Tagged Questions

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

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-1
votes
1answer
421 views

Is it ok to end a sentence with a preposition? [duplicate]

I have a sentence: It can be derived from either A or B. But I’m not sure how to ask the following question: Which one of them can it be derived from? Is that ok, or would it be better if ...
-4
votes
4answers
786 views

What does “ Rape someone's mind” mean? [closed]

Can we use of it to express violence by words and talks against another one or trying to impress him/her by advertisement against his/her own willing? Is it formal or informal? For example: Mona ...
3
votes
2answers
7k views

Is “catch up” used in formal language as in “We will catch up sometime”?

I wrote "we will catch up sometime" to one of my new friends. When I searched the Internet I found that people used it in informal situations. Is it okay to use this in formal writing as I did since ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

“Not so much” at the end of a sentence

I've occasionally seen "not so much" used at the end of a sentence. For example, Jeff Atwood saying Some community feedback is useful. Others, not so much. Doing a symbolhound search for "not so ...
2
votes
2answers
205 views

Is the word “dorm” acceptable in a thesis?

I'm writing a thesis about students living in dormitories and I would like to know if a dorm is an acceptable expression for a dormitory? I don't live in GB nor in USA and the thesis is neither ...
11
votes
3answers
397 views

How should a person holding a foreign military rank be addressed?

While researching how to call a person that holds a rank at a foreign (non English speaking) military, I came to very confusing results: Wikipedia is not consistent on the issue: it sometimes gives ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Is this a complete sentence?

There was an ad on telly I saw, saying Relax, knowing your home is safe Is this a complete sentence that is grammatically correct? Could this go in an essay? What is the technical word for ...
1
vote
4answers
2k views

Formally saying that you are laughing without euphemisms or colloquialism without referring to yourself

I want to know how one can manage to assert that they are laughing without using euphemisms or colloquialism in first person, for example in a letter, without referring to yourself, that is saying ...
0
votes
3answers
411 views

Is “setup” an acceptable noun in formal writing?

I'm editing a draft of a scientific paper which repeatedly uses the word "setup" to refer to the, well, experimental setup. Example: The dimensions of the setup are 250 mm × 250 mm × 50 mm. ...
0
votes
1answer
4k views

Greetings when replying to the other party's response

Writing formal emails, When I reply to the other party's email, how should I start my e-mail? Starting the email for the first time, I'd say Dear XXX. But should I say it again when I write to them ...
13
votes
6answers
957 views

Does the word “newbie” have a negative connotation?

Imagine that I'm running a friendly and informal online business. I would like to introduce my service to the new customers by a blog post that entitles, 'Are you a newbie to XYZ.com?'. Will that ...
1
vote
2answers
286 views

What is the difference between “nudge” and “push” [closed]

I am trying to nudge them towards a practical solution. What does nudge imply here? Can't we just use something like push? Is the word outdated or still in use? I'm not trying to avoid using ...
1
vote
1answer
646 views

Acceptability of the phrase “While yet others” in formal English

Is it acceptable to use the phrase "While yet others" at the start of a sentence in formal English? Are there any alternative phrases that I could use? To put this into context, I wish to write ...
2
votes
2answers
464 views

Word or phrase for mere coincidence that brings happiness

I wish to state that my exposure to a certain area was a mere coincidence, and I am happy about the area. Moreover, I want to convey the idea that the incident was like a fairytale, something no one ...
-1
votes
1answer
121 views

Does 'agemates' have a space or not? [closed]

How is it correctly spelled? agemates or age mates
1
vote
2answers
119 views

Is it suitable to use “trump card” in scientific papers?

Suppose you improved an old method with a novel technique. Is it OK to say that it (your technique) is your trump card in paper? If not, what is your suggestion?
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there any reason why English doesn’t add respectful words in every sentence? [closed]

My mother tongue, Korean, and its neighbor Japanese have postpositions for expressing honoring the opposite in each sentence when we say to seniors or strangers if these are younger than the speaker. ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

Is using the last name of a person without a title an accepted way of addressing?

I always heard people use Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms before people's names and that is how, I thought, it was done until I watched one of those Harry Potter films in which Malfoy (Sr) addresses Albus Dumbledore ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Is “ain’t” slang, or is it colloquial instead?

Does using the word ain’t in a song make it slang, whereas using it in a speech make it colloquial?
-2
votes
2answers
171 views

“Pitcher” or “Pitchee” when referring to oneself in a submission form

I'm pitching a story to a public broadcaster and the layout asks that I put my name on the top of the form. Am I the "Pitcher" or the "Pitchee", or should I just go with "Name"? "Name" seems too vague ...
-1
votes
3answers
7k views

Correct way of saying a decision has been made [closed]

What is the correct way of saying "decision has been made on a paper"? I review papers submitted by officials. Is it OK to say it like this? This paper has already been decision by Sam Rick. I ...
2
votes
4answers
4k views

Alternative to “as-well-as” for an academic paper

Is there some better alternative to phrase as well as for an academic writing? It sounds to me too informal. The whole sentence is: Improvements of both parts are possible as well as joining ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

“Deliberately” vs. “intentionally” vs. “on purpose”

I wonder if there is any difference between usage of these three: deliberately intentionally on purpose Are they completely interchangeable? Are they at the same level of formality? I found some ...
3
votes
1answer
232 views

Colon between “that is” and formal definition

Is it appropriate to use "that is" followed by a colon when defining something formally? I have the following example: Let γ be the set of groups that hold variables accessed by C, that is: γ ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Using “you got it” in the sense of “you are welcome”

Normally I would assume the meaning of you got it were something like: You do understand it right. You’ve achieved your goal. Or even I’ll do it for you very shortly. But from time ...
2
votes
2answers
69 views

How to write that I used a graphic from another source and modified it? [closed]

I'm writing a thesis in English (I'm from Germany) in which I'll use a graphic from a book that I modified just a little bit. How do write it correctly? see [source], slightly modified. ...
0
votes
1answer
724 views

How can I say “I know him well” in a formal way [closed]

I need help in formal writing. Can somebody tell me how to say "I know him well after 2 year teaching him" formaly? Thanks in advance.
1
vote
2answers
10k views

Is the abbreviation “etc.” or “and so on” acceptable in formal writing? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: On the usage of “etcetera” Is the abbreviation etc. or "and so on" acceptable in scientific writing papers?
3
votes
3answers
14k views

formal way of saying “I want to”

I’m writing a piece of mail to the manager of some other company, and I wanted to ask him: On a different note, I wanted to know how you are doing [something]. I was wondering, is there a more ...
0
votes
2answers
204 views

How formal should the English in a personal blog be? [closed]

I'm starting a technology and/or programming oriented blog, and I was wondering how formal should the English be, specially when it comes to the shortening of words like "let's". Ideas?
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Is there a formal verb to describe the act of cheating on another?

I wish to say something along the lines of "after she found out her husband was cheating on her" however I have realized that 'cheating' is colloquial. Is there a formal alternative that is a ...
1
vote
2answers
171 views

“White” vs. “a white” vs. “a white person”

Should I say that "Will is white" or "Will is a white" or "Will is a white person" to refer to his race? Also, is it considered acceptable to say someone is black or white in a college paper?
1
vote
1answer
737 views

Is “Fellow” informal? If yes, what's a formal equivalent?

In this article I read that: Fellow – Avoid using "fellow" when you mean "a person." Calling someone a fellow is more formal than calling him or her a dude, but "fellow" is still a colloquialism. ...
0
votes
1answer
4k views

Prepositions: “upon” vs. “after”

Despite having heard enough times already that upon is an archaic version of the on preposition, I'm still struggling to thoroughly understand its meaning and usage. In the quoted sentence, ...
1
vote
1answer
359 views

Usage of “ain't” in formal conversation

Is it okay to use ain't in formal conversation? I know ain't can be used for am not, is not, are not, have not, has not. So if I can use it in day-to-day life, it will be easier for me I guess.
4
votes
1answer
798 views

proper way to write the slang term for “gravitational force”

I came across something very similar to this in a thriller novel: At this stage, the rocket is experiencing its maximum acceleration, say about ten gees. Here, the author has spelled out the ...
6
votes
3answers
19k views

Is “I'm screwed” a rude expression?

Is "I'm screwed" a rude expression, or can it be used when someone tries to say they made a mistake? I overheard it from someone who seemed to have failed at his task.
14
votes
1answer
1k views

On the usage of “etcetera”

In Spanish, we use the word etcétera at the end of an enumeration to imply there are more things to mention, which may (or not) be important, but they will be omitted. Thus, I was fairly surprised ...
0
votes
1answer
252 views

Curious about the type of humour employed by Twitter's @AntiJokeCat? [closed]

Despite my general disregard for Twitter and its adherents, I very much enjoy AntiJokeCat's brand of humour. His/her gags are funny because they seem to subvert the notion of what a joke is and ...
7
votes
5answers
712 views

Is “huge” slightly informal?

Is "huge" slightly informal? In the following sentence, First, some people insist that Japan doesn’t need to adopt [an] austerity policy because it has a huge amount of assets at home and ...
4
votes
8answers
1k views

Difference between “shall not exceed XXX” and “may be XXX but not longer”

The candidate's statement shall not exceed two hundred words. The candidate's statement may be two hundred words but not longer. I think there is no difference in meaning between these ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

“You're not” vs. “you ain't” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What does “ain't” mean? What's the difference between "you're not" and "you ain't" ("...coming home")? I do realize that ain't is a contraction of are ...
3
votes
4answers
723 views

Is answering a question with “Why, ” rude?

In a book I've read some characters are answering questions with "Why, ", e.g. Why not come to me? you ask, and I must answer, Why, because I did not trust you, my lord. and they never mean it ...
10
votes
9answers
998 views

T-V distinction

In many languages, there is such thing as T-V distinction. Basically, it's when you use different pronouns in "formal" (or "polite") speech, and in informal speech. Now, I do realize there is no ...
22
votes
5answers
6k views

Why should I use “ought to”?

Is "ought to" still used in modern English? If yes, in what contexts is it used, and is it used more in formal or informal cases?
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Difference between “heck” and “hell”

Many say that one shouldn't use "hell" as it is informal. You can use "heck" instead. Both convey the same meaning. Then why this difference? Why can't one use "hell" everywhere?
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Formal alternative for “suck” [closed]

What is a more decent/formal alternative for the word suck? I want to use it in the context of being bad at something. To be precise, I want to translate "To suck less at a job every day" to formal ...
3
votes
2answers
636 views

When addressing my 'Sensei', should I omit the possessive “my”?

In English, when (if ever) is it appropriate to use the possessive with a formal title when addressing someone? Kind of like I would say, "As you wish, my greatest of loves." For example, Thank ...
2
votes
2answers
10k views

What is a more eloquent way to say “I hope I'm not asking too much”?

I've been emailing back and forth with another professional who has been very generous in sharing a workflow developed at their institution. This professional has gone to great lengths to answer my ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

discreetness, secrecy

Is paraphrasing: I expect you to keep this subject secret from people it does not concern. as I'm expecting discreetness concerning this subject. a correct use of that word? How else would ...