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Thread: Formalities

  1. #1
    Allen165 is offline Key Member
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    Default Formalities

    I'm translating a report of a body search. The first part of the report contains the following columns: reporter, date, start of search, and end of search. My question is whether that part can be titled "formalities."

    I don't think it can because a formality is a procedure, and not a synonym for "formal matters/aspects."

    Thanks a lot!

  2. #2
    freezeframe is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Formalities

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen165 View Post
    I'm translating a report of a body search. The first part of the report contains the following columns: reporter, date, start of search, and end of search. My question is whether that part can be titled "formalities."

    I don't think it can because a formality is a procedure, and not a synonym for "formal matters/aspects."

    Thanks a lot!
    No. Formality usually carries a connotation of meaningless things you must do as part of the tradition/process/etc.

  3. #3
    Allen165 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Formalities

    Quote Originally Posted by freezeframe View Post
    No. Formality usually carries a connotation of meaningless things you must do as part of the tradition/process/etc.
    Yes, that's one of its meanings.

  4. #4
    freezeframe is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Formalities

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen165 View Post
    Yes, that's one of its meanings.

    Okay then. If you have a dictionary, why do you ask?

    Also, look up the word connotation.

  5. #5
    Allen165 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Formalities

    Quote Originally Posted by freezeframe View Post
    Okay then. If you have a dictionary, why do you ask?

    Also, look up the word connotation.
    Because I am not sure whether "formalities" can used in the way I described in my first post.

    My dictionary provides four meanings of "formality."

    1. the quality or condition of being formal
    2. an official procedure that must be followed as part of a longer procedure
    3. a procedure that must be followed because it is a rule or custom, but has little significance or effect in itself
    4. strict or excessive attention to propriety or ceremony

    Stating the name of the reporter, the date of the search, and its start and end - can that be viewed as part of a procedure? I'm not sure.

  6. #6
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Formalities

    You could consider basic information.

    Rover

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Formalities

    Formalities doesn't fit there for me, because it does often suggest that the procedures are in some way empty, while recording these details is important.

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