word choice - Literal antonym to "Outspoken"

I'm working on a humorous project in which one character is called the Outspoken Mime.The adjective "outspoken" means the mime in question is "free, bold, or unreserved in speech." On one side, this describes the mime as gregarious, talkative, and friendly — while visually implying the mime literally speaks out, making the character a walking oxymoron.Is there an antonym to "outspoken" that could imply the opposite double meaning? Something to suggest a different mime is shy or reclusive, while visually appearing to (redundantly) claim they d...Read more

word choice - Technical train terms

I am looking for the correct technical English terms for these German words like you would use them in a published paper:Bahnhof → station (We are boarding at the station)Zugstrecke → route, line, track (The route/line/track between London and Paris is very busy.)Gleis → track, rail, platform (We board at platform 1. There are constructions on the track between city A and City B. The train runs on the rails.)So here we have 3 different meanings of Gleis.Zugfahrt → train ride (The train ride to London is very long.)Teilfahrt → leg (The train was...Read more

word choice - Absorb the excess length?

I have a difficult time finding the right word for the following situation:On the drawing, there are some dimensions instructed, and extra length is set for one range for workability. That extra length is “absorbed” (trimmed?) to meet the instruction. “Absorb” is the direct translation from my language, but does it make a sense?Is there any right word for it?...Read more

Word for "reading without melody"

I am searching audio files of a certain text in Google. In all valid search results, it is read by melody. I want to add extra keywords to find the exact result. I tried without melody and straight read as keywords, but they did no good.Is there any verb or noun that has a close meaning to reading without melody?...Read more

What is a word to describe an ambiguous amount of time?

The term "umpteenth" is sometimes used to describe a long, but unknown or ambiguous amount of time, or number of times. ...after he reexamined the cable connections for the umpteenth time...Now, umpteenth isn't exactly a universally recognized word, it's listed in some dictionaries, but certainly not all. I was wondering if there are any alternatives to such a word, one that might be more prominently defined and accepted in the English language (or just a word that I can say in place of "umpteenth" and sound smart)....Read more

Word for 'optimal given limitations'

I want a word or two that essentially say: 'The best we can do given limitations', I am thinking something along the lines of 'optimal solution under constraints', but this is also long.Any ideas?Context is that some engineering methods are really good, but certain problems can't be solved with their own methods, since no unique methods have been found, but the problem can be solved by putting it into another model of a similar nature, giving us the best result we can obtain....Read more

word choice - What are the differences between "May" & "Might" / "May have" & "Might have" in strict English?

The more I learn about Modals, the more confused I get. English Modals are very unstructured or adhere to a rigorous structure & that makes foreigners hard to understand them.According to oxforddictionaries.com Some people insist that you should use may (present tense) when talking about a current situation and might (past tense) when talking about an event that happened in the past. For example: I may go home early if I’m tired. (present tense) He might have visited Italy before settling in Nuremberg. (past tense, might here refer...Read more

word choice - Can I use "linkography" instead of "bibliography" when referring to web links?

I’m writing a piece of documentation and I want to add the links I'm referring to at the bottom of my document.Since they are links and not books, I think the section title should not use the word bibliography.The most appropriate term that comes to mind is linkography. However, I don't know if this word even exists. I did not find it in the dictionary. I think the word is ugly, and my computer’s spell-checker does not know it.Is linkography the best term to use when referring to web links? Does this word really exist?...Read more

word choice - Collection of mathematical formulas

What is the correct term for a collection of mathematical formulas in the form of a (small) handbook? I'm looking for a translation of the German noun “Formelsammlung”.Several dictionarys suggest the word “formulary”, but the disambiguation page on Wikipedia does not indicate a meaning of this kind. Wiktionary does support this meaning, but only as one among several. It appears that a pharmaceutical meaning is more common than a mathematical one. So I suppose that I should disambiuate the term. But I'm unsure whether to choose “mathematical for...Read more

word choice - What would be a valid replacement of "as"?

Say I want to write something to say: John looked over his shoulder as he opened the door slowly.However, for stylistic reasons I don't really want to use as in that sentence. There must be other ways of expressing simultaneity. What words or phrasing could replace the as in that sentence? The Help Center here says To prevent your question from being flagged and possibly removed, avoid asking subjective questions where every answer is equally valid: “What’s your favorite ______?”... so please explain your choice and why your suggestion works ...Read more

word choice - What is the formal and somehow humorous way of describing one's butterhandedness?

I am writing a college essay and I cannot find a proper word to describe one's inability to move without dropping thing. the sentence is ... ended up in silty sea floor of the ocean because of my _________. I want to plug something like 'coordination incompetence', but don't know whether it will work. Also, I want the word to sound somehow formally humorous. Literary allusions will work as well....Read more

word choice - substitute for peripeteia

I was all set to release an album titled Peripeteia. I thought the word aesthetically sounded beautiful and the meaning, reversal of reality, "the moment the hero realizes all he believes is untrue" (in greek tragedy), etc. seemed very fitting to many of the songs and some of my recent personal experiences. Unfortunately, another band released an album titled Peripeteia, how random! Can't believe someone beat me to it. Does anyone know any words that have the same sort of meaning?...Read more