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

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3
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2answers
51 views

The word “still” as an adjective — does it have a connotation of 'somehow related to death or the dead"?

I realize that the definition of "still" (used as an adjective) goes like this: someone or something that is quiet, calm or not moving. examples: the still water of the lake still wines (vs. ...
-1
votes
0answers
19 views

Combined reading, writing class [on hold]

To _________ a reading is to look over a reading while taking note of key elements rather than reading it word for word. scan cluster read narrow
0
votes
1answer
20 views

Is valediction in one line at the end of offical letter acceptable?

Is valediction in one line at the end of offical letter acceptable? For example: Sincerely yours, John Snow
1
vote
0answers
23 views

Inverted commas or italics when you mouth something

I am wondering if it is better to use inverted commas or italics when you mouth something, rather than say it aloud. E.g. I cover the receiver and mouth Sorry to my friend. Or is it better to go ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Blogpost vs. blog post [duplicate]

Have I written a blogpost or a blog post? I've seen both forms used but am not sure which is the "correct" one, if there's any.
2
votes
2answers
36 views

When should 'viz.' be followed by a comma?

Some Latin abbreviations as 'i.e.' and 'e.g.' are always followed by a comma. For the Latin abbreviation 'viz.', sometimes it is followed by a comma, sometimes it is not. What is the rule for ...
1
vote
4answers
53 views

“watch more realistic 3D scenes” & hyphen

Problem: "viewers can watch more realistic 3D scenes and interact..." Do I need to hyphenate "more realistic" here? I think I do, as the compound modifier "more realistic" is modifying "3D ...
2
votes
1answer
31 views

Is EndDate higher, or later than StartDate?

In technical documentation, where you have two variables, StartDate and EndDate, how do you say that the EndDate must come after StartDate? Do you use the lower-higher or sooner-later comparison? Or ...
0
votes
3answers
30 views

Proper punctuation for compound sentence with quote that is a question

How should this be properly punctuated? What is the purpose of human existence, or is it meaningless is the question asked by Juan Valdez in "What do coffee pickers with burros think about all day ...
2
votes
1answer
35 views

Usage of commas and colon in sentence containing lists, and additional clauses

I've used this site to my benefit in the past, and now I have my own question. I have looked through some of the answers (although I admit not every one as I am short on time) and cannot find what I ...
0
votes
5answers
68 views

Nonstop, non-stop, or non stop? [closed]

Which is the proper spelling of "nonstop?" nonstop or non stop or non-stop
0
votes
1answer
20 views

Proper formatting for names of ships and taverns in fiction writing

I know that the names of ships and taverns need to be italicized in the general text, but what about in dialogue..within the quotes?
1
vote
4answers
63 views

Gender in “Sun won't show its/his/her face” nowadays

The question concerns the usage of possessive pronouns in phrases like: Sun won't show its/his/her face much today. I saw this sentence using her in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, and ...
0
votes
2answers
29 views

Use quotation marks after “that which is called” and similar phrases?

The solution is to foo, producing what is called a bar. or The solution is to foo, producing what is called a "bar". Should I use generally use one over the other; and if so, which one? If ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Bold, Italics or Underline? [duplicate]

When writing a letter, or other form of written work, what is the appropriate way to put emphasis on a word or phrase? When would one use bold? When would one use italics? When would one use an ...
0
votes
1answer
25 views

“doing sports” or “when doing sports”

I came across the following sentence: "Appropriate equipment and being focused on training are always the most vital aspects when doing sports" My question is: Is "when" necessary here? Can I just ...
3
votes
1answer
64 views

What does the complementizer “that” accomplish in terms of style?

I've always refrained from using words that weren't necessary to conform with grammar rules and didn't add to the meaning of a sentence. Being a fan of brevity, I don't use the complementizer that ...
2
votes
1answer
49 views

Does using “that” to introduce a subordinate clause serve any other purpose but to eliminate ambiguity?

I've always been taught to use "that" to introduce a subordinate clause only if there is an ambiguity in the meaning of a sentence without it. For instance: He said on Monday he had lost his ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

“Tonight let's go with the bottle of Cabernet *vs.* the Merlot.” [closed]

(Note that the home wine rack has 10 different kinds of wine in it.) I've been told now and again over the years that this kind of use of vs. (versus) is improper. Apparently it's supposed to only ...
0
votes
2answers
121 views

How may I write good English? [closed]

I am a senior professional from India. I studied most of my educational career in English medium. For professional reasons and personal fervor I want to write good English. I am looking for expert ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Capitalizing Work Titles — Beyond General Rules

The rule I'm getting is: Capitalize if it comes before the name: Janitor Richard McGill was a fastidious man. Director Campbell slept in the office as McGill the janitor proofread his annual ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Comma or No Comma? Workplace and Title [closed]

Anthony Martin, assistant accountant, PwC, and associate editor, Washington Post. The commas above look a little too much. Are they technically all correct? Which would you recommend removed? I ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

User tutorial: to be written in first or second person? [closed]

I'm writing a user tutorial but I'm unsure as to what perspective it should be written from e.g., first, second? The tutorial is a friendly guide showing how the user should do x. Example: ...
2
votes
2answers
36 views

Chapter ranges: chapters x-y or chapter x-y? [duplicate]

I am doing some proofreading using an in-house style guide and the Oxford Style Manual as references. However, I cannot find a convention regarding whether to use chapter or chapters when expressing ...
0
votes
0answers
47 views

Work “at” or “in” a firm? [duplicate]

.. entry into ... to develop a long-term career in the firm. ... position at ABC Ltd... and develop a long-term audit and assurance career in the firm. Is either of these sentences wrong? ...
1
vote
1answer
19 views

Use of singular/plural as a way to focus on the number sense

(I don't know if it is entirely appropriate to ask this question here but,) given the following phrases: The birthday of family members is... (celebrated based on the lunar calendar) The birthdays ...
3
votes
1answer
59 views

Did I “invoke a function” or “initiate a function” in computing?

According to Google, initiate means "cause (a process or action) to begin" and invoke means "cause (a procedure) to be carried out". In computing, should I say, "I invoked a function" or "I ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

Is “But to no avail” a fragment?

I am trying to write a dialogue and I wanted to end it with "But to no avail." however I am not sure if it is grammatically correct or not. “Go ahead!” he begged. “It's going to be okay.” But ...
4
votes
2answers
97 views

Comma before “with,” “who,” “having” for non-compound sentences

I've noticed my résumé and cover letter have multiple sentences like the ones (slightly edited) below: I offer excellent computer skills, with a typing speed of 80–120 WPM. I recently met ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Number of genitive object in a nominal compound [duplicate]

Which of the following options is better? Do the two choices reflect any difference in meaning? "Matters regarding comments deletion" or "Matters regarding comment deletion" --Assuming the ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Should there be a line space after Thank you/Regards [closed]

Is the following correct ? Thank you, Joe OR is it correct with a line space- Thank you, Joe
1
vote
1answer
29 views

Separating present perfect verbs by a comma?

I know this might seem trivial, but I am not sure what to do with sentences like this. If I have a sequence of verbs that I want to be in the present perfect tense how should I write the sentence. ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Omitting “will” from a sentence

I am writing an essay and I am not sure whether I should place "will" in this sentence or not. The experience I will gain living in Panama will assist me in understanding how Central Americans ...
0
votes
1answer
75 views

How do you use “What” in a sentence?

So I am writing this essay and I am not sure how to use the word "what" in a sentence. The sentence is What encouraged me to work hard is what encouraged me to study hard or should it be: ...
1
vote
0answers
75 views

Is there a name for this type of markup in writing?

In writing there are often little inline snippets to add to the meaning of the sentence - for example: There are many problems here, e.g. too fat; too stupid; smells bad. The elephant is a ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Construe vs. construct

It seems, perhaps obviously, that "construe" and "construct" have nearly identical etymologies. Since that is true, is there a reason--as for "use" instead of "utilize"--that one should use the more ...
0
votes
1answer
22 views

How to say that something is doing two “parallel” actions A and B?

I have a slight lexical problem - I would like to emphasize that an agent is doing/achieving two "parallel" actions/goals A and B. My intuitive idea to say this was to use both, like in: S both ...
5
votes
2answers
132 views

Usage of file extensions as nouns and verbs

What are the rules for style regarding the use of file extensions as nouns and verbs? Are file extensions to be capitalised (e.g. PDF file, JPG image or pdf file, jpg image)? What about making them ...
10
votes
5answers
566 views

Pronoun in English without specific referent

Writing academic essays in English can be a daunting task for the EFL writer (my native language is German), but for me a very specific problem gives me headaches and leaves me sitting with a smoking ...
1
vote
1answer
27 views

Simplicity or Complexity, which is more important in speech and writing? [closed]

English or any other language could be written or spoken in both the forms, either the user could use simple words or he could use some technical words, my question regarding English is which has more ...
3
votes
1answer
50 views

Analysis of following writing pattern

Is there a name for following writing/dialogue pattern? We ride into the future. A future where ... In the world you grew up. A new world with ... It's just a theory. A game theory.
2
votes
3answers
56 views

Is it improper to use a colon and then another colon in the same sentence?

Can you use more than one colon in a row? Examples: He follows one moral maxim: the Golden Rule: treat others as one would like others to treat oneself. Jane lives in an one-story house: a ...
0
votes
2answers
51 views

Is there a term for fiction authors whose writing style is technically the most important feature of their books?

I'm re-reading "Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov right now, and I must say, the author is very consistent in never allowing himself merely to narrate: each paragraph, if not each sentence, is loaded with ...
3
votes
1answer
64 views

How to write correctly in a heading the genus and species name of a microorganism? [closed]

I have a question regarding how to write correctly the name of a microorganism in the title of my thesis when using letters in uppercase: Option A: ...BLAH...BLAH... ESCHERICHIA COLI ...
0
votes
1answer
20 views

Is this passive voice?

I am not sure if the below sentence is actually passive voice. Count I alleges negligence in Park Rangers’ removal of the signs. If so - suggestions on rewording it without making the sentence ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Which one is correct: “Similar to those that happened in Y” or “Similar to those in Y”? Please see my examples

Is the first sentence fine as it is? I was surprised to know that circumstances surrounding the violent protests in Japan were somehow similar to those in my short story. I was surprised to know ...
3
votes
1answer
67 views

Is this type of ellipsis natural?

As far as I know, using ellipsis in the second part of the sentence is very common. However, using it in the first part of the sentence looks unusual, at least to me. Is it grammatically correct to ...
0
votes
1answer
26 views

em dash in this sentence, is it used as an alternative for comma (,) esp in this sentence?

This is especially important for writers who are non-native English speakers—try to find native English speakers to review your writing.
3
votes
1answer
55 views

What is the stylistic form to use for including foreign text in an English article?

Academic texts often include translations of terms, and these are included in parentheses. Is there a standard to use when including foreign language text (e.g. Arabic, Russian, Chinese, etc.)? ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

Does the omission of pronoun in one of these two sentences could make the meanings of both vary greatly?

I am doing my English assignment right now, and I couldn't decide which one sounds better: But luckily for New York City, a brightly-painted retro bus from the 70s, facilitated with lavish ...