Terminology is a system of terms belonging or peculiar to a science, art, or specialized subject, nomenclature.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

42
votes
7answers
3k views

What exactly is an “adverb”?

From comments to “Weekdays” used as an adverb", I learn that The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary says "open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.", shows the word weekdays is an adverb. It seems to me ...
47
votes
5answers
34k views

“log in to” or “log into” or “login to”

When writing an instruction about connecting to a computer using ssh, telnet, etc., I'm not sure what spacing to use in this familiar spoken phrase: "Log in to host.com" "Log into host.com" "Login ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

A special use of “should”?

I saw a sentence like this: Wilkinson is contesting the release, and threatened to sue should it be released. I could understand it but do you know what do they call this kind of use of "should" ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Garbage/stuff words

I've watched two interviews. One with Grace Park, one with Eliza Dushku. What one can't miss is that Eliza uses an awful lot of garbage words (or how is it called) — um, so, like, you know, ...
3
votes
5answers
4k views

Is it “a SSD” or “an SSD”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: an SQA or a SQA? Do you use “a” or “an” before acronyms? Since SSD (solid-state drive) is pronounced es-es-dee, I'm wondering whether one ...
10
votes
11answers
4k views

What is a word/phrase for using a term for a popular special case instead of a generic term?

Some people use a term for a popular special case in place of a generic term. (Often this popular special case is a particular product in that category.) I think that this is a common phenomenon. ...
14
votes
3answers
66k views

Difference between an acronym and abbreviation?

TLA is an acronym for "Three Letter Acronym". Is it also an abbreviation, since it abbreviates the original phrase?
21
votes
6answers
4k views

Is there a term for words that have a single meaning or are only used in a single context?

Certain words you hear in English are only ever heard in a single context. For example, skirl is used to describe the sound a bagpipe makes. Etymonline generously says the word is "rarely" heard ...
8
votes
2answers
792 views

What is the term for the double consecutive use of a word with stress on one of the words to alter its severity?

What is the term when a word is used consecutively twice, with intentional stress placed on the first word, as a means to alter the severity of the word's meaning? I am not referring to a past ...
14
votes
6answers
18k views

Difference between “commentor” and “commentator”

What is the difference between commentor and commentator? Is commentor or commenter a legitimate English word?
11
votes
1answer
2k 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?
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Are there any rules governing what we call people from different countries?

people from China = Chinese people from Japan = Japanese people from Australia = Australian people from Lebanon = Lebanese people from Sweden = Swedish Are there any rules that ...
11
votes
5answers
11k views

How does one pronounce the '@' symbol?

How can I pronounce @ symbol: At / At the rate? Can I use it in a sentence? Please explain with an example.
20
votes
2answers
1k views

Whose tense is it, anyway?

I have questions which perhaps should be posted to Linguistics.SE; but since my primary concern is to discover what terminology in discussing English grammar and usage on ELU (and in similar ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

What do you call words that look like a negation but are not?

I can be nonplussed (in fact that is practically the ground state of my existence), but not plussed. I can also be indifferent; but if you are different, that doesn't mean you care, either. What do ...
7
votes
2answers
13k views

What term is used for the closing of a letter?

Salutation is the term used to describe the beginning of a letter or other correspondence. What is the term used for the closing of a letter? Here are some examples: Yours truly, Sincerely, Best ...
22
votes
11answers
18k views

What is the most professional name for “squiggly bracket”?

I am creating a software training video and need to refer to these brackets: { } I usually call them "squiggly brackets" or "curly brackets". Is there a more professional name?
9
votes
1answer
817 views

Rhyming conventions of Early Modern English

I was reading the poem "To His Coy Mistress" by Andrew Marvell when something struck me as odd. Let me quote two passages: Thou by the Indian Ganges' side Shouldst rubies find: I by the tide ...
9
votes
6answers
14k views

Why do they say “love fifteen,” in tennis?

Why do they say "love fifteen," in tennis?
3
votes
1answer
259 views

What do you call a past participle+noun construction clause such as “No offense meant” “Your point taken,” “With that said,” and “Given that”?

In reference to my question about the usage of “No offense meant/taken,” I noticed that there are a lot of shortened forms like “No offense meant/taken,” “Your point taken,” “That said,” and “Given ...
53
votes
8answers
6k views

Which term correctly identifies those who enjoy programming/technology: “geek” or “nerd”?

Which term correctly identifies those who enjoy and are involved with programming and technology, geek or nerd?
66
votes
5answers
6k views

What does 'TL;DR' mean and how is it used?

I do my best, at my advanced age, to come to grips with the apparent acceptability of such widely used words/expressions/abbreviations as lol/LOL, IMHO, AFAIK, etc. However, TLDR/tl;dr defeats me. ...
36
votes
4answers
2k views

English word for taking a derogatory term and owning it with pride

E.g. "geek" or "queer" were originally meant as an insulting term, but were taken by the recipients as titles of pride. Is there a term for this phenomenon?
10
votes
1answer
538 views

What is a term for words that are both homophones and homographs?

While there are homophones like bear and bare, and homographs like sow, the pig, and to sow a seed, is there a term for words that cover both categories? The example that comes to mind for me is to ...
10
votes
3answers
11k views

What follows next in the sequence “unary, binary, ternary…”?

I looked on Oxford's online dictionary and was able to find the names identifying orders of a given degree: primary secondary tertiary quaternary quinary senary septenary octonary nonary denary -- ...
27
votes
4answers
17k views

How does the phrase “used to” work, grammatically?

It is common to hear people say "used to" to indicate that they did something in the past but no longer do; for example, "I used to play basketball." How would "used to," used in that context, fit ...
42
votes
4answers
962 views

Is there a term for referring to an organization by its city rather than by its name?

This happens specifically often in the technology press: There's no point trying to ascribe motives to what Redmond [instead of "Microsoft"] does. We'll see shortly if Cupertino [instead of ...
17
votes
11answers
4k views

What is the correct word for “dependee”?

What is the correct word for "dependee"? In other words, what is the word for something that is depended upon? The relationship here is in the context of software engineering
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between a phrase and a clause?

What is the difference between a phrase and a clause? I tried looking this in dictionary but can not identify the difference. It would be great if I could get an example and formula of what makes a ...
10
votes
3answers
798 views

Term for a word that is unintentionally made up of two or more other words?

For example, therapist may be split into the + rapist, neither of which (arguably) has anything to do with the original words. Another example would be conflagration: con + flag + ration. Or ...
10
votes
4answers
697 views

Is “pregnant couple” proper terminology?

According to Collins English Dictionary, and of course as everyone knows, a doula is a woman who is trained to provide support to women and their families during pregnancy, childbirth, and the ...
9
votes
8answers
18k views

What does “I know, right?” mean?

Not only is my seventh grader using this phrase, but her teachers are as well. I suppose it means I totally agree with you and you totally agree with me but it sounds like there is a subtle Is that ...
7
votes
6answers
728 views

What is the term for neglectful spelling of words such as “you” as “u”?

The age of texting and instant messaging as we all know has created a phenomenon of using shorter versions of words to save on keystrokes. On tiny keypads or phone buttons this obviously can be a time ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Hyphens in verb construction containing prefix such as “re”

In semi-formal business writing in the United States, I often observe that writers tend to add a hyphen between a prefix and the root infinitive of verbs. In many of the cases, the resulting verb ...
4
votes
1answer
990 views

Term for mentioning X by saying “I will not say X” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the origin of the phrase “not to mention …” Is there a name for “I don't mean to…, but” phrases? Is there a term for ...
3
votes
2answers
516 views

Is there a term for the opposite of the greengrocer’s apostrophe?

Is there a term for the tendency to omit the apostrophe in high-profile items where it would otherwise be expected? – such as “Student Manual” instead of “Student’s Manual” (and “Facilitator Guide” ...
2
votes
3answers
710 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

How to write “calf's liver” on menu [closed]

Calf's liver as an item on a restaurant menu is certainly correct, but one also sees calves liver written down. What certainly is wrong is calves' liver, except if one assumes that many calves were ...
42
votes
7answers
4k 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 DesignBeta, I wrote floppy disc in ...
37
votes
5answers
11k views

What term can be used to describe Yoda's speech?

What is Yoda's speech called? Is there a particular name for it (such as "dangling...")?
15
votes
5answers
1k views

What Is the Real Name of the #?

I used to say "sharp sign" to refer to the # sign. Today a friend told me that the correct term is number sign or hash sign or even just hash. What is the difference between these options and ...
15
votes
6answers
19k views

Cell phone? Cell? Mobile phone? What's the “correct” term?

What's that type of phone called that you don't need a cable for and you can use everywhere in the world (provided there's coverage ;-))? And what differences are there between the regions? ...
8
votes
7answers
2k views

What does “akin to” mean in etymologies in dictionary entries?

Many etymologies in dictionaries say that some word is “akin to” a word in some other language. For example, here is part of the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary entry for salt: Main Entry: 1salt ...
19
votes
6answers
7k views

What do you call those divisions of a book bigger than a paragraph but smaller than a chapter?

In printed books, or at least in novels, there are often major breaks within a chapter more important than paragraphs. Often they are separated by a greater amount of whitespace than paragraphs and ...
17
votes
8answers
5k views

What is a good, short, word to describe a software engineer?

What should I call a person who write software, computer programs ? I know he/she is a software engineer, can I call him/her as "Coder"?
16
votes
4answers
17k views

What's the opposite of “oxymoron”?

What's the opposite of oxymoron? That is, two words put together that seem identical?
16
votes
4answers
13k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the proper term for a ternary digit?

A binary digit is a bit. Is there an equivalent term for a three-state digit? (e.g., a digit representing true, false, or unknown)
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Term for minimum or maximum

I need to ask a user to request either a minimum or maximum value. What would be the appropriate label for this? I have considered extremum but I am not sure if this is commonly understood or ...
7
votes
4answers
6k views

What's the difference between orthography and spelling?

The terms "spelling" and "orthography" seem to be largely synonymous. What is the difference really? Is it that "orthography" is a more formal or technical term and hence more well-defined? Or is it ...