Questions relating to proper style or a specific instance of style in English.

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0
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3answers
62 views

What is the correct way to introduce and write a list?

In technical papers I often see text like this. Finally, the goal is to determine x. The three ways of achieving this are the following: The blue method involves tying your shoelaces. The pink ...
0
votes
2answers
38 views

Is there anything wrong or stilted in the grammar of this short announcement? [on hold]

In accordance with the guidelines of the Parish of Sta. Patrick, the anticipated mass for Easter should start at 9 o'clock in the evening, Saturday. However, considering the difficulty and ...
0
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0answers
14 views

Need a single word for - Opportunity and Opportunities [duplicate]

I need a single word to represent both singular and plural form of the word "Opportunity". Usually we represent such words in the following fashion: Bottle(s). But I don't think Opportunity(s) would ...
2
votes
2answers
150 views

Arabic numerals vs their corresponding English words in scientific research paper [duplicate]

This question is different from Why do English writers avoid explicit numerals?, as it is about the usage in a physics research paper. Basically, I am not sure when to use Arabic numerals and when to ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Indulge/Kill/Satisfy my curiosity

I have few questions for my customer and I want to say him that it is just my curiosity. What is the right sentence which I can use to deal with my customers so that they won't find it funny or ...
1
vote
0answers
16 views

Should I capitalize the middle of a sentence broken up by long examples? [duplicate]

In the context of a technical manual, I need to write instructions guiding users through several standard manipulations. When providing examples of these manipulations, I have written a short sentence ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

What is the “theoretical” counterpart to “hands-on”?

Situation: an educational event may have two parts. In the first theoretical part, we explain the approach, big picture, some theoretical principles. In the second practical part, we give the ...
0
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0answers
36 views

A question on the use of 'since'.

'Since' means throughout the period from a specified point in past time to the present. Can I use it to mean 'throughout the period from a specified point in past time to a specific point also in the ...
1
vote
2answers
62 views

Is it grammatically correct to combine 2 phrases into 1 sentence?

Is this sentence acceptable or correct "You're welcome, have a nice day ahead." ?
0
votes
2answers
127 views

Whats wrong in using the words Whilst and Due to?

I remember reading in an English style guide (The Scott Foresman Handbook for Writers) that the words whilst and due to were quite redundant and not to be used. The author did not seem to like them as ...
5
votes
1answer
90 views

Punctuation with US measurements

Should a period be used with a measurement that is a compound term, e.g., ft-lb?
0
votes
1answer
56 views

Does it make sense to end email with: regards from *country*

I have seen many people say: Greetings from [country name here] But would it make sense to end an email with Regards from [country name here] It seems a little weird, specially if I also ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

Avoiding stuffy language: “Therefore”, “Thus”

In my thesis, I'm using "thus" and "therefore" a lot. This is repetitive and it sounds stuffy. Is there any alternative which sounds a bit more relaxed but is acceptable in scientific writing? "So" ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Question on “the fabric of X” in sentences

I see a lot of sentences with "the fabric of X" in them. For example, "The veteran feels trusted, respected and understood -- re-integrated into the fabric of his or her homeland." "Half a century ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

“Fig. x depicts” vs. “As depicted in Fig. x” in scientific publications

My boss doesn't like it, if I use phrases like "Fig. x depicts" or "Fig. x shows" in scientific publications and wants me to use passive form instead. However, I didn't find any reference that the use ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Pronoun usage: that vs one

I've encountered a sentence on English Wiktionary: The company's 2005 revenue exceeds that of 2004 Can I use one instead of that in the sentence? And that one? And, basically, what is the ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

How do you suggest I write in an archaic style? [closed]

I'd been exploring different styles of language when I decided I'd like to write in an archaic style as was common in the 18/19th century. How do you suggest I write in such style? Please do suggest ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

How to style the names of code libraries

How do you style the names of code libraries like jQuery or Django in a formal essay? Are they italicized like book titles?
1
vote
2answers
36 views

“…, that is:” vs. “…,i.e.,”

I know i.e. and that is are equivalent, but I have seen a ...that is: also. Does this construction differ in meaning? See: It does not regard politics as a separate or primary goal, that is: as ...
0
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0answers
15 views

“Rights are X— X is Y — X is Z—Z is V". Instead of Rights are X; X is Y; X is Z;Z is V

I understand the em dash to be more dramatic and intense than a semi-colon. I'm checking on whether the decision to use the em dash here is also purely stylistic. “Rights” are a moral concept—the ...
2
votes
1answer
15 views

“It is the god-given given that must be accepted because it cannot be changed.” vs a colon

Is the difference purely stylistic, or is there a slight change of meaning in using one form of over the other? "It is the god-given given that must be accepted because it cannot be changed," as ...
0
votes
2answers
37 views

Parenthetical statements and pronouns

What's correct/more common way of including them? Like this: This reminded me of the Genesis, the part where God, after finding out Eve gave the apple to Adam, He says to the her: "... with ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

“You're” or “you are”? [duplicate]

My colleague and I are working on our style used in communications, and we have a question around whether it's acceptable to use "you're" or if we should always write "you are". Our style guide says: ...
0
votes
3answers
357 views

A case study of colon punctuation usage [closed]

I wonder if the three colon punctuation usage in the case bellow. Also, is the indent proper? Finally, are they formal usage, which can be used in formal writings? I have two questions: 1: Who ...
1
vote
1answer
122 views

Where can I find examples of really bad writing? [closed]

Do you know where I can find examples of really bad writing? I'm looking for garbled sentence structure, errors in spelling, grammar, and vocabulary, redundancy, tautology, internal contradictions, ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Referring to something: choosing between “this + {noun}” versus “such + {noun}” [closed]

Recently, I've had a discussion with someone regarding how to know how to choose among the words "this" and "such" in written text, but could not find any usage style guidelines on this topic. ...
1
vote
1answer
447 views

How to respond politely and professionally to an email requesting information? [closed]

I have received the following email Hello, Thank you for applying to UCB. We would like to call you briefly between the hours of 10:50 A.M. EST and noon on January 31. Please provide ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

Is there a better way to write multiple Nota Bene? i.e “n.b., n.b.b.” e.t.c

What is the preferred way to write: n.b. Thing. n.b. Related thing #2. Can you use an approach similar to P.S.?: p.s (post-scriptum) p.p.s (postquam-post-scriptum) Or, should it be ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

When using the French word “sans” in an English sentence, should I use italics?

In the sentence, below, I am using the French word sans to mean without. Should sans be italicized? Or, should all of "sans human civilization" be italicized? Planet Earth sans human civilization ...
-1
votes
1answer
77 views

Correct use of Though

Is it correct or acceptable to begin a sentence with "though" followed by a comma? By that, I mean something like "Though, I like red." Is that usage acceptable, and is "though" always preferred to be ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

Writing in King James archaic language [closed]

I'm currently working on an English project and I have chosen to rewrite a story (Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad) in a biblical, King James style. I have done a large amount of reading but I do ...
2
votes
0answers
40 views

When to use named and called? [duplicate]

I am writing my Statement of Purpose. I am writing a sentence such as I moved to a small town called Falmouth where I .... Should I use named or called? I moved to a small town named ...
1
vote
2answers
166 views

“built-in to the library”: hyphen or no hyphen

http://web.mit.edu/galib/www/FeatureList.html says, "You can use the types built-in to the library (bit-string, array, list, tree) or derive a chromosome based on your own objects." I've sometimes ...
2
votes
2answers
88 views

How do I refer to an idiom in text?

What is the best way to refer to the idiom "Keeping up with the Joneses"? I'm referencing the idiom in a paper, but not sure if I should include it in quotes or not in quotes, but italics.
2
votes
3answers
173 views

How to avoid excessive usage of personal pronoun? [duplicate]

English is not my first language and often I (as a Portuguese speaker) find that my sentences get too awkward with the number of personal pronouns that I usually use. Here is a generic example: ...
3
votes
3answers
72 views

“Day X” vs. “Xth day”

There are two possibilities to say that something happens on a particular day: The course of psychological support consisted of four 30-minute sessions led by a psychotherapist before and ...
0
votes
2answers
105 views

Use of “respectively” twice

Is it correct to use respectively in this way in a written text? The first month of Spring (respectively Summer) is March (respectively June). Could you please point to some examples where it is ...
0
votes
2answers
58 views

“Mr. John s/o Mr. Wagner” vs “Mr. John s/o Mr. & Mrs. Wagner”

Which one below is correct? Mr. John s/o Mr. Wagner OR Mr. John s/o Mr. & Mrs. Wagner Is it necessary to affix Mr. & Mrs. in this case? It seems superfluous to add Mrs. because a ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

The Plural of Email - Emails? [duplicate]

I debated with my peers that we can use the word emails when referring to more than one and it would be grammatically right. But most of them said since we don't say we received mails today, ...
0
votes
3answers
80 views

Is there a noun(phrase) meaning 'the state' of being a masterpiece?

'Masterpiece' is a noun. I would like, however, to use a noun or a concise noun phrase which refers not to a masterpiece, but its state of being a masterpiece. I thought of using 'masterpieciness' as ...
0
votes
1answer
151 views

Into vs In to, which do I use in this sentence?

I'm writing an op-ed with this sentence: "It was initially – in my mind – a list of people you could ask about whoever it is you’re looking into." According to my understanding of this link ...
1
vote
2answers
345 views

Do military titles get capitalized?

I'm pretty sure "Commander Shepard" is preferable to "commander Shepard," but I'm less sure about "the Commander" vs "the commander." On one hand, I'm pretty sure "commander" is a common noun in this ...
0
votes
2answers
75 views

Multiple instances of the same (foreign) word

Consider the following snippet: The Spanish word lágrima comes from Latin lacrima which also has a descendant in English. When you cry, your eyes get their tears from special glands known as ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Delayed relative clause

Consider the following phrase taken from a draft of my master's thesis: In this chapter, the fundamental physiological principles will be presented that underlie the mathematical models and ...
2
votes
2answers
60 views

Person versus People

When is the proper time to use the word "persons" in a sentence instead of using "people"?
1
vote
1answer
49 views

Capitalization of a two-line explanation after a colon [closed]

I came across the following capitalization in a documentation. In the actual documentation, the line is changed where I inserted brackets, and "T" in "Tilt" is aligned to "P" in "Pitch". Installation ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

Does the following need a comma? “You must post 'precautions for usage, etc.' where applicable.”

This is for a poster regarding the treatment of dangerous chemicals in a lab. I have the generally feeling that after the "etc." there should be a comma, and I'm not sure if 1) it is necessary and 2) ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

Is this construction common in formal English? [closed]

Are any and very commonly used together in formal English, as in the sentence below, and does them coming together denote poor style? There aren't any very old buildings in this city.
1
vote
0answers
25 views

“Which foods do you…” vs. “What foods do you…” [duplicate]

The word "which", by its definition, is "asking for information specifying one or more people or things from a definite set." So, naturally, "which foods do you..." is the correct way of phrasing this ...
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 ...