Questions related to the use of technical language.

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18
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5answers
15k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
42 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
101 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
24 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
30 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
52 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 ...
29
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
1k 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
26 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 ...
5
votes
10answers
4k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
616 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
82 views

Correct verb to describe relationships between processes in technical writing

I am writing a thesis, and the tone of my writing is technical. At a few places, I need a specific verb to describe how a particular process/method/technique relates to another ...
-1
votes
3answers
87 views

Technical synonym for “old”

Given a reverse chronologically ordered list of computer generated events (logs), what would be good technical synonyms to express recent events and old events? These events form a history that ...
1
vote
3answers
35 views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
6answers
855 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
1answer
38 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
78 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
75 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 " ...
17
votes
9answers
3k 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
57 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
109 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
13k views

“Production” vs. “manufacturing”

What are the connotations of production and manufacturing? In what situation would you prefer one over the other?
1
vote
5answers
460 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.
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 ...
1
vote
0answers
627 views

Formal and Informal Minutes of Meeting [closed]

What is the difference between formal and informal minutes of meeting. I know that formal minutes are often required by federal, state, or local law, by-laws, charters, or regulations but what about ...
0
votes
1answer
47 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
vote
1answer
96 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
274 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
56 views

Message on/in/into/onto queue

This question comes from a technical field. I say that I "put message on/in/into/onto queue" if I store some bits (the message) in an area of memory (the queue). Which is the correct preposition in ...
0
votes
2answers
113 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
54 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
vote
1answer
59 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 ...
5
votes
8answers
3k 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
99 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 ...
35
votes
4answers
3k 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
4answers
204 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
48 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. ...
3
votes
3answers
344 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
votes
1answer
62 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
41 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
72 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 ...
0
votes
5answers
77 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
56 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
111 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 ...
27
votes
7answers
4k views

What is the antonym of 'virtual machine'?

What is the antonym of 'virtual machine'? A virtual machine (VM) is a piece of software pretending to be a piece of hardware. There can be virtual servers, virtual desktops... I googled around a ...
0
votes
1answer
152 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 ...
7
votes
7answers
7k 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
105 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?
7
votes
5answers
14k 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 ...