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I am writing a paper where I will use the title Reduction by half. This is supposed to describe a method which reduces something by half, but I am not sure if Reduction by Half is the right way to do this. Any ideas? Does Reduction by Half sound weird?

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What is the goal of this method? Are you proposing a method by which the number of members in a set may be reduced by a half, or are you reducing the number by in order to accomplish something else? If the latter, is the reduction arbitrary or there is some principle at work determining which members are removed? – StoneyB Sep 1 '12 at 18:35
It's the latter and there is a principle – Cemre Sep 1 '12 at 18:42
If the principle is an important element of your method and not offered as a mere example, it seems to me that it should be at least part of the method name. For instance, if the principle is removing every other member, something like "Reduction by Alternation (RA)" or "Halving by Alternation (HA)" would be called for. – StoneyB Sep 1 '12 at 18:54
I think I will simply call it Halving Method. – Cemre Sep 1 '12 at 20:03
up vote 4 down vote accepted

It may be less awkward to refer to it as the "halving method".

to reduce to one half, "halving the present cost"

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+1 To halve is one of my favorite verbs, right up there with to wolve. – tchrist Sep 1 '12 at 1:02

"Does reduction by half sound weird ?"

No and yes (This sounds weird). No because it's typical of academic prose: probably verbose (but we can't know that without seeing the entire title). Yes because it's an unnecessary transmogrification (a beautifully weird word) of a verb into a noun.

How about saying something like "X reduces cost of producing Y by half" or "X reduces by half cost of producing Y"? You're probably introducing a new method or a new ingredient for a technical process. The first words of the title should indicate that, e.g., "Aluminum [the new ingredient] reduces weight of fishing sinkers by half" and "Eliminating unnecessary tests reduces medical costs by half".

I don't know if this is helpful because it's really necessary to see how you're planning to structure the entire title of the paper, not just three words of it. Can you give us an idea of what you're thinking of saying without revealing what you reasonably want to keep secret until the paper is published?

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I am basically trying to give the method a brief name. There are various methods that does a reduction on a set of numbers (they remove some amount of numbers from it). and this particular one takes out half of the numbers from the set. So that's basically why I want to call method (and the title) Reduction by Half as the section will talk about it :) Let me know if you have further questions – Cemre Sep 1 '12 at 0:32
I also want to be able to refer this method later with its name such as "However, the reduction by half method achieves better results" so this is why I want to stick to this name – Cemre Sep 1 '12 at 0:34
@Cemre It may be less awkward to refer to it as the "halving method". – Zairja Sep 1 '12 at 0:53
It sounds fine to me as the name of a technique. Not at all weird. Better than "50% off". :-) I'd write it "the Reduction by Half method": it's a proper name. I don't think that "the halving method" sounds anywhere near as good as "the Reduction by Half method". – user21497 Sep 1 '12 at 0:54
I do all those things to some degree and still consider language an art. W-w-wait. . . cir-c-cuits overl-l-loading ERROR ERR-- – Zairja Sep 1 '12 at 1:51

Reduction by half is alright but incomplete. The title should be something like Reduction of mosquitoes by half using insecticide.

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Thanks but since this is going to be name of a technique (and the title will be that name since the section will talk about this method) I want something brief to call this method. That's why I am considering Reduction by Half. – Cemre Sep 1 '12 at 0:33

Since it's the title of a paper, you could trot out the Latin, and call the technique

reductio ad dimidium

which literally means reduction to half.

If you Google the phrase, it turns up a couple of mathematical techniques that appear to do exactly that.

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That technique would be RAD! :) – Zairja Sep 1 '12 at 3:14

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