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The phrase "does not matter" sounds rather informal to me. I'm writing a formal report and would appreciate alternative suggestions.

For example:

"The residents of City X enjoy favorable living conditions. There is heavy precipitation from time to time. However, this does not matter because most residents have a habit of working from home."

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  • 1
    '... this is immaterial' is about as close as it gets in meaning, and as far away as it gets in register. Jun 20, 2015 at 22:44
  • What does "in register" mean? Are you making a reference to music theory?
    – FreshAir
    Jun 20, 2015 at 23:16
  • 1
    register noun: 3. Linguistics A variety of a language or a level of usage, as determined by degree of formality and choice of vocabulary, pronunciation, and syntax, according to the communicative purpose, social context, and social status of the user. Oxford Dictionaries.com
    – user98990
    Jun 20, 2015 at 23:39
  • Thanks Little Eva. So Edwin Ashworth was saying "this is immaterial" is the best candidate in terms of what I'm looking for.
    – FreshAir
    Jun 21, 2015 at 0:27
  • 1
    Thank you everyone for your suggestions - it is much appreciated.
    – FreshAir
    Jun 23, 2015 at 22:36

7 Answers 7

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I would recommend using "this is irrelevant".

The residents of City X enjoy favorable living conditions. There is heavy precipitation from time to time. However, this is irrelevant because most residents have a habit of working from home.

The definition of "irrelevant":

not useful or not relating to a particular situation, and therefore not important
The defendant's lawyer argued that his past offenses were irrelevant to this case.

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  • I would avoid irrelevant, it can sound rude.
    – dwjohnston
    Jun 22, 2015 at 3:33
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inconsequential- adjective The definition of inconsequential is something unimportant or something that doesn't matter.

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  • The residents of City X enjoy favorable living conditions. There is heavy precipitation from time to time. However, this is inconsequential because most residents have a habit of working from home.
    – Dirk Moby
    Jun 21, 2015 at 1:04
  • Best answer! From a lowly Car-salesman! lmao
    – Dirk Moby
    Jun 21, 2015 at 1:05
  • Hello again! You should edit your answer to include the sample sentence. Comments on this website have a habit of disappearing without any warning. Answers tend to be more permanent, unless they are gibberish or they don't answer the question, in which case they can be deleted by the community or the mods.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 21, 2015 at 4:44
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"The residents of City X enjoy favorable living conditions. There is heavy precipitation from time to time. However, this is of minor significance/minor importance because most residents have a habit of working from home."

You could also say unimportant

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I would say in what way it doesn't matter, for example:

The residents of City X enjoy favorable living conditions. There is heavy precipitation from time to time; this doesn't make the residents' living conditions poorer, because most of them have a habit of working from home.

Why? Because if saw a formal report and it contained a sentence along the lines of "xyz, but this doesn't matter" I'd be inclined to wonder why they bothered mentioning it :)

This is perhaps in part due to my pedantry, and in part due to advancing age and my increasing appreciation for things being spelt out to me.

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    But if you are really pedantic, enjoy favorable living conditions tells me nothing- what's favorable to one may be unfavorable (or unimportant) to another.
    – Jim
    Jun 20, 2015 at 23:56
  • I agree with both of you. These ideas are elaborated upon in the report.
    – FreshAir
    Jun 23, 2015 at 22:39
  • You make a cogent point, Karasinsky.
    – user98990
    Jul 1, 2015 at 13:17
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While the OP seeks a synonym for “does not matter,” by the time I arrived on the scene @Catija had already submitted a perfectly apt response, after which, if the adjective “irrelevant” wasn’t acceptable, all that was required to find one that was, was a quick googling of the adjective and, voila tout!---unimportant, immaterial, inconsequential, insignificant, meaningless, trivial, of no matter or consequence, of little account, beside the point, neither here nor there, etc., etc., etc.---so, rather than pursuing that, I turned my attention to a different problem I saw with the OP (writing), one that I thought would have even more bearing on the quality of FreshAir’s final product.

The problem I saw was this:

1. The first sentence claims that the residents of City X enjoy favorable living conditions.

2. The second sentence significantly qualifies the first sentence, yet must be accounted for.

3. The third sentence seeks to diminish the import of the second sentence (which brings us back to the gist of the OP) by seeking a formal stand-in for “this does not matter,” i.e., the periodically heavy precipitation.

Although each sentence of this paragraph is undoubtedly true and valid, each sentence also recedes from the import of the preceding sentence.

Aside from completely reconstructing the paragraph, I believe the solution to the problem lies in a slight rewording of the second sentence and its merger with the third, while avoiding the use of “this does not matter,” or any of its synonyms.

The heavy precipitation that occurs from time to time does matter. It matters to the validity of the first sentence, it matters to the residents of City X, and it will matter to those who read the report.

Though it can probably be improved, here’s an example of the rewording and merger I spoke of:

"The residents of City X enjoy favorable living conditions. Due to the occasional heavy precipitation most residents have adopted the habit of working from home."

I apologize if my first answer was indecipherable, and I surely hope this is better.

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  • I disagree... In this case it's definitely worth noting that there's often heavy rainfall (say as information for someone who is considering moving to the area or visiting it) but it is good information to point out that it doesn't necessarily impact a lot of people because they work from home.
    – Catija
    Jun 21, 2015 at 2:26
  • @Catija - you misunderstood me. I didn't suggest omitting mention of the rainfall, I suggested not using terms equivalent to "this does not matter," (i.e., irrelevant, unimportant, inconsequential, et.) since it matters enough to the author to include the fact in the first place. I recommended other ways around the problem.
    – user98990
    Jun 21, 2015 at 2:40
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    You literally say "issues that don't matter have no place in your report". If what you say in your comment is what you mean, then you should change your answer.
    – Catija
    Jun 21, 2015 at 3:05
  • Than you for taking the time to consider my answer, rather than rejecting it out of hand, Fresh Air. I hope it was of some help. :-)
    – user98990
    Jun 23, 2015 at 23:05
  • Here's another good answer that you'd probably appreciate that never got much play, @Tushar Rag.
    – user98990
    Jul 1, 2015 at 13:24
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The residents of City X enjoy favorable living conditions. There is heavy precipitation from time to time, but this detail is negligible due to residents' widespead habit of working from home.

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I'm totally necroing this post to add my GED level input.

Original post;

The residents of City X enjoy favorable living conditions. There is heavy precipitation from time to time. However, this does not matter because most residents have a habit of working from home.

What I would have wrote;

The residents of City X enjoy favorable living conditions, even with heavy precipitation from time to time, because most residents have a habit of working from home."

Assuming this was taken out of context, I may have worded it differently, if I had read the whole piece. Furthermore, I wouldn't word the beginning or ending like the original either, but I digress.

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