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What is some of the worst terminology you have seen?

  1. Jul 17, 2017 #1
    I assume everybody here has seen terminology in their own field or others that produced a groan upon seeing it for the first time.

    My "favorite" is in signal processing. There is a common audio transformation that does a Fourier analysis, takes the absolute value at each frequency, and then the logarithm. Well, the regular FFT gives you a spectrum, so this thing is called ... a Cepstrum.
    Even worse, when you multiply each frequency value with some function, it's called a Lifter, because you know, it's a Filter on the Cepstrum.


    What's your favorite?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 17, 2017 #2


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    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    My favorite is "generator" of a representation. What is it? The group element that operates? A basis vector of a representation space? A group generator, in which case the wording would make sense? But in which group: the one that operates or one on which is operated by, an induced automorphism? Or is it a vector in a weight space? Why did they invent a new name? Is it physically generating a new state? But then where does it reflect the representation? And which part of it?

    I really don't like this sloppiness. Best part is, that often the users themselves don't seem to know, when you try to understand the question.
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