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Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

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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

Pled versus pleaded

Totally agree - 'pled' sounds much better, and it's surprising how fast things change; and for no good reason.

obliged or obligated?

I just love the rainbow display of perceived competence/understanding in the debatement of these 2 words lol..you'll find arguments that range from comically ignorant, to simple but precise, all the way up to over elaborately intelligent. Its great! (Is over elaborately even a "word"/grammatically correct in this case? I initially typed, "...overly elaborately intelligent[.]", but ultimately chose to edit it. Looks like I found the next subject of/to^ debate! ^ Which is correct; '..subject of debate[!]' or '..subject to debate[!]'? Look at that, I found yet another!)
Although I am being genuine in what I've just written, I also did so to illustrate just how endless the list is when it comes to the amount of things that can be debated over when it comes to language-ESPECIALLY the English language. While some of them do actually have a clear/concise right or wrong answer, many are subjective to culture, location, topic, situation, &/or opinion. This topic def belongs to the latter. You would have to assess the context of the situation in order to choose which form of the word is more fitting. However, as a [very] general rule, I typically see/use/refer to 'obligated' as more of a negative sense of the word &'obliged' as the more positive sense. I can actually remember the specific situation that developed my understandings in this manner..it goes all the way back to me being 8 years old watching the timeless,classic Tim Allen movie, Jungle 2 Jungle (which is still as entertaining to watch now as it was then) when his young teen/pre-teen son(who has come to live with him in urban America after being raised in some village tribe that most would refer to as 'uncivilized') asks him what 'obligated' means, when Tim Allens character is explaining to him that he has to leave for the day to go to work. He explains it as, "..something that I have to do that I don't necessarily want to do." Tims character has a gf who is very unaccepeting of his son&his odd ways of behaving& during a phone conversation with her, Tims character uses the word 'obligated' when it came to what his reasons were for going to get his son/allowing him to stay there,which his son over hears and obviously gets upset. Because he now thinks his dad never wanted him to come home with him, he only did it because he had no choice. If you haven't seen the movie, you need to stop what you're doing right now,& go watch it. You can thank me later. Anyways, that's my take on this matter.. Hopefully it's of some use to someone.

Green eyes

  • Facts
  • May 4, 2021, 1:30am

It mean you are jealous

Green eyes

  • Facts
  • May 4, 2021, 1:29am

It means you are jealous

I would think the astonishment would come from your usage. No, I have never heard of homely as a synonym of homey. I can understand how it could be. Ly usually means like when added to the end of a word, so like home, homely. It has been used to mean unattractive quite commonly and so would be impolite in certain circles as there is no need to embarrass or demean others, beauty is only skin deep. That saying. What is beyond beauty? Well, I guess warmth and love.

Regardless

From Webster's dictionary.

Is irregardless a word?
Irregardless was popularized in dialectal American speech in the early 20th century. Its increasingly widespread spoken use called it to the attention of usage commentators as early as 1927. The most frequently repeated remark about it is that "there is no such word." There is such a word, however. It is still used primarily in speech, although it can be found from time to time in edited prose. Its reputation has not risen over the years, and it is still a long way from general acceptance. Use regardless instead.

Regardless

Irregardless didn't used to be a word; it was substandard. But along with other words, it was abused so much, they decided to make it a word with the same meaning as regardless. It sickens me to see this happen. Irregardless makes no sense.

in that regard

Thanks for the clarification. A nugget in writing fiction and the show don't tell edict: when the character is a bit stiff and out of his element, employing formal stilted speech is a lovely device to describe just how awkward he feels without 'telling' the reader. Take care and I'll be back. Wonderful website. #writerresource

Saya mau diamond ff please

Saya mau diamond ff please