Questions related to the use of technical language.

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3answers
1k views

Why is “the test is failed” acceptable?

In software interfaces, technical documentation, scientific documentation and legal documents, I see phrases like: The build is failed. The test is failed. If the test is failed,... It ...
2
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4answers
306 views

Use of “permission” in technical writing

In a request for proposal (RFP) I am attempting to edit the following sentence-fragment which isn't grammatically correct: "...except for staff permissioned to update..." My problem is with the ...
8
votes
3answers
390 views

Morally speaking, 1+1=2

I asked a question over on math.SE and as part of an exchange someone said: Morally the function is csc φ in the limit for the reason you mention. ...a pretty funny thing to say. I asked them ...
1
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4answers
150 views

Is there a language or subset of English for technical writing

I read a lot of technical documentation, especially in the computer programming space. Today I was reading the following paragraph: Any type that implements a Read (or Write) method with this ...
1
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1answer
1k views

What should I do when two clauses that must be in parenthesis sit next to each other in my sentence?

I'm writing my thesis dissertation and in the results section I'm showing my results with this sentence: A small correlation between hit position and time was found for SS2 ($r=-0.143, ...
0
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0answers
45 views

what do you call this symbol @ [duplicate]

do you call it the 'at' symbol or at the rate of or something else? I know the dictionary answer, more interested in the colloquial. Has a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/At_sign but it just ...
1
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3answers
405 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
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1answer
320 views

Correct use of “proof-of-concept” [closed]

In writing a technical paper, I'm wondering about the correct use of proof-of-concept. In short, the situation is that we have developed an application/tool to show the feasibility of a new approach ...
1
vote
1answer
86 views

Is there a term for how old films appear to wiggle on screen, if only slightly?

I was watching some of Charlie Chaplin's videos and couldn't help wondering what caused them to look as though the cameraman had unsteady hands. But obviously, it's not the cameraman's fault, ...
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3answers
2k views

“Nota Bene” in technical writing

I am currently writing my thesis for a MSc in computer science. In some places I came up with short but crucial explanations or remarks that I wanted to show in a stand-out display to emphasize their ...
1
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4answers
146 views

a computer program does what for the user - Technical writing [closed]

I am writing a technical document and, I have a module called "Pre-policy Module" which is a web application(like, say, facebook). What could be appropriate to say in a sentence like this: The ...
0
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2answers
71 views

What voice should I use when explaining how to program a computer? [closed]

I'm planning on writing a blog about computer programming, and I'm having trouble finding the right voice. I'm looking for something that feels personal and conversational. Third person seems sterile, ...
3
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2answers
105 views

Can I grow some gratitude?

Just curious, normally if a person is not appreciating another person that's helping him, the person can tell him to show some gratitude. But how about "grow some gratitude"? It implies the person has ...
0
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3answers
1k views

What do you call the main telephone number?

I understand that someone's work phone might have an extension. What do you call the main number of that office, which would normally be answered by an operator or a computer voice system? Would it ...
5
votes
2answers
445 views

Is “re-enqueue” or “reenqueue” a proper word?

This came up while reviewing a technical document: The algorithm could re-enqueue the id associated with the job ... This has generated some discussion as the word does not appear in the ...
-4
votes
1answer
506 views

Technical writing sentence correction/suggestion [closed]

Is the following sentence grammatically correct? What could be an appropriate form to imply the similar meaning in technical writing? Use one of the following relations depending on whether X is ...
0
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4answers
407 views

Less than or below when comparing to a limit

When I am comparing a numeric value to a numeric limit, as in a maximum value, should I say the value is "below the limit" or "less than the limit"? Specifically, I am saying, "the maximum ...
2
votes
4answers
365 views

“To latch in a recess/groove” vs. “to catch in a recess/groove”

Is there a difference in meaning when used in a technical context? For example, does a fork latch in a recess when pressed or does it catch in the recess?
2
votes
2answers
308 views

Should I use a comma in written instructions?

I'm writing a technical user guide for a piece of software and am not sure whether I should be using a comma or not when giving instructions. Which of the following is correct? To add a new item ...
3
votes
2answers
440 views

Technical terminology for a non-technical audience

In documentation for a non-technical audience, I was asked about usage around the term "regular expression." My colleague was asking if one of "RegEx", "Regex" or "regex" would be preferable, I ...
1
vote
2answers
168 views

Is “solutioning” a correct word in a technical context? [closed]

I'm a translator from English into Italian language. While translating a British patent I found the following sentence: The large heat treatment window seen in the ThermoCalc simulation also ...
0
votes
1answer
113 views

Hyphen for re when doing again [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Hyphens in verb construction containing prefix such as “re” Adding a prefix "re" to a word, with or without a hyphen? I have a question about the use of the prefix 're', ...
3
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2answers
246 views

Can “installation” be used to mean software installed in a computer?

Can "installation" be used to mean software installed in a computer? (e.g. portable or stand-alone USB installation) Example sentence: This feature works in my standard installation of the software, ...
1
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0answers
430 views

Alternatives for computer programming terms, for better understanding [closed]

There are several words in computer science which seem quite easy to understand, but when you just mix them with their application, they look more and more complex. I have seen many people who are new ...
1
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2answers
81 views

Alternative to “accessible”

In the context of a technical manual, engineers use the word "accessible" to indicate that a piece of hardware should have "easy access" for repair, maintenance, and other modifications. What would ...
0
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1answer
101 views

What do you call the maximum number of recent values used for calculating an average [closed]

A sensor measures some physical quantity (like temperature). The measured value is tapped every 100ms or so. An average is calculated over the x most recently measured values. I.e. with every new ...
9
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1answer
217 views

Origin of word “pad” in the mixing/recording industry

I ask this assuming there are enough people with experience with electric instruments, mixers, and other recording equipment to make this relevant. On any mixer, one of the first buttons that can be ...
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5answers
517 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
175 views

Subject of a commit message (in software engineering) [closed]

Each time I need to write a commit message for a git/svn repository, I wonder what the subject of the sentence should be, whether it should be: the author of the commit (for example, "I added the ...
6
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3answers
2k views

Usage of “w.r.t.” in academic papers

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

No quotation mark in a book?

So I just bought this book 'Requiem for a dream' and I just "found out" that there is no quotation mark in the book in a conversation. So it's up to me to tell when the converstation started by who! ...
0
votes
1answer
177 views

Prefixing a two-word technical term with “sub-”

I have the term "verification code" and need a term for a particular code that is part of it. Normally, if the term were only "code", I'd use "subcode". How would I correctly prefix "verification ...
5
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7answers
2k views

How to choose between British and American English for technical documents

I'm not a native English speaker. I'm Italian and I'm doing my thesis in the Netherlands. I have to write technical documents for non-native English speakers, so I didn't receive any advice for ...
19
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1answer
514 views

Does this device to restrict access to roads have a generic name?

I'm sure we've all seen these devices which can "lock" and "unlock" vehicle entry and exit to an alley / road /etc. They consist of one or several hefty steel or concrete "pillars" less than a metre ...
3
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2answers
127 views

Reciprocal or converse definitions

I am writing an article where I need to describe an equation like the one below, in reference to two mathematical objects, A and B, that I have already defined in the text. f = #merge errors + ...
2
votes
2answers
353 views

Noun for for u-shaped bend on electrical component's pin (wire) to aid in placement (Beading / Ribbing / Crimp)?

I'm trying to find the correct noun for a u-shaped bend in an electrical component's pin. Is there a generic technical term that may usually refer to a deformation to reinforce e.g. an (angle) bracket ...
2
votes
3answers
603 views

How to denote a larger distance

Suppose I have some measurement with interferometer number 1, let's call the result A, and another measurement with interferometer number 2, let's call that one B. Suppose that always A>B (in some ...
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8answers
9k views

Is it proper to use the word “bandwidth” as it relates to time allotment?

I'm a web developer and I've often heard other technical and developer types say: Sorry, I don't have the bandwidth to take on your project at this time. I started using the term myself and ...
2
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3answers
653 views

Term for buzzing or hissing sound often created by vibration

Specifically, I am referring to the hissing, buzzing, S-like, or fuzzy sound that is created when electronic speakers play sounds or music near their volume or frequency limits. I recall having ...
6
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5answers
10k 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 ...
2
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5answers
4k views

Replacement for ‘at the example of ’

I’m currently searching for the title of my research thesis and I can’t find a good phrase. I did a “Systematic Analysis of fruit growth” in a generic way and additionally applied the analysis to ...
2
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6answers
744 views

Is 'low speed' finally proving its merit?

Technically, you should expect the term low speed, not slow speed (which is obviously illogical). However, it seems the two phrases co-existed as long as one can look back: with low speed fighting ...
3
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1answer
193 views

Isn't Twitter's error message incorrect? [closed]

One of Twitter's error messages reads: Something is technically wrong. Of course I understand what they mean, but am I wrong to interpret this as "strictly speaking, there is something wrong" ...
4
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4answers
636 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 ...
2
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3answers
148 views

Is the meaning of “support” in “<product X> supports <feature Y>” commonly understood?

There are numerous examples of the verb support meaning "to be capable of": IE9 supports HTML5. The database doesn’t support transactions. The GPS navigator supports spoken voice directions. I ...
5
votes
3answers
428 views

Word for “letter or letter-like character”?

Is there a word for a "letter or letter-like character" in a writing system? With that I mean a grapheme that is not a number, punctuation, special symbol or space, but a letter (alphabet), ...
2
votes
1answer
210 views

What is the name for the class of computer programs that act as a front end for a database? [closed]

If you are writing a computer program that manages a large database of clients, like a rolodex, or a program that stores medical records for patients. What is that "class" of program called. The ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Dissecting an English sentence using a pattern?

I am trying to make a script that can dissect an English sentence. Problem is, I have no idea how to dissect an English when the words are not familiar. I know what the nouns, verbs, etc are, because ...
6
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3answers
711 views

Is the proper phrasing “SMS” or “SMS Message”?

I know that "SMS" stands for "Short Messaging Service." But, The term SMS is used as a synonym for all types of short text messaging as well as the user activity itself in many parts of the ...
3
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4answers
516 views

“Iterate” and “iteration” as nouns

What are the differences between iterate and iteration as nouns? I don't quite understand the definition of iterate as noun: A quantity arrived at by iteration For example, in computer ...