There is a copy-paste app that works across devices. I have come across the following sentence that mentions "citation styles" in a way that is incomprehensible to me:

The app lets you copy a text as plain text or, for content copied from the web, one of several citation styles, such as an HTML or Markdown link, or the URL or page title.

I am not sure if the term "citation styles" includes all the following four items:

HTML or Markdown link, or the URL or page title.

Thanks for your time.

1 Answer 1


The sentence is poorly worded because the term "citation styles" usually refers to different standards for citing (giving credit to) someone else's work. For example, https://pitt.libguides.com/citationhelp provides recommendations for which "citation style" to choose for a given situation.

However, in the example you cite above, your guess is correct. It is using "citation styles" to mean everything after "such as".

Here is how I analyze the sentence.

The subject is a feature of the app: It lets you copy "a text". ("a text" in this context is also not correct USA-based English.) The feature allows for copying plain (unformatted) text, or formatted text (everything following "such as").

From the context, "style" is referring to allowed text formats - as you suggested. The action involves citing. That much makes sense. The problem is that "citation style" has a specific meaning as described by the link above.

This is a case where the documentation could be improved to make the meaning more clear. But it's also a typical problem for English-language writing!

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