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Would the compound pentaminutely (from penta- and minutely) be correct in describing an event that occurs every five-minutes? Or is there a better word?

Edit: For clarity, I'm looking to name an object in a programming model so it is clear by the name what the object represents. I am trying to avoid writing a short novel to describe the name in the object model.

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Time is measured with Latin words (quinquennium, century, mensural, diurnal), so I guess at quinqueminutal. But "every five minutes" is far more easily understood! –  Andrew Leach Jan 22 '13 at 0:29
    
Thanks Andrew; normally I would agree, but I'm naming domain objects and want to be as concise as possible with the names... admittedly quinqueminutal isn't much more concise than the phrase! :) –  Sean Quinn Jan 22 '13 at 0:34
    
"I'm looking to name an object in a programming model so it is clear by the name what the object represents." So... if you don't know for sure, it will never be clear to anyone reading the code either, unless they Google it and find this discussion. –  Ken Aspeslagh Jan 22 '13 at 1:31
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As an aside, is it wise to name your object with a 'configuration-data'-type name? What if later you decide that 5 minutes isn't quite right and that every 320 seconds is better? –  Jim Jan 22 '13 at 1:52
    
Without getting into too much of the implementation details, the object itself is an implementation on top of another, abstracted, object that allows for variance in time. The only way we would go is down, and then it would be per minute which is probably too minute (heh...) for the application. Thanks for the insight though! –  Sean Quinn Jan 22 '13 at 2:25

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

You mean every 3 hectoseconds?

Uncommon combinations of multipliers and time units are made use of in a tongue-in-cheek manner in some communities (one VMS setting was measured in microfortnights), and in those pentaminutely would be guessed at and the unusual construction appreciated with smiles or groans.

Outside of those, it would not. Even five-minutely has issues, since minutely is rarely used (presumably because it can be confused with minutely meaning by a very small amount).

A great way of expressing this would be "repeating every five minutes". In some technical contexts, then "repeating with a five-minute period" would work well, but the sense of period that refers to a regularly repeating interval isn't as well known as other senses, so it wouldn't serve as well for all audiences.

Edit:

Just say your edit on it being in a computer object model. pentaminute would be fine if your coding standards allow a modicum of humour in naming. Otherwise fiveMinuteRepeater or fiveMinutePeriod etc. is clear and to the point.

(Incidentally, hectosecond is an SI unit that complies fine with ISO 8000. Just don't actually ever use it for anything).

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Thanks! I think this is exactly what I was looking for. –  Sean Quinn Jan 22 '13 at 0:48
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The distance between pentaminute and penultimate seems almost ridiculously close. :) As for the other, sounds like a heck of a second thought. –  tchrist Jan 22 '13 at 1:27
    
@tchrist which while a good reason not to use then 99% of the time, makes them all the funnier for the tongue-in-cheek use. –  Jon Hanna Jan 22 '13 at 8:57
    
I first read ISO 8000 as a film speed. :) –  tchrist Jan 22 '13 at 10:47
    
@tchrist, ah, that would be interpreting "ISO 8000" as an ISO 12232 film speed that you would decide upon after consulting an ISO 2720 light meter. I can remember a disturbingly large quantity of these numbers, but admit I had to look those up. It is a tad ambiguous that the speeds are referred to in the same format as the standards themselves. –  Jon Hanna Jan 22 '13 at 11:23

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