This tag is for questions specifically related to written English.

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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.
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Can a four paragraph essay give me a 30/30 score in TOEFL writing independent task? [on hold]

I am preparing for TOEFL and I have heard different ideas on writing independent task. In fact, I want to know whether I get 30/30 if I organize my essay with a 4 paragraph structure or should it be ...
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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
70 views

Plural of “lemma”? [closed]

Lemma is the singular form. What is the plural of lemma? Is there a word lemmas? Can I use lemma as a plural form?
1
vote
3answers
51 views

When is writing eloquently considered “wordy”? [closed]

When I write, I prefer to do so as eloquently as possible: why should writing be only functional? Although, my English teacher considers this poor style--her belief reflected in some of my essay ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

What did Old English writing (letters and formatting) typically look like?

I am wondering if there is a specific kind of writing that people would typically associate with Old English language. Are there well-known manuscripts that typically represent the kind of writing ...
4
votes
2answers
33 views

Capitalization of “the Company”

I am writing a business plan. It is lengthy, so instead of always mentioning the company by its full name, I will write, "the company provides...". Another writer wants me to capitalize "The ...
-3
votes
0answers
28 views

Why do people say that “sensical” is not a word? [duplicate]

Nonsensical is obviously a word, and it's a negative connotation. Why can't something be sensical if it can be nonsensical? There's uninviting, but inviting is correct, isn't it? I see many books on ...
-1
votes
1answer
21 views

Usage of “Trainers having experienced working with XYZ organisation”

I am preparing a creative brochure for a workshop, where I need to mention our trainer's experience as "Our trainers have experience working with XYZ(elite organisation)". Could any one help me to get ...
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

When refering to a claim written in a book, how do you refer to it if there are two authors?

When analyzing a piece of writing, I was taught to refer to claims made by using the author's last name. For example if Donald Duck wrote the book "How to Build Boats" and I was analyzing it, I would ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

Is Days of Week acceptable plural of Day of Week? [closed]

Can I say "Days of Week" or would that be "Days of the Week", or is there another, better way to express this? I'm writing a computer program that asks for, stores and displays a Day Of Week list. ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

What is the correct name for posts made on twitter?

Well, I honestly tried to search for this but I drowned in twit* and tweet* results. Should I write: "my tweet" or "my twit"? "I am tweetting" or "I am twitting" ("to twit" vs. "to tweet")? ...
1
vote
2answers
46 views

Should “and” be on the following line? [closed]

If a sentence contains the word "and" at a place where it needs to continue on the next line, should the "and" be put at the end of that line or at the beginning of the next line? Capturing a ...
1
vote
3answers
36 views

Word or phrase for that part of writing that ensures clarity of speaker and place

I was reading a book the other day and, at several points in the story, became very confused as to which character was talking. It would also happen that the characters would suddenly be at new ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

Word usage of academic/formal writing

Is it academic/formal to write something like this: The reading passage and the professor both debate on the subject of / that __. However, the speaker call into question the ideas presented ...
5
votes
5answers
15k views

How to add contextualizing text to a quotation?

How do you add text which provides context to a quote? For example, consider if I were to quote someone as having said: This is unacceptable! Were that the whole quote, can I add any text to ...
-1
votes
1answer
36 views

Location of day of week in non-U.S. long format dates?

In the United States, the long/expanded/full form of a date with day of the week is: Monday, February 24, 2014 I understand in other countries the long date form is often: 24 February 2014 So ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

Difference between an 'Abstract' and an 'Introduction' in a feature article? [closed]

I have to write a feature article for school. However, I'm confused how an abstract [a summary of my points] is different to an intro [Where you outline the points you're going to be elaborating in ...
0
votes
2answers
50 views

Style Guide: Bold, Italic, or Quotes When I Want to Emphasize Something

Let’s say I have many lists of this kind on a page: Click on the Foo button. Tick the Bar box. Click on the Save button. How should I emphasize Foo, Bar, and Save? Bold? Click on the Foo ...
-1
votes
4answers
258 views

“Talking to someone is nice.” or “It is nice to talk to someone.” but “It was nice, talking to you.” Why?

General statement: a. Talking to someone is nice. (verb as subject in front position = gerund) or b. It is nice to talk to someone. (verb as subject after dummy subject 'it' = full infinitive) ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

Academic writing: “one's”

Is it allowed to use the word "one's" in academic writing? For example: It can help improve one's vocabulary.
1
vote
2answers
55 views

Differences between “very” and “very much” as adjective modifiers

The following examples are clearly wrong: × I am very much tired × She is very much clever But the following sounds fine (at least according to OALD): I am very much afraid that ... I am ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

How to represent a link in an APA style?

I was reading more on the APA style but somehow I got stuck that how can I represent a link in an APA style. Below are the links I have - ...
13
votes
2answers
3k 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
3answers
233 views

“indulger of” vs. “indulger in”

A person can indulge in something. Is he therefore an indulger of something or an indulger in something? Are both okay? If both are okay, is there any difference between these two phrases or are ...
4
votes
2answers
7k 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"?
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Usage of “and” and comma when writing numbers UK style

I am trying to understand the rules for writing numbers in words under the UK rules (with "and"). I understand how to write small numbers (up to a few thousands), but I am not sure when to use "and" ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

Can “make something out of …” mean what I want to mean here?

Life for this sparrow is very hard, but even so, she had a pleasant character. Then an eagle fell in love with her. He explained to her: I did not adore you because you could make an adorable ...
-3
votes
1answer
34 views

Are these two sentence make the speaker self-defeating? [closed]

As he sets out, China is on the brink of revolution. But I do not think so. (self-made) It seems to me to be wrong. Because the first sentence implies that the “I” have accepted “his” idea as true, ...
0
votes
1answer
135 views

Is there a name for this literary device?

Is there a term that describes the act of giving tangible qualities to an intangible noun? I stumbled over a metaphor or I felt sadness condense on my skin The first one might just be ...
-1
votes
1answer
65 views

Omitting the subject in writing [duplicate]

I wonder whether it is formal to omit the subject in writing. Must all sentences always have a subject when I'm writing an English test? Ìs it colloquial and reserved to speech?
10
votes
5answers
2k 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. ...
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 ...
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 ...
21
votes
4answers
1k views

Should you always use the accent in foreign words like “résumé”?

You can see in the aboutCV page of Stackoverflow Careers site that the word resumes is mentioned — not résumés or résumés. What should be the common practice here? What about other words like ...
1
vote
5answers
13k views

Official e-mail

How should I begin an official e-mail if I don't know who I am writing to? I mean, normally I would write "Dear x", but when I have to send an e-mail to an institution, what should I write?
2
votes
1answer
106 views

Does English have a way to express a simple moral statement?

Ancient Chinese have a philosophy which holds that some names have substantial content, i.e., moral requirement for humans. For example, the word human carries with it the meaning of compassion; if ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

Gender-neutral possessive [duplicate]

I often use their as a gender-neutral term. Example: When a writer promotes their work ... But I am not sure whether this is acceptable English, or whether this is rather colloquial. I.e. can a ...
7
votes
8answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
6k views

To hyphenate or not?

As a non-native speaker of English and an engineer by training, I always get confused about hyphenation and almost always end up referring to Google every time I need to make that decision. Does ...
-1
votes
1answer
67 views

Which is most correct of these 3 phrases?

At the top part of the front page of my trading journal website, I have a phrase that I don't know whether is correct or not. Here's what it says: Online trading journal software including trade ...
31
votes
6answers
20k views

Use of “I”, “we” and the passive voice in a scientific thesis [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Style Question: Use of “we” vs. “I” vs. passive voice in a dissertation When the first person voice is used in scientific writing it is mostly ...
0
votes
1answer
131 views

Clarify the difference between “program” and “programme” [duplicate]

What is the difference between The Noun: Program and Programme ?? What should i use?
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Does this “coming up with” make sense?

What I try to do here is to borrow from Confucius the doctrine of “benevolence”, and then modify it in light of the significant and exigent issues we face nowadays, finally coming up with a ...
3
votes
3answers
4k 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?
1
vote
2answers
78 views

Jack's vs Jacks for “Jack his phone”

I am non-native in English so forgive me if this question is too low level. If you are talking about something that belongs to a person you can say "Jacks phone" to mean "the phone of Jack", at ...
7
votes
2answers
758 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. ...
20
votes
4answers
10k views

Capitalisation of nouns in English in the 17th and 18th centuries

It seems to have been common practice in the 17th and 18th centuries in Britain to capitalise the first letters of nouns in English, e.g. At which Time he prov'd himself the Noah's Dove, that ...
5
votes
2answers
177 views

Does this parallel structure need coordinated prepositions to avoid being a faulty parallelism?

...on Finnis's view all distinct instances of basic goods are incommensurable — none is of more, less, or equal value with any other. — Source I expect to see more or less than any other, ...