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[personal profile] jducoeur

Here's a random etymology question; I'm curious whether anybody has any insight.

One thing about the increasingly-interconnected tech community is that I wind up chatting with folks from all over the world on a near-constant basis. (At the Scala eXchange conference in December, my roommates were folks I knew from Finland, Switzerland and Singapore.) It's mostly in English, which makes life easy for me.

But I keep noticing one curious bit of language usage, that comes up constantly in technical discussions -- the use of the word "doubt", specifically usages like "I have a doubt about this feature".

In American and British English, this carries a connotation of roughly, "I don't think this is right, but I'm trying to keep an open mind", but that seems to never be intended in the online conversations: instead, it seems to be a strict synonym for "question", without any of the usual meanings attached to the word "doubt". This confused the heck out of me the first ten or so times I heard it; I'm now used to it, but it still jars the language pedant in me.

Anybody know how or where this arose? I seem to hear this usage mostly from folks in India, but it doesn't seem to be limited to there -- part of what inspired me to ask about this was somebody with an apparently Spanish name using it that way yesterday...

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