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90

An em-dash is typically used to act as 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 ’rithemtic. Against all odds, Pete—the unluckiest man alive—won the ...


47

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 ...


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 ...


36

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 emphasis 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 ...


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.


17

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 ...


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 ...


14

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

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

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 ...


11

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 ...


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

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 ...


10

Words like it's and don't are called contractions. There's no rule or reason why you should either contract all possible phrases in a sentence, or else keep them uncontracted. In fact, I read your examples several times before I figured out the difference between them. It's fine either way, and the same goes for don't/do not. That said, there are some ...


10

I am in the U.S. and I agree with User A's original versions. In Claire Kehrwald Cook's book Line By Line (which I highly recommend), Ms. Cook, writes (p. 23): An adverb modifying a verb phrase goes after the first word in the phrase (was extremely surprised, has often been said, would certainly have asked) unless, in verb phrases of three or more words, ...


9

Rather than share your reactions to things, why not make statements about the things themselves? Make the subject of the sentence the topic of discussion, not yourself. Most people enjoy sharing their own experiences, but that can lead us to say "I" compulsively, and it can definitely get a little repetitive. So if your writing sounds stilted when you ...


9

Jargon, in that particular context, is not "using incorrect English words". It is this sense of the word: the technical terminology or characteristic idiom of a special activity or group. By definition, jargon is language usage that is not ubiquitous throughout the language, and as such is not standard (though it may have a very standard use within ...


9

No spaces is most often used, and supported by style guides, except in special cases. For those who have access to CMOS online, here's a link to the section advocating this: 10.10: No space is left on either side of an ampersand used within an initialism. R&D. Texas A&M. For those who don't, search the CMOS site for "ampersand initialism" ...


9

I suppose the phrase could be just extra meaningless words. Instead of saying, "The figure is expressed in terms of a percentage", you could say, "The figure is expressed as a percentage". But using the phrase "in terms of" adds some emphasis. The example from the quote, "In terms of cost, it is high", is just poor grammar. What is high? There is no proper ...


9

For a little more context, the preamble to that story in the article you linked says: [Edit: I took this long block out since it was included in cornbread ninja's answer as well.] The first line: Lessen, poisoned gulls, ditcher wander hair annulled furry tell a boarder Slipping Booty? Hoecake? Wail, heresy starry. can be "translated" (to the best of ...


9

"Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan to Awkwardly Hug, High Five" was The Onion’s snarky way of insinuating that when Romney selected Ryan as his running mate he condemned both of them— stuffy, constrained, powerful middle-aged white men who are not even ideologically compatible —to three months of pretending close friendship and demonstrating their credentials as ...


8

There are several issues. Firstly, some simple ones: it should be publication in a journal, not on; and the process as a whole is usually called peer review, not peer reviewing. [Edit: a third "correction" removed after Colin Fine convinced me it's not needed.] Secondly, the form …requires to go through… is incorrect. Requires is never followed by just ...


8

Per MLA, "et al" is OK for "three or more authors," so if there's just two, list 'em. (http://www.aresearchguide.com/9parenth.html) In references, the standard rule is to list up to five authors in the following format: Smith J, Canton EM. Weight-based administration of dalteparin in obese patients. Am J Health-Syst Pharm. 2003;60(7):683-687. ...



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