Questions tagged [register]

Questions about English registers, broadly defined as variations of the language used for specific tenors, media (modes), and domains (fields).

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
1 vote
1 answer
43 views

Single noun/phrase to denote transfer across levels of formality of language

Question: What is the name of the quality denoting the formality/colloquialism of and/or amount of jargon in language? Context: I am writing a review for a paper in which authors developed a model ...
user avatar
  • 133
1 vote
2 answers
121 views

What is the difference between Ghost and Apparition?

I'm stuck at getting the clear and sharp difference between these two words. WikiDiff says: As nouns the difference between apparition and ghost is that apparition is an act of becoming visible; ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
64 views

Is there a term for a construction like "...can and has developed," where the omission ("develop") results in an apparent lack of agreement?

Perhaps I'm just overlooking the explanation in grammar references (and questions on ELU), but I haven't found a discussion of this construction (or its advisability): a verb is omitted after a modal, ...
user avatar
  • 17.3k
15 votes
4 answers
2k views

What is the difference between "The army didn't have any" and "didn't have no" in "It makes a fellow proud to be a soldier"?

In his intro to the song "It makes a fellow proud to be a soldier," Tom Lehrer says: The army didn't have any, excuse me, didn't have no official song. And after that the audience laughs. ...
user avatar
  • 153
4 votes
6 answers
913 views

"This is your rear-window heater." Is this a "your" with "typifying generic force" or is it something unique to marketing?

I've just gotten behind the wheel at the car dealership. The sales rep continues talking: "This is your rear-window heater and here is your electronic parking break." This use of your rubs ...
user avatar
  • 17.3k
10 votes
4 answers
2k views

lie vs fabricate. When to use which one in what situation?

I'm having hard time distinguishing between these words and come to ask you gracious people for help. I recently learned the word "fabricate". I got into the dictionary for more details, and ...
user avatar
  • 142
0 votes
2 answers
169 views

Using the word "minutes" when saying the time

I have a question regarding the word "minutes" used in the context of telling someone what time it is. Actually, I think there may be regional differences, and, therefore, I have not one but ...
user avatar
  • 13
1 vote
1 answer
61 views

Is "baggage" as "portable military equipment" a technical or an old-fashioned term?

According to dictionaries, one of the meanings of "baggage" is "an army's portable equipment". But I wonder if it is a technical or an old-fashioned term. I'm not sure if native ...
user avatar
  • 1,458
0 votes
1 answer
59 views

"Forgive my verbosity"

I heard a text in English read out loud the other day. It was a translation from Russian of a letter a man had written in response to an existential question addressed to him by letter by his sister. ...
user avatar
  • 12k
3 votes
2 answers
105 views

How negative is "skip school?" Could a student use it when addressing a teacher, in a neutral sense?

I told my EFL students that in general, "skip school/a lesson/class" has a negative connotation. So, when speaking to a teacher, a student should say "I can't come to class tomorrow&...
user avatar
3 votes
7 answers
952 views

Where does "Whatcha" & "Didja" come from?

Does anyone know where "Whatcha" and/or "Didja" originate from? Watcha: What did you? Didja: Did you? Edit: I cannot find these words in my English Grammar books and they are ...
user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
3k views

What type of English is used in the dialogue of the Lord of the Rings movies? [closed]

In the movie The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Elrond speaks to his daughter: "If Aragorn survives this war, you will still be parted. If Sauron is defeated and Aragorn made king and all ...
user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
68 views

Is the varying pronunciation of "schedule" using "sh-" vs "sk-" regional or individual? [duplicate]

‘Hard’ /ˈskɛ.djuːl/vs ‘Soft’ /ˈʃɛ.djuːl/ Is one of the two variants /ˈʃɛ.djuːl/ with ‘sh‑’ (so including [ˈʃɛ.djɫ], [ˈʃɛ.dʒɫ̩], [ˈʃɛ.dʒu.əɫ], [ˈʃɛ.dʒuːɫ]) /ˈskɛ.djuːl/ with ‘sk‑’ (so including [...
user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
203 views

Any less impolite alternatives for the too-informal interjection “Hell”?

Consider the passage: Mathematicians are pretty comfortable with treating spaces without any embedding. A surface can just exist—no need for a volume for it to hover in. It does so with all its ...
user avatar
  • 129
0 votes
0 answers
372 views

Is "meet with X and me" (instead of "X and myself") liable to look wrong to stupid administrators?

My natural instinct is to write, "X met with M and me in June." But I've noticed that school officials tend to use "myself" in place of "me" in this type of sentence. A related ELU question ...
user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
706 views

Is *on par* colloquial?

I need some more synonymous constructions for equal, identical, the same in context such as Models A and B performed essentially equal on task X. Is on par a valid replacement for equal/ identical/ ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
744 views

Is “girl” a valid synonym for “young woman”?

This question emerged out of a discussion on Mastodon about Ivanka Trump being called a girl, where it was claimed that “girl' is synonymous with 'young woman' in English”. Is this true? Is it sexism ...
user avatar
  • 137
1 vote
1 answer
2k views

"I accept my fault." vs "I accept it was my fault."

English is not my first language, but the first sentence (I accept my fault) doesn't sound very natural to me. I have looked up the word accept in several dictionaries and haven't found any similar ...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

Do I have to use "I" or "we" when orally presenting my scientific thesis written by a single author? [closed]

I know that in a scientific paper or thesis made by a single author, it is common to use we. (This is also recommended at our university.) But what about when you alone are presenting a thesis work ...
user avatar
0 votes
4 answers
525 views

In scientific writing is: Energy expended/ cost /consumed?

In scientific writing, should I write energy is expended, cost or consumed? Which term is preferable? As in the example, Energy is expended/cost/consumed through deformation/vibration/friction.
user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
6k views

'Gone are the days when ... ' Is this expression often used?

Is the expression 'gone are the days when ...' often used in everyday English? Or is it something you can see only in books?
user avatar
  • 11
8 votes
1 answer
2k views

A Strange Conditional: "I couldn’t have talked to her that day if I never talked to her again"

In The Great Gatsby, thus pens Fitzgerald: ‘However—I want to see you.’ ‘I want to see you too.’ ‘Suppose I don’t go to Southampton, and come into town this afternoon?’ ‘No—I don’t think this ...
user avatar
  • 4,093
-1 votes
2 answers
8k views

which group I belong to vs to which group I belong [duplicate]

I don't know which group I belong to. I don't know to which group I belong. Which one of the sentences is true? Note: An answer was given to this question when it still read "I don't know (to) ...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
419 views

Elon Musk’s “thanks for being awesome”

In a recent open letter to “everybody”, famous visionary entrepreneur Elon Musk uses the closing statement “Thanks for being awesome” (emphasis mine): From: Elon Musk To: Everybody Subj. ...
user avatar
  • 59.5k
3 votes
1 answer
95 views

Be we all here?

The passage below is taken from Life's Little Ironies by Thomas Hardy. My question concerns "Now be we all here?". I understand that it means "Now are we all here?". The writer might have left the ...
user avatar
  • 3,475
1 vote
1 answer
2k views

How do you differentiate between "in order to", "so as to", "so that" and "to"?

When we use the phrases so as to, in order to, and so that, we simply mean with the aim or purpose of doing something. The first two phrases are always followed by an infinitive to. Will I not be ...
user avatar
  • 4,633
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is "pls" considered unprofessional?

Any where I talk to people on messages, emails, chats, etc... I find people tend to use the word "pls" instead of "please". Even my phone company texts me automatically saying "Pls call 321, You have ...
user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
207 views

"She wanted out of this dump." What is the grammatical function of "out of this dump"?

I came across a line in a movie. She wanted out of this dump. She wanted to start a new life. It seems the sentence is missing to get/be/go. Is the sentence grammatical as it currently stands? ...
user avatar
  • 1,065
0 votes
1 answer
1k views

Which is more correct: "preferred that he do" or "preferred him to do"? [duplicate]

I would like to know which form of this question is “more correct” than the other: What would you have preferred (that) he do? What would you have preferred him to do?
user avatar
  • 1
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

Pronunciation of the word 'negotiate' with an /s/

So, I've heard this one a couple of times so far, especially in formal contexts on BBC Radio 4 and other tv/radio stations. OED states you can only say it this way — /nɪˈgəʊʃɪeɪt/, providing no other ...
user avatar
6 votes
13 answers
61k views

A fancier way of saying, “I'm not a fan of…”

I am looking for synonyms–the more ‘fanciful’ the better–of "not a fan" as in I'm not a fan of his, but give the man a break! The expression, “I'm not a fan of his/her” or “I'm no fan of his/...
user avatar
  • 85.4k
-1 votes
2 answers
3k views

What’s the origin and history of using the word "stuff" to mean possessions? [closed]

When did the word “stuff” come to be used as casually as it is used today? I’m looking for an historical date for the sense meaning possessions.
user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
46k views

Formal writing: "…for my colleagues and {I/me/myself}."?

I'm currently using Cambridge English Advanced 1. It's a book that contains past examination papers, and includes numerous samples of authentic writing. This material helps, candidates and teachers, ...
user avatar
  • 85.4k
2 votes
2 answers
151 views

Can it ever be acceptable to use singular “they” with a specific referent of known but undisclosed gender?

I am not sure whether these two examples using singular they to refer to a specific, singular referent are acceptable in educated speech: I had a friend in Paris, and they had to visit the doctor for ...
user avatar
  • 1,883
3 votes
1 answer
24k views

Can I use the phrase 'nigh-on-impossible' in a report?

I'm currently writing an academic report and I began to write out the phrase 'nigh-on-impossible' without a second thought. It then occurred to me that this phrase may actually be slang. I did a ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
16k views

"Dear Madam / Sir" vs. "Dear All" [duplicate]

When writing a letter to officials you don't know the sex of, do you say Dear Madam / Sir or Dear All? How do you avoid the fact that you don't know the sex of the official(s) to whom you are writing?...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
715 views

"Heaps" or "heap" as an adverb

According to the Oxford dictionary online (ODO), "heaps" is an adverb meaning a great deal. But in Gone with the Wind, there is this sentence, containing "heap," most likely meaning the same thing ...
user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
784 views

The first "topless" man

For years, men who bared their torsos in public were said to be bare-chested or shirtless, but recently I keep seeing more and more topless men; not in my part of the world, unfortunately, but in ...
user avatar
  • 85.4k
2 votes
1 answer
479 views

Has “if I was” be­come gram­mat­i­cally cor­rect in a south­ern US di­alect? [duplicate]

Liv­ing my whole life in Arkansas in the United States, I’m cer­tain that if I were is never used by lo­cals. In­stead, phrases like if I was and you was and they was have all re­placed their equiv­a­...
user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
6k views

What does "Honor this in the breach" mean?

The text below is from a book for engineers whose content is unimportant: the purpose of my question is only to understand, "honor this in the breach". I searched this expression on the Internet, but ...
user avatar
  • 199
3 votes
4 answers
1k views

Is there a formal way of saying 'hog'? [closed]

The term hog, as defined below, is an informal word. 1.3 informal A greedy person. ‘Our King was, in a simple statement, a greedy, power-hungry covetous hog.’ (Oxford Dictionaries) Obligatory SWR ...
user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
191 views

What is this US accent found so often in instructional videos?

What is this accent or register? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0E4PX3e3RE It seems to me to include extensive creaky voice a broad range of pitch rising question intonation This question is not ...
user avatar
  • 4,279
3 votes
1 answer
330 views

Describing Social Status in the 1920's

I am looking for ways to say "low class" and "high class" that would be used in the 1920's on the East Coast of the U.S. I am writing a story narrated by a young girl who is very class-conscious and ...
user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is it correct to use elipses in a formal essay? [closed]

I'm writing an essay and I want to write: These things all prove that Hitler was not a man of his word … So should England have trusted him? and then continue with my next points. Is this OK, or too ...
user avatar
  • 103
0 votes
1 answer
7k views

How should you wish happy birthday to the (British) Queen? [closed]

(As it's the Queen's 90th Birthday today) What is considered a polite way to wish the Queen a happy birthday? Is 'Happy birthday' too informal?
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
6k views

"throw out/away" vs. "toss (out)" vs. "pitch (out/away)" for "dispose of; discard; get rid of as worthless or useless" in AmEng

What's the difference between "throw out/away," "toss out," and "pitch (out/away)" to mean, "get rid of as worthless or unnecessary"? Can these be used just ...
user avatar
  • 42.5k
-1 votes
3 answers
4k views

Adjectives that describe the language used in a literary text [closed]

In order to analyse a poem, I often need to comment on the diction used. So far, I've been using words, such as colloquial, everyday,simple. Could you provide some adjectives that describe the ...
user avatar
  • 240
9 votes
3 answers
668 views

Does "show" for "put in an appearance; arrive" sound any more or less informal/slack than "show up" in modern day English?

Is there a difference in register between saying: He failed to show for his appointment When will the bus show? -and- He failed to show up for his appointment When will the bus show ...
user avatar
  • 42.5k
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is "from all over" ok in a formal text?

Context: academic, resume-like document detailing a person's achievements. "The institute has attracted people from all over the University" Does the above sound okay, or is the "from all over" an ...
user avatar
  • 2,081
1 vote
2 answers
436 views

Is "play it safe" informal register?

On a rather formal ecommerce website I am talking about safety features a product has which competitors are lacking. The customer is considered business-like, and not as a buddy. Play it safe. [Our ...
user avatar
  • 133