This tag is for questions specifically related to written English.

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8
votes
2answers
1k views

How does a signature develop?

In English, unlike in many other languages, signatures are typically very different from ordinary handwriting. A signature will often display all kinds of wild flourishes and elision of forms and what ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Is one allowed to use capitalization for emphasis?

In written English, is it okay to emphasize words by capitalizing them? As in: I would NEVER do that! Are there other methods to achieve this? On an aside: Dutch uses acute accents for ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the difference between “solidus” and “slash”?

I was reading a text, and I found the word solidus. What is a solidus? Is the word normally used in everyday language, or is there another word that replaces solidus even if it's not the completely ...
0
votes
2answers
100 views

“Reduce to” or “reduce by”?

Can I use the verb reduce in the following way? Also can anyone help me verify the whole sentence? The transmission overhead is reduced to more than 95%.
12
votes
4answers
19k views

What are sentences like “the longer X, the more Y” called and can they be used in formal written English?

What is the type of sentence exemplified below called? Is it appropriate to use it in a scientific paper and formal written English in general? 1. The more pronounced the variation, the more the ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How to punctuate an answer to a question when the answer is also a question?

The title to this question is sort of long-winded but the example here should clarify it. Which of these is correct? Who should be baby-sitting your children, your neighborhood teenagers or ...
1
vote
1answer
4k 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
90 views

how to greet teacher in email [closed]

I am going to write an email to my college instructors, to congratulate their independence day; I don't know how to greet them and how to start. thanks
9
votes
3answers
4k views

How do I refer to a word?

When writing, I sometimes want to refer to a word, as opposed to its meaning. For example: when correcting someone's grammar or semantics (there versus their), or when pointing out exemplary ...
3
votes
4answers
374 views

When to Use Closing Quotes [duplicate]

I have noticed that BBC will frequently not use closing quotes when quoting long paragraphs of text, as an example it occurs twice in this article: ...
1
vote
1answer
97 views

How to use an independent structure to modify a sentence within a sentence?

After one year, I quit my job, said goodbye to my friends, went to Beijing to study philosophy, participating in a lot of classes given by professors, but never having been registered as a formal ...
0
votes
2answers
73 views

It is necessary to launch my audit application

I am requesting access to MS-Access. It is necessary to launch my audit application. Background: I received this e-mail from an internal employee. He's requested that MS-Access software be ...
0
votes
2answers
306 views

Location of day of week in non-U.S. long format dates?

In the United States, the long/expanded/full form of a date with day of the week is: Monday, February 24, 2014 I understand in other countries the long date form is often: 24 February 2014 So ...
2
votes
2answers
106 views

Must “first” be followed by “second”?

Is the use of the introductory word first awkward or confusing in the following paragraph if I don't include another sentence starting with secondly? In the process of learning them, I deeply felt ...
2
votes
0answers
40 views

When to use named and called? [duplicate]

I am writing my Statement of Purpose. I am writing a sentence such as I moved to a small town called Falmouth where I .... Should I use named or called? I moved to a small town named ...
2
votes
2answers
431 views

Expressing sudden interruption in written, narrative speech

The title is self-explanatory, but whatever: What is the lexical technique for expressing sudden interruptions in written, narrative speech? For example: I was walking down the street when— ...
10
votes
4answers
6k views

What is the correct name for posts made on twitter?

Well, I honestly tried to search for this but I drowned in twit* and tweet* results. Should I write: "my tweet" or "my twit"? "I am tweetting" or "I am twitting" ("to twit" vs. "to tweet")? ...
0
votes
1answer
206 views

Is it correct to say “Master student in Statistics ”?

Currently I'm a student for Master (M.A) degree in Statistics and I need a title for my resume, does it correct to say "Master student in Statistics "? thnx!
-1
votes
3answers
257 views

What can I use instead of “One Day” [closed]

I am writing a book review and I am unsure on a substitute of the phrase "One Day,..."
1
vote
2answers
712 views

How to abbreviate in an essay the title of a work that consists of a name and a surname?

I am writing an essay on the short story "Harrison Bergeron." How should I abbreviate the title if I don't want to write out the whole name? Would it simply be "Bergeron" or Harrison?"
6
votes
3answers
7k views

Usage of italics in writing

In which cases is a word, or a group of words written in italics? Is italics used in specific contexts, or it is quite normal to write words in italics?
87
votes
3answers
8k views

How did 7 come to be an abbreviation for 'and' in Old English?

According to A History of the English Language: Revised Edition by Elly van Gelderen, p.53, in Old English the numeral 7 was used as an abbreviation for the word and: Abbreviations are frequently ...
0
votes
3answers
92 views

What's the name for this kind of writing? [closed]

I recently 'fell in love' with reading after receiving a book. Now that I've finished reading it, I'm looking for books with that kind of writing. I've Googled for similar books from the same ...
11
votes
3answers
9k views

Should I refer to “Section 2.3” or “Subsection 2.3”?

When writing a document that is divided into numbered sections and subsections, sometimes I would like to refer a certain subsection that has been numbered 2.3, for example. Here the 2 represents the ...
7
votes
8answers
4k views

Can the word “that” be used to refer to people?

I came across this SAT Question of the Day: Unbelievable as it may seem, many individuals that fought in the American Revolution were still alive in 1839, the year the world was introduced to ...
3
votes
3answers
269 views

Momentary vs Temporary

Is there any difference? Which would be better to describe a requirement for 1 or 2 days. Suppose I need to inform my Operations team, that I need a particular requirement to be implemented but I want ...
17
votes
1answer
883 views

Did the Tironian “et” (“⁊”) have any impact on the ampersand being shift + 7 on English keyboards? [closed]

How did 7 come to be an abbreviation for 'and' in Old English? is a beautiful question about the Tiroian "et", which is now the "⁊" character 1. My question is what impact did the association of this ...
0
votes
0answers
33 views

A possible linking word for the following

I was asked to insert a link word in the following sentence of my report , but I couldn't think of one. The first prototype is the only model available so far, since the micro-controller at the ...
5
votes
1answer
9k views

Is 'at the time of writing' correct?

I am writing a technical document and I need to refer to the current point of time. Should I say 'at the time of writing', 'at the time of this writing', or 'at the time of writing this'? Are all ...
3
votes
3answers
25k views

How should we write the phrase “one of a kind”? [closed]

I have seen two kind of written format of "one of a kind" phrase, one of a kind one-of-a-kind Which is the proper way of writing "one of a kind" phrase?
21
votes
3answers
77k views

Should I write “that being said” (vs. “that's been said” or “Having said that”)?

I often write what "sounds" right (being not a native English speaker/writer), and I believe the expression "that being said" to be fairly common, as opposed to a more complete form like "that's been ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it okay to start a sentence with a Greek letter (variable)?

Is it okay to start a sentence with a variable? Do I need to rewrite a sentence just because the subject is typeset as a Greek letter? For example: Φ is treated in a special way. vs. ...
1
vote
1answer
343 views

The word “was” to not use in writing, dont use the word was [closed]

My english teacher told me to get rid of all "was"s in my essay and to replace them. I did it even though it seemed a bit difficult to re-write all my sentences. When writing essays is the word "was" ...
-1
votes
1answer
39 views

Different number of sub-levels in different chapters

Is it considered bad form to have a different number of sub-levels in different chapters in a technical report? Or would something like the following be admittable? Chapter 1 - Introduction ...
0
votes
0answers
14 views

Native English speaker looking to enhance writing skills [duplicate]

I'm a native English speaker. I already have relatively good writing skills but I want to refine my skills. When I say skills I'm referring to grammar, business writing and anything else which is ...
19
votes
5answers
57k views

“Versus” versus “vs.” in writing

In writing, when should one use the abbreviation vs. as opposed to the full versus? This abbreviation seems to have special status from common usage. What is the origin of that, and in what writing ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

What is the formal way to say “a bit”?

What is the formal way to say a bit in an essay, for example, in the sentence beginning “It is a bit different from”? Is a little formal enough?
1
vote
2answers
152 views

Turn “in to” or “into” a lonely lane?

I have a sentence I'm writing where I describe making a turn, as I run, into an empty alleyway. Here is how I would like to say it: I turn into a lonely lane... The problem I find is that it ...
1
vote
4answers
279 views

What is a word to describe the state of singularity? [closed]

When we have reached as far back into some history as we can theoretically go, like for instance in describing the precise theoretical moment when time began we have reached a singularity. Is there ...
-3
votes
2answers
847 views

Plural of “lemma”? [closed]

Lemma is the singular form. What is the more correct plural form of lemma: lemmata or lemmas? What word should I choose for scientific article?
150
votes
15answers
22k views

Do most languages need more space than English?

I saw the following statement on User Experience: Supporting multiple languages can break the user interface, because most languages need more space than english This seems to be a gross ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Is there a word that describes the sound you make when you chuckle/breathe/cough in agreement with something?

I am writing a novel and am constantly trying to figure out how to describe the action when someone gives a sort of small cough or a quick "huh" in agreement. I suppose it would be the non-word ...
0
votes
1answer
93 views

Breeding herd of cattle in the pasture [closed]

It is correct to use: breeding herd of cattle in the pasture.
23
votes
5answers
22k views

Correct, clear, concise way to use “potato-potato” in writing

"You say tomato, I say tomato" and the song from the beginning. As an informal turn of speech, it can be used to show that two or more parties are talking about basically the same thing but not in ...
0
votes
2answers
66 views

Usage of the term 'non-reproducibility'

Studies on genetic factors of schizophrenia are characterized by high heterogeneity and non-reproducibility. Is the usage of term 'non-reproducibility' appropriate in the above sentence? Is ...
0
votes
3answers
7k views

What words have “‑ei‑” (except in “‑cei‑”) pronounced [i:]?

The rule is that written ei is pronounced [i:] only after the letter c — or that what is pronounced [i:] is written ei after the letter c only. Here are exceptions I’ve found so far: foreign ...
2
votes
3answers
6k views

Using “and” twice in a list

About using and, I've learned it is usually used in lists, between the last two items. For example: I like movies, traveling and going out with friends. Please tell me if the use of and ...
4
votes
2answers
146 views

Can I write “the model due to X et al”?

Until ten minutes ago I thought sentences like "The model due to X et al. (2016) explains Y and Z" were common in academic writing. Our post-doc raised doubt about the phrase's correctness, and ...
1
vote
1answer
137 views

usage of terms “as well as ” and “as well” [closed]

Can anyone describe the usage of the terms "as well as" and "as well" in sentences? Are they interchangeable?
2
votes
1answer
67 views

What rhetoric is applied in this sentence?

There is no point in pretending that XXX is what it is not, nor that it is not what it is. I feel that English language has many of these kind of usage that exploits the fact that the logically ...