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

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2answers
26 views

Is “final intention” a pleonasm?

I'm proofreading a report and stumbled on this in the following form: His final intention is to create a large flying city. Is “final intention” a pleonasm in this sentence (or always)?
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1answer
30 views

Where to position adverbs

They may sound both correct but which one is more acceptable in standard written English? She is writing a letter now. or She is now writing a letter. Thanks
12
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7answers
2k views

My English translator capitalizes every noun. Is it correct? [on hold]

I'm developing an Android/iPhone application. My translator for English localization uses a lot of capitalization. For example, in the app menu, it suggests: |Export Data to Folder| |Prevent Screen ...
3
votes
1answer
78 views

Can I use two colons in a sentence?

Can I use two colons in a sentence? A typical example would be something like the following: Note: I have substantial experience with the following languages: Python, Java, C++, and Perl. I have ...
1
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3answers
50 views

When is writing eloquently considered “wordy”? [closed]

When I write, I prefer to do so as eloquently as possible: why should writing be only functional? Although, my English teacher considers this poor style--her belief reflected in some of my essay ...
1
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1answer
32 views

count of the number of times

I found this expression in a book. "This is a count of the number of times SomeDB had to follow an index pointer to the actual document on disk." It sounds weird to me but I am a non-native speaker. ...
1
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1answer
68 views

Is using “maybe” in combination with a conjugation of “to be” bad style?

I've read this answer about the difference between “maybe” and “may be”. It contains the sentence “maybe he is in the office today” as a correct example. In the above example “maybe” and “is” is ...
4
votes
3answers
142 views

Comparative or superlative to describe a quality of a member of a set of two things?

For example, 'he's the bigger of the two guards' or 'he's the biggest of the two guards'? The comparative indicates that something is bigger/more difficult than another member. If there's only two ...
0
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1answer
31 views

An (consonant) object [duplicate]

My original sentence was: ... an array of ... However I decided I wanted to elaborate on this, as "(traditionally two-dimensional) array". We usually use parentheses for extra detail not ...
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2answers
88 views

Is it considered good style to use “relatedly” to start a sentence?

I sometimes like to start sentences with “Relatedly,”, as you might start them with “besides”, “however”, “furthermore,” and so on. (“Like” in that I find the word practical and concise. It could be ...
2
votes
3answers
62 views

Best way to phrase “{x and y} and z”?

I've continually struggled with this sentence arrangement. I have a list of 2 groups, but one of the groups is also a group of 2. Example: "I need help finding turtles and brown and grey foxes" The ...
0
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1answer
68 views

What does the reviewer mean?

I submitted my paper in a journal and after five months the reviewer replied as follows. I cannot understand him. Would you please let me what is really he means (bold words below). Words are omitted ...
0
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1answer
47 views

Beautiful novels [closed]

Putting aside the wonderful realm of Middle-Earth and many other values, The Lord of the Rings and Tolkien's other works are written in a very beautiful English. What are other novels/stories that you ...
0
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1answer
62 views

“To a fare-thee-well” for “perfectly well” in AE

Does the idiom "to a fare-thee-well" have any currency in modern day AE speech and writing, or does it have sort of an old fashioned feel to it? http://www.thefreedictionary.com/fare-thee-well ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

Swapping Words in 'Deep' Sayings

Here's an example of a common swapping that happens when people want to sound profound: The clothes don't make the man It's the man that makes the clothes What is this form of swapping called?
0
votes
1answer
24 views

Terminal preposition / adposition question

So I was hoping to know if the phrase as many as I can think of is improper or incorrect because it ends with the word "of"? What would be a way to minimally change this to not violate any ...
0
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2answers
50 views

Style Guide: Bold, Italic, or Quotes When I Want to Emphasize Something

Let’s say I have many lists of this kind on a page: Click on the Foo button. Tick the Bar box. Click on the Save button. How should I emphasize Foo, Bar, and Save? Bold? Click on the Foo ...
2
votes
3answers
101 views

What are reasons to omit quotation marks in dialogue?

While writing a short memoir for a college course, I wrote the dialogue without quotation marks, the biggest reason being that I do not like how clunky it looks in Times New Roman. I do not mind it ...
0
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1answer
54 views

Can you use “has” instead of “contains”?

If I say: The new ipad has a 4.5" lcd screen and a microUSB slot. instead of: The new ipad contains a 4.5" lcd screen and a microUSB slot. Is it better or worse? Is "contains" necessary, am I ...
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2answers
61 views

where- and there- compounds

Are these lexical formations considered archaic or can they still be used without fear of appearing extravagant or even old-fashioned? ... the book in which I read that... ... the book wherein I ...
1
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2answers
85 views

Why is the period placed inside the double quote, at the end of a sentence? [duplicate]

My mother tongue is Chinese, and as I read English articles, I find a convention in written English that I can't explain. If a quoted word appears at end of a sentence, the period is written inside ...
0
votes
2answers
129 views

Which one is correct and why?

Across the Chesapeake Bay from the rest of the state ........ , whose farms produce beans, tomatoes, and other garden vegetables. A. there lies Maryland's Eastern Shore B. lies Maryland's Eastern ...
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1answer
74 views

on multiple infinitives

It is my greatest intellectual satisfaction to be able to read a line from Plato's dialogues and see what is sounds like in any of the languages in which I can read. It is my greatest intellectual ...
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1answer
69 views

Does an object have “specificity to” or “specificity for” another object?

Does an object possess specificity to or for another object? Every time I go to express this concept in writing, I struggle over which preposition is the more appropriate and more precise. This is ...
3
votes
2answers
64 views

Use of valedictions in non-personal communication

Would it be proper to use a valediction ("complimentary close") in a newspaper or magazine message wholly devoted to congratulating the media's readers with the New Year or some other holiday? An ...
0
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1answer
96 views

Active and passive verb with different prepositions for same object - commas?

I've got a sentence like this: A will impose B on and further be affected by C The two verbs have nothing in common, they both just put A in some relation to C. As C is quite long I don't want ...
1
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1answer
59 views

Should I factor-out “to” in a series of infinitives?

Which of the following two forms of the sentence is better? "Managers can use these findings to bound estimates, to assess the realism of road maps, to recognise unsustainable growth, to judge the ...
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2answers
286 views

which was given me VS which was given to me

I have come across occurrences of which was given me on many occasions; mostly in 19th century novels, where the mark of the dative case, to, was usually omitted. Which was given to me, on the other ...
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1answer
33 views

Should “improve at the following fronts” be followed by problems or solutions? [closed]

I am writing a technology report. It starts with an analysis of the current problems in the system. As a summary I have a paragraph to list all the problems in bullets. I use this sentence to start ...
0
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2answers
198 views

Grammar check on a sentence with one subject, many verbs in sequence, and no conjunctions between them

Here is a sentence from my article. Just wondering if there is anything wrong with having sentences which are too long. He created some data, put up some samples, initiated a sequence and finally, ...
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1answer
82 views

How to ask a question in a modest way?

I am bold to ask you another question: is there a book written on Churchill’s life? (self-made) I wrote this sentence in an email to my foreign friend. I doubt that the use of “bold” is ...
-3
votes
1answer
55 views

What style manual does Noam Chomsky use? [closed]

I wonder where this info would be available. Maybe it would have to be reverse engineered. More generally, are there any style guides that are more prevalent among leftists?
2
votes
1answer
89 views

What. Is. This. Style. Called? [duplicate]

I see this style rather frequently and in the past decade many print advertisements have apparently decided that it makes their sentences. have. more. impact. I can tell that the style is trying to ...
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votes
3answers
91 views

Doubt about plurals in a sentence

I often find myself in this situation. I try to describe my time with something, but it doesn't come out sounding right to me. Specifically, in this instance I'm trying to describe my time with ...
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votes
1answer
38 views

Referring to two sections

What is the proper way to refer to two sections in a single sentence (in a scientific text)? In particular, should I use the word section twice, or should I use sections. If I use sections should I ...
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votes
1answer
64 views

Does this sentence require a comma (+ is the meaning there…)?

Modifying the causal account so that instead of deriving explanandum E from law L and true premises P, we derive P from E and L, produces strongly counterintuitive conclusions. I'm hoping you can ...
0
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1answer
48 views

Conjunction when one element contains another

I write a paper that defines a certain algorithm on geometric shapes. I have a sentence similar to the following: If the input to the algorithm is connected, convex or rectangular, then its output ...
0
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1answer
96 views

What benefit was there by replacing “chart” with “tabulate”, then with “tally” in the NYT headline: “Bank charted business linked to China hiring.”?

I was drawn to the changes of the headline of today’s New York Times’ article reporting JPMorgan Chase established a program to hire a lot of sons and daughters of Chinese dignitaries. The ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the abbreviation for 'century'?

I remember being taught in history classes to abbreviate century by writing a large capital C followed by the ordinal number as in: C18th without the full-stop (period). Recently I have noticed on ...
1
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3answers
186 views

Expression choice: 'conclusion', 'taken as a whole', or 'regarding'

I am wondering if it would be more effective to use another construction: Taken as a whole or Regarding instead of In the general framework of the leaf photosynthesis limitations ...
3
votes
1answer
128 views

Why do people use “…” in emails after people's names? For example, “Mike… ”

What does this "..." mean in emails? For example, "Mike...You are always welcome to come to our social event."
0
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2answers
51 views

Parentheses surrounding footnote body [closed]

It's unbelievably hard to find relevant information online, as almost every Google search just gives pages of advice and questions regarding citations and referencing styles. If I use a footnote in ...
1
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3answers
86 views

How to overcome this awkward structure, given that I won't use the structure “natural object + whose..”?

We really have abundant false names and hypocritical formulae, especially in some formal and public speeches the truth of which is not the concern of the speakers. (self-made) Many people ...
1
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1answer
65 views

Does it make sense to say “We came to code”

My mother language is German and I am working as IT professional. I am about to write a small manifesto on some professional values for a group of people. Since writing source code is more or less ...
0
votes
2answers
147 views

Strange sentence structure from a piece by Paula Gunn Allen

This lesson is in a pattern book. I want to know why the word about is repeated quite a few times in the text: My mother told me stories about cooking and childbearing; she told me stories ...
0
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1answer
80 views

How to punctuate a question within a thought [duplicate]

In a third person narrative, punctuate the following sentence: Wasn't art supposed to impact the reader in an emotional way, she wondered. How would that line be punctuated? I know I could use ...
0
votes
3answers
569 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
2
votes
1answer
76 views

How to refer to members of the House of Representatives?

The sentence is Call your two Senators and your elected member of the House of Representatives. I'd like to say something simpler like … your elected Congressman, but that runs into all sorts of ...
0
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1answer
69 views

Can I switch from “man's” to “yours” in this paragraph?

Locke thinks that property right is naturally attached to man's labor. That is, the products of your interaction with the natural world naturally belongs to you.(self-made) In the first ...
1
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1answer
145 views

The use of “black box” as a synonym of “mysterious”

Full details are provided so that the method is less mysterious. I would like to replace "less mysterious". Is the following proposal valid for (scientific) writing? Full details are ...