My programming peers suggest to use the term count with discrete things: count of words, count of sentences and so on. Then again my instructor suggest me to use the term "number" for the discrete things in a thesis. I have used the word "amount" but my instructor says that is only for continuous measures.

Please, clarify the different usages. It may be that programming jargon misuses the words. How and when to use the words in official language?

Examples about the usages with count, number and amount -- wrong or right?

I have 7 liters of juice. This amount is too much to drink alone.

I have 17 sparse polynomials. This count is irrelavant. (how my programming would say)

I have 17 sparse polynomials. This number is irrelavant. (Used amount but guided to number)

  • 1
    I have 17 sparse polynomials. This quantity is irrelavant. – J.R. Dec 12 '13 at 19:43
  • @J.R. good one, added it there also. – hhh Dec 12 '13 at 20:01

I believe that

  • amount should only be used for uncountable things, like "pudding"
  • number and count should only be used for countable things, like "baby aardvarks"
  • quantity can be used for either, and all of the above are measures of "quantity"
  • After answering, I realized this is an exact dupe of a question that covers it well, so I pointed it back over there... – Jaydles Dec 12 '13 at 20:12
  • You'd use amount with money too though — e.g. "What's the total amount of the bill?" – anotherdave Dec 12 '13 at 21:51
  • Well the other question does not have the distinction about the "count" and this answer is far more clear than the other there +1. – hhh Dec 12 '13 at 22:43

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