The term 'technical problem' can possibly be shortened to "technicality" and refer to the same thing. However,I would like to know what happens in this case.

We have a word i.e. technology and we try to a single word to describe a word for a technical problem in technology. Would it be "technologicality?"

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    "Technical problem" and "technicality" mean entirely different things, which occasionally might overlap. – Colin Fine May 24 '11 at 12:59
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    Colin Fine is right; your premise is flawed. These two terms are quite different. – Kosmonaut May 24 '11 at 13:09
  • I would interpret technologicality as meaning minor technological detail. This is not what you want to convey. – Peter Shor May 24 '11 at 13:16
  • I would interpret technologicality as meaning the the author isn't as smart as they think they are. Are we talking about a technical problem with "technology" the concept, or a technical problem with a piece of technology? – user1579 May 24 '11 at 16:19

The problem is not the fact that "technical problem" and "technicality" have different meanings, as you and others correctly notice that these meanings can overlap.

The real problem here is that you assume that "technicality" is shortening of the phrase "technical problem", but actually it is not. It comes from:


1814, from technical + -ity.

where -ity is a suffix forming abstract nouns from adjectives, meaning "condition or quality of being ____,"

For technicality it is a condition or quality of being technical, which corresponds to first definition:


a detail about a particular subject that is understood only by an expert.

So, in the case of technologicality you do not have any problem implied anywhere, you only have "condition or quality of being technological".

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People often misquote Jack Swigert on the Apollo 13 mission as saying Houston, we have a technical problem.

Until I read that wikipedia entry, I thought the misquote was simply that the word technical was never actually used. In fact Swigert said Houston, we've had a problem, but in the popular mind we might imagine this to mean that problem was already in the past at the time of speaking, so it's remembered as being in the present tense.

Coming to OP's specific issue after that outrageous deviation, I suggest technical hitch. This makes it clear the problem is real (rather than just a minor technicality), and that the 'direct' cause is a failure of the technology involved (rather than incompetence on the part of an operator, say).

OP's proffered technologicality is an easy and obvious neologism that has doubtless been [re-]coined many times over recent decades, but I can't see it gaining traction just because technicality happens to have been co-opted for minor technical detail.

I do note that technologicalization has started to appear more in recent decades. Clearly an Americanism, since the British spelling technologicalisation remains virtually unknown.

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  • If the meaning desired is technical hitch, "issue," "problem", or "bug" are often used, for example, to track a list of how many small problems have been encountered. The "technical" part may be implicit. However, if the meaning desired is more like complex scientific or mathematical problem it's more than a hitch or an issue - I can't think of a short description! Math and CS manage to use "problem" without much context and still get across enough of the idea, I think: "programming problem", for example. – aedia λ May 24 '11 at 14:12
  • few notes - 1. possible other terms: technical problem/hitch/glitch/fault; 2. technical and technological are not same adjectives; 3. technicality is not necessarily minor detail, but 'detail about a particular subject that is understood only by an expert.' – Unreason May 24 '11 at 14:26
  • @Unreason: I think in common parlance a technicality is normally understood to mean an (apparently) minor detail (often that can be exploited by a lawyer / accountant to your benefit, for example). I doubt many people would distinguish between a technical problem and a technological problem, if indeed they ever encountered the second. – FumbleFingers May 24 '11 at 17:40

The New Oxford American Dictionary defines “technicality” as:

“a point of law or a small detail of a set of rules”

Given that, I'm not sure if I would understand what “technologicality” means were I to read it somewhere, and I don't think the reader would make the link to “technical problem”. So in this case it would probably be better to use existing words to say what you intend to.

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  • I think that the meaning that you quote was developed later and that the first meaning was 'a detail about a particular subject that is understood only by an expert'. – Unreason May 24 '11 at 14:08

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