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25 votes
Accepted

Is it okay to say "We are no more in the 20th century"? Using "no more" with periods of time

no more can have the same the meaning as no longer and, up until 1840, it was more widely used. Here is a typical example: He instantly determined to be no more a slave. - The works of Hannah More, ...
JavaLatte's user avatar
  • 60k
23 votes

Does saying "Keep it up" put me in an authoritative position?

To be honest, nobody really minds this kind of vague congratulatory message. Few people are going to analyse or dissect the grammar or meaning. However "Keep it up" really means "...
James K's user avatar
  • 225k
17 votes
Accepted

Should I use 'denote' or 'be'? 'Let A denote/be a vertex cover…'

Your example should use be. We generally use the verb "denote" only if we're introducing a notation for an existing unique entity; hence "Let <notation> denote <entity>"...
ruakh's user avatar
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16 votes
Accepted

What is a formal alternative for being "on the same page"?

I would not hesitate, even a second, to use "on the same page" in a formal context. It does not carry any informal connotations, it's widely understood (I used it once translated literally ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 14.8k
13 votes
Accepted

What should I call a person sharing knowledge in school that is not a teacher?

In AmE, you weren't a tutor, a teacher, or a trainer. Broadly speaking, a tutor's primary job is to help with homework; the teacher was the "real teacher" that was there; a trainer usually helps with ...
Em.'s user avatar
  • 45.4k
13 votes

Two Grammatical questions over sentences extracted from The Economist

Your interpretation is correct. "It" refers to the capture of the drone under the described conditions. I had completely missed the extra "a" hiding in plain sight. Yeah, that's a typo. It should ...
fixer1234's user avatar
  • 5,706
13 votes
Accepted

“in the meanwhile” vs. “in the meantime”

This is from Merriam Webster's discussion of these phrases: Meanwhile and meantime can both be nouns or adverbs and are interchangeable. "Meantime" is more frequently seen as a noun, in the phrases ...
Fremont the boy bug's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

Writing a letter to two persons who are not a couple or married?

First of all, please note that the usage "Mr. Firstname" or "Miss Firstname", as in your example, are conventional only in specific subcultures of English speakers; I encountered it for the first time ...
Codeswitcher's user avatar
  • 8,236
11 votes
Accepted

Is ball-park figure formal or informal?

There is no single authority to which one would turn to determine whether phrasing is "formal" enough for a situation; sometimes, even in an academic paper or a public address, colloquial ...
choster's user avatar
  • 17.7k
11 votes

What is a formal alternative for being "on the same page"?

I think something like this would be suitable, although I don't particularly think it's any better that what you proposed: These reports also ensure that all stakeholders are well-informed about the ...
AdamBrown's user avatar
  • 111
11 votes

Does saying "Keep it up" put me in an authoritative position?

"Keep it up" can be used by a boss or other authority figure. It can also be used in other contexts. It is commonly used by sports fans to or about an athlete after a successful performance....
David Siegel's user avatar
  • 41.2k
10 votes

Is "steer clear of" formal or informal?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, "steer clear of" is neither informal or formal: it's just a normal expression. The register is therefore appropriate for any situation. It is not, ...
JavaLatte's user avatar
  • 60k
8 votes

Which tense to use in an academic paper when referring to past research?

Disciplines which follow the APA's Publications Manual are sternly (and to my mind ludicrously) literal-minded about such temporal references, but to the best of my knowledge everybody else in academe ...
StoneyB on hiatus's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Plural or single—at velocities or at velocity

That's a needless problem. When you say X km/h, that's a velocity. Just say The cars move at 90 km/hr and 95 km/hr. However, if you want to include the word velocity, a more idiomatic expression ...
Jack O'Flaherty's user avatar
8 votes

Does saying "Keep it up" put me in an authoritative position?

I share the perspective of the person who gave you that advice. Care should be taken with this expression I would expect to hear this only from someone with a vested interest in the activity, and who ...
CCTO's user avatar
  • 2,086
8 votes
Accepted

In contexts like 'this study can give English learners...', is 'can' idiomatic or should 'will' be used?

What you're describing is hedging, which means that the writer is expressing uncertainty. Sometimes it's necessary to do so, but in other situations it's not appropriate and is used more as a crutch ...
Laurel's user avatar
  • 15.6k
7 votes

A formal way to request for updated information in business email writing

I do agree with the answer from Mowser, 'updated' would generally work. But something more natural would be 'new.' Is there any new information? May I know if there is any new information? ...
Zach Zundel's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Which tense to use in an academic paper when referring to past research?

It's perfectly fine to use the present tense for all research, even going back to ancient times; see here for another question about this. However, there is a way that you can usefully shift tense in ...
Ben Kovitz's user avatar
  • 27.6k
7 votes

Writing a letter to two persons who are not a couple or married?

What sounds normal depends on the culture of your boss and your "senior", your company, and other factors. One safe choice in most business situations around the world would be: Dear John Wu and ...
Jim Reynolds's user avatar
  • 9,997
7 votes
Accepted

Gender neutral Mx. without a name

If you don't know the gender or name of the person you are writing to, I would just use Dear Sir or Madam. Mx. is not a widely recognized title in the English language.
Lars Mekes's user avatar
  • 1,209
7 votes

Plural or single—at velocities or at velocity

What is clearest is to write The first and second cars move at speeds of 90 and 95 km/hr respectively It corresponds exactly to the mathematical notation ||v_1||= 90 km/hr and ||v_2|| = 95 km/hr ...
Jeff Morrow's user avatar
  • 32.1k
7 votes

Is "steer clear of" formal or informal?

It's difficult to say with little context if "steer clear" is used properly in regard to formality. If this is an academic paper, however, as this sounds as if it could be, I suggest ...
myacorn's user avatar
  • 2,170
7 votes

In contexts like 'this study can give English learners...', is 'can' idiomatic or should 'will' be used?

First you need to note that "can" has special grammar rules. It is a defective modal verb, so it is not used on its own but always with other verbs, and it doesn't have the full range of ...
James K's user avatar
  • 225k
7 votes

Should the suffix "III" be included in the salutation to a senator

The use of numerals like "III" only applies when you include a person's first name, so if you're just saying "Senator Smith", then "III" would be incorrect. If you said, &...
gotube's user avatar
  • 50.9k
6 votes

What is your idea about using "practicalize"?

A résumé or cover letter is supposed to be short, clear, and impress the reader. Taking time and space to define a word is a waste of space in a résumé or cover letter. A neologism is a newly-...
Jasper's user avatar
  • 24.3k
6 votes
Accepted

Is it informal to use "so on " in the article?

So on is not super formal, but will be found in a lot of relatively formal writing. I would not avoid it without having some specific reason to expect that it would be rejected. I've seen it in legal ...
SamBC's user avatar
  • 22.8k
6 votes
Accepted

Are contractions discouraged in formal writing?

In general contractions are avoided in formal writing. But this is a matter of style, not a rule. As for the cases you list in the question: (1) Academic literature, Contractions are generally ...
David Siegel's user avatar
  • 41.2k
5 votes
Accepted

Two Grammatical questions over sentences extracted from The Economist

It appeared calculated to show China's naval reach . . . It appeared calculated can be interpreted in two ways. You can interpret "calculated" as an adjective, meaning "it appeared to be planned and ...
M.A.R.'s user avatar
  • 7,351
5 votes
Accepted

Is it OK to use "heck" in public occasions?

is there an implication that heck has a meaning of to have slight sex with someone Nope. Heck is a neutered version of hell (which isn't too vulgar these days, but still "adults only" for the most ...
LawrenceC's user avatar
  • 36.9k

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