Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with passion. Learn More

Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with passion. Learn More

Discussion Forum

This is a forum to discuss the gray areas of the English language for which you would not find answers easily in dictionaries or other reference books.

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Latest Posts : Coinage

I’ve been listening to Van Morrison’s “Friday’s Child” for quite some time now because I love this song so much. I tried to look up the meaning of ” Friday’s Child” but onbly found a reference to an old rhyme. Can anybody tell me the meaning of the saying “Friday’s Child” and when and why it is used? Many thanks.

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Am I alone in despairing when I hear phrases like:

  • “We played brilliant.”
  • “He did it wrong.” (or more commonly “He done it wrong.”)
  • “He behaved stupid.”

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Some people think that there is a difference in meaning between “in that regard” and “in that respect”, some believe that a lot of phrases using “regard” or “regards” are in fact making inappropriate use of the word, and of course some think there is nothing wrong with such usage.

Does anyone else think that the phrase “In that regard” is overused and misused?

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Is there any defense of capitalizing after a semicolon? This reads well to me:

We do not sell tricycles; We sell velocipedes. 

Learn the difference.

Not capitalizing the first word of the second clause diminishes the perceived parallelism:

We do not sell tricycles; we sell velocipedes.

The store around the corner sells bicycles.

With a period between them, the first two clauses read like the premises of a syllogism:

We do not sell tricycles. We sell velocipedes.

Do we sell unicycles?

I will continue, of course, to pen as I please, but, in this instance, wonder if I can confidently publish as I please.

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Is separating two coordinating-conjunction-linked sentences, the former having a comma(s), with a semicolon instead of a comma logically justified?

In GrammarBook.com’s Semicolons category, Rule 5. reads:

Use the semicolon between two sentences joined by a coordinating conjunction when one or more commas appear in the first sentence.

Examples: When I finish here, I will be glad to help you; and that is a promise I will keep.

If she can, she will attempt that feat; and if her husband is able, he will be there to see her.

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The AP Stylebook today announced that electronic mail is now spelled without a hyphen: email. Finally. I personally haven’t used “e-mail” in about a decade. We have a thread here on this topic of how to properly spell email.

http://painintheenglish.com/case/4463

At the time, I commented that it may take another 10 years for this to settle, but it took less than a year!

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How does one know exactly when a word is supposed to end with -“ise” vs -“ize” in Oxford spelling?

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Onamography is a writing technique that involves creatively incorporating proper nouns (company names, celebrities, etc.) in regular English sentences.

A few examples to clarify the concept:

Onnicle 1: The man at the bar acknowledged that he found the job amateurish. Onnicle 2: The SMS said..Bob ill. The rag ate sick shellfish!

The first sentence has ‘Barack Obama’ embedded in it and the second one has Bill Gates. The concept can be extended to include multiple names in a paragraph.

I’ve been trying to find out if there is already a technical name in English to describe it. Onamography is a coined word (Greek origin: onuma --> name, graphe --> writing) as I couldn’t find anything else that comes close to describing the concept.

Any inputs?

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Have you noticed that, at trendy cafes, more than half of the laptop computers you see are the new MacBooks? (Well, at least in New York City.) I don’t mean any MacBook; I’m talking about the latest MacBook (”the brick”). In fact, I believe seeing the older versions of MacBooks is rarer than seeing PC laptops.

If these people are deciding to work at cafes for practical reasons, then the laptop demographic should be much more diverse, with a lot more PCs and older versions of MacBook, but this is not what I see. The demographic is heavily skewed towards the latest models of MacBook. So, I would have to conclude that the reason why these MacBook owners come out to cafes is because they want to show off their brand new MacBooks.

It would makes sense, therefore, to coin a term for showing off your MacBook at a cafe. I’ve struggled with this for a while, and this morning, I decided that it should be “Mac off”.

“Hey, honey. I’m gonna go Mac off at the Starbucks for a few hours, OK?”

“At a cafe in Williamsburg, I saw about a dozen people sitting in a row Mac’ing off.”

“I bought the new MacBook Pro last week, but I haven’t Mac’ed off yet.”

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If you have a kid and a stroller, I’m sure you’ve experienced this many times. You hang a lot of stuff from the handle of the stroller, and when the kid jumps out of it, the whole thing topples over.

One of my friends wants a word for this (a verb). I tried to think of one, but I couldn’t come up with a good one. (”Stropple”, for instance, isn’t so good because the sound of it lacks the impact of the actual event.) Can anyone think of one?

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Latest Comments

This phrase has irritated me for so long that lately every time I receive an email from a coworker who is going to 'reach out' to some one else I want to give that email a nice delete and forget about it!

How about we call it 1st of an annual event if you feeL you must have 1st annual and then you might add unless interfered with an act of GOD; whereby, you may better use inaugural/final as God wills it.

can you use an uncountable noun as a countable one?
Is it okay to say I play musics? Do you give people advices? I would like some informations about this. And if I'm wrong that would be extraordinary newses.
I'm not saying I don't have excess baggagess, but I find it important to use our intelligences to get this right.
I can feel the electricitys in the air about this topic and I'm willing to put moneys on it... I don't care, I'll even wager some rices too. I'd bet all the petrols at the refinery too. Golds? I'll buy some to bet against your supply of lumbers.

Hit me up, we can discuss it over coffees, while we watch the tennises down by the concretes.

If this comment does your head in, then you are proof that it's LEGO, not LEGOs.

Thank you for such a visual explanation of the subject. I think it will be useful for many students. I advise those who want to master grammar at an excellent level to use training videos on YouTube, in which experienced teachers tell the grammar rules of the English language in an accessible form. I found more than a hundred videos on this topic there and noticed that most of them were posted by channels with about 23 thousand subscribers! I am sure this is because the authors of such channels used the services of http://soclikes.com/ in order to wind up subscribers for YouTube.

Cool insformation, thank you!

“hate with passion”

  • venqax
  • February 25, 2021, 6:33pm

I think you're correct to say that including "a" in all the examples slightly changes the meaning of the phrase. Both a'ed and a-less seem grammatically fine. I would also say that "hate with a passion", specifically, is an idiomatic expression, so somewhat immune to routine rules. You done good. It ain't over till it's over.

I would say that with the use of "not only", the "also" is simply redundant, and so unnecessary. The "but" might not even be needed, though just being concise for its own sake isn't always the best way to go.

"Not only did George buy the house, but he remodeled it."

By the time

  • venqax
  • February 25, 2021, 6:06pm

I think either would be okay, grammatically. As others have said, in this case "was starting" might be more specific and therefore informative, if in fact the film was just beginning. Saying "had started" is more ambiguous about how long it had been running. If it had been going for, say, half an hour, you probably wouldn't say it was starting, but might still say it had started.

Just curious, but what is "resubstantial" intended to mean, in context?

Fora vs Forums

I love your pop up. Just clicked "no" on the "need a proofreader" question and was greeted with: "OK, genius. Good luck." The next time I do need a proofreader, you will be my first stop. All the best!