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

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1
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2answers
298 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
votes
3answers
247 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
71 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
84 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
5k 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
510 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
2k 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
60 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?
1
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3answers
811 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
134 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
525 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
81 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
71 views

Can “lackadaisical” be used in literature?

Has lackadaisical ever been used in literary works? My Oxford Dictionary of Quotations has no quotation that includes this word. Who first used lackadaisical in the 1760s as the OED claims?
0
votes
2answers
105 views

In/With regard to are informal?

Her Ladyship's Guide to the Queen's English by Caroline Taggart suggests that all the forms in regard be informal Are you in accord with her ? I use it in my future article and wish to be formal. ...
-1
votes
1answer
86 views

American Novels in Colloquial Language [closed]

I would like to know the names of novels that uses a lot of American colloquial expressions and idioms and it would be great if the novel portrays the exact way people talk in normal circumstances. ...
5
votes
3answers
206 views

Formal alternative for “dos and don'ts”

I want to write "dos and don'ts", or an equivalent expression, in a university essay. I am assuming that it is not very academic to write "dos and don'ts", so does anyone have a better way of putting ...
0
votes
3answers
71 views

Is it correct to write “…, so…”? Is it formal to use “so” in writing?

Is it correct to write "..., so..."? e.g. You are handsome, so you are appreciated. Is it correct to use "so" in formal writing? If not, what are the alternatives?
0
votes
2answers
70 views

“the below-identified person”: Term for this style and any style guides regarding

Are there any technical terms to specifically describe the two styles (A and B) below? Also, are there any prescriptive style guides that say which is preferable? My own preference is for style B ...
-1
votes
1answer
69 views

Past perfect vs. simple past

What verb tense must I use in the following sentences? I'm describing my work experience in casual speech. I had been working at Apple for five years. [I imply that I worked there in the past] ...
3
votes
7answers
138 views

Software bug formal usage

Is it appropriate to use terms "software bug" and/or just "bug" in formal report? What else could be used instead? Defect?
1
vote
3answers
121 views

A more formal alternative for “go with” in the context of food or literature

... or the literature on food. I need a verb for associating things that go particularly well together. Possibly with a wine or French lineage. It is not pairing. Other ideas thrown out are go with ...
2
votes
1answer
821 views

Formal word for 'emit anal air'?

Is there a formal single word for 'emit anal air'? I've heard 'eructate' being used, but this means air from the mouth only; not from the other end.
1
vote
1answer
546 views

Greetings after initial email

In a formal / professional email (i.e. emails directed at potential employers, co-workers and administrators), is it okay to exclude the greeting after the first email? For example, I will send an ...
1
vote
2answers
329 views

“When it comes to doing something” Are there alternatives?

Do you think "When it comes to" is a formal or informal expression? I want to use this in the TOEFL writing paper.
0
votes
3answers
330 views

A more formal way of saying “pointing out”

The goal of an edge detection algorithm is identifying pixels that belong to an edge of an object in an image ... The rest of the sentence should say something along the lines of "and point ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

How do you say “ I do not know why it is so” in an academic way?

The situation is, I'm comlaining about the problem concerning submitting important documents via Internet because it seems like that document was not properly submitted. However, I don't know if it ...
0
votes
1answer
231 views

Are “kinda”, “sorta”, “oughta” and “sposta” acceptable in formal writing?

I get that sorta, kinda, sorta-kinda (this one I quite like though) oughta and sposta imitate speech but it still annoys me to find them "in print", especially when the overall tone is formal. ...
0
votes
2answers
972 views

Can we use “likewise” instead of “also” in formal writing?

When we write academic paper, can we use "also"? If it is a bit informal, is it ok to use "likewise" instead of "also"? Or, are there any possible expression in such situation?
0
votes
4answers
84 views

How to say formally 'once he paid off all the debt' [closed]

I am translating an article of association from Japanese to English. I am stuck at a sentence which means: His membership shall be terminated once he paid off all his debt from the Association, if he ...
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votes
1answer
84 views

“The meaning of this word” vs. “The meaning to this word” [closed]

Occasionally I observed that some native speakers will use preferably the construction "the meaning to (a word, phrase, etc.)" whereas others will go for the more common grammatical turn "the meaning ...
1
vote
2answers
134 views

Is the word “gig” formal?

I'd like to know whether the word gig (temporary job) is formal or colloquial. Always that I've read it, it has been in forums. I have never heard it or read it somewhere else, just in forums, which ...
-5
votes
4answers
188 views

Adjectival “Anglican” for “English”, and “Anglicanism” for “Anglomania” in AmE

Harrap's New Shorter French and English Dictionary, Ed. 1985 [Harrap's Shorter French Dictionary], points up adjectival "Anglican" as an Americanism for "English", and "Anglicanism" as an AmE ...
2
votes
5answers
576 views

How to say “I don't believe you” in a more academic way?

How to say "I don't believe you" in a more academic way? I need to say it to my teacher and I do not know how to say it, not to make her mad...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

“To take in” and “to catch” in the sense "to attend and visit (or see) [the sights of (a city, etc.)] in AmE

Do these terms share the same degree of informality in the sense "to attend and visit (or see)" as of someone taking in/catching the sights of a place, or taking in/catching a show or a movie? E.g. ...
3
votes
4answers
289 views

Is “has made it his business to” polite or impolite?

In this sentence: He has made it his business to reintroduce the theory to a new generation of activists. Is "has made it his business to" an impolite expression? Is it a radical expression? ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

“To charge (that…)” for “to claim/to assert” in AmE

While browsing my bilingual dictionary, Ed. 1985, I stumbled upon the verb "to charge" in a meaning defined as an Americanism [3(b) U.S.: to charge that... alléguer que...(to assert that)] without any ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Can I address someone in an email with their first name if they sign with their first name?

I'm planning to do an internship and I usually address my supervisor as Mr. X, however, he signs his emails with his first name is that means I can address him with his first name ? Note: I haven't ...
3
votes
1answer
312 views

“In back of'' vs. ”back of“ vs. the spatial sense of ”behind" in AmE

What's the difference to these expressions, as in "The little girl was hiding in back of the tree" vs. "The little girl was hiding back of the tree" vs. "The little girl was hiding behind the tree"? ...
0
votes
2answers
673 views

Polite way to inform that there is no need to reply (business language) [closed]

I am often requesting my colleges via email to update a status of a case they work on. The update (note) should be provided in application they work on which is also explained in my request. There is ...
11
votes
5answers
3k views

the USA vs the US

I am writing an essay where I need to make a reference to the United States of America. Often I hear this shortened to the US, but sometimes people also say the USA. Are there any difference between ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

“Latch onto [something/someone]” for “obtain, get (hold of) [something/someone]” in AE

I just rediscovered the colloquial expression "latch on to [something]" online and would like to know the story to its meaning of "obtain, get", which is presented by CD as AE and CE. ...
1
vote
0answers
17 views

“Who” usage in interrogative form [duplicate]

When using "who" in a question, which is correct: Is it I who has erred? Is it I who have erred? The latter seems correct by test (take out who), but the former seems correct by question form ...
0
votes
1answer
273 views

When to use “me and my __” and “my __ and me”? [duplicate]

When is it correct to use, for example "me and my wife" and "my wife and me", which is correct and what's the difference?
4
votes
1answer
63 views

When can you omit the possessive on an honorific?

I was considering honorifics and I realized that sometimes we include and sometimes we omit a possessive in front of them. I was wondering if there was a formal rule for such? For example: Your ...
0
votes
2answers
4k views

When should we say 'Thanks' and when, 'Thank you'? [closed]

While I'm communicating with my colleagues and clients, I used to say 'Thanks' and 'Thank you'. I normally use 'Thank you' when I want to express it to a single person usually through e-mails, ...
3
votes
5answers
454 views

Is there a formal phrase for saying that the location of an event changes between two places?

The context of my question is the following. I am involved in organization of a conference which is held every year but in two different places (every second year in each of them). What is the best ...
4
votes
2answers
302 views

Alas, is it informal or formal? Can it be used in formal writing?

Question title is enough. Can I use alas in formal writing , especially in scientific writing? I do not remember seeing it a lot in scientific articles but dictionary references does not say anything ...
2
votes
5answers
125 views

What's a more formal equivalent to “seriously out of line”?

What is a more formal equivalent to "seriously out of line"? In the particular case I'm looking for, I've been advised that what I'm referring to is seriously out of line legally, but the question is ...
0
votes
1answer
204 views

Can I say, “the article claimed”, “the focus of the article is”, etc.?

I once went to a writing centre at a community college and asked if it's more correct to write the article explains... or the author explains.... The instructor replied that the latter was preferable, ...