Jargon is terminology unique to certain groups or subjects.

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Is the term 'String' too jargony to use in a user interface?

Having worked as a software developer for a long time, I'm out of touch sometimes with whether a word would be considered jargon. I am adding something to a user interface where a name is given, and ...
41
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4answers
13k views

“log in to” or “log into” or “login to”

When writing an instruction about connecting to a computer using ssh, telnet, etc., I'm not sure what spacing to use in this familiar spoken phrase: "Log in to host.com" "Log into host.com" "Login ...
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2answers
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What is the origin of “daemon” with regards to computing?

Daemon has an interesting usage in computing. From my local dictionary: a background process that handles requests for services such as print spooling and file transfers, and is dormant when not ...
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3answers
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What does “do a take 5” mean?

The context is “We will always do a TAKE 5 prior to undertaking work”. I have no idea what a “take 5” is. I searched “take 5” on Google but I didn’t find an applicable explanation. Here is the ...
12
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4answers
518 views

In the context of cooking, what is the difference between “flipper” and “spatula”?

I'm genuinely confused about this because at first I thought a spatula was a cooking tool resembling a flat pallet attached at an angle to the handle that could be used for activities such as flipping ...
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3answers
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What is the correct pronunciation of “regex”?

The term regular expression is often shortened to regex. What is the correct pronunciation of the g in regex? Is it like the g1 in gallium, or is it like the g2 in giraffe? I’ve heard it said both ...
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2answers
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Origin of the term “wizard” in computing

In computer user interfaces a "wizard" is a set of screens that guide the user through a process. Does anyone know the origin of this term? I personally associate wizards with magic more than a ...
12
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3answers
989 views

How did the word “lid” come to mean “poor operator” (in the context of telegraphy and amateur radio)?

This sense of lid is still common today in Amateur ("Ham") Radio (in the United States, at least), usually as "they're a lid", meaning "they're being a rude or unobservant person." It doesn't refer to ...
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4answers
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What does “10-4 ” mean?

I could have asked this question personally to my respected colleague who gave me a valuable answer to the question, “Is the ‘tame the infinite becoming an idiom or a popular phrase,” which I posted ...
11
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3answers
3k views

Why “motherboard” is used to refer to main board of computer

Why is motherboard used to refer to the main board of a computer? What is the relationship with the word mother here?
11
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1answer
801 views

Logging in or on?

There are a plethora of words for user accounts, like logon, login, signon, and also the action of logging in (or logging on) or signing in. Are there any usage guidelines here?
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4answers
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Meaning of “reach out to somebody”

The dictionary explains this as: To show somebody that you are interested in them and/or want to help them The explanation indicates the subject of the sentence is the one that offers help, but ...
10
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2answers
252 views

What's the most pedantically correct way to reference sectioned and numbered rules aloud?

I am a roller derby announcer. An important part of my job is to explain the rules of roller derby to the fans. The rules of modern roller derby are promulgated by the Women's Flat Track Derby ...
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6answers
9k views

Why do they say “love fifteen,” in tennis?

Why do they say "love fifteen," in tennis?
7
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4answers
483 views

Should I use “software defect” or “software bug”?

The "bug" word seems to be so popular that it overshadows "defect" (in search results, in tags somewhere, even Wikipedia article is called "Software bug") despite of looking jargonesque. Is the word ...
7
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2answers
844 views

Etymology of “binky” — three questions

Definition 2 of binky at wiktionary is "(rabbit behavior) A high hop that a rabbit may perform when happy." This definition is consistent with that at rabbitspeak, and not inconsistent with "A kind ...
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2answers
446 views

Etymology of “regression”

What is the etymology of "regression" as in finding the coefficients of polynomials?
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1answer
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What is the meaning of 'probe' in the Linux command 'modprobe'?

My understanding of modprobe is that it is a command to load kernel modules. Based on this, I'm wondering what the meaning of word probe is in general English?
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4answers
427 views

Is domain-specific meaning acceptable/advisable when used in a document directed outside the domain?

Here's the problem. Many common terms in the programmer's lexicon--i.e., used in information communication and in published texts--are identical to everyday words; others are slight 'distortions' of ...
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3answers
206 views

Name for this particular part of a boat?

In John Dewey's How We Think, there is an example of someone reflecting on the purpose of a particular part of a boat: Projecting nearly horizontally from the upper deck of the ferryboat on which ...
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3answers
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What does the punctuation “//” mean?

What does the punctuation "//" mean? For example: I think I owe myself a THWACK. //ashamed ... //run ... //head down I heard this is related to the comment in the programming ...
5
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3answers
140 views

Using 'Gravity' As A Verb

Does anybody else use 'gravity' as a verb besides people in mining and engineering? Example: We have to move the tank up the hill so water can gravity to the flotation cells rather than needing to be ...
5
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2answers
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Hyphens in verb construction containing prefix such as “re”

In semi-formal business writing in the United States, I often observe that writers tend to add a hyphen between a prefix and the root infinitive of verbs. In many of the cases, the resulting verb ...
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5answers
374 views

“Plugable” or “pluggable”

When it comes to programming copy edits, there are lots of words that would otherwise be thrown out or replaced. Hive uses a plugable design. Should that be plugable or pluggable? If the ...
5
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3answers
215 views

Is there a sales term for how “hot” or “strong” a prospect a customer is?

I'm pretty sure my grammar is off in that title, because I'm awkwardly writing around a missing word. If a salesperson has time to call one of two customers, he or she will want to reach out to the ...
5
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3answers
575 views

Where did the “three fingered salute” come from?

Where did the phrase "three-fingered salute", meaning to press CTRL-ALT-DELETE on the keyboard, come from? As the "two-fingered salute" appears to be a mainly British gesture, I suspect the ...
5
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3answers
637 views

Linguistics term for word choice

I was taught a word once by a linguist. I can't remember it, but it would be very useful for a Google search I am trying to do to solve another question on a different StackExchange. It was a similar ...
5
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1answer
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Where does “three line whip” come from?

In parliament a three line whip is said to be applied when a party seeks to ensure every MP turns up and votes the party line. But why the term "three line" whip? And is there such a thing as a one ...
5
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1answer
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An alternative to “stakeholder”

Here's a sentence taken from an executive memo, "Action item: get feedback from stakeholders on SuperDongle 9000". Is there something that can replace "stakeholder"? The word is not being used ...
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5answers
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Alternatives to “computationally expensive”?

The current version of a sentence I'm writing has the structure: Computing [such and such] is the most computationally expensive part of [algorithm]. At the moment, I cannot think of a better ...
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2answers
4k views

Why do people use “mayday” and not “help”? [closed]

I’m not native English speaker, so I wonder why forces like policemen and firemen and such use Mayday instead of the simpler Help. What is origin of this habit?
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3answers
539 views

What term is most appropriate when describing the infinite space of possibilities created through inductive reasoning?

In arguments contrasting the differences between deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning, it is often pointed out that deductive reasoning is, by definition, bounded by the terms described in the ...
4
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4answers
273 views

What can I call the two possible directions on a line (as a category)?

In English, a vector is said to have two properties: a length and a direction. The possible directions correspond to half-lines out of the origin (so that, eg, up and down are different directions). ...
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Example of sentence using “sang-froid”

In which context should sang-froid be used? Can you provide an example?
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What is the military term for calling attention to yourself, in a negative way?

There is a military term or idiom, which I cannot recall exactly, that essentially means calling negative attention to yourself. For example, you are doing something you know you shouldn't be doing. ...
4
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2answers
382 views

You are standing into danger

On lists of nautical flag meanings (one and another), the letter U means you are standing into danger. I am familiar with the phrase from a sailing point of view - it means something like "if you keep ...
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1answer
786 views

Origin of “hike” in American football

Both Wikipedia and TheFreeDictionary list the term hike as an alternative term for snapping the football at the beginning of play. Where does it come from?
4
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1answer
96 views

Non-obvious or nonobvious?

I've seen both, even in the same Wikipedia article entry. Is there a right and wrong version, or is either version OK as long as I'm consistent? I'm using the word in the context of patent law, as in ...
4
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1answer
742 views

What are the differences among ‘Rules’, ‘Standing Rules’, and ‘Bylaw’?

Recently I was given a document titled Standing Rules of an English speaking club of a local community, which was written in English, and asked to study the contents. I wondered what difference ...
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3answers
494 views

Name of a sequence of moves in martial arts?

What is the name of a fixed sequence of moves used in training of martial arts? Precisely, used in training, not in actual combat, as both parties know exactly what is to come and follow a fixed ...
3
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4answers
273 views

Use of the word “convergent”

This question is for people who know some mathematics. Is it correct to say The sequence is convergent to 0. Normally we say: The sequence converges to 0.
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2answers
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'Correct' term for… upwards moving menu?

I posted a (technically inclined) question at StackOverflow — and I agree with a particular commentary, and we'd like to get your opinion. Here's my original question: Dropdown menu. But ours ...
3
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3answers
632 views

Thieves' words for their victims

What words might a thief (of any variety) use to describe the victims of his theft? Con artists in film often use "mark", for example. Is there other jargon specific to the con branch* of crime? How ...
3
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5answers
554 views

What’s the etymology of the word “unstable”, in the context of software?

Approximately when in the history of computing did unstable come to be commonly used to refer to computer software? Can this time in history be linked to the release of a certain product (no jokes ...
3
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2answers
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Instrumented? What is a good explanation/definition of the word. (English: Tech Jargon)

What is a good explanation/definition of the word Instrumented? as in "Good code needs to be instrumented..." I did a brief web search, but the few places it pops up seem to also be full of jargon, ...
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1answer
311 views

Just once I'd like a PB & PB

Not sure if that has a special meaning but I heard it in a movie: Just once I’d like a PB & PB. What does it mean? Here is a cartoon:
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1answer
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What does 'on-premises' mean?

Here is the example sentence. Windows Azure Caching was developed from an on-premises Caching solution that shipped with Microsoft AppFabric 1.1 for Windows Server. What does 'on-premises' ...
3
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2answers
280 views

Is “default” used for “a value used when nothing has been explicitly set” outside of IT world?

In a discussion at another question, rajah9 mentioned that default is used to mean to fail to repay a loan, but that in the computer world we now use it to mean a value used when no value has been ...
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1answer
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Meaning of “float a deadpoint”

In a book about climbing technique (written by an American) I found the following expression: ...: floating a deadpoint from any one of a million different body positions. While the meaning of ...
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5answers
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“Printfing” or “printingf”?

At this point the program starts printfing the pot value. At this point the program starts printingf the pot value. Both sound wrong, and yet... one of them must be used.