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I read Pandas documentation and I encountered the following sentence:

The axis labeling information in Pandas objects serves many purposes.

I could catch the general idea of this sentence, except the "axis labeling information" part. If I was the writer, I would write as "the information of axis label ...".

So, I have mainly two points to ask about:

  1. Is it OK to write "the information of axis label"?
  2. Why use "labeling" not "label"?
  • What information is this? Is it just the labels on the axes (e.g. "time", "distance", and maybe the numbers), or does it have scales, formatting information, linear vs logarithmic, etc? "label" might refer only to the text not the formatting, while "labeling" is more general, but it's hard to answer without a deep knowledge of pandas.
    – Stuart F
    Jun 21, 2023 at 8:39
  • "the information of axis label ..." isn't a syntactically valid subject / noun phrase. The use of labeling as cited is perfectly natural, but it's not obvious to me that using plain label would be unacceptable, or would change the meaning. Note that the axis labeling information is syntactically much the same as the axis indexing documentation, where index / indexing both sound fine to me, but the axis indexing process is probably better than the axis index process - precisely because it's a reference to a process, rather than to data / info. Jun 21, 2023 at 10:26
  • 'the axis-labelling information' speaks of advice on labelling axes (the procedure; how labels should be chosen) whereas 'the axis-label information' speaks (by default) of advice on how such labels should be interpreted. Jun 21, 2023 at 14:28
  • Is it correct that "axis labeling information" emphasizes the fact that the information is gained by making labels in axis? Here, it's an action, bringing something into existence from nothing. "axis label information", like what @FumbleFingers states, maybe OK. But, it just declares a plain truth that the axis label gives some information. It loses such a invention semantics.
    – HQW.ang
    Jun 21, 2023 at 16:21
  • I suggest this belongs more to English Language Learners but since its Posted in EL&U what problem do you see, beyond 'axis labelling' lacking a hyphen, as 'axis-labelling'… unless 'axis-labelling' doesn't mean 'the labelling of axes…' Does it? Jul 10, 2023 at 20:55

2 Answers 2


There are at least a couple of ways to understand this; context will tell which to choose . . .

  1. axis-labeling modifies information (and should be hyphenated for that purpose). This is the information that labels the axis:

The axis-labeling information in pandas objects serves many purposes.

  1. labeling is a participle that can be imagined to be a reduction of the relative clause that labels. This axis labels information:

The axis that labels information in pandas objects serves many purposes.

  • 2
    ... and here, the second reading makes little sense. Jun 21, 2023 at 14:24
  • 1
    I wonder that, doesn't the second sentence change the project from information to axis?
    – HQW.ang
    Jun 21, 2023 at 16:26
  • Yes, and I don't know if information (1) or axis (2) is meant to be the subject; you can’t tell from your example. Jun 21, 2023 at 17:15
  • If you read the rest of the document, as well as other parts of the Pandas documentation, it becomes clear that axises contain labels, they don't label something else.
    – Barmar
    Jun 22, 2023 at 1:05
  • @Barmar — It appears that axes are labeled — they don’t “contain” labels. (And I now believe now that my #2 might indeed be the correct parse.) Jun 22, 2023 at 2:18
  1. "The information of axis label" is understandable, but less standard in a technical context like pandas documentation. In my view, in a technical context, a more suitable phrasing could be "Information related to axis labels" or "Data associated with the axis labels".

  2. "Labeling" is used instead of "label" to emphasize the process and flexibility in assigning labels to an axis, whereas "label" could be seen as more static.

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    Jun 22, 2023 at 22:43

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