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Defining a recurring schedule requires two steps:

  1. How often the schedule repeats itself (e.g. weekly, every 2 weeks, every 3 weeks, etc.)
  2. Inside each repetition, when the recurrently scheduled event actually happens (e.g. 1:00PM on Tuesday and Thursday of the first week, and 3:00PM on Monday and Wednesday of the second week)

The combination of these two things can be called "schedule" or "frequency" or another simple term.

But what is a good name for step #1 alone? Microsoft Outlook calls it "Recurrence Pattern" which to me seems intimidatingly technical. Is there a plainer English term that will work instead?

The word will be used as a label in a website form where users choose how frequently (how many weeks) the schedule repeats itself.

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    As far as the meanings of the English terms is concerned, you can call the combination of 1 and 2 a "schedule" but 1 on its own is the "frequency". Having said that, Joe Blow's answer is probably of more practical use in your situation. – Rupe Jul 8 '14 at 9:16
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I've faced this problem many times!

the only solution is to remember that:

they will be seeing the 'question word' AND INDEED the 'selections' at the same time.

I find this to be critical in UI, these days, since everything is so tricky.

So my solution is:

Repeats ... < daily >< weekly >< monthly >

On ... < Monday >< Tuesday >< Friday >< Saturday >

SO, in a sense the answer is:

"Repeats" and "On"

Note that even if you don't dynamic it, it still looks good:

Repeats ... < daily >< weekly >< monthly >

On ... < Monday >< Tuesday >< Friday >< Saturday >< 1st >< 15th > .. etc

Hope it helps!

This is a very useful trick in such UI. Use the context of having both parts visible. After all, when writing you have "whole sentences" available to you, not just words. And it's analogous in this "on screen" problem.

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  • This works. Will need to be translated carefully into other languages where implied sentence structure can't be relied on, but for English this is a great solution. Thanks! – Justin Grant Jul 8 '14 at 14:29

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