I would like to convince you, Dear Reader, that names like “ratchet”, “autoratchet”, “road dial”, “mercy”, “weaselproofing”, “akrasia horizon”, “autodata”, “beemergency”, “rerail”, and possibly even “aggday” and “maxflux” (not to mention wholly uncontroversial ones like “legit check” and “pledge” and even “yellow brick road”) are important for Beeminder!
- Newbees nosecrinkle at them and think Beeminder’s like a freaking cult or something.
- Newbees will understand a descriptive phrase immediately; neologisms are opaque.
- Greppability / googlability. Like if @shanaqui or @justanotherjon mention something in support, you can grep for it. Or google it and land on blog.beeminder.com/glossary or somesuch.
- Sheer convenience of having concise and consistent concept handles for common things.
- General joy of language.
- We can do it thoughtfully and get the best of both worlds. Concise concept handle followed immediately by concise definition.
- “Dig a deep well” philosophy: the utility that superfans get from delightful esoterica outweighs newbee cost.
I know that last one is controversial and that every superfan started as a newbee, but this effect is not to be underestimated. Alienating users who aren’t quite your target demographic can be – even tends to be, at our size – a price very much worth paying if it attracts/endears those who are.
Related internal thing: Renaming “retroratchet” to “ratchet” … actually that needn’t be an internal thing. Stand by while I make another forum post about that and link to it here! PS, voila: Renaming "Retroratchet" to "Ratchet"