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

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20 views

Lowercase w/ and w/o or W/ and W/O - which is better?

I am working at an engineering firm and discussing why the lower case w/ and w/o is more widely used and maybe correct, when all the abbreviations here are capitalized, like W/ and W/O. I think it is ...
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0answers
15 views

How do I use quotation marks, parentheses and a period in a sentence? [on hold]

How do I use quotation marks, parentheses, and a period in a sentence? For example: "...to click and load like this (Brian clicks the forearm to hear the clicking sound).”
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0answers
36 views

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

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
33 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
41 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
54 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
47 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
105 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
30 views

Capitalization: 'rivers'

In the following sentence, is rivers capitalized or not? The Delaware and Potomac rivers are beautiful.
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1answer
93 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
27 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 ...
1
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2answers
112 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
156 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
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1answer
91 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
52 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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0answers
60 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 ...
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1answer
45 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?
0
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1answer
70 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, ...
1
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1answer
97 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
111 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
54 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 ...
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2answers
100 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
46 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
50 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
32 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
43 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
108 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
55 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
96 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
666 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 ...
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4answers
99 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 ...
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3answers
148 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
235 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
186 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 ...
1
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2answers
66 views

How to use a person's given name, followed by what they're also known as, in the same sentence

How do we use a person's given name, followed by what they're also known as, in the same sentence? For example, There's just no denying that Barry Allan a.k.a. The Flash is one extremely fast ...
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0answers
23 views

In the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries; suspended hyphen [duplicate]

How would you suggest to list centuries here: Suspended hyphen: In the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries... Separated by commas: In the late nineteenth-, and early twentieth-, ...
1
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1answer
211 views

Oxford Comma Conventions

According to the Wikipedia page for the Oxford Comma, "Use of the comma is consistent with conventional practice" and "Use of the comma is inconsistent with conventional practice." Did the Oxford ...
0
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1answer
70 views

Hyphenation of the suffix “like”

I am having trouble understanding the following: "the achievable rate of the optimal AF scheme performs close to the cut-set like bound obtained in this paper" I think that the word "like" (above) ...
0
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2answers
96 views

What is the best literary technique to introduce a new word, conceived by yourself, in your story? [closed]

I am an aspiring novelist, and there's this "science fiction & fantasy" story I am working on, wherein I have coined some new words here and there. I am sending this question to the proficient ...
0
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2answers
126 views

What's the conventional style for writing a conversation taking place in another language?

I'm writing a story and I'm having a bit of trouble with styling conversations that take place in another language. I want the reader to be privy to this conversation, so it has to be communicated in ...
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1answer
159 views

En dash with compound adjectives (problem)

I frequently encounter cases, such as the ones below, where you seemingly have two hyphenated compound adjectives modifying a noun. I know that in such cases that you should join the compound ...
2
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2answers
276 views

Do you separate an imperative after a conjunction by a comma?

I want you to go and ask him the price, but don't tell him I sent you. Is this a main clause followed by a coordinating clause (imperative)? Pour the vodka into the glass, and add orange ...
2
votes
6answers
89 views

Is it correct to say semi-promise?

I want to say, someone sort of promised to do something, yet it was not a full promise: She had a semi-promise from his employer to get a raise this year. Is semi-promise correct in this sense? ...
1
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0answers
55 views

Middle English Date citations in Oxford English Dictionary [closed]

I have seen some citations in the OED that use dates such as 'c. 1295', which I assume to mean 'circa 1295'. However, I have also seen dates that appear as 'a. 1393' - what does this 'a' stand for? ...
0
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2answers
112 views

How should we put a website address into a sentence? [closed]

Is the following a right way to put a website address in a sentence? You can visit the website http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/ask for English grammar problems.
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2answers
98 views

How to capitalize “get out of” in a title according to CMOS?

I need to know how to correctly capitalize this title. I usually go with the Chicago Manual of Style for rules, but wasn't able to find anything regarding something like this: This Is How He ...
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1answer
31 views

Is there a 35th edition of “On Writing Well”?

My English teacher recommended Zinsser's "On Writing Well" as a supplement to my reading of E.B. White's "The Elements of Style". While I know that Zinsser's 30th edition exists, I have come across an ...