Questions related to the use of technical language.

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3answers
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Technical writing: how to say more vs. less permission?

I'm writing a doc about user permission settings. I'm trying to say that if you select multiple settings for the same application, the highest permission will override the lesser permission. (In other ...
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2answers
2k views

Use of personal pronouns in technical writing and possible alternatives

I'm currently in the process of revising my graduate thesis in Computer Science. One section of the thesis specifically addresses design decisions I made and changes I made based on test results. In ...
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1answer
95 views

Is “prohibit” a negative word?

I encountered the word prohibited in some software documentation and am curious if this is an example of a double negative: Prohibit requests for PROHIBITED parts (This is an option in a piece of ...
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3answers
147 views

Can “paraxial” mean “axis-parallel”?

The Wiktionary lists under the meanings of paraxial: (mathematics) Parallel to one or more axes of the coordinate system paraxial rectangle The respective information was added ...
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2answers
96 views

Whether we use users or user? [closed]

I am wondering whether we use "user" or "users" in a technical document; specifically a user guide or specification document in those sentences like " with this feature user can issue . ...." or " ...
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9answers
5k views

Is “layman” an offensive term?

Is it offensive to use the term layman nowadays? Does it insinuate that the people to whom you are referring are uneducated? I am wanting to say This is just one of the ways that CERN's research ...
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0answers
156 views

Term to express a range of fluctuation

I am trying to make a term for a function equipped on an image sensor. The term is to express "the upper limit of fluctuation allowance in image size which is specified in %" The value of percentage ...
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1answer
169 views

What does it mean when a denomination is described to be “pietistic”? [closed]

What does it mean when a denomination or theological tradition is described to be "pietistic"? The definitions of Merriam-Webster for "pietistic" mean: of or relating to Pietism a : of or ...
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1answer
24k views

“Production” vs. “manufacturing”

What are the connotations of production and manufacturing? In what situation would you prefer one over the other?
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1answer
64 views

“Capacity of X” vs “X capacity”

I am a technical person. Here is just an example, but this approach can be used in many situations (including other hardware components). I want to specify that my hard disk drive (HDD) can store ...
1
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1answer
132 views

What is the word for when people use associative words for technical terms? [closed]

Examples: the word "canned" is used for multiple items within a list "breadcrumbs" is used for specifying a part of a webpage used for navigation on the site "bootstrap" is used for start up (an ...
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4answers
470 views

Style of technical warnings. Why is it acceptable to omit verbs?

Dear language professionals, What are grounds for using shortish phrase "Life vest under your seat" on the warning sign on the planes. Is it stylistically caused? If this style allows main verb ...
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2answers
218 views

Irradiate, illuminate and shine to mean “throw light”

All the three words are used to mean "throw light" in a document explaining principles of a barcode reader which I am checking. They are all used in sentences to explain "Throw LED to barcode". I ...
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2answers
96 views

A word for 'independent episodes'

When we have a series of episodes where every single episode depends on and develops from the previous, we may call that a sequel, or maybe a continuum. Now let us say that we have a collection of ...
1
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1answer
148 views

what do you call a table that contains counts of items which have 2 characteristic attributes represented by the rows and columns?

What do we call a table that holds counts? A binning table? Frequency table? Unnormalized probability density table? What if, instead of a table, it's just a list? And what if the table has more than ...
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8answers
6k 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 ...
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4answers
304 views

Looking for a term to describe looking back to a certain point in time

I work on designing an application which will enable the user to post "Stories" (diary entries) for parents for their kids. The application has a feature which lets the parent post a story that dates ...
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4answers
230 views

Term for inefficiency inherent in hierarchical allocation

Background Some observations: The internet has just about exhausted the IPv4 address space. When I was ten years old, or so, I had to start dialing the area code for all outbound phone calls, even ...
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2answers
55 views

What is a wheenydom?

What is a wheenydom? It's in the following context: (from a tech-related article) I know that PowerShell is cooler and such than TCSH and BASH, but this smells of Windows wheenydom to me. ...
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3answers
2k views

what do you call a water tap placed on the outside

What do you call a water tap placed on the outside of a house? I'm looking for the correct technical term in English. here in Sweden there seems to be only one vendor and model, which I'm not so ...
2
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1answer
80 views

The name of a robotics tool that is only a sharpened rod

There is a tool used in robotics that is essentially just a rod of metal with a sharp point. It is fastened to the robot not for the purpose of manipulating, stabbing or poking holes, but solely ...
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2answers
59 views

What do you call a company in relation to its host commmunity?

This is a case of an oil company occupying a community for its operations. The community is its host, I believe. What is the company referred to in relationship to the community? Generally, it should ...
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3answers
90 views

Word choice for hierarchical groups of data: data point → data set →?

A data point is a single unit of information. A data set is a collection of data points (also known as a data series). Is there a word for a collection of data sets? I don't simply want to use "...
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5answers
105 views

Term for when embedded media cannot be displayed on a web page?

When a web page goes missing, it is said to be "not found" and the afflicted web site often reports the infamous HTTP 404 Error. With embedded media, the user is not navigating away to another web ...
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1answer
118 views

Questioning my use of “in question”

I just found myself writing some documentation that uses "in question," but then I questioned whether what I wrote makes sense. The context is a document that describes the numerical solution of ...
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2answers
127 views

What is the word for “technical usurpation of an old word”?

Is there a word for "usurpation, rather than merely borrowing, of an old word by later, technical usage"? If so, what is it? For example, of old, the English word summer meant "that season of the ...
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1answer
291 views

Proper technical terms and sentence structure regarding web apps

Could you help me with a particular sentence in English? I am not a native speaker. I am writing about my company from our official twitter account where mistakes are not forgiven. I want to say that ...
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7answers
12k views

Why “line of business” applications?

In software, why do we talk about line-of-business applications (sometimes abbreviated to LOB)? Why not just business applications? So it's useful to distinguish between general software (like email ...
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4answers
216 views

Meaning of “I am buying a third-hand book.”

"I am buying a third-hand book." Does this mean I am the third or fourth owner of this book after I buy it?
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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2answers
176 views

Appropriate contexts for the phrase “impedance mismatch”?

I rather like the phrase "impedance mismatch". I understand it was derived from the realm of electronics, and it's now also commonly applied to problems with object-relational database mapping. I've ...
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3answers
127 views

Can “backup” be used as a verb in the context of data management? [duplicate]

I have heard backup being used as a verb in the sense of I have to backup my hard disk by non-native English speakers (the English noun backup is also used in other languages, for example in ...
3
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4answers
458 views

What is the name of the audio clip used at the start and end of a podcast?

The bit of a podcast at the beginning and usually the very end too with the branding/title+description+jingle that is always the same? Probably the same word describes what is used for the branding of ...
2
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1answer
84 views

What does 'disk box' mean here?

The expression is mentioned under the number 1 of the list at the bottom of the picture. The search over the internet hasn't given me a more or less clear idea of what it could be for it to match the ...
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1answer
303 views

How are invented names like “scrypt” pronounced that include nonstandard abbreviations?

In technical contexts, I often come across terms that are invented names where some underlying meaning is not spelled out but can be inferred. This inferred meaning would often be lost if one tried to ...
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2answers
316 views

Nominalization of the phrase “the way they are normally represented”

In a past exam on technical writing, we were required to rewrite the italicized part of the following clause using nominalization, that is, turning verb phrases to noun phrases: "[...] this ...
2
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3answers
102 views

Word for “quietly accumulating shares of stock by traders when the stock is at a lower price”?

I'm looking for a word or expression that means "the act of quietly accumulating shares of stock by traders when the stock is at a lower price"?
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3answers
11k views

“On which” or “upon which”

Today, I am writing technical documentation that instructs the user how to install software to a server. I encountered the following sentence and am unsure which is correct: When installing to a ...
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1answer
302 views

Less technical term to describe how often a recurring schedule repeats itself?

Defining a recurring schedule requires two steps: How often the schedule repeats itself (e.g. weekly, every 2 weeks, every 3 weeks, etc.) Inside each repetition, when the recurrently scheduled event ...
3
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4answers
1k views

What’s the etymology of the word “unstable”, in the context of software?

Approximately when in the history of computing did unstable come to be commonly used to refer to computer software? Can this time in history be linked to the release of a certain product (no jokes ...
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2answers
2k views

What do you call who writes comments? Commenter or commentator?

What should I call a person writing/adding comments (by pressing "add comment" link)? Commenter or commentator? From a deleted answer, I understand that there are commentators (like those ...
4
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2answers
322 views

Item queue vs items queue? Files list vs File list? [duplicate]

My question is connected with programming. I'm not sure how to name my class. Should it be ItemQueue or ItemsQueue? We are talking about queue, which stores many items. We can add new ones or remove ...
2
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3answers
1k views

Should I use past tense or present tense when writing check-in/commit comment? [duplicate]

This question is quite specific but I am not sure which verb tense I should use when committing/checking in code. If I fix a bug and checking in the code, should I write: Fixes bug on feature A ...
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18answers
6k views

Term describing the practice of anticipating dangers while driving

When one is driving a car (or any other vehicle for that matter) there is a German term that describes the practice trying to predict situations that might occur. When attempting to translate it I can ...
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2answers
745 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 ...
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3answers
7k 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 ...
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2answers
487 views

Can “mode” be used as “mean” and “median” are?

It'd be normal to hear sentences like these: The mean ticket price for the concert was $56.50. The median ticket price for the concert was $61. But what about: The mode ticket price for ...
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3answers
3k 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 ...
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1answer
264 views

How to say we provide a synopsis here for details refer to other work in formal academic writing

We provide here a synopsis of the measurement process, for an in-depth description, please refer to XYZ. I'm not a native speaker. How do I write that as the first sentence of a chapter in an ...
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3answers
182 views

Single word for “from then” or “from it” [closed]

I would like to use the archaic expression (from the family of hence, whereby etc.) to refine the sentence: "..the weights introduced in Exercise 2 and determined from it/from there" meaning the ...