This tag is for questions specifically related to written English.

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2
votes
1answer
2k views

Usage of verb “sounds” in written text, when not referring to an actual sound or sounds

I find myself using sentences like "that sounds great" and "it sounds like a good idea" etc. in written English. What are the formal guidelines here? Do native speakers use the verb "sounds" this way ...
0
votes
2answers
116 views

Does “maintaining” lead to “fostering?” [closed]

I'm writing a code of conduct for a small government department. It is going to be chock full of punchy, actionable phrases (no real complete sentences) that seek to convey an air of positivity. ...
1
vote
2answers
832 views

Quirks and limitations of Past Perfect

I know that English has two past tenses, when the second past (Pluperfect) is farther back in time then the other (Simple Past). Reading stories in English, I've discovered that many stories are ...
-1
votes
1answer
13k views

Synonyms for “ease of use”? Preferably shorter [closed]

I'm currently copywriting a description for a facebook page. Unfortunately it imposes a limit on me of about 200 characters. To get to the point, I'd need a synonym for "ease of use" that's a bit ...
0
votes
1answer
319 views

How do I express the plural of a letter in writing?

My last name has two occurrences of the letter "s" in it, so in speech I tell people all the time that it's spelled "with two esses". However I don't know how to express such a thing in writing. I can ...
-1
votes
1answer
142 views

Conjunction vs comma for creative writing [closed]

Mark is crying, sitting in the middle of the hall. Mark is sitting in the middle of the hall and crying. I know both sentences are grammatically correct. But which is good for creative writing? ...
0
votes
2answers
267 views

A water circle of few radius is around the park

Look at the below image. Do you see the water in 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 as "A water ...
-1
votes
1answer
459 views

Avoiding repetition — “hallway” [closed]

In many forums, I have seen people keep saying to avoid repetition of the same word in a paragraph. But in the sentence like below, how do you avoid the repetition? Suddenly, the dog stands up and ...
0
votes
1answer
6k views

Numeric abbreviations in business quotes [closed]

When writing a quote for an order for products, would you write 25K or 25M to refer to 25,000 parts or pounds or units?
0
votes
0answers
50 views

Which form of address in motivation letter? [duplicate]

I am writing a motivation letter for a university in London, and I wanted to know which form of address is common? Dear Sir or Madam To whom it may concern Thanks in advance.
4
votes
2answers
679 views

Why is the pronoun “I” written with an uppercase letter, even when it's not at the beginning of a sentence? [duplicate]

In the following sentence, the pronoun I is written capitalized, even if it is not at the beginning of a sentence. Why? What kind of questions can I ask here? should I capitalize all the ...
3
votes
1answer
383 views

How to write in English for international readers? [closed]

How to write in English for international readers? I'm not a native English speaker but I've been learning the language for many years in many fields (Mathematics, Physics, Mechanical Engineering and ...
2
votes
2answers
259 views

Is there a correct grammatical way to state computer model number in plural form?

For example if I said - "I shipped ten Dell 360s this morning". where Dell 360 is the model number and I don't want people to get confused by the "s", how should I write this? Is it more ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

“At step” or “in step”

When I searched I found many usages of both "in step" and "at step". For example, Google returns: "at each step" — about 55,000,000 results "in each step" — about 45,000,000 results But which one ...
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?
4
votes
3answers
112 views

Can we say “front of spring” or merely “beginning of spring”?

In an answer to a Writers SE question, I used the phrase “a bright morning at the front of spring”. John M. Landsberg commented: Nice revision, but note we wouldn't say "the front" of a season. ...
1
vote
2answers
9k views

What's the correct way to format a date range, time range, and days of week in a single line? [closed]

I'd like to write the date and time for an event that runs for one week. Currently I have: ​ June 3-7, 2013, 8:30am-5:30pm; Monday-Friday Is this stylistically acceptable? Is there a better way? ...
4
votes
1answer
8k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
892 views

How to quote a list from a paper? [closed]

I'm writing a paper and I need to quote the following list: Step1: Compute the center of each triangle and the correspondences between the center and three vertexes of the triangle; Step2: Set up ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Do I use “argued” or “argues”? Past or Present? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What (grammatical) tense to use when doing reference in a paper? Should I use present or past tense when referring to a (scientific) paper? “has been raised” or “was ...
0
votes
3answers
574 views

Is “setup” an acceptable noun in formal writing?

I'm editing a draft of a scientific paper which repeatedly uses the word "setup" to refer to the, well, experimental setup. Example: The dimensions of the setup are 250 mm × 250 mm × 50 mm. ...
2
votes
4answers
189 views

Is “the changes you intend to make will not do us any good” polite?

I would like a polite (formal) way to say: The changes you intend to make will not do us any good. or should I say "intend on making"?
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?
1
vote
2answers
140 views

Is it suitable to use “trump card” in scientific papers?

Suppose you improved an old method with a novel technique. Is it OK to say that it (your technique) is your trump card in paper? If not, what is your suggestion?
-1
votes
5answers
5k views

“that's why” in formal essays

"I'm", "it's" are forbidden in formal essays. Can I use "that's why" in the opening of my Statement of Purpose? Fancy flights used to fill me with euphoria, that's why I named myself Joseph, but ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

“Feeding” data or “entering” data: which one is correct?

Which is the better verb to use with data: feeding or entering? Furthermore, which is more common in the literature of the field and which do people who work in the field say more often? Are they ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I say “I know him well” in a formal way [closed]

I need help in formal writing. Can somebody tell me how to say "I know him well after 2 year teaching him" formaly? Thanks in advance.
1
vote
2answers
16k views

Is the abbreviation “etc.” or “and so on” acceptable in formal writing? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: On the usage of “etcetera” Is the abbreviation etc. or "and so on" acceptable in scientific writing papers?
2
votes
4answers
6k 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? ...
1
vote
4answers
1k views

Why is this considered a “romantic” poem? [closed]

In Willam Blake's poem, what makes it a romantic poem? I wandered through each chartered street, Near where the chartered Thames does flow, A mark in every face I meet, Marks of weakness, ...
1
vote
1answer
783 views

Using the correct tense in writing

Should I use past tense to describe something of a permanent nature/situation? "The Taipei 101 stands at ... (height) is the most famous financial centre in Taiwan and it has 101 floor of ...
-1
votes
1answer
281 views

Correct headline in scientific pro/contra table

Which words are appropriate for the headline in a table with pros and cons in a scientific paper (physics)? PROS CONS ice cheap cold fish expensive warm
0
votes
2answers
464 views

Mixed tenses in a sentence [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: ‘Had’ or ‘has’ to describe a past condition which is still present? Tense change: previous actions on something that's currently true The employee was injured while ...
-1
votes
1answer
228 views

What's a punchline? [closed]

What's a punchline in a paragraph? Is it the same as topic sentence, or is it a conclusion sentence? Can you provide a concrete example of punchline?
108
votes
7answers
51k views

What the #$@&%*! is that called?

Is there a name for the use of symbols in place of curse words, for example #$@&%*!?
1
vote
5answers
3k views

“Concatenate” vs. “merge” vs. “join” in scientific text

I wonder what the difference is between concatenate, merge and join from the lexical point of view. These words are often used in scientific or programming text. It seems to me that different authors ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

Periods after directional abreviation in address

I am creating a business card, and I need to put the address of the company on it. What is the proper way to write this address? 555 14th St NW, Atlanta, GA 55555 555 14th St NW., Atlanta, ...
10
votes
4answers
764 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
141 views

Reword “increasingly too late”

How should I fix a sentence which says "As X disappears, it is increasingly too late to do Y with X"? The sentence seems awkward to me, but "too late" is an adjective, so is the sentence ...
0
votes
1answer
418 views

Why did author use a different sort of articles in sentence, which describe a picture? [closed]

I am not a native speaker. I am doing a exercise "Answer the questions about the pictures" from my Grammar Book and I checked Keys at end of the book: I saw: In A the man is lying on the ...
4
votes
4answers
571 views

The verb for carrying out a bitwise OR/AND operation

I'm writing a scientific/technical text which involves describing some low level code. I need to complete the following sentence: When two values are combined, their tags are _ _ _ _ _ _ together ...
0
votes
2answers
561 views

“Confusing modifiers” reported where none are found [closed]

I have a sentence: Take a look at this math problem and try to so solve it. The Grammar Checker told me: “This sentence contains Issue: Confusing modifiers.” But where?
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Mixing adjectives and nouns in scientific writing

I've noticed that biological scientists tend to use nouns as adjectives when detailing experiments both in writing and in speech. Examples: The experiment was performed "in monkey cortex" instead ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the correct way to write 'for ever more'?

I know that 'forever' is a word, and I know that 'evermore' is a word, but what is the correct way to write the phrase 'for ever more'? Is it 'forever more'? 'For evermore'? Or even 'forevermore', as ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Where can I find a list of capitalisation rules for pure British writing?

Is there any quality English orthography book that contains rules for capitalising in pure British English? I’ve noticed that an American newspaper capitalises every word in the title of an article ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Correct spacing used between numbers and abbreviations [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Punctuation with units How to write units? I see many people don't use a space between a numeral and an abbreviation, such as "7lb" or "5mm". Shouldn't it be "7 lbs." ...
4
votes
1answer
756 views

Term for Indirect Dialogue

There are two different types of dialogue I'm aware of, that for the moment I'll refer to as 'direct' dialogue and 'indirect' dialogue. However, I know these terms aren't the correct ones, and it's ...
2
votes
2answers
440 views

Dangling Participial Phrase [closed]

Here’s the original: The veterinarian was caught off guard when, regaining consciousness, we were again attacked by the cat. My rewrite of this sentence is either: The veterinarian was ...
3
votes
3answers
329 views

Clear way of saying that one set of rules overrides another, if contradicts [closed]

I'm working on updating a constitution, but as it is for a non-incorporated entity it doesn't have to be legally perfect. I'm much more interested in clarity. Here is what I have at the moment: ...
4
votes
2answers
125k views

Can you say “see you then/there” when arranging a meeting?

I am sending an e-mail to a colleague to arrange a meeting. In my e-mail I inform her where and when we can meet, and I would like to end the e-mail by saying something like "See you there" or "See ...