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I thinkt this question fits better here than on english.stackexchange.

When describing a figure in a computer science paper, is it safe to use "tick" meaning "tick mark"?

Examples:
... (see the thick line right of tick "17") meaning tick mark "17"
or ... increase at tick "1e+02" ... increase at tick mark "1e+02".

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    $\begingroup$ If you have to ask... $\endgroup$ – Patrick87 Dec 17 '13 at 19:02
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    $\begingroup$ "Tick mark" would be less ambiguous. $\endgroup$ – Joe Dec 17 '13 at 23:01
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    $\begingroup$ "1e+02"? Seriously?-) $\endgroup$ – Jukka Suomela Dec 18 '13 at 0:23
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    $\begingroup$ I change the my original values that make sense to bogus ones for the post. it's value larger than 400,000. Didn't check that 1e+02 dosen't make sense for the posting $\endgroup$ – mrsteve Dec 18 '13 at 17:52
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Yes, if by tick you mean

enter image description here.

No, if you mean

enter image description here.

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  • $\begingroup$ Actually I think he meant the tiny marks on the axes of a plot (Since his tick marks have got numbers). $\endgroup$ – Untitled Dec 17 '13 at 12:04
  • $\begingroup$ My bad. I don't use graphs so often. $\endgroup$ – Dave Clarke Dec 17 '13 at 13:13
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    $\begingroup$ @Untitled I thought that was the irony of this answer :-) $\endgroup$ – Juho Dec 17 '13 at 20:24
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    $\begingroup$ It would be absolutely wonderful to read a CS paper that involved the latter tick. $\endgroup$ – Realz Slaw Dec 18 '13 at 13:51
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I've never heard those marks on the axes referred to as "ticks", though Wikipedia agrees with your usage. Since Dave Clarke also didn't realise that's what you're talking about, I suspect that at least a sizeable minority of people aren't familiar with the term.

Why do you need to talk about the marks on the axes at all? Instead of saying "increase at tick mark '1e+02'" just say "increase at $x=100$" or whatever the variable is on that axis. (Also, it's silly to use the notation "1e+02" for such a simple concept as 100.) Your writing will be easier to understand if you talk about the data, rather than talking about the precise details of how you chose to represent it.

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