I have a particular English issue. I'm looking for short (one word if possible) descriptions of two concepts mentioned in the subject of this question. I'm building a software application and I need to give the user one of two statuses on an object.

The first context is "This is a new thing and needs your attention"; the second context is "this thing is being looked at by someone".

The visual space I'm working with is quite small, which yields my need for a short description. Any ideas for words that express this concept?


To add some context, I'm using this software in a sort of ticketing environment, i.e. that an issue affecting a customer has come up. I just need two indicators to say "This thing i new!" and "Someone is looking at it" for our customer service people to keep track of it internally.

  • Is there something wrong with "new" for the first of these? Dec 6, 2011 at 17:47
  • 1
    I saw your headline and assumed you were talking about people, and thought of neglected and fulfilled, respectively. Doesn't quite apply to software, though. ;-)
    – Gnawme
    Dec 6, 2011 at 19:10
  • @Gnawme yes that's almost perfect but sounds a bit creepy in a software context :)
    – daveslab
    Dec 8, 2011 at 15:25

3 Answers 3


Some CRMs that I work with (for case management) use "new" and "assigned" respectively for these. "New" = no one has looked at it yet, so please do so; "assigned" - someone else already has ownership of it and is looking into it.


Unless I missed something, OP doesn't give enough context. If it's something like a "bug-tracking" package, @Alex's "status values" New and Assigned are fine. Although I would say that most such packages I've worked with just have a column headed "Assigned", which is either blank for a new bug/feature request, or contains the initials of the person assigned to deal with the issue.

But it could be, say, a website intended for users of some particular product or system, who might need to look at a "new" issue to decide whether they wish to add their voice to the call for it to be addressed - as with questions flagged Feature-request on ELU Meta. In such contexts, New still works, but Ongoing seems to me a little less "jargonny" than Assigned.


How about using "ATTN" and "U/R" (Under Review)? Those aren't exactly "pretty" to look at from a designer's standpoint, but if aesthetics is a secondary concern in your application, they may serve the purpose.

ATTN is commonly used in email subject lines so it should be pretty clear to any user what it means.

U/R, though not as common as ATTN, is an abbreviation used by NASA, other government organizations, and schools.

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