This tag is for questions specifically related to written English.

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41
votes
7answers
2k views

Which variant of English should I use when my target audience is the world?

I know that all variants of English (American English, British English, etc.) can be generally understood by everybody who knows any of the English variants. However, there are some regionalisms that ...
0
votes
4answers
913 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, ...
6
votes
5answers
580 views

How do I write consecutive numbers?

Today I wrote the sentence: The supplied definition defines 24 16-bit words per subframe, and ... I know the recipient will understand the terminology. I'm concerned about writing the phrase ...
6
votes
4answers
15k views

Capitalization of X in “X-ray”

Should the word be written as X-ray or x-ray?
1
vote
1answer
649 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
244 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
4
votes
8answers
4k views

Are contractions like “didn't” forbidden in written English? [duplicate]

Possible duplicate of: Using contracted forms (“don't”, “let's”) in a formal text Usage of contractions like “it's” and “that's” in textbooks Should ...
6
votes
2answers
333 views

Why is a story not called a “-logue”, though it has a prologue and an epilogue?

The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines -logue as: indicating speech or discourse of a particular kind. I understand that -logue is a combining form noun, but it has always struck me as odd that ...
0
votes
2answers
388 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
133 views

Where do I place the closing character when I end a sentence with parenthesis? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where does the period go when using parentheses? Which of the following should I use? Are there any exceptions to the rule? I enjoy breakfast (sometimes). I ...
2
votes
2answers
990 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
823 views

Capitalization of “Dictator”

I'm wondering whether the word dictator should be capitalized. Is it just an adjective and not an (official) title?
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Is the singular “they” acceptable in formal writing? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a correct gender-neutral, singular pronoun (“his” versus “her” versus “their”)? I am linking to this post for reference. ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Should “vice versa” be treated as an independent clause?

I know "vice versa" more or less means "conversely," but when it is used by itself, should it be punctuated as if it were an independent clause? Dogs don't like cats, and vice versa. or Dogs ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Is the phrase, “Use commas sparingly” a valid piece of advice?

I am currently in the process of collaboratively editing a research paper, and participated in a meeting about it today. During the discussion, the head of the group made a blanket statement about ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

What are the rules on when to use commas, colons, semicolons and dashes?

What are the rules on when to use commas, colons, semicolons and dashes?
1
vote
2answers
8k views

“Experienced in” or “experienced of”

What is the correct use of experienced, with in or of? For example, I have experienced in system development. I have experienced of system development.
93
votes
7answers
33k views

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

Is there a name for the use of symbols in place of curse words, for example #$@&%*!?
-1
votes
1answer
150 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?
1
vote
1answer
3k views

In the sentence “You, too.”, is the comma acceptable?

I tend to think it is, as "too" serves the role of a referential phrase, repeating the verb-phrase of a preceding sentence, and "you" acts simply as a subject pronoun. But, I've heard an argument to ...
6
votes
4answers
684 views

Comma splices and fragments in novels

I have noticed that many authors incorporate the use of fragments and comma splices in their novels. Given that this is acceptable practice in a novel, is it acceptable to use a comma splice or a ...
5
votes
2answers
8k views

What (grammatical) tense to use when doing reference in a paper?

For example, A published a paper with title B in 2000. Then, in my paper: A says / said that [C works / worked out perfectly]. and B illustrates / illustrated that [C works / worked out ...
0
votes
1answer
127 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
2k 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, ...
1
vote
5answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
9k views

Why are numbers sometimes spelled out and then numerals specified as well? [closed]

I'm referring to the peculiar habit I sometimes see in formal documents, where a number is given numerically after it's spelled out. It seems quite redundant: I need five (5) kumquats, stat! ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Can “his/her” be replaced by “his”?

Yesterday, I asked this question on Web Apps: If a Facebook user dies, what happens to the account? Actually, I wanted to ask it this way: If a Facebook user dies, what happens to ...
4
votes
5answers
3k views

Coordinating conjunction immediately followed by parenthetical — Is a comma needed or not?

William Strunk's Rules of Usage states: If a dependent clause, or an introductory phrase requiring to be set off by a comma, precedes the second independent clause, no comma is needed after the ...
19
votes
4answers
23k views

“you” versus “You” as polite form of writing

Is it correct to write "You" with a capital Y as a form of politeness? If yes, should I use that form throughout the entire letter/document, or only at specific places?
0
votes
1answer
367 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
395 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
543 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?
0
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there any rule for differentiating between the endings “th” and “ht”?

Some words end in th (length, width), and others end in ht (height, fight, tonight, caught). I sometimes have difficulties in spelling such words because I don't know which ending to choose. Is ...
2
votes
2answers
424 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
702 views

What is wrong with this sentence, and how should I fix it?

I am proof-reading a short CV that details an employee's volunteer achievements. It will form part of an application for a committee position. The following sentence makes my brain itch, but I am ...
0
votes
1answer
207 views

Is it clear in the following sentence the distinction between the “individual” and the “whole”?

Is it clear in the following sentence the distinction between the "individual" (a single person), and the "whole" (nature, universe...everything around, etc)? "People want to be eternal as an ...
5
votes
2answers
2k 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
2k 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
2k 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." ...
8
votes
4answers
61k views

Is an indentation needed for a new paragraph?

Is an indentation (Tab button in Word) needed for a new paragraph when you start one? I was told to do that a long time ago but 3 years after I stopped doing it and have done it since. Are you meant ...
4
votes
1answer
659 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
268 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
84k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
269 views

Jig or template to hold a workpiece

Technical English for a foreigner - please correct and rephrase if you can come up with better alternatives. A machine in manufacturing usually is fed material or a workpiece to be processed. ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

What do you call a slip of the tongue in writing?

Is there any phrase or word that can be used to describe a slip of the tongue that happens in writing? Calling it a slip of tongue directly feels awkward, especially when the written text is never ...
1
vote
2answers
19k views

How to spell out dollars and cents [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to say the total amount? Which is the correct way to spell out dollars and cents? Forty-Two Thousand Dollars and 00/100 ($42,000.00) or Forty-Two Thousand ...
3
votes
4answers
795 views

Is it normal in English to talk about oneself in the third person in these cases?

A Japanese person said that it is often normal to talk about oneself in the third person in English. This is what he wrote: For example, when you write a CV or an introduction of yourself, the ...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

How can someone become fluent and improve their writing skills? [closed]

How can someone become fluent and improve their writing skills? I've been learning English for many years and I still face many problems especially at writing(academic writing and writing in general) ...
5
votes
3answers
414 views

On the expression “no [noun 1] or any [noun 2]”

I have often seen the following expressions: [ex.] 1. I have no allergies or any medical issues. 2. John serves a chicken with no sauce or any kind of seasoning. I suspect that such a use is ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Is it correct to combine multiple clauses into one sentence?

Is it correct to combine multiple clauses (sub sentences) into one? For example, let us consider this sentence: On managerial side, I am experienced in accounting software, have been working ...