Questions related to the use of technical language.

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1answer
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Definition of paradigm, abstraction and metaphor

UNIX based operating systems uses the concept of paradigm to identify everything from files, folders, hard drives, networking interfaces as files. Also it uses the concept of abstraction to reduce ...
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10answers
2k views

Can a fact be 'biased'? [on hold]

Apropos of this baffling exchange I had with a right-wing 'Brexit' supporter on on Twitter yesterday I'd like to know if my definition of a fact ('a thing that is known or proven to be true') is ...
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1answer
30 views

Why are open source and closed source usually not hyphenated? Should they be? [on hold]

Typically, English writers do not hyphenate open source or closed source when referring to computer software. Why is this? Should they be hyphenated or is it best to not use hyphens for these terms?
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1answer
38 views

Usage of Verb “Bridge” [closed]

I was wondering is it okay to use "bridge" as verb as follows: Throughout the article, we bridge A to B and concentrate on the most important application to C. I treated A,B and C as something.
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1answer
49 views

Difference beween “oscillate”, “vibrate”, “shake”, “quake”, “resonate”? [closed]

[Background] I am not a native English speaker. I am learning electronics and comes to some circuit that can "oscillate". [Question] I want to know the difference beween "oscillate", "vibrate", "...
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1answer
36 views

Adverb of Frequency for “Sprint” [closed]

Re: Agile Software Development - Is there an accepted adverb to describe an activity that happens once per Sprint? Following the pattern daily, weekly, fortnightly etc, the obvious answer would seem ...
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2answers
287 views

1st percentile, 2nd percentile… But how to say “2.5th” percentile?

It is necessary for me to write about the 2.5th and 97.5th percentiles of a data set. What is the correct way of writing this? This post talks about "zeroth", "n-th" and even "epsilonth" as ...
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2answers
40 views

Return or Enter preferred American English term for the [enter/return] key in the keyboard

Problem A colleage is designing an application and wanted to decide what to write in the return/enter key. Research In the Macbook keyboard both terms are present (return and enter). Question ...
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4answers
56 views

Single word for “communication not intended for me”? [closed]

What does one call communication on some shared medium (phone party line, a public radio frequency, posts on a forum) that may be relevant and useful to others but not to oneself. Context: I am doing ...
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1answer
31 views

Which verb fits better for the action of “creating” an earth connection?

The following sentence is used on a warning label: Ensure that an earth connection is made I think that "making an earth connection" doesn't express the real intent here. The alternatives that I ...
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1answer
39 views

Which verb should be used with the nouns “repair/maintenance”: “Make”/“Do”/“Carry out”/…?

The following sentence is used on a warning label: All maintenance and repair must be done only by authorized personnel I'm not quite sure that "do" is the proper verb to use with "maintenance ...
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1answer
64 views

Which verb is better to express the “functioning” of a “pump” and a “pump motor”?

Does a pump "operate" or "run"? Does a pump motor "operate" or "run"? Or are there better verbs which describe the functioning of these devices?
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1answer
102 views

Which one is common: “Diagnostic” or “Diagnostics”

I'm translating the interface texts of an industrial control panel software and got stuck on this one. The module I'm referring to has some lists containing the sensors and switches for the digital ...
2
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1answer
27 views

Mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive

Is there a word that means "Mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive" (as an adjective) or "to be mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive" (as a verb), or is there a noun that describes ...
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1answer
75 views

Is it correct to avoid starting sentences with subordinating conjunctions in technical writing? [closed]

I work on a team where everyone has decided that it is incorrect to start a sentence with a subordinating conjunction period. For example they will change the sentence: Based on the system-wide risk ...
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1answer
81 views

The meaning of the phrase “to delay the time to occurrence of mood episodes”

I'm not exactly sure what this phrase mean: "the purpose of _ is to delay the time to occurrence of mood episodes ..." My guess is that it means that _ increases the amount of time between episodes.
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1answer
40 views

Is “torque guard” the correct translation of “Drehmomentwächter”?

A Drehmomentwächter ist a device the gives a signal when the torque exerted by a motor is above a certain amount. Example: A motor closes a valve, but there's a branch (or your arm!) in the way so ...
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2answers
102 views

Short idiomatic word for “low-complexity” [closed]

I am looking for suggestions to convert "low-complexity" (in the context of computations or a program) into a simple, short idiomatic word or adjective (not "simple"). [EDIT] It is meant to be used in ...
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2answers
49 views

Synonyms for “having a property”

When writing a mathematical text one often wants to express that a certain object has a certain property, i.e.: "Object A has property X." Since this formulation gets boring if used too many times, ...
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1answer
1k views

What are these containers called?

The german term is Absetzmulde (Image search). They look like this: Image source: Sirch GmbH There are varios different styles of bulk goods containers that can be easily loaded on/off a truck, but ...
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2answers
48 views

Best word to describe assesing value of a project

I am a web developer, I often work with clients who like to know how much my work will cost them. The problem is - I am not a native English speaker and I need to tell them that I evaluated the price ...
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5answers
2k 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 ...
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6answers
81 views

What is the opposite of a “crown” (in the topographical sense)?

Streets are “crowned” (meaning slightly convex) to drain rainwater away from the center of the road and into the gutter. What would you call a surface that is slightly concave?
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5answers
178 views

What is the blurring of pixels for fidelity called?

In most computer graphic design, when detailed images are drawn at the pixel-level the pixels are blurred with those next to them to make the border look more natural and less pixelated. I know in ...
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1answer
86 views

Is the verb “cast” in acting, metalworking and programming the same verb?

An actor is "cast" in a role: Jane Lee is cast as "Jo Smith". A sculpture is "cast" in bronze: molten bronze is poured into a mould. A variable is "cast" as a certain type of information in ...
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2answers
48 views

Short phrase for providing and taking care of technical aspects of an event

I'm translating a local company site into English and I'm struggling to find a nice and compact way to describe one of the company's services. Basically, if you are an organizer of an event of some ...
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2answers
91 views

What's a less-artificial-sounding word for “up-to-date” and “up-to-date-ness”?

I'm describing a software design in a proposal document of mine, and I want to express my intention of the design being up-to-date, taking into consideration existing publications and available ...
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1answer
34 views

Adjective of having multiple “arms” in technical/engineering context

Imagine an object, which has multiple 'slots', which are used to connect that object with other objects. Except that these are not inward pointing slots but the counter parts called 'tangs' (according ...
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2answers
57 views

Another term for “zero-sum game” [closed]

Rock-paper-scissors is a zero-sum game, however I remember a different phrase that means essentially the same thing - when each member of a group of objects has exactly balanced strengths and ...
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2answers
191 views

What do you call it when A cannot alter B above A?

There's only one true example I can give without going off the idea and this example is quite "techy", so I'm sorry for those who possibly won't understand the principle. I'm certainly not being ...
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3answers
661 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), consonant-...
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1answer
158 views

What do you call something that reads and writes files?

In programming, it's common to write a class that both reads and writes files. What do you call this type of thing? Is it a file handler? A file parser? A file provider? A file streamer? How about a ...
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0answers
32 views

Article usage in technical texts: a unique and other cases

Sometimes I write technical texts and wonder which article I should use before adjectives like unique, so-called and given, as English is a foreign language for me. For example, why it is there is ...
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2answers
77 views

Alternatives to use technical protocol terms as verb in a sentence

I find it much easier to say: I can RDP to your computer Please SFTP the files to me than to say: I can use the RDP (protocol) to establish a connection to your computer Please ...
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1answer
52 views

Does “unrenamed” mean “not yet renamed”?

I am writing a software and the following description cannot be more than 15-20 characters long. I need to concisely say “files that have not been renamed”. I think “unrenamed files” works, ...
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2answers
4k 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 ($r=-0.143, p<0.01$...
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2answers
25 views

Download here or there?

I have the following technical instructions for our software product: Go to ~/directory Download here [link to the file] Execute the following command: [command] Should I use here or there in the ...
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8answers
6k 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 ...
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4answers
2k 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
39 views

Word For the Process of Finding Return on Investment

I am told that if I invest $20 in this Apple Stock, in one years time there is a: 10% chance I'll get back $25 10% chance I'll get back $20 30% chance I'll get back $15 50% chance I'll get back $10 ...
2
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1answer
40 views

Is EndDate higher, or later than StartDate?

In technical documentation, where you have two variables, StartDate and EndDate, how do you say that the EndDate must come after StartDate? Do you use the lower-higher or sooner-later comparison? Or ...
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0answers
36 views

Modern Term for Right/Secondary Click

In order to access secondary functions in a graphical interface (such as a context menu), users often have to "right click" an object on the screen. Some variations of this terminology I have seen ...
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3answers
183 views

Single word to describe some tasks performed sequentially

I'm searching for a single word to describe a session made of independent tasks performed sequentially. For example when you go to a medical center (this is the context where it has to be used then ...
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2answers
90 views

What word is appropriate for a single-width slice of the third axis of data?

We have easy go-to terms for the X and Y axis, as row and column, respectively. However, I have never heard a similar term applying in the Z axis. Does such exist? Cell is not appropriate, as as cell ...
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1answer
69 views

Is there any scenario where one would use 'in the server' rather than 'on the server'?

My sentence is 'The user should be created on the server.' OR 'The user should be created in the server.' I usually use 'on' in all cases but I am wondering if the act of creation is better described ...
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3answers
4k views

Pronunciation of “SUS” in “Stainless Steel SUS 304”

How do engineers and the like who are native speakers of English pronounce “SUS” (stainless steel)? Like the verb “suss”? Like “SOS” (mayday) but with “U”?
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5answers
21k 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 ...
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1answer
2k views

What is the meaning of 'probe' in the Linux command 'modprobe'?

My understanding of modprobe is that it is a command to load kernel modules. Based on this, I'm wondering what the meaning of word probe is in general English?
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0answers
76 views

Capitalization of Technical Terms/Proper Nouns

There are several technical terms for which I am struggling with the capitalization, such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC) Controller Area Network (CAN) Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) Advanced ...
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1answer
96 views

What's the name of the action for opening a lock with an RF card?

We're constantly bombarded with new gadgets in our everyday life. Lately, hotels are moving away from ordinary locks and towards card keys. Some of them simply slide into a small slot in the lock, ...