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35 votes
Accepted

Can I pay my credit card?

Weird. I would think they meant credit card bill but you say that’s not what they meant. Maybe my was a typo of by - “Can I pay by credit card?” This is the only way I could see them meaning they ...
Mixolydian's user avatar
  • 8,687
21 votes

Can I pay my credit card?

It doesn't sound correct. Pay by credit card means pay the shop Pay with my credit card means pay the shop Pay my credit card bill means pay the bank Pay my credit card might be understood as paying ...
jonathanjo's user avatar
  • 7,553
12 votes

When can't we shorten It is to It's

The contraction of "is" in "it's" can only occur if the "is" is relatively unstressed, which cannot be the case when it is final in a sentence or clause. Consequently, contractions like "it's" and "I'...
Colin Fine's user avatar
  • 75.8k
12 votes
Accepted

Why don't foreign phrases such as "mot juste" get anglicized when used in English?

I think you have some selection bias in your observation. For example, none of your example loanwords were added to English "nowadays", but rather during the 1700s and early 1800s, per quick ...
sharur's user avatar
  • 1,991
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
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
  • 59.9k
9 votes

Would you use "youngsters" to refer to "young people" in a data report?

"Youngster" is a pretty dated thing to say and usually tinged with irony. I'd leave that one out of your vocabulary until you see it used a few times. The other problem is that a "...
the-baby-is-you's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Is "in layman's terms" a slang idiom?

I think what you're asking is "Is 'in layman's terms' formal enough for an academic paper?" The answer is yes, it is OK to use that expression in your paper. It is not informal or slang. As Alan ...
ColleenV's user avatar
  • 12k
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
Accepted

Should 'got' be used instead of 'was' in formal reports?

We should use was in both cases in formal writing. get in Wiktionary sense 17 is stated as informal: (auxiliary, informal) Used with the past participle to form the dynamic passive voice of a dynamic ...
Seowjooheng Singapore's user avatar
7 votes

Are "turn out" and "end up" too informal for academic writing?

I would say these are too informal for a data report. I would use something a bit plainer. If you really want to put emphasis on it, you can use an adverb like "actually" or similar. e.g. .....
Hmwat's user avatar
  • 136
6 votes
Accepted

Is "as of today" a standard English expression?

There is nothing wrong with that phrase and I assure you that it isn't incorrect.Like you said, "as of today" has two meanings: From the beginning up until now, including today. or Starting ...
Varun Nair's user avatar
  • 8,268
6 votes
Accepted

Is the word 'appreciate' too formal?

If it is to someone you don't know personally, it is not too formal. For a friend, usually a thanks will do.
Evan Carslake's user avatar
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
6 votes

Would you use "youngsters" to refer to "young people" in a data report?

The word "youngster" is too informal for a data report. It's a very folksy, conversational term. Everything that the-baby-is-you said is also true.
gotube's user avatar
  • 50.9k
5 votes

Can I pay my credit card?

To add to Mixolydian's answer, they are probably using a swipe-style phone keyboard (you just run your fingers over the letters rather than typing each letter) and if so it would be very easy to get ...
eps's user avatar
  • 880
5 votes

Is ball-park figure formal or informal?

If i read this in an academic article which i was reviewing for a scientific journal I suspect I might raise one or more of the following points. 1- Is it suitable for an international audience since ...
mdewey's user avatar
  • 4,601
4 votes

Can use 'NO' instead of 'NOT'?

The first sentence is correct: No valid account number was specified. The second sentence needs an indefinite article at the beginning to make it correct: A valid account number was not ...
virolino's user avatar
  • 9,199
4 votes
Accepted

When saying fractions in English, is it necessary to include ‘of’

There are two different constructions: Proportion of a whole: "One half of the prisoners"; "two thirds of houses". This form requires 'of', except for "half", where it can be omitted; but for me, it ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
  • 75.8k
4 votes
Accepted

How should I write a sentence that has multiple questions?

There is nothing really incorrect in your example. People use that form all the time in different circumstances. How was your vacation? Interesting? Fun? Good weather? What's she like? Tall? Thin?...
Peter's user avatar
  • 66.2k
4 votes
Accepted

Using 'you' in scientific papers

Well, in scientific register, the "passive voice" is preferred rather than the active voice. Hence, if you take a look at credible scientific journals, you see there's no need to use "you", whilst in ...
Sina's user avatar
  • 330
4 votes

It's a book of my mother's

The meaning there is entirely equivalent to "It's my mother's book". We don't usually use of-constructions for personal possessions in English, and when we do we usually use genitives for the ...
SamBC's user avatar
  • 22.8k
4 votes

Do we say “given” or “given that“?

The issue is not formal speech/writing versus casual speech/writing; the issue is how given or given that is functioning grammatically in the sentence. Given is a preposition -- a word that typically ...
user315154's user avatar
4 votes

Is ball-park figure formal or informal?

I consider it somewhat informal. You could replace it with estimated or approximate. If you need to stress that they are very inaccurate, you could use rough approximation or very rough approximation, ...
Justin's user avatar
  • 2,256
4 votes
Accepted

"Very well so" correctness and formality?

"Very well so" is not idiomatic. You are possibly confusing it with the idiomatic "very much so", which is an emphatic way of answering a question to which the answer could simply ...
Astralbee's user avatar
  • 104k
4 votes

Would you use "youngsters" to refer to "young people" in a data report?

You could say something like: People in their twenties... People in their thirties... That's in a fairly neutral register, neither formal nor informal. Something you could put in an article in, say, ...
TimR's user avatar
  • 127k
3 votes
Accepted

Can you explain my this doubt in the article "Will O’ The Wisp"?

Yes, it is grammatical. see is an imperative, like "Look!", though the punctuation doesn't make this clear. Even the office (is exciting) because --look!-- hovering over your colleague's head is ...
TimR's user avatar
  • 127k
3 votes
Accepted

How to politely ask for clarification on a person's designation?

In such a business situation I would offer my business card and politely ask: "Do you have a card I could have?" Usually the information you seek is written on the card. This avoids the ...
Brian Tompsett - 汤莱恩's user avatar

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