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comment “stress” vs. “distress”
They do not have the same meaning. I will note that people say things incorrectly all the time, and that common usage is not a reliable guide to correct usage.
comment “Order of magnitude” for changes in prefix
While I agree that "thousandfold" is probably the clearest answer, I've also seen a factor of 1000 referred to as an "engineering order of magnitude", coming from the ubiquitous engineering use of SI prefixes which, as you note, go up or down by factors of 1000.
comment How derogatory is “chicks” when used to refer to women?
I agree. Ironic use ("chicks dig scars") is very different than using a term as a direct address.
comment How derogatory is “chicks” when used to refer to women?
I would not place much strength on the fact that some women use it in compounds like "chick lit" or "chick flick"; it may be acceptable coming from another woman, where it's understood to be ironically, but it's still derogatory from a stranger. Two black men may be fine calling each other "nigger", but if as a white man I walk up and say "hey nigger, come here" I expect to be on the verge of a fight immediately. It's a social awareness issue, not an English language issue.
comment Frequent use of word not found in dictionary, “programatically.”
I would call it jargon rather than slang. The word has a certain set of connotations to a programmer writing test code that the dictionary definition doesn't capture, but those connotations don't really apply to any other context.