Category Scientific English

Eliminate these wannabe-Germanisms

In this post, I want to discuss some fascinating mistakes made even by very advanced speakers. They concern expressions which are borrowed from their native language (called Germanisms when borrowed from German), and are not used by native English speakers. The examples given below are typically absent in formal writing, but often show up in

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Journal editors can improve your English

Most high-quality science journals have editors who will proof-read your manuscript before it is printed or published online. While not all journals exclusively employ native speakers as editors, their English is typically very good. Therefore, the proofs you receive should not be regarded as an annoying hurdle on the way to another publication, but can

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Do you care for feedback?

Since a substantial part of the material covered in this blog comes from my encounters with scientific papers and talks, I am wondering how many of you would actually like to get feedback regarding potential shortcomings regarding their English skills. I have never been a fan of public practise talks, simply because I think that

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Mathematical English: How to pronounce Gaussian

As you may remember from school, the bell-shaped curve that plays a key role in statistics, often referred to as a normal distribution, is also called a Gaussian. I have noticed that there is a lot of confusion and variation regarding the pronunciation of the word Gaussian, in particular among German native speakers. The reason

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How to pronounce et cetera

The Latin phrase et cetera (usually abbreviated as etc.), which may be translated as “and so forth” or “and other things”, is commonly used in the English language. While listening to this video, I remembered that I had previously heard a number of people pronounce et cetera in an unusual way. The correct pronunciations (there

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