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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

8
votes
3answers
4k views

Why does “air conditioning” always mean “cooling” and never “heating”?

For that matter, air conditioning could include humidifying or dehumidifying, but it doesn't: only cooling. Why weren't air conditioners called air coolers?
2
votes
1answer
238 views

What is the name for the class of computer programs that act as a front end for a database? [closed]

If you are writing a computer program that manages a large database of clients, like a rolodex, or a program that stores medical records for patients. What is that "class" of program called. The ...
11
votes
4answers
20k views

What are the treads on the side of the highway called?

On the sides of most highways (in the U.S. at least), there are rough treads just outside the travel lanes to snap a driver to attention if the vehicle is drifting off the road. Is there a name for ...
6
votes
3answers
619 views

Is there a term for it when you use an obviously false statement to highlight the falsity or absurdity of another?

For example, person A states something. Person B says "And pigs fly" to imply person A was wrong. If there's no term for it, what could you call that that sounds smart?
6
votes
1answer
4k views

An alternative to “stakeholder”

Here's a sentence taken from an executive memo, "Action item: get feedback from stakeholders on SuperDongle 9000". Is there something that can replace "stakeholder"? The word is not being used ...
5
votes
1answer
7k views

“Notepad” vs. “notebook” — what's the difference?

Can you please tell me the difference between a notepad and a notebook (as in paper, not electronic ones)? To me, they are the same but I guess there must be some difference.
5
votes
2answers
12k views

Is “Monday” a proper noun or a common noun?

I can understand why Monday is an abstract noun (it isn't something we can perceive with any of our 5 senses), But is Monday considered a proper noun or a common noun?
2
votes
2answers
23k views

Distinguish “naming” and “telling” part of simple sentence with compound predicate

Dad caught fish and cooked them for supper. This is a question from a test that my son missed; he is in the second grade. The instructions for the test are as follows: Put one line under the ...
5
votes
4answers
25k views

What do you call the “narrator” of lyric poem?

In a narrative poem, the entity telling the story is called the narrator. The narrator is different from the author, in that the author is the real person who wrote the poem, while the narrator is a ...
3
votes
1answer
178 views

addressee-new vs discourse-new

Regarding terminology used by CEGL as referenced in this question, can anyone explain the difference between addressee-new and discourse-new? My understanding of addressee-new is that this refers to ...
4
votes
5answers
72k views

What is the name of this type of word: “Mr.”, “Ms.”, “Dr.”?

What is this type of word called: Mr., Ms., Dr.? In the document I am using, it is referred to as the "prefix", but I don't think that is correct.
2
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
279 views

Is there a more-accepted synonym to the term “Commonwealth English”?

I've mainly encountered the term "Commonwealth English" in The Jargon File. However, Wiktionary says the term is fairly rare. Are there more accepted terms? Ones that I'm aware of include: British ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

What do you call a pair of words which would be meaningless without one of them?

I am referring to a set of words that wouldn't make sense if one word or the other was omitted. Like barbershop quartet, or Cyber Security. What do you exactly call this set of words?
1
vote
1answer
453 views

How to derive a noun or adective or adverb from “nya”? [closed]

In Russian network jargon there is adjective "няшный" (originating from anime fandom's "nya"). It is somewhat related to "kawaii" (cute) or "nice", but not the same. However in English any attempts ...
5
votes
3answers
648 views

generic term for “A-hed”? (quirky article at the bottom of the front page of the Wall Street Journal) [closed]

The Wall Street Journal usually has a quirky article on the bottom of the front page, on anything from paper clips to tugboat racing to borscht manufacturers. Their name for it is an A-hed. Is there a ...
16
votes
4answers
8k views

“Let's burn that bridge when we come to it” – is this sort of idiom mixing considered a pun, and if so, does it have a specific name?

I couldn't come up with a short title, but the upside is that there is not much needed to be said in the body of the question! For @dmr (and others), it mixes “let's cross that bridge when we come ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is the current unrest in the Arab world called the “Arab Spring”?

Does spring in "Arab Spring" refer to the season - or something else?
2
votes
2answers
698 views

What's the grammatical term for this phenomenon? [closed]

There is obviously a big essential difference between "no towel" and "there isn't a towel". I mean, the former cannot probably serve as a complete sentence, while the latter can. The former can ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Etymology of “binky” — three questions

Definition 2 of binky at wiktionary is "(rabbit behavior) A high hop that a rabbit may perform when happy." This definition is consistent with that at rabbitspeak, and not inconsistent with "A kind ...
1
vote
1answer
126 views

What is the term for an item/entry in a compendium?

A compendium is a concise, yet comprehensive compilation of a body of knowledge. Source: Wikipedia What then would I call an entry or item of knowledge that is contained by a compendium? Is ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a technical term for insideout-ness?

So the technical term for right or left handedness is chirality. The technical term for evenness or oddness is parity. Is there a similar term for inside-out-ness vs right-side-out-ness? EDIT: I ...
0
votes
2answers
145 views

What is one “content” item in a Wikipedia called?

I think that my question can best be explained by an example: In the following Wikipedia entry (I hope "entry" is the right term), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Herring, there are multiple ...
3
votes
5answers
311 views

What's the term to describe this kind of sentence?

What is the term to describe this kind of sentence: I don't know why people like to study things that they don't like to study. There's some kind of logic error with this statement, and it's ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

“Bring 6 eggs. If there are potatoes, bring 9.”

This is with reference to this comic, called A Programmer's Life (translated from Portuguese): Programmer: My wife asked me to go to the market and said: “Bring six eggs. If there are potatoes, ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

What's the origin of “beta” to describe a “user-testing” phase of computer development?

It occurred to me that I use the term "beta" to describe a "release candidate" of a computer product that has passed all expectations of the development team, and is now being given limited exposure ...
0
votes
4answers
4k views

What differentiates an abstract noun with a concrete noun?

Is sunlight a concrete or abstract noun? What differentiates an abstract noun with a concrete noun?
6
votes
1answer
23k views

“Production” vs. “manufacturing”

What are the connotations of production and manufacturing? In what situation would you prefer one over the other?
4
votes
4answers
1k views

“Injunct” vs “Enjoin”

The injunctions (and super-injunctions) that occasionally make the headlines restrain a defendant from doing something. It is fairly clear (e.g. OED) that the word was formed as a noun from enjoin in ...
1
vote
4answers
104 views

Error on wiki page - Is it ok?

Taken from Wikipedia on Windows and Linux However such an approach has indeed produced several vulnerabilities, although this is a rare case Is that statement logically correct because it ...
5
votes
5answers
491 views

Word to describe a mathematical variable that repeats, like an angle or time

In mathematics a variable can be said to be constrained if it must lie within certain bounds, for example: 0 < x < 1 (the variable x is constrained: it lies between zero and one) However ...
8
votes
5answers
10k views

What do we call an adjective made of a verb?

What do we call adjectives formed from verbs? For example: Lost is an adjective made from lose, Forgotten is an adjective made from forget, Broken is an adjective made from break. What is the ...
5
votes
2answers
12k views

Term for "married bridesmaid”

It was my understanding that, in traditional Western weddings, if the bride were to become unavailable on the day of her wedding then the groom was expected to wed the maid of honor or the next ...
6
votes
2answers
9k views

Why do people use “mayday” and not “help”? [closed]

I’m not native English speaker, so I wonder why forces like policemen and firemen and such use Mayday instead of the simpler Help. What is origin of this habit?
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the rule for writing sentences with parallel clauses?

I've sometimes seen very nicely written sentences that have 2 clauses: the first is a full sentence, while the second, which is supposed to have a similar structure, was shorten into a special ...
52
votes
9answers
3k views

Is the term 'String' too jargony to use in a user interface?

Having worked as a software developer for a long time, I'm out of touch sometimes with whether a word would be considered jargon. I am adding something to a user interface where a name is given, and ...
2
votes
6answers
1k views

What is the technical name for quotes?

This should be an easy question to answer. In my program, I am building a structure which will hold the symbol which identifies a string literal. I want to give the element a meaningful name that ...
1
vote
2answers
293 views

Is there a word or term other than ‘exemplar’ for the educational cards used to teach English?

Is there a word or term other than ‘exemplar’ for the educational cards used in primary classrooms to teach English? These are the: 'A' is for 'Apple' Or for the cards which show how to write a ...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

What do you call a slip of the tongue in writing?

Is there any phrase or word that can be used to describe a slip of the tongue that happens in writing? Calling it a slip of tongue directly feels awkward, especially when the written text is never ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

“Normalization” vs. “canonicalization”

It seems both normalization and canonicalization are used to describe the effort to transform from an arbitrary form to a unique form. Is there any difference between the two words? Why is there XML ...
15
votes
4answers
16k views

Why is the right jack in cribbage also called “his Knobs”?

Before we got married, my husband taught me cribbage as his way of showing me how important our relationship was to him. One of the points in cribbage is for having "the right jack," or the jack ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What's the origin of the word “sprite”?

EDIT: I appreciate all the answers and the effort provided here, but my question is not about the meaning about the word in English, but about the genesis of the word in computer graphics—I linked ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Linguistics term for word choice

I was taught a word once by a linguist. I can't remember it, but it would be very useful for a Google search I am trying to do to solve another question on a different StackExchange. It was a similar ...
0
votes
2answers
190 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
29k views

What does “rising senior” mean and what countries use it?

I know it is something to do with universities, but as I have never come across the term before today (and have lived in England all my life including going to an English university), I am assuming it ...
2
votes
2answers
570 views

Where does the term “make sure” come from?

I was reading the Mac OS X Lion upgrade page, and it said "make sure" all over the place. It struck me as odd. Where does the term "make sure" come from? What are you making to be sure? Yourself? ...
0
votes
4answers
223 views

What's a generic noun for referring to the bulk material of pure chemical elements?

What's a generic noun (single word or multi-word term) for referring to the bulk material of pure chemical elements? I am talking about H2, O2, lead, diamond, graphene, etc, but not chemical ...
12
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
230 views

“Listen to them not”

One of my favorite movies is Hocus Pocus with Bette Midler. One of the lines in the movie is "Listen to them not!" Said by one of the townsfolk in the beginning when they were being hanged. Is this ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Term for people not in any way involved in a crime/incident

I'm looking for a word that refers to the people (general population) who were not involved in an incident. To be particular let's say the incident is a "crime". That is, one you take away the ...