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104 votes
Accepted

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 ...
curious-proofreader's user avatar
60 votes
Accepted

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

In heraldry they are referred to as "rays".
Stuart Allen's user avatar
  • 6,641
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.
Robin Z.'s user avatar
  • 601
43 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: "...
Prime Mover's user avatar
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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     ...
Athena's user avatar
  • 471
29 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 ...
auspicious99's user avatar
  • 1,485
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" ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 2,327
19 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"....
Ola Ström's user avatar
18 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.
afeygin's user avatar
  • 400
18 votes
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What is a word for battery "longevity"?

You may not like longevity or lifespan, but these are the terms used in the technical world. For example, here is how cleantechnica defines longevity: Longevity refers to the number of charge cycles ...
fev's user avatar
  • 34.1k
16 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 ...
David Richerby's user avatar
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 ...
Andrew Leach's user avatar
  • 102k
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 ...
Syntax Junkie's user avatar
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".
paolo's user avatar
  • 141
13 votes

What is the origin of the word "affine" in the context of mathematics?

It may help for the mathematically inclined to think about affine functions operating on a vector space and for the non-mathematically inclined to think about that familiar vector space, our three-...
deadrat's user avatar
  • 44.7k
13 votes
Accepted

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 ). {...
Edwin Ashworth's user avatar
12 votes

Can a fact be 'biased'?

I would think the word "biased" should apply to a person, and only one who has some obligation to be neutral. However, a selection of facts can be biased. If you cherry-pick only the best or only ...
Michael Lorton's user avatar
12 votes
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Accessible as in web accessibility

"Accessibility" is the word you're looking for. In the context of tech, the word "accessibility" now refers exclusively to assistive technologies, technologies to assist ...
Benjamin Harman's user avatar
12 votes
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Is there a word like "likeness" referring to a person's appearance, but their voice instead?

I would use the term vocals or voice. Merriam-Webster defines the adjective vocal as (among other meanings) of, related to, or resembling the voice, and the noun as a vocal sound. While vocals (as a ...
TaliesinMerlin's user avatar
11 votes

Can a fact be 'biased'?

There are facts and there are "facts" - with the latter, the quotes around it can be called 'scare quotes' ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scare_quotes ) - they are a way of saying "so called", ie ...
Max Williams's user avatar
  • 23.1k
11 votes

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

✓ and ✗ (or V and X if you stick to ASCII) seem to be understood correctly when all cases are filled. Reinforcing with colors (green and red respectively) helps to avoid confusion as well, when using ...
Dmitry Grigoryev's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

Meaning of . . . "fill up on a clean break"

My guess: the Captain is likely to be about a month behind writing the log, so that when he has a block of free time (a clean break) he can write the missing parts of (fill up) the log.
GEdgar's user avatar
  • 25.2k
10 votes

Can "3D printer" refer to both types of printers?

There's nothing grammatically wrong with saying "3D printer" to refer to a regular printer; however, practically, you can't ignore the social norm. Imagine this conversation: me: "I just bought ...
andi's user avatar
  • 728
10 votes
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What is the space in between flights of stairs where you can see all the way down called?

I think you are referring to stairwell: ​ a long, vertical passage through a building around which a set of stairs is built. (Cambridge Dictionary) The idea of “shaft” has been commonly ...
user 66974's user avatar
  • 67.4k
9 votes
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Word for a single tunnel within a "tunnel complex" or the complex itself

Civil engineers talk of a bore. The southern bore of the tunnel is 30cm longer than the northern bore. In that sentence, tunnel could gain a capital letter because it stands for the name of the ...
Andrew Leach's user avatar
  • 102k
9 votes
Accepted

Why use "an" before a word that starts with a "L"

The "a" v. "an" distinction is phonetically based. If you say L T I, when you pronounce the letter L is pronounced "el" (as in the proper name "Eleanor") which starts with a vowel. If the acronym ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 2,362
9 votes

"Otherwise" after "where"

I frankly don't understand why otherwise cannot be used along with where. The online Oxford Dictionary defines otherwise as: In circumstances different from those present or considered; or else. ...
JK2's user avatar
  • 6,573
8 votes

Polite/technical way to say "user ineptitude"?

Whether this is a good fit for you will depend on the types of ineptitude, but one way of phrasing it which is respectful and which points to the solution as well as describing the problem is: user ...
almcnicoll's user avatar
  • 1,424

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