Is the following phrase correct (in whatever sense):

Geometries passed to this function must have same length

the phrase is used in technical documentation so it would be especially useful to get comments from people who come from a technical background

The following question gives details about the usage of word same with a definite article:

Can you use "same" without "the"?

however there is a statement "The word same is usually used with the definite article. However, it can be used with any central determiner which marks the noun phrase as definite."

  • It reads fine to me, yes it is shorthand but I read it as having an implicit 'the'. If you wished to avoid the issue, swap out 'same' for 'identical'. But I would be happy enough reading that as a functions comment – nickson104 Jul 8 '15 at 8:18
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    I'm glad you found that other question. It really is a perfect dupe. We'll close this question as a duplicate of that one. That said, I understand that you're having trouble applying the advice in the top answer there to your particular sentence here, especially with the comment the leeway permitted by using a "central determiner". So the short answer in your case is yes, you must use the same length, including the article the, in your particular sentence. – Dan Bron Jul 8 '15 at 8:19
  • Thank you for the translation @DanBron, I skimmed the answer and it went over my head, your's is more accessible I feel. Also I was wrong, thanks for correcting me – nickson104 Jul 8 '15 at 8:21
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    @nickson104 If we permit shorthand, slang, and colloquial speech, then the question "is this correct?" becomes meaningless; vacuous. Any native speaker reading that sentence would pick up on the absence of the; it would stand out. Some would let it pass, most wouldn't, but everyone would notice it. If he changed same to identical, he'd have to change length to lengths, plural, because now he's talking about two things, instead of one, canonical, normative, unique thing. And that's the point: that's why he must use the definite article. The same length. – Dan Bron Jul 8 '15 at 8:23
  • Nicely put @DanBron, it is a good point that this site is a paragon for what is 'right' and we should not encourage shorthand answers but the ideal. As you alluded to, not all users are native English speakers, and so may not realise some points. Also good spot on the plurals, I didn't think that one through fully. I shall strive for better in future – nickson104 Jul 8 '15 at 8:30

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