This tag is for questions specifically related to written English.

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6
votes
0answers
3k views

How do expert writers avoid using “I” when they have to refer to themselves in their article? [migrated]

How do competent authors, in a refined and perhaps (slightly) formal way, refer to themselves without saying I? I've seen the term "this writer" somewhere. How is it with a native? Are there other ...
6
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
-3
votes
2answers
98 views

Plural of “lemma”? [closed]

Lemma is the singular form. What is the more correct plural form of lemma: lemmata or lemmas? What word should I choose for scientific article?
0
votes
0answers
32 views

How do you slip info into a story without making it sound like a history lesson or monologue? [on hold]

I want to make my writing sound more personal, yet uncompromising with regards to information. How do I achieve that with my characters? What I do is let the character mention it in the most ...
130
votes
15answers
16k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Is there a word that describes the sound you make when you chuckle/breathe/cough in agreement with something?

I am writing a novel and am constantly trying to figure out how to describe the action when someone gives a sort of small cough or a quick "huh" in agreement. I suppose it would be the non-word ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Breeding herd of cattle in the pasture [closed]

It is correct to use: breeding herd of cattle in the pasture.
18
votes
5answers
3k views

Correct, clear, concise way to use “potato-potato” in writing

"You say tomato, I say tomato" and the song from the beginning. As an informal turn of speech, it can be used to show that two or more parties are talking about basically the same thing but not in ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Seeking for penmanship advice [migrated]

Before criticizing my post being in the wrong section or whatsoever, I want to say: within my knowledge, I judged this to be the most reliable platform for this question. If I am banned from the ...
0
votes
2answers
38 views

Usage of the term 'non-reproducibility'

Studies on genetic factors of schizophrenia are characterized by high heterogeneity and non-reproducibility. Is the usage of term 'non-reproducibility' appropriate in the above sentence? Is ...
0
votes
3answers
4k views

What words have “‑ei‑” (except in “‑cei‑”) pronounced [i:]?

The rule is that written ei is pronounced [i:] only after the letter c — or that what is pronounced [i:] is written ei after the letter c only. Here are exceptions I’ve found so far: foreign ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

Where can my IT-related articles be proofread and fact-checked?

I am going to begin writing articles to share my knowledge and demonstrate the expertise on my portfolio site as a front-end developer. I am not a native English speaker so my words can sound boring ...
1
vote
3answers
72 views

Turn “in to” or “into” a lonely lane?

I have a sentence I'm writing where I describe making a turn, as I run, into an empty alleyway. Here is how I would like to say it: I turn into a lonely lane... The problem I find is that it ...
2
votes
3answers
52 views

Way of saying 'washes hands of it' but implies physical

Looking for a non-crappy way of describing someone doing that washing hand motion you do to clear your hands of dust or dirt, but without saying 'washing hand motion'. I feel like there's a good way ...
2
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
21
votes
5answers
12k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
86 views

Can I write “the model due to X et al”?

Until ten minutes ago I thought sentences like "The model due to X et al. (2016) explains Y and Z" were common in academic writing. Our post-doc raised doubt about the phrase's correctness, and ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

usage of terms “as well as ” and “as well” [closed]

Can anyone describe the usage of the terms "as well as" and "as well" in sentences? Are they interchangeable?
2
votes
1answer
34 views

What rhetoric is applied in this sentence?

There is no point in pretending that XXX is what it is not, nor that it is not what it is. I feel that English language has many of these kind of usage that exploits the fact that the logically ...
0
votes
2answers
77 views

What is the best literary technique to introduce a new word, conceived by yourself, in your story? [closed]

I am an aspiring novelist, and there's this "science fiction & fantasy" story I am working on, wherein I have coined some new words here and there. I am sending this question to the proficient ...
-1
votes
1answer
28 views

Is there a 35th edition of “On Writing Well”?

My English teacher recommended Zinsser's "On Writing Well" as a supplement to my reading of E.B. White's "The Elements of Style". While I know that Zinsser's 30th edition exists, I have come across an ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

I want to use a definition from dictionary.com but I can't find it anywhere else.

My essay is about the Greek Tragedy "Oedipus the king". I want to use the term cosmic irony in a paraphrase but I am unsure whether or not it would weaken my argument. Since I can not find support for ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Which one is acceptable in an academic paper? Fig 4. show or Fig 4. shows? [closed]

Is it right to say: Fig. 4, Show the wireless transmission of data. Shouldn't it be: Fig. 4, Shows the wireless transmission of data. By the way, another question would be, is it right to ...
2
votes
3answers
5k views

Must OK only be written in capital letters? [duplicate]

Whenever I write ok the spell checkers underline it with a red line and suggest that I should OK. Not even Ok works. Why is this so?
7
votes
3answers
38k views

How should I write a whip sound?

Is it crack? Snap? Wh-tch? Whop-eesh? Alternatively, if I don't use the actual noise. Do I write: The whip rang out? Cracked?
7
votes
1answer
367 views

17th Century affectionate term for Mother

I'm writing a ghost story, and (in an admittedly well worn trope) a child ghost is looking for its mother; but how would a 17th century child affectionately refer to its mother? In short, what would ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

When to use double negatives in written English?

I have always been a little confused as to when to use double negatives when writing (I am unsure if this is what they are termed in English, it is the term used in Mathematics). E.g. when to use: ...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

Formal American English form of 'generalization of the generalized'

I have a question regarding formal American English writing. I constructed a method which is a generalization of the generalized finite element method (GFEM). The fact that it's a generalization is an ...
5
votes
3answers
102 views

Formal alternative for “dos and don'ts”

I want to write "dos and don'ts", or an equivalent expression, in a university essay. I am assuming that it is not very academic to write "dos and don'ts", so does anyone have a better way of putting ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

Should “yes” always be in quotation marks when written? [duplicate]

There is a sentence in a diary: When I asked if my passport would arrive next week, he said "yes". So should yes always be in quotation marks when written like that?
-1
votes
2answers
93 views

Writing the introduction, I want to know if using phrases like “in my opinion” are stylish or not [closed]

I want to know if using phrases like "personally speaking" or phrases like that contributes to good style. Do good writers use such expressions? Am I better off simply stating my thesis without using ...
3
votes
3answers
12k 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.
1
vote
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
vote
3answers
95 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
55 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
34 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 ...
46
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
57 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 ...
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
55 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
58 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
18k 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
61 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
96 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
93 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
753 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
67 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
160 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
51 views

How to represent a link in an APA style? [closed]

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 - ...