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

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39
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7answers
2k 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 ...
44
votes
5answers
19k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
1k 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
929 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, ...
10
votes
11answers
3k 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. ...
19
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
15k views

Difference between “commentor” and “commentator”

What is the difference between commentor and commentator? Is commentor or commenter a legitimate English word?
13
votes
3answers
45k 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?
11
votes
1answer
994 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
920 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
885 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
8k 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.
21
votes
11answers
12k 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
752 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
12k views

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

Why do they say "love fifteen," in tennis?
10
votes
1answer
444 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 ...
26
votes
4answers
13k 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 ...
43
votes
4answers
925 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 ...
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
547 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
9k 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 ...
9
votes
8answers
15k 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
641 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
838 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
399 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
2answers
992 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 ...
51
votes
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?
34
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?
40
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
36
votes
5answers
9k 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...")?
17
votes
8answers
4k 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
15k views

What's the opposite of “oxymoron”?

What's the opposite of oxymoron? That is, two words put together that seem identical?
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
796 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
15k 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? ...
9
votes
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 ...
8
votes
6answers
6k views

Is there a single word that expresses “music end-users / enthusiasts”?

To help a soon-to-be sister site out here, I was thinking English.SE perhaps could lend a helping hand as this is the best place for "word choice and usage". I'm not looking for "naming", but rather ...
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 ...
5
votes
4answers
735 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?
4
votes
6answers
762 views

How to name a part of a piechart

Which term best suits to describe a part/slice/share/portion of a piechart, disregarding what the chart is about ?
4
votes
1answer
523 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
375 views

Words that define a type of word and also obey that definition [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is a catchy word that means (non-)self-descriptive There are plenty of names for word sets: synonyms: words that have the same meaning palindromes: words that ...
3
votes
1answer
16k views

This weekend vs Next weekend [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What day is next Tuesday? Imagine that it's Monday, the 1st. The weekend would be the 7th & 8th. How do you refer properly to the coming weekend, "This weekend" or ...
3
votes
1answer
393 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
129 views

Who is the authority — scientists, or linguists — on the definitions of everyday words referring to types of animals? [closed]

For instance, biologists these days like to say that the word "dinosaur" is inclusive of modern birds, since birds are descended from dinosaurs. This is consistant with biologists' tendency to ...
0
votes
1answer
611 views

What is the section before the commas called at the start of a sentence after words such as “well” or “however”

For example: Well, that was his answer anyways. Or However, the answer was wrong.
10
votes
4answers
41k views

Meaning of “reach out to somebody”

The dictionary explains this as: To show somebody that you are interested in them and/or want to help them The explanation indicates the subject of the sentence is the one that offers help, but ...