Possible Duplicate:
Is 'low speed' finally proving its merit?

Recently in a mayor presentation of upcoming product I saw slide talking about "faster performance". Then in BBC article covering same event, they wrote about "faster speed".

Are these phrases considered correct in English? I'm coming from a language, where that would be considered pleonasm, and the only correct way is to say "better performance" and "higher speed". Is that not the case in English?

Quick look at nGrams suggest that indeed "fast speed" and "fast performance" aren't used often.

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • Can you explain why the phrases are incorrect in your language? Is it due to the physics? Can one make a case (stronger than “they sound bad”) against “faster performance” or “faster speed” without being pedantic or merely appealing to frequency-of-use statistics? – James Waldby - jwpat7 Sep 18 '12 at 16:26
  • @jwpat7: edited. It would be considered pleonasm, which is a style error. – vartec Sep 18 '12 at 16:31
  • Do the sources that say the phrases are style errors give a reason why? Also, I presume your language is Nederlands; do you know of other languages where “faster performance/speed” are agreed to be style errors? – James Waldby - jwpat7 Sep 18 '12 at 21:16
  • @ЯegDwight: it's not a duplicate. – vartec Sep 18 '12 at 21:31
  • Fair to say, but then please edit the question to specify how "it is perfectly logical to talk about both slow and fast speed, as the word is neutral in this sense and can be modified with these two adjectives" and other answers from the linked question do not address your concern. If you can make a case for your question being distinct enough, it can be reopened. Thank you. – RegDwigнt Sep 18 '12 at 21:42

There's nothing "incorrect" about either "faster performance" or "faster speed", as tens of thousands of written instances on those links should demonstrate.

It's true "better performance" is far more common, but that's largely because performance can be improved in many ways besides being made faster.

It's also true people say "I walk faster than you" rather than "I walk at a faster speed than you", but I see no grammatical difference between a fast speed and a heavy weight, apart from the fact that idiomatically we tend to use high speed for the former.

| improve this answer | |

I believe technically, faster performance is correct, although it is seldom used.

One definition of performance is "the execution of an action". Faster performance, then, would imply the execution took less time.

I would recommend to use better or improved instead.

| improve this answer | |
  • I'm quite sure that in this case performance was used in this meaning: "the ability to perform : efficiency; the manner in which a mechanism performs <engine performance>" – vartec Sep 18 '12 at 15:56

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