Questions related to the use of technical language.

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3answers
803 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.
43
votes
7answers
4k 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 DesignBeta, I wrote floppy disc in ...
1
vote
1answer
397 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
823 views

Pronunciation of GUI in British English

I've heard a lot of Americans pronounce abbreviations like GUI as goo-ey. Is this the same with British English, or is it more common to spell out the word, like gee-you-eye?
1
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1answer
93 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, ...
1
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4answers
161 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
74 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
votes
2answers
107 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
428 views

What is the technical term for the area within a fort?

I would like to know what is the name of the area within a trace italienne fortification, i.e. item 38 in the image here below (which unfortunately was omitted in Wikipedia):
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1answer
569 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
votes
4answers
564 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
445 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?
3
votes
2answers
550 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
210 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
332 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, ...
9
votes
1answer
371 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 ...
2
votes
6answers
826 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
89 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 ...
2
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5answers
5k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
104 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
152 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
192 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
275 views

Jig or template to hold a workpiece

Technical English for a foreigner - please correct and rephrase if you can come up with better alternatives. A machine in manufacturing usually is fed material or a workpiece to be processed. ...
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2answers
803 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
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1answer
193 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 ...
19
votes
1answer
563 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
votes
2answers
136 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
387 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
11k views

What is antonym of “update”?

The antonym of "upgrade" is "downgrade", quite broadly used. What is the antonym of "update"? Update: Though, I hoped for something like "un-update" because reverting or uninstalling updates are ...
2
votes
3answers
820 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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votes
5answers
4k 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?
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votes
4answers
1k views

Blood - Bloods - pluralisation

Why is it that the plural of 'blood' is 'blood' in normal usage but 'bloods' (e.g. 'I'll be taking some bloods') is acceptable in a medical context? Are there any words with similar pluralisation ...
2
votes
3answers
757 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
199 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" ...
5
votes
3answers
481 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), ...
4
votes
4answers
765 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 ...
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7answers
1k views

Is technical copywriting jargon or style?

I became confused by comments to my answer insisting that Technical writing is jargon using incorrect English words. I also looked through definitions of "prepend" in internet, all with inserted ...
11
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3answers
5k 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?
2
votes
1answer
220 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
805 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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
164 views

Blockchain or block chain? Double-spend or doublespend?

On the Bitcoin StackExchange site we have a discussion about a few words that you probably won't find in a dictionary right now but that are technical terms used in Bitcoin or cryptocurrency in ...
51
votes
9answers
2k views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
467 views

Quote of some advanced text? [closed]

I am trying to make a video and in it I need a piece of advanced text. You should get the feeling that this text is just advanced for the sake of being advanced, not for any practical reason, and ...
3
votes
2answers
445 views

Correct version of “Space Bar”

Is it acceptable to spell it "spacebar" or must the word be spelled with a space in it? I'm using it to refer to a keyboard shortcut in my application's documentation. Further, should it be ...
1
vote
2answers
468 views

A data compromise

I know that security people use the verb "to compromise" with the meaning of "to break", for example in "the integrity of the account has been compromised". But is it okay to also use the noun ...
7
votes
2answers
299 views

Is the computer-related term “character” understood by the general population?

The following kind message is common in programming: Your password must be at least six characters long and include at least one letter and one number Would an average person understand what ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Differences between “methods”, “methodologies” and “paradigms”

I'm writing some internal documentation, which I cannot share, in which I outline several ways to accomplish a task. For example, updating software may be accomplished by: Send a list of what the ...
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1answer
1k views

When should I use “see” vs. “refer”?

I have this question on using see and refer in technical documentation especially for cross-references information. I use see when mentioning another section in the same document, for example, for ...
11
votes
1answer
2k 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?