From now onwards, I think I'm going to start another sub-section to my blog and that is "Vocabulary". Under Vocabulary, I'm going to put down the meaning of words I've recently discovered or old words I've rediscovered.
For the first one, the word is "Proprietary". I've discovered this word many times before, especially when reading matters on Linux and Open Source. As, the opposite of Open Source is normally described as "proprietary code". Another place I've seen this word many times before is in the British National Formulary (BNF for short, it's a textbook we doctors refer to in search of drug doses, contraindications and cross-reactions etc). In the BNF, a drug like aspirin would be listed as Non-Proprietary.
From dictionary.com the word proprietary means:
1. Of, relating to, or suggestive of a proprietor or to proprietors as a
-- yup, that's very helpful dictionary.com, thanks --
More meaningful translations are:
2. Owned by a private individual or corporation under a trademark or patent:
a proprietary drug.
3. Exclusively owned; private: a proprietary hospital.
Ah, so proprietary basically means a property for example a code for a software or a drug that is owned by an individual or a company/corporation and would normally be protected by patents. I see.
The BNF lists medications as proprietary or non-proprietary because non-proprietary medications are much, MUCH cheaper. Thus, we are recommended to prescribe non-proprietary medications when such alternative exists.
Hope that helps. Definitely helped me.