The use of English in science.

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What is the scientific name to humour that is based on surprise [duplicate]

I remember browsing through Wikipedia one day, and coming across an article defining surprise-based humour. The article had a very specific scientific name, which doesn't have the actual word ...
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1answer
41 views

Difference between Paper and Article for scientific writings

As I know, in most of situations (in scientific context) these two terms are used to point to same thing and even they are used interchangeably. For example, Theory of value with public goods: A ...
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62 views

What do “source” and “sink” mean? [closed]

I do not understand "source" and "sink" in the following passage. I tried to look up a dictionary and google translate but it is not clear. Could anyone explain it for me? the passage: This ...
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1answer
56 views

Words for ordinal 5-point scale from normal to severe

What are good words for a five-point ordinal scale? The scale should represent increasing severity of disease, where 1 is normal and 5 is severe. I thought of the following words (with their value in ...
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3answers
209 views

Grammar - Scientific English (Physics) [duplicate]

I have a question about scientific English. I wonder when to use the article "the" when you refer to a physical quantity or to a formula. I promise that I have looked into so many manuals, but I am ...
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2answers
27 views

Instantiate a Video Player?

I am writing a technical report where a number of video players are being loaded on a webpage. Is it correct to say, "Instantiate a video player on the web page," or just, "Load a video player on the ...
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6answers
94 views

In science writing, what to call the body in relation to the brain?

The word "body" is problematic when writing about the brain. Look at these two sentences: "The brain sends signals to the body." "The brain is an organ in the body." The first sentence considers ...
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1answer
33 views

Correct use of expressing unit

Which one is correct to use: mmHg or mm Hg? Should it be closed up, spaced out or both are acceptable? The AMA manual has both instances. For example, "The trial compared outcomes associated with ...
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2answers
70 views

Which words define the broad meaning of the following (scientific research-related) sentences?

Background: I'm writing my master's degree dissertation on electrical engineering, related do electroporation, and I'm trying to define broad meanings for some possible approaches to the ...
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41 views

Use of “just” in technical writing as an adverb for location

I am editing a friend's scientific manuscript, which will ultimately be submitted to a biological journal. He uses "just" as an adverb to describe a location (emphasis added by me), e.g., The ...
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27 views

What a figure and an equation can (and cannot) make

A while back I had a list of things that a figure can and cannot make in a scientific paper. I got it from somewhere (maybe a book) and eventually lost it. I would ask for the community's help to ...
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2answers
43 views

Infiltration & Neoplasia

I'm working on/reading a scientific article about the use and effects of Corticosteroid or Ketorolac on rabbit tendons and I got stuck at infiltration in the following excerpts: "Despite the ...
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2answers
46 views

Best way to describe a decrease in time taken?

I have written an algorithm that greatly improves the computation time for a particular problem, but I am divided on how to best describe this in writing. As a rough guide, a process that previously ...
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1answer
94 views

How to describe a confusion matrix correctly

In computer science, we a use a thing called confusion matrix for reporting results from supervised machine learning algorithms. It looks like this The image was taken from here. I would like to ...
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1answer
86 views

Using the word “guess” in a scientific paper [closed]

I wonder if one can use the word guess in a scientific paper in the following context: "... to provide the best guess on answer response time ..." Would the usage of prediction or estimate be more ...
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2answers
94 views

What are the capitalization rules for in-document references in scientific papers? [closed]

In scientific writing, should I capitalize in-document references? Which of the following is correct or more widely used? For more detail, see Section 4.1. For more detail, see section 4.1. Are ...
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1answer
58 views

Parse a sentence (from Ratcliff 1990 paper)

A little background: this paper concerns forgetting in neural networks (a computer science concept). The word "activation" might mean the activation (=output) of neuron(s), but since I cannot parse ...
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2answers
40 views

Should a definite article be used when referring to a line of an algorithm

In scientific articles an article is usually omitted when referring to figures, tables, etc. and a capital letter is used. For example I would state: "The data are shown in Figure 1." I have an ...
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1answer
84 views

Referring to something: choosing between “this + {noun}” versus “such + {noun}” [closed]

Recently, I've had a discussion with someone regarding how to know how to choose among the words "this" and "such" in written text, but could not find any usage style guidelines on this topic. ...
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2answers
76 views

What is a suitable substitute for 'approach', as used in 'research approach'?

When currently writing a proposal, I find myself often using 'research approach' and 'approach to research', but I cannot come up with a suitable alternative to avoid tedious repetitions. I'm trying ...
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1answer
49 views

Why do we have “Coulombic” but not “Coulombian”?

In physics, we have Coulombic interaction. Why do we have "Coulombic" but not "Coulombian"? At first, I think that because the letter b from Coulomb decides which suffix comes after it, but when I ...
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2answers
108 views

Is asking for the “proper” use of the word “chemical” a case of linguistic prescriptivism?

Another Skeptics.SE user and I are discussing the meaning of the word "prescriptivism". (Yes, we are aware of the recursion involved.) In particular, I have cited a couple of examples of scientists ...
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3answers
172 views

Word for the inability to do simple things when you don't look at it

Well, the title says it all. I'll add an example: You try to put a plug into a socket which is under the table and you're too lazy to stoop down. To my mind this sounds like a very simple task and ...
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3answers
104 views

Respective: Lines connect a circle and two respective squares

Lines connect a circle and two respective squares. This use of “respective” strikes me as odd. The writer says he uses “respective” so that the sentence entails Case 1 below and precludes Case 2. ...
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3answers
160 views

Hypernym for “scientist” and “engineer”

I'm writing a paper about the practice of programming by scientists and engineers, but I find it increasingly tedious to always refer to my subject as "scientists and engineers". Is there a single ...
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1answer
28 views

When do I capitalize? [duplicate]

Do I capitalize the c and s in Cognitive science when referring to the career? What about the n in Neuroscience, or Neurobiolgy. And the P in Psychology?
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60 views

plural changes in velocity .

Is the plural for changes in velocity delta velocity's or deltas velocity? Basis for confusion:attorneys general. Each stage in a rocket has a set amount of delta velocity, or the amount the velocity ...
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1k views

What to call a patient's close relatives, friends and family members in one or two words?

It's connected to a scientific paper for a public health topic. I need to name a patient's surrounding of caregivers which can include family members, friends, close relatives. I came up with a ...
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4answers
182 views

A “scientific” word for probably

Given a particular idea, is there any scientific word, or an elegant way to describe in once sentence, that I am pretty sure there is no method not based on this particular idea? For example, when ...
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2answers
1k views

Fin vs flipper?

What is the difference between fins and flippers? While my own intuition says that a fin would be fixed (like, a shark's dorsal fin), and a flipper could be moved about way more (like a turtle's ...
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2answers
89 views

What tense to use for research results/statistics

My question is similar to this one and this one. However, I think I need further elaboration to understand at what points I am supposed to use present tense, and where to use past tense. Now, my ...
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1answer
71 views

Would you write “an error was fixed” in scientific work?

I am not sure if Error ABC was fixed by preprocessing algorithm XYZ. is "slang". Can it be written in scientific work? Is there a better way to say it? The context is in machine learning, where a ...
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1answer
165 views

When should I include “note that”?

When writing scientific articles, I often feel that, for example, Note that the model can be solved exactly. and The model can be solved exactly. are equivalent. Other, similar phrases ...
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463 views

Difference between “abbreviation” and “symbol” in scientific contexts

I've noticed that the shorthand notations for chemical elements, such as C for carbon, are called symbols, not abbreviations. This also seems to be the case in several other scientific contexts, such ...
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1answer
147 views

Why do we write “Fourier's law” but “Soret effect”?

Can you explain why do we write e.g. Fourier's law, Ohm's law, Newton's law of cooling, etc. but Soret effect, Dufour effect instead of Soret's effect, Dufour's effect? What is the principle?
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4answers
1k views

Why is it a “gene pool”?

Isn't it a bit odd to say that genes belong to or are a part of a "pool"? A pool is normally a body of water, e.g. a swimming pool Wikipedia explains The gene pool is the set of all genes, or ...
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3answers
142 views

“Ten and several minutes”: Any more natural expression?

Heat the mixture for ten and several minutes. What is a more natural way to express this “ten and several” wording, which is literally translated from Japanese? A. for between ten and 20 ...
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3answers
80 views

Should small numbers with a unit after them be spelt out or written in digits?

I heard it is better to write out numbers less than ten then to represent them using digits. Is this still true if there's a unit of measurement after the number? For example, in a research paper ...
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1answer
70 views

The practice of identifying authors from their writings

Is there an English word for the practice of analysing texts to determine their authors? For example, comparing three texts A, B and C and realising that the choice of words, grammar and style of ...
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4answers
151 views

Can a symmetry be “broken down” (to a lower symmetry)?

Background Symmetries are a key concept in physics, and describe the invariance of a system under certain operations (for example, rotation). Breaking a symmetry refers to modifying the system in a ...
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5answers
624 views

Single word for “less mass per unit volume” (the complement of “dense”)

I've been looking for the antonym of dense. I'm looking for an exact opposite: a single word the means, precisely, "having less mass per unit volume than another object". That is, I'm seeking a ...
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1answer
320 views

“exact soluble model” or “exact solvable model”, “analytic” or “analytical” solutions

In physical science and math, we encounter some models that can be analytically solved. This means that the properties of models are fully understood and determined by the analytical solutions. In ...
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4answers
278 views

What is a word to describe the state of singularity? [closed]

When we have reached as far back into some history as we can theoretically go, like for instance in describing the precise theoretical moment when time began we have reached a singularity. Is there ...
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1answer
382 views

Active vs Passive voice in lab reports, and history of scientific usage

I've had some discussions in the past with TA's who would tell my undergrads "Lab reports are written in the passive voice". Aside from whether or not this is correct (let's come back to that in a ...
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1answer
446 views

The difference between medium and intermediate

I wish to know the difference between medium and intermediate. There is an academic use for me trying to describe a physical parameter (a coupling constant of interactions) which is not too strong, ...
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2answers
236 views

Concurrently with or Sequentially To/Sequentially With?

Drug A is administered concurrently with or sequentially to Drug B. I want to say in a formal manner that Drug A and Drug B are administered either at the same time or at different times, but I ...
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2answers
186 views

Why does binomial nomenclature seem to break case rules?

According to the Wiki page for binomial nomenclature, we are supposed to capitalize the first word when naming species regardless of where it occurs in the sentence. To me, this seem very incongruous ...
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1answer
52 views

“The idea of the X came from Y” vs “The idea of the X raised from Y”

I'm confiused a little bit in a correct usage of the word idea in sentences. Wich one of the following correct? The idea of the system design came from the knowledge acquired in literature review ...
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1answer
111 views

Histonic cancer: Ok English? Or, Japanese English?

Histonic cancer Would this term be understood by English-speaking medical professionals? Google shows only 53 hits, and all are from Japanese or Chinese sites. If it is not natural English, ...
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1answer
51 views

Is there an adjective combining scientific and economic? [closed]

I'm doing a piece of research and am looking for an adjective that combines the words scientific and economic, so a bit like socioeconomic but scientific rather than social. I need to use it to ...