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136

An em-dash is typically used as a stand-in for a comma or parenthesis to separate out phrases—or even just a word—in a sentence for various reasons (i.e. an appositive). Examples where an em-dash should be used: School is based on the three R’s—reading, writing, and ’rithmetic. Against all odds, Pete—the unluckiest man ...


52

Small children have a particular writing style that teachers often mark as wrong. We had a field trip. And we went to the zoo. And we saw monkeys. And they were funny. And then we went home. And the bus was noisy. Nobody thinks that's a well-written story. So the teacher circles all the "And"s and says "don't start a sentence with and". But somehow we ...


46

As a matter of style, many U.S. publishers follow the general rules given by the Chicago Manual of Style, fifteenth edition (2003) at 7.51, 7.53, and 7.54 under the heading "FOREIGN WORDS": 7.51 Italics. Italics are used for isolated words and phrases in a foreign language if they are likely to be unfamiliar to readers. [Examples omitted.] ... ...


40

It is perfectly all right to begin a sentence with a conjunction. It is a special form of emphasis, used to elevate a clause to a position of more influence and importance. I hold that all beets are red. And I will stick to that belief until you show me a green beet. We were tired, hungry, and exhausted. But we were home. It can also be used as a ...


39

In the case of "acronyms" such as R&D the spaces would normally be omitted, but where the surrounding elements are words (for example, Tate & Lyle), spaces are invariably present. Here's a link to Marks and Spencer's small print, where they refer to themselves as both M&S and Marks & Spencer on the same web page. Just to clarify a point ...


27

A general term for intentionally altered spelling is sensational spelling, in which the writer misspells words for an intended effect. Another, more specific term is cacography, which is misspelling intended for comic effect. It was often seen used to mock illiterate/uneducated people.


25

I don't think any of us can say for sure, but it looks to me like User B is holding fast to the Thou Shalt Not Split Thine Infinitives commandment (hence, don't put an also in the middle of the can be, and don't insert a generally inside the are known). As for my personal opinion, I think the versions of User A sound more natural, and User B is sacrificing ...


22

Using Title Case (e.g. Export Data to Folder) rather than Sentence Case (e.g. Export data to folder) usually depends on the style of your organisation. There are many guides about when to use it e.g. MLA, APA, and AP. However, as it's a style thing, there may be no set rule for your app, so whichever you prefer will be perfectly acceptable.


21

As an American, I can report that everyone I know, even highly educated people, use these forms several times a day. People in business meetings, professors giving lectures,... everyone. Sometimes people are being slow, clear, and deliberate, in which case they will pronounce the full phrase, which does sound more formal by comparison. My sense, as an ...


21

Emails and email are both correct plurals, but each has its own context. It depends on whether or not you are using it as a countable or uncountable noun. Email You can use email as an uncountable noun, just like mail. For example, "I received lots of email today" or "John sends me too much stupid chain email". But, you cannot use email as a ...


20

The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition (2003) has this entry under "Exclamation Point": 6.77 Exclamation rather than question. A question that is essentially an exclamation usually ends with an exclamation point. How could you possibly believe that! When will I ever learn! If we take this guidance seriously, it seems to me, then for ...


20

The gassy emissions from these giant dinosaurs may have been enough to warm the Earth, the researchers say. From: The preposition from, which is modifying the noun emissions in the Original Poster's example, indicates the source, or origin of the noun. It is a very common usage of this preposition and is frequently observed. Consider the ...


19

There are many synonyms that a thesaurus of your choice will be quick to provide. However, consider this: There is no reason to have the thuses in there in the first place. Remove them completely, and you're still conveying the same information. It is quite obvious that each of the sentences logically flows from the previous one. Later in life, neural ...


17

"Sans" is a common enough word in English that I would not bother with italics. But I also think in your sentence that the word "without" scans better, and I'd use that instead of "sans" for esthetics reasons.


16

It is helpful to consider in each case whether the emphasis of the sentence should be yourself or something else. I've struggled for a while now to completely purge the passive from my own writing, and by swinging completely the other way, I ended up with awkward sentences that failed to get my point across in some instances. I suggest emphasizing "I" when ...


15

It's never bad form to use passive form. It's just that in speech, we tend to use a lot of this, but there's nothing wrong with using the passive form in writing, or in speech. From the Passive Engineer: Despite the admonitions of grammar checkers, the passive construction has a legitimate function. When you want to emphasize results, use the passive. ...


14

Since you ask about sentences that begin with a number, it seems relevant to note that many style guides advise against using a numeral at the beginning of a sentence. And if you spell out the opening number as a word, the question of whether the next word in the sentence should be capitalized doesn't come up. Here are some stylebook guidelines on this ...


13

I have always used "I reckon" to mean, "I have applied a process of thought and come to this conclusion". "I think" is a statement of my assumptions. "I believe" is generally something I cannot prove or defend, specifically referring to my "beliefs" in a religious or spiritual context. For some perspective, I am a native speaker from the Southern United ...


13

There are well known manuscripts, such as The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, which were written entirely in Old English. Also Beowulf, a few poems and so forth, but the Chronicle remains the longest piece of Old English writing we have. It was written by monks in calligraphic style. It was not written (and certainly not typeset) in the characters we come to think of ...


13

This usage of yesterday is idiomatic, it's basically a synonym for "as soon as possible". I need those reports, and I need them yesterday. ≈ I need them ASAP. I needed those reports yesterday. ≈ There was a situation yesterday in which I actually needed them.


13

I think your translator is correct. Most app development guidelines state that Labels and the like should be capitalized. An example - OS X interface guideline. But since they are just guidelines, you are not forced to follow them, even though it would be a good idea to do so.


12

While I'm not aware of a particular grammatical rule that would prohibit this, as a matter of style, I would prefer not to do what you're suggesting there, especially with something like ASP.NET AJAX. I would suggest something like: Instead, you’ll use a higher-level model called ASP.NET AJAX. This toolkit gives you a set of server-side components and ...


12

I don't normally answer my own questions, but in this case I feel compelled to do so. FumbleFingers' answer — the only answer this question has received* — while well-argued and not incorrect, feels like the answer of someone who is faced with a problem he recognizes but cannot solve, and so falls back on whatever has served in the past: in this case, the ...


12

Et cetera, etcetera, etc., &c are frowned on in an academic register, probably because they seem slapdash and offhand: they give the impression that you can't be troubled to do the reader the courtesy of providing a complete enumeration—or worse, are incapable of doing so.* This of course overlooks the possible discourtesy of requiring the reader ...


12

You should call them a pattern. Tell them I said so. Edit Apparently my drive-by downvoter didn’t care for “tell ’em I said so”. However, I quite assure you that it is germane, and indeed, a proper reference. In particular, I said so in the Glossary of Programming Perl [O’Reilly Media], in its 2nd, 3rd, 4th editions published respectively in 1995, ...


12

As has been suggested in other answers, it is not very suitable in formal writing. Here are some alternatives you might consider: amount to be reduced to be a matter of be in essence


11

Internet should be capitalised, because it's a proper noun and defines a single, definite thing not something general (like the word tree, for example). If you look up the word, you'll find it always capitalised, I can link you to the OALD, as an example. If you're writing in some informal context, most people won't mind if you write it lowercase, though. ...


11

No, you should not. Even Sir Tim Berners-Lee does not: 1991 T. Berners-Lee WorldWideWeb: Summary in comp.archives (Usenet newsgroup) 9 Aug., The WWW world consists of documents, and links... The web contains documents in many formats. OED does say "usually with initial capital", and then goes on to say Originally written with a capital initial, ...


11

It doesn't matter. I'd argue the 1984 title is in more common usage nowadays. However there are many early covers suggesting maybe Orwell himself titled it Nineteen Eighty-Four. I think you can choose whichever you please; however, Nineteen Eighty-Four may sound pretentious today because of its scarcity. My favorite new cover: Penguin Books ...



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