I'm writing a PhD thesis.

Should I use "upcoming" in the following sentence, or is it too informal?

. . . the modifications will be included in the upcoming fourth version of the manual . . .

By upcoming I mean "to be released".

  • I was about to suggest "forthcoming", but unless you take out "fourth", it sounds weird. – Chris Dwyer Feb 22 '11 at 20:59
  • @Chris Dwyer: Do you think "forthcoming" is more formal than "upcoming"? – John Assymptoth Feb 22 '11 at 21:04
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    Yes, I think so. – Chris Dwyer Feb 22 '11 at 23:42

You could omit it altogether.

The salient point is that the modifications will be in the fourth version of the manual. Since your PhD will be published and readable at any date that follows it, including the word 'upcoming' will result in your text becoming out of date.

If it is useful to note that the fourth version has not been released at the time of the publishing of your PhD, a footnote along the lines of "Expected release date: blah blah 2011" might be appropriate.

  • This is actually great advice. I can add the note in the reference of the manual. – John Assymptoth Feb 23 '11 at 5:23

The dictionary I have does not report upcoming as informal word, nor do I give to the word an informal meaning.

I normally see the word associated to events that are about to happen (e.g., election), but I have also seen the word used in upcoming newsletter.

Instead of upcoming, you could use forthcoming, future, imminent, coming, or impending.

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    Do you think forthcoming would be a more consensual choice for a thesis? – John Assymptoth Feb 22 '11 at 21:12
  • Forthcoming has been first used on 1530s, while upcoming (with the meaning of forthcoming) has been first used on 1954; apart that, upcoming is a synonym of forthcoming. I would use forthcoming in this case, but that doesn't mean it would have a larger consensus. – kiamlaluno Feb 22 '11 at 22:13
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    @John Assymptoth In my opinion, forthcoming is the more appropriate word. It feels more academic. – Uticensis Feb 22 '11 at 23:53

Upcoming is redundant as you've already said "will be included" and as someone else pointed out, it will make your text out of date once the fourth version is published. Apart from that, forthcoming does somehow sound less hip - and therefore more suitable - than upcoming.

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