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In my thesis I have written such sentences as:

"Murphy and Levy found that all participants used formality, titles and please/thankyou with overseas partners, however, what was perceived as impolite from both sides was different."

"These definitions undoubtedly give generalizable insights into cultural trends, however, this method is not suitable for my thesis as these types of studies either use large datasets and discourse completion tasks, or they take a more ethnographic stance looking qualitatively at two groups interacting (see e.g., Spencer-Oatey & Xing, 2003; Grainger, 2011)."

My supervisor hates it leaving such comments as "In my practice, a ‘However’ used to indicate that the following proposition contrasts in some way with the previous proposition begins a new sentence." and "As you know, I hate this ‘however’ used as ‘but’." - but am I actually grammatically wrong? Or is my usage informal/improper?

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    I would use a period (or at least a semicolon) before both of these "however"s. – GEdgar Aug 13 '18 at 18:01
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    What you have right now is incorrect because they’re comma splices. – Laurel Aug 13 '18 at 18:05
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    I'm always a fan of the Oxford comma precisely because of these situations where you've included a dual term in the middle of your series. The solution isn't to use a slash but to punctuate correctly: "...used formality, titles, and 'please' and 'thank you'..." – lly Aug 13 '18 at 18:14
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    Your series is also composed of three items that don't correspond with each other: "...used formalities like titles and polite expressions (e.g., 'please' and 'thank you')..." – lly Aug 13 '18 at 18:15
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    You're also combining two dependent clauses with a comma as if they were in a series: "...completion tasks or take a more..." Last, but more minor and stylistic, there should logically be a comma before e.g. or none after it. – lly Aug 13 '18 at 18:18
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[A]m I actually grammatically wrong?

Yes, repeatedly. You should listen to your supervisor.

First, you seem to have an iffy grasp of complicated grammar and should defer to your superior's probably greater knowledge on the topic. Both sentences are fairly correctly formatted if they were being spoken but badly formatted for Standard Written English, the default for academia.

Both sentences have comma splices. You could say

Murphy and Levy found that all participants used formal diction including titles and polite terms (e.g. "please" and "thank you") with overseas partners. However, what was perceived as impolite from both sides was different.

or

Murphy and Levy found that all participants used formal diction including titles and polite terms (e.g. "please" and "thank you") with overseas partners; however, what was perceived as impolite from both sides was different.

or

Murphy and Levy found that all participants used formal diction including titles and polite terms (e.g. "please" and "thank you") with overseas partners, but what was perceived as impolite from both sides was different.

but not what've you currently written.

Second, your advisor is obviously trying to help you. You should reward such a desire to help you instead of continuing to disincentivize it.

Third, your advisor or his colleagues are the ones who are going to grade your work: you should go ahead and indulge their stylistic quirks.

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    Your comment is appreciated, and I will change the sentence to one of those you suggest (with the omission of 'diction' as the subject is written text). However, I don't see a need to to be so combative. I omitted one part of my supervisor's comment where he admitted he might be stylistically out-of-date because I wanted readers to respond honestly. Incidentally, he left a humorous comment on a quote I used which also had this paired-commas-with-however. I simply wanted to know a grammatical precedent for my own curiosity. p.s. a supervisor does not mark a thesis, an independent examiner does. – Liz M Aug 13 '18 at 18:39
  • @LizM Fair enough, but you should probably continue to defer to his formatting and style suggestions. They're right on this point and, in the comments above, you seem to have other issues as well. – lly Aug 13 '18 at 18:49
  • I decided the original quote was too hideously difficult to paraphrase, so I just added a direct quote instead. This was followed by "However, what was perceived as impolite from both sides was different". I think that fixes it. Thanks for your help. – Liz M Aug 14 '18 at 13:59

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