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I am writing a paper and need to mention the height that a person lifted their foot above the ground multiple times. I feel like writing "height above the ground" every time is a bit "wasteful" and am looking for a more concise alternative.

A sample sentence:

The participants foot ___ was 10 cm higher than in the control group.

Right now I abbreviate to just "height", but I feel like this loses a bit of clarity ... especially if I talk about "foot height" which sounds more like the "size of the foot" to me.

Others use "elevation", but to my supervisor this sounds more like "elevation of land".

Are there any other alternatives (that I, as a non-native speaker am not aware of)?

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  • "(foot) height" or "(foot) elevation" seem ok, and the meaning should be clear from the context (you could prefix with "maximum" or "peak" if that makes it clearer). "foot lift" might be an alternative, but I prefer the first two.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jun 16, 2021 at 10:09
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    You could use 'position' and start by explaining that position means "height above the ground".
    – Dan
    Commented Jun 16, 2021 at 10:14
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    Do you need any word to fill the gap? The participant's foot was 10 cm higher than in the control group. (added apostrophe) Perhaps use a word in a different place: The participant's foot was raised 10 cm higher than in the control group. Commented Jun 16, 2021 at 10:24
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    Comment answer not worthy of full answer: don't bother with the blank. The way you say it in idiomatic English is: "The participants foot was 10 cm higher than in the control group." That's how you use 'higher'. That's what 'higher' means.
    – Mitch
    Commented Jun 16, 2021 at 13:53
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    “The participant raised his/her foot 10 cm. higher . . .” or elevated instead of raised.
    – Xanne
    Commented Jun 16, 2021 at 20:41

1 Answer 1

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Height would be the best choice from an aviation context. In that domain, altitude refers to your distance above sea level, while elevation refers to the terrain's distance above sea level. Height refers to exactly what you want, which is the distance from you to the ground. This should be sufficiently clear so long as you're not also trying to describe height/thickness of the foot itself in the same text.

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