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

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36 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 ...
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2answers
50 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 ...
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1answer
44 views

How to use the word “suggest” correctly [on hold]

I suggest you go and ask your teacher I would suggest you go and ask your teacher Do the sentences above have any differences in meaning? Are they both equally correct?
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2answers
40 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 ...
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0answers
38 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
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2answers
47 views

Person versus People

When is the proper time to use the word "persons" in a sentence instead of using "people"?
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1answer
39 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 ...
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1answer
24 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) ...
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0answers
24 views

Is the following an example of grammatical rule or stylistic rule? [duplicate]

The following question is asked quite often, or at least it seems to be: When should end punctuation go inside quotes? However, is this a question of grammar or style? It seems to be style rather ...
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1answer
72 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.
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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 ...
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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 ...
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0answers
38 views

Are we taught to use parentheses in the wrong way and too often? [closed]

I'm finding a lot of questions and answers in general on SE are very liberal in using parenthesis to wrap secondary information within sentences which leads to broken flow and reduced readability. ...
2
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3answers
55 views

Replace “future work” with a phrase in three words?

Since I don't intend to continue work on my paper, I don't want to use the phrase "future work". After reading two similar questions (1 and 2), my first thinking is that most of the suggested ...
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1answer
77 views

Changing tense with brackets: “Bully[ing]” or “Bull[ying]”?

I've noticed that it seems to be common to bracket letters when partially quoting someone in order to make it grammatical. If Bob said "I'll retire when I turn sixty," one might write, "Bob told ...
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0answers
48 views

Recommendations for books on English style (not grammar/proofreading)? [closed]

I'm looking for a good handbook for native English speakers on English style, with more of an emphasis on improving style, and less on punctuation, grammar, etc. It might contain examples of poor ...
1
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1answer
44 views

Should add a comma before 'though' in the following case?

The dog was lying on his side. He wasn’t resting though, of that I was sure. He was dead. Should I add a comma in the bolded sentence? The dog was lying on his side. He wasn’t resting, ...
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1answer
46 views

Do the commas in these aid readability? [closed]

If a unit of measurement represents a singular entity, is it permissible to use commas (as exampled in [1] in every pair below) to aid readability? Do you agree that the first example below in each ...
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1answer
62 views

Compound words limitation

To what extent compound words are appropriate in English? Are the "onthedownburninghouseresting", "firesurrounded" valid words in English? Somehow I feel that the first one is not, while the second ...
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2answers
56 views

Is this a parenthetical phrase or an apposition?

Consider the following What are you laughing at, my silly hat? and What are you laughing at? My silly hat? Which of these is correctly punctuated, and if the first example is correct, what ...
3
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1answer
114 views

Why do we write “Fourier's law” but “Soret effect”?

Can you explain why do we write e.g. Fourier's law, Ohm's law, Newton's law of cooling, etc. but Soret effect, Dufour effect instead of Soret's effect, Dufour's effect? What is the principle?
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2answers
47 views

Capitalization: 'rivers'

In the following sentence, is rivers capitalized or not? The Delaware and Potomac rivers are beautiful.
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5answers
297 views

How to write Vietnamese names in English correctly? (“Việt Nam” to “Vietnam” or “Viet Nam”?)

Commonly, in writing, the country name in Vietnamese is Việt Nam, in English is Vietnam; its capital city name in Vietnamese is Hà Nội, in English is Hanoi; its largest city name in Vietnamese is ...
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0answers
22 views

Is repeating the word “that” ok, if it is technically, grammatically correct? [duplicate]

E.g.: "... with all the sustainability considerations that that entails." If I'm correct, the above example is relative pronoun followed by pronoun - it just happens to be the same word for both ...
0
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1answer
32 views

Is “this object remains a valid inclusion in a discussion of similar objects” grammatically correct?

The wider context within which I am writing this phrase is: "What is certain, however, is that early twentieth-century piano rolls, while not themselves audio recordings, remain a valid inclusion in ...
12
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5answers
2k views

Should I write Orwell's '1984' in full? [closed]

Should I write 'Nineteen Eighty-Four', when discussing George Orwell's novel in an essay, or '1984'? Is it considered unconventional, or overly colloquial to use the latter form? This question ...
2
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2answers
129 views

Is it “2-8 days” or “two to eight days”?

When I am writing a book and referring to something that lasts 2-8 days, do I say "2-8 days" or "two to eight days"? Also, when referring to how much of something I would use, would I say "2-4 ...
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3answers
180 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

Redundancy: If they should

Today’s horoscope on New York Daily News says (the link may be broken after tomorrow): If they should find out something before you had a chance to tell them, it could cause real friction. How ...
2
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2answers
70 views

Is the describer needed in 'not…but…" type constructions?

Consider these two sentences: "His actions reveal him to be a husband who is not jealous but is zealous." "Those words demonstrate not his jealousness but his zealousness." Are the words ...
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1answer
78 views

Can “e.g.” be used to indicate that the preceding clause is an example?

I was advised not to use "for example" in academic work. If I have the following sentence: "The state of New York, for example, uses Auctions to assign...", is it possible to substitute the "for ...
0
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1answer
56 views

Quoting lyrics or lines of poetry [duplicate]

When quoting a lyric or line of poetry in running prose, should the original capitalisation be preserved?
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1answer
89 views

How is title case applied to idioms containing prepositions?

For title case that does not capitalize articles, conjunctions, and small prepositions, how should one capitalize compound verbs and idiomatic phrases containing one of these elements? For example, ...
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1answer
113 views

Using English naming customs for foreign names

In the English-speaking world, many Russians are known primarily by their first and last name: Fyodor Dostoevsky, Leo Tolstoy. However, from what I've read, the usual practice in Russian is to ...
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1answer
216 views

Can we use the abbreviation “etc” without a period/full stop?

Throughout Practical English Usage 3rd Edition (Swan, 2005), the author writes etc in a manner I can't help but wonder if it's a typo. Much/far/a lot etc more money Many/far/a lot etc ...
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2answers
72 views

Capitalization of the word “municipality”

When I am referring specifically to the Municipality of Durham, for example, and I write the following sentence: The Municipality has approved Article 5.3 of the meeting agenda. Is the word ...
0
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2answers
200 views

Can I use “and” many times in one sentence?

I was always under the impression I should not use and more than once. I have this text: I appreciate that all my previous work experience is within office based industries however I am a quick ...
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2answers
52 views

Usage of quotes in the letter writing

I have included this quote with single apostrophe within a sentence amidst letter writing. Is this allowed? Amidst his speech, I still remember his famous quote (saying): ‘Customer experience is ...
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1answer
62 views

A way to describe/categorize music that would rhyme/alliterate with each day of the week [closed]

Good day, apologies for the rather confusing title. My friends and I came up with an idea and started a music appreciation day for each day of the week. The idea is that each day has an assigned genre ...
0
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1answer
37 views

Punctuation between clauses when the first clause is a series

I have this sentence: Even if I seem too busy, or you made a mistake, or someone we care about will be upset, or you feel embarrassed, if anything bothers you, I want to know. I believe that ...
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1answer
45 views

When to repeat a paragraph?

I was reading through this article recently, and I noticed that the first and seventh paragraphs are identical. Stylistically speaking, is it common to repeat entire strings of text as shown here? ...
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0answers
196 views

punctuating So and Then at the beginning of a sentence

I am confused when to put a comma after "so" and after "then" at the start of a sentence. i.e., And then that's when you went to the store? i.e., Then at McDonald's you were only there for a year, ...
1
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1answer
60 views

Correct spelling for BOD and DO

What is the correct way to spell "biochemical oxygen demand" and "dissolved oxygen" in the middle of a sentence? Should the initial letters be capitalized?
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1answer
104 views

Can we use both British English and American English in the same article?

Can we use British English trends and American English trends (such as spelling, or turns of phrase) in different sentences in the one topic?
2
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3answers
1k views

Quite a lot / quite a few / quite a bit

Recently I’ve got stumbled upon the question: What’s the difference between quite a lot, quite a few, and quite a bit? This is very confusing considering a lot and a few have almost opposite ...
2
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7answers
3k views

… is done in agreement with xxx?

Background: I'm writing a professional (technical) report in which I want to express the following in one simple sentence: The whole report is written based on a certain assumption, except one part ...
0
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4answers
108 views

Should I use interchangable terms in academic writing?

In academic writing (when writing to a journal), should I stick to the same terms throughout a paper, e.g. Twenty participants participated to the study. The participants received monetary ...
3
votes
3answers
150 views

“there was” versus “was”

In a Lynda.com tutorial I came across such a sentence: "In camera uploads (folder) are all the photos that I had in my iPad". Instead, I would have probably said: "In camera uploads there are ...." Is ...
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2answers
403 views

Italicizing foreign language words in an English Essay

I am writing an essay about German history, and I'm unsure whether German words should be italicized or not. The essay is in English, but I use words like Reichstag (German Parliament Building), ...
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1answer
206 views

What is wrong with the phrase “me and my work”?

For my thesis, in my acknowledgements, I have the following line: I would like to thank my fiancé, ----, who has endlessly supported me and my work. My supervisor highlighted me and my work and ...