  Popping down to the mall or to pip your kids up from school in a ATV is stupid, not reasonable, suitable or indeed at all nifty - 

Have I made my case ?

If you love language as I do try this article - Its fun Denial / and lie - An anagram for business?
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