This tag is for questions specifically related to written English.

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3
votes
2answers
651 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."
0
votes
3answers
3k views

What are the words where “-ei-” (except in “-cei-”) is pronounced as [i:]?

The rule is that "ei" is pronounced as [i:] only after letter c (or what is pronounced as [i:] is written as "ei" after letter "c" only). There are exceptions, that I could find so far, like ...
10
votes
4answers
2k 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
220 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
12k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
770 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
6k 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
336 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
552 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
226 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
375 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
2k 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
707 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
503 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
317 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
945 views

Usage of abbreviations in semi formal written conversation

Some people always tell me to avoid using abbreviations that often used in forum talk, AKA "Internet Slang", in semi formal written conversation. Of course, I would never use the phrase TTYT, TTYL, ...
3
votes
3answers
632 views

How should wireless technology names be hyphenated and capitalized?

How should wireless technology names be hyphenated and capitalized? "a wireless g network"? "a wireless-g network"? "a wireless-G network"? "a wireless G network"? none of the above? Does a formal ...
1
vote
1answer
573 views

A Good Resource (Book, …) For Literary Techniques/Devices? [closed]

What's a good book (Or resource) on Literary Techniques/Devices in English Literature?
6
votes
3answers
2k views

When should you use “Title Case”?

Are there any guidelines for when you should capitalize titles/headings or not? Should you always do this in English? I am referring to A Capitalized Heading vs A capitalized heading
7
votes
1answer
562 views

What name for bowdlerisation with asterisks (e.g., “f*ck”)?

I have always been intrigued by the English use of asterisks to replace vowels in words considered as offensive, and the reasons it seems somewhat language-specific. My (very related) questions on ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it “a SSD” or “an SSD”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: an SQA or a SQA? Do you use “a” or “an” before acronyms? Since SSD (solid-state drive) is pronounced es-es-dee, I'm wondering whether one ...
2
votes
4answers
591 views

What's the recommended way to refer to the September 11 attacks in formal writing?

September 11 attacks, September eleven attacks, September eleventh, Nine-eleven? None of the above? What's recommended for formal writing?
1
vote
2answers
590 views

Writing about contributions

If we were asked to write about the contributions a person made to the study of computer science for example, is that different from if we were asked to write about the contributions a person made to ...
1
vote
2answers
134 views

Is “Law of Leaky Abstractions” a proper noun?

From Leaky abstraction (Wikipedia), As coined by Spolsky, the Law of Leaky Abstractions states "All non-trivial abstractions, to some degree, are leaky." I am not sure if Law of Leaky ...
5
votes
1answer
356 views

Capitalization of “Assembly Language”

This Wikipedia article does not capitalize "assembly language," for understandable reasons. It uses it as an indefinite article, i.e. "an assembly language." But how should it be written when using ...
2
votes
3answers
217 views

What are alternatives to the verb “study” (in the meaning of “research”)?

When writing scientific discussions (articles, book chapters, reports, ...), I frequently feel short on synonyms of the verb study, which I use extensively in sentences such as “in the next section, ...
8
votes
0answers
413 views

When to use passive and active voice [closed]

When is it better to use passive voice in writing and speech? When is it better to use active voice in writing and speech?
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Question mark usage/position when sentence ends with a declarative quotation?

Who said "I am hungry?" The quotation is not a question, but do I put "my" question mark there anyway? This is related to, but not the same as Position of question mark when sentence doesn't ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

Help with sentence: don't come in

Which of the following is correct: 1) Don't come in, I'm busy. 2) Don't come in; I'm busy. 3) Don't come in. I'm busy. 4) Don't come in I'm busy. And why?
7
votes
7answers
14k views

Is there any rule for the placement of space after and before parenthesis?

I often get stuck when forming or formatting a sentence with one or more parenthesis. For example, I wrote an answer on another stackexchange site, in which I wrote: ...whereas, my phone(xperia ...
4
votes
2answers
935 views

Which punctuation for definition

I have the following sentence: To this end, I first devised a novel algorithm to enumerate all possible partitions; ways of dividing a network into meaningful parts. I was told that the ...
4
votes
2answers
811 views

How to punctuate sentences like “I'm just calling a spade, a spade.”

I was browsing Area 51 and I saw this comment: I'm just calling a spade, a spade. I'm never quite sure how to punctuate sentences like these where a phrase is repeated back to back, without any ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the difference between “solidus” and “slash”?

I was reading a text, and I found the word solidus. What is a solidus? Is the word normally used in everyday language, or is there another word that replaces solidus even if it's not the completely ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

“Easy to explain, here is an example for you:”

Here I present you two scenarios of mine: This can be explained very easily, with this example: example here and This can be explained very easily: example here On the first ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How to punctuate an answer to a question when the answer is also a question?

The title to this question is sort of long-winded but the example here should clarify it. Which of these is correct? Who should be baby-sitting your children, your neighborhood teenagers or ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Recommended books on writing well in English? [closed]

I keep "On writing well" close to me when writing something long. What other books would you recommend on the topic of good writing-style in English?
10
votes
3answers
451 views

Is it acceptable to use “google” as a verb?

With the popularity and ubiquity of Google, it has become a verb to describe "searching for something online" and it appears in conversations and informal writing. How can I know if it is acceptable ...
3
votes
3answers
595 views

Enjoys his fair share to work hard and smart to meet commitments

Received a resume lately. One of the sentence, in summary section, doesn't look right to me. It may be not a very obvious mistake, or may not be a mistake at all. But I can't say anything for sure, as ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

Asking for feedback on a meeting summary

I've got to write a meeting summary, and amongst the recipient will be my boss. To ensure that I was accurate, I would like to ask for feedback from my recipient. I've got the following sentence: ...
4
votes
4answers
387 views

Mark: outstanding (as in: not yet known)

I’m updating my tabular CV for an application and I’d like to include my master thesis even though it’s not yet finished (soon!) and marked. So I’d like to write that the mark is still outstanding but ...
0
votes
1answer
120 views

J.A. Gagarin's flight vs J.A. Gagarin flight

1) Is it Ok to leave the initials or would you drop them? Writing his name in full seems odd since it isn't Gagarin who is the point of discussion. 2) Is it Gagarin's or Gagarin? Is there any ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

What does “open up a vein” mean?

I found the phrase 'open up a vein of fury' in the article of today's Washington Post as shown below. The New Year's Day suicide bombing of a church that killed 21 people has opened up a vein of ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

'Heavy Traffic' or 'Lot of Traffic'?

Is it appropriate to say 'Heavy Traffic'? I am referring to traffic as in roads and vehicles in this context. Is using 'lot of traffic' more appropriate?
1
vote
2answers
152 views

Easy interrogative garden path prevention

How do writers of American English inform the reader that the current sentence is a question (with all the assumptions and prosody that go with it) without sacrificing the content, format, impact, ...
11
votes
2answers
5k views

Should I refer to “Section 2.3” or “Subsection 2.3”?

When writing a document that is divided into numbered sections and subsections, sometimes I would like to refer a certain subsection that has been numbered 2.3, for example. Here the 2 represents the ...
7
votes
2answers
886 views

How does a signature develop?

In English, unlike in many other languages, signatures are typically very different from ordinary handwriting. A signature will often display all kinds of wild flourishes and elision of forms and what ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views
4
votes
4answers
374 views

Requested ship date

A company has the words This order will ship on 9/14/2010 from our Virginia location on their website. The user could request a ship date in the future. The internal, recommended replacement is This ...