This tag is for questions regarding formal, versus informal words and usage.

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2answers
28 views

What ( is the best time / are the best times ) for a meeting?

I'm about to arrange a meeting with a person. I have a feeling that when I say What is the best time for a meeting? ... I'm sort of forcing them to come up with one option only. I'd like to show ...
1
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2answers
56 views

“(1) stop, (2) drop, (3) and roll” or “(1) stop, (2) drop, and (3) roll”

Which is correct, formally speaking, or is either acceptable based on style and consistency?
2
votes
1answer
129 views

Formal Version of “Getting Around”

I am writing an essay about The Catcher in the Rye, and need to mention Stradlater's ability to get with basically any girl he wants. It can be said that he "gets around" (sorry for lack of a better ...
0
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1answer
41 views

Alternatives to “intoxicates” in formal writing

In the following sentence: Stephano intoxicates Trinculo and Caliban. To me, the wording is awkward. I would like to find alternatives to intoxicates in formal writing, but I cannot discern what ...
1
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1answer
111 views

“Formal English” - Can its meaning vary from place to place? From person to person?

Can it be opinion based? Whenever I ask a question here about word usage in formal English, I will invariably get a comment saying "It depends on what you mean by formal English". Isn't there an ...
0
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1answer
46 views

“simply”, “merely” and “only” - Are they interchageable in formal writing?

In the following sentence: "They are ....... wasting their time." Would "simply", "merely" and "only" be interchangeable? When I was a student of English I was taught the use of "simply" in formal ...
-1
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1answer
79 views

Is it acceptable to say “I don't have a clue” meaning “I don't know” in formal English?

I'm a non-native speaker. When I was a student of English my teachers mentioned this answer was to be avoided in formal situations, except for its literal meaning. Years later I heard it twice, as a ...
-1
votes
1answer
16 views

What should I write under “signed” tag? [closed]

Signing english documents (UK, if that changes anything) I am wondering what should I write under "Signed" tag? I wouldn't have doubts if the blank would be described as "Signature", but "Signed"? And ...
0
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2answers
63 views

Is the question/greeting “How're you going?” correct usage?

I was just wondering if the question/greeting "How're you going?" is correct usage? I know it's more prevalent in Australia because I live here and have heard it very often. I guess the American ...
3
votes
0answers
46 views

Did I “say” that online, or did I “write” it? [closed]

When we refer to something someone else has previously spoken or written, we usually differentiate between the spoken and written word with the verb introducing the quote or paraphrase: In his ...
0
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0answers
7 views

Name of formal form of address [duplicate]

In some languages, such as Italian, when addressing someone who is senior to you or at a higher level with respect to some social hierarchy, it is customary not to use the second-person singular ...
1
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2answers
87 views

What's a formal/proper way of saying “the exact opposite”? [closed]

I am writing a mock memo for a university assignment, addressed to a current professor. Thus, the general tone and genre of the letter is definitely formal. I am trying to say the following: (The ...
4
votes
4answers
703 views

Why do some questions not start with an auxiliary verb?

When I learned English, my teachers told me that all questions must have an auxiliary verb at the beginning, just like Are you mad? or Is she playing? do. But when watching some movies or talking ...
9
votes
1answer
388 views

When did “ain't” become slang?

In Anthony Trollope's The Way We Live Now, there are several places where "ain't" is used instead of "am not", such as: "I ain't afraid of him, if you mean that," continued Lord Nidderdale. — ...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

What should we call our elder cousin's wife? [closed]

We don’t call our cousins cousin Somebody the way we do with uncles and aunts; we just refer to them by their given name directly. But sometimes we cannot use their name to address them, such as if ...
1
vote
1answer
107 views

Informal Vocabulary - 'Mank you'

I understand the character is being sarcastic but I don't understand why exactly he says 'mank you'. I looked up the word 'mank' and it doesn't make sense in the context so I suppose 'mank you' is ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

“who” or “whom” as a relative pronoun - not always so easy [duplicate]

I take it for granted we all know when to use the relative pronouns "who" and "whom". And we also know that since the early nineteenth century there has been a steady decline in the use of "whom" ...
3
votes
3answers
157 views

Difference between “bunch of” and “group of” with regard to people

What are the contexts for using a bunch and a group when describing a handful of people? Please take both spoken and written English into account. For example, when is it more appropriate to use "a ...
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votes
1answer
102 views

What does “Yeah, you did” mean?

This has been a question since I watched the episode Ted Mosby, Architect [HIMYM, Season 2] long time back. Yesterday I came across this again and I still don't get it. What does "Yeah, you did" ...
0
votes
5answers
121 views

Formal word for “gotten made”

Is there a formal term for "gotten made" or "gotten synthesized"? To be more clear lets assume that I have a design for a special chair; I ask the carpenter to fix it for me because I don't have the ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

Can we use “bad” as an adverb in writing and formal speech? [duplicate]

Should a lecturer say "He felt bad" or "He felt badly"? "His tooth ached so bad he couldn't sleep" or "His tooth ached so badly he couldn't sleep"? Are both forms acceptable in formal ...
0
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0answers
80 views

Is it polite to say 'thank you guys' if both genders were involved? [duplicate]

Related: Is "guy" gender-neutral? Discussion about more formal version: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1620575 Thank you (thank you guys)
4
votes
3answers
158 views

Is addressing a guy as “guy” rude?

Non-native here, is addressing a guy as just "guy" considered rude? Like, while addressing a pet-store clerk: "Hey, guy, how many mice will $13 buy?" Also, how long has it been in use?
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2answers
90 views

Do these sentences make sense? [closed]

Notwithstanding the argument, I would still consider you as a friend. I was exhausted, notwithstanding I stayed up for another two hours. Maybe too formal to use in everyday writing as a word for ...
1
vote
3answers
85 views

“Between” Two Locations

I am typing up formal invitations, and I want to say that transportation will be provided from Point A to Point B (but also from Point B back to Point A). In order to clear up the to-from/from-to ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Which of “press” or “depress” the enter key is the more correct choice? [duplicate]

I’m reading a manual right now instructing one to “press” the enter key. However, both press and depress appear to be correct, as explained in the question Why is the term "depressed" often ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

How to best convey excitement for the next assignment, quarter, or project? [closed]

I’ve just received feedback on my work during the second quarter of the year (Q2) from my manager. I would like to reply to this feedback and end my reply with a sentence along the lines of" ...
0
votes
1answer
106 views

Saying “programming” vs “coding” [duplicate]

I've always thought that "programming" sounded more professional opposed to "coding". But after looking at the words more closely I'm not entirely sure they mean the same thing. But even if they do ...
2
votes
2answers
79 views

Is “shall” an appropriate word for a scientific thesis? [closed]

May I use the word shall in my scientific thesis? As in The relevant ones shall be introduced in the following. Or is shall considered slang or outdated?
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Is it appropriate to use “it's my bread and butter” in formal english?

I am preparing for an English language test. That is why I am working on strengthening my English vocabulary. My question is regarding the speaking section of the test. If the examiner asks me about ...
-1
votes
2answers
75 views

Concurrently with or Sequentially To/Sequentially With?

Drug A is administered concurrently with or sequentially to Drug B. I want to say in a formal manner that Drug A and Drug B are administered either at the same time or at different times, but I ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

how to tell if you fall down your head will *** the floor?

how to say in the below scenario... if you fall down in the floor, your head will _ _ _ _ _ _ in the floor. the blank should talk about the crashing of head with the floor. What is the correct ...
0
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3answers
87 views

What is the correct way to respond to sender with full name

I recently received an email I need to respond to, but I am unsure of the correct way to address the sender. Dear Mr Sayse, [ . . . email body . . . ] Regards Joe Bloggs Is it ...
0
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2answers
76 views

What can replace “consists of”?

For reasons I cannot explain, I hate the phrase consists of. Does anyone have an alternative? An example is: Testing consists of continual operation, alternating between random writes and random ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

Informal language: “you guy’s” vs. “your guy’s” [duplicate]

You guys and Your guys are somewhat informal in English language. Typical example usages: Do you guys want to come around to watch movies tomorrow night? Is addressing a party of more than ...
4
votes
3answers
394 views

A formal word for 'disemvowel'

According to Collins English Dictionary, disemvowel is a transitive verb meaning 'to remove the vowels from (a word in a text message, email, etc.) in order to abbreviate it'. Since the ...
1
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1answer
51 views

Use of “nay” - still current?

I get the sense that the interjection nay is seen as outdated and used only for humorous effect. Is this assumption true, or is it still acceptable in serious writing?
1
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2answers
235 views

Is it okay to use “Sure thing” as a reply to my boss?

I was wondering whether sure thing — when I mean certainly — is too casual in a business environment, or whether it could be used under certain circumstances. (I’m not a native speaker of English.)
0
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3answers
218 views

Professional ways of saying “to know something”

Usually, in our CV or resume, we will say that "I know this, I know that, blah blah". I think the verb "to know" is not formal enough in such situation. Is there a better way to say you know ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

marketing style of fairness products [closed]

If you have seen any ad of fairness related products, most of them show women who are disadvantaged by their complexion. Say, they show she isn't selected for a job interview because she isn't "fair" ...
2
votes
2answers
82 views

What do you call a subordinate clause that follows its main clause but is wrongly punctuated as a separate sentence?

“This compelled the chancellor to shut down the whole program. Which was an outcome no one really wanted.” I suspect that what underlies this error is the sense that in spoken English a substantial ...
0
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2answers
3k views

What would be your reply if someone asks you, “How do you do?” [duplicate]

What would be your reply, if someone asks you How do you do?
6
votes
5answers
445 views

How to write a proper research paper with the use of pronouns referring to myself?

I am writing a research paper or report that is based on the development of my own product. Traditionally, the University I study in recommends that a research paper or report must be written by ...
6
votes
11answers
4k views

Is there a word for “without any reason” but a more formal one

A sample sentence would be: Why did you ban me without providing a reason? Is there a single word to replace "without providing a reason" with? Indiscriminately is not an option for me.
2
votes
2answers
978 views

Formal personal introduction to a letter

I've received an e-mail of a colleague that I meet once. He wrote as introduction, "I hope you're doing well" and then he continued directly with the matter of the mail. I would like to use some ...
0
votes
3answers
59 views

What do I call a date by which document have force?

I am writing technical documentation and I can guarantee, that it is in up-to-date status at the date I write it (or update it). How do I call this date in one or two words?
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3answers
589 views

What is the formal way to say “a bit”?

What is the formal way to say a bit in an essay, for example, in the sentence beginning “It is a bit different from”? Is a little formal enough?
1
vote
1answer
117 views

“I feel it my duty” vs. “I feel it *IS* my duty” [duplicate]

Given these two choices: I feel it     my duty to [do something]. I feel it is my duty to [do something]. Which is preferred, and why? Background: I got confused when reading an article in The ...
6
votes
6answers
514 views

Do you “create” a hypothesis?

What is the most appropriate verb when talking about making a new hypothesis? E.g. Lenneburg created the critical period hypothesis. Lenneburg coined the critical period hypothesis. ...
3
votes
3answers
80 views

Is this correct: “[x] is where [explanation]”

When explaining a concept, for example, recursion, is it valid to use a construction such as: Recursion is where a subroutine calls itself. To my ear, "is where" sounds somewhat weird. Do you ...