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The following two sentences are identical:

Ensure that X is current.

Ensure the currentness of X.

However, the word "currentness", while present in the dictionary, represents a very uncommon usage of the phrase. Are there any alternative ways to phrase this sentence while avoiding the "is current" construct?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 11 down vote accepted

The standard word is "currency". It doesn't just refer to money.

(In fact, the usage to refer to money comes from certain coinage being "current" in a certain locale, i.e. commonly accepted. Accordingly, Scottish notes, although not legal tender in England, are current.)

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2  
Currency is good, but there's also topicality which I often think is even more evocative of "of particular importance right now". Things can still be current even if they've been popular for a long time, but usually if they're topical they're also relatively new. –  FumbleFingers Jan 6 '12 at 17:21
    
@FumbleFingers: Right - although I think 'topicality' implies a level of broad popularity. –  Marcin Jan 6 '12 at 19:16
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+1 for the etymology of currency –  Florian Brucker Mar 20 '12 at 12:20

As Marcin notes, currency is usable here; one could say:

Ensure the currency of X.

However, the following phrasings are more likely:

Ensure that X is up to date. [or up-to-date]
Ensure that X is the latest version.
Ensure that X is current.

(where the latter is one of your examples.) Current as in current events usually has the sense "Existing or occurring at the moment", meaning now. Contemporaneous, on the other hand, means "Existing or created in the same period of time". For example:

Contemporaneous notes are preferred for documentation of incidents.

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Some alternatives could be:

Ensure that X is up-to-date.

or

Ensure that X is updated.

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I like currency, but many people won't understand this usage and currentness sounds awkward. Perhaps use "relevant" ?

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2  
Or relevance, since a noun is required. But something can be relevant and yet not current. –  Andrew Leach Jul 23 at 14:45

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