Microspeak: Granular

Raymond Chen

Today’s Microspeak word is granular. Here are some citations.

Please bring your cost estimates at the granularity of 3, 5 or 10 days.

The archive function archives all data older than the date specified. Is there a way to get the archive to be more granular than just a date? Our database covers multiple accounts, and we’d like to choose a different date for each account.

There are about 2000 warnings to be investigated. I’ve assigned them at component granularity.

Granularity is roughly equivalent to level of detail or unit of separation. In the first example, the cost estimates should be broken down into units that are 3, 5, or 10 days. In the second example, the request is for the archive function to determine which data to archive based on more than just the item date. In in the third example, the 2000 warnings were group by component and all warnings in a particular component were assigned to a single person. The term granular is used plenty outside Microsoft, too, especially in the phrase granular control, which you will be relieved to know is also wildly popular at Microsoft. (Remember, Microspeak is not only about words and phrases unique to Microsoft. It also covers words and phrases used inside Microsoft at a rate significantly higher than their usage outside Microsoft.)

There is also a more jargony use of granular when used in conjunction with the verb to get. To get granular means to study in greater detail. And in a peculiar mix of metaphor, the way to get granular is to drill down.


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