This tag is for questions specifically related to written English.

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4
votes
2answers
731 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
1k 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
1k 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
1k 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
7k 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.
92
votes
7answers
26k views

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

Is there a name for the use of symbols in place of curse words, for example #$@&%*!?
14
votes
4answers
2k views

What is it called when words are deliberately written wrong but pronunciation is kept unchanged?

For example, Night -> Nite Nite even appears in some dictionaries as having the same meaning as night. What is it called when words are deliberately written incorrectly but the pronunciation ...
-1
votes
1answer
139 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
2k 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
637 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
7k 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
124 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
1k 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
7k 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
1k 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
19k 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
349 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
352 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
494 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
413 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
687 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
171 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." ...
6
votes
4answers
53k 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
599 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
242 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
69k 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
252 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
15k 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
673 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
2k 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
384 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
610 views

Do I need to place a comma before an address? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where should the comma be placed in the salutation of a letter? I am not sure if the way I have formulated the title of my question is correct, so if you know better, ...
3
votes
3answers
16k 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 I'm confused, which one is the proper way of writing "one of a kind" phrase?
1
vote
1answer
587 views

Using “and” to combine two sentences [closed]

I would like to combine these two sentences. Have significant experience of managing office and warehouse. Have experience of managing people at office and warehouse. Can I use and to do ...
1
vote
3answers
609 views

let you know a couple of facts OR bring couple of facts to your notice [closed]

Which of the following is more appropriate / polite? I would like to bring a couple of facts (or things?) to your notice. OR I would like to let you know a couple of facts. Please advise.
1
vote
1answer
162 views

how can I phrase the future possible applications of a technology?

I'm writing an overview for a paper, and want to let the reader know part of the outline: ...in the last paragraph I want to mention the possible future applications one can reach/accomplish with ...
11
votes
3answers
12k views

Footnote marks at end of a sentence

I find it common in my writing to end up a sentence with a footnote reference mark. Should the footnote mark come before the stop or after it? ... this is some text1. ... this is some text.1
5
votes
2answers
9k views

How to write date range succinctly and unambiguously in American written English?

How to write date range succinctly and unambiguously in American written English? In a sentence I usually use "from January 1, 1923 through December 31, 1986". But it is too long for use in section ...
1
vote
2answers
480 views

How could I explain this situation in email? [closed]

My PM given me project and told me develop new project using existing code, but existing project is not good written. I mean they written very difficult code for very simple things. I am quiet ...
2
votes
1answer
377 views

Can't read a word from a 187-year-old document [closed]

I have a land deed from the year 1824 for some land in the province of Upper Canada (back when that was a province). Some photos of the deed can be seen in this imgur album. I am attempting to read ...