This tag is for questions specifically related to written English.

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3
votes
2answers
411 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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
4answers
11k views

Capitalization of X in “X-ray”

Should the word be written as X-ray or x-ray?
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Capitalization for a bullet list

The following is from some software documentation we are writing: NOTE: Refreshing a report may be necessary or helpful when: you believe the data in the report has changed since it was ...
11
votes
3answers
9k 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
41
votes
9answers
5k views

Why, in old books, are dates often given with the years redacted?

silly question, and I'm not sure this is even necessarily the right forum, but it's the most appropriate on StackExchange, so here we are. Why is it, in older books, that years are sometimes redacted ...
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: ...
5
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
853 views

Plural of “scheme”?

Scheme is the singular form. What is the plural of scheme?
4
votes
4answers
388 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
433 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 ...
7
votes
8answers
422 views

“flavorx” v.s. “flavors”

I wrote something about the food. And I use flavors for plural flavor, however my foreign English teacher corrected it as flavorx. And he considers that I also should read 'flavors'. I googled the ...
40
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 ...
5
votes
4answers
43k 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 ...
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 ...
14
votes
7answers
19k views

What do all capital letters typically refer to in writing?

In many error messages and conversations, I come across words in all capital letters, as demonstrated in the examples below. ERROR: Please type your e-mail address. or ME: I can't make it ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it correct to write “a 5-mm-thick layer”?

Do I need hyphens? Should I use the indefinite article or zero article?
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?
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 ...
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
16
votes
2answers
5k views

Why is English written and read left to right?

Why is English written and read from left-to-right as opposed to right-to-left, top-to-bottom, or (not even sure any language does this) bottom-to-top?
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?
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
1
vote
1answer
91 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 ...
17
votes
5answers
1k 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
0answers
609 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, ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
2k 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?
6
votes
1answer
10k 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
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, ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Should I place a question mark after “Can you (just) imagine”?

I mean should I always split the sentence into two ("And can you imagine? He escaped through the window!") or I can just get away with one long sentence without a question mark at all (something like ...
45
votes
14answers
2k views

If an insertion in parentheses ends with a smiley, how do I distinguish between the two?

I know smileys are not part of written language (yet), and any questions about them are irrelevant to linguistics and are kind of not serious. So take my question with a smiley then. It bugs me ...
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

Does “see you this weekend” in email express “will write another email this weekend”?

Perhaps people will think that I'll physically visit them?
10
votes
2answers
9k views

What are sentences like “the longer X, the more Y” called and can they be used in formal written English?

What is the type of sentence exemplified below called? Is it appropriate to use it in a scientific paper and formal written English in general? 1. The more pronounced the variation, the more ...
4
votes
2answers
8k views

Is “could've” or “should've” standard English?

As the title says — is "could've" or "should've" standard English or is it slang and should correctly be spelled "could have" and "should have"?
126
votes
15answers
15k views

Do most languages need more space than English?

I saw the following statement on User Experience: Supporting multiple languages can break the user interface, because most languages need more space than english This seems to be a gross ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the uses of ellipses in essays? [closed]

I’m wondering about how ellipses are used in essays. Are there any examples that I could see?
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?
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Usage of italics in writing

In which cases is a word, or a group of words written in italics? Is italics used in specific contexts, or it is quite normal to write words in italics?
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 ...
4
votes
5answers
121 views

What will “this country” refer to after mentioning a foreign state?

AFAIK it is typical to refer to the country where the speaker lives as this country. For example, if a person lives in Great Britain and he wants to mention weather in Great Britain, he might say ...
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 ...
2
votes
3answers
10k views

Are both “in regards to” and “regarding to” correct?

Do in regards to and regarding to imply different meanings or is it okay to use them interchangeably? Example: This mail is in regards to your inquiry. This mail is regarding to your inquiry.
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 ...
21
votes
5answers
21k views

What is the best format to use when writing out dates?

What format of date is appropriate for different contexts (business, personal) in written English, nowadays? 1st of April, 2010 April the 1st, 2010 April 1, 2010 April 01, 2010 another one
13
votes
2answers
42k views

Should I write “that being said” (vs. “that's been said” or “Having said that”)?

I often write what "sounds" right (being not a native English speaker/writer), and I believe the expression "that being said" to be fairly common, as opposed to a more complete form like "that's been ...