I am trying to figure out a good way to express switch in a Latin, such as a light switch or in my case, a figurative switch: a list of boolean selectors to choose from. Creating a nōmen actiōnis seems a good way to start:
- Alternō seems to be a good starting point
- Adding the -iō suffix creates the nōmen actiōnis
- My resulting word thus is alternātiō.
Now, I do not know whether my suggestion is a good one (hence why I am asking here). I thought of alternātor, but that would be a poor option, both as it has a specific meaning in modern electromechanics, but also as -or, -ōris is preferred for nōminēs agentis.
Asking here, though, allows for an interesting ‘discussion’,¹ if you will, as English switch has numerous meanings; the following list is from Oxford Dictionary, with option 6 added by me:
- A device for making and breaking the connection in an electric circuit.
- Computing A program variable which activates or deactivates a certain function of a program.
- Computing A device which forwards data packets to an appropriate part of the network.
- An act of changing to or adopting one thing in place of another.
- A slender, flexible shoot cut from a tree.
- North American A set of points on a railway track.
- A tress of false or detached hair tied at one end, used in hairdressing to supplement natural hair.
- A person who enjoys varying their role in a sexual relationship, especially within BDSM, usually someone who sometimes enjoys being the dom (dominator) and sometimes the sub (submissive)
Given the numerous different meanings this word has in English, I thought this could be an interesting question to try to provide different answers to. Please state initially in your post which of the above options you are answering (or if something else, please make this clear). Explanations which demonstrate how grammar was used to create the word, will be very beneficial, and if there are any notable examples (classical, mediaeval or modern) for this usage, that will be a great boon. Please do mark long vowels for your selected word(s) for the benefit of future readers.
For clarity, I will restate my question: How do you say the noun switch in Latin? For my case, I am primarily looking for usage(s) that can support alternative 1.1: a program variable which activates or deactivates a certain function of a program, similar to that of a light switch.
1 Generally discussions are not what SE is about. What I mean is of course that I would encourage numerous suggestions, as I think this word can lead to many interesting discoveries of both the workings of Latin – in a Catullan spirit, let us embrace neologisms! – and encourage creative usage and exploration of Neo-Latin.