This tag is for questions specifically related to written English.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
2answers
644 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
429 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
115 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
358 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
127 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?
1
vote
2answers
872 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
vote
6answers
17k views

“By the way” in formal writing

Can I say "By the way" in an official document or professional meeting and other important/formal times? I never saw any film which would include these words.
16
votes
5answers
24k views

How do I emphasize a word using the standard punctuation system?

I've seen people on the Internet stressing a certain word using "*": I do not *like* it, I *love* it! I think there is no such punctuation as "*". So I'm wondering if I can use some other way to ...
6
votes
8answers
491 views

“flavorx” v.s. “flavors”

I wrote something about the food. And I use flavors for plural flavor, however my foreign English teacher corrected it as flavorx. And he considers that I also should read 'flavors'. I googled the ...
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
122 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
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? ...
0
votes
4answers
4k views
24
votes
5answers
48k views

What is the best format to use when writing out dates?

What format of date is appropriate for different contexts (business, personal) in written English, nowadays? 1st of April, 2010 April the 1st, 2010 April 1, 2010 April 01, 2010 another one
-1
votes
1answer
14k 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 ...
14
votes
7answers
47k views

What do all capital letters typically refer to in writing?

In many error messages and conversations, I come across words in all capital letters, as demonstrated in the examples below. ERROR: Please type your e-mail address. or ME: I can't make it ...
0
votes
1answer
336 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
392 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
973 views

Is it incorrect to use a sentence fragment to answer a question?

In an English essay, I wrote: What am I looking at? People enjoying themselves? I lost points for using a sentence fragment. Is it truly incorrect to use a sentence fragment this way?
-1
votes
1answer
148 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? ...
-1
votes
1answer
465 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
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.
0
votes
1answer
7k 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?
8
votes
2answers
8k views

Origin of the word “duh”

What is the origin of the word "duh" as in the interjection: — It's hot in the desert. — Well, duh! If it is of onomatopoeic origin and only appears in modern English as some sites suggest, I ...
4
votes
2answers
718 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
263 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
598 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
3answers
3k views

“lie on the basis of” versus “lie at the basis of”

I often read in scientific papers a sentence of the form "X lies on the basis of Y." or "X lies at the basis of Y." to indicate that Y is caused by X in some fundamental way. Are both forms valid and ...
4
votes
3answers
113 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. ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

“TV”: is it formal or informal?

I would definitely say that the term TV is informal (while television is formal), however I have found "TV" in some formal compositions.
2
votes
3answers
936 views

Which Is Correct: “Do More Faster” or “Do More, Faster”?

I have been stumbling with this phrase for a few days now. I read a book the other day called "Do More Faster". The title comes from a slogan about startups getting more work done than their ...
19
votes
2answers
12k views

Why is English written and read left to right?

Why is English written and read from left-to-right as opposed to right-to-left, top-to-bottom, or (not even sure any language does this) bottom-to-top?
0
votes
1answer
909 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 ...
44
votes
9answers
9k views

Why, in old books, are dates often given with the years redacted?

silly question, and I'm not sure this is even necessarily the right forum, but it's the most appropriate on StackExchange, so here we are. Why is it, in older books, that years are sometimes redacted ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Plural of “scheme”?

Scheme is the singular form. What is the plural of scheme?
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 ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

Use of ! to convey sarcasm vs. emphasis

One, two or even three exclamation marks are often added, especially in e-mail, to convey emphasis to phrases such as Thanks!, or No problem!. My problem is that in British English, you could also ...
9
votes
7answers
20k views

When and how should I use multiple exclamation marks?

Now, I never do this, but in some few cases I have seen people use multiple exclamation (or question) marks like this: Hey!!! Is that grammatically correct? (Or just okay). In case it is, how ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Repeating “to” in a list of verbs connected by “and”

"This group’s main duties are to carry out information systems audits in Colombian banks and to make research and develop new regulations on information technologies and systems in the banking ...
2
votes
4answers
191 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"?
1
vote
2answers
141 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?
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 ...
-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 ...
15
votes
7answers
82k views

Can “hence” be used at the beginning of a sentence?

Can the word ‘hence’ be used at the beginning of a sentence? For example: Hence, I am not feeling well, I am unable to work.
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?