Questions tagged [writing]

This tag is for questions specifically related to written English. PROOFREADING essays, emails, abstracts, etc. is strictly OFF-TOPIC.

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Anticipation spreading out? [closed]

Can anticipation spread out? What's the verb, that it goes through your skin?
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-2 votes
0 answers
21 views

pull a face in shock? [migrated]

What's the correct expression? I'm not a native speaker. I want to describe that he made a expression of shock; like pulled a face in shock; but I feel that's wrong. How can I see it concisely?
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1 answer
49 views

What does it mean for someone to say "I've read something with interest" [closed]

Is there any positive or negative connotation attached to this phrase? Suppose I sent someone something by email, and the reply begins: "I've read your email with interest." Is that good ...
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1 answer
65 views

What is the meaning of "physical character of of the people"?

Sir John Barrow, 1st Baronet published the book "Travels in China" in 1804. In Chapter VII. Government—Laws he said It is sufficiently evident, that the heavy hand of power has completely ...
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2 answers
66 views

What is the meaning of interpolation technique as in "using an interpolation technique to deduce facts"?

What is the meaning of interpolation technique as in using an interpolation technique to deduce facts (a book review) Rice, Edward. 1990. Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton: A Biography. New York, ...
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3 votes
1 answer
43 views

Looking for a word about writing lyrics for the purpose of fitting the music

There is a word that I'm desperately trying to remember. I think it is used in the context of songwriting but it could be more general. It describes the act of writing words to fit music, or to rhyme, ...
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Can I end a quote/dialogue with a colon?

If a character is introducing something, say, a PowerPoint presentation, how should I punctuate their speech? Can I use a colon? For example: "We have proof. Just take a look at this:" He ...
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12 votes
3 answers
6k 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 ...
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Why are only few letters in title of this poem in capital letters while others are not? [duplicate]

The poem is ‘Have you earned your tomorrow’ by Edgar Guest. In my textbook , only certain letters first word is in capital while others are not. My question is why is that ?
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1 vote
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Are there any synonyms for phrases such as 'in fact', 'in practice', and 'practically speaking'? [closed]

In the context of formal article writing, sometimes, I have to use the phrases such as 'In fact', 'in practice', or 'practically speaking', are there any synonyms for these phrases to improve my ...
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6 votes
1 answer
170 views

What does the grapheme 'm̃' (m with a diacritical tilde) mean in English? Was it in use?

In a historical English book published in 1875, the grapheme 'm̃' (m with a diacritical tilde) is used in the title. Ye parish of Cam̃erwell : a brief account of the parish of Camberwell : its ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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What does this sentence mean from "The Box Tunnel"? [closed]

I am reading a novel "The Box Tunnel" by Charles Reade. In the first paragraph, there is a sentence that I can't understand: The 10:15 train glided from Paddington May 7, 1847. In the left ...
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2 answers
63 views

Remove duplicate use of "and" with different strengths? [closed]

I wrote the following sentence in English: Part of a development group responsible for releasing security solutions for Google’s Security product and investigating devices while understanding their ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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What tense should I use in this paraphrasing sentence?

This is a question from an IELTS Essay. Although more and more people read news on the Internet, newspapers will remain the most important source of news for the majority of people. We are required ...
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2 votes
1 answer
50 views

Are such sentence constructions acceptable?

The structure of the following sentence struck me as odd. So large was his mouth that he could fit his entire fist inside—an antic that drew hysterical laughter at drinking bouts during the bloody ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Can you use the past perfect from a present reference point?

I often find myself using past perfect in a sort of stylized way that I can't justify logically. I am writing a short description of the Matrix, and what I want to say is: In the film, a programmer ...
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8 votes
2 answers
180 views

What does "voice" mean in the context of written language?

The two most common frames of reference seem to be (1) agency attribution at the level of sentence structure (active vs. passive voice) and (2) the use of stylistic elements to stamp the persona of ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Is the double "do" in the expression "If I do do it" more acceptable in spoken vs. written English? [closed]

I'm a native English speaker from the Midwestern United States. While writing a description to a colleague of some work that I recently did, I found myself typing a sentence to the effect of "I'...
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1 answer
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Is it correct to say, “justification for and reference to your answer”?

I want to shorten the words “justification for your answer and reference to your answer” by saying, “justification for and reference to your answer”. Is this shorter form correct? If not, how should I ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Is there a version of “equine/equestrian”, or any other horse-related word, for a pegasus/pegasi?

I’m a fantasy writer, and have encountered an issue. In regard to pegasi, I am unsure whether or not the words from the question title apply to pegasi, or if there are pegasus versions of those words. ...
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(noun) of (noun) structure, singular or plural? [duplicate]

Whenever I have to write essay, when I want to write (noun) of (noun) structure, I get confused. For example, when I am writing different type of government in my essay, I have got a few combination ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
85 views

I may go VS I would go [closed]

''I … not go there because it will be hot and crowded'' which one is correct 'may' or 'would', or both are correct but have different meanings? I think ‘may’ is correct, but people told me that ‘would’...
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-2 votes
2 answers
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The Grim Reaper, death itself/herself/himself? [closed]

I want to write a sentence about the Grim Reaper (symbolism for death). I have this sentence - The commander winced, almost if he thought Death herself came to collect him and Mary. Somewhere I ...
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0 votes
1 answer
73 views

Is there a name for the literary device of having multiple speakers alternating in the same paragraph?

In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, C. S. Lewis has: . . . Lucy could only say, "It would break your heart." "Why," said I, "was it so sad?" "Sad!! No," said ...
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2 votes
3 answers
103 views

Name for a conversation where two people are talking about two things, without their knowledge [duplicate]

The show Arrested Development uses a writing technique I haven't seen very often, but I find very interesting. The idea is that two people will have a conversation where they are both talking from two ...
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0 votes
0 answers
63 views

Is it correct to replace dashes with hyphens and how should it be done?

I often see sentences like this--made when people don't have the care or ability to input the correct character--where two hyphens are supposed to form an em-dash. Based on the sizes of various dashes,...
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0 votes
0 answers
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What are parts of writing like "statement", "assertion", "argument", "hypothesis", etc collectively called?

Consider the following made up paragraph Suppose I give you a word, any word. Would you be able to make sense of it? Is it even possible to make sense of a word without surrounding context? I do not ...
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0 votes
0 answers
67 views

Using present tense in past tense narration

Is it grammatically correct to use the present tense in fiction that's narrated in the past tense? Sometimes, as a writer, you add "general statements" into your narrative. Example: But ...
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-2 votes
2 answers
76 views

Cooliving or coliving? Are they the same? Any difference? What this the correct way to write it? [closed]

Update After reading the comments, I think not everybody knows this word. Let me find a definition for you. According with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Co-living, it means: Generally coliving is a ...
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1 answer
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Is it proper to describe a noun using an apostrophe? [duplicate]

For example, if I wanted to say, "This student is large.", would it be proper to instead say, "This student's large."? I don't recall ever reading something like this, but I ...
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3 votes
8 answers
1k views

What are natural ways to express 'contra-positively' in writing?

I often see 'conversely' being used when the meaning is to express the 'contra-positive'. I know that the contra-positive of a statement is logically equivalent to the statement, but they're still ...
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1 vote
2 answers
95 views

American reading of the British expression "look around impressively"

In British English, "he looked around the room impressively" is a somewhat common expression (warning: I grew up in the colonies and lived in the UK for only about 5 years, so please correct ...
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0 answers
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How to use an idiom in a paper?

I am writing a short reflection and I'm describing a situation where I am joking around with someone. What I mean by "joking around" is playfully teasing. Would I just write, "I joked ...
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Can you tell me about the style of writing used in the Federalist Papers?

I've always found the Federalist Papers extremely hard to read. They have many complex words, long sentences, subordinate clauses, and large paragraphs. Here are two examples of sentences to frame ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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Question regarding the order of adjectives, strictly for native American English speakers

I am a native American English speaker, although, I am interested in the following syntactic aspect, regarding the order of adjectives, as, here in the U.S. (Savannah, GA, to be exact), I've come ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Why were full stops used in old texts after singular words or incomplete sentences?

This is a table of 17th-century mathematical notation standards by Samuel Jeake. It looks completely alien, compared to our modern notation, but that's not relevant. What is important to note, ...
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Using "to" instead of "and"

I read the following sentence in an essay: The number of visitors to France is approximately between 8 and 10 million each year. Can I replace "and" with "to", as follows: The ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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what is difference between "on" and "about"? [duplicate]

which preposition is more suitable to use and why ? 1-To find more information about the available scholarship. 2-To find more information on the available scholarship.
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0 votes
1 answer
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Hyphenate 3/4 word compound adjective

The phrase I don't know how to hyphenate is asset type specific keywords and patterns and the negated version non asset type specific keywords and patterns. I looked around and found this Q&A ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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Need help with a sentence in my book [duplicate]

So I'm an aspiring author and I can't wrap my head around how to write multiple peoples names in one sentence but I wrote it as... "...while I went over Kyle, Jenny, and Marcos’s homework they ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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Looking for a word that means helpful but not needed

This may be an odd word (not even sure if one exists), but I will give some context and maybe someone will be able to point me in the right direction. I am writing an essay on technology that is ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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Singleton letters in direct speech

I am writing a scene where one of the characters screams, "H" and "O-H." I want to know the best to indicate that to the reader, that the distinct letters are being pronounced, not ...
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0 votes
1 answer
105 views

What does this quote of Elizabeth Gaskell mean?

How easy it is to judge rightly after one sees what evil comes from judging wrongly! -Elizabeth Gaskell
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0 votes
2 answers
508 views

How to describe putting on a coat [closed]

Is there a way to "he put on his coat" without actually using the verb "put on"? A friend suggested "he dressed his coat" but it sounds very strange to me.
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1 vote
1 answer
267 views

etc. etc. usage [closed]

Is there any rule to use etc. twice like etc. etc.
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1 vote
1 answer
196 views

"For the sake of " in IELTS writing [closed]

Can I use "for the sake of" in my IELTS writing essay ? Thanks
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0 votes
1 answer
81 views

Change someone to do something

Is it natural to say "change someone to do something instead of something"? For example, I would like to say "I changed my program to use linear layer instead of convolution layer"....
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5 votes
2 answers
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Can I use the word "impotence" and not refer to erectile dysfunction

I wonder whether I can use the word "impotence" to describe something as being weak or as it having fallen off. I'm using this word in the "about me" page in stackoverflow. ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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What word is used to describe speech patterns?

By speech patterns I mean writing out how an accent sounds. The form of writing used to analyze accents and ways of speaking in the past. I was watching The Lighthouse yesterday and I remember hearing ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
22 views

What means "eHealth intervention" [closed]

I am aware what eHealth is, however I cannot figure out, what "eHealth intervention" exactly means. Specifically, can I call an app that is healthcare related an eHealth intervention?
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