Bad adjective in help file

From the tutorial front page:

Getting Started Quickly

If you don’t have time to go through the whole tutorial yet, you can instead just go through the most important sections and return to the rest whenever you want. The most important sections have been gathered together into a “Quick Start” collection (collections are just arbitrary lists of documents from the project).

Is arbitrary the right word here? Arbitrary means ‘based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system’ but someone may use reason to create a collection. In fact the ‘Quick Start’ collection will not have been chosen randomly or whimsically. I don’t mean to be picky but as a product designed for writers it’s going to irk someone when the wrong adjective is used! ‘Collections are lists of documents chosen from the project’ - seems like a better option.

Picky is good! I take your point, and at first blush I might have thought the same. However, Merriam Webster’s Unabridged (requires a subscription) gives this as the first two definitions of “arbitrary”:

Clearly you’re working with definition 2, which would also have been my first thought. But definition 1 would fit the tutorial’s use, I think. Perhaps a matter of UK vs. US usage?

Hi David

Thanks for the reply! I’ve come across a few more ‘arbitraries’ since then and it jars every time. It’s either my poor understanding of the alternate meaning, or it’s the US/UK thing you suggested. I’ll go for the second one :smiley:

Putting that one word usage to one side, the help files are written in a really nice, accessible way.

Thanks for reassuring me picky is good!