14

What is -wise in phrases or words that end with it? How do we use it correctly?

Floor is obscenely expensive computational-wise.

I found a similar thread here but I don't understand much.

  • Bonus points: Someone explain where the word "piecewise", as in a function that isn't continuous at all points, comes from. – Jeremy Aug 27 '11 at 1:57
  • The simple way to express "in words that end with it" is "as a suffix"; and it's usual to indicate suffixes in discussion with a leading hyphen, thus "What is the meaning of the suffix '-wise'?" – Karl Knechtel Aug 27 '11 at 7:09
11

The question you referred to in yours gives more usage notes on when you should use the "-wise" suffix, but not so much in terms of what it means. In this case, "wise" is supposed to serve as a suffix which means:

with reference to: profitwise ; businesswise

The example you quoted would be less ambiguous if they had used "computation-wise". (Computational-wise seems ungrammatical to me). That is, the sentence is saying that:

Floor is obscenely expensive [in terms of] computation

or,

Floor is obscenely expensive computationally

  • Except in the case of the original of this kind clockwise (and anti-clockwise), and though wise tends to be extensively used as a suffix, excessive use of it is generally not well regarded as good - meaning elegant - English, among the likes of the liberal arts intelligentsia. At least that's the case in Britain. – WS2 Dec 30 '16 at 23:08
3

To quote a different source from the cited question, I'll use Dictionary.com:

a suffixal use of wise - in adverbs denoting manner, position, direction, reference, etc.: counterclockwise; edgewise; marketwise; timewise.

To simplify this definition, you can think of -wise as "in the direction of", "in the manner of" or "with regard to", depending on the situation.

The sentence you provided falls obviously in the third case.

  • I used Dictionary.com too, just a more to-the-point definition – simchona Aug 26 '11 at 22:24
  • @simchona: Yep, I was writing while you posted your answer and didn't see. Anyway, my "different source" was regarding this answer related to the link provided by the OP. – Gurzo Aug 26 '11 at 22:27
  • @Gurzo-Ah, I see. Sorry about that! – simchona Aug 26 '11 at 22:28
2

Clockwise means in relation to a clock.

Floor is obscenely expensive computational wise.

It's not a very well written sentence, but it means the "floor" operation is obscenely expensive in relation to computation.

  • 1
    I think a better definition of clockwise is 'the direction that the hands of an analog clock move.' Often generalized to movement to the right. This also helps to explain counter-clockwise = move in the opposite direction to clockwise, or generally move to the left. – mkennedy Aug 27 '11 at 21:53
  • Yes, that's a good general definition but doesn't really explain the -wise suffix. – Hugo Aug 28 '11 at 5:28
1

"by means of" or "in the manner of" or "via".

A piecewise function is one that is analyzed piecewise, i.e., in pieces, because its discontinuities prevent analysis as a whole.

I would not accept "computational-wise" as grammatical; "computation-wise" would be the expected form, but it would be simpler and more idiomatic to just say "computationally".

0

-wise is a prefix used to:

  • form adjectives or adverbs meaning "(that is) in the manner, form, or direction of"
  • form adverbs meaning "as regards, in terms of"

Computational-wise means "in terms of computation."

protected by tchrist Oct 23 '16 at 3:29

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.