Joined: October 20, 2005

Number of comments posted: 670

Number of votes received: 1586

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Recent Comments

Re: Prepositions at the end of a clause  •  November 2, 2011, 5:20pm  •  0 vote

Astartes, how about "Toys are things with which one is meant to play"? (Of course, it is precisely this type of stilted recasting that is to be avoided.)

Re: always wanted to be  •  November 2, 2011, 2:27pm  •  5 votes

All three could be correct depending on what you're trying to convey. In some cases more than one would fit the same situation, but with slightly different meaning. "J.K .Rowling always wanted to

Re: “American”  •  October 31, 2011, 4:01pm  •  2 votes

I won't speak for everyone, but usually, those from South America would not call themselves Americans, but would refer to their country of origin. They would be Peruvians, Brazilians, Bolivians, Arge

Re: Victorian Era English  •  October 19, 2011, 3:03pm  •  0 vote

AnWulf, I think you missed Niceone's point. Clearly, he was criticizing shotgun's comment, not Sara.dee72's.

Re: Usage of ‘I have doubt that’  •  October 9, 2011, 7:52am  •  0 vote

Perfect Pedant, "doubt" as a noun can be either uncountable or countable. If one can have much doubt or some doubt, or little doubt, then one can have doubt. "I have doubt" is fine.

Re: “hone in” vs. “home in”  •  October 7, 2011, 8:59am  •  1 vote

Remek, Perfect Pedant, you two have made me smile today. Did either of you actually read the M-W link? It's ironic that Remek's posting of it actually supports the notion that "hone in" is considere

Re: “think of” vs. “think to”  •  September 28, 2011, 2:27pm  •  0 vote

First, let me say that I have never in my life, seen or heard "..think to...". I am American, but I'm not convinced this is common Brittish speech either. I was about to cast another vote for "of",

Re: Comma before “respectively”?  •  September 18, 2011, 6:46am  •  4 votes

I was going to suggest to GWU that "respectively" is not superfluous in this case, but the earlier "corresponding" does make "respectively" a bit redundant. I would delete one or the other. It remin

Re: Oblige to mean “force”  •  September 16, 2011, 11:03am  •  0 vote

AnWulf, while I could still debate this, I tell you what, I'll cede that in certain cases, "oblige" can mean "force", but surely you would accept that this isn't always the case, yes? Most of the tim

Re: The use of “hey” in place of “hello”.  •  September 16, 2011, 7:20am  •  7 votes

AnWulf, the "hey'hay in hey/hay is for horses" is a double entendre referring, simultaneously and equally, to the grass and the previously-spoken greeting. As such, I would say that either spelling w

Re: Can every letter be used as a silent letter?  •  September 14, 2011, 6:55am  •  0 vote

tiigerrick, I guess it's what one is familiar with. What blows my mind is that some people pronounce "Mary," "merry," and "marry" all the same! Chacun à son goût.

Re: Oblige to mean “force”  •  September 11, 2011, 7:23am  •  0 vote

AnWulf, I'm not sure I agree. Even if you use oblige in its strongest sense, you may ALWAYS choose not to do something that you're obliged to do (if you are willing to bear the consequences). Even i

Re: Pronunciation: aunt  •  September 9, 2011, 8:31am  •  0 vote

Kate, referring to the pronunciation as "long a" is standard terminology. Most vowels have a long and short version. The long version actually is longer to say because it is a dipthong. Long A is

Re: LEGOs — Is the Plural form of LEGO incorrect?  •  September 9, 2011, 8:14am  •  5 votes

Pluralizing as e-mails shouldn't really upset you. If you compare electronic and paper correspondence, then you have mail and e-mail as mass nouns describing general correspondence. If you talk abou

Re: Oblige to mean “force”  •  September 9, 2011, 8:02am  •  0 vote

oops, bad edit. delete the last two lines of my post above: "i have a choice. For one thing, you can be obliged to stay in a job you hate." shouldn't be there

Re: Oblige to mean “force”  •  September 9, 2011, 8:00am  •  0 vote

I would agree that oblige is not really the right word. I'd go as far as to say it's a a misquote of the familiar saying. I think "forced" is the more common word. They don't mean the same thing.

Re: Stood down  •  August 3, 2011, 3:21pm  •  0 vote

oops, that's ...stand..., not ...sand...

Re: Stood down  •  August 3, 2011, 3:21pm  •  1 vote

While some may disagree, I would not use "to stand down" to mean "to resign". More often, to sand down means to cease hostilities or cease preparation for hostilities. Telling someone to stand down

Re: Isn’t the word “feminism” itself gender-biased?  •  July 24, 2011, 3:36pm  •  1 vote

Sigurd, I would disagree. I don't think that African-American necessarily implies that one is descended from transaltantic slaves. Rather, I think it simply denotes an American of African origin, no

Re: Capitalization of dog breeds  •  July 20, 2011, 1:33pm  •  3 votes

Hailey, "border" in border collie refers to the herding dog's origin, the border between Scotland and England. The border between two countries is not a proper noun, so should not be capitalized.

Re: First annual vs. second annual  •  July 17, 2011, 6:42am  •  0 vote

So Bob Bob, by your logic, it is impossible to drive 55 miles per hour unless you drive at that speed for at least one hour, right?

Re: First Generation vs. Second Generation  •  July 6, 2011, 12:17pm  •  1 vote

What I'm about to suggest will not be backed up by any dictionary, but I think of it as more a matter of cultural assimilation. If you see a parent ask their kid a question in their native tongue, th

Re: Couldn’t Care Less  •  June 26, 2011, 9:58am  •  0 vote

Earlier, I stated that "I could care less" is just sarcasm, intentionally stating the opposite of "I couldn't care less". Well, for what it's worth, I recently (and lightheartedly) questioned a frien

Re: all _____ sudden  •  June 26, 2011, 9:53am  •  2 votes

@ MLH: I just googled the first two, "all of a sudden" and "all of the sudden". I got 36 million for both of them. You should note, however, that the first page of results for "all of the sudden"

Re: “I recommend that you do not” vs. “I recommend you not”  •  June 10, 2011, 1:00pm  •  1 vote

Try simplifying without the negation: I recommend that you take this pill I recommend that you do take this pill Either one is correct. You can further simplfy by eliminating the recommendat

Re: Pled versus pleaded  •  June 7, 2011, 4:27pm  •  28 votes

While we're at it, how about another of my pet peeves? The word "the". It's pronounced "th-uh" before a hard consonant, but pronounced "th-ee" before an open vowel sound. As in: Thuh beginning

Re: The opposite of “awaken”?  •  May 22, 2011, 5:24pm  •  1 vote

Vince, I don't think slumber works. It means to be asleep, not to fall asleep.

Re: The opposite of “awaken”?  •  April 25, 2011, 10:00am  •  3 votes

Well, if we're going to make up words, then how about "awaken"? Yes, let's use awaken as the opposite of awaken. Instead of using the a- prefix as an intensifier, we can use it for negation, as in am

Re: The opposite of “awaken”?  •  April 16, 2011, 4:40pm  •  3 votes

To nod may also work.

Re: biweekly  •  March 26, 2011, 4:52pm  •  0 vote

Normwray, I think you mean biennial, not biennual.

Re: Rules for -ise and -ize  •  March 9, 2011, 3:13pm  •  1 vote

Red, I don't want to put words in someone else's mouth, but I think AClose's point is that merchandise as a verb may not have arisen by adding a verb ending -ise (or -ize) to the noun, merchant (and,

Re: Correct preposition following different?  •  March 9, 2011, 2:52pm  •  0 vote

John, the "different to" I was referring to is something like this: "does this seem different to you?" As for "different to" used similarly to "different from", personally, I've never heard it, but t

Re: Correct preposition following different?  •  March 8, 2011, 3:27pm  •  1 vote

I'm not sure I agree about "different to" as mentioned above a few times. To me, "A is different from B" means that A and B are dissimilar. "A is different to B" means that B is of the opinion that

Re: i’s vs “i”s  •  February 21, 2011, 8:00pm  •  0 vote

This has been discussed in some detail already. See: http://painintheenglish.com/?p=1521 and http://painintheenglish.com/?p=1600 Also, mentioned in passing in quite a few posts on this si

Re: gifting vs. giving a gift  •  February 19, 2011, 8:52pm  •  1 vote

Obviously, "...nad..." = "...and..."

Re: gifting vs. giving a gift  •  February 19, 2011, 8:50pm  •  14 votes

Mr. Daley, I'm pretty sure that Frank Merton meant to say "confer", not "infer". I'm baffled, however, as to why you feel the need to discuss implying and imputing. While I do agree that "gift" as a

Re: i’s vs “i”s  •  February 15, 2011, 10:57pm  •  0 vote

To "Anonymous coward": you said that the second one is correct, but the link you posted says both are correct!!

Re: Substantial vs. substantive  •  February 13, 2011, 4:49pm  •  2 votes

Stan Jones, do you have any reference materials to back that up? As far as I know, the possessive pronoun, "its" does not take an apostrophe in the UK either. Such an apostrophe is not taught in Bri

Re: Signage  •  February 10, 2011, 7:47pm  •  0 vote

HairyScot, I'm not sure which one you found to be a verb. I couldn't find one. Also, in all fairness, a few of the examples in the link were definitely correct, only a few were definitely incorrect,

Re: He and I, me and him  •  February 3, 2011, 3:44am  •  1 vote

Actually, whether certain punctuation goes inside or outside quotation marks is a subject of much debate. This is also one of those things that's different between American and UK English (American i

Re: Is there a gustative equivalent to the olfactory “malodour”?  •  February 1, 2011, 7:30pm  •  0 vote

While this doesn't exactly answer your question, if you were looking for an analog to "malodorous", I'd suggest simply "bad-tasting". If you accept that "bad-tasting" should be hyphenated, then it wo

Re: “Self-confessed”  •  January 31, 2011, 10:27pm  •  1 vote

Also, "self-confessed" is usually reserved for overly-avid interests, slightly embarrassing affections, or minor harmless vices (think self-confessed choco-holic, not self-confessed serial killer) and

Re: “Self-confessed”  •  January 31, 2011, 10:16pm  •  3 votes

Self-confessed means openly admitting to having a particular trait, etc. (and it's an adjective, not a noun). I don't think the "self" part is redundant. The "self' part is not referring to the pers

Re: Correct preposition following different?  •  January 31, 2011, 9:44pm  •  0 vote

oops, that's ...proven...

Re: Correct preposition following different?  •  January 31, 2011, 9:43pm  •  9 votes

Really? Different to whom? Compared to the norm, some people are more different than others. And different by whose standards? Different in what ways? Some things become more different over time,

Re: First annual vs. second annual  •  January 28, 2011, 6:36pm  •  0 vote

Oops, "We calling them birthdays is just a shortened form." should be just "Calling them birthdays is just using a shortened form"

Re: First annual vs. second annual  •  January 28, 2011, 6:34pm  •  0 vote

John, it just so happens that everyone does have their first (and only!) birthday on the day they were born. What we celebrate each year afterwards are birthday anniversaries. We calling them birthd

Re: Plural s-ending Possessives  •  January 13, 2011, 3:33am  •  1 vote

Emmalissa, you are correct. "...the Shuman's..." would be singular possessive, as if there were only one Shuman living there, but one so famous that he or she would be not just any Shuman, but THE Sh

Re: Why are some single objects plural?  •  January 8, 2011, 8:09pm  •  0 vote

No "long bow" at all. A bicycle frame is properly made up of a main triangle and a paired rear triangle. It's called a "diamond frame". The slots that hold the rear wheel axle are called "rear fork

Re: Writer or Author  •  January 8, 2011, 11:15am  •  0 vote

I don't know if this is really the best analogy, but, at least in some cases, the difference between a writer and an author is like the difference between a painter and an artist. Someone who paints

Re: Why are some single objects plural?  •  January 8, 2011, 10:58am  •  0 vote

"Forks" isn't incorrect at all, nor is it colloquial. I've only heard of the American version, "fork" until this post, but "forks" is just as logical. It just represents a different perspective. A

Re: Why are some single objects plural?  •  December 13, 2010, 3:35am  •  0 vote

Gee, I would have thought it was fairly obvious. Things like scissors, pliers, etc., are plural because they are clearly pairs of objects. Scissors consist of two cutting blades held together by a p

Re: Over exaggeration  •  November 27, 2010, 9:50pm  •  0 vote

forgive the few typos above

Re: Over exaggeration  •  November 27, 2010, 8:12pm  •  0 vote

Adam, if you were referring to me, I don't know how you concluded that I got my definnition from The Urban Dictionary. It's been a few years, but I think I got it word for word (note the quotation mar

Re: Complete Sentence  •  November 18, 2010, 11:17pm  •  5 votes

TheEnglishScholar, Indelicato, I must say, I really can't follow your logic. First, imperatives are definitely sentences (there are four types of sentences, declarative, interrogative, imperative, an

Re: Does “Who knows” need a question mark?  •  November 15, 2010, 8:27pm  •  3 votes

Regarding inflection, not all questions inflect upwards at the end. In "Who ate my bagel?", I would inflect downwards at the end, not upwards, but clearly it's still a question. In fact, if I follow

Re: B4 Dickens  •  November 10, 2010, 10:00pm  •  0 vote

Gossun, regarding "Steph, are you suggesting that Shakespeare spelled his words 'however he wanted?'", Shakespeare was quite inconsistent in his spelling throughout his works, as mentioned, often with

Re: Canadian pronunciation of “out and about”  •  October 31, 2010, 9:16pm  •  3 votes

Canconned, I'm not sure just what your point is. The word pairs you gave are pronounced differently by everyone who speaks English, not just Canadian raised. One has a voiced consonant, the other, u

Re: Credit card  •  October 26, 2010, 3:49pm  •  1 vote

The credit card processing machine may be called a credit card terminal, especially those little ones with telephone keypards on them, also, terminal/printer for those with paper tape print output. T

Re: Accepted spellings, punctuation, and capitalization of email  •  October 15, 2010, 12:27pm  •  5 votes

And, as everyone neglected to mention, since it's in a title, the "E" would be capitalized in your example even if it weren't at the start of the sentence.

Re: Might could  •  October 10, 2010, 9:06pm  •  6 votes

Before, I said that you can avoid the stacked modal by saying "might be able to". I think I was mistaken. Technically, "might be able to" is the equivalent of "might can". I think that most people

Re: Fora vs Forums  •  October 10, 2010, 3:29pm  •  4 votes

I hate to sound critical, Charlie, but since you seem so adamant, I have to point out that you don't seem to actually understand what the words datum and data actually mean, conceptually. A datum doe

Re: Can every letter be used as a silent letter?  •  October 1, 2010, 6:12pm  •  1 vote

Shaun, I think Chris' point is that there is a "u" there, too. If it were Mariuana, one could make a case that that 'u" would have the same pronunciation without the "j" as with. It's not mari-ana, i

Re: Evident/Evidenced  •  September 27, 2010, 6:02pm  •  2 votes

Oops, when I wrote "The Reserve Bank of India's reverse repo auctions evidences the high liquidity we are experiencing", clearly ...evidences... should have been ...evidence...

Re: Can every letter be used as a silent letter?  •  September 21, 2010, 11:27pm  •  1 vote

How about Worcestershire? There's a whole string of silent letters. Why, it's missing an entire syllable! (traditionally pronounced "woos-ter-sheer" or "wus-ter-shur" or a few other variations). T

Re: Can every letter be used as a silent letter?  •  September 18, 2010, 10:54pm  •  10 votes

Hunter, certainly, "e" is frequently silent. It's often used at the end of a word to modify the preceding consonant, but with no syllable or sound of its own.

Re: Plural s-ending Possessives  •  September 9, 2010, 12:10pm  •  1 vote

Ted, it would be "Mr. and Mrs. Merrill’s newspaper column". Think of it this way. You wouldn't have a problem with the "oneness" of Mr. and Mrs. Merrill, without possesion, would you? It would be

Re: Canadian pronunciation of “out and about”  •  September 4, 2010, 11:06am  •  5 votes

Shaun, dyew and dyuke are also very common in the US. I've never heard mistle for missile anywhere, including the UK and Canada. I have heard missile pronounced as both MISS-ul and MISS-"EYE"-l. I

Re: Use of obscure words like “ebulliate”  •  September 3, 2010, 9:16pm  •  0 vote

I'd say, know your audience and the situation. I assume when you communicate with someone, it's your intention to have them understand you. If that's at risk, consider choosing your words more caref

Re: anything vs. everything  •  August 17, 2010, 6:08pm  •  0 vote

Oops, please disregard "was just about to say ...included in the word anythi" in my post above. Bad cut and paste.

Re: North or northern  •  August 17, 2010, 6:01pm  •  0 vote

Gary seems to have layed out the logic very simply and clearly. It even makes sense from a grammatical standpoint. "Northern" is an attributive adjective, while "north", used as an adjective, is a n

Re: “It is what it is”  •  August 13, 2010, 11:12am  •  6 votes

Yes, RIch. It's amazing just how many seeming profundities are really just disguised tautologies. Politicians are particularly adept at spouting long and meaninless tautological diatribes creating t

Re: Please be advised....  •  August 13, 2010, 11:05am  •  0 vote

We could have some fun with this. “One adam-twelve, be advised, the suspect has turned left and is traveling at a high rate of speed.” "Ten-four, HQ. One adam-twelve is now advised." “One adam-twe

Re: Interrogative use of perhaps/maybe  •  August 13, 2010, 10:56am  •  1 vote

I'll venture a guess that perhaps and maybe aren't often used as part of a properly formed question: yes: "perhaps you'd like another." yes: "perhaps you'd like another?" ("?" informally, to indic

Re: Origin of insincere “oh wait”  •  August 11, 2010, 12:45pm  •  1 vote

I agree, Giselle, especially in an absurd or even unexpected manner. As to the origin, I don't know if we'll ever answer that, but that type of clever redirection might be attributable to some old co

Re: anything vs. everything  •  August 7, 2010, 12:12pm  •  0 vote

And, of course, the words, anything and everything, themselves, are singular.

Re: Resume, resumé, or résumé?  •  August 7, 2010, 12:10pm  •  0 vote

Well, if I understand your last request, others have already posted a number of ways of generating accents, above. I will suggest another that would certainly work when posting here. Simply scroll u

Re: Resume, resumé, or résumé?  •  August 7, 2010, 8:14am  •  1 vote

Maestro, I find it interesting that for someone with such a strong opinion about what is correct, you've used the wrong accent in every case. It's the acute accent, not the grave accent that's used i

Re: anything vs. everything  •  August 6, 2010, 11:11am  •  0 vote

The word "some" is even more tricky. Depending on context, it could mean more than one, but less than all, or it could mean more than one, including all, or it could even mean an unspecified individua

Re: anything vs. everything  •  August 6, 2010, 10:53am  •  3 votes

Douglas, I would agree with most of what you said with a minor exception. I would suggest that anything could imply either a singularity or a plurality. I would even suggest that if you have everyth

Re: anything vs. everything  •  August 5, 2010, 1:41pm  •  12 votes

Since you're asking what the difference is, if you find everything, then, out of all the possible things there are to find, you must find every single one, without exception. On the other hand, if yo

Re: all _____ sudden  •  July 29, 2010, 2:13pm  •  1 vote

Dorothea, you know what's even worse? When "like" is used, not as an interjective, but in place of the word "said": "...and I like, 'what should we do today?' And he like, 'I dunno.' And I like,

Re: “Anglish”  •  July 29, 2010, 1:59pm  •  5 votes

Re: "Just because grammar changes, that doesn’t mean we should say, “oh, grammar changed, to hell with it then, let’s change the words, too." Come on, now. French and Latin didn't make its way in

Re: “Anglish”  •  July 26, 2010, 11:23pm  •  5 votes

Actually, I'm quite curious. If you really and truly strip out every single borrowed word (and don't substitute any archaic ones), and only leave modern words that are directly descended from, oh, I

Re: Adding a question mark to ensure a response  •  July 25, 2010, 6:37pm  •  0 vote

Steve, I'm not saying that the question mark is correct, but if you use a period, you're still asking the other person to decide.

Re: Twenty-ten vs Two thousand-ten  •  July 19, 2010, 12:19pm  •  1 vote

My favorite has always been "the naughts", first heard just before the new millenium.

Re: Resume, resumé, or résumé?  •  July 16, 2010, 12:51pm  •  2 votes

Jack, I'm afraid I have to disagree. To be honest, I think you are even contradicting yourself somewhat. If you imagine that "they" adopt the single accent to help with phonetics, then why isn't tha

Re: Pronunciation: aunt  •  July 15, 2010, 4:49pm  •  1 vote

Nick, how do you pronounce "laugh"?

Re: “I’m just saying”  •  July 15, 2010, 4:36pm  •  2 votes

Jan, are you suggesting that the Urban Dictionary is an irrefutable source of English usage? I think what several people are trying to point out to you is that the Urban Dictionary (by their own admi

Re: Resume, resumé, or résumé?  •  July 11, 2010, 5:23pm  •  0 vote

No, Clancy, I'm not saying that I don't use any accents. I didn't say anything to you about ASCII tables. What I'm saying is exactly what I said, nothing more, and nothing less. The method you ment

Re: Resume, resumé, or résumé?  •  July 11, 2010, 12:36pm  •  0 vote

Clancey, this has been said before, but those methods only work in certain applications like Microsoft Word, Wordpad, etc. They do not work with Notepad or with Windows in general.

Re: “she” vs “her”  •  July 9, 2010, 8:07am  •  2 votes

Regarding "...why on Earth would you prefer to say 'This is my friend Jane. She and I traveled to Kansas together,' rather than 'This is my friend Jane. We traveled to Kansas together'?", already aske

Re: Apostrophes  •  July 8, 2010, 2:14pm  •  0 vote

No, I'm not wrong, William. As I have already mentioned, using an apostrophe to form the plural of dates has only recently been frowned upon, but such usage follows the older, more traditional rule.

Re: I wonder why?  •  July 1, 2010, 11:33pm  •  2 votes

Chris, "Please tell me which of these figures is correct" is ambiguous, at least if you ignore the presence or absence of commas. Clearly, "please tell me, which of these figures is correct?" with a

Re: Oh it’s... “Free”?  •  June 30, 2010, 6:10pm  •  1 vote

Often, putting a single word in quotes in this manner expresses doubt or irony. A free vacation is one that costs you nothing. A "free" vacation is one that includes extra "processing fees", etc., p

Re: The following is... vs. Following is...  •  June 26, 2010, 10:37am  •  8 votes

Blake, while "list of tags" is singular, just "tags" is plural. For brevity, with contraction, it should be "here're your tags", not "here's your tags". I've noticed that this particular case mismat

Re: “she” vs “her”  •  June 24, 2010, 2:22pm  •  1 vote

Make that: "...This subject has already been beaten to death in the descriptive vs. prescriptive debate in other threads on this site..." (Darn that cut and paste.)

Re: “she” vs “her”  •  June 24, 2010, 2:17pm  •  2 votes

Nigel, "me and her" sounds awkward because the convention in "standard" English is to put "me" (or "I" when appropriate) at the end. You'd probably find "her and me" much less objectionable and would

Re: Why “behead” and not “dehead” or “unhead”?  •  June 24, 2010, 12:34pm  •  4 votes

In spite of etymonline.com's description, if behead is really the only privative use of 'be-", then let me offer an alternate etymology. The "be-" in behead is not privative at all. It is actually i

Re: What Rhymes?  •  June 13, 2010, 12:07pm  •  0 vote

Oops, I meant euonymus, the plant, not euronymous, the heavy metal guitarist.

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