Questions related to the use of technical language.

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7
votes
5answers
22k views

“Must Not” or “May Not” - which is the most correct

I work in the IT industry and often read software and standards specifications that start with a section with definitions for certain words used in the document. Recently I came across the following ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

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?
0
votes
0answers
79 views

Capitalization of Technical Terms/Proper Nouns

There are several technical terms for which I am struggling with the capitalization, such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC) Controller Area Network (CAN) Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) Advanced ...
2
votes
1answer
98 views

What's the name of the action for opening a lock with an RF card?

We're constantly bombarded with new gadgets in our everyday life. Lately, hotels are moving away from ordinary locks and towards card keys. Some of them simply slide into a small slot in the lock, ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Dissecting an English sentence using a pattern

I am trying to make a script that can dissect an English sentence. The problem is, I have no idea how to dissect an English sentence when the words are not familiar. I know what the nouns, verbs, etc ...
3
votes
1answer
182 views

How to write correctly in a heading the genus and species name of a microorganism? [closed]

I have a question regarding how to write correctly the name of a microorganism in the title of my thesis when using letters in uppercase: Option A: ...BLAH...BLAH... ESCHERICHIA COLI ...BLAH......
5
votes
6answers
1k views

Synonyms for multiplexing and demultiplexing

I have developed a software mechanism which operates on a certain kind of software entities which are called interfaces. If you want technical details about the mechanism you can read this post on ...
1
vote
2answers
4k views

Due by, due on, due for - what's the difference?

When someone says "I need x by Friday", I usually take it to mean they want x in their hands when Friday begins. However, when that same person says "I need x on Friday", I understand them to mean ...
1
vote
2answers
83 views

A term for making self-serving decisions that end up benefiting all

There's a term, perhaps a technical term, for when individuals make decisions that are self-serving only, but on a large scale, the combine decisions made in a self-serving manner happen to bring ...
8
votes
4answers
7k views

Usage of “w.r.t.” in academic papers [closed]

Is it possible to use the abbreviation "w.r.t." in academic papers?
2
votes
2answers
137 views

Single word for expressing “those which I am dependent on”

Is there any single (or near to single) word for expressing those which I am dependent on? I am searching for a dual term to dependent - the other side of the dependency. Something like the ...
0
votes
3answers
119 views

Need a word for 'spiderfy' or confirmation that spiderfy is OK to use in Technical Documentation

Question Is spiderfy a word? Is it OK to use in technical documentation for software? Is there a better alternative? Context I'm using the Google Maps API and there is this concept that many ...
1
vote
2answers
59 views

Singular and plural mess-up for an algorithm

How do I define a term and then use it in singular or plural context? Here is the problem: I am looking for a word which would collectively define the parameter setting for all the parameters in an ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

Why Linux command called tee [closed]

I've tried to find etymology of Linux command tee that splits standard output onto two another outputs. Have anyone reference on this history or word origin?
2
votes
5answers
3k views

Does the word 'incrementation' exist?

An example: "To increment a variable makes an incrementation". One language wiki says it does, while MS Word and several dictionaries say there is no such word.
2
votes
2answers
84 views

How to specify that search should be between two dates in technical specification

I'm writing an integration manual that specifies how to use our WCF service for mobile messages and responses. The part in question needs to specify that the search results will be filtered between ...
3
votes
1answer
7k views

“Automation” versus “automatization” [closed]

I would like to characterize the action of making a process go automatically instead of doing it manually. The context is computer programming. A programmer may type in 10 pieces of code with only a ...
43
votes
7answers
5k views

Is there a difference between “disc” and “disk” for naming digital storage media?

I thought that a disc was a disc, and it is sometimes spelled disk. I now have got an indication that those two are not the same thing. In this answer on Graphic Design, I wrote floppy disc in the ...
-1
votes
1answer
160 views

English of Modern Technology [closed]

English is a dynamic, fast evolving language. Many new technological terms and expressions have been recently added to the language. My question is where to find good resources (books, forums, etc) to ...
1
vote
3answers
86 views

Technical term for valid but unusual?

This question applies primarily to coding. Is there a term that describes input that is valid but unusual? For example: If I ask for a username, and get @##3i7&*(x]. The code should allow this, ...
1
vote
0answers
25 views

I need help with selecting correct title for technical article [duplicate]

I am a technical writer, tasked with producing a tutorial on PHP programming. In the latest work on the series, I've titled my article: "An Overview of PHP Data Types and Variable Concepts" The ...
1
vote
4answers
119 views

What is the antonym of “isolated” in the context of chemical substance?

I am looking for a word which would mean "not an isolated substance". I would use "blend" or "mixture", but these would imply that the components where isolated in the first place and then blended ...
1
vote
3answers
222 views

What's an alternative for the word “profile” in the context of computer software/data (and not relating to people or users)?

I'm a software/database developer and struggling to find the correct term for what we are currently referring to in our software as "profile". Of all the definitions I found for the word profile, ...
2
votes
2answers
509 views

Is 'Mochup' the same as 'Mock-up'?

I recently came across the word 'mochup'. I am unsure if this is simply a spelling mistake of the term 'mock-up', or if it is a technical neologism with a slightly different meaning. Searching on ...
14
votes
15answers
2k views

Name for a device purposefully put together from faulty parts

A tech jargon question: A friend thought he once heard a funny (?) jargon word for a device that was put together from faulty parts on purpose, maybe even with the very questionable intention to sell ...
32
votes
6answers
5k views

Etymology of a “pegged CPU”

There's a slightly obscure, slang meaning in tech circles of the word "pegged" as it relates to a computer's CPU. When it is fully utilised for a duration (at least several seconds), you can say that "...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

punctuation and capitalization in lists [closed]

I'd like to know what is the best/correct form between the following example lists. I use such lists in technical documents. My two concerns are whether I should capitalize each list item (a) and ...
2
votes
2answers
108 views

Word for “A Song that Sets a Scene in a Particular Region or Culture”

This is a technical term in theater and movie arts for a stereotyped piece of music that is played to cue the audience that a scene is set in a particular location. E.g. London --> Rule ...
1
vote
2answers
151 views

Levelized in“ levelized cost of energy” [closed]

I have read a report titled "Lazard's Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis. What does this technical term "levelized cost of energy" mean?
6
votes
6answers
6k views

When referring to a previously sent text, would you say 'I text you about that' or 'I texted you about that'?

I realize texted is not a word, but text doesn't seem appropriate in the above sentence. What would make more sense?
0
votes
1answer
891 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Should I write “encode X into format Y” or “encode X in format Y”?

In technical writing involving such things as file formats, should one write "encode such-and-such into format Y" or write "encode such-and-such in format Y"? In other words, which preposition (into ...
0
votes
2answers
46 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 ...
35
votes
3answers
4k views

How to pronounce “720p” and “1080p”

How do you pronounce 720p and 1080p? Because I don't live in a country that uses English, I haven't heard it yet. I guess it doesn't have a rule. seven hundred twenty p seven twenty p seventy two ...
8
votes
10answers
20k views

What is the difference between “deployment” and “release”?

In work environment, we frequently encounter the words "deployment" and "release" in technical context. I often hear them used interchangeably also. It is mainly related to "Release and Deployment ...
4
votes
8answers
686 views

Non-technical word or phrase to describe a data “query”

The scenario is that I am replying to an email from a colleague requesting statistics from a database. I am wanting to say that the results are of the same 'query' that was run the last time (and all ...
1
vote
2answers
61 views

Word for “Fetched Object”

For some context, I'm a programmer looking for a good word to use to label a generic class of things that are all pieces of information that are "fetched" from somewhere. These pieces of information ...
0
votes
2answers
86 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

How to refer to a split button in instructions?

A split button is a button in a program that the user can click it to do something or can click an arrow next to it to access additional functions. Here's an example: If I am writing instructions ...
2
votes
1answer
233 views

Is “cacheability” a word (technical word)?

Alternate spelling - "cachability" (seems perhaps less popular/proper) In Computer Science, the word "cache" is used in a specific sense to mean a place (usually in a specific memory location) where ...
20
votes
5answers
26k views

Why is the term “depressed” often used to describe a button which is pressed?

In several books that mention GUI, keyboard, or mouse buttons (e.g. the book Programming Windows by Charles Petzold), the authors refer to the state of a pressed button as depressed. Why is this term ...
37
votes
14answers
6k views

What can be used as formal euphemism of “hack”?

I'm writing a technical document, and I need to convey the fact that we had to find a non-optimal, non-orthodox solution that was adopted as the best available alternative (a hack) to solve an ...
0
votes
0answers
58 views

Word describing “State goes back to original state after state-modifying actions A followed by ~A”

This word is slipping my mind and it is driving me crazy. Not sure if it is a math term or computer science term, but I use it a lot in development (when I can remember it!) Basically, you have the ...
0
votes
1answer
465 views

Alternative word for “statistics”?

Statistics seems to mean both numerical records (e.g. "baseball statistics"), and also the analysis of that data (e.g. average, ANOVA, confidence intervals, etc.) In my work at the moment, I need to ...
0
votes
1answer
273 views

Regarding abbreviations in chapter/section titles in a technical text

What is common practice regarding the use of abbreviations in chapter/section titles in a technical text? Is it encouraged? Should it be avoided? Is it preferable to include the full name of the term ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Alternative term for trivial case

Probably a relatively technical term. Commonly used for the case where, for example, two sets are equal because they are both empty. "This instance of the problem has reduced down to the _____ case". ...
0
votes
2answers
44 views

A synchronizes with B - which direction is the synchronization?

I read in a document that A will synchronize with B after a procedure. My question is: After the synchronization, will A be equal with B, or will B be equal with A? Edit: I want to clarify why I ...
2
votes
3answers
77 views

Is this misplaced adjective ok, even though it is technically incorrect?

I am writing a technical how-to manual on a hardware/software system, and I've written the following phrase: "To avoid taking up unnecessary storage space on your computer, ..." Looking back at ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

“Above” or “later” when referencing a range of versions of software

Which is correct when referencing an operating system version "OS X 10.6.x and later" or "OS X 10.6.x and above"? Bonus points for providing the why.
1
vote
1answer
122 views

Best adjectives to describe due dates?

When talking about multiple assignments, what's a good way to describe the next task that is due? For example, say I sort a list of assignments in the order they are due. How can I describe the task ...