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We're looking for a term to describe a list of statuses. The term should convey that it's all the statuses that's been effective for the entity throughout time but also that the list encloses the current one.

Extra bonus if there are two terms like that - one implying that the current status might or might not exist, and another guaranteeing that there's such current status.

Former excludes the current one, as does previous. Not future and its alikes is too weird and vague. Finally, current and earlier and such constellations is too long.

Optimally, the term should bear the following properties in that order of significance.

  • It consists of a single word (at most two).
  • It sounds formal.
  • It is short to spell.
  • It seems to me rather strange to consider that "current status .. might not exist". Isn't any system at any moment in some kind of status? Or do you mean something specific to the problem domain under "status"? – Victor Bazarov Aug 12 '15 at 11:53
  • In addition to what you suggest as a possible explanation, there's this. A system has always a status. However, a part of it might not. Or, to be perfectly strict, a part of a system might have a status which isn't relevant and, hence, not described. In programming, such status is null, which technically isn't a value. However, that's only a bonus part. I hope for a word suggestion for the main part. – Konrad Viltersten Aug 12 '15 at 13:29
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    Sometimes knowing the sentence you will be using in can help. Can you give an example sentence? – Catija Aug 12 '15 at 14:21
  • @Catija Well, if you keep in mind that there won't be an actual usage of any sentences (the term will be used in it's pure form not connected to any statements, I can offer a hypothetical example. "Is this a list of all statuses that's been, are and even will be?!" "No, sadly, I'm not God - I can only know the XXX statuses." – Konrad Viltersten Aug 12 '15 at 22:51
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"A list of the statuses to date" seems reasonable. This includes any and all current and preceding statuses, and it implies, but doesn't strictly require, that there is a non-null current status. "To date" is a reasonably formal phrase, and is idiomatic.

English is not very good at handling nullables explicitly in the general case, so I doubt there's a compact construction that will more clearly express that there might never have been any status. The closest is to use "if applicable" afterward, but that's rather clunky.

  • Actually, that's even longer than the "previous and current statuses" that I already have from the title, so that won't do. We're looking for a term not a way to express the meaning. Brevity is of high significance here (see the bullet list). The nullability is a nice-to-have but really not that essential as the shortness and formalness. Also, I have a different interpretation of your suggestion - I'd say that it's not necessarily including all and any past instances. It might but it doesn't guaratee it. You'd need to epithet the list by complete but that makes it even longer. – Konrad Viltersten Aug 12 '15 at 22:56
  • @KonradViltersten: "Statuses to date" is in no way longer or less readable or less flexible in usable context than "previous and current statuses". – Nathan Tuggy Aug 12 '15 at 23:14
  • @ I stand corrected. I got stuck on the whole expression including "a list of the" and then, see, my brains forgot to do that thing called "thinking". Can't explain why I got stuck on it (I would blame being tired but I wasn't, so I guess I had a case of "misfortune while thinking", hehehe). I'll wait a day or two before accepting it as an answer because I still hope to get a single-or-two-word term, preferable an adjective. However, in the absence of that, your reply is just fine. – Konrad Viltersten Aug 13 '15 at 7:33
  • @KonradViltersten: Happens to the best of us. Usually things turn out worse, really, when that kind of glitch occurs. – Nathan Tuggy Aug 13 '15 at 7:41

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