This tag is for questions specifically related to written English.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

3
votes
3answers
25k 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 Which is the proper way of writing "one of a kind" phrase?
1
vote
1answer
626 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
1k 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.
2
votes
3answers
5k views

Using “and” twice in a list

About using and, I've learned it is usually used in lists, between the last two items. For example: I like movies, traveling and going out with friends. Please tell me if the use of and ...
1
vote
2answers
10k 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.
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?
5
votes
2answers
15k 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 ...
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
623 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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
509 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
688 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
747 views

How to use “critical” without it being mistaken for “crucial”

I would like to describe a process (not a person) as being critical. For example, for a process that undergoes criticism, correction and scrutinization such as auditing and inspection. I found the ...
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
5k views

“Hypothesize” vs “postulate”

When writing a scientific or engineering paper, how do we choose between hypothesize and postulate?
18
votes
5answers
54k views

“Versus” versus “vs.” in writing

In writing, when should one use the abbreviation vs. as opposed to the full versus? This abbreviation seems to have special status from common usage. What is the origin of that, and in what writing ...
1
vote
2answers
425 views

Can I write different spellings of the same word in the same context? [closed]

Can I use "color" in one paragraph, but write "colour" in the next one? Yes, I just did it. But is it acceptable to do so when not talking about spelling differences?
0
votes
3answers
2k views

To put more “weight/power” into a conclusion

I am trying to find an expression which would meet my needs. In the report that I am currently writing I would like to explain that I have done a certain action in order to "put more weight/power" ...
1
vote
3answers
397 views

How to say “possibility at maximum rate” correctly

How do we say The possibility of dying in a car crash here, is always at the maximum rate correctly? Is that sentence correct? I don't want it to sound very formal.
7
votes
8answers
4k views

Can the word “that” be used to refer to people?

I came across this SAT Question of the Day: Unbelievable as it may seem, many individuals that fought in the American Revolution were still alive in 1839, the year the world was introduced to ...
2
votes
3answers
399 views

Is “at a time” correct?

I would like to find a way to express the meaning of "at some time". For example: I think everyone has his study or working rhythm at a time. This rhythm varies for different person, and may be ...
1
vote
3answers
875 views

Applying/earning/validating leave

When someone attends an event, he will be awarded some additional leave subject to his boss's approval. Therefore, he will need to submit a leave application to his boss for approval. Should I call ...
1
vote
1answer
911 views

Is it better to write without contractions? E.g. “cannot” instead of “can't” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Using contracted forms (“don't”, “let's”) in a formal text Usage of contractions like “it's” and “that's” in textbooks Should contractions ...
2
votes
3answers
3k 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. ...
0
votes
3answers
245 views

Should laconism be favored over clarity? [closed]

One might argue that to be as understandable as possible, one should use common words and phrases. On the other hand, unnecessary verbosity is often frowned upon. Stop acting so childish and ...
9
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it okay to start a sentence with a Greek letter (variable)?

Is it okay to start a sentence with a variable? Do I need to rewrite a sentence just because the subject is typeset as a Greek letter? For example: Φ is treated in a special way. vs. ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Can I use “verbally” in a written context?

Can I use "verbally" to refer to textual communication? For example, can I say "Verbally encourage this behavior" meaning "Encourage this behavior in writing"?
1
vote
1answer
171 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
4k views

Name and origin of writing with period after each word

It may be limited to the web ecosystem, but I've read a lot of those sentences lately, where each word is followed by a period. Examples: Oh. My. God. Best. Job. Ever. No. F***ing. Way. ...
14
votes
3answers
6k views

Is there a proper name for the 3 asterisks that are used to suggest temporal discontinuity?

For example, when some long prose passage ends, this appears: * * * Then some new prose passage begins. The three asterisks dividing the two prose sections are understood to divide the two ...
1
vote
4answers
949 views

How can I explain why the following sentence is poorly written?

I came across the following sentence in some instructions and it almost seems like a double negative to me, yet there are not two negations in it that I see, so I am wondering how to explain what ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Usage of “just”, “only” and word-order [intended meaning]

I've got these sentences, which meanings are correct (my interpretations are in brackets): Use of only: (1) Only in 1996, Ford sold a rebadged Mazda 626 GV over here as its rebranded Japanese ...
0
votes
2answers
78 views

Have or Hold Open House

Could you guys tell me which one is correct? We are having an open house. We are holding an open house?
6
votes
2answers
440 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
759 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 ...
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
513 views

Do listeners understand different adjective orders?

I found Adjective order, but I keep wondering if listeners actually understand what I mean when I don't follow that order. For example, if I say, "a lovely long white coat," I may change it to "a long ...
3
votes
4answers
946 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it OK to add a question mark to show inflection?

When asking a question you generally have to raise your voice at the end of the sentence, is it okay to stuff a question mark in order to show inflection? A couple examples: 'That really happened?' ...
1
vote
6answers
16k 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.
3
votes
2answers
254 views

Is the “How to … ?” question phrase acceptable?

Is the following sentence acceptable in semi-formal or formal written speech? How to adopt a lifestyle that consumes less? Or ought it be rephrased? For example, to the following? How do I ...
1
vote
2answers
34k views

How should a date be written? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Date formatting in written English Which of these is the correct way to write a date? 1- Wednesday 5th of June, 2010 2- Wednesday 5th June, 2010 3- Wednesday the 5th of ...
12
votes
4answers
4k views

Should there be a period after an equation?

This isn't a pure English question, but it is about writing style: Sometimes entities that aren't words end up being in sentences. I know that when mathematical expressions are inline as follows: ...
2
votes
4answers
308 views

Face up or head up?

My 7 years old daughter is doing her English homework. She wrote the following sentence: "My parents are face up looking at the cool sky" I reckon it does not sound right. I would have said "My ...
20
votes
4answers
32k 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?
1
vote
5answers
1k views

Casual writing to express that someone is thinking of something?

In casual writing we often use the colon to express that people are talking. Example: Tom: hi Mary: hi I'm wondering what about if it is Tom thought of something instead of Tom talking? Like ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

The usage of “sic” in writing

I have seen many articles that use quotes from players like: We gonna [sic] be working hard over the summer cause we gotta [sic] get better. What is sic? Where does it come from?
3
votes
2answers
11k views

“these days” - what is the correct usage/meaning?

Recently whilst writing a report I typed the following sentence: "Funerals still represent a celebration of the life of the deceased, but these days families and friends often use the time to ...