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Suppose I'm drawing a rectangle on screen. I can resize it — change its length and/or width to make it bigger or smaller overall. Now suppose I'm drawing a line, which I can make shorter or longer. Is there a word describing this action, other than resizing the line? It's one-dimensional and doesn't really have a size, and there's no such word as relengthing.

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    Why can't you 'resize' a line? You are changing the size of it by altering the length? – Ronan Nov 17 '14 at 11:29
  • Because lines don't have sizes. They have no 'bulk', no 'substance' which can have a size. – einpoklum - reinstate Monica Nov 17 '14 at 11:49
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    Your rectangle has a two-dimensional size, measured in (say) square centimetres. A solid has a three-dimensional size, measured in cubic centimetres. A line has a one-dimensional size, measured in centimetres. You can resize a line. – Andrew Leach Nov 17 '14 at 11:51
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    How about "rescale"? – Dan Bron Nov 17 '14 at 12:15
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    My salary is only one dimensional, but it certainly has a size. – JenSCDC Nov 17 '14 at 12:28
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The verb you want is resize.

You can resize many things:

And many others.

Some of these things are inherently two-dimensional, some are not. All of these things are virtual, computer-based things. You typically do not resize physical things, but in a computerized environment anything can be resized.

  • Images, DOM elements and windows are obviously 2-dimensional. A vector has a size because its elements each have a size - in bytes. Same goes for an ext4 filesystem (which can also be thought of as taking area on a disk). So, these examples are not relevant. None of them is like a one-dimensiona line. – einpoklum - reinstate Monica Dec 19 '14 at 19:20
  • @einpoklum A vector has a size in bytes. A line has a size in whatever units you want to measure it in. The number of dimensions of the object isn't relevant. – Mr. Shiny and New 安宇 Dec 19 '14 at 21:08
  • Also I object to your notion that a vector in C++ is multi-dimensional. It is not. And a filesystem is conceptually linear as well. – Mr. Shiny and New 安宇 Dec 19 '14 at 21:16
  • Just ask youself this: Can you have a vector of nulls? – einpoklum - reinstate Monica Dec 20 '14 at 9:25
  • Being 'linear' means being somewhat like a line, not exactly like a line. A straight road is linear but it's not a line - it has width. If a filesystem was entirely like a line it could not "take up space" on disk. – einpoklum - reinstate Monica Dec 20 '14 at 9:28

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