I thought I better run this past the meta before asking it on the main site.

I've been directed here from Biology.SE regarding good scientific language, see the question below.


Does this fall under "Word choice and usage." and so is ok to ask?

  • 3
    I'd like to commend you for thinking about the question before posting, so here's my opinion on the underlying question even if it turns out to be off-topic on EL&U: mass is fine. Once you've chosen the term, you can say 20% by mass or 20% by volume, etc. for clarity.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Feb 8, 2016 at 12:32
  • Thats very helpful.
    – alan2here
    Commented Feb 8, 2016 at 13:27
  • 1
    I think this is a question about language purely for the technical audience, which would know much better than a general language English site.
    – Mitch
    Commented Feb 8, 2016 at 17:21

1 Answer 1


To me, the problem with this question is that there are many answers that could conceivably work. See the first bullet point in "What types of questions should I avoid asking?", namely, every answer is equally valid.

People could respond with weight, mass, mols, volume, or just about any kind of measurement, and it could be acceptable.

On the other hand, if you narrowed it down to mass (or the definition of mass), then you've answered your own question and don't need to ask it.

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