The "Formal" of Formal Formulations
When someone accomplishes something which is useful, people want to remember how it was accomplished. If they can remember what they did, and how they did it, then they can do it again. There are two advantages to this strategy:
- It is possible to cause a specific desired effect;
- The desired effect will be accomplished within a fixed time frame.
In other words, "something gets done" and "time is left for other stuff." The logical result of this strategy is usually called a Formal Procedure. But there are several intermediate steps between the "I am a leaf in the wind, the world is a mystery" level of consciousness, and the level of Formal Procedures.
- First off, it is necessary to understand what was actually necessary, in order to do what was accomplished. If something is lacking, the lack will prevent the Procedure from being completed. If something is superfluous, the Procedure will be encumbered with unnecessary considerations, and require a longer time frame to accomplish.
- Secondly, what was done and how it was done is remembered as a Recipe. In this sense, a recipe is a "half-baked" Formal Procedure. It is a common practice to experiment with a given recipe, to suit your own subjective tastes. Creativity, diversity, and experimentation are appropriate at this level, where time is not a consideration.
- Thirdly, when time is a consideration, and a specific effect is desired, the formality of "neither more nor less than needed" is absolute. Any deviation from an established Formal Procedure will either prevent or encumber the Procedure so that "nothing gets done" or "no time is left for other stuff."
The above discussion of how "something gets done" and "time is left for other stuff" may serve as a genesis for "Formal" activities, but there are several other connotations for "Formal". Consider the
definition of "Formal":
- a. Relating to or involving outward
or structure. b. Being or relating to essential
or constitution: a formal principle.
- a. Following or being in accord with accepted
conventions, or regulations: had little formal education; went to a formal party.
b. Executed, carried out, or done in proper or regular
a formal reprimand; a formal document.
- a. Characterized by strict or meticulous observation of
methodical: very formal in their business transactions. b. Stiffly ceremonious: a formal manner; a formal greeting; a formal bow to the monarch.
- Having the outward appearance but lacking in
a formal requirement that is usually ignored.
- Something, such as a gown or social affair, that is formal in nature.
formal - Definitional Commentary
- Both parts (a.) and (b.) contain the word
as in "outward
- Both parts (a.) and (b.) contain the word
as in "accepted
and "proper or regular
- Part (a.) contains the word
Part (b.) formally introduces a connection to "ceremony".
- This item formally introduces a connection to
Notice how they are portrayed as distinct concepts which may or may not be present.
On a primitive level, all these items relate to the creation of things, and how they are created. Yet, for each item there is a desire to know the true
of a procedure and why it works. There is a sense of reverence and awe in these definitions, something beyond "making things". In a universe filled with uncertainty, a Formal Procedure provides as much of an absolute certainty as possible.
The "Formal" of Formal Formulations affirms a reverence and dedication in focusing attention and consciousness on the Formulation being performed.
formal - Related Usage
- form - noun
- 1. a. The shape and structure of an object.
- form - verb, transitive
- 1. a. To give form to; shape: form clay into figures.
- 1. b. To develop in the mind; conceive: form an opinion.
- formed - verb, transitive
- forming - verb, transitive
- forms - verb, transitive
- form - verb, intransitive
- 1. To become formed or shaped.
- formability - noun from form
- formable - adjective from form
- -form - suffix
- Having the form of.
- formal - adjective
- 1. a. Relating to or involving outward form or structure.
- 1. b. Being or relating to essential form or constitution:
- formally - adverb from formal
- formalness - noun from formal
- formalism - noun
- 1. Rigorous or excessive adherence to recognized forms, as in religion or art.
- formalist - adjective from formalism
- formalist - noun from formalism
- formalistic - adjective from formalism
- formalistically - adverb from formalism
- formality - noun
- 1. The quality or condition of being formal.
- formalities - plural from formality
- formalize - verb, transitive
- 1. To give a definite form or shape to.
- formalized - verb, transitive
- formalizing - verb, transitive
- formalizes - verb, transitive
- formalizable - adjective from formalize
- formalization - noun from formalize
- formalizer - noun from formalize
- format - noun
- 1. A plan for the organization and arrangement of a specified production.
- format - verb, transitive
- 1. To plan or arrange in a specified form:
- formatted - verb, transitive
- formatting - verb, transitive
- formats - verb, transitive
- formation - noun
- 1. The act or process of forming something or of taking form.
- formational - adjective from formation
- formative - adjective
- 1. Forming or capable of forming.
- formatively - adverb from formative
- former - noun
- 1. One that forms; a maker or creator: a former of ideas.
- formerly - adverb
- At an earlier time; once.
- formless - adjective
- 1. Having no definite form; shapeless.
- formlessly - adverb from formless
- formlessness - noun from formless
- formula - noun
- 1. a. An established form of words or symbols for use in a ceremony or procedure.
- formulas - plural from formula
- formulae - plural from formula
- formulaic - adjective from formula
- formulaically - adverb from formula
- formulary - noun
- 1. A book or other collection of stated and fixed forms, such as prayers.
- formularies - plural from formulary
- formularize - verb, transitive
- To express as or reduce to a formula; formulate.
- formularized - verb, transitive
- formularizing - verb, transitive
- formularizes - verb, transitive
- formularization - noun from formularize
- formularizer - noun from formularize
- formulate - verb, transitive
- 1. a. To state as or reduce to a formula.
- 1. b. To express in systematic terms or concepts.
- 1. c. To devise or invent: formulate strategy.
- formulated - verb, transitive
- formulating - verb, transitive
- formulates - verb, transitive
- formulation - noun from formulate
- formulator - noun from formulate
- formulize - verb, transitive
- To formulate.
- formulized - verb, transitive
- formulizing - verb, transitive
- formulizes - verb, transitive
- formulization - noun from formulize
- formulizer - noun from formulize
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