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

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51
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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?
43
votes
4answers
908 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 ...
39
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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 ...
37
votes
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 ...
35
votes
5answers
7k 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...")?
33
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?
29
votes
8answers
9k views

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, ...
27
votes
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 ...
26
votes
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
votes
4answers
12k 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 ...
25
votes
1answer
1k views

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, ...
23
votes
16answers
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 ...
21
votes
11answers
10k 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?
21
votes
4answers
4k 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
votes
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
votes
15answers
3k views

What is a term for someone who doesn't know what they haven't experienced?

I'm struggling to find a word or short term for a person or group of people who do not experience jealousy/remorse/etc. due to a lack of something. For example, people from the middle ages could not ...
20
votes
2answers
618 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) ...
19
votes
12answers
931 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
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 ...
19
votes
2answers
819 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
votes
1answer
494 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 ...
19
votes
6answers
6k views

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
votes
9answers
2k views

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
votes
9answers
2k views

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 ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

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
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
13k views

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
votes
6answers
593 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
votes
4answers
839 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
9k views

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 ...
14
votes
9answers
556 views

Is there an abstract word for the environment in which a vehicle can move?

I am looking for a word (or short construct of words) that could be used to refer to things that a given vehicle could traverse: "sky, land, water. etc." To give an analogue, I can refer to ...
14
votes
5answers
691 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
507 views

What is it called when a letter is within another letter?

What is it called when a letter is within another letter? For example, the letter O within the letter L: Edit: Or the first C in the Coca-Cola logo: Does this arrangement of type have a name?
14
votes
3answers
869 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)?
13
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
13
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)
13
votes
4answers
860 views

What are exchanges like “How are you,” “I'm fine,” and “See you later” called?

Some verbal/written exchanges convey almost no meaning but are part of the protocol of conversation. For example, somebody greets you with "How are you?" and they're not usually not listening for ...
13
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
12
votes
7answers
525 views

What is the term for the part of a jingle that states the company name?

I have a vague recollection that there's a specific term for the way a company name is set to music in an advertising jingle. The only examples I can find right now are at the end of this Youtube ...
12
votes
6answers
14k views

Difference between “commentor” and “commentator”

What is the difference between commentor and commentator? Is commentor or commenter a legitimate English word?
12
votes
3answers
36k 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?
12
votes
2answers
592 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 ...
11
votes
8answers
3k 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
votes
9answers
1k views

Term or phrase describing action occuring when not watching

I am an IT professional. More specifically in automation. I am looking for a term or phrase that describes the event when either: a. you are watching something closely and the issue doesn't occur or ...
11
votes
5answers
5k views

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 ...
11
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
1k 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, ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

English term for a word that differs from another one by just one letter

When I was a child, pretty much every children's magazine I subscribed to used to publish those little word-chain games where you had to get from one word to another — often an antonym — by replacing ...
11
votes
8answers
616 views

Is there a name/term for phrasing something such that to disagree implicates yourself?

For example: Now available in all good stores. . . where to not agree to stock an item suggests that your store is not good, or: All rational people agree that. . . where to refuse to ...