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

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9 views

Help with sentence syntax and style

A. Please follow the instructions below for a sample of what the profile looks like on their official website. Please follow the instructions below for a sample of the profile as ...
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1answer
26 views

Apostrophe use in singular (and parenthesized plural) possessive noun(s)

How would one combine the sigular and plural possessive forms of contractor into one form? Like for example contractor’(s’). A friend of mine is busy editing a fairly technical document and arrived ...
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42 views

the things we should avoid when we are talking [closed]

I am here to ask you if there are sentences which are very informal or offensive, thus, we mustn't use them in daily speaking. I just need 4 or 5 phrases. Thank you.
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3answers
53 views

Unsplitting infinitives and change of meaning

I've been watching Generative Syntax from the University of Edinburgh on youtube and in chapter 1.1 while describing prescriptivism Prof. Caroline Heycock talks about Splitting infinitives (and the ...
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1answer
29 views

This is right. Or that is right?

Opinions sought. I vaguely remember that the expression "This is right" (meaning "I agree with what you just said") appeared in the 1970s. And I remember it because, if I remember correctly, it ...
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0answers
49 views

What is another way to say, the Animal Shelter is considered one of the best ran animal shelters in our nation [closed]

What is another way to say, the Animal Shelter is considered one of the best ran animal shelters in our nation. I need a stronger sentence. My current sentence is; In a relatively short period of ...
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2answers
53 views

Adjective is adverb? What style it is? [duplicate]

What does the word perilous mean in You could taste it; a nervous tension that came perilous close to fear? It looks as if there should be perilously instead, meaning too (close). Are this ...
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1answer
50 views

“It was a truly amazing experience” vs “It was truly an amazing experience”

Is there much of a difference between these two sentences? It was a truly amazing experience. It was truly an amazing experience.
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2answers
57 views

The fine line between stilted and sloppy

I received a comment to one of my questions that I would like to elaborate on. Because the inversion of word order in the original makes it sound a little stilted The original question yielded ...
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1answer
36 views

Is it acceptable to use Latin abbreviations in formal academic writings? [duplicate]

Is it acceptable to use Latin abbreviations such as "etc" and "e.g." in formal academic writings? Personally I think, they are. However, somewhere I read I should avoid them. Is it correct? In ...
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4answers
13 views

Is it weird to use “this” in past tense narrative?

Example: We talked on the phone for a while. In the end, we decided to hold Tom's funeral this weekend. So in this case this refers to the current weekend in that past tense story. However, ...
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2answers
48 views

Why did people sound differently when addressing the public in the early 1900s?

I notice that people used to speak not necessarily more clearly, or distinctly, but their voice had a certain 'choppiness' to it that you don't hear anymore... Unless the person doing the speaking is ...
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0answers
64 views

Sentence length in English writing in early 1900s vs. English writing now [closed]

I am reading a book called The Best American Essays of the Century. One thing I keep noticing is a lot of the sentences in this book are very long — 5 to 6 lines. I read a lot of articles on the web, ...
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4answers
60 views

Connective phrase between a negative and a positive result

Research papers in computer science often contain both positive and negative results. A positive result is, usually, an algorithm that solves a certain problem. A negative result is a proof that an ...
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2answers
23 views

What phrase can I use to describe connected concepts

I am searching for a more sophisticated phrase that would express a specific connection between items mentioned in my paper. I wish to explain that the connection is not like a vertical line but more ...
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0answers
43 views

Why did English writers formerly capitalize so many words? [duplicate]

Or, I guess it could be worded, since when and why was it counted as part of a formal writing style to capitalize many general nouns? (After all, it's not German ...) This is also a trend in legal ...
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1answer
59 views

so angry / as angry as he is [duplicate]

In English class today, I wrote the following sentence: If Susan had told Tom the truth, he would not be so angry. It seems to me that "so angry" is not really the best way of saying it. Is "as ...
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2answers
58 views

Starting a chapter with ellipsis

Say there's a chapter with a title that ends in an ellipsis and then continued from there in the body text, like so: DON'T HURT ANIMALS... ...or kill them for that matter. Blah blah blah. In cases ...
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1answer
7 views

Is the term intellectual effrontery still in use? Does it sound clunky or stilted?

I've encountered the term while reading an article on philosophy. I was wondering if it sounds clunky?
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1answer
106 views

“The problem is that…”. Good or bad English?

I wrote a technical article in which I used (probably overused) constructions of the form "The main point is that...", "The problem is that...". As I am a native Italian speaker, these sentences have ...
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2answers
37 views

Right place for 'within [time]'

I have doubts on placing “within [time]” in the following structure. What would be its best possible place? Within three months Def Jam changed its mind and cancelled the contract. Def Jam ...
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0answers
25 views

What is the meaning of -o-rama [duplicate]

I see so many -o-rama names. Like stuff-o-rama, tease-o-rama etc etc. What is the meaning of -o-rama? I saw the answers in ...
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0answers
62 views

What is 'MSTRKRFT' kind of stylistic notation?

Sometimes you see in popular culture the stylistic notation of removing the vowels. For example the electronic music duo MSTRKRFT; or an instagram tag bhnhfsvrtl (German ''Bahnhofsviertel'' for ''area ...
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1answer
48 views

Chicago Manual of Style: Citations for photos downloaded from Flickr

I have "Photo Credits" section in my book containing a list of all image citations in the Chicago style, much like a bibliography. CMOS (Chicago manual of Style) 16th edition doesn't say anything ...
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19 views

proper way of attributing a writer's note within a quote [duplicate]

In journalistic writing, if I need to attach some necessary background information within a quote, what's the proper way to do it? I want to indicate that the information is something that I've ...
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1answer
38 views

On using 'in' and 'of'

In the following sentence, what is most appropriate: in 1977 or of 1977? For Oprah, April Fools' Day in 1977 wasn't funny at all.
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1answer
56 views

M-dash and emphasize

I love to emphasize. Here I'm emphasizing "determination." Is it the right way to do it? "If one word can sum up his career, it is determination—determination to fight back and do the impossible."
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53 views

Should there be a space before and after an ampersand when writing numerals?

How should one write "one and two" in short form - 1&2 or 1 & 2? Are there any particular rules regarding this? In context: You may choose to do Information Technology Units [1&2/1 ...
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1answer
55 views

Content similar to “A Law of Acceleration” [closed]

I recently read an essay called "A Law of Acceleration", by Henry Adams. In my personal opinion the author's writing style is over-complicated. I had to read the essay three times to make sense of it. ...
4
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1answer
42 views

Emphasizing part of a word

Couldn't find much on this particular stylistic method, but I was wondering: how would one emphasize only part of a word in an informal novel-like case? "It wasn't new in any way—just newer." ...
2
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1answer
117 views

How common it is to emphasize a sentence by adding periods between words?

I am thinking about this style of writing: We. Do. Not. Negotiate! First of all, how would you call that? I have difficulties finding references about it, even though it seems to me that this is ...
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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]. ...
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2answers
35 views

Introducing an alias in technical literature

In technical literature (namely, a requirements document), what is an appropriate way of introducing an alias which is used from there on; instead of the full, completely-defined term? I'm looking ...
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2answers
48 views

Quotation marks and italics in same sentence

I have a piece of writing about an orchestra, a choir and a conductor. In the piece are numerous Italian words. There is one sentence that reads: Singing fortissimo for a "Dies Irae" was ...
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1answer
45 views
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78 views

Subject/Verb Repetition [closed]

Would you rather say 1) or 2)? 1) It is rare in childhood and is usually mistaken as other developmental problem 2) It is rare in childhood and it is usaully mistaken as other developmental problem ...
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1answer
19 views

Pagination: Reference to page numbered in format of This Page Number/Total Number of Pages [closed]

What is the standard way to refer to a page numbered in a format like This Page Number/Total Number of Pages? For example, the top of the page I want to refer to shows “312/1250” Which of the ...
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1answer
64 views

Scientific writing: how to say a factor two-three improvement

For a thesis, thus scientific writing, I want to say something similar to: "There is a factor 2-3x improvement." What is the correct formal writing style for this? I should not use numbers, I know, ...
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1answer
913 views

Should I capitalise the first letter when a sentence starts with a number?

When starting a sentence with a number, should the first letter be capitalised? For example, 96% Real meat. or 96% real meat.
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1answer
55 views

Capitalize all letters in a title/heading

I'm creating a resume and am therefore looking at various sample resumes. In some of them, the heading of each section has all letters in uppercase, e.g. "EDUCATION" or "EXPERIENCE". I also remember ...
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1answer
58 views

Should I use “the” in a list of multiple subjects? [closed]

Which of these sentences is correct? The assets of the thesis are the parser library, tag library and external database, which can be used in other applications. or The assets of the thesis ...
3
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4answers
283 views

Overuse of “however” in my scientific writing? [closed]

In scientific writing, I always feel the need to logically connect all my sentences to have a clear logical path between beginning and end of a paragraph, else it is just feels like a list of random ...
2
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2answers
112 views

Should the footnote be capitalized? [closed]

If we refer a textual content in a footnote, should it be capitalized or not? Here is an example: The proposed method is only working well with homogeneous space and it fails if the space is ...
2
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2answers
171 views

What is wrong with “to lie at the basis of”

Is there anything particular unstylish about the phrase "X lies at the basis of Y"? In this thread, some users qualify this phrase as "clumsy", without saying why. What would be the reason? (I do not ...
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0answers
34 views

Is this an acceptable way of claiming emphasis?

I proposed this edit to a Stack Exchange answer. Because there were three rather lengthy block quotes, I thought bolding the most relevant sentences would be helpful to readers, especially if they ...
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3answers
106 views

In the phrase 'Answer True or False:' should 'True' and 'False' be capitalized?

Answer True or False: Answer true or false: Answer Yes or No: Answer yes or no: Should I capitalize these words or not? Thank you for your help.
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2answers
36 views

Should I use quotation marks?

My question is regarding the correct use of quotation marks in this sentence: The rules of 'asking a question' and 'talking' have been mixed up. Arrange them in the correct order again. Should ...
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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.
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1answer
67 views

Is it correct/idiomatic to omit “once” in some cases?

Example: Once again, I traveled three hours just to sit alone. Again, I traveled three hours just to sit alone. We decided to go to the balcony. Once there, we leaned on the ...
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2answers
37 views

“What this thing was” vs “what was this thing” [duplicate]

Example: What this new plan was I had no idea. What was this new plan I had no idea. What's the difference between the two? Is one more common than the others?