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There are several distinct ways to differentiate men and women — chromosomal analysis, self identification, and visual inspection — we review each predication below…

Here predication is referring to one of: chromosomal analysis, self identification or visual inspection. The idea is that chromosomal analysis provides a predicate ("men have XY; women have XX") which is used to distinguish the sexes.

Am I using the word correctly here?

Other options might include:

  • Distinguisher — I made that up
  • Distinguishment — also made up
  • Differentiator — I'd like to use word variety if possible and not reuse this word in the sentence
  • Discriminator — perhaps only engineers use this word, also unfortunately "discriminate" has negative baggage which is not wanted here
  • Standard — this is unnecessarily generic, a discriminator is more specific than a standard

In engineering and programming contexts it is common that you need to choose a word to describe each of a group of things. And then you use that word to represent those things. This is context in which I'm asking. -- For example "pick a number between 1 and 10 and then multiply that number by five". And programmers will say $pickedNumber + 5. -- This is why I'm seeking a specific word choice rather than a way to reword the sentence to avoid choosing this word.

  • Predication here just means a claim of fact. There are three such claims about sexual differentiation and the author (you?) will review each of them. – deadrat Jul 10 '16 at 7:34
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    Have you considered simply omitting the word? That is, "... we review each of these below", or even "we review each below". Keep it simple :) – Praveen Jul 13 '16 at 7:28
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    In engineering and programming contexts it is common that you need to choose a word to describe each of a group of things. And then you use that word to represent those things. This is context in which I'm asking. -- For example "pick a number between 1 and 10 and then multiply that number by five". And programmers will say $pickedNumber + 5. -- This is why I'm seeking a specific word choice rather than a way to reword the sentence to avoid choosing this word. – William Entriken Jan 25 at 15:10
  • Am I triggering people because this example mentions gender, a sensitive topic, or is word choice off-topic for this Stack Exchange community? – William Entriken Jan 25 at 15:13
  • The last paragraph of the question, added later, makes the question less, rather than more, clear. In every conceptual framework there are broad concepts covering several of the narrower ones; that is not in any way specific to engineering and programming. – jsw29 Jan 25 at 16:56
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The word that is needed here seems to be criterion. It is better than predication, because any quality that something happens to possess can be called its predicate; using criterion makes it clear that one is speaking of a quality that is used as a basis for classification.

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