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I am trying to find an alternative word for acquisition in the context of acquiring a license to a piece of software. I would prefer a word that's shorter to put on a report than the "Number of License Acquisitions."

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  • Who is acquiring a license to do what? Is the software acquiring a license (e.g, a license to be distributed in Venezuela)? Is the software publisher acquiring a license (e.g, a license to import software to Venezuela)? Is the purchaser acquiring a license (e.g, a license to use the software for personal or business use)? There are a lot of possibilities, and the more words you take away the more ambiguity you generate. Ambiguity is always possible, but it's not always encouraged, and you may not want to use a short term if you want it understood. Oct 17 '14 at 17:49
  • Thanks for the input, @JohnLawler. I'm try to capture the number of licences that consumers have acquired from the software publisher.
    – Zack
    Oct 17 '14 at 17:51
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    Then put a one-word question-begging title on the column head (e.g, Licenses) with a footnote, and explain in the footnote that this column is the number of licenses acquired from the publisher by consumers. You still get a neat column, and you have some use for the footer as well. Oct 17 '14 at 17:57
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    Licenses....
    – Oldcat
    Oct 17 '14 at 17:59
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It sounds as though you're trying to come up with a brief wording for an entry in a report that identifies the number of licenses that consumers have acquired from a software company.

If so—and if the primary audience for the report is the software company—it makes sense to frame the wording not as "Number of License Acquisitions" (which looks at the number from the point of view of the licensees), but "Number of Licenses Issued" (which looks at the same number from the point of view of the company). And if you're trying to be concise, there's no need to say "Number of Licenses Issued," because "Licenses Issued" says the same thing.

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As oldcat says, just say, "Number of Licenses" and that will be understood. It is certainly shorter.

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  • I guess I should clarify: I was looking not for a heading that is Licenses or Number of Licenses, but I'm trying to look for a heading of the action. I.e. I want the heading to be 'Acquisitions' or a shorter form of that word. I want to highlight the action.
    – Zack
    Oct 20 '14 at 0:28
  • A shorter form of that word is "Acquired"; a synonym might be "#Lic Held" or just Held. (Once you acquire a license, you hold it, yes?)
    – shipr
    Oct 21 '14 at 1:29
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If you're looking for a word with the same meaning as well as a similar "style," procurement seems, in my opinion, to be the most eloquent solution. For a shorter synonym, using gain or gains, in the noun form could also be a succinct substitute.

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