6

I want to write something like this:

In choosing his variable names, the applicant did not show a clear pattern or convention. Not only does the casing seem to be chosen randomly, ...

But I did not find in my dictionary that casing can be used for anything other than a box. Can I use it here?

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    I would suggest "capitalisation" (Br. Eng.) or "capitalization" (Am. Eng.). Note that you have a small mistake at the start of your first sentence. It should perhaps read "In choosing his variable names..." – JMB Sep 25 '14 at 12:05
  • Agree with JMB. Another possible alternative is "letter case" instead of "casing". – Damkerng T. Sep 25 '14 at 13:11
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    I think casing is much better than capitalisation in this context, since the latter is so firmly linked to the specific issue of using upper case for either the first letter or every letter of a word. Programmers prefer casing because this will normally be understood to include, for example, camelCase, PascalCase and other more exotic variants that might be considered suitable in the context of user-defined names in programming. – FumbleFingers Sep 25 '14 at 16:28
  • As a programmer, I need to point out that there's also sausage-case, which, technically speaking, isn't a case at all. In fact, I doubt it's grammatical at all. Commonly used when implementing styling and other front-end goodies it looks like-my-component-doing-squat or e.g. col-sm-3. I'd still refer to it as casing or type of case but, when facing need to elaboration I'd say programming casing, (source) code casing or, possibly, computer (type of) case. – Konrad Viltersten Oct 18 '17 at 7:08
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Yes, this is a perfectly acceptable use. Programmers are more likely to talk about word case rather than word capitalization when refering to variable, function, or class names, and English allows you to create new words by changing the part of speech of existing words. So in this situation, using casing is something a native-speaking programmer would do.

If you were assessing someone's essay, and they were randomly capitalizing words, you'd complain about their capitalization, rather than their casing.

  • I am with you in the confines of the case in point, but imagine you were to use "casing" in a slightly more ambiguous way such as in a title e.g. "Casing in variable names". Do you not thing that to some people the meaning might not be immediately obvious? – JMB Sep 25 '14 at 13:37
  • I don't find "editing about" (either as a phrasal verb or a verb plus preposition) to be idiomatic. Deleting "about" seems to provide more natural English. But maybe it's an individual thing. – user6951 Sep 25 '14 at 14:40
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    @JMB: As Karen correctly says, using casing [in this sense] is something a native-speaking programmer would do (though it's obviously a neologistic noun usage, not an adjective). In any credible real-world context, I would not expect those who might need to understand the usage to have any difficulty (or even to find it "odd"). – FumbleFingers Sep 25 '14 at 16:20
  • As a programmer, I need to point out that there's also sausage-case, which, technically speaking, isn't a case at all. In fact, I doubt it's grammatical at all. Commonly used when implementing styling and other front-end goodies it looks like-my-component-doing-squat or e.g. col-sm-3. I'd still refer to it as casing or type of case but, when facing need to elaboration I'd say programming casing, (source) code casing or, possibly, computer (type of) case. – Konrad Viltersten Oct 18 '17 at 7:08

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