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

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“The splits” vs “a split”

All my life I knew it as "I can do a split", but recently it has come to my attention that many people refer to it as "the splits" which sounds absolutely dreadful to my ear because it defies all the ...
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2answers
337 views

Is there a term that means “oft-used misquotation”?

There are some quotations that people always seem to get wrong: Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him well. [Real quote from Hamlet: "Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio."] I have nothing to offer ...
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1answer
571 views

What's the term for flickering eye movement

If you're looking out of the window of a moving train and at things as they go by (rather than a single object that you're leaving behind), your eyes appear to be flickering. There's a specific term ...
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1answer
154 views

Is there a word for the “primary” verb in a clause?

In an answer to another question, I erroneously said: Each sentence sentence normally be one complete thought, with a noun and a verb. You should generally not have two verbs per sentence What I ...
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5answers
15k views

Mixing up “quiet” and “quite”: spelling or grammar error?

Look at this sentence: It wasn't quiet what I wanted And this one: The music was too quite for me Obviously quiet and quite are mixed up. Is this considered a spelling mistake? In both ...
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4answers
295 views

Use of the word “convergent”

This question is for people who know some mathematics. Is it correct to say The sequence is convergent to 0. Normally we say: The sequence converges to 0.
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1answer
165 views

What do you call this kind of usage?

Is there a term to name this kind of usage: "Big" is an adjective. What I am thinking about is the adjective "big". I am already quite annoyed by "big's" in your speech. You repeat it almost every ...
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2answers
459 views

Quote of some advanced text? [closed]

I am trying to make a video and in it I need a piece of advanced text. You should get the feeling that this text is just advanced for the sake of being advanced, not for any practical reason, and ...
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1answer
444 views

What is the term for words that can be used as the opposite of themselves?

What is the term for words that can be used as the opposite of themselves? I know there are a few of them out there, it is possible to 'Dust a cake with Icing' and if the cake were on a shelf for a ...
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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 ...
3
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5answers
653 views

What’s the etymology of the word “unstable”, in the context of software?

Approximately when in the history of computing did unstable come to be commonly used to refer to computer software? Can this time in history be linked to the release of a certain product (no jokes ...
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4answers
417 views

Can you come up with such verb?

He wounded himself. He pinched himself. He stabbed himself. He looked at himself. In all these cases the action proceeds from the agent (which is also a subject) and is directed at ...
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2answers
632 views

Why did ‘off-the-shelf' come to mean ‘in stock, ready-made, and easily available’?

I came across the word “off-the-shelf” in the following sentence of Time magazine’s article “The 50 Best Inventions of the Years (Nov.11 issue). He (inventor of the first synthetic cell) started with ...
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2answers
161 views

How to name a routine interruption in the work of some system that is deliberately done in order to find some possible weak points in the system?

How would you name a routine interruption in the work of some system (let's say a subway or a railroad) that is deliberately done by the workers on a regular basis in order to find some possible weak ...
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5answers
403 views

Term for people in artistic formation

Is there a term for a group of people arranged in such a way as to appear from an aerial vantage as a specific shape, picture or word? Examples:
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5answers
4k views

What's the difference between a tune and a melody?

What's the difference between a tune and a melody?
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5answers
118 views

I am trying to come up with a term for actions Replace/Prepend/Append

Let's assume I have a text in the notepad: "Some Text". If I enter more words after the text it will be an append ("Some Text Another Text"), otherwise it will be a prepend ("Another Text Some ...
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3answers
449 views

Use of the word “theory” in “string theory”, “M-theory”, etc

I came across this question on Yahoo! Answers: Should M-theory read, M-hypothesis? It being limited evidence for further investigation, perhaps not yet a theory. I responded thus: (I realise ...
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1answer
930 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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11answers
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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. ...
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1answer
735 views

What is a term to denote someone who is obsessed with or erudite in geography?

What is a good term to denote someone who is obsessed with, or erudite in, geography?
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2answers
214 views

'Correct' term for… upwards moving menu?

I posted a (technically inclined) question at StackOverflow — and I agree with a particular commentary, and we'd like to get your opinion. Here's my original question: Dropdown menu. But ours ...
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3answers
893 views

-ship vs. -hood

What is the difference between nouns naming states of being or positions ending in -hood and those ending in -ship? In practice, if one were neologizing such a word how would one decide which suffix ...
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1answer
186 views

What is the name of words like 'bottle' or 'clove' that provide a singular for a counted item?

Title pretty much askes the question. What is the term for words like 'bottle', 'cup' or 'clove' (as in clove of garlic). Are they counters, countables, determiners...? I swear it's on the tip of ...
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3answers
6k views

Present Progressive or Present Continuous?

What is the correct term used to describe this tense in English — Present Progressive or Present Continuous? I see both terms used in grammar books.
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4answers
947 views

Repeating the consonant in many words in a sentence or phrase

In the movie 'V for Vendetta' you have for example (bold part): Evey: Who are you? V. : Who? Who is but the form following the function of what and what I am is a man in a mask. Evey: ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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5answers
29k 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 ...
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8answers
5k 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?
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1answer
258 views

A Photoshop term for “body double” or “doppelgänger”

I saw a tutorial on TV. The tutorial was like this: Take your snap sitting on chair, another standing on left side of chair and then last one standing on the right side of the chair. Now, use ...
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1answer
92 views

Is there a proper way to refer to the “source” and “destination” of a phrase used in communication?

The terms topic or subject can be used to describe what a sentence refers to. What are the proper terms for the "source" (the person who is speaking or writing) and "destination" (the person who is ...
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2answers
4k views

What are words called that share the same root?

What do you call words that share the same root (e.g., "network", "networks", "networking"). Also, does the shortest one of them have a specific name (e.g., "network")?
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3answers
461 views

Can I get an example of statement that can be said to be Hofstadterian?

Can I get an example of statement that can be said to be Hofstadterian? Also please provide a small comment with the statement if possible. thankyou.
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1answer
621 views

Term for words indicating capability other than “adjective”

The words edible and manageable are adjectives, but is there a more specific term for such words indicating capability?
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599 views

Where did the “three fingered salute” come from?

Where did the phrase "three-fingered salute", meaning to press CTRL-ALT-DELETE on the keyboard, come from? As the "two-fingered salute" appears to be a mainly British gesture, I suspect the ...
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1answer
317 views

“Position” as verb to use in graphical user interface discussions?

What's the correct term to use for "positioning" elements in a graphic user interface? For example, if I say: Where should we position the button A? Is that a correct (and professional) way to ...
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3answers
58k 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?
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2answers
452 views

How to refer to “mainland Europe”

As a Europhile living in England, it really bothers me when journalists refer to mainland Europe as "Europe". We're in Europe! But I appreciate that it offers a neat shorthand for referring to the ...
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4answers
5k views

What are: province, territory, protectorate, state…?

Often a country will have regions called "provinces" or "states". Other times they are called "territories" and "protectorates". Is there a generic term for these words? Is there a full list of ...
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3answers
636 views

What is the word to describe a single object to represent the many?

If I am writing a poem, I might use the word peaches to symbolize all fruit. Is there a specific word for this type of symbolism?
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6answers
538 views

Do “normal people” know the terms URL and GUI?

Would an English-speaking but non-technical audience be familiar with the terms URL (in the sense of link, web address) and GUI (Graphical User Interface), for example in a manual aimed at end users? ...
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5answers
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Alternatives to “computationally expensive”?

The current version of a sentence I'm writing has the structure: Computing [such and such] is the most computationally expensive part of [algorithm]. At the moment, I cannot think of a better ...
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5answers
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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.
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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" ...
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4answers
2k views

What is the best term to describe a “native English speaker who is an American”?

When applying for English teaching jobs, I want to describe myself as a "native speaker of English who has an American accent" since most companies in Europe want native speakers to teach English ...
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8answers
17k 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 ...
4
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1answer
544 views

Spaghetti and gravy

In Nero Wolfe "Before I die", the gangster's sidekick asks for spaghetti and gravy. After Wolfe's chef Fritz prepares him spaghetti with the type of gravy used for roast beef, it turns out that the ...
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3answers
1k views

What does “graduate applicant” mean?

Does the term "graduate applicant" mean "a person who applies to get graduated" or "a graduate who applies for something"? If it is the second one, what can we call a person who applies for a ...
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6answers
17k views

Difference between “commentor” and “commentator”

What is the difference between commentor and commentator? Is commentor or commenter a legitimate English word?
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1answer
1k 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?