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Kenny同志

Price-performance ratio or performance-price ratio?

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Kenny同志

According to the Wikipedia, “Even though this term [price-performance ratio] would seem to be a straightforward ratio, when price performance is improved, better [i think it should be “bettered” here], or increased, it actually refers to the performance divided by the price, in other words exactly the opposite ratio to rank a product as having an increased Price/performance. To avoid such confusion, the word ratio is often dropped or the dash used instead. Technical and news publications are often sloppy in their coverage of changes in these matters”

So which one would you prefer, “performance-price ratio” or “price-performance ratio” when you mean the ratio of the performance to the price of a product. To me, the second term is wrong.

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imron

I'd never actually thought about it like that before, but anyway, price-performance ratio is the word I would use, even though yes, it's actually backwards. It just sounds better, and I don't think many people are thinking about the mathematics behind it when they say that word. It's taken on a meaning of its own.

Not everything in language is logical, compare for example 好容易 vs 好不容易 vs 好不威风.

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Hofmann

Well, do they want it to be low or high?

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Kenny同志

Imron, 好容易 and 好不威风 are probably used mostly in northern China. I rarely hear them from the lips of Southerners.

Anyway, I tend to avoid such words as they would cause confusion.

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imron
好容易 and 好不威风 are probably used mostly in northern China

It was just an example of how language isn't always logical. Actually I've been seeing '好不....' a lot in some of the books I've been reading lately which is why it sprang to mind (金庸 seems to like using it, as does the current author I'm reading), and I find it amusing that it means 'very' in basically every situation, unless the word following it is 容易, in which case it means 'not'.

Well, do they want it to be low or high?

They want it to be good :mrgreen:

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realmayo
Well, do they want it to be low or high?

I know this isn't what you mean, but English prefers to go from high to low in the sounds it makes, and the vowel in price is higher than the first vowel in performance.

Think also: tick-tock, drip-drop, shilly-shally, tit-for-tat, zigzag, wibble-wobble, tittle-tattle, topsey-turvey, rack and ruin, house and home, rant and rave, etc etc. I guess Chinese is the same too.

Then again price-performance might be in that order more because the shorter word is better coming first.

Or again because "performance" can also be used as an adjective and putting it before a noun might confuse the listener for a second into thinking he's hearing adj+noun rather than noun+noun.

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jbradfor

price-performance.

Yes, now that you mention it the phrase does seem backwards, but that's what everyone uses, and "performance-price" sounds strange to me.

I would suggest you be careful and not use "increased", but use "improved" instead. I think that's pretty unambiguous.

better (I think it should be “bettered” here),

"Bettered" is probably correct, but we almost never say that, at least in American-English. "made better", or, better yet, "improved". Can't speak to other countries.

BTW, and I only mention this since you seem to care about such things, normally when one makes a comment in a quotation, one uses "[]", not "()". I had to read it a couple of times to understand it.

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skylee
normally when one makes a comment in a quotation, one uses "[]", not "()". I had to read it a couple of times to understand it.

Now this is just an internet forum ... very upset to have to read about square brackets even after work ... :(

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realmayo

Hmm, I agree with jbradfor, if you use the curved brackets it is confusing, if you use the square brackets it isn't confusing.

Bettered: if you say something is bettered I think it normally carries the sense that something has done better than something else. The rise in silver was bettered only by the rise in gold, something like that. It's not used much in British English.

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cababunga
So which one would you prefer, “performance-price ratio” or “price-performance ratio” when you mean the ratio of the performance to the price of a product. To me, the second term is wrong.

"Better" doesn't always mean "bigger". For example, when you say "better response time" you actually mean shorter time. Fuel consumption expressed in litters per 100km is also better when the number is smaller.

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Kenny同志

Thank you everybody.

I will listen to you native speakers because all of you seem to be agreed on this point.

Jbradfor wrote:

"Bettered" is probably correct, but we almost never say that, at least in American-English. "made better", or, better yet, "improved". Can't speak to other countries.

BTW, and I only mention this since you seem to care about such things, normally when one makes a comment in a quotation, one uses "[]", not "()". I had to read it a couple of times to understand it.

Yes, I do care about such things. Thank you again Jbradfor and Realmayo.

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creamyhorror
Even though this term [price-performance ratio] would seem to be a straightforward ratio, when price performance is improved, better, or increased, it actually refers to the performance divided by the price, in other words exactly the opposite ratio to rank a product as having an increased Price/performance.

What a terribly written sentence, even for Wikipedia.

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creamyhorror
Seems like you have a very good idea on how it can be written better. http://en.wikipedia....tio&action=edit

No thanks, I just felt like remarking on the fact. I make small edits from time to time but major rephrasings are too much trouble. And surely most people would agree it's badly written, considering how the "when" clause shouldn't be included and how the last part doesn't even seem to connect grammatically.

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Shelley

I think I would put the word that was most important first, so for me perfomance versus price would mean that the perfomance was more important than the price but that i wanted to know the perfomance for each item then the price. If it was price/perfomance i would then expect to have a list of cheapest to most expensive with the coresponding performance.

I would agree the word "bettered" is correct in this context, but it does sound a bit old fashioned.

Shelley

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