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Questions tagged [style-manuals]

For questions about style manuals. Style manuals are resources for writers that indicate precedents and recommend formatting consistency.

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When and why did American English begin to use different punctuation?

I was wondering when and why American English began to use different punctuation. On the web I find a lot of examples but no date or reason why. Any date/year or explanation as to why would be amazing....
Becbel60's user avatar
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0 answers
32 views

Where do commas go when interjecting within a list? [duplicate]

Where should commas go in a sentence like the following: Consider the size quantity and most importantly price. To address the elephant in the room, I side firmly with the oxford comma in most cases,...
Jordan Kizer's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
227 views

Is it unacceptable to start the second clause of a semicolon with a number?

I know it's generally frowned upon to start a sentence with a number encoded by Arabic numerals, e.g. "4 percent of people live in the USA". Is it okay to do this for the second clause ...
Monolith's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
374 views

When did Western newspapers stop using the term “Japs” in their publications?

There are countless examples of highly accredited publications like the New York Times that used the derogatory term “Japs” in their articles instead of “Japan/Japanese” during and after WWII. When ...
WhiskerBiscuit's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
99 views

Change name of Latin regulations to italics and/or double quotes to conform to Chicago style?

Working on conforming to the Chicago Manual of Style an authorized new edition of book first published decades ago at OUP (New York). This passage was originally rendered as: The architects of ...
Typothalamus's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
74 views

Hyphens are used in words from 0-99 (correction 21-99), but what if a number larger than 99 is a compound adjective before a noun?

For example, which of these are correct? The pizza delivery service had three thousand, seven hundred and eighty-two clients. The pizza delivery service had three-thousand-seven-hundred-and-eighty-...
Jof's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
60 views

Trying to understand how to connect phrases/clauses with commas

Take this fragment for example: The snow had come from the north, in the mist, driven by the night wind, smelling of the sea. It is from John Le Carré's The Looking Glass War. I've seen writers do ...
Evangelos Aktoudianakis's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
27 views

Square Feet versus Square Foot [duplicate]

The sentence is The project would construct a 2000 square (foot/feet) kitchen.' I put 'The project would construct a 2000 square feet kitchen.' My senior reviewer changed feet to foot. Why? If I ...
Barnaby Briggs's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
102 views

Nested quotations & internal commas: an edge case

Which of the following would be best practice, and why and according to whom? Alice says, “Bob said, ‘Hello’ ” and she smiles at the memory. Alice says, “Bob said, ‘Hello’, ” and she smiles at the ...
brianyin99's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
76 views

When writing ranges, must the start and the end of the range be both written out as words or both written in numerals? [duplicate]

Usually, numbers 0-10 are written out as words. What should be used when a range starts below ten but ends above it? Is the word "to" used, or a hyphen? E.g., 9-25 , or nine to twenty-...
ARGYROU MINAS's user avatar
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3 answers
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Is objectual a word?

Is objectual a word? I could not find it in Merriam Webster. I am trying to use it in a sentence like this: A phrase signifies the objectual nature of thing in question. Would I be stretching the ...
Frank Booth's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
102 views

Can I write ~€100 to denote an approximate amount of 100 euros? [closed]

I am currently using the expression “~€100” to symbolically denote an approximate amount of one hundred euros. However, I’m not sure whether the symbol ~ followed by the symbol € and the amount of ...
EoDmnFOr3q's user avatar
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0 answers
66 views

How do you mark English words originally used by a non-native author in an English translation?

An artist has written memoirs in his native language with some English words and phrases scattered here and there (some might even have spelling / grammar mistakes). His memoirs are translated into ...
Lis's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
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APA style: Changing direct quote "drew" to "drawing" -- where to place square brackets? [closed]

If the original quote uses "drew" and I want to integrate it into my text by changing it to "drawing", which of the following would I write? "dr[awing]" Or "[...
Dee's user avatar
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6 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is the phrase "very delighted" ever "wrong"?

I was just browsing the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English and stumbled on this peculiar note under the entry for delighted: Delighted is not used with ‘very’. You say: I’m absolutely ...
Vun-Hugh Vaw's user avatar
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1 answer
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Pluralizing a first name

In a social media post, a movie streaming site referred to multiple actresses with the same first name of “Jennifer” without repeating the name each time. Instead, they pluralized Jennifer and the ...
Mallury's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
77 views

Should one avoid hyphenating prefixed words in scientific papers?

I have noticed that many papers and books (in the engineering and mathematical fields, at least) have a preference for avoiding hyphenated prefixes. For instance, they usually write: preprocessing ...
Rubem Pacelli's user avatar
34 votes
7 answers
5k views

Why are "i.e." and "e.g." written in lower case with periods, while "NB" is typically written in CAPS with no periods?

According to my armchair research on common abbreviations of nota bene, it appears that NB is the most common now, with N.B. being more common in centuries past after taking over the "original&...
SO_fix_the_vote_sorting_bug's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
3k views

What is the accepted style for using a foreign term followed by its translation?

How do you show a foreign term followed by its translation? Is the foreign term placed in quotation marks with its translation italicized or the other way around? Style guides favor but don't always ...
Falls Church's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
640 views

How would you abbreviate weekday schedules like "M-F" to less than 3 letters per day if the days contain Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and/or Sunday? [closed]

In some apps, there is a character limit, so instead of abbreviating something like "Tue-Thu" or "Sat-Sun", a few characters can matter, so I was wondering what the best way to ...
CreativiTimothy's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
757 views

House number 1 or One in address?

I noticed that some companies and institutions write the house number 1 as One, and some institutions write 1. One Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA 95014, USA One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052, USA ...
Bósài's user avatar
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0 votes
5 answers
2k views

Is starting your sentence with “Which is why...” grammatically correct?

Is starting your sentence with “Which is why...” grammatically correct? …our brain is still busy processing all the information coming from the phones. Which is why it is impossible to actually rest ...
Indiborga's user avatar
-4 votes
1 answer
69 views

What is the proper number formatting for a legal document from the Supreme court? [closed]

Do federally-issued legal documents in the USA require numbers spelt out, or in number form? I took a look at this site concerning Citation, Grammar and Style Guides from Loyola School of Law, but it ...
Cascabel_StandWithUkraine_'s user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
29 views

2 Letter Initials and nobiliary particles — how to form? [duplicate]

Given names with nobiliary particles or other particles in a last name like Bobby von Ahnen Bobby d'Estaing Bobby de Zichy Bobby del Alcázar Bobby Le Pen How would you make a two letter set of ...
superNES64's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
375 views

What are the different rules for capitalization of prepositions in titles? [closed]

There are probably different rules for different style guides, but I do have one question. I have heard that the general rule is that any preposition less than four letters does not get capitalized, ...
CamAtkinson89's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
7k views

What did Tolkien mean by this awkward sentence structure?

In the first chapter of The Hobbit, I just read this: “Thank you!” said Bilbo with a gasp. It was not the correct thing to say, but they have begun to arrive had flustered him badly. He liked ...
Davidjeremiah H.'s user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
22 views

proper construction of a list

In a list, the last item is preceded by "and". This sentence appeared in a recent Foreign Affairs article: The United States and its allies and partners are imposing harsh costs on Moscow. ...
Kic's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
142 views

Is an acronym/initialism ever pluralized in its parenthetical introduction?

For example, if the first use of RDA occurs as follows: "Recommended daily allowances (RDAs) are established by nutritionists after some kind of research...." Should the parenthetical ...
Mathias Weibel's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
281 views

Hyphenation of compound modifiers that have written-out numeric ranges in them

Is either of these approaches to hyphenation currently more popular than the other one is when it comes to printed publications? The drug is most promising for three-to-fifteen-year-old children. The ...
Farhang's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
231 views

Question: Is it social democracy or Social democracy or Social Democracy? AP style [closed]

Sentence 1: Similarily though he carried out many useful administrative reforms, in a vain effort to combat Social Democracy he seriously interefered with the liberty of public meeting and attempted ...
rcorn's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
82 views

Participle Phrase vs. That/Which [closed]

In recent writing and editing, I noticed that a participle phrase can sometimes be used interchangeably with a that/which phrase, and both options seem equally readable. The following sentences show ...
0-seigfried's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
36 views

'Did/does' at head of subordinate phrase

He does have a sense of humour does Mr Marr. Nigel Williams, 1992 Is this double use of do just doubly emphatic? Secondly, why can't do be used similarly, for example with a plural proper noun?
GJC's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
205 views

'Miscellaneous': must be followed by a plural count noun

Garner's fourth reads Miscellaneous must be followed by a plural count noun; it does not work with an abstract mass noun. Exceptions are set phrases such as miscellaneous shower/income. and An ...
GJC's user avatar
  • 2,509
3 votes
2 answers
119 views

"Unlike" after negatives

Fowler (1926) criticized the position of unlike in: M. Berger, however, does not appear to have— unlike his Russian masters— the gift of presenting female characters. As with many negatives, the ...
GJC's user avatar
  • 2,509
-1 votes
1 answer
131 views

Does capitalisation change when a word moves from proper noun to adjective?

For the sake of this question I'll use the word Linux as an example, but I really want to ask about the principle generally. The word Linux started as the name of an operating system kernel written by ...
Philip Couling's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
408 views

Get married: act vs ceremony

You can use marriage to refer to the act of getting married, Her family did not approve of her marriage to David. You don't usually use marriage to refer to the ceremony in which two people get ...
GJC's user avatar
  • 2,509
2 votes
1 answer
436 views

"Fairly" can't be used with comparatives or negatives

Don't use ‘fairly’ in front of a comparative form, *the train is fairly quicker than the bus; in more formal writing, you use rather or somewhat. https://www.wordreference.com/EnglishUsage/fairly ...
GJC's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
256 views

"Expect": + that-clause vs + to-infinitive

In ‘I expect J will come’, you are simply saying you think he will, but in ‘I expect J to come’ you will be annoyed or disappointed if he does not. Instead of ‘expect something will not’ happen, you ...
GJC's user avatar
  • 2,509
0 votes
2 answers
154 views

"Numbers": mass noun

Garner reads Although enough modifies either count nouns or mass nouns, enough stamina, sufficient should modify only mass nouns, so the usage problem can be solved by making it sufficient numbers of....
GJC's user avatar
  • 2,509
1 vote
1 answer
67 views

Comma at the End of a List Following a Colon

Is the following sentence written correctly? Bob's three favorite colors: black, red, and blue, are Emma's least favorite colors. Specifically, I'm asking about the comma following blue.
The Matrix's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
86 views

"A few" + a number : unremarkable quantity [closed]

A few is usually more than two (two often being referred to as "a couple of"), and less than "several". Few emphasises smallness of number, while a few emphasises some: He's a ...
GJC's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
165 views

What or who is the source of the proscription on contractions in formal writing?

I couldn't find this exact question, though obviously there are many related questions around using contractions. I write academic work in a field where contractions are accepted but rare, and no ...
Gregor's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
35 views

Can you ever place a comma ᴀꜰᴛᴇʀ the word "which"? [duplicate]

Is there any scenario in which a comma is used right after the word which? For example, is this sentence correctly written as is — or not? The sensitivity to material AAA, which, in fact, is ...
user15847's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
524 views

Double comparatives: "more preferable"

Fowler reads Sometimes the double comparative form more preferable is used. The word more is of course unnecessary, since preferable by itself means ‘more desirable (than)’. Like other comparatives,...
GJC's user avatar
  • 2,509
0 votes
1 answer
76 views

"Magic" in its descriptive role

Fowler reads Magic(al): The two words compete with one another in all the main senses, ‘relating to magic’, ‘produced by or as if by magic’, and ‘wonderful’, although in certain fixed expressions ...
GJC's user avatar
  • 2,509
2 votes
0 answers
98 views

"Sufficient(ly)": quantitative vs qualitative [closed]

Garner's reads Though both words were originally used in reference to quantity, adequate now tends toward the qualitative and sufficient toward the quantitative. However, Fowler says As an ...
GJC's user avatar
  • 2,509
0 votes
0 answers
53 views

"One another" when an ordered series of events or stages is involved

According to a traditional rule, each other denotes a reciprocal relation between two entities, and one another refers to more than two. Many people maintain a further stylistic distinction between ...
GJC's user avatar
  • 2,509
0 votes
0 answers
82 views

Sometimes, just thinking about making it would suffice

I am doubting this sentence, and wonder if anyone has a pointer or two. The context is, you don't necessarily need to make art... Sometimes, just thinking about making it would suffice. Sometimes, ...
frank roburough's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
2k views

If I use the word "enumerated", must the list be numeric or can it be bullet points?

If I use the word "enumerated" in writing, must the list I am enumerating be numeric or can it be bullet points?
Matt's user avatar
  • 447
0 votes
0 answers
277 views

Do these phrases require hyphens? "mock-cried" vs "mock cried" [duplicate]

Should the following sentences be hyphenated? I mock cried into his shoulder. vs. I mock-cried into his shoulder. He smiled at me with his old man charm. vs. He smiled at me with his old man-charm.
Cassie Bartlett's user avatar

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