This tag is for questions specifically related to written English.

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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, ...
1
vote
1answer
593 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
651 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
13k 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
488 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
379 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
579 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
321 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 ...
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
288 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 the above sentence correct? I don't want it to sound very formal.
4
votes
2answers
4k views

“Hypothesize” vs “postulate”

When writing a scientific or engineering paper, how do we choose between hypothesize and postulate?
1
vote
2answers
381 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?
9
votes
2answers
457 views

avoid the slash?

Should the slash be avoided? For example every week/day in my head is translated to every week or day. I think I started using slashes because I saw them used in forums and in articles. Is using ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

“Tone” vs. “shade”

"Tone" and "shade" seem to refer to the darkness or brightness of a thing. So do they mean the same thing? Where is it proper to use each of them? When describing a person's skin, what is the ...
6
votes
1answer
12k views

When do we use “rarely, hardly, seldom”?

I'd like to know when should we use "rarely" and "hardly" and "seldom". Can we use these adverbs in the same situation? Or do we need to follow some criteria for using those different adverbs?
1
vote
3answers
773 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
736 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
237 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 ...
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"?
17
votes
5answers
2k views

How to handle a name that includes an exclamation point (or other punctuation)?

Certain brands, such as Yahoo!, insist that the exclamation is part of their name. In writing about such a brand or company, is the inclusion of the vanity punctuation right, wrong, or optional? I ...
1
vote
4answers
815 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
261 views

Usage of “|” in English sentences

I have a book about punctuation marks, but it doesn't report when to use | in a English sentence. I notice that the New Oxford American Dictionary uses that character to separate the examples it ...
2
votes
1answer
2k 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
73 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?
2
votes
4answers
295 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
4k views

How to use “supposed to”, in particular while writing official letter to ask for leave

How do we use supposed to? In particular, should I use this while writing an official letter to ask for leave?
1
vote
1answer
95 views

“Original design by”

I have a question. I downloaded a template from Internet. "James" created it (author: James). I edited this template and do fundamental change. Now I want add my name to the info box. What should I ...
10
votes
3answers
488 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
1k 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?' ...
3
votes
2answers
453 views

Is “public listed” an adjective?

The series in the sentence below and its positioning sound awkward. Micro, small and large are all adjectives, but public listed? Has the rule on parallelism been violated? And should anything be ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

Usage of commas with “albeit”

Is it correct to place two commas in this sentence? New York City plays a significant, albeit previously neglected, role in the urban narratives of [...].
3
votes
2answers
780 views

Is the word “Americana” capitalized?

...in the sentence "Here's a list of great Americana books." It looks SO weird lowercase: "Here's a list of great americana books."
11
votes
4answers
3k 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: ...
3
votes
2answers
238 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
20k 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 ...
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?
2
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
370 views

Is there a general thesaurus for conceptual fields?

My question is about ways to find out about, or remind oneself of, related concepts. Say I'm writing an article and I'm stuck finding the right expression. I want to say that the author is confused ...
7
votes
2answers
578 views

How to punctuate lists in general?

(1) How to punctuate lists in general? (2) also, what case to use? In the case study, signal comparison could be used for: • signals from redundant channels of emergency stop button, • output ...
1
vote
10answers
233 views

“High Accident Intersection”

I was challenged recently to solve this problem. An accident takes place on an intersection on a high road. However, if I was to write about this as taken place in a "high accident intersection" it ...
7
votes
2answers
408 views

Is it acceptable to use “just as well” in an academic paper

The title pretty much sums it up: is it permissible to use the words "just as well" in a formal academic paper? For instance: The exchange might just as well have taken place in Abu Dhabi.
8
votes
4answers
3k views

Is “Mecca” capitalized when used figuratively?

Waleed made his pilgrimage to Mecca. This is a given. But I would write: Bombay is India’s entertainment mecca Is this correct, or is Mecca capitalized in its figurative use, as well?
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Usage of “Hi” and “hi” in a letter/mail

In the beginning of a letter (or mail) , which is the correct method to address a person/friend..say for example which would be more perfect "Hi XYZ" or "hi XYZ" ? __Kanu
4
votes
5answers
786 views

Can you use “(sic)” in other contexts?

In Polish you can use sic to indicate not only erroneous spelling (uncorrected for editorial reasons), but also to note that the sentence should be as it is when it comes to its meaning (e.g. "The ...
8
votes
4answers
525 views

Is lolspeak bad English, or just a different English?

Is lolspeak / internet speak (such as "plz send teh codez") bad English, or a different English? I can't really describe what'd be "bad", but a lack of consistency would be an indicator it's bad.
2
votes
1answer
376 views

How do I refer to a number in an image in a scientific paper?

I'm note sure if this is the correct place to ask this, but if I have a schematic illustration that contains numbers to enumerate interesting details. How do I refer those numbers in a text that ...