Questions tagged [style]

This tag is for questions relating to proper style or a specific instance of style in English.

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Why is “of” in “the speed of 200 km/h”?

I encounter expressions which are a name of a quantity + “of” + a value. Examples: “The car is going at the speed of 200 km/h.”, “The top of Mt. Everest is at the altitude of 8848 meters above sea.”, ...
matj1's user avatar
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So, captain Nares shipping company and Dodds/Pinkerton have signed a shipping charter agreeing to delayed payment post salvage profits

Related: Link to StackE Literature The ill-omened Flying Scud was abandoned and wrecked at Midway Atoll by its unscrupulous owners who conspired to commit an insurance fraud (In the process they ...
philphil's user avatar
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6 votes
6 answers
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I (have) never asked that question before. - Americans sometimes drop the "have"?

‎"I never asked that question before." "I never said that." From my memories I forgot where I heard this. English speakers especially Americans sometimes use simple past to mean ...
vincentlin's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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as opposed to for a ritual

In the following, is it okay or more aesthetic to remove "for"? It seems most likely that the meat from this leg was eaten and that it was eaten for nutrition as opposed to for a ritual. ...
Apollyon's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Referencing other researcher's observation as lead-in phrase in scientific writing

I'm currently discussing a turn of phrase with a colleague. Both of us are non-native speakers. The context is "referencing prior work by other researchers within a scientific paper". The ...
user1512263's user avatar
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1 answer
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Is there anything to signify that something which may very understandable and easily be seen as an error actually isn’t?

For example, “the rationale which the omission was justified by by the director” contains a consecutive repetition of the word “by,” which is of course intended. What is meant is to refer to “the ...
TylerDurden's user avatar
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2 answers
332 views

Is the suffix "-wise" in the sense 'relating to' really informal?

According to Cambridge Dictionary, the suffix "-wise" used in the sense 'relating to' is informal in BrE. The examples they list are as follows: What shall we do food-wise - do you fancy ...
Mooshi's user avatar
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1 answer
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"Start to the week" vs "Start of the week" [duplicate]

I feel that normally one would say "start of the week" in a sentence, but I noticed that sometimes "start to the week" is used, most notably in "Have a great start to the week!...
Vidak's user avatar
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1 answer
51 views

Good < ??? < Excellent

Please help me brag scientifically correct :-) I made my master in Computer Science. Not even a reason to brag weren't it for the fact that I made it aged 60 (good grief, I swotted for the exams - my ...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
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22 views

Recommendation on a book about sound meets style?

I find the so-called "phonaesthetics" an interesting topic. How words sound good or not when put together, patterns of meaning in letter clusters etc. Anyone knows of a good source material ...
Peter's user avatar
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2 answers
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Difference between "allow" vs "are allowing"?

I would like to know the difference between these two sentences. Are they different tenses? If so, what tenses are they in? I alternate between these a lot in my writing and I want to know what the ...
user avatar
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2k views

"... was not yet done" vs "... was not done yet": what is the correct order?

Note: This might very well be a duplicate but I don't know the correct and more general grammar terms. So I only searched for the words in my specific example but did not find an answer. Do not ...
Zeitounator's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
184 views

Is the adjective "crucial" really informal?

I was looking for synonyms for "necessary" in Collins dictionary, and to my surprise, I saw that they mark the adjective "crucial" as informal. Is this really accurate? It's not ...
Gerda's user avatar
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1 answer
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Short simple sentence vs long complicated sentence [closed]

I learned here that in general being concise is considered good style. I wrote the short, simple bold sentence. Disagreements related to which airline, hotel, or restaurant to use could add fun-...
newbie forever's user avatar
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1 answer
42 views

sentence lacking a main verb

The following is taken from a CNN transcript. As you can see, it lacks a main verb. Is it natural? What's the reason for not including a main verb? On the edge of town, the remains of Russia's once ...
Apollyon's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
69 views

Fifty Shades of "idiot"

I'm from North Germany where the dialect "Platt" is second language - in Platt you can even call someone an ass without much risk of a defamation suit. Likewise, "Döspaddel" (...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
2k views

Are some contractions more OK than others depending on formality of the text in English?

As a general rule of thumb, the more formal a text is, the more one should avoid using contractions – and vice versa. But if a certain text is informal enough to allow contractions, is it better to be ...
Helen's user avatar
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1 answer
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Why, sometimes, is it better to repeat?

I want to explain to someone that sometimes it's better to repeat than to use a different word. For example, if you use "satisfied", readers may think that you are talking about something ...
newbie forever's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
41 views

How can I know which one is better style?

We non-native speakers don't have a native ear. How can we know which one is better style? Style is not something we can judge based on grammar rules. So how can we tell? Which one of the two bold ...
newbie forever's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
118 views

requirement vs policy [closed]

Since I first used "requiring", should I use "requirement" to reflect "requiring"? Or, is it good to use words like "policy"? Requiring professionals to stay ...
newbie forever's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
26 views

What do these sentences about area and box mean?

So I read these sentences somewhere, and they completely baffle me. No clue what they mean at all. The comment area is for comments related to improving the quality of the question. The answer box is ...
BillOnne's user avatar
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1 answer
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What does "flush with left margin" mean? [closed]

The MLA handbook says, "In the body of the paper, headings should be flush with the left margin, not indented or centered. For readability, include a line space above and below a heading." ...
Summer's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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What's the name of the stylistic device where you use several one-word sentences one by one?

Is there a name for a device when you use several one-word sentences one by one? Example: House. Road. Tree. The thing is, these words seem to be unconnected but with your imagination you see the ...
user158028's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
32 views

Lyrical word order swap

The Pretenders, from "Who's Who" lyrics: It's like a modern work of art Disturbing and lacking in heart I'm a bit disturbed too: I'd automatically say "a work of modern art" since ...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
25 views

Should foreign words like "mapo" be italicized?

Some foreign words have made it to most English dictionaries. Like tempura. If a foreign word, like mapo from mapo tofu, doesn't show up in English dictionaries (or in very few), is it better to write ...
wyc's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
39 views

Is it stylistically wrong to use only "I'm" and "It's" in their contracted forms in a text in which there are no other contracted forms? [closed]

I have written a number of texts. They are not formal texts, but are aimed for language learners. In all of these texts, I have used "I'm" and "It's" while all the other forms such ...
Mohsen Sadi's user avatar
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0 votes
3 answers
56 views

Using "thereby" to express concurrency

I'm currently reviewing a thesis by a student who's native language is German (like mine as well). They are often using "thereby" to express concurrency, as in Fritz walked down the street; ...
user1512263's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
55 views

Is "cleaning staff" derogatory in English? [closed]

In my native language, when we refer to cleaning staff, we use the word lokalvårdare (literally 'room carer' or 'premises carer') rather than städare (literally 'cleaner'), since städare has come to ...
Mooshi's user avatar
  • 109
0 votes
1 answer
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parenthesis or commas for extra information in academic writing?

Which style is more preferable for providing extra information in academic writing? Parenthesis or comma? The two below examples are one sentence expressing the two styles. Also, is there a better way ...
Esi's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
195 views

'small children' Vs. 'young children' [closed]

I've been told in past, that it isn't idiomatic to say 'small children', but instead it should be 'young children. Today, I saw an English native speaker from the UK who said 'my small children'. Is ...
Virtuous Legend's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
77 views

Using "the" to begin paper title for a scholarly article

Consider two following options for the title of a scientific article: The underlying mechanism of coupled ion motion in lithium-sulfur batteries. Underlying mechanism of coupled ion motion in ...
alireza's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
116 views

Is it more natural to say "During my entire visit" or "during my whole visit"?

What's more natural: "during my entire visit" or '"during my whole visit"? For example: I was protected by him during the entire visit. or I was protected by him during the ...
Virtuous Legend's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
146 views

How rude is the "cockblock"? [closed]

The word, not the act. Also, obviously not the Harry Dresden "Skin Game" version working with a trigger cock - since the cock we are talking about most definitely isn't a rooster (or is the ...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

"A and B and C" or "A, B, C"

This is an excerpt from my English textbook Their parents take care of everything, from A to Z, not to mention tuition and room and board. Though many students work part time after school or during ...
Taro's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
40 views

How can I express the meaning of a word?

For the name (word), I can write: “cat”, ‘cat’, or cat For the referent, I can write: cat For the meaning, how should I write it?
user284747's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
43 views

provides free job training programs

I'm wondering if it is advisable to remove the "programs" in the following. If so, why? This institute provides free job training programs for adults.
Apollyon's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
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Desiring noun derived from "deride"

Example for "Blake's 7" fan(fic)s: "Avon said: 'My daily ??? of Vila is overdue.'" (EDITED for ambiguity) "deride" as noun doesn't exist, so I have the choice of "...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
44 views

"while" and punctuation to indicate contrast

Are the following sentences okay? If any one is incorrect, please indicate why: a. The lion symbolizes strength, while the lamb, gentleness. b. The lion symbolizes strength; the lamb, gentleness. c....
Apollyon's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
80 views

With or without apostrophe: The Modal Analysis of Snowflakes' Wake Flows

I am about to print my Master Thesis and I am a bit confused with the title. My supervisors didn't mention anything so I wanted to ask if the title is grammatically correct. In the thesis, I have four ...
Na5H's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
46 views

Well-founded or wellfounded? [closed]

Both of the the terms are used in some mathematical literature, especially on set theory. Is one of them preferable to the other?
Frode Alfson Bjørdal's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
27 views

"A story by Jane" vs. "Jane's story" when we talk about very simple documents

For more information about [...], see Book Title by John Doe. For more information about [...], see John Doe's Book Title As far as I know, both versions are correct, but the first is more formal ...
user90726's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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"Continual" if something undesirable happens or exists without stopping

If you are describing something undesirable which continues to happen or exist without stopping, it is better to use continual rather than continuous. Life for her was a continual struggle because she ...
GJC's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Cancel(l)ed vs cancellation

cancel, vb., makes canceled and canceling in AmE. Yet, in cancellation the -l- is doubled (-ll-) because the accent falls on the third syllable. It's etymology is Can·ce(l)·la·tion Mid-16th c. Latin ...
GJC's user avatar
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-3 votes
1 answer
72 views

mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine Safety in Pregnant Persons [closed]

mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine Safety in Pregnant Persons BACKGROUND Many pregnant persons in the United States are receiving messenger RNA (mRNA) coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines, but data are ...
NewPlanet's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
19 views

An increase of/in serotonin [duplicate]

Are both options correct? If so, are there some subtle differences between those? An increase of serotonin An increase in serotonin Thank you!
ZenBerry's user avatar
  • 387
3 votes
1 answer
59 views

That "that" - when use it?

I never understood the difference between I prove 1+1=2 I prove that 1+1=2 Likewise umpty more similar sentence pairs. When is "that" mandatory, when is it only a matter of style, and ...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
44 views

Underscoring the fact that a thing is just in the same state as the one mentioned earlier

I always find myself in trouble when I am trying to underscore the fact that some thing, as opposed to some other earlier mentioned thing, is in just the same status or situation. Interestingly, I don’...
brilliant's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
34 views

Does the following passage sound formal enough? [closed]

I'm organising a yoga retreat and longing to write a nice shiny overview of the program. Does the following sound stylistically appropriate to your ears? Tetyana is educated in South India and ...
ZenBerry's user avatar
  • 387
1 vote
1 answer
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The awards testify to the quality / The awards are testimony to the quality -- is there any difference?

Is there a difference between give testimony (or just "are testimony) and testify in the marketing promotional text context? The awards that the company won at the 100 Best Goods of Russia ...
CowperKettle's user avatar
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0 votes
3 answers
177 views

The shadows ahead

"High above this quagmire of violence rise the sunny plateaus of Eden, casting their shadows before." The wording is meant deliberately ambiguous. It opens a paragraph about a group of ...
Creative Frankenstein's user avatar

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