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I'm a little bit confused with the following phrase. I was reading an article about concurrency in Java and there was a sentence saying:

It is worth noting that both unlockRead() and unlockWrite() calls notifyAll() rather than notify().

This phrase seemed quite strange to me, so I googled a little and found this:

-I am writing a paper and I want to say "It is worth noting that..." But I've already used the phrase. What's another way to say it? Thanks.
-Apropos

So, I have two questions:

  1. "It is worth noting that" == "apropos" == "besides"?

  2. Does meaning depend on the context of usage? Does this phrase always mean the same or sometimes it's actual meaning is "useless", "costs nothing", etc.?

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closed as off-topic by FumbleFingers, tchrist, choster, Josh61, Edwin Ashworth Aug 11 '14 at 11:42

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It's a rather confusing text even for native speakers, because the writer is simultaneously using notifyAll as both a noun (the name of a function) and as a verb (with calls as the the subject). But the meaning of "It is worth noting that" is General Reference. –  FumbleFingers Aug 10 '14 at 13:05
    
1. Calls should be call, here (the subject is plural). 2. It is worth noting that... is a long way of saying Note that... or Note:.... Any writer who judges that it is worth pointing something out to the reader can just say note:. –  Drew Aug 11 '14 at 2:55

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

"It is worth noting that"

simply means "here's something, which you should remember:" or "here's something you should pay attention to:" or "here's something that is worth reading and remember:"

It's that simple.

Regarding (1), there is no connection at all to "apropos" or "besides..."

Regarding (2), it always means exactly the same thing. It simply means "Here's an interesting point:"

There is utterly no connection to "useless" or "costs nothing".


PS yes in common phrase like "worth noting..." "worthwhile..." "worth reading..", the "worth" does indeed mean "has value", "is good to do so", "is advantageous to you..".

(You can simply check this in a dictionary: sufficiently good, important, or interesting to be treated or regarded in the way specified: the museums in the district are well worth a visit | it's hard work juggling a job with a baby, but it's worth it. used to suggest that the specified course of action may be advisable: the company's service schemes are worth checking out.

(Oxford Dictionary of English 3rd edition Copyright © 2010, 2012 by Oxford University Press ... ie, your Mac OSX dictionary.)

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Thanks for your answer, now I get it :) Just one more question (which also tries to explain my thoughts about "useless" and "costs nothing"). "Worth" means "value" or "cost", right? So I thought when "worth" is "nothing", something is useless and has no value. Am I wrong? –  Kirill Smirnov Aug 10 '14 at 8:34
1  
Interesting!! Common phrases include "worth noting" "worth considering" "worth thinking about" and "worth your time". These mean "it would be valuable for you to ..." to these things. So one could say "It's really worth reading ESL!" Meaning, it is advisable to do that, it is a good idea to do that, you will get value out of doing that. You can see how "worth" means the "value", "advantage" of doing something, in this case. –  Joe Blow Aug 10 '14 at 8:37

"It is worth noting that both unlockRead() and unlockWrite() calls notifyAll() rather than notify()."

This sentence seems to be part of a description of the interface that contains unlockRead() and unlockWrite(). The last part describes an implementation detail of the methods, which is unusual for an interface description, but in this case they have a special relevance for understanding the "big picture".

The part "It is worth noting that..." can be just read as "It is worth your time to take note of..." or as a less pestering variant of "Please take note of the fact that...".

But because the implementation detail is not really part of the topic - details of the implementation should not matter when describing an interface - it makes sense to read it as "By the way..." or "Besides..." to connect this out-of-context part into the flow of text.

Regarding the actual meaning of the sentence, both variants make sense - giving a hint on some extra information, which is relevant here because the implications of using notifyAll() versus notify() are somewhat complicated:
Question on stackoverflow about "notify() vs. notifyAll()" - 123 Votes, 19 Answers


The meaning "useless" or "costs nothing" is just related to a different word, "nothing", instead of "noting" - no way that the context can change that.

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1  
I don't see the equivalency of "it is worth noting that" and "apropos" that you assert. Also, the possibility that the details of the implementation are not central to the text is irrelevant to deciding whether to introduce it with "it is worth noting that...". Even a core concept or argument can be referred to in this manner. –  Erik Kowal Aug 10 '14 at 14:22
    
I would not say "it is worth noting that" and "apropos" are equivalent in general. Just that they end up having the same effect in the context of this question. –  Volker Siegel Aug 10 '14 at 14:25
    
I disagree, partly because they simply don't mean the same thing in any context, and partly because I can't see how you could even use "apropos" (or "à propos") here in a manner that makes sense grammatically. Substituting it into the OP's query sentence as a replacement for "It is worth noting that" generates this: "Apropos both unlockRead() and unlockWrite() calls notifyAll() rather than notify()", which is manifestly nonsensical. –  Erik Kowal Aug 11 '14 at 3:21
    
Oh, I see your point how "apropos" is different. It would need to refer to something that is not part of that sentence. That would look like "Apropos synchronization, both unlockRead() and unlockWrite()...", right? –  Volker Siegel Aug 11 '14 at 3:24
    
Yes, that's correct. :) –  Erik Kowal Aug 11 '14 at 3:26

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