Among many technical writing handbooks the terms “Style” and “Format” have been broadly used when instructed to write clear and comprehensive documents. These terms may not have been definite terms; rather, the use of these terms depends on how they are understood by technical writers and writers in general. The purpose of this paper is: 1) to study how “Style” and “Format” are defined in technical writing or writing handbooks, and find out how they are used; and 2) to revise the documents in terms of what “Style” in Williams (2000) suggested. The results show that the terms “Style” and “Format” are loosely defined, but the following trends are found: “Style” is used in terms of word and sentence-level-the meaning of the words and sentences; and “Format” is used in terms of documents-level-the layout or appearances in a document. As well, Williams's (2000) definitions of “Style” provide us with useful insights when writing not only technical documents, but writing documents for the audiences' points of view.
Despite the fact that the incorrect use of English is condemned squarely by major news organizations, it has come to be used with impunity. This paper attempts to study the extent of the incorrect use of English language in newspapers and magazines. This paper focuses on two expressions that are commonly used incorrectly: “compare to” which has come to be employed when juxtaposing two or more items to explain similarities and/or differences, and “another” which has come to be used as a synonym for “additional.” Data obtained by on-line and print versions of English newspapers and magazines show that there was a non-negligible percentage of cases where incorrect use of the two expressions was found. It was also found out that there was a fairly large difference in the correctness of the usage between the news organizations. Moreover, even some dictionaries and grammar books seem to be nonchalant about such distinction.
Many English-Japanese dictionaries and English-usage dictionaries in Japan classify ‘probably’, ‘likely’, ‘possibly’, ‘perhaps’ and ‘maybe’ into the same group, all of which indicate the possibility of occurrence of something. Some of them further show their respective percentages. In this paper I will show that these words are divided into two groups according to whether they express the speaker's certainty or not. ‘Probably’, ‘likely’ and ‘possibly’ indicate that the speaker is certain that something will happen, while ‘perhaps’ and ‘maybe’ indicate that he is not certain. Some syntactic features such as the following will support this analysis: the former group words can be modified by ‘very’ and ‘quite’, and take comparative and superlative forms, and the latter group words can modify a number with the meaning ‘about’.
English prepositions such as ‘of’, ‘at’, ‘in’ as well as some others may be used to show the relationships between an organization and its members. This thesis deals with this use of prepositions in the following four cases: 1-1. Professor NAME+PREPOSITION+UNIVERSITY NAME (e. g. Professor John Smith of ABC University) 1-2. Mr./Mrs., etc. NAME+PREPOSITION+COMPANY NAME (e. g. Mr. John Smith at the ABC Company) 2-1. NAME, (a) professor+PREPOSITION+UNIVERSITY NAME (e. g. John Smith, professor at ABC University) 2-2. NAME, (a) POSITION NAME+PREPOSITION+COMPANY NAME (e. g. Mr. John Smith, a manager at the ABC Company) This use of prepositions was researched through the implementation of questionnaires, news media analysis and the analysis of business communication examples. As a result, the following conclusions were made: (1) ‘OF’ is the recommendable preposition for 1-1. (2) ‘OF’ is the recommendable preposition for 1-2, but ‘AT’ is also possible. (3) ‘AT’ is the recommendable preposition for 2-1. (4) For 2-2, as a general rule, ‘OF’ is used in cases where the person of the title controls the whole of the organization; and ‘AT’ is used in cases where the person controls part of the organization.
The connective however can be placed at the beginning of a sentence, within a sentence, or at the end of a sentence. Yet, of these three positions of however, the most difficult for non-native speakers of English would be where within a sentence one should place it. This article tries to discover whether tendencies can be detected when native speakers use however within a sentence.