Questions about English registers, broadly defined as variations of the language used for specific tenors, media (modes), and domains (fields).

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0
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1answer
40 views

“I would like to be sent something” “Could I be sent something” [closed]

Are these sentences grammatically correct? I would like to be sent some information on your hotel facilities. Could I please be sent some information on your hotel facilities? Which of these is a ...
0
votes
2answers
45 views

A more polite expression than “minor languages”

I am translating a text to English for a university describing a program aimed at multicultural literacy: Students acquire minor languages in addition to English. The above translation is no ...
2
votes
1answer
122 views

What's the proper and formal way of asking “Didn't we used to do …”? [duplicate]

I saw it used in an article online, and it doesn't seem proper to me because of the two past tenses used together. But since "use to" can't be used here, I don't know what would be the proper way. ...
4
votes
2answers
61 views

Is `bonny' neutral register?

Dictionary definitions of `bonny' admit to chiefly British (or even Scots), but give no further hint of the possible tinges of this word. Bonny (adj.) means attractive, fair; fine, excellent [M-W]. ...
1
vote
2answers
34 views

Proper usage of “bogus”

I know what bogus means, but I don't know if it is appropriate to use it in certain formal contexts. Specifically, I'm working on a grant application and I found myself writing the following sentence. ...
0
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3answers
79 views

How do you denote written slang?

I want to use a slang term to make a sentence rhyme, but I want it known that I know how to spell it correctly. For example: Tennessee is where I wanna be.
1
vote
4answers
853 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

What is a word similar to FYI but not objective/neutral

FYI can be used in an email to inform the person reading the email about some information. It is comfortable using this between peers. But what if the mail is intended to inform someone higher in the ...
0
votes
1answer
193 views

Time period in a date period [closed]

I want to mention the date and time I collected my questionnaires in an academic report. Let's say they are distributed: Time period: 1:00PM - 4:00PM Date period: 1 October 2014 - 3 October ...
10
votes
7answers
1k views

Is “to boil down” formal enough to be used in scientific writing? [closed]

The phrase to boil down to something can be found in most dictionaries. However, to me, it sounds colloquial to write Finding an exact solution to Eq. 1 boils down to ... A real-life ...
0
votes
1answer
130 views

“with” vs “to have”

I have a tendency to say things like: It was nice with cake. Usually it's in the form of: It was adjective with noun. whereas my wife is always correcting me to: It was nice to have ...
0
votes
1answer
180 views

Contractions: Are “I would’ve” and “I’d have” both equally permissible?

Instead of “I would have done something”, are both of these versions ok? I would’ve done something. I’d have done something.
11
votes
1answer
973 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. — ...
3
votes
3answers
479 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
486 views

Difference beween requests “can”, “could” and “may”? [duplicate]

We can use can, could, and may for requests and permissions, but is there any difference between the meanings of the following three versions? May I go? Can I go? Could I go?
2
votes
2answers
226 views

Words with multiple allowable pronunciations

Long time listener, first time caller. I was chatting with some friends, and GIF and nuclear came up. GIF is pretty unique, we considered, as we allow both /dʒɪf/ and /gɪf/ for its pronunciation. ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Is “Ur-moment” a normal English expression?

The New York Times article of this past July 29th titled, “The D.O. Is In Now: Osteopathic Schools Turn Out Nearly a Third of All Med School Grads,” features the growing popularity of the Touro ...
0
votes
0answers
87 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)
1
vote
1answer
1k 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
210 views

“He disagreed with something that ate him.” (spoilers)

In The Living Daylights (a James Bond film), there is a man named Felix Leiter who is [partially] eaten by a shark. The villain writes a paper that says: 'He disagreed with something that ate him.' Is ...
2
votes
4answers
236 views

A poetic word or expression for networking/lobbying/making professional connections

I’m looking for a poetic word or expression that means making professional connections, lobbying, networking, socializing professionally. League, circuit, club, society, and so on and so forth.
1
vote
2answers
833 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
5answers
200 views

Is it appropriate or polite to say 'I am here to educate you'?

When doing a presentation, is the following introduction I am here to educate you (or) Let me educate you considered polite to say to an audience?
2
votes
2answers
103 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 ...
7
votes
12answers
12k 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.
5
votes
4answers
29k views

Is “pronunciate” a word?

Is "pronunciate" a word? At first it doesn't seem to be, but why not? "Pronunciation" and "pronunciative" seem to be words, so it would seem natural that "pronunciate" would be. After Googling, I ...
1
vote
3answers
3k 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?
4
votes
2answers
298 views

Is the word, “kinda-sorta” accepted as a normal word to be used in writing?

I was drawn to the word, “kinda, sorta” which appeared in the article of Time magazine (April 27) under the headline, “The Clippers Should Have Boycotted Game After Owner’s Racist Remarks”: The ...
2
votes
5answers
1k 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...
1
vote
2answers
15k 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, ...
4
votes
9answers
2k views

Is it really rude to use the terms “the john” and “the loo” in lieu of “the restroom”?

I usually use the term "restroom" (or "toilet" if I want to make sure that everyone in the Czech Republic understands me at once), and, while I've always understood that the terms "john" and "loo" are ...
3
votes
2answers
606 views

Does the expression “to go under the knife” carry a negative connotation?

Is there a difference in connotation between these two phrases? I asked my student whether her mother was scheduled to GO UNDER THE KNIFE this morning. I asked my student whether her mother was ...
1
vote
3answers
12k views

“Given that” vs. “Granted that”

Understanding that "given that" and "granted that" are both used to mark the premise of an argument (or conditions that are assumed to be true), and the actual meaning is almost identical, I have to ...
5
votes
2answers
348 views

Is “nowadays” the same as “today”?

When helping an Italian speaker with her written homework, a cover letter, I told her to change the expression nowadays to that of today. Her original sentence was the following: I would be ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

I've finished my studies and currently looking for a job?

I'm writing my first CV (resume) before applying for some jobs. Is the following sentence grammatically correct? I've finished my studies and currently looking for a job
0
votes
1answer
778 views

Goodbye - is it very formal?

I'm writing about cultural differences - not for scientific purposes - and am trying to find out about more and less formal ways of saying goodbye in English. On a scale of formality (from least to ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

When to use “programming's” vs. “programming is” [duplicate]

My sentence can be said as: Programming is fun. and it can also be said as: Programming's fun. Both seem to be correct. When should I use one instead of the other?
3
votes
2answers
257 views

“this represents” vs “this is”

I want to explain to one of my students why this usage is so common in scientific or academic reports but not (as far as I can see) elsewhere: This represents the best evidence to date of ...
0
votes
0answers
95 views

What effect do polysyllabic words have on register and why? [duplicate]

Why does the register differ from using mostly monosyllabic or mostly polysyllabic? Also, in which circumstances may each be more appropriate?
3
votes
2answers
683 views

Technical terminology for a non-technical audience

In documentation for a non-technical audience, I was asked about usage around the term "regular expression." My colleague was asking if one of "RegEx", "Regex" or "regex" would be preferable, I ...
-1
votes
1answer
103 views

Account registration phrases [closed]

An applications asks user to provide a phone number. When the number is wrong, the application displays a message. There can be two cases: 1) the phone is correct, but another user already used it ...
3
votes
3answers
18k views

Is there a plural of “metropolis”, not “metropolises”, that would sound better in a less formal register?

I am aware that the plural of metropolis is metropolises, but to me it sounds stilted and to be honest I cannot recall ever hearing it used. Is there an irregular plural of metropolis that would be ...
2
votes
2answers
443 views

Is ‘misunderestimate’ a received (American) English word?

I found the word ‘misunderestimating’ in the article written by Peter Catapano under the caption 'Don't stop believing' in Opinionator’s Column section of New York Times (April 29). The word is not ...
19
votes
5answers
21k views

Is “curiouser” in fact a word (like in the famous phrase “curiouser and curiouser”)?

Is curiouser, in fact, a word?                                 (Yes, this question is very short, but that’s really all I need to ask.)
4
votes
5answers
9k views

Why is “ain't” not listed in dictionaries?

Google finds 52,000,000 matches for ain't but non-natives simply can't look up this word. Wiktionary isn't helpful. Is it some kind of 'wildcard' for "am/is/are not"?
10
votes
5answers
597 views

Is it okay to say and write “ain't” yet?

Over 10 years ago saying "ain't" was discouraged but it was gaining momentum. What happened? Seems like it's still discouraged. Maybe in another 10 years?