I am currently taking a look at some presentations my company made on several features of our software, and I came across several sentences saying that "the software shows a red/blue/whatever color hatch to indicate something", meaning that the software shows a pattern of fine lines.
Simply judging by intuition, this sounded not quite right for me; my impression was that:
- the word "hatching" was the most common noun to describe such a pattern;
- "hatch" on the other side could be used as an adjective ("hatch pattern"), but was generally not common as a noun that designates such a pattern.
A quick research on merriam-webster shows that "hatching" indeed means "the engraving or drawing of fine lines in close proximity especially to give an effect of shading; also : the pattern so made". But the entry for "hatch" shows, among other definitions, the meaning of "an instance of hatching" or "line; especially : one used to give the effect of shading".
So my question is: is either "hatching" or "hatch" preferable as a designation for "a pattern of fine lines used for shading", or are they completely interchangeable? Is it common to speak of "a hatch" when meaning such a pattern?