Originally Posted by markbarendt
Although I'm no sensitometrist, I believe that, yes indeed, the effect of compensating development is to shoulder the film curve a bit. Since the amount of actual compensation, i.e., the comparative reduction in density, is greater where the developer exhausts sooner, which is in the areas of highest exposure. The change is progressively less in lower-density areas until the point is reached below which no developer exhaustion at all occurs. This reduces highlight contrast, but allows a very bright area to still be printed which, without compensation, would be "blown out" or off the paper's scale or need burning.
Originally Posted by Michael R 1974
Still, in my book this means being able to get (squeeze) more usable information into the printable density range of the negative. It's really a question of semantics.