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

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0
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0answers
14 views

Acceptance email after getting work from senior authority [on hold]

When senior authority assigned a job to me how could i reply in email?
2
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2answers
43 views

How to use title in salutation, when recepient's name is unknown

I'm sending a formal letter to an adjudicator but do not know his or her name. What would be the most appropriate salutation? Dear Adjudicator: Dear adjudicator: Dear sir or madam: To whom it may ...
8
votes
9answers
692 views

What quality does a person lack who cannot understand another's point of view?

I am looking for a non-slang, non-colloquial word - a word that I can use when speaking to a professional therapist/counselor, to be exact. Another way to ask this question might be "What quality ...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

“hot topic” as phrase in thesis

I'm currently writing the introduction of my Ph.D. thesis, which is about theoretical computer science. I stumbled upon the phrase To put it in a nutshell, X is a hot topic where X refers to ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Should contractions be avoided in formal emails?

In a formal email of the kind where you begin with "Dear Mr. Surname" and finish with "Best regards", for example, should we use the following contractions? Or are the non contracted forms more ...
3
votes
10answers
127 views

More formal synonym of “bullshit artist”?

I need more formal ways to express three related terms: bullshit artist, BS-ing, and the art of BS-ing. Edit -- providing some context: The type of BS I need to talk about is the kind that ...
1
vote
4answers
51 views

More formal alternative for “get a handle on sth.”

In a text I am writing (paper in the sciences), I find I would like to use the phrase “In order to get a handle on this problem, …”, but it seems a little informal. The intended meaning is “gain a ...
-1
votes
2answers
29 views

Cite authors or inform the reader that these guys made it?

I writing a research paper in which I want to say that Paul Viola and Michael Jones (authors behind a framework) made this framework. What is the more formal way of saying this?
37
votes
14answers
6k views

What can be used as formal euphemism of “hack”?

I'm writing a technical document, and I need to convey the fact that we had to find a non-optimal, non-orthodox solution that was adopted as the best available alternative (a hack) to solve an ...
35
votes
13answers
155k views

More formal way of saying: “Sorry to bug you again about this, but …”

I was wondering if there was a more formal and polite way of saying: Sorry to bug you again about this, but we still have not received a response about X .... (if we still have not received any ...
2
votes
0answers
103 views

How to politely say to sellers in stores that you don't need help? [closed]

This happens quite often. You're at a store, and while looking for clothes sellers come over and ask if you need any help. And since my English is far away from normal English I just use what I know ...
4
votes
4answers
9k 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?
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Formal way to say “I believe”

I am writing a chapter in a book and I want to say that "I believe that this researcher is right ....", in a more formal way. Can I say "The present author believes ....."
1
vote
4answers
119 views

Formal alternative to the phrase 'Not taken seriously' [closed]

I'm writing a legal essay and the sentence is For example, a young person’s reluctance to seek redress, and that youth are often not taken seriously, their words often not repeated in court rooms. ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Is the lowercase pronoun “i” a feature of Indian English?

The Rule The personal pronoun “I” is always capitalized in English, regardless of its position in a sentence. This is an orthographic convention that every native speaker should know. Whenever I ...
1
vote
3answers
7k views

Is it acceptable to use a tilde symbol to sign your name? [closed]

Should the tilde symbol (~) be used to sign your name? It seems quite commonplace on Internet forums but I don't believe I've ever seen it used in books.
0
votes
0answers
33 views

Asking a boss to be if agreement still holds?

I'm awaiting for my employment contract to arrive, which is one week overdue. How do I ask my employer to be if our agreement made over the phone is still in force without looking annoying or ...
0
votes
2answers
25 views

Is “fellow course members” formal

If one enters "fellow course members" In Google one only gets 8k+ hits. It is correct? And a formal way to describe people that took the same course you did? If not, what is? Is there some ...
3
votes
3answers
137 views

A formal synonym/expression for “saying that”

I need a more formal expression for "saying that" here. I couldn't find another formal expression Saying that rape culture is an environment where emotional and physical violence against women ...
0
votes
0answers
51 views

Professional Engineering-related Business Letter

For one of my Engineering Courses, I had to write a professional Business Letter to inform my hypothetical employer of my analysis about two alternatives, and which one of them is better. For this ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there a formal word for people that are local to a place? [closed]

I wish to write about the people and language of a city I recently visited in an essay. Is there a word for people who are local to a place?
7
votes
8answers
5k views

A more formal word for 'Screwed.' [closed]

Hi I'm doing a formal writing essay and I'm using a phrase from an online source. In this phrase it has Your screwed. Would I get away with having this phrase in the essay? If not what is an ...
3
votes
4answers
940 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 ...
50
votes
11answers
5k views

Is “data” considered singular or plural?

Related to this question and this question. My non-native English speaking friend just asked me: Data is ... or Data are ... I said both but that's because I've been desensitized from ...
2
votes
2answers
84 views

The quality of things you stick with

I was wondering if there is a word in English to describe the quality of things we stick with. For example, if a training is well designed, people will tend to keep using it. Meanwhile, if it's not, ...
3
votes
3answers
95 views

Formal alternatives for: “There is not a need”

I am writing a formal technical report and I would like some advice about an expression I want to use. I have a sentence which I want to make more formal: The merit of their approach is that ...
8
votes
6answers
3k views

Usage of “is when”

In grade school, when writing stories for English classes I recall being gently corrected whenever I handed pieces in that contained sentences with a structure similar to this: “A debate is ...
0
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1answer
22 views

Is the statement ending with “for” considered proper? [duplicate]

What would be a better and more formal way out of the two below: The capability was not catered for. or We did not cater for this capability. Or perhaps these are fully interchangeable?
0
votes
3answers
178 views

Is “aha” an appropriate answer to “thank you”?

I have heard many native speakers in the United states answer with a brief and cold "aha" when someone says "thank you". Is it really appropriate to answer like that? I myself feel offended when I ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

“Top 1 %” or “99th percentile” for formal usage?

Which is more formal (i.e. on a resume), "top 1%" or "99th percentile." ?
1
vote
2answers
45 views

Formalities calling work colleagues, clients an partners as Pal/Pals

In my work we have a collaborative tool for work interaction where we debate things like workflow and issues. I'm in a interaction with workmates, client employees and partners. I thought to reference ...
2
votes
3answers
126 views

closing words for e-mail to person with incurable disease [closed]

What kind of closing words as an alternative to We wish you full and quick recovery can be used in a formal letter when writing to a person with an incurable disease. I/We wish you all the ...
0
votes
1answer
102 views

Using “e.g.” instead of “for example”

I am reviewing a software manual, and I frequently come across sentences like (made-up example): The value is 1, but you can set it to e.g. 100 It seems to me that the use of "e.g." is wrong in ...
1
vote
1answer
470 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 niggles me to find them "in print", especially when the overall tone is formal. ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Which terms are used to describe language usage?

When trying to explain the usage of words in French to English speakers, I'm handicapped by my lack of vocabulary to describe when words are used. Looking in dictionaries for the French terms give me ...
10
votes
5answers
28k views

More formal way to say “follow up”

I am writing a formal letter and want to say "I am following up with you regarding..." but I need to say it more formally.
4
votes
3answers
8k views

Usage of 'Hi' and 'Dear' in Formal Communication [closed]

I always hesitate using 'Hi' in formal mails. Is it OK to use it like "Hi Sir,..."? Same with 'Dear Junior,...'. Any help would be appreciated.
0
votes
2answers
116 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 them ...
2
votes
5answers
121 views

Verb in active voice for “being penetrated”

The context is sexual and the example, straightforward: providing an alternative to "a man's penis penetrates a woman's vagina" where the female organ is the subject of the sentence, and using a verb ...
-1
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1answer
4k 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?
0
votes
2answers
45 views

What should I use in this case: “despite”, “though,” or “even though”?

That way my mom can move on, find someone else, despite having sworn she'd only marry God." That way my mom can move on, find someone else, though she swore she'd only marry God." ...
23
votes
5answers
8k 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?
0
votes
1answer
23 views

usage of dissimilar

This sentence is grammatically correct. But does it make sense to use word dissimilar to avoid repetition of different here? the results would be absolutely dissimilar if there is any slight ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

Is “hard to read at spots” appropriate in formal writing? [closed]

I have seen people using the expression "hard to read at spots" for stating that some parts of a text are unclear, or that some reading conditions are negatively affecting the understanding of the ...
0
votes
1answer
95 views

using are to name but a few

In a very formal writing style, Is it fine to use to name but a few in a separate sentence? There are a lot of algorithms to do hashing. MD5, SHA1 and CRC are to name but a few.
1
vote
2answers
194 views

Starting a Sentence with a Conjunction [duplicate]

My high school English teacher taught us to never start a sentence with conjunctions, but throughout the years I have seen a lot of such usage in academic writings and novels. I have also read various ...
1
vote
4answers
478 views

What's an alternative for “hidden gem”?

Hidden gems is an idiom which means something which is extremely outstanding and not many people may know about; for example, Blame It on Rio by Stanley Donen is a good movie, but relatively unknown ...
0
votes
1answer
23 views

“A single thing” as one and only thing?

"the new design allows a single car to be used as both truck and bus" "two people can use a single computer at the same time" Can a single thing used like that to emphasize that only one thing is ...
-1
votes
1answer
187 views

formal way of asking help & information [closed]

i want to write an email to professor to get an information about result of shortlisted candidates in university. what is formal way to ask him to "let me know".
1
vote
2answers
55 views

What is the informal phrase to compare two difficult tasks

To give you the context, let's say you are moving house. Packing stuff is a difficult job as well as moving them to the new place. In my mother language, if I translate it word by word, we say: ...