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

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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. ...
53
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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?
50
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9answers
2k 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 ...
47
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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 ...
42
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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 ...
42
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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 ...
42
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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 ...
39
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18answers
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What is a word that means unforgettable but with a negative connotation?

When I look up unforgettable in a thesaurus, I get words like enduring, remarkable, or exceptional. These all are positive; I just cannot forget such a wondrous thing! I, however, want a word that ...
38
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9answers
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“Childlessness is hereditary in our family” What do you call a statement containing a contradiction such as the example?

This kind of sentence is usually absurd and may or may not be recognized as such by the person who utters it. She will regret it till the day she dies, if she lives that long! "Aren't you going to ...
37
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5answers
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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...")?
36
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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?
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8answers
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X, Y, Z — horizontal, vertical and …?

When working in a 2D coordinate system you could say that X is the horizontal axis and Y is the vertical axis. Extending this to 3D, is there a similar word for the Z axis? (I'm aware of Width, ...
29
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3answers
1k views

What does the fox say?

It is true that as a fox, I should know this, so consider this a spoilers warning. In a recent post, Geek Girl mentions that the mating call of the fox is a series of sharp, eerie barks and that this ...
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 ...
26
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8answers
1k views

Are “disgraceful” and “ungraceful” two different kinds of negations?

"Disgraceful" and "ungraceful" are both derived from negations of "graceful". Wiktionary describes disgraceful as bringing or warranting disgrace; shameful. giving offense to moral sensibilities ...
26
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4answers
3k views

Etymology of a “pegged CPU”

There's a slightly obscure, slang meaning in tech circles of the word "pegged" as it relates to a computer's CPU. When it is fully utilised for a duration (at least several seconds), you can say that ...
26
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1answer
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What are these symbols called in the English language?

You see these all the time in movies, usually when some poor guy has been wrongly imprisoned and begins counting the days since his incarceration, but what are these markings called? I used to know, ...
26
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2answers
2k views

What is the origin of “daemon” with regards to computing?

Daemon has an interesting usage in computing. From my local dictionary: a background process that handles requests for services such as print spooling and file transfers, and is dormant when not ...
23
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19answers
3k 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? ...
23
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15answers
3k views

What do you call an event that happens without a cause?

I used to think those are random events but someone over at physics.stackexchange.com insists that randomness means something else so I am at a loss here. Can someone help me out? What do you call an ...
22
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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?
22
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11answers
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Expression for losing something that you never really had

A friend keeps whining about "losing n reputation points" on Stack Exchange. My instinctive interpretation is that some of the votes he had earned were reversed due to vote fraud. What he really ...
21
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4answers
5k views

What word describes a policeman who is not wearing a uniform?

How do you describe a police officer on duty, who wears casual clothes because he/she doesn't want to disclose his/her identity?
21
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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 ...
21
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8answers
1k views

What do you call a computer window when it is not maximized or minimized?

What do you call a computer window when it is not maximized or minimized? I have been using unmaximized, but I feel there is a more precise way.
20
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2answers
665 views

Is there a name for this method of writing that includes pictograms?

I've seen people write (usually in a humorous way) a 'code-like' message where parts of words are replaced with a pictogram that sounds like that word-part. E.G.: (eyeball) (tin can)(rope knot) ...
20
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9answers
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How can I translate the words for the two types of bathrooms found in Russia into English?

I work in real estate, and sometimes I have to translate respective inscriptions from my native Russian into English. I get stuck in some cases where not only linguistic, but cultural differences have ...
20
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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 ...
19
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12answers
971 views

What is the correct term for a story that sits alongside another one in time and place?

What is the correct term for a book that sits alongside another book in time and universe, sharing some characters and events? Not after (a sequel) or before (a prequel), but parallel. Example: I've ...
19
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1answer
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“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. ...
19
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1answer
546 views

Does this device to restrict access to roads have a generic name?

I'm sure we've all seen these devices which can "lock" and "unlock" vehicle entry and exit to an alley / road /etc. They consist of one or several hefty steel or concrete "pillars" less than a metre ...
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6answers
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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 ...
18
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9answers
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Terminology for fake photograph

I think there is a good chance that a new word or phrase has been coined to mean fake photograph. Is there a single word to express it?
18
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3answers
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What does “do a take 5” mean?

The context is “We will always do a TAKE 5 prior to undertaking work”. I have no idea what a “take 5” is. I searched “take 5” on Google but I didn’t find an applicable explanation. Here is the ...
18
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1answer
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Is there a term for a foreign word that looks like an English word but has a completely different meaning?

Examples: gift (German) = poison poisson (French) = fish embarazada (Spanish) = pregnant triviale (Italian) = vulgar
17
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4answers
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What is the term for an integer one larger than a given integer?

I'm looking for a concise term to say a number must be exactly one higher than a previous number. None of "subsequent", "incremental", or "next" seem to convey the restriction that it must be ...
17
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8answers
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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"?
17
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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
16
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4answers
897 views

Are Americans familiar with the term “mobile” when referring to a “cellphone”?

In the UK we call them "mobile phones", in the US "cellphones". However, would an American be familiar with the term "mobile" when referring to something pertaining to cellphones or would it sound ...
16
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4answers
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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 ...
16
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4answers
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What's the opposite of “oxymoron”?

What's the opposite of oxymoron? That is, two words put together that seem identical?
16
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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 ...
15
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5answers
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Is there a term for polishing something too early?

I imagine there must be a term/idiom/phrase for polishing something too early... For example: Painting the walls of a room before completing other work which may accidentally damage them. Adding ...
15
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6answers
833 views

What is the noun to refer to the 64- or 32-bit -ness of an operating system

I know that "processor architecture" can be used to refer to whether the processor is 32-bit or 64-bit (or something else), but what word can be used for the operating system? Note that it's not ...
15
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5answers
2k views

Is there a name for how the Irish use so, so?

There is an Irish English structural usage of the word so, that is I think unique to Ireland. Are we going to the cinema, so? Where is the dog, so? The word so is unneeded and seems to mean ...
15
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13answers
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One word to call people that attach their feelings to a concept

Is there a way to express in one word when people attach their personal feelings to a concept or an idea and then become very vehement at defending it because they consider it personal criticism. As ...
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4answers
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“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 ...
15
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5answers
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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
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4answers
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Is it correct to call an Apple Mac computer a PC (Personal Computer)

From the original meaning of the initialism, PC (Personal Computer), it would make perfect sense to call a Mac a PC, as it is just that, a personal computer. However, the vast majority of people ...
15
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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? ...