Questions related to the use of technical language.

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16
votes
1answer
6k 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?
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 ...
29
votes
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 ...
6
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?
3
votes
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 ...
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 ...
1
vote
4answers
491 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 ...
43
votes
7answers
5k 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 Design, I wrote floppy disc in the ...
20
votes
5answers
25k 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 ...
1
vote
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 "...
2
votes
4answers
5k views

If prepend is not part of English, why is there no postpend or subpend? And who introduces them? [closed]

I wanted to ask it already for some time but was in doubt until I've read the comment by Stan Rogers to this answer: In the case of prepend, we have created an artificial term that is ...
35
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
18
votes
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 ...
3
votes
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 it....
8
votes
10answers
20k 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 ...
6
votes
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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
25k views

“Production” vs. “manufacturing”

What are the connotations of production and manufacturing? In what situation would you prefer one over the other?
3
votes
2answers
95 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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
4answers
3k 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.