This tag is for questions specifically related to written English.

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4
votes
4answers
5k views

What does “open up a vein” mean?

I found the phrase 'open up a vein of fury' in the article of today's Washington Post as shown below. The New Year's Day suicide bombing of a church that killed 21 people has opened up a vein of ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

“Replace the position of the object” vs. “replace the object”

How should I write «replace the position of the object» or «replace the object» will be enough and the first variant is verbose? Thanks.
4
votes
5answers
155 views

What will “this country” refer to after mentioning a foreign state?

As far as I know, it is typical to refer to the country where the speaker lives as this country. For example, if a person lives in Great Britain and he wants to mention weather in Great Britain, he ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

Is it ). or .)? [duplicate]

I had a discussion about this recently: do you write ). or .)? For example: "Websites can be assigned to application pools, all application pools containing specific settings for applications ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

How to avoid using lot of I's in the personal essay? [closed]

I am writing my statement of purpose for applying to grad school. When I read my statement of purpose I see a lot of "I"s: I did this I worked on this I want to I got to learn this I got ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How to punctuate sentences like “I'm just calling a spade, a spade.”

I was browsing Area 51 and I saw this comment: I'm just calling a spade, a spade. I'm never quite sure how to punctuate sentences like these where a phrase is repeated back to back, without any ...
1
vote
0answers
114 views

Exaggerating the pronunciation of a vowel or consonant

Is there a word for exaggerating the pronunciation of a vowel or consonant by holding it longer than normal? When conveying this in writing, does it fall in the same category as an accent or dialect ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

To italicize or not?

I am writing a novel set in 12th century France in English. I have included, for flavor, only a sprinkling of French words commonly known to English readers. I'm questioning the typeset of ...
7
votes
4answers
12k views

Usage of “and” and comma when writing numbers UK style

I am trying to understand the rules for writing numbers in words under the UK rules (with "and"). I understand how to write small numbers (up to a few thousands), but I am not sure when to use "and" ...
13
votes
3answers
5k views

Capitalization for a bullet list

The following is from some software documentation we are writing: NOTE: Refreshing a report may be necessary or helpful when: you believe the data in the report has changed since it was ...
31
votes
7answers
14k views

Is it alright to use lowercase “i” or should you always use “I” (uppercase)?

I frequently edit questions on StackOverflow, and I always fix the "i" into "I". See this edit revision for instance. When i I start my tomcat, i I am getting this problem. How could i I resolve ...
1
vote
0answers
257 views

“Same as” or “same with” in this context?

Here is a quick question. Same with A, we also select this method to evaluate the plan. Same as A, we also select this method to evaluate the plan. Which one is a better way for academic writing? ...
2
votes
3answers
76 views

Way of saying 'washes hands of it' but implies physical

Looking for a non-crappy way of describing someone doing that washing hand motion you do to clear your hands of dust or dirt, but without saying 'washing hand motion'. I feel like there's a good way ...
-2
votes
1answer
27 views

“Software diversification effect” or “software diversification effectiveness”? [closed]

here is my quick question, when I want to say "software diversity" (this is considered as a technical term), which one is the most suitable way? given the context below: XXXXX, with an amplified ...
2
votes
3answers
5k 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
vote
3answers
562 views

How to say “possibility at maximum rate” correctly

How do we say The possibility of dying in a car crash here, is always at the maximum rate correctly? Is that sentence correct? I don't want it to sound very formal.
3
votes
3answers
895 views

How should wireless technology names be hyphenated and capitalized?

How should wireless technology names be hyphenated and capitalized? "a wireless g network"? "a wireless-g network"? "a wireless-G network"? "a wireless G network"? none of the above? Does a formal ...
5
votes
2answers
16k views

“these days” - what is the correct usage/meaning?

Recently whilst writing a report I typed the following sentence: "Funerals still represent a celebration of the life of the deceased, but these days families and friends often use the time to ...
37
votes
5answers
24k views

Capitalisation of nouns in English in the 17th and 18th centuries

It seems to have been common practice in the 17th and 18th centuries in Britain to capitalise the first letters of nouns in English, e.g. At which Time he prov'd himself the Noah's Dove, that ...
0
votes
2answers
93 views

Whether we use users or user? [closed]

I am wondering whether we use "user" or "users" in a technical document; specifically a user guide or specification document in those sentences like " with this feature user can issue . ...." or " ...
0
votes
1answer
289 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
12k views

Is it necessary to begin a new paragraph after a person speaks?

When I was in school, I was taught to always begin a new paragraph after a quotation or after a speaker concludes a segment of dialogue. However, in recent years, I have seen authors abandon this ...
-1
votes
1answer
226 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
4k 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
444 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%.
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
28k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
6k 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
613 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
120 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
98 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
658 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
233 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
41 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
8k 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")? ...
-1
votes
3answers
581 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,..."
7
votes
3answers
10k 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?
93
votes
3answers
9k 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
125 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
13k 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
6k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
515 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 ...
18
votes
1answer
1k 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
41 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
21k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
37k 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?
26
votes
3answers
103k 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
2k 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
664 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" ...