Questions tagged [style]

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

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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 ...
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-1 votes
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"In hope, John". Is it ok to sign letters this way?

Avaaz, a non-profit that unites environmental and social activists, signs its emails with "in fierce hope and determination". Can I sign my letters with "in hope" too (without the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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3 answers
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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; ...
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1 answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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'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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1 answer
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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 ...
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5 votes
2 answers
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"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 ...
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1 answer
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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?
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2 votes
1 answer
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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.
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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 "...
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"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....
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contributed to the fact that

Which of the following versions better conforms to stylistic conventions? a. The incident contributed to the passage of a blanket prohibition on abortion that would take effect next year. b. The ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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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 ...
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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?
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0 votes
1 answer
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"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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1 vote
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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!
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3 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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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’...
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1 answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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0 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Can the articles be omitted (in those 2 cases)?

I have two sentences where I am not sure, whether I can omit an article or not. This is maybe bordering on stylistic choice: "The rising sea quenched the fires of the last great war and the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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"mini-skydiver" vs "miniskydiver."

Example sentence: The cockroach fell to the floor like a mini-skydiver and scurried out of the bathroom. Some style guides say that you shouldn't use a hyphen with the prefix "mini." But I ...
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Is it correct to use "meeting" this way?

Is it correct to use "meeting" this way? or it should be replaced by holding? The authorities in our country want to hire people with experience and beyond the average qualities, as is the ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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"on this matter" or " in this regard" here?

In addition to the main question, it is master or master's more appropriated here? .On the other hand, graduated with a master’s that provides the latest strategies to tackle agricultural-associated ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Quotation marks are necessary in this context?

Moreover, they are causing the disappearing of several Punos, which are endemic wetlands of my region vital to the wildlife. Karachi is where my family and I plan to keep living , but due to the ...
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Are hyphens required in this case? [duplicate]

I am wondering whether I have to use hyphens in this case? I haven't used them before in the text this sentence is included in, but they seem necessary here. or maybe I could just avoid them? ....
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How to drive the attention to the phrase I am interested in without making it too long?

Is it the necessary before authorities? I have found the word authorities is used with and without it, so I am not sure. I want to drive the attention to the phrase: she can demonstrate the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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It is correct to avoid mention explicity the subject here?

Is it better to use Despite she received or Despite receiving here? I am trying to add variety to my writing by avoiding repeating so many times the subject. However, I am not sure whether excluding ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Should you add an hyphen with un + foreign word?

I'm aware that you should add an hyphen in un-American and not add a hyphen in unstylish. How about when it's a foreign word and, therefore, you're creating a new usage? Talking to my parents is the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What is the order of singular and plural pronouns in the same sentence?

What's the order to be followed in case of pronouns where there are 2 third person subjects, one being plural and one singular. For example You, David, them and I are invited for the party. Or will ...
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1 vote
1 answer
54 views

What is the right way to cite a source?

I have included some data in the text. I would like to add a line to give information about the source of the data. My question is, what is the right way to do it? The following are some possible ways ...
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6 votes
6 answers
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Should All or Most Words in a Stack Overflow/Stack Exchange Question be Capitalized?

I thought all or a majority of words need to be capitalized when it's a title. The form that I fill out to ask a question on here says title and after the question is submitted it's displayed using a ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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The use of italics

I know it's about style and you like to close such questions (don't), but what are some general recommendations concerning the use of italics? More specifically, what proper nouns should I italicize? ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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When do I hyphenate compound nouns used as adjectives?

For example, is the correct phrase English-language journals or English language journals?
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2 answers
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Using "accounts" in reference to failed attempts

Is it idiomatic in English to use the noun "accounts" in reference to some failed attempts? For example, Henry is a very quiet and passive student that even looks sleepy while in my class. ...
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Style of writing inside a manual

I would like to ask about the style of English that is used (or has to be used) for a technical manual. In other languages it seems to be different, but I have read many technical books in English ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Word order involving a "cup of coffee"

1) Joan joins Tim at the table with a cup of coffee. 2) Joan joins Tim at the table, with a cup of coffee. 3) Joan, carrying a cup of coffee, joins Tim at the table. 4) Joan joins Tim at the table, ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Teacher said I write in a pompous register? Why? Could you help me understand? [closed]

Okay, so I've submitted a proposal to my teacher. I get the part that I've made inaccurately structured sentences, also I understand that I have missed to an extend the point of the given task. But I ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Is there a stylistically neutral synonym for 'interlocutor'?

interlocutor formal A person who takes part in a dialogue or conversation. (from here) If Lexico says some word is "formal", then it means it's formal AF (it flags them as such much rarer ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Is it obligatory to capitalize the word 'president' before a name (as in 'president Donald Trump')?

Gramarly insists on capitalizing: 'President Bill Clinton', 'President Donald Trump', etc. But I don't want to do it. Can I use a regular lowercase 'p'? (with respect, please give me a break from "...
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