December 1, 2008  •  gidgegary

Please be advised....

My local Public transport company has started delivering recorded messages on the train platform “Please be advised that patrons must wait till the train has come to a complete stop before crossing the yellow line”. I find this message completely grates on me, and I suffer it each time I wait on the train platform for my train. “Please” is a polite request for me to take some form of action. I have a choice. I can comply with the request or I can refuse the request. If an instruction is given to me with the precursor “Please be advised” then I am presented with a fait accompli and have no opportunity to decide whether I will comply with the request or not. It is not, in fact, a request in any form and does not provide the recipient with any capacity to dismiss or refuse the request. For this reason, I consider it to be manglish. Can you confirm that “Please be advised” is manglish?

November 28, 2008  •  anonymous21

Street Address vs. Mailing Address

When completing forms that ask for my personal information, I find that many forms ask for “Street Address.” I dutifully fill in my home street address. When I do this I find that, a couple of weeks later, I get a phone call asking me if I’ve moved because a mailing addressed to me was returned marked “unable to deliver.” I explain that I don’t receive mail at my home address, and that I have a Post Office Box for that purpose. The frustrated caller then corrects the information that I provided on the form. I calmly explain that I provided the correct information that was asked for. But this wins me no points with the caller. On other occasions, I have been able to ask someone, “Do you really want my “street address,” or would you rather have my “mailing address?” On many of these occasions I have been told, “No. We have to have your physical street address.” So it appears that when a form says “street address,” sometimes they really want a “mailing address,” and at other times they really do want a “street address.” Is there a general rule of thumb to decipher what people really want?

November 4, 2008  •  mary

Plural last name ending in “z”

How do you refer to two people with the last name Valdez. Is it “the Valdezes” or “Valdez’s” are coming for dinner?

October 22, 2008  •  jessicajames


How do pronouns function with a collective noun? Today I was in my College Prep class and we read a sentence that used the pronoun “they” after the word class. The sentence was “The teacher, who was angry, told the class to do whatever they wanted to.” Would ‘it’ be a better pronoun than that and if not, why?

October 21, 2008  •  elainekoh

reported speech

John said, “My birthday fell on last Friday.” If the above is reported, which verb should I use? John said that his birthday fell/had fallen on the previous Friday.

October 19, 2008  •  kangnamgu

Find the error

Working from a textbook, one exercise requires students to find the error in different sentences. Can anybody find the error in the following sentence? *The painting of the Buddha, that has nine figures, made the religion more concrete to believers in 13th-century Tibet.* The sentence refers to a picture in the book of a painting of a Buddha with several other figures (bodhisattvas) around it. Sections of the sentence is underlined. I will use square-brackets to indicate the underlined sections. The error should be with one of these underlined sections. Here is the sentence again: The painting of the Buddha[, that has]{A} nine [figures,]{B} made the religion more [concrete]{C} to believers in [13th-century Tibet.]{D} The Teacher’s Edition of the textbook says that the error is with {A}. If this is correct, what is wrong with it? Thanks!

October 14, 2008  •  magicrin

be of some help / be of any help

1. which one is correct? “i am glad to be of some help or i am glad to be of any help?” 2. what`s different between them?

September 30, 2008  •  sushant


“The liquidity is high, as evident/evidenced from the Reserve Bank of India’s reverse repo auctions.” Which one of these two words would be more appropriate here? How do we decide that ?

September 24, 2008  •  phyllis

“dis” vs “un”

Ok I am always coming up against the following with non-native speakers: disinterest vs uninterested dissatisfied vs unsatisfied disorganised vs unorganised Any simple rule of thumb or guideline?

September 16, 2008  •  chris

Aritcle or no article - that is the question.

“In this letter, we describe a practical method for sense tagging of Korean unit words in nominal compounds.” In the above sentence, I’m curious if “sense tagging of” requires an article, as in “the sense tagging of”. Because of the “of” after “tagging” my instincts say yes, an article is necessary. But am I just adding unnecessary clutter into the sentence? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!

September 2, 2008  •  davidh

Meet monday v Meet on Monday

Why do Americans not use a preposition when talking about days of the week? “We’ll meet Monday” has an “on” “before” “after” or “during” missing. You can’t meet Monday unless it is a person or a thing; as it is a unit of time there should be a preposition; One doesn’t “meet 4 o’clock” but one may “meet at 4 o’clock” and so you do “not meet Monday” but “on Monday”.

September 1, 2008  •  jakemontero

con cum with

I’ve seen some writeups around the internet where they use the word “con-cum” or “con cum with”. I know “cum” means with in Latin like “suma cum laude” or transformation like “bus cum green house (bus converted to green house). Can anyone tell me how to use “cum” correctly, or should I avoid it as much as possible?

August 28, 2008  •  michelle

“the below” vs “the following”

When writing, “the below changes will take place tomorrow” followed by a bulleted list of changes, would it be more correct to use the phrase “the following...”? Or, is this a matter of personal style? In the above context, what is the phrase “the below”, an adjective?

August 27, 2008  •  dickrommelmann

You’re not going to the game, are you?

Question; are you going to the game? If I am, I say yes. Sometimes the question is framed “You’re not going to the game, are you?” If I’m not going I maintain the response is YES. as in yes, I’m not going. This has been a source of friction with a friend for some time. Comments please over this picayune dribble.

August 21, 2008  •  nomad

Usage of ‘I have doubt that’

“Some people may have doubt that why invest in these sectors during the economy slump?” Is the above phrase grammatically correct? Is it grammatically correct to use ‘doubt that’ when the ‘doubt’ is a NOUN? For example: 1) VERB: I doubt that Fred has really lost 25 pounds ... 2) NOUN: Some people may have doubts that .....

August 15, 2008  •  josh

beginning a request with “may”

“May you please send me the...” Is this correct? It doesn’t sound right. I believe this person is using the same logic as asking permission to do something. Wouldn’t ” Will you please send me the...” or “Would you please...” be correct?

August 13, 2008  •  debra

Acronym-verb agreement

Does the acronym ITS (Information Technology Services) take a singular verb or plural i.e., ITS is thinking of redoing the website. ITS are thinking of redoing the website. Since the last word is plural, wouldn’t it make sense to make the verb plural, even though it doesn’t sound good?

August 12, 2008  •  parsifal

rogue apostrophe

Would you write ‘four day’s journey’ or ‘four days journey’? I am having a tussle with a sub. I know it’s ‘Long Day’s Journey into Night’ but surely the journey doesn’t belong to the four days, so it should be ‘four days journey’ - and presumably ‘a four-day journey’ would be even better? What do you think?

August 10, 2008  •  nikkivinnriquemullencruz

What’s wrong with this?

Is the following phrase using correct grammar, why or why not? And how would you describe this phrase? It’s just weird to me: “Hey, you’re that goofy kid Sandra makes do crazy stuff!!” Basically Sandra makes this kid do goofy stuff and someone has spotted him, did they use correct grammar? It just sounds weird to me, especially the “make do” part. Whether this is grammatically correct, what are the grammatical rules that would apply to a phrase like this? Thanks so much!

August 9, 2008  •  javid

Excess vs. Excessive

When excess is used an as adjective, are these words the same. Is there a case for using one over another?

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