Questions tagged [style]

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

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0answers
8 views

Using “a far cry from” not for achievements

Is "a far cry from" used for describing situations, in which someone is trying to achieve some result? This phrase looks fine to me (though I am not sure): He was a far cry from being a school ...
0
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1answer
32 views

Hyphen between words

Does AP Style recommend a hyphen between the words philosophically-inclined? I have searched several editing and grammar sites and still do not know the correct answer.
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0answers
13 views

One common topic that has been discussed with increasing regularity

In the following passage, is "One common topic that has been discussed with increasing regularity" considered good style? Would it be advisable to rewrite it as "One increasingly common topic"? Also, ...
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1answer
28 views

Is “et al.” one or two words?

I use et al. to refer to a paper with more than two authors. However, the word et got separated by a line (due to line end) and the word al. cam in the beginning of a new line. ... Authorname [end ...
2
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1answer
43 views

What are the rules of Parallelism?

What are the rules of parallelism? I've been reading a lot about it since yesterday and all I encounter is "They must have the same grammatical form"? What does this exactly mean? I know how to make ...
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1answer
16 views

timeout vs. time-out vs. time out in British English

I have a term called time out which refers to the maximum amount of time the program will wait for a response, after which it will close the connection. I do not know how to spell it. There is the ...
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2answers
20 views

using 'quite a' with adjective 'vulnerable'

Is it okay to use the modifier 'quite a' with adjective 'vulnerable' in referense to children? I've been using "quite a vulnerable boy" for a very long time and have always found this phrase useful ...
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1answer
19 views

definitional clarity: the university of life

The following is taken from Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary. What does "the person gaining formal qualifications" stand in opposition to? Is the definition considered clear by the standards of ...
-1
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2answers
21 views

Writing in “First person implied”

As far as I know a pronoun "I" is usually omitted when personal achievements are being described (writing in "First person implied"). For example it's better to write: Performed a review of the ...
3
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1answer
108 views

Are three dots (…) used to indicate only ellipsis?

I googled it and found out that three dots (...) in English means "ellipsis", But in my language, we use three dots quite commonly not only when we use ellipsis but also in the title of an article, ...
3
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2answers
263 views

Should I use Present or Past perfect for describing a case in a figure?

I have this sentence Figure 2 shows a screenshot of a dialogue for creating an anchor. In this dialogue, the anchor ( has been / is / was ?) specified by a text pattern. I don't want to say how ...
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1answer
20 views

using different prepositions in relation to a same period of time mentioned in different clauses

If I have already used preposition "during" in relation to one period of time in the first clause, can I use "in" in relation to a same period of time in the second clause? For example, She was ...
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2answers
97 views

Is using “general plan of structure” appropriate in biology?

I'm reading now a book (which was written by a non-native English speaker) that states under the title of the topic: "general plan of structure of the digestive tube" The chapter there explains ...
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2answers
95 views

Unclear English sentence containing “with was”

Consider: Disconcerting as the grin he then waited my pleasure with was the cast of his features, not just like any I had seen. I do not perfectly understand "with was" -- with what? This is ...
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3answers
36k views

Asking 'the pleasure of your company' in an invitation

This is a great site - I would happily pay for this advice. I must fess up and say I am a native English speaker (albeit an Irish one) but I'm running into trouble wording a party invitation. Is it ...
-1
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2answers
26 views

Using “discriminated against”

In my sentence, there are some users are discriminated against by some operator. If I want to refer to users' data, I say: reveal those discriminated against users' data Is this correct use of ...
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2answers
26 views

“possesses some amount of Japanese”

Can I use the verb "possess" in describing a person's level of proficiency in some language? Just like his brother Henry, he possesses some amount of Japanese that enables him to handle simple ...
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1answer
45k views

Difference between ' and "

What's the difference between a single and a double quotation mark in English? I've heard that it only depends on where you live US (for double quotation mark) or UK and Australia (for single ...
2
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2answers
39 views

Velocity- and displacement-proportional forces

I have troubles building compound adjectives and enumerating them. In my field (mechanics) we deal with forces which are proportional to displacement or velocity. We tend to call them "displacement ...
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1answer
619 views

What is wrong here in this sentence?

Would someone help me figure out why this sentence sounds off, and help me rewrite it? We're talking about a group of people so deeply-rooted in and so appreciative of their ancient past, yet ...
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2answers
85 views

“We was” vs. “We were” and “Be you” vs “Are you” in song lyrics

Listening to an english song, I noticed the following sentences: "We was hitchhiking down..." (1:15) https://youtu.be/_lK4cX5xGiQ?t=75 "Be you angels?" (2:36) https://youtu.be/_lK4cX5xGiQ?t=155 Why ...
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1answer
31 views

Should 'cause have a left or right curly quote?

I tried to verify this with this Markdown converter: https://dillinger.io/ However, it doesn't convert the single quote into a curly quote: 'cause Should 'cause be written as ‘cause or ’cause? (...
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1answer
23 views

Putting physical and non-physical together

Is it good styling in English to place physical-thing and non-physical-thing nouns in one row? There are many kinds of creatures and cultural heritage in the sea. Here it looks like "many kinds" ...
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1answer
35 views

Using “right away” at the beginning of a sentence

Is it okay in English to use the adverbial phrase "right away" at the beginning of a sentence? For example, is it okay instead of I will hug him right away. to say Right away I will hug him. ...
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1answer
22 views

Can one person/thing be something that is a plural noun?

Here goes a passage from Tim Pratt's Impossible Dreams short story: She understood character arcs, the use of color, the underappreciated skills of silent film actors, the bizarre audacity of ...
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1answer
50 views

Short clauses taking a comma (he's and she's) style or rule

So I read that short clauses taking commas is a style choice but preferably the use of a semi-colon, full stop, conjunction is accurate. As in: Experts teach; peers comfort (or and). But if for ...
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1answer
35 views

Comma accuracy and style choice

The fight cost him his life, almost. Laying in the grass, looking at the sky, she watched the stars in the awe, mesmerized at their beauty, natural beauty. Is the use of "almost" and "natural ...
33
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13answers
12k views

Is the language of The Economist artificially complex? [closed]

I wonder whether reading the articles of the journals similar to The Economist (including Time, etc) are in a style that make them difficult to flow even for native-readers? Is the effort to read ...
2
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2answers
54 views

“Not a” vs. “no”: “a baronet and (no/not a) peer”

I had titled my question on History SE How is it possible to be a baronet and no peer? A native speaker came along and corrected it to: How is it possible to be a baronet and not a peer? Why ...
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2answers
114 views

Does “fundamental essence” sound eloquent?

As essential and fundamental seems to be synonym I doubt whether I can use "the fundamental essence" expression. However I see its usage in the internet. https://daveursillo.com/the-fundamental-...
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2answers
105 views

How can I avoid repeat “the user” in a paragraph

Consider this part of paragraph: The elements of the page get highlighted as the mouse moves over them to make it easy for the user to detect the boundary of each element. Then, the user specifies ...
1
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1answer
828 views

Is the phrase “repeat again” always symmantically when requesting a repetition?

I just realized that I'm reacting to the following conversation. A: "I think that xxx and hhh, jkjkj and lpoopik..." B: "Could you repeat that again, please?" The reaction I'm getting is due to the ...
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1answer
29 views

article vs paper

I would like to clarify the stylistic differences in the usage of the words article and paper (in the meaning a piece of writing). When writing a research article/paper, or its abstract, in which ...
3
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1answer
2k views

“correspondence with” vs “correspondence between”

Meaning "correspondence" as "letters" or "exchange of letters" (not similarity), which sentence would be more appropriate (may be there are only subtle differences in style): The correspondence ...
2
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1answer
101 views

Can 's express plural?

There's a sentence in my textbook: My sister got A's in her final exam. Shouldn't be As instead in this case? Can 's also be a kind of stylish for the plural?
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1answer
806 views

Can you use “the undersigned” and “I” in the same paragraph?

"The undersigned" and "I", when used in a letter, both refers to me. So is it possible to use them both in the same paragraph? Consider the following example: The undersigned respectfully moves for ...
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1answer
55 views

A question about comma usage: should it be “me,” or “me”, in this case? [duplicate]

I am reading an article here: https://waitbutwhy.com/2014/12/what-makes-you-you.html When you say the word “me,” you probably feel pretty clear about what that means. It’s one of the things you’re ...
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2answers
3k views

“I'd” or “I would” in official letters?

Should I use "I'ld" and the like in official documents like motivation letters or is "I would" better?
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3answers
61 views

“To be” or NOT “to be”

A large part of what I do is critiquing, in writing, the work of others. I am constantly wondering if I am structuring my sentences correctly. Part of the challenge is that I need to temper my opinion ...
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1answer
2k views

“just now” vs “only now”

What's more sounds naturally in the following scenario? A very good friend call me and I saw his unanswered call after 2 hours. Then I want to explain him that I saw his call two hours later. The ...
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1answer
36 views

“Berlin private art school” vs “Private Berlin art school”

I have a sentence which I can change the words in some versions without changing the meaning, but I'm not sure which one is the most natural to the English native speaker, therefore I would like you ...
2
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1answer
31 views

“Expanding his chest went out of the room.”

Source: Anna Karenina For a few seconds Oblonsky stood alone; then he wiped his eyes, sighed, and expanding his chest went out of the room. Why isn't this sentence in this way: wiped his ...
6
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3answers
2k views

Can there be a “handwritten paper”?

Yesterday, someone slipped this sloppily handwritten scrap of paper under my door. which (without the adverbs and fancy adjectives) essentially conveys this idea: Someone gave me a handwritten ...
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0answers
163 views

“Had + object + P.P.” Vs “Had + P.P. + object”

SOURCE: A game of thrones The breath of man and horse mingled, steaming, in the cold morning air as his lord father had the man cut down from the wall and dragged before them. Is it a ...
2
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2answers
498 views

Is using unnecessarily long words bad practice? [closed]

From my country's Biology board book: The scientific naming of an organism is accomplished in accordance with some rules and regulations set internationally. which essentially means Some ...
1
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1answer
108 views

“my mother was my powerhouse” and “father a school of thoughts”

I remember: In a palace of formations, my mother was my powerhouse and father a school of thoughts. Is this style of writing correct? What can be better choice for the same sentence, grammatically?...
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1answer
93 views

Is this passage natural for a native-speaker?

The following is part of a book that I guess is written by a non-native speaker because some parts of it do not sound natural to me. Can you please let me know if the marked words and the passage in ...
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1answer
96 views

My request letter sounds awkward and I'm not sure how to end it

I'm not a native English speaker, and formal letter writing classes from my school days involved archaic grammar and language. When I write a formal letter to a native speaker, I'm constantly second ...
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1answer
4k views

What's more accepted: “I know that” vs “I know this” & “I know it”? [closed]

What's more accepted in the spoken English: 1) "I know that" 2) "I know this" 3) "I know it"? Context: 1) Q. "Do you know Oxford university?" A. "Yes, I know it / this / that" 2) Q. "...
2
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1answer
2k views

Best way to say I keep on doing something?

What is better to say: I am continuing to do something. I am carrying on doing something. I keep doing something. How to say it better if, for example, I continue to make my mobile ...