Questions tagged [writing-style]

Questions about the writing style of a particular sentence, phrase or construction in English. Questions asking for advice on writing style are off-topic.

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8
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4answers
2k 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 ...
0
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1answer
52 views

can you say “he is in a lively chat with her”

My question is about style. Does it sound natural if you say that someone "is in a lively chat/conversation with someone" or is it better to say "he is ENGAGED in a lively chat with her&...
4
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2answers
77 views

Should one italicise an italicised phase within a book title?

In UK/Commonwealth styles, is there a generally accepted convention for whether or not one italicises or renders roman an italicised phrase within the title of a book? My specific example, which may ...
1
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0answers
32 views

Quotation marks in “call it [something] for short”

It seems that many (most of?) newspapers and journals don't use quotation marks in constructions like "call it [something] for short". Or even italic. Is it really okay to keep it plain? No ...
-1
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1answer
32 views

Which style/tense is more appropriate to use when describing a sequence of events in the past?

When describing events in the past, I've seen two different styles used: The plane caught on fire. The plane crashed into the building. (past tense) The plane catches on fire. The plane crashes ...
0
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1answer
29 views

It's a great honour to find myself being [closed]

I have received an email from someone I admire. Is there anything wrong or unidiomatic about the following sentence? How would you say it? It's a great honour to find myself being addressed/approached ...
-4
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1answer
52 views

Why do we “test” pupils on “rules” of English when English has no legal standards board? [closed]

English is a fluid language. So, of course, we want to teach kids to write, but what's the point of grading them on it? Absent a board of standard dictated by law as exists for some other languages, ...
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0answers
28 views

Is it OK to omit a first part of compound word when it was used on its own right before?

From https://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/~ee105/fa19/discussions/dis2.ee105.fa19.v1.pdf : Other than first/last line, order doesn't matter. As I understand, it should be "Other than first/last line, ...
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1answer
44 views

How can I paraphrase this in parallel writing style?

I'd really appreciate it if someone can show me how to better paraphrase the italicized part in the following sentence: I always used to call him "Professor", so I will continue to refer to ...
0
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2answers
88 views

Using synonyms to improve text readability (“elegant variation”)

English is not my first language. In my mother tongue, I was advised by a language expert some years ago that a well-written text should contain as few repetitions of the same words as possible, in ...
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0answers
11 views

“Well-loved use” vs “frequent and fond use”

What makes more sense, grammar-wise? Mama admires the butter churn; the “sinks” in its “beautiful light yellow wood from … where Big Dee and Stash had lived” testify to its well-loved use. Mama ...
1
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1answer
673 views

Proper use of “operando”/“in operando” studies

There are research techniques where something is investigated under working conditions, and these techniques are commonly referred to as in situ. For the sake of being specific to my field of study, ...
0
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0answers
32 views

For the context of the storytelling aspect to deliver a message, what punctuation would be best used for the flow and structure of the speech given?

Below is the body of work for the self-driven character that is declaring and establishing their agency. My question is if there should be a semicolon, comma, or period in-between "I'll keep ...
15
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5answers
3k views

To avoid repeating “one”

In my technical writings, I have a lot of instruction lists that describe how to use "something" under different circumstances. To avoid repetition of the subject, I replace it with "...
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3answers
73 views

Word order (just style or grammar)?

I'm a German and thus speak a language that theoretically allows much more freedom in word order than English. But see... Also it will be shown that... It also will be shown that... It ...
0
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1answer
42 views

Refer to something already known twice

I have a technical paper related to computer programming that has the following small section: Comma-separated expressions Don't overuse them. Use them where they really make sense. FirstName ...
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0answers
26 views

“He is the youngest and tallest boy” or “and the tallest boy”

He is the youngest and tallest boy in his class. Is this sentence correct? Shouldn't we say "…and the tallest boy"?
0
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1answer
43 views

Move a subject from the middle of a sentence to its beginning [closed]

Is it grammatically and stylistically correct to use sentences like the following ones, in nonfiction writing (technical, business, scientific): Apples - put in the green boxes. Lemons - put on the ...
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0answers
47 views

Using *if* AND *whether* in the same phrase

I am wondering if one could use if and whether in the same phrase or whether it is better to use two identical conjunctions.
0
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0answers
53 views

'Due shortly' collocation

I would like to ask a question whether provided below sentence is correct or not: 'As the deadline for registration is due shortly,(...)'. Main issue here is the phrase: "...is due shortly". I am ...
1
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0answers
15 views

proper(more effective) verb location in passive sentence

I need put verb (developed) in proper place in that passive sentence: First Option: In that book were developed the basic ideas about the cell and its biological properties. Second Option: In that ...
1
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2answers
85 views

How can I unambiguously differentiate between the absence or presence of a period in a quote?

For example, take the following sentence that refers to a text message: This happened after she told me "Okay." If the original contents of the message did include a period, it would serve a ...
1
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2answers
62 views

What is a friendlier way to write “at the * preference” and “at the * convenience”?

What is a friendlier (and correct) way to write the following? at the family's preference (at the family preference) at the citizens’ convenience (at the citizens convenience)
4
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3answers
282 views

What can I call a longer passage in an academic work (text equivalent to “Figure”)?

I want to number blocks of texts in my work (parts of a movie script or something the creators said) so that I can refer to them throughout the essay. Is there an equivalent to 'Figure' to label these ...
0
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0answers
27 views

“Fail though I did”

I have found the following sentence : Fail though I did, I would not abandon my goal. The adverbial clause "Fail though I did" (instead of, "Even though I failed") seems quite stylistic. But what'...
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3answers
105 views

“trends from 400M visitors” vs “trends by 400M visitors”

The Overflow Blog, April 20, 2020 How the pandemic changed traffic trends from 400M visitors across 172 Stack Exchange sites. I have a problem with one of the prepositions used in that statement, ...
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1answer
34 views

A question regardig anaphoric reference to time

I have a simple question regarding anaphoric reference to time. ex) How is the weather in New York next Monday? and for the next sentence I want to make an anaphoric reference to Monday. say the ...
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0answers
180 views

As … as possible, as soon as possible

Recently I had to write the following to indicate significance of both the urgency and completeness regarding some task to be done: We would like to be able to install as many parts of the system ...
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1answer
72 views

Can (or should) “prevalent” be gradable? [closed]

Well, that's all. Can it? Is it not illogical to say that something is "more prevalent"? Is "prevalent" not, by definition, superlative? Is it not like saying that something is "more best"?
3
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1answer
879 views

What does “Flowers masking kke women and men” mean? [closed]

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/97/Jonquil_Masquerade.jpg If that is supposed to read "the" instead of "kke" or "hke", then it's the most misleading font/text style ever used.
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2answers
46 views

In the name of God vs In God's name

In some pieces of writing it is needed to begin with the name of God; usually centered on top. Is there any difference between the functionality of "In the name of God" and "In God's name"? Please, ...
1
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1answer
478 views

“That is an interesting question.” vs “It is an interesting question, that.”

I am not a native English speaker and I tend to construct sentences like "It is an interesting question, that.". My girlfriend who is a native English speaker always tells me that I am talking like ...
14
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4answers
5k views

Is it CoViD? Or COVID? Covid? How should the word be spelled?

I have seen it spelled COVID-19, but I have also seen Covid-19. In addition, I believe I have seen CoViD-19, capitalising only the first letter of each word from which it was abbreviated (for it isn't ...
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2answers
33 views

A saying describing plans being still born or failing before they've begun…?

I am trying to find the words to describe a situation in which plans fail or are destined to fail because of circumstance rather than a lack of merit. More specifically, the imagery I'm working ...
0
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0answers
39 views

Difference between “relationship” and “relation” [duplicate]

How can I easily differentiate between when to use "relationship" and "relation". More often than not, I tend to use "relationship", but would really like to know how these are to be used in writing. ...
2
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2answers
44 views

Capitalization in a series

I think this is purely a style preference, but I want to confirm (and settle a debate amongst colleagues). In general, is it better to use: Antioch, Oberlin, and Boston Colleges. -or- Antioch, ...
0
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1answer
69 views

Difference between drawn and haggard [closed]

In the novel Rage of Angels by Sidney Sheldon, we read: She watched Adam now as he sat at his desk looking drawn and haggard. Dictionaries such as Oxford and Cambridge are showing the same or ...
0
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2answers
137 views

Is using “Says” in the beginning of a sentence correct?

A listed company uses the following sentence structure in all its press releases: Says John Smith, Director, ABC Ltd, “The credit profiles of FMCG companies are likely to remain stable, supported ...
0
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1answer
711 views

Should we superscript ordinal numbers? [closed]

I have noticed that sometimes we write ordinal numbers with the "th" a little higher than the numbers. But sometimes I see it just attached to it. Which one is correct?
0
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1answer
202 views

Can I write “he felt betrayal”?

Can I write: [...] No, that was not it. Jack felt something at a much deeper level, he felt betrayal. Or do I have to write: He felt the betrayal. Or something like: He felt the betrayal of it ...
1
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1answer
135 views

What are typical “emotional absolutes” and why we should avoid them in academic writing?

I am working on a revision of an academic research paper. We performed some empirical studies and wrote a paper to demystify some common misunderstanding of certain techniques. One reviewer gave me ...
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1answer
165 views

Alternatives to the Colon

I find that I use the colon far too often in my writing. Specifically, I use the following construction too often: statement: explanation or example Here are some concrete versions of this: ...
0
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1answer
63 views

Iambic Pentameter Verse?

When I / go look / at each/ good ho /ckey team/ Could "when I go look at each good hockey team" be considered a verse in iambic pentameter?
3
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1answer
83 views

What literary or author's style is this writer channeling?

In The Washington Post, Alexandra Petri wrote a satirical opinion piece criticizing anti-abortion laws in the United States by parodically lamenting the routine death of spermatazoa. I was struck by ...
0
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3answers
126 views

Where and when did the practice of using two spaces in the beginning of each sentence start, and is it still recommended?

For many years (decades at this point), I've noticed that, at least in plaintext environments, "serious" and/or "old-timer" people seem to always type like this: This is a sentence.  And here comes ...
0
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1answer
31 views

Isn't this comma erroneous? Otherwise, what “type” of comma is it?

So I'm going through The Elements of Style Workbook, and I'm on a section where they give us a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson written as follows: What must I do, is all that concerns me, not what ...
2
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1answer
97 views

Writing “U-shaped” and “V-shaped” in novel

If you are describing a valley as U-shaped, what is the correct way to write that in a novel. U-shaped U shaped u shaped u-shaped "U" shaped "U"-shaped other variations?
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6answers
10k views

What is the type of English used in the King James Bible called?

In the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible, there is a distinct type of English present (this passage from Job 1:7-12): And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the ...
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1answer
77 views

Should the first instance of an author-made word in a work use an accent mark? [closed]

If an author makes up proper nouns for their text, for example, Bilgebauth, should the very first instance in the text be typeset with an accent: Bilgebáuth to inform the reader of the proper stress ...
0
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0answers
30 views

Proper way to introduce a term by two names in writing [duplicate]

When introducing a term that can go by more than one name, it is common to mention the name followed by "or", the second name, and then the rest of the statement, explanation, or what have you. When ...

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