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# Problem Words

I often find mistakes related to the following words.

## "etc."

Use "etc." (et cetera) to indicate that a list of examples is not exhaustive. Do not combine with "such as" or "e.g.", which already imply that a limited list of examples will follow.

Example 1. Use of "etc." …​ various methods, such as support vector machine, naive Bayes, random forest, etc., for machine learning …​ …​ various methods, such as support vector machine, naive Bayes, and random forest, for machine learning …​ …​ various methods (support vector machine, naive Bayes, random forest, etc.) for machine learning …​ …​ various methods (e.g., support vector machine, naive Bayes, random forest) for machine learning …​

## "find out"

"find out" is often (incorrectly) used to mean "find", "determine", "calculate", "evaluate", etc.

Example 2. "find out" We conducted an analysis to find out whether the logistic regression model …​ We conducted an analysis to examine whether the logistic regression model …​ Chen  used a model reduction approach to find out the optimal locations of piezoelectric actuators …​ Chen  used a model reduction approach to find the optimal locations of piezoelectric actuators …​

## "for example"

I sometimes see "for examples". Even when multiple examples are given, use "for example".

Example 3. Use of "for example" For examples, a metric for evaluating displacement  and a digital image stabilization system  were proposed. For example, a metric for evaluating displacement  and a digital image stabilization system  were proposed.

## "approach"

I often see "approach to X" (X = a value).

Example 4. Use of "approach" …​ value approaches to the upper bound. …​ value approaches the upper bound.

## "equal"

The word "equal" can be used in two ways. X is equal to Y. X equals Y.

I commonly see "X equals to Y" or "X is equal Y".

Example 5. Use of "equal" …​ the current at position x equals to 0. …​ the current at position x equals 0. If the expression is equal 0, then …​ If the expression is equal to 0, then …​

## "whether"

Usually "or not" is unneccesary.

Example 6. Use of "whether" It remains unclear whether or not the neural network parameterization converges to the globally optimal solution. It remains unclear whether the neural network parameterization converges to the globally optimal solution.

## "consist of"

"consist of" is used to list the components of a system. I often see "is consists of", which is incorrect.

Example 7. Use of "consist of" A microfluidic device is consists of a chamber, a reservoir, and channels. A microfluidic device consists of a chamber, a reservoir, and channels.

An alternative to "consists of" is "comprises" (note that "of" is not used with "comprises").

Example 8. Use of "comprises A microfluidic device comprises a chamber, a reservoir, and channels.