+0
Is former a formal substitute for ex and therefore, is usually used in formal writing?

The police are looking for the woman's [former/ex] husband and his accomplices.

Thanks in advance
1 2
Comments  (Page 2) 
Nope, the standard has changed, and gender-neutral pronoun is valid, that is that "he" is no longer considered applicable for a person of unknown or undecided gender. Your age is showing, sir.
Not quite. Marines currently DO make a distinction between former and ex Marine, but its mainly just a response to the dogma of "Once a Marine Always a Marine". Yes, Once a Marine Always a Marine IS 100% the way most Marine's feel, however, once you return to civilian life, you don't refer to yourself as "A Marine" because people would assume you are still the job.

"Former Marine" just became the cleanest and easiest way to respond to the "Are you a Marine?" question without

A. having to say "Yes, I mean, but I'm out now" (which is a mouthful)

or saying

B. "ex-Marine" or "I was a Marine" because 3/5 times you end up getting the "what do you mean WAS? I thought you guys were always Marines... " remark.

"Former Marine" just keeps things easy.

-Signed,
A EX Former Marine
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.

No, marines just make a big deal out of it because they can...ex marine and former marine mean the same thing

In the pre-1970s, the ex-Marine term used the primary definition of the prefix "ex" which means "out of", and was a universal usage in the Corps. In fact, former was frowned on back then because it was more associated with "no longer" which violated the "once a Marine always a Marine" code. Shanghai Marines, old Marines, old DIs would tell you quick-like to say Ex-marine.