Questions tagged [technical]

Questions related to the use of technical language.

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What pronouns to use in technical documentation

I am writing some documentation for a piece of software and I am struggling on what pronouns to use. I didn't want to use gender related pronouns as my subject is the user so I used they/their, but it ...
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2 answers
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To describe something as a 'quarter' or 'half' of something do they need to be of a certain size?

If I split something into two unequally sized pieces can I say for example, this is 'my half', or I have the 'bigger half' of a cake? I hear this a lot with natural English speakers. If I split ...
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27 views

Word for registering a domain name of a competitor (or known name) and redirect it to your own website

I'm in a niche hobby, and recently there's been a very disgusting trend happening: webshops registering the domain names of other shops with only minor, but very common typos; or register a domain ...
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Terms in a specific context. Are they proper nouns and/or technical terms?

Currently I am writing a report where I explain some basic concepts for developing plug-ins in Moodle. During this I am a bit struggling about the using of typical Moodle terms. Moodle has, for ...
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2 votes
1 answer
276 views

Suffix in adverbs: The use of the term 'normally distributed' in place of 'normal distributed'

When a word is used as an adverb then it is normally combined with a suffix like "-ly" or "-ian". Like 'normal' becomes 'normally' and the previous sentence is an example of its ...
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Single medical term for "taking a pulse"

I have been searching for a technical/medical term to use in place of "taking a pulse". I see some texts use "palpatory measurements" in place of the colloquial "taking a ...
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Utilize the active voice in sentences when an actor is undefined [closed]

I am writing the technical documentation that describes some actions to be done. For example: The new sewer water line may be connected to the old one in room A546 or to the new one in room A549. I ...
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1 vote
1 answer
62 views

Replace "per 100,000 people" with a more general term

I want to title a graph. If it represented percentages, I could say something like "Percentage of people in full-time employment". If it contained fractions I could write "Fraction of ...
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2 votes
1 answer
75 views

What are the English terms for the Dutch words "kooktraject" and "smelttraject"

If a material has a melting temperature range instead of a melting point, then the dedicated Dutch word "smelttraject" applies. Similarly, "kooktraject" indicates a boiling ...
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1 vote
4 answers
148 views

Singular use of “the young” to mean animal offspring?

The Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University has a webpage about butterflies in which I read the following: Butterflies, moths, beetles, flies and bees have complete metamorphosis. The young (...
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2 answers
207 views

What do you call the layout that organizes the decorative moldings and ornamental features of a building?

In french it's called Modénature. Is there an equivalent in English ?
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1 answer
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Italics is to italicize, as bold is to...? [duplicate]

I'm trying to find the right phrasing for I actionably make something bold in a given text document. Clearly I know that when I put something in "italics", I'm actionably "italicizing&...
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1 answer
341 views

Differences between “Approach,” "Perspective," and “Paradigm”

My question is related to this one: Differences between “methods”, “methodologies” and “paradigms” In lectures, we learned In statistical practice, there are two main schools of thought or paradigms: ...
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Hypernym for wheels, tracks, etc

Is there a hypernym for wheels and tracks (possibly also, though rarer, mechanical legs and hovecraft skirts), that is the interface or system that supports a vehicle on land and that (except for ...
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Correct convention to write temperatures with tolerances

When you are writing a temperature range using tolerances that are different for negative values, what is the correct format? See examples. For negative temperature values: -67°F +0/-10°F or -67°F -...
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69 views

A word for drain plugs in boats?

In row boats, and similar boats, there is a drain plug, which is taken out when it is ashore, to empty for water. In Norwegian the term used is 'nygle', and in Icelandic 'nöldur'. In contemporary ...
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1 answer
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What does the term "ticky-tacky" in the song "Little Boxes" mean and what is its etymology? [closed]

The song "Little Boxes" by Malvina Reynolds has these lyrics: Little boxes on the hillside Little boxes made of ticky-tacky Little boxes on the hillside Little boxes all the same There's a ...
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1 answer
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What is 'e. m.' in this sentence?

What does this abbreviation (e. m.) stand for? It seems to me that e.m. is an abbreviation of 'essential medical'. Is this a technical phrase? They evac’d only 27 e.m. plus 1 officer from Maisaka, ...
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3 answers
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What Do You Call a Store that Sells Obsolete Equipment?

I think of the sort of place you could buy a power cord for a flip-phone ... and the word that comes to mind is 'radio shack'; not because of the company "Radio Shack"--which sells the same ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
96 views

Questions about history and usage of the word "paren"

This is related to an earlier question: "parentheses" vs "parenthesis" but is about etymology of the related (and apparently informal, per wikitionary ) word "paren" and ...
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1 answer
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Values manager vs. value manager [duplicate]

When writing software documentation I very often have to describe things like a value manager, a value cache or a device map. These are usually components of the software system. In practice the ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
71 views

Many users, one address each: Users address? Users addresses? User addresses? [duplicate]

In the context of writing a technical document, I need to refer to a data structure that contains a list of addresses, in fact one address for each user in the system. Should I call this data ...
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0 answers
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Which article a/the should be used in API documentation?

For example: some_field - an/the description of smth In what cases articles should be/should not be used?
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1 answer
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Is metrics a synonym of scores? [closed]

I would like to know if I can use score and metric interchangeably. I'm a software engineer, and I'm creating a product that will store conversion metrics (the level of conversion of a site's visitor),...
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4 answers
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A word for the experience and vernacular of a group of people - Discord? Is this correct?

In college, I took a class called technical writing. It has been a while, but this is my recollection. Discord is defined as the collection of vernacular and experiences of a group of people. For ...
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3 votes
1 answer
341 views

"Converted PDF file" - what does it really mean?

I can press Ctrl+P on my keyboard and save this HTML page as PDF. Would it be correct to call such a file a converted PDF file? Or does the word converted mean that the file was converted from PDF to ...
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3 answers
51 views

a proper verb that describe the formation of Taylor cone in polymer science

In polymer science, to form a core-shell nanofiber using electrospinning process, two separate solutions(i.e., core solution and shell solution) are injected to a capillary tube and ..... in order to ...
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Are there guidelines for mid-sentence code blocks and bulleted lists

Question Are there guidelines for the placement of nonstandard typography in the middle of a sentence? I'm working on a blog that will have multiple authors. Should we bother with style consistency ...
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0 answers
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Name of "license / permit" to operate equipment

I'm a non native English speaking software developer developing a tool to be used in Europe to keep track of individuals that have received an authorization to operate heavy equipment (lift trucks etc)...
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1 answer
91 views

Hyphenate 3/4 word compound adjective

The phrase I don't know how to hyphenate is asset type specific keywords and patterns and the negated version non asset type specific keywords and patterns. I looked around and found this Q&A ...
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2 answers
104 views

How do you hyphenate "Lagrangian"?

This is a proper noun (used extensively in physics) named after a French monsieur. How should this word be hyphenated? Should it follow English or French pronunciation rules, or something else?
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1 vote
2 answers
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When did people start using “rod” for “ wrought”? [closed]

I’ve seen many online postings for people claiming to sell “ rod” iron rather than “wrought “ iron items.
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1 answer
65 views

To answer indirect question starting with "Whether" using "Yes" or "No" [closed]

I have a technical document with the following table: (A comparison table of the functions that are used to search for and replace strings.) | Whether the search is case-sensitive -----...
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0 votes
1 answer
73 views

Punctuation after block of code [closed]

What is an unambiguous usage of punctuation after a block of code? For example, suppose I have the following: something = "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog :)" that = find(isequal(...
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1 vote
1 answer
114 views

"base documents" vs. "basic documents" for commonly referenced sources

As a non-native speaker, I might be mislead here. I tend to prefer base documents because I think base is a better word for something used as a foundation - and basic might translate to simple. ...
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1 answer
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What is the meaning of 'compl.' in 'compl. steel' [closed]

I've encountered the term 'compl. steel' in a document (related to mechanical engineering). Simple googling of the term shows many pages related to mechanical engineering and metalworks, but it doesn'...
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4 votes
3 answers
113 views

Is there a word to describe the situation when a system that you created yourself surprises the author?

I just thought that there would be a bunch of errors logged in my system, because it seemed as if two files with the same path and filename were being saved at the same time, conflicting with each ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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In the context of software analytics, is "analytic event" or "analytics event" correct?

I'm a software engineer and we refer to "analytics" as the process of capturing data about the user's behavior. For example, we might send an event to Google Analytics to help us determine ...
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0 votes
0 answers
25 views

Which tense to use with if clause

I need to describe what a thing does. I have the following expression: It deletes photos from the Favorites database if the user didn't undo "Remove all" action. Is it correct? Should I use ...
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6 votes
5 answers
298 views

"Otherwise" after "where"

Here is a passage in a technical document I'm working on: Simple vs. associative arrays Where you need key-value pairs, use associative arrays. Otherwise, use the simple ones. As I felt, there was ...
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15 votes
5 answers
3k views

To avoid repeating "one"

In my technical writings, I have a lot of instruction lists that describe how to use "something" under different circumstances. To avoid repetition of the subject, I replace it with "...
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2 votes
0 answers
78 views

Is "replace it by x" actually correct?

I've always been under the impression that, in standard English, "replace" is only paired with "by" in the passive voice, and that "replace with" is the correct active ...
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0 votes
2 answers
46 views

Which is correct: "of order of nanokelvins" or "of order nanokelvins"?

I have the following sentence in my physics dissertation: The foundational component of atomtronic devices is the Bose-Einstein condensate, a state of matter of condensed bosons cooled to ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Are there use-cases for new types of punctuation outside of the standard set? [closed]

Do you think we would benefit from additional punctuation (or 'notation', in a broade sense) in prose? Can you give any examples of possible use cases for a new piece of notation/punctuation. I am ...
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4 votes
1 answer
1k views

How do you say ”resolution 1920px*1080px”? [closed]

How do you say: ”The resolution of this screen is 1920px*1080px" For example: "The resolution of this screen is nineteen hundred twenty pixels multiplied by one thousand eighty pixels."
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Word meaning in "Radio frequency site survey"

I have noticed that "Radio frequency site survey" is translated to my native language with omision of "site" word. The same goes for "wireless site survey" or just "RF site", "site survey". What is ...
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0 votes
2 answers
48 views

Interpreting the phrase "lip faces down" in technical documentation

The data sheet for the solvent filtration apparatus includes the following illustration for the assembly procedure: I'm not sure how to orient the part in the middle, a stainless steel screen. ...
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2 votes
2 answers
139 views

A technical word to describe the correct contact between a wheel and a rail

I am translating an Italian technical manual, and I'm having problems translating one word in particular: "planaritá". The literal translation of the word is apparently "planarity" ...
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0 votes
2 answers
150 views

Word/Phrase similar to "Take to the Extreme"

I am looking for a word (verb preferable, other constructions welcome) or short phrase that's similar to "Take to the Extreme", with a connotation of a logical conclusion, but avoiding stating that ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
2k views

“Click Save button” vs “Click Save” [closed]

I have a user help document where a user is presented with a form. This form has a Save and Cancel button. I am wondering what would be the best way to explain what happens when a user hits Save ...
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