Questions concerning the devising or choosing of names for things.

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7
votes
1answer
2k views

Why are bacteria referred to using botanic terms (flora, blooming)?

I've seen a lot of information lately about intestinal flora or gut flora but I was under the impression that flora refers exclusively to plant life. So how did bacteria come to be called flora? I ...
19
votes
13answers
3k views

What do you call the time period between notification of an event and the event?

I'm in the situation where I have an event, and I want to notify some people 15 minutes before that event happens (but it could be 30 minutes, or 1 day, or any amount of time). What do you call that ...
6
votes
9answers
16k views

What is another word for “boss” for a company with a flatter hierarchy?

In today's more modern companies (especially IT startups etc.) that have a flatter hierarchy, the word "boss" seems to be outdated and doesn't describe the job role of someone who takes care of a ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

Why do they call it a “movement” in music? Is this a metaphor?

I can't understand this. In symphony you hear the word "movement" to refer to independent sections. But it seems that it's not really that relevant. Movement almost everywhere has something to do with ...
3
votes
2answers
482 views

“Flowers” card suit?

Is there some time or place where the clubs card suit is called "flowers" in English? This is their usual name in such languages as Italian ("fiori"), but has it ever been the case in English? I ...
2
votes
5answers
6k views

Meaning and etymology of the “ite” and “ine/ene” endings of mineral names

I’ve noticed that a very large proportion of the names of mineral species and mineral groups end in -ite and (less commonly,) -ine or -ene. Here are some examples off the top of my head: -ite: ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the opposite of the perfect aspect?

Most tenses exist in a perfect and non-perfect form, e.g. present vs. present perfect and past continuous vs. past perfect continuous. What is the group of tenses that are not perfect called?
12
votes
2answers
8k views

“Semitic” and “anti-Semitic”

Why does Semitic refer to several groups of people, including Babylonians, Assyrians, Arabs and Jews, whereas anti-Semitic only refers to Jews?
5
votes
3answers
983 views

Why are not all grains called “grains”?

In most languages, the word used for a single caryopsis seed is a good equivalent of grain — it is not only the translation for this kind of seeds, but also the translation for other meanings of the ...
9
votes
9answers
72k views

What do I call a person who is participating in a survey?

I am writing about a survey I wrote to evaluate the usability of a program. When describing the methodology of the survey, I refer to the person conducting the survey as the investigator. What should ...
3
votes
2answers
303 views

“maple tree” or “maple”?

Is it correct to say maple tree, or would maple be both correct and enough to mean a tree (not just its fruit)?
1
vote
2answers
180 views

Is single usage of “personality” in “Multiple Personality” jargon or correct English?

Should not the "personality" have been pluralized in "Multiple Personality Disorder"? Is the single usage of "personality" with prepending "multiple" a professional jargon or it is the correct ...
7
votes
1answer
771 views

What is the origin of “kiwifruit”?

What is the origin of kiwifruit? Is there any relation between the fruit and New Zealand?
2
votes
5answers
284 views

Is there one word that clearly describes the difference in kind for these four types?

I am stuck on a word choice problem. I have a large amount of response related data, which were previously stored such that each datum lay within one of the following realms: law enforcement ...
4
votes
5answers
6k views

What word best describes a small store that sells only glasses (spectacles)?

What word would or combination of words would best describe a small store, in which only glasses (spectacles) are sold? Here are some of my guesses, but I think they are all wrong: Eye ware Glass ...
4
votes
5answers
11k views

What is a word called that has more than one syllable?

You can say e.g.: The word "on" is a monosyllable. but it seems that the word "multisyllable" has been outdated since 1913. What is the correct term for a word that has two or more syllables, ...
13
votes
6answers
1k views

Why did the word “Internet” change from a noncount to count noun?

I remember a time back in 1993 - 1994 for a couple months at our university the Internet was used as a noncount noun, so we would say: Do you have Internet at your university? In fact, the ...