Questions related to the use of technical language.

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2
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4answers
1k views

An unlikely but very bad event (technical word)

I'm looking for a word that describes an event or situation that is problematic but unusual. The word should indicate that something is theoretically possible, but so unlikely that you could ignore ...
5
votes
3answers
838 views

What is an “Open loop”?

In "Getting Things Done", David Allen refers to "Open Loops", meaning things that are incomplete. Q: What past reference to an "Open loop" is he alluding to? Is that phrase "Open Loop" something ...
6
votes
8answers
22k 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
votes
1answer
122 views

would this be considered a 'methodology' or a 'method'?

Say I developed something called "Methodology for Establishing Remaining Life of Components". Basically, at work, we have components (or equipment). I wanted to develop a way to identify how much ...
3
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
101 views

Expression for some special SQL queries

While I'm not native English speaker, I often need to express myself in English. For a week, I have been searching for a term which represents a kind of SQL query: SELECT something FROM somewhere ...
0
votes
2answers
88 views

Which is better: “bidirectionally-anonymous channel” or “bidirectional-anonymous channel”

I am writing my thesis (in computer science) and me and my supervisor disagree about the correct way of describing a communication channel which is anonymous in both directions. Without delving in too ...
2
votes
2answers
285 views

Degrees of Criticality / Lateness or whatever

I am writing a Web Application where I am going to list certain events and their overdue days. If an event is overdue by less than 10 days then its safe. If it is overdue by over 10 days but less than ...
2
votes
6answers
7k views

What's another way to say “problem area”?

Looking for some powerful, formal words with a slight negative connotation for a resume/performance assessment. The general context pertains to computer software development. These aren't my problem ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

Most appropriate term for round and x-marker on a (scientific) chart?

In a research paper, I'd like to refer to some specific markers on a chart. One marker looks like an x, and the other one is small circle. What would be proper terms? Circular marker and x-marker?
1
vote
3answers
152 views

Looking for two terms from law vocabulary

I'm looking for two technical words used in law: Someone who accepts the law, they will try to do the best things in any situation. The opposite of number one, they reject any law and at every ...
5
votes
2answers
271 views

How to say: “this number has not been rounded”?

Let's say I count some items and the result is exactly 1000. How do I convey the fact that the actual count was 1000, and that I didn't round the number? It should fit into a sentence like "Overall, ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there such a word as “lightweightness”?

Is there a good translation for the German word "Leichtgewichtigkeit" (lit. "lightweightness")? According to leo.org and dict.cc, there is none, but according to these translations, there are ...
0
votes
1answer
172 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', ...
4
votes
3answers
3k 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
votes
4answers
408 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
675 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
1k 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
4answers
929 views

What is the shortest term to refer to people whose mother tongue is English?

What is the shortest term to refer to representatives of peoples and cultures whose mother tongue is English? Mothertonguers? Update: Can't I call them joe?
0
votes
0answers
54 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
vote
1answer
697 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
1k 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
vote
1answer
115 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
vote
4answers
171 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
votes
2answers
78 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
112 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
522 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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votes
1answer
745 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
907 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
595 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?
1
vote
2answers
563 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
532 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
1k 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
1k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
104 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
7k 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
113 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
168 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
226 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
360 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. ...
-1
votes
2answers
1k 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
238 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
703 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
162 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
498 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
16k 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
1k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
1k 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
215 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" ...
1
vote
7answers
2k 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 ...