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I've written the following phrase in a technical document:

... the Task is exposed, so it can be waited on

In this context (.NET development), Task is an object instance, and by "waiting on" it, I mean invoking its Wait method, so the execution thread pauses until the task is finished.

Is this correct, given the specific context? Is there a better construct?


Update based on answers/comments received so far:

Essentially, what I mean to say is:

... the Task is exposed, so the caller can wait for it to complete by invoking its Wait() method

...but without the redundancy, and using the method name as the verb.

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closed as general reference by F'x, kiamlaluno, KitFox, simchona, Daniel Aug 2 '11 at 1:09

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

4 Answers 4

"Wait on" is a recognised phrase, but outside IT it usually has the specific meaning of "being attentive to somebody", as in a waiter.

For the sense you mean, "waiting for" is much more common.

However, in programming "wait on" may be regarded as a technical term, meaning "wait until some resource becomes available". I'm not clear from your explanation whether you mean this, or the converse.

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Indeed, the documentation for the Task.Wait method says "Waits for the Task to complete execution.". Considering that, would it be ok to construct the phrase in the way I described? –  Diego Mijelshon Aug 1 '11 at 14:02
    
@Diego Mijelshon: It doesn't sound like your usage is standard in the IT context, so I would strongly advise not using it. You'd be much safer using the phrasing commonly used by others - for example, "...so it can enter [or 'be placed in'] a 'wait' state". –  FumbleFingers Aug 1 '11 at 14:15
    
@FumbleFingers: it's not the task that enters in the "wait" state, but the current thread. –  Diego Mijelshon Aug 1 '11 at 14:48
    
@Diego Mijelshon: I never said anything about whether "it" is a thread within a multi-thread process, or a "task". But that makes no difference anyway. If you think the distinction is important, by all means write "the current thread" rather than "it". Just don't say "it" (or whatever) can be "waited on" if you want the meaning to be clear. –  FumbleFingers Aug 1 '11 at 15:08
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@Diego Mijelshon: I don't think we're getting anywhere. You should ask this on programmers.se, rather than dispute usages here with people who mostly aren't programmers. –  FumbleFingers Aug 1 '11 at 18:06

Is this correct, given the specific context? No, not really, due to the meaning of "waited on" which other users have already explained.

Is there a better construct?

Here are several:

the Task is exposed, so the Wait() method can be used.
the Task is exposed, so the caller can wait for it.

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To wait on is to attend to someone, or to serve someone, so it’s a big no. You typically wait for something or someone.

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In some American dialects, you wait on, and not wait for. However, standard English uses wait for, and I would recommend using this construction for general audiences, as everybody will understand it. –  Peter Shor Aug 1 '11 at 13:46

For the best answer to this question, I suggest you ask somebody who has good command of English and who is also familiar with the type of technical documentation you are writing.

Otherwise, there are too many 'ifs and buts'.

Alternatively, you could formulate a sentence using language closer to that that you are using to describe the meaning of the phrase.

You might come up with something along the lines of:

The Task is exposed, so its Wait method has been invoked.

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Well, I am hoping to find some fellow developers from Stackoverflow that spend their free time here :-) –  Diego Mijelshon Aug 1 '11 at 16:38
    
@Diego: Why not ask there? By limiting the number of people here who can help you, you're not creating a good question –  simchona Aug 1 '11 at 23:55
    
@simchona: because the answer is about English usage in relation with a programming concept, not programming. But I might ask in programmers.se –  Diego Mijelshon Aug 2 '11 at 0:58
    
@Diego: You specifically stated that you want SO members to help. Why don't you ask them? This question has no potential use to anyone other than yourself. –  simchona Aug 2 '11 at 1:02

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