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  • 25 votes cast
Jan
18
comment How does one include sign language in a dialogue?
Per both answers, italics is a quick and easy way to do it. But if there's going to be a lot of this type of dialogue, you might consider using a distinctive font for the signed communications. And as a rule use a clarifying verb like "signed, indicated, gestured" for the first one in an interchange whenever it's been several pages since the last one. After that, use non-specific verbs like "suggested, replied, answered" and avoid verbs "said". But you might get away with the occasional "shouted" or similar in a metaphorical sense (perhaps in quotes to alert the reader to what you're doing).
Oct
1
comment Is concurrent first person / third person usage absolutely unacceptable?
@sXe: Presumably nobody would say "ABC is expanding my plan". My point is if I used "is" I'd feel compelled to follow with "..its plan". If I wanted to convey that I/we were part of the company I'd have to start with "are" to agree with the plurality of "...our plan". I'll raise this on EL&U to see if others feel the same (and specifically, whether Brits are more likely to agree with me).
Oct
1
comment Is concurrent first person / third person usage absolutely unacceptable?
@sXe: Neither usage seems odd to me. Probably I side more with the plural by default, because a lot of the time I think of companies/political groups/etc. as "collective" entities. But it does simplify things to see them as singular things sometimes. I'm quite used to seeing/using both forms - my only problem is with OP's example #1 using singular is and plural our in the same sentence. Perhaps if you always and only think of companies as singular that doesn't bother you, but it makes me wince a bit.
Sep
30
comment Is concurrent first person / third person usage absolutely unacceptable?
Stylistically I think example #1 is beyond the pale. As a Brit, I'd be quite comfortable with ABC are in the process of expanding our monitoring, but I think Americans usually refer to organisations in the singular, so maybe they wouldn't like that. But I don't have a problem with is or are in #2, because the switch to our comes in a separate sentence.
Sep
22
comment How can I condense a description of a web designer/developer's work into a one-liner?
@Shawn: Well, just say you're experienced in all aspects of web development. The only specific bit you need to add is something you haven't actually listed. That's the matter of exactly how far you interact with the clients - discussing cost benefit analysis with them, negotiating functionality, charges and delivery dates, etc. with the guys at the top? Or just talking to the clerical staff who actually use the software? You do all the "techie" stuff; you just need to say how far you reach (or don't, as the case may be) beyond that.
Sep
22
comment How can I condense a description of a web designer/developer's work into a one-liner?
I'd have thought in this day and age, doing all these things would be normal for any software developer working either as an independent, or in a small organisation. It doesn't make much difference whether the software uses/relies on the web. You still have to do everything unless you're in a bigger company where they let you concentrate on the bits you're best at, but even there I think you'd be expected to at least know how to do all the other bits.
Sep
9
comment How can this sentence better convey the immobilizing impact of fear?
I think contrasting the two possibilities by repeating On the xxx hand, it has the ability to... represents unnecessary verbiage here, and tends to obscure the fact that in reality, either one effect or the other will almost always be totally dominant. This usage is more appropriate for dichotomies where both alternatives really do co-exist.
Sep
9
answered How can this technical message be made clearer?
Jul
19
comment Referring to oneself in first vs. third person in online profiles
@pavium: I've no opinion on the authorship of Mr Desai's profile as linked by OP. Since it could reasonably have been written by "a loyal and adoring minion", it's not inherently silly for it to be in the third person, even if in fact Mr Desai wrote it himself. I only said what I did in relation to ELU profiles, since it's unreasonable to suppose they could be written by anyone other than the member himself.
Jul
19
answered Referring to oneself in first vs. third person in online profiles
Jun
7
comment Right usage of “P.S.” in Emails
@Alenanno: Having trawled over some more writers.se questions for the first time in months, I see they do actually cover things like this, so I'm retreating somewhat from my earlier position. But EL&U has often overlapped in the general area - witness that outrageous viral question about nested [sic]'s - and originally I hadn't realised writers.se went much further than helping out budding authors.
Jun
7
awarded  Commentator
Jun
7
comment Right usage of “P.S.” in Emails
@Rory Alsop: Haha glad I didn't work with you then. Maybe I'm anal, but I'd rather have the bit about the beer on a separate email. Or a call would have been better. Besides, what if I wanted to forward the work stuff to others? No thanks.
Jun
7
comment Right usage of “P.S.” in Emails
@WAF: All sounds like pretty subtle nuancing for an email. We're not talking carefully-crafted prose here.
Jun
7
comment Right usage of “P.S.” in Emails
@Alenanno: I don't suppose you'll be persuaded, and there are already 4 votes to close, so you're obviously not alone. I still think it's about usage of the English language, not a style question as I understand writers.se
Jun
6
comment Right usage of “P.S.” in Emails
I don't get the votes to close. P.S. is a linguistic element, and email is a linguistic medium. The proper usage is a reasonable thing to ask about, even if it's not easy to arrive at a concensus.
Jun
6
comment Right usage of “P.S.” in Emails
@Hugo: Footnotes are quite common in the kind of 'pop science' books I often read, but to be honest I don't really like them that much. I'm never sure when to break off from the main thread, so sometimes I never actually read them at all. Similar to the disjointed style in New Scientist (Time may be more familiar if you're US), but at least in those the 'supplementary' text/diagrams are big enough to draw you in when you reach the end of a paragraph in the main article.
Jun
6
comment Right usage of “P.S.” in Emails
I know it's only an example, but if I got an email from someone I didn't know well enough to already know what their new job was going to be, that particular P.S. wouldn't seem trivial or tangential to me. I'd assume [s]he was sounding me out to work on making up the clothes [s]he was going to be designing! :-)
Jun
6
comment Right usage of “P.S.” in Emails
Well I did specifically say never really 'appropriate' rather than just never appropriate, and I think you've identified some aspects of 'excusable' exceptions. I don't do work emails much these days, but I always preferred a second email to receiving one email with an unrelated addendum. I really do think it's often just lack of consideration for people who might want/need to deal with things in an orderly and efficient manner.
Jun
6
answered Right usage of “P.S.” in Emails