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In a form we have today:

  • from
  • via
  • to

I think it'd be better if we used other terminology. So I went with this.

  • from --> origin
  • via --> ???
  • to --> destination

What'd be a good noun corresponding to the adverb "via"?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

From OED...

way-point n. orig. U.S.
a stopping-place on a journey;
also, (on an air journey) the computer-checked coordinates of each stage of a long flight.

The OED entry is hyphenated, but that seems a bit "old-fashioned" to me. Google Books returns more results for "via waypoints" than for "via way-points", and most of the latter are actually two non-hyphenated words (Google Books indexes hyphens as spaces anyway).

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In the context of a journey, this would be a stopover:

A short interruption in a journey or the place visited during such an interruption.

In the context of railways or political campaigns, this could be a whistle-stop.

In other contexts, you'd probably call it some kind of point. For example, in graph visualization, you'd route an edge from its source to its target via a bending point, a bend point or a dummy node. Routing point might be more generally applicable.

So as you can see, completely different terms can be appropriate depending on context.

Edit in reply to your comment: in the context of truck transports this would be a stop. Which, coincidentally, is the word you used yourself. If a stop is optional, you'd call it an optional stop. Which, I might add, strikes me as a strange concept. A truck driver quite typically can't decide to just let some of the cargo sit at the road side at his own leisure. He will have, and expect to have, very precise instructions on how much of what to get from where to where by when. And quite some paperwork to go with all of it. But perhaps it does depend on your particular kind of cargo, I don't know.

This actually demonstrates rather nicely that whenever you design a form for a specific audience with specific needs and a specific terminology, you should ask that specific audience what its specific needs are, and what specific terminology it has long established. "Optional stop" might make sense to a computer programmer, but for all you know actual truck drivers call it a "double donkey" (unless you're talking tomatoes).

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Oops, I seem to gravely underestimate the complexity of the terminology choice in this case. The kind of via I'm looking for applies to truck transports at a delivery firm. So it's via, as in make an additional stop and pick up more stuff. Does it matter if there's only a single such stop or multiple ones? Or if the in-between-stop is optional or always existing? – Konrad Viltersten May 11 '14 at 10:53

En route: on or along the way when you are going to a place

The shipment is en route to the buyer.

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In my mind "en route" implies somewhere along the way, rather than at a certain location along the way. Am I mistaken? – Konrad Viltersten May 11 '14 at 10:51
You are correct, it is more connected to act of travelling than to residency. look at the example I quoted to see if it fits your need. en.wiktionary.org/wiki/en_route – Mari-Lou A May 11 '14 at 10:53

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