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

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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 ...
12
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4answers
3k 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" ...
73
votes
5answers
77k 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 ...
27
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3answers
114k 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?
14
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2answers
4k 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 ...
16
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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?
16
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2answers
1k views

“pros and cons”, “black and white”, “ups and downs”. Always in a fixed sequence, is there a word or phrase for these?

Is there a word or phrase for two nouns or adjectives joined by a conjunction (usually "and") in a fixed sequence? alive and well fast and furious hat and gloves pen and pencil ...
10
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11answers
12k 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. ...
6
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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 what these are called) — um, so, like, you know, ...
12
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2answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
27
votes
6answers
7k 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 ...
18
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6answers
27k views

Difference between “commentor” and “commentator”

What is the difference between commentor and commentator? Is commentor or commenter a legitimate English word?
12
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5answers
26k 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.
5
votes
7answers
2k views

Expression for “intend to help but instead making things worse”

I want to say "someone (or something) intends to help, but instead it makes things worse". Is there any succinct expression or phrase for this? Thanks.
23
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 ...
21
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2answers
3k 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
1answer
1k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a term for words that when reversed, form other words?

I'm aware of what a palindrome is. What do you call words that, when reversed, form other words, such as ton (not) and part (trap)?
10
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7answers
36k views

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

Why do they say "love fifteen," in tennis?
58
votes
8answers
7k 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?
38
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4answers
22k 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...")?
30
votes
4answers
29k 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 ...
20
votes
1answer
2k views

“a wottle of bine”, “a can of boot reer” and “holed and sealed” - What types of speech errors are these?

People often make these mistakes in speech on purpose, just for amusement. Sometimes, however, they are unintentional and prove even funnier. In this case, is there a specific term for them? e.g. ...
29
votes
13answers
7k 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
20
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3answers
5k views

Why is 'present perfect' present if it happened in the past? And why is it 'perfect'?

Why is 'present perfect' present if it happened in the past? And why is it 'perfect'?
9
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4answers
4k views

What would you call a word that doesn't exist in or translate well into another language?

I've run into this situation several times, being a native Spanish speaker. There are some words you just can't translate into another language. Is there a particular word to describe this? I'm not ...
12
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9answers
8k views

How to describe a guy who is popular with girls?

Perhaps I should make it clear: - He naturally attracts girls. - He doesn't chase girls and have no intention for any relationship. - You just see him often together with girls.
11
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2answers
45k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
768 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” ...
4
votes
1answer
336 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 ...
75
votes
5answers
17k 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. ...
27
votes
11answers
46k 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?
20
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10answers
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English equivalent of komorebi (木漏れ日) — “sunshine filtering through leaves”

Is there an English equivalent of komorebi (木漏れ日), which means the sunshine filtering through the leaves of a tree (or trees)? It is made up of three kanji and the hiragana particle れ. The first ...
41
votes
4answers
3k 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?
18
votes
4answers
20k 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 -- ...
43
votes
7answers
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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 ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

What is a gerund? A noun or a verb? 'His smoking upset me’

I've been studying the Huddleston and Pullum book for four months now. So far only one thing confuses me: the identity of gerund. Is it a noun or a verb? His constant smoking upset me. smoking ...
19
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
36
votes
19answers
6k views

What do you call a response which does not address the question?

When some one is asked a question, sometimes if they are trying to avoid answering the question, they respond with something unrelated. What is the word for that response? Eg. A: Why were you late? ...
13
votes
10answers
4k views

What is the name of the tactic that politicians use to bury people with torrent of words?

Some people write bloated books and long essays with skilful use of hooks, e.g. Jared Diamond; some others speak in long-drawn sentences with torrents of words, e.g. Noam Chomsky. It reminds me of a ...
44
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
19
votes
9answers
11k 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"?
14
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
11
votes
9answers
25k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
463 views

Is there a well-known term for the synonym or near-synonym “telescoping” words?

This has been rattling around in the back of my mind for many years (way before Stack Exchange came into existence), so it's a relief to finally ask the question. There are words that can be ...
8
votes
6answers
4k views

Word for someone seeming deep and intelligent, but not really being that

What is the word for someone trying to seem/be deep and intelligent, but really they are shallow, and not at all being insightful. Pedant is about rules, so that is disqualified, the closest I could ...
8
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6answers
16k 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 ...
12
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3answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...