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Re: Meaning of flat list?

Martin Eberhard Schauer wrote:
> today the German team encountered the following description:
> This is a flat list of $language words and names. This can be used
> by spellcheckers or any other purpose needing a lot of words.
> I wonder whether  flat means small in this context. Furthermore,
> substituting "or any" by "or for any" sounds better to me.

I would interpret it as "simple" - as opposed to one containing nested
sub-lists or similar internal structure.  In the case of a collection
of words I suppose the distinction is that it's just a list and not a
sentence or something, but a lot of the the time it seems a bit more
of a technical term than is really necessary.

In fact when I ask a nearby non-geek what she would understand by the
expression, her first guess is that it means a list integrated into
the linear running text ("One, Two, Three") rather than a tabulated
list like this:
 * One
 * Two
 * Three

As for s/or any/or for any/ - agreed.  Alternatively it might be "for
spellchecking or any other purpose..."
JBR	with qualifications in linguistics, experience as a Debian
	sysadmin, and probably no clue about this particular package

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