At a more detailed (?) / more granular (?) level

Why Not?

Senior Member
German
Hi All,

Which of the following headlines sounds more idiomatic or just better?

Context: Essay consisting of a more general introductory part and one part that contains a more detailed comparision of the notions of two terms ('evidence-based practice' and 'reflective practice' in the context of education).


"Differences and similarities at a more granular level"

or:

"Differences and similarities at a more detailed level" ?

Thanks again in anticipation,

Why Not?
 
  • cropje_jnr

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    I'm not sure what "granular" means in this context.

    "Detailed" makes sense, although in that case I would suggest "differences and similarities in more detail".

    Does that help?
     

    molybdenum

    New Member
    English - New Zealand
    I have no idea whether "more granular" means bigger grains or smaller grains.
    So I am not the only person mystified by the use of this term? It has become very popular recently and perhaps "detailed" is a synonym. Has it something to do with breaking something down into smaller parts or analysing something in minute detail?
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The terms coarse and fine, or coarser/finer, would be understandable as modifiers for granularity.
    I have to guess whether more granular means more grains or bigger grains.
     

    molybdenum

    New Member
    English - New Zealand
    The terms coarse and fine, or coarser/finer, would be understandable as modifiers for granularity.
    I have to guess whether more granular means more grains or bigger grains.
    I do understand what you are saying, but words take on "everyday" or idiomatic or colloquial or technical meanings. The notion of "granularity" has been used in physics for sometime and more recently in business. Wikipedia says: "Granularity is the extent to which a system is broken down into small parts, either the system itself or its description or observation. It is the 'extent to which a larger entity is subdivided. For example, a yard broken into inches has finer granularity than a yard broken into feet.'"

    I would guess that most people would interpret "more granularity" to mean a greater breakdown into smaller parts. Since the term is used to describe the extent to which a larger system is subdivided, "more" granuality would suggest more subdivision ;-)

    But Wikipedia also says: "The terms 'fine' and 'coarse' are used consistently across fields, but the term 'granularity' itself is not. For example, in investing, 'more granularity' refers to more positions of smaller size, while photographic film that is 'more granular' has fewer and larger chemical 'grains'".

    So usage -- which isn't always logical -- decides and one has to know the meaning in a particular context rather than deduce it...

    Not altogether satisfactory, but isn't this the way language often is -- arbitrary and not altogether logical?
     
    Last edited:

    molybdenum

    New Member
    English - New Zealand
    The terms coarse and fine, or coarser/finer, would be understandable as modifiers for granularity.
    I have to guess whether more granular means more grains or bigger grains.
    Despite my rambling above, I do agree that it is an ugly buzzword and "detailed", or cropje_jnr's rewrite is preferable.
     
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