This tag is for questions specifically related to written English.

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6
votes
6answers
4k views

“I have strived” vs “I have striven”

In a college application essay, I am trying to write the sentence along the lines of: I have always strived to achieve my goals. Should I say strived or striven? According to this article at ...
18
votes
6answers
11k views

Is there a proper name for the 3 asterisks that are used to suggest temporal discontinuity?

For example, when some long prose passage ends, this appears: * * * Then some new prose passage begins. The three asterisks dividing the two prose sections are understood to divide the two ...
12
votes
1answer
15k views

Why is it spelled “maintenance” and not “maintainance?”

Why is the task of maintaining spelled "maintenance" and not "maintainance?" Other words related to maintaining include: maintain, maintained, maintainer, maintainability, and maintainable. Each of ...
0
votes
1answer
81 views

Why do people write “Hellooo” instead of “Heeello” to show a prolonged sound? [closed]

I'm not a native English speaker, so I don't know what to search for on Google and similar. In chats I often read words like 'helloooo', or 'sureeee'. And as I understood it, it's meant to mimic the ...
0
votes
2answers
132 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
87 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: ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Is one allowed to use capitalization for emphasis? [closed]

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 ...
-2
votes
2answers
76 views

Which one sounds better— 'cannibalism' or 'eating human flesh'? [closed]

I was going through a text about ancient civilization. There, I found a sentence which says, "Some ancient human being recognized even cannibalism." After reading that sentence, I started to think ...
2
votes
8answers
592 views

A simple word for one who seeks adventure and tries to help, but hurts more than they help

I'm writing a novel following a naive young man who thinks that he can make his fortune going around helping people. When he visits a space station on the fringe of the galaxy, hoping to help people ...
1
vote
2answers
25 views

Alternate way of saying “The mass of the mass”?

I performed an experiment in which a mass was hung from a spring. I want to refer to the mass of the mass hung from said spring, but that leads to quite a few awkward sentences. I cannot refer to the ...
10
votes
5answers
585 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

How to avoid two levels of parentheses when using abbreviations

In the paragraph below, technology-related terms like DSRC and LTE are mentioned for the first time in the text. So they have to be given in the long form. As a result, two levels of parentheses ...
0
votes
2answers
76 views

Is this grammatical? [closed]

Could you tell us what's your favorite Google Chrome extensions? , The ones that you are using regularly and the ones that are cool no matter how much you use it or how popular it is.
0
votes
4answers
136 views

Can I say “awaken me from my naive view”?

I found out that the same product tended to mean different things for different people. For one person, a lipstick brought confidence. For another, it was just a simple pigment. This experience ...
1
vote
2answers
97 views

How to write an introductory sentence

I have received a letter with four separate questions that are numbered from 1 thru 4. Now, I am going to prepare a reply letter and intend to provide my answers to each of these questions. Would you ...
0
votes
1answer
98 views

Acronym within an acronym, academic writing

I'm preparing a manuscript for publication in a medical journal about Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). I understand that I have to define the acronym IBD once, when first used in the text ...
0
votes
0answers
306 views

Left or Right alignment of a letter?

I've changed quite a lot of schools and in most of them, they taught to align a everything of a any letter (formal/informal) on the left side. I'm in a dillema because recently in my new school, ...
-1
votes
1answer
51 views

SAT Writing Question

Upon considering the facts of the case; he quickly made a decision and sent the police. A. When he considered B. Considering C. Upon Considering D. When Considering Hello everyone, I ...
-2
votes
1answer
35 views

Using “apostrophes” to show ownership of records in page? [duplicate]

I had a debate with my co-worker about using apostrophes to show ownership of records which belongs to a page. He told me not to use an apostrophe. This is the text in question : The Pagination in ...
24
votes
5answers
45k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
44 views

After introducing an acronym, how faithfully must I stick to its use?

My average scientific paper contains about a dozen of acronyms. Some of them are really helpful: for example, it much more pleasant to write fMRI instead of functional magnetic resonance imaging. ...
0
votes
2answers
498 views

Show Don't Tell = nervous [closed]

How would you use "Show Don't Tell" imagery to portray a person who is watching something (an encounter) that makes him nervous? All I can think of is: I could feel my body begin to sweat.
1
vote
3answers
7k 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
1answer
141 views

Figure captions starting with “An example”

I've just observed that many of my captions start with "An example illustrating..." or "An example of..." or "A diagram of..." and so on: An example illustrating basic tree terminology. An ...
0
votes
2answers
61 views

What would an alternative sentence for percentage in writing?

What would be an alternative sentence or word for percentage in writing? For example, when referencing to a sentence, if the sentence has 50%, we can use words like half of the total amount or ...
0
votes
0answers
64 views

Why is “Yosemite” spelled that way?

Well I'm not a native English speaker, but sometimes I get the feeling that English words' pronunciation is random. Why is "Yosemite" is being pronounced as "Yoh-Sem-Ee-Tee" and written as "Yosemite" ...
0
votes
2answers
207 views

“Glad to hear” in non-speaking form

I'm from Russia and I've got a problem with writing a letter. Can I use the phrase "glad to hear such news" if I'm not speaking with a person? Isn't it better and more correct to use "glad to know"?
0
votes
2answers
220 views

Name for Method/Style of Writing

Is there a name for a style of writing where the author "speaks" to an imaginary reader in an imaginary conversation? Example When you write for web, you should keep your paragraphs short and ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Flags flying Souls [closed]

If I may hold your attention for the moment while I decode the seemingly cryptic title, I shall endeavour to make the question worth your while. I would like to know if I can use, both in speech and ...
18
votes
6answers
6k views

Name and origin of writing with period after each word

It may be limited to the web ecosystem, but I've read a lot of those sentences lately, where each word is followed by a period. Examples: Oh. My. God. Best. Job. Ever. No. F***ing. Way. ...
0
votes
2answers
101 views

Transmit Power vs. Transmission Power, is there a difference [closed]

I was reading a scientific paper, and the authors sometimes use the term "transmit power" and sometimes "transmission power". Is there a difference in terms of correct English usage? Examples: ...
-1
votes
2answers
750 views

When are Roman Numeral suffixes appropriate for number abbreviations?

This question was asked and closed last year as general reference. However, it did not attract the caliber of answer I expected it to. I suggested the following content as an edit, but it was rejected ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there a name for the practice of dropping pronouns in written speech?

I’m specifically thinking about emails I receive all day where someone will write: Haven’t seen it yet. Will respond when received. If it were spoken, we would certainly hear: I haven’t ...
-1
votes
1answer
265 views

Which is most correct of these three phrases?

At the top part of the front page of my trading journal website, I have a phrase that I don't know whether is correct or not. Here's what it says: Online trading journal software including trade ...
0
votes
2answers
372 views

A water circle of few radius is around the park

In the following image: Do you see the water in a few feet radius around a land? How do you describe this? Let's assume that the land is a park and there is no fountain. Can I express it this way: ...
4
votes
4answers
7k views

“Hypothesize” vs “postulate”

When writing a scientific or engineering paper, how do we choose between hypothesize and postulate?
0
votes
3answers
199 views

How rude is “dude” in online writing?

In online writing, such as on StackExchange sites, using the word "dude" is most likely unnecessary (it's obvious to whom a comment is addressed, and there are @mentions). What connotation does "dude" ...
2
votes
1answer
202 views

How to make this sentence shorter?

It appears that this site does not support LaTeX, so sorry for the ugly formatting. I would like to explain the sentence Let X ~ N(mu_x, sigma_x^2) and Y ~ N(mu_y, sigma_y^2). with plain ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

Adding website URL in reference section of report writing

I was wondering what kind of format is standard or recommended style of mentioning URL of a website in report writing. What I found in the internet after a quick search was Cameron, B (Minister ...
1
vote
0answers
26 views

Describing the difference between at and to?

How do you describe the differences between speaking to and speaking at person? When a person is giving a speech and yelling it rather than speaking in normal tone.
0
votes
1answer
56 views

Should I say “at both single- and multiple-object levels”

In my current writing task, there are two different conceptual levels: one single object level and one multiple objects level. When I call them together, should I say: "At both single- and ...
2
votes
4answers
8k views

Meaning of various valedictions or closing expressions

Related to, but I believe distinct from, the following questions: What does the "yours" in "yours sincerely" mean? What are some expressions that can be used to end an email? ...
3
votes
2answers
824 views

Is there a verb that means to write in calligraphy?

There are several different verbs that deal with handwriting. Write, Handwrite, sketch, draw... then there is Type, key-in... etc. Is there a verb that means to write in calligraphy? I have thought ...
0
votes
2answers
95 views

Comma or not? Question or Period?

Before[...] you asked if I was _____. Should there be a comma after 'before' or is the ellipsis okay? Also, should the sentence end with a period or a question mark?
0
votes
0answers
35 views

“Initiate a transition” vs “anticipate the subsequent digression”

What is the different between writing a sentence that serves to initiate a transition and one that does to anticipate the subsequent digression. Can somebody please give me a example?
1
vote
3answers
178 views

Every once in a while [closed]

Representatives from my recruiting company sometimes come to visit me, may be once in a six months in my office. Is it correct to write some words of appreciation to them as shown below?. "I ...
0
votes
2answers
132 views

Are “control”, “direct”, “lead”, and “head” synonyms for supervise? [closed]

I need to know the following: Is control a synonym for supervise? Is direct a synonym for supervise? Is lead a synonym for supervise? Is head a synonym for supervise/supervisor/lead/leader? I have ...
2
votes
5answers
8k views

Another way to say “Does not matter” in formal reports

The phrase "does not matter" sounds rather informal to me. I'm writing a formal report and would appreciate alternative suggestions. For example: "The residents of City X enjoy favorable living ...
2
votes
1answer
86 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."
0
votes
2answers
62 views

How to italicize a self-reference?

Suppose I am writing a book. If I were to say, mentioned the title of the book in the introduction; would it be italicized? Now suppose I am writing a paper; what then? Thanks! Edit I am writing a ...