Microspeak: Righteous

Raymond Chen

In the English language, the word righteous means “virtuous” or “morally right”, and it comes with religious connotations. It also has an informal meaning of “excellent”, devoid of religious significance.

At Microsoft the term righteous has become a preferred adjective for things which are right and proper, in alignment with best practices, or otherwise a Good Thing or the Right Thing to Do.

This obviously looks like righteous work, but we may not be able to schedule it in the current milestone.

That’s a righteous question which I already plan on asking at ship room.

This design change looks righteous, but I’m concerned about the compatibility consequences.

The term is particularly applicable to bug fixes, where it means that the fix is definitely correct.

Alice reviewed it and said it was a righteous fix.

6 comments

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  • Drew Cooper 0

    Seems like Bill (not G) and Ted usage. What do “bodacious” and “resplendent” mean in Microspeak, I wonder?

    • Mike Morrison 0

      Bill & Raymond’s (not) Excellent Adventure (in mangling English)
      Maybe they’re still trying to write the one program that unites the world in peace and harmony?

  • Alexey Badalov 0

    Funny, how “righteous” and “wicked” can both mean “excellent.”

  • Michael Dunn 0

    I’m surprised that the second quote doesn’t say “a righteous ask”.

    • Raymond ChenMicrosoft employee Author 0

      Asking a question is not an “ask”. An “ask” is when you want another team to do something for you. The more conventional word would be “request”.

      • Michael Dunn 0

        Asking a question is not an “ask”.

        Maybe the “ask” that’s captive inside Microsoft is clinging to its rustic roots, but when “ask” escaped into the wide corporate-speak world, it mutated into meaning any type of question.

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