0

Say I have these three statements:

  1. "John likes pasta."
  2. "Mary likes pasta."
  3. "Joseph likes pasta."

For these three sentences with the format "[name] likes pasta", I'm looking for a word for the "[name]" with respect to the fact that this particular part of the sentence is the only thing which makes it different from the other two.

The usage I would imagine is this:

The word of sentence 1 is "John".

For context, the word I am looking for is to be used as a parameter name for a function which takes a string and embeds it into a template string, similar to the following:

function embedInSentence(word_here) = word_here + " likes pasta."

I remember a book I had about cars when I was younger described "exterior identification points" of different models, which could be used to tell that particular one from another model/trim level. It's the closest thing I have to a fitting word or phrase, but it's quite long and doesn't fit my use case – I'm looking for a more abstract term, such as "identification point" but as a single word.

6
  • Parameter? Key? Variable? ID? Mar 8 at 17:46
  • @Yosef These seem applicable only in the programming context, so are still useful, but don't address the "more abstract term" part.
    – squ1dd13
    Mar 8 at 17:49
  • The naming of computer program variables or classes is considered off topic here. Mar 8 at 17:56
  • @WeatherVane I'm not looking specifically for the name for the variable, that was simply what started me looking for the word. I only included that in my question as a bit of extra context to go with the first example.
    – squ1dd13
    Mar 8 at 17:58
  • 2
    That is stated to be the use case. I am tempted to say that word of sentence 1 is subject but perhaps more helpful would be differentiator – "the thing which makes it different." Mar 8 at 18:02
2

Something that distinguishes can be called (from Lexico) a

differentiator
NOUN

1 Something that enables a difference or distinction to be made.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.