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

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1answer
77 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
162 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
57 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
61 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
65 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
126 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
109 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
794 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
457 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
250 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
276 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
202 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
694 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
81 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 ...
-3
votes
1answer
81 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
105 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
184 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 ...
1
vote
5answers
475 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
45 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
252 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
48 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
1k 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
253 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
613 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
2k 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
894 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
224 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
60 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
2k 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
422 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
256 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
119 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
147 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, ...
-1
votes
1answer
79 views

“tabloid” or “tabloid newpsaper”?

Is it considered informal to refer to tabloid and broadsheet newspapers as a "tabloid" and "broadsheet", as opposed to "tabloid newspaper" and "broadsheet newspaper"? I'm writing a piece in the style ...
0
votes
3answers
223 views

A better way to phrase this? [closed]

I had an email forwarded to me and one of the sentences in it sounded kind of wrong...: "It would be helpful if you can send me the agenda as 10am-3pm is quite a huge block of time for the students." ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

App or app? When I refer to it in a formal paper

In Android contexts, should the 'a' in 'app' be uppercase always or lowercase?
1
vote
2answers
230 views

Polite request regarding availability

How do I ask if a person is available and to inform me, in a polite way?
1
vote
2answers
73 views

Formal term for upper level health workers

What is the formal term for upper level healthcare workers? By "upper level" I mean Medical Doctors and pharmacists; basically the ones that must have a university degree to perform the duties. I'm ...
4
votes
3answers
11k views

“Much obliged” — Old-fashioned? Polite? Pedantic?

I've heard someone say "Much obliged!" a couple of times, instead of the usual "Thank you!". A common phrase in Portuguese ("Muito Obrigado") and maybe other languages, but certainly unusual in ...
2
votes
1answer
648 views

When Americans say someone has ''no accent'', what do they mean exactly? [duplicate]

As in my title question. Do they mean a specific region of the US, something else?
0
votes
1answer
103 views

Academic writing: “one's”

Is it allowed to use the word "one's" in academic writing? For example: It can help improve one's vocabulary.
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Formal way to describe sexual acts

I'm writing a statement of events that happened between me and my ex. It needs to be written formally but I don't how to write the following words in that way: "blowjob" and "eating her out." Thanks ...
1
vote
4answers
227 views

“Would you mind and do something” in nonstandard colloquial AE

Just curious, does "Would you mind and do something" instead of "Would you mind doing something" sound acceptable in spoken AE, or is it an attempt to imitate or render colloquial speech in not so ...
1
vote
2answers
135 views

Why is “yeah” considered unprofessional?

I have read in many places on the Internet that "yeah" is considered unprofessional. And that using "yes" is preferred and considered more formal. What is the reason behind it?
3
votes
4answers
4k views

Which is correct: “I’m done” or “I have finished”?

Which of these alternatives is grammatically correct? I’m done. or I have finished Like I’m done sounds very American, but is it grammatically correct?
0
votes
1answer
168 views

How to say “I vaunt a broad knowledge of the subject” without bragging?

How can I say "I vaunt a broad knowledge and understanding of the subject" without sounding too arrogant? The verb to vaunt implies bragging, in my humble opinion.
2
votes
2answers
1k views

“Thus” vs. “so” in formal English

Currently there are about 4000 international students from 110 different nations across the world, thus/so the university offers perfect conditions for socializing and making new friends. Is this ...
-3
votes
2answers
211 views

“Can I” vs “May I” [duplicate]

You may have heard the argument "it's not can I go to the bathroom, it's may I." If this is true, then any question such as "can you get me a glass of water?" could have the same argument applied to ...