104 votes
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Symbols for "YES" and "NO" in formal English writing

X for No and O for Yes are clearly understood by everyone in Japan, but not in English. In fact, in my first Japanese class in the US, when the teacher used these symbols, I thought that X meant Yes ...
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89 votes
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Etymology of a "pegged CPU"

Many analog gauges such as speedometers have a maximum marking which is technically not as high as you might be able to make the reading actually go. To prevent the indicator needle from going too ...
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71 votes

Symbols for "YES" and "NO" in formal English writing

I am a native English speaker, with what I hope is an above average education. I can think of no good reason, especially for a conference paper, to use anything other than "Yes" and "No" when what you ...
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63 votes
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What is the antonym of 'virtual machine'?

Let's consider a definition of a virtual machine: A virtual machine is a software computer that, like a physical computer, runs an operating system and applications. The virtual machine is comprised ...
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  • 3,613
59 votes
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Is there a proper term for the 'arms' of a star?

In heraldry they are referred to as "rays".
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56 votes
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What can be used as formal euphemism of "hack"?

I would go so far as to say that unless you are very sure of your audience, you should not use "escamotage" at all, as it is not in broad circulation (0 hits at the Corpus of Contemporary ...
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  • 58.6k
50 votes

Symbols for "YES" and "NO" in formal English writing

I'd also consider using Y for Yes and N for No. I think this is clear for everyone speaking English. It may look worse in the manner of design but will be understood by all.
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  • 601
44 votes

To avoid repeating "one"

My personal view is that the repeated use of "one" is not a problem at all. Tying yourself up in more and more convoluted linguistic circumlocutions so as to avoid what is at base a numinous rule: "...
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36 votes

Can a fact be 'biased'?

Speaking from a statistical perspective, it is definitely possible to create factual statements that have a bias. It's important to keep in mind the definition here: noun     ...
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  • 475
32 votes
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Is "layman" an offensive term?

"Layman" is a perfectly acceptable term. No one is an expert in every field. It refers to a person who is not an expert in the field. Very educated and accomplished people are laymen in fields not ...
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  • 464
30 votes
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To avoid repeating "one"

Instead of If you want to look offensive, wear a red shirt. If you want to look fresh, wear a white one. When you are in doubt, wear a green one. If you are worried that the shirt might ...
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  • 1,485
28 votes
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What is the difference between "deployment" and "release"?

There is no universal definition for these terms, so their use will vary among teams. The most common usage in my experience is: release (noun): A version of software intended for use outside the ...
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24 votes

What is the antonym of 'virtual machine'?

Before the widespread use of VMs, in the context of server hosting, we used to call this simply a 'dedicated server' to differentiate between that and a 'shared server'. Today, I'd be inclined to ...
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24 votes

Why is "closed source" used, and does it parallel "open source"?

I don't see a problem with the phrase "closed source". "Closed" means "not open". The opposite of "the door is open" is "the door is closed", not, "the door is close". Similarly, there is "open mind" ...
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22 votes

What can be used as formal euphemism of "hack"?

I' have seen the term quick fix (119 million google hits) used in similar circumstances. It has all the connotation of "not optimal" since that would require time for properly engineering a better ...
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  • 475
22 votes
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After seeing how misinformed an article is in a newspaper, you flip the page and continue reading as if the rest can be trusted. What is this called?

Michael Crichton, in "Why Speculate?"—a speech he gave at the International Leadership Forum in La Jolla, California, on April 26, 2002—calls this phenomenon the "Murray Gell-Mann ...
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18 votes
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How do you say ”resolution 1920px*1080px”?

I agree with @Hot Licks that it should be pronounced "nineteen-twenty by ten-eighty". No one would ever say "one thousand nine hundred and twenty by one thousand and eighty pixels"....
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16 votes

What can be used as formal euphemism of "hack"?

Expedient: (noun) Something contrived or used to meet an urgent need; a means devised or employed in an exigency: Use any expedients you think necessary to get over the obstacles in your way. (...
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15 votes
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What are these containers called?

That's called a skip in British English. It may have other names in other dialects. British A large transportable open-topped container for building and other refuse: I’ve salvaged a carpet from ...
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15 votes
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What could a part of path of URL be called?

It's called the path segment. See: https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc2396#section-3.3 The path may consist of a sequence of path segments separated by a single slash "/" character.
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15 votes

Is there a proper term for the 'arms' of a star?

I think I've heard them referred to as limbs. The Oxford English Dictionary (subscription required) gives the following definition which I think applies well to this situation: 4b) In various ...
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15 votes

To avoid repeating "one"

Since this is technical writing, the concise nature of tables is appropriate and may make the information easier to scan quickly. You could try something like: Vary your shirt color to achieve ...
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14 votes

Usage of "w.r.t." in academic papers

In mathematics "w.r.t." is part of the standard jargon. It is not unusual to see it used (sparingly) in peer-reviewed journal articles.
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  • 436
14 votes

What can be used as formal euphemism of "hack"?

You might choose to describe it as a "makeshift solution."
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14 votes

Why is "closed source" used, and does it parallel "open source"?

"Open" is an adjective, and "closed" is the opposite, so "closed source" does indeed parallel "open source". "To close" is the opposite of the verb "to open".
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  • 141
13 votes
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What is the antonym of “veering” in the nautical sense?

The anticlockwise counterpart of the verb veer is, prosaically enough, back. back verb (used without object) ... 30. Nautical. (of wind) to change direction counterclockwise (opposed to veer ). {...
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12 votes
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Can "mode" be used as "mean" and "median" are?

The question can be restated as "Can mode be used as an adjective?" for which one just needs to look in a dictionary. OED lists mode as a noun and a verb, but not an adjective. However, there is an ...
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12 votes
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Style of technical warnings. Why is it acceptable to omit verbs?

It's a feature of a lot of texts exhibiting frozen style. It's a highly predictable and regular style found in newspaper headlines, signs, notices, instructions, lab reports, technical reports, legal ...
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12 votes

What can be used as formal euphemism of "hack"?

Workaround or Kludge. Kludge is a bit negative connotation but fits if it's a temporary hack that will be re-addressed so the negative meaning isn't dwelled upon. Workaround has no real negative ...
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