Meet, match, fit — what’s your poison?

I’ve been working a lot on stuff that requires me to write about strings that “X the structural description of” some rule, and in going back over what I’ve written I find that I alternate among three values of X: meet, match, and (much less often) fit. I’m most used to meet, but on some days I prefer match; Google fits my profile, with about 10 times as many hits for “meets the structural description of” than for “matches the structural description of” (though I haven’t expanded the search for other variations of the relevant lemmas and possible phrasings). What do you prefer to use, and why? I’d be curious to see. In the meantime, I’m changing all of my “match”-es to “meet”-s. Ah, consistency.

5 thoughts on “Meet, match, fit — what’s your poison?

  1. Jeroen van de Weijer

    And you never satisfy the structural description? Gets more hits on Google than fits.

  2. Kyle Gorman

    Somewhat inconsistently I judge “matches the structural description” to be better than “meets”, but I also have written “when X’s structural description is met”.

  3. Eric Bakovic Post author

    @Jeroen: you’re right, I don’t think I ever write “satisfy” in my own work — even though I know I’ve encountered it fairly often (in e.g. Koutsoudas, Sanders, & Noll 1974).

    @Kyle: yeah, I would never write “X’s SD is matched”. But I guess today is one of those days where I’m thinking that “match” is otherwise better than “meet”.

    @Maria: go on ahead and use “match” — the numbers are small enough that it wouldn’t take long for that to become the established usage. :-)

  4. Jason Merchant

    I’m a “meet” (or “satisfy”) man myself; just checked my most recent paper, and found this: “Agree applies…
    but since its structural condition is not met (F on Y is not controlled by any other
    X), no change to the phrase marker is effected.”

    (Though I don’t know how many other syntacticians still even talk about “SDs” anymore.)

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