Questions tagged [terminology]

Terminology is a system of terms belonging or peculiar to a science, art, or specialized subject, nomenclature.

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The traditional grammar term for 'nominals'

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (Page 329) has a section titled 'Nominals': Intermediate between the noun and the NP we recognise a category of nominals: [3] a. the old man b. that book ...
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What is the equivalent word to oenology for the study of, knowledge of or expertise in alcoholic drinks and making them?

Apologies in advance, I am no linguist and don't know the proper terminology for things. I am looking for a collective word to describe someone who is interested in alcohol, makes cocktails, brews, ...
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Is there a word for "the king who has a regent"?

As the title says: Is there an established word or phrase for a "regent-ee," as distinct from a reigning monarch who does not have* a regent? From 1811 to 1820, the future King George IV was ...
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What is the opposite of a retronym?

A retronym is the name given to an obsolete or older object to differentiate it from its newer replacement. Examples include "straight razor" (once just called "razor" until the modern razor), "analog ...
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Antonyms and opposites

Is there an antonym for the verb besiege? asked for an “opposite” for the word besiege, with answers like occupy, barricade, where the person doing the barricading is inside the barrier, defending his ...
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Terminology for using "the" instead of plural

I'm wondering about the following construction: The dog is a noble animal. This seems to have the same meaning as: Dogs are noble animals. I'm wondering if this sort of construction, referring ...
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What is the term for the overlapping panel of this type of double-breasted uniform jacket?

I'm looking for the term of art in suit- and jacket-making for a specific design element that appears on some types of military, especially navy, uniform jackets, like these ones (left to right: a ...
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Term for/etymology of the opposite of a nosism (using 'we' to mean 'you')

A nosism is the term for using 'we' to refer to oneself. I am looking for a term for/etymology of using 'we' to mean 'you'. EDIT: Another way of putting it is that I'm looking for the proper term ...
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Term for the ending consonant of one word connected/disconnected from the next leading to different yet related meanings?

In his 2013 TEDx Houston talk The tyranny of the rocket equation, astronaut and International Space Station Flight Engineer Don Pettit humorously introduces two categories of mass launched from Earth ...
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Verbs with interchanged subject and object

For some verbs we can find another (not necessarily unique) verb which has the same meaning except that it corresponds the subject and the object in the opposite direction. For example, if I say “our ...
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Word or phrase for things that are only noticed when they break? (or are pointed out)

E.g. the engineering that goes into the roads we travel on, the railways we use, the negative space in a painting, or any of the many systems that we depend on.
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The AIR and EAR Sounds

The one thing that confuses me the most are the AIR and EAR sounds as in AmERica and ExpERiment. What exactly is the AIR/EAR sound? The AIR sound is basically a short E or a long A sound controlled ...
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What is the grammatical term for "only"?

In this line "I said to my agent I only want to work with even bigger stars" (from the Graham Norton Show https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kw_o8LYX5dw), what is the language term for the word "only"?
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What is the process of letters changing, like c to k in invocation and invoked is called?

What is the process of letters changing called, like c to k in invocation and invoked? I am sure there are more examples of letters transforming. Defence, defensive would be another example (for ...
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Phrasal verbs with synonymous opposites

There are some cases in English where one can substitute in a word that normally has an opposite meaning, but instead produces the same meaning. For examples, consider the following meanings and uses:...
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A term for a particular or general skill that needs to be improved and acted on?

The title says it all. I'm unable to come up with the term for something you have as a part of a skill-set that needs to be further improved upon. It may be something very simple that is also at the ...
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A way of saying "What could have been"

What's another way of saying "what could/should have been?" Ex. She reminisced of what could have been. Preferably short
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Distinguishing among classification, typology, taxonomy, and ontology?

I recently wrote a thesis applying archaeological typology to art attribution. In the process, it became clear that disparate disciplines share analogous debates regarding classification. I'd like to ...
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Difference between 'gain optimization' and 'gains optimization'

What is the difference between gain optimization and gains optimization in a financial context? I want to know in particular if one of those terms is better English, or if they have different ...
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Term for Successful Sale after Demoing Product

I believe there is a business term for such an event, but I can't recall what it is. An example would be a vacuum salesman showing a prospective buyer how a vacuum works, and the buyer ends up ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Words/phrases like "kindred spirit" that refer to both the speaker and the subject of the sentence

The google definition of kindred spirit is "a person whose interests or attitudes are similar to one's own." That means that if I were to say to someone "You are a kindred spirit", I am describing ...
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"Comprehend" vs "Interpret" vs "Understand"

What is the difference between "Comprehend", "Interpret", and "Understand"? Here are the definitions that I referred to, from Cambridge Dictionary- Comprehend- to ...
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if only usage: leave out the 'was'

When 'it' refers to a letter or a complex situation projected to be caused by a letter, is it okay to use 'if only' in the following way? Why or why not? "It'd all be appropriate if only written ...
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2 votes
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Why Are Baseball Metaphors Popular for Corporate Jargon?

Why are sports metaphors (football, baseball) so popular in western corporate cultures? I find that sports metaphors are frequently used as popular jargon there. It seems like they're less used in ...
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Crosswalk (cross-walk) as a verb

I have seen the word crosswalk (cross-walk) used as a transitive verb in the sense of align, compare, connect, link, relate, etc. ("Crosswalk your labor categories to the tasks in the statement of ...
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Were the verb forms / structures named after their most typical / common use?

A verb form like "went" is called a "past tense". However, it is not only used to talk about past events (e.g. We went to Morocco last January), but also about unreal or uncertain present or future ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Is there a name for words that are both transitive verbs and adjectives (ex: "hurt")

I'm wondering if there is a name for the words that are both transitive verbs and adjectives. As in the example of the poetic phrase: "hurt people hurt people" meaning: "people who ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What could be one word for time off for family/personal work?

What could be a word/one word and slang for a time-off period, that someone took for his personal/family work? i.e. I took time-off from office to do some personal work, household chores. The word ...
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Is there a term for words or expressions that have meaning in both directions?

I'm talking about words like 'comfortable' (the chair is comfortable, or, I am comfortable in the chair) and 'curious' (it is a curious painting, or, I am curious about that painting). So, is there an ...
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2 votes
1 answer
127 views

Looking for a term, similar to "epigraph," meaning a quotation given in order to explain another text

For an English Lit. essay I am writing on TS Eliot and Joyce, I wish to use a Biblical quotation I find useful in illuminating certain themes common to their work (1 Corinthians 13 if anyone is ...
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2 votes
1 answer
230 views

Is the verb auxiliary in "I do"?

In the sentence "I do like mint ice cream" 'do' is an auxilliary verb. However, if you were responding with a "I do" in a wedding vows context, is 'do' auxilliary? It would be if you continued the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
295 views

Meaning of the term "empty use" in the context of modal verbs

I'm reading a book titled Comprehensive High School English Grammar & Composition. The author, who is Indian, says this on the use of the modal verbs can and could: Can is used to express "...
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Is there a linguistic term that describes words that change pronunciation when combined together?

Examples of this include Breakfast which is just 'break,' and 'fast.' Of particular interest to me is helicopter, which is a combination of 'helico,' meaning spiral, and 'pter,' meaning wing. This is ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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What term would be most appropriate for a secluded passage/courtyard?

You could think of this space as landlocked by surrounding buildings, exposed to the environment vertically but having no (intended) connections to paths or streets. The only ways to enter and exit ...
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Does "reclaiming" only apply to group-identity derogatory words (turned into terms of empowerment)?

I have a follow up to this question, Is there a term or word for the process of a group of people taking (or attempting to) an insulting word/phrase and making it their own? which received the ...
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Is there a term for the following type of conduct: someone only responds to one part of your message instead of the whole message?

For those who know german: Die Person geht nur auf einen Teil der Nachricht ein Here's an example to further elaborate: A (about something B said): She doesn't even sound rude. Maybe if it's said in a ...
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1 vote
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-logy: Word for "the study of humour"

I'm searching for the correct word for: "The branch of knowledge and research concerned with funniness / what people find funny / what makes people laugh" Generally such words are suffixed ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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What would be the "medical" term for hitting your head against a brick wall?

My Grandfather was a GP from Aberdeen and often took pleasure in explaining how he dealt with time-wasters. The individual would come into the surgery seeking a Doctors note excusing them from work on ...
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Term for when seemingly-random or loosely-related words form a unique, descriptive sentence or phrase?

Is there a term for when a series of words come together to form a unique, descriptive sentence or phrase? A few examples I can think of: XKCD comic about strong passwords: As an example of a strong ...
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Is there a specific term for letters that have the same appearance in both lower and upper case?

There are letters that have the same "look" (excluding the size) in both lower and upper case. Cc Oo Pp Ss Vv Ww Xx Zz In English, is there a specific term for these?
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Is there a word for measuring "how easily change can happen or be made"?

If one word exists, I will call it X. X would describe how easily change can happen or be made, in general. Example: This building is made out of legos, so it has a high X, thus making it easy to ...
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1 vote
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Single word when you know destination but not path

Is there a single word which describes knowing the destination but not the path? Knowing the objective but not the method? Knowing the 'what' or 'where' but not the 'how'? In a sense this would be the ...
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1 vote
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What's a word to describe 'thinking unconstrained by time'

Most of us think existentially, until we start thinking about things in the future, or things in the past...but it's usually from the vantage point of 'now.' The word or term I'm looking for is ...
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1 vote
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Term for the unit of grouping large numbers?

I asked this on mathoverflow but I guess it's not so appropriate there so... In English and probably most (if not all) western languages, we group numbers by powers of 1000. So we have: ones, tens, ...
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1 vote
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English equivalent for the german term "Bestellrunde"

The German term "Bestellrunde" literally translates as "order round/turn" or "a round/turn of orders". It implies a request to consumers/customers to place their order ...
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What factors over time have affected the most common word used to mean "woman who flies a plane"?

I was looking at this thread: Has the suffix "-trix" acquired a pejorative meaning in recent years? And I became curious about the popularity of the words aviatrix, aviatrice, aviatress and ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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"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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What is the term for saying something negative fishing for positive comments?

Help me! There is a term for when people say or post something negative or complaining but in reality they are fishing for positive (compliments). What is this term?!
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The correct term for little pieces of rubbish of all sorts found on the floor

There are always little pieces of rubbish found on the floor, which means when you clean the floor, dust is not the only "rubbish" that you have to get rid of. What is the correct term for those ...
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Smart working, does this word even exist?

Lately I've been hearing and reading the term "smart working" a lot, every day, especially in the news, and now it seems everybody is using this word, including professionals and politicians. It's ...
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