Scheme – not the language

For the longest time I have associated the word “scheme” with something bad people do. In the movies, TV and in many books the word “scheme” has been associated with some sort of evil plot. And in fact if you look up the word at you will find one of the 11 meanings is “an underhand plot; intrigue.” But in the last couple of years I keep running into people for whom its meaning is basically another word for plan. In the UK the word scheme is used where I would use plan on a very regular basis. This has caused a bit of cognitive dissonance for me. Everytime I hear the word used it makes me think about the meaning of the work rather than about the scheme that is being discussed. I expect that will wear off some time but so far it hasn’t happened.

I wonder if this is also part of why I have so much trouble being open minded about Scheme the functional language while I find it easy to be open about F#? Although it may also have something to do with the people who introduced me to each of those langauages. But that is a discussion for another time.

One Response to “Scheme – not the language”

  1. Matt says:

    I think I have to agree with you about the meaning of the word “scheme.” It definitely carries a negative connotation for me. If something isn’t an evil scheme, it’s a “hair-brained scheme.” There’s also a “latest scheme,” which is never drawn up or developed, but always hatched, but it’s usually hair-brained or deceptive.

Leave a Reply