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What is the correct form when referring to the expertise of a user (e.g. in programming, writing)?

  1. user's expertise
  2. user expertise
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Either version sounds pretty odd to me in relation to programming or writing. "Users" are usually distinguished from "software writers" who have "expertise" at programming. And I don't understand what it would mean to say you have "user['s] expertise" in writing. An author who's "good at reading" other people's books? –  FumbleFingers Jan 28 '12 at 17:02
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Programmers are often at the same time users of some kinds of programming environment. –  Brett Reynolds Jan 28 '12 at 17:21

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

If you mean the expertise of a particular user, then it would be the user's expertise, but if you mean the general concept of expertise developed by users, then user expertise would be clearer. For the general concept, you could, however, also say users' expertise, or perhaps users' collective expertise.

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protected by RegDwigнt May 4 '12 at 10:29

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