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Standard vs. Norm - What is the Difference Between Them?


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  Post Number #1  
Old 17th August 2004, 10:52 AM
SuRiVs

 
 
Total Posts: 13
Question Standard vs. Norm - What is the Difference Between Them?

Hi everyone! I've been ou for quite a while. We recentley had our first internal audit and planning to finally certify in November.

We are now having a little "theorical" discussion looking for the difference between Standard and "Norm" (I guess that is the right translation for Norma in Spanish).

My guess is that standard is actually the English translation for Norm, but we do have both words in Spanish and the 9001 (for example) fos as is a norm. Any ideas?

Thanks

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  Post Number #2  
Old 17th August 2004, 01:33 PM
Graeme's Avatar
Graeme

 
 
Total Posts: 425
I say tomayto, you say tomahto ...

Things like this can be confusing, but it sometimes helps to remember that ISO publishes documents in two of the official languages of the United Nations - French and English (the British variety). In many cases I have seen statements to the effect that in case of conflict or dispute, the French text is the authoritative one.

A document that describes requirements to be met, such as to establish an effective quality management system:
French: norme
English: standard

In another area of work --
A device, instrument or artifact that is used as a traceable reference for measurements in calibration:
French: etalon
English: standard

(And people wonder why English is such a difficult language to master ...)
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  Post Number #3  
Old 17th August 2004, 01:35 PM
Al Rosen's Avatar
Al Rosen

 
 
Total Posts: 3,556
Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by SuRiVs

Hi everyone! I've been ou for quite a while. We recentley had our first internal audit and planning to finally certify in November.

We are now having a little "theorical" discussion looking for the difference between Standard and "Norm" (I guess that is the right translation for Norma in Spanish).

My guess is that standard is actually the English translation for Norm, but we do have both words in Spanish and the 9001 (for example) fos as is a norm. Any ideas?

Thanks
In a word, nada! There is no difference between what is refered to as a Norm and a Standard. "Norm" is usually used in Europe.



Quote:
Main Entry: norm
Pronunciation: 'no(&)rm
Function: noun
: an established standard or average: as a : a set standard of development or achievement usually derived from the average or median achievement of a large group b : a pattern or trait taken to be typical in the behavior of a social group


Source: Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary, 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.


Norm


\Norm\, n. [L. norma a rule. See Normal, a.] 1. A rule or authoritative standard; a model; a type.

2. (Biol.) A typical, structural unit; a type. --Agassiz.


[Free Trial - Merriam-Webster Unabridged.]
Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.


Norm


n 1: a standard or model or pattern regarded as typical; "the current middle-class norm of two children per family" 2: a statistic describing the location of a distribution; "it set the norm for American homes" [syn: average]


Source: WordNet 2.0, 2003 Princeton University
  Post Number #4  
Old 17th August 2004, 02:03 PM
qualitytrec's Avatar
qualitytrec

 
 
Total Posts: 414
Al,
I appreciate the definitions provided. I however do believe there is a difference between a norm and a standard. A norm from my perspective is more of a trend or the typical and may or may not be equivalent to a standard. I believe a norm can and does usually move over time.
Where as a standard is an absolute measure as to what things should be. The standard does not change but you may choose a different standard.
I could be wrong but this is how I use those terms.
  Post Number #5  
Old 17th August 2004, 02:26 PM
Graeme's Avatar
Graeme

 
 
Total Posts: 425
Caution in a technical context, only the technical definition is valid.

Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by Markasmith

Al,
I appreciate the definitions provided. I however do believe there is a difference between a norm and a standard. A norm from my perspective is more of a trend or the typical and may or may not be equivalent to a standard. I believe a norm can and does usually move over time.
Where as a standard is an absolute measure as to what things should be. The standard does not change but you may choose a different standard.
I could be wrong but this is how I use those terms.
You are right that in one non-technical use of the word in English it describes a custom that may change over time.

Things change depending on the situation and context, though. In this situation, the person was asking about the English word "standard" and the Spanish word "norma" and the relationship between them in the specific context of international documentary standards. In that context, many words have very specific definitions that are (or should be) understood be all who work in that area. In such cases, the technical definitions must be the ones that are used. In this specific context, norma = norme = standard (document) with no exceptions.

Common grammar dictionaries are very useful tools in their place, but they are limited by two things. First and most important, the purpose of a dictionary is to document meanings of words as they are actually in common use by a population, and only in the language they are written for. Dictionaries do not codify the only possible meanings of words. Second, dictionaries have to be selective, which means that they do not include all of the less-frequently-used or technical meanings. (The unabridged OED is an exception, but you need about 2 metres of library shelf space for all of the volumes!)
  Post Number #6  
Old 18th August 2004, 10:46 AM
jaimezepeda

 
 
Total Posts: 268
Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by Graeme

(And people wonder why English is such a difficult language to master ...)
Or pronounce for that matter!
Tough (pronounced tuff) and Though (pronounced doe).
  Post Number #7  
Old 18th August 2004, 11:00 AM
Al Rosen's Avatar
Al Rosen

 
 
Total Posts: 3,556
Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by jaimezepeda

Though (pronounced doe).
Pronounced tho
  Post Number #8  
Old 18th August 2004, 11:57 AM
vanputten's Avatar
vanputten

 
 
Total Posts: 1,068
There are only two official references for defintions of words used in the ISO 9000 series. 1. ISO 9000:2000 2. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED).

All general use words (words that are not defined in the text of an ISO document) have the defintion that is in the Oxford English Dictionary. If ISO does not go out of the way to define the word, then the default defintion is the OED.

OED:

Norm - the ususal, typical, or standard thing. a required or acceptable standard.

Standard - a level of quality or attainment. a required or agreed level of quality or attainment. something used as a measure, norm, or model in comparative evaluations

Regards, Dirk
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