This tag is for questions specifically related to written English.

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0
votes
2answers
137 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
51 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
100 views

I want to use a definition from dictionary.com but I can't find it anywhere else.

My essay is about the Greek Tragedy "Oedipus the king". I want to use the term cosmic irony in a paraphrase but I am unsure whether or not it would weaken my argument. Since I can not find support for ...
0
votes
1answer
104 views

Which one is acceptable in an academic paper? Fig 4. show or Fig 4. shows? [closed]

Is it right to say: Fig. 4, Show the wireless transmission of data. Shouldn't it be: Fig. 4, Shows the wireless transmission of data. By the way, another question would be, is it right to ...
3
votes
3answers
11k views

Must OK only be written in capital letters? [duplicate]

Whenever I write ok the spell checkers underline it with a red line and suggest that I should OK. Not even Ok works. Why is this so?
7
votes
3answers
61k views

How should I write a whip sound?

Is it crack? Snap? Wh-tch? Whop-eesh? Alternatively, if I don't use the actual noise. Do I write: The whip rang out? Cracked?
7
votes
1answer
574 views

17th Century affectionate term for Mother

I'm writing a ghost story, and (in an admittedly well worn trope) a child ghost is looking for its mother; but how would a 17th century child affectionately refer to its mother? In short, what would ...
1
vote
1answer
232 views

When to use double negatives in written English?

I have always been a little confused as to when to use double negatives when writing (I am unsure if this is what they are termed in English, it is the term used in Mathematics). E.g. when to use: ...
1
vote
1answer
114 views

Formal American English form of 'generalization of the generalized'

I have a question regarding formal American English writing. I constructed a method which is a generalization of the generalized finite element method (GFEM). The fact that it's a generalization is an ...
5
votes
3answers
610 views

Formal alternative for “dos and don'ts”

I want to write "dos and don'ts", or an equivalent expression, in a university essay. I am assuming that it is not very academic to write "dos and don'ts", so does anyone have a better way of putting ...
-1
votes
2answers
244 views

Writing the introduction, I want to know if using phrases like “in my opinion” are stylish or not [closed]

I want to know if using phrases like "personally speaking" or phrases like that contributes to good style. Do good writers use such expressions? Am I better off simply stating my thesis without using ...
3
votes
3answers
21k views

Are both “in regards to” and “regarding to” correct?

Do in regards to and regarding to imply different meanings or is it okay to use them interchangeably? Example: This mail is in regards to your inquiry. This mail is regarding to your inquiry.
1
vote
4answers
2k views

Should I place a question mark after “Can you (just) imagine”?

I mean should I always split the sentence into two ("And can you imagine? He escaped through the window!") or I can just get away with one long sentence without a question mark at all (something like ...
1
vote
3answers
581 views

When is writing eloquently considered “wordy”? [closed]

When I write, I prefer to do so as eloquently as possible: why should writing be only functional? Although, my English teacher considers this poor style--her belief reflected in some of my essay ...
16
votes
4answers
3k views

What did Old English writing (letters and formatting) typically look like?

I am wondering if there is a specific kind of writing that people would typically associate with Old English language. Are there well-known manuscripts that typically represent the kind of writing ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Capitalization of “the Company”

I am writing a business plan. It is lengthy, so instead of always mentioning the company by its full name, I will write, "the company provides...". Another writer wants me to capitalize "The ...
-1
votes
1answer
83 views

Usage of “Trainers having experienced working with XYZ organisation”

I am preparing a creative brochure for a workshop, where I need to mention our trainer's experience as "Our trainers have experience working with XYZ(elite organisation)". Could any one help me to get ...
48
votes
14answers
3k views

If an insertion in parentheses ends with a smiley, how do I distinguish between the two?

I know smileys are not part of written language (yet), and any questions about them are irrelevant to linguistics and are kind of not serious. So take my question with a smiley then. It bugs me ...
0
votes
1answer
184 views

When refering to a claim written in a book, how do you refer to it if there are two authors?

When analyzing a piece of writing, I was taught to refer to claims made by using the author's last name. For example if Donald Duck wrote the book "How to Build Boats" and I was analyzing it, I would ...
1
vote
2answers
77 views

Should “and” be on the following line? [closed]

If a sentence contains the word "and" at a place where it needs to continue on the next line, should the "and" be put at the end of that line or at the beginning of the next line? Capturing a ...
0
votes
3answers
102 views

Word or phrase for that part of writing that ensures clarity of speaker and place

I was reading a book the other day and, at several points in the story, became very confused as to which character was talking. It would also happen that the characters would suddenly be at new ...
6
votes
5answers
31k views

How to add contextualizing text to a quotation?

How do you add text which provides context to a quote? For example, consider if I were to quote someone as having said: This is unacceptable! Were that the whole quote, can I add any text to ...
0
votes
2answers
217 views

Style Guide: Bold, Italic, or Quotes When I Want to Emphasize Something

Let’s say I have many lists of this kind on a page: Click on the Foo button. Tick the Bar box. Click on the Save button. How should I emphasize Foo, Bar, and Save? Bold? Click on the Foo ...
-1
votes
4answers
4k views

“Talking to someone is nice.” or “It is nice to talk to someone.” but “It was nice, talking to you.” Why?

General statement: a. Talking to someone is nice. (verb as subject in front position = gerund) or b. It is nice to talk to someone. (verb as subject after dummy subject 'it' = full infinitive) ...
0
votes
1answer
266 views

Academic writing: “one's”

Is it allowed to use the word "one's" in academic writing? For example: It can help improve one's vocabulary.
2
votes
2answers
758 views

Differences between “very” and “very much” as adjective modifiers

The following examples are clearly wrong: × I am very much tired × She is very much clever But the following sounds fine (at least according to OALD): I am very much afraid that ... I am ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

How to represent a link in an APA style? [closed]

I was reading more on the APA style but somehow I got stuck that how can I represent a link in an APA style. Below are the links I have - ...
1
vote
3answers
617 views

“indulger of” vs. “indulger in”

A person can indulge in something. Is he therefore an indulger of something or an indulger in something? Are both okay? If both are okay, is there any difference between these two phrases or are ...
4
votes
2answers
22k views

Is “could've” or “should've” standard English?

As the title says — is "could've" or "should've" standard English or is it slang and should correctly be spelled "could have" and "should have"?
0
votes
1answer
106 views

Can “make something out of …” mean what I want to mean here?

Life for this sparrow is very hard, but even so, she had a pleasant character. Then an eagle fell in love with her. He explained to her: I did not adore you because you could make an adorable ...
-3
votes
1answer
49 views

Are these two sentence make the speaker self-defeating? [closed]

As he sets out, China is on the brink of revolution. But I do not think so. (self-made) It seems to me to be wrong. Because the first sentence implies that the “I” have accepted “his” idea as true, ...
0
votes
1answer
720 views

Is there a name for this literary device?

Is there a term that describes the act of giving tangible qualities to an intangible noun? I stumbled over a metaphor or I felt sadness condense on my skin The first one might just be ...
-1
votes
1answer
241 views

Omitting the subject in writing [duplicate]

I wonder whether it is formal to omit the subject in writing. Must all sentences always have a subject when I'm writing an English test? Ìs it colloquial and reserved to speech?
21
votes
6answers
2k views

Are contractions of “I am” or “I would” rude? [closed]

I got edited on Stack Overflow because I used "I'm", "you're" and "I'd" instead of "I am" etc. Is it considered rude to use contractions like that in informal conversations on the internet? I would ...
21
votes
4answers
2k views

Should you always use the accent in foreign words like “résumé”?

You can see in the aboutCV page of Stackoverflow Careers site that the word resumes is mentioned — not résumés or résumés. What should be the common practice here? What about other words like ...
2
votes
5answers
36k views

Official e-mail

How should I begin an official e-mail if I don't know who I am writing to? I mean, normally I would write "Dear x", but when I have to send an e-mail to an institution, what should I write?
10
votes
2answers
9k views

To hyphenate or not?

As a non-native speaker of English and an engineer by training, I always get confused about hyphenation and almost always end up referring to Google every time I need to make that decision. Does ...
-1
votes
1answer
212 views

Which is most correct of these 3 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 ...
41
votes
6answers
33k views

Use of “I”, “we” and the passive voice in a scientific thesis [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Style Question: Use of “we” vs. “I” vs. passive voice in a dissertation When the first person voice is used in scientific writing it is mostly ...
0
votes
1answer
330 views

Clarify the difference between “program” and “programme” [duplicate]

What is the difference between The Noun: Program and Programme ?? What should i use?
0
votes
1answer
74 views

Does this “coming up with” make sense?

What I try to do here is to borrow from Confucius the doctrine of “benevolence”, and then modify it in light of the significant and exigent issues we face nowadays, finally coming up with a ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

Annotation symbols

Let's say you were going to put 3 annotations all on one page. What are the 3 different symbols you would use if you weren't going to use numbers?
1
vote
2answers
584 views

Jack's vs Jacks for “Jack his phone”

I am non-native in English so forgive me if this question is too low level. If you are talking about something that belongs to a person you can say "Jacks phone" to mean "the phone of Jack", at ...
5
votes
2answers
418 views

Does this parallel structure need coordinated prepositions to avoid being a faulty parallelism?

...on Finnis's view all distinct instances of basic goods are incommensurable — none is of more, less, or equal value with any other. — Source I expect to see more or less than any other, ...
0
votes
1answer
112 views

How to properly number paragraph according to APA style [closed]

If an article cites (Mara, 2010, “Mission,” para. 1) using APA style, does para.1 refer to first paragraph within the "Mission" section? or the whole page?
0
votes
1answer
351 views

“Or”, or “to put it otherwise”, which one is better in this paragraph?

As Benvensite wrote, the linguistic structure of Greek created the predisposition for the notion “to be” to have a philosophical vocation. To put it otherwise, as I said, to assert solemnly, as ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

“That my results are not reproducible” or “that my results are unreproducible”?

What is better to write? that my results are not reproducible that my results are unreproducible How can it be re-written as positive affirmation (preserving the same meaning)? Edit: Do ...
0
votes
2answers
125 views

Can I separate the parts of a sentence so far away? [closed]

According to Professor Kong, Bo Xilai’s (the governor of Chongqing, whose wife are convicted of killing the British businessman H. Wood) “Chongqing model”, which was known for its tough measures ...
2
votes
4answers
9k views

Should 'Today' and 'Tomorrow' be capitalised?

I always wonder whether 'today' and 'tomorrow' should be capitalised. Can anybody help me?
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Is it correct to write “a 5-mm-thick layer”?

Do I need hyphens? Should I use the indefinite article or zero article?