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

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2
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2answers
42 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 ...
0
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0answers
23 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 ...
-1
votes
0answers
24 views

Grammar and phrasing [on hold]

I’m working on two different essays that must have a subjective tone. These two paragraphs are at the beginning of the essays. I wonder if they both read well. 1.) The so-called "joint economic ...
0
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0answers
7 views

Expression in good business cv languageIs this expression in correct business language? “Graphic manage of trade licensings​ & collections” [on hold]

Is this expression in correct business language? "Graphic manage of trade licensings​ & collections"
0
votes
3answers
28 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.
0
votes
2answers
26 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
52 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.
0
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0answers
48 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
35 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?
-1
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2answers
31 views

“Having shared, in its presence…” vs “having, in its presence, shared…”

The ocean. I was glad to have finally seen it. And even more glad of having shared--in its presence--my most intimate thoughts with Clara. The ocean. I was glad to have finally seen it. And ...
1
vote
1answer
26 views

“Realizing that, despite…” vs “realizing despite…that.”

What's the correct form? Example: I smiled, realizing that, despite her craziness, I missed her. I smiled, realizing, despite her craziness, that I missed her. Is there any ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

“He was drinking coffee and left the cafe . . .” Why does this sound wrong?

I'm trying to find mistakes in this sentence and even the corrected versions do not sound grammatically correct. Original sentence: He was drinking coffee and left the café to catch his bus. ...
-1
votes
0answers
32 views

The correct way to write time. (Or: so many rules, so little time!) [on hold]

I am told it is advisable, when writing dialogue, to spell out numbers (and therefore times) to accurately imitate the speech of the person speaking, such as "I landed a job in a nightclub that was ...
1
vote
2answers
122 views

Starting a Sentence with a Conjunction [duplicate]

My high school English teacher taught us to never start a sentence with conjunctions, but throughout the years I have seen a lot of such usage in academic writings and novels. I have also read various ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

How to put question mark after a quotation mark (in Chicago or MLA style)? [closed]

For example, if I want to ask a question that says: Where is, "You know nothing, Jon Snow" should I punctuate it as Where is, "You know nothing, Jon Snow?" or Where is, "You know ...
2
votes
3answers
70 views

What is an alternative way to say “Note that” in academic writing? [closed]

In my academic writing, when I want to connect the context and emphasize something, I almost always use a sentence structure like this: Note that... An example in an academic paper is given ...
-1
votes
2answers
31 views

A question on 'full' Vs 'fully', both as 'adverbs'

In order to modify an adjective or adverb, we use an adverb in English, as in "completely insane" or "It went completely out of hand". Now 'full', though mainly used as an adjective, occurs in English ...
1
vote
4answers
100 views

What's an alternative for “hidden gem”?

Hidden gems is an idiom which means something which is extremely outstanding and not many people may know about; for example, Blame It on Rio by Stanley Donen is a good movie, but relatively unknown ...
0
votes
3answers
89 views

Are adverbs frowned upon in proper English (academic writing)?

I understand that "proper English" is vague, but what I mean is, are adverbs to be avoided in scholarly writing? For example, let's say that I am wanting to publish an article in scholarly magazine ...
0
votes
1answer
11 views

How to annotate table bullets in Chicago Style? [closed]

I have a table with a summary of information on various products with their pros and cons. I'm using Chicago style annotation with numbered superscript indicating which reference it pertains to. Do I ...
-1
votes
1answer
31 views

Could anybody scan through my cover letter? [closed]

English is not my native language, so I could write some not idiomatic expressions which are hard to detect for me. I am writing to apply for the position of summer intern at the Boston Group. I have ...
0
votes
3answers
77 views

In search for universal formal greetings [closed]

I am dealing with a system which is supposed to autoreply to certain emails. It cannot start with 'Dear (forename)' as it cannot parse a forename from email address or original email. It also cannot ...
0
votes
3answers
79 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
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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
186 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
43 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
18 views

What's the capitalization rule for tabulated entries? [on hold]

Do I have to capitalize each cell in a table, or only be consistent throughout the table?
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
3answers
87 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
46 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
67 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
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2answers
131 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
118 views

Punctuation with US measurements

Should a period be used with a measurement that is a compound term, e.g., ft-lb?
0
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1answer
73 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
2answers
33 views

Using quotes when not directly quoting

When writing, for example, “The answer to this question has to be ‘yes’.” However, here quotes are used for the first part of the sentence, thus making “yes” surrounded by double quotes (if ...
0
votes
1answer
60 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
71 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
40 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
57 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
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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
39 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
16 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
38 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
49 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
566 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
154 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
54 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
703 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 ...