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I'm developing a database and coming up with the statuses for a given account with regard to their Glassware Deposit. ($$ paid upfront, but refundable at the end)

I have

  • Never Paid
  • Paid
  • Refunded
  • Kept

Is there a better way than Kept to describe the opposite of a deposit refund? (i.e. They broke their glassware and don't get a refund)

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I think I missed something. Better way than what? – Kit Z. Fox Jul 21 '11 at 18:19
@Kit: Better way than "kept". – chaos Jul 21 '11 at 18:27
Is it possible that only part of it is kept? – GEdgar Jul 21 '11 at 22:43
If it wasn't refunded, I suppose it was funded :) – Callithumpian Feb 10 '12 at 2:41
@Callithumpian That implies re is a negative prefix~ which doesn't seem accurate ;) – Shad Feb 10 '12 at 5:04
up vote 11 down vote accepted

I did put this in as a comment, but the more I think about it the more it seems to me it's the best option, so here it is as an answer that can be voted on.

I think forfeit is commonly used in respect of security deposits which are not refunded. To my ear this can function as a past participle/adjective even without the -ed suffix, but I suspect many might prefer the more "grammatical" form.

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+1. I've seen this usage too and it nicely conveys "hey, the guy who didn't get his money did something to cause that" (vs. "we didn't get around to paying him"). – Monica Cellio Jul 21 '11 at 19:53
@Shad: This link seems to agree forfeit is okay as a past participle and an adjective. – FumbleFingers Jul 24 '11 at 2:57

Is this like a security deposit (when renting property)? Since a security deposit isn't usually binary—you can have part of it returned and part not to pay for damages—would you be better off thinking of this as "amount returned" (and zero means you kept it all)?

If it really is binary in your case and you don't like kept, consider retained or not returned.

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Yeah, that would be a superior replacement for "Refunded" in the schema outlined, I think. But the OP is asking for a replacement for "Kept" in the case where the deposit isn't refunded. – chaos Jul 21 '11 at 18:30
@chaos, ah, got it! Thanks; edited my answer. – Monica Cellio Jul 21 '11 at 18:36
+1 for retained, which seems totally natural to me in this context. One other possibility that occurs to me is forfeit, which to my ear at least can function as a past participle/adjective even without the -ed suffix. – FumbleFingers Jul 21 '11 at 19:35
+1 In this case it is binary (no partial refunds). I like retained, it just doesn't hit the note of finality I was looking for. Thanks for the thoughtful response. – Shad Jul 21 '11 at 19:58

I would say Used rather than Kept. This aligns with the basic idea that the only reason not to return deposit monies is because they needed to be used for whatever purpose the deposit had, and makes it sound a bit less like "oh, hey, we just decided to keep this money". If you wanted to go slightly fancier, you could say Expensed, as in "used to cover an expense".

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+1 I like how naturally it would fit into the schema, Deposit Paid, Deposit Refunded, Deposit Used; and the finality is nice too. In this case though, I think it has too much meaning for my purpose. The person I am developing for may not actually use the deposit instantly upon updating the DB, but the deposit is forfeit instantly upon updating the DB. Thanks for your response. – Shad Jul 21 '11 at 20:01

If you mean that the order is completed, so there is no longer an opportunity to return the item for a refund even if it gets broken, I'd suggest completed or fulfilled to describe the order status.

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Thanks, but in this case it is the status of the deposit, not the order. – Shad Jul 21 '11 at 19:59

May I suggest "cashed" as having very little chance of derogatory impact. When a user breaks glass he has, in effect, cashed his deposit in exchange for the glass; or he could effectively purchase the wares by not returning them: the same is if he had paid cash in anticipation, before or after the fact, of forfeiting the deposit. For you and your rent (to own?) enterprise, cashed covers all variations pertaining to how the deposit might be booked as un-returnable or un-returned; that is, mutually converted from inventory to sales proceeds.

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