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 : Pet Peeves

Is anyone annoyed by “double words,” such as:  Were you happy happy?  Was it fixed fixed?  Do you know how to type type?  Now, here’s a doozy:  “He’s in his office office.”  What in the heck does that mean?  I’d appreciate your feedback.

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Just how screwed has our language become?

Why do we hear phrases like:

“If he gets in contact with you”

when there are simpler and more meaningful phrases like:

“If he gets in touch with you”

or

“If he contacts you”.

Why do people have this predilection with “get” or “got”?

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Not content with using “roading” as a noun meaning “the provision and building of roads” the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has now introduced another example of why suits should not be allowed to write signs.

A stretch of motorway on the north side of Auckland is being widened and there is a forest of signs proclaiming “3 laning project in progress”!

GRRRR GNASH GNASH!!                              :)

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I came upon this on their website: “The Senior Management Team at Fettes College have day to day responsibilities for the running of The College. They meet regularly throughout the year and feedback to staff and Governors as appropriate.”

Leaving aside the rather Germanic employment of capital letters on some, but strangely then not all, of the nouns in this statement, and the wholly gratuitous ‘as appropriate’ tacked on to fill up some space, I find most irksome the use here of ‘feedback’ as a verb. I would use two words: ‘feed back’ (a compound verb), or I would insert a verb and say ‘provide feedback’ (noun + verb). In fact I would much prefer to avoid this ugly expression altogether and use a term such as ‘report back to’ or ‘report to’. Am I alone in finding this whole thing rather disappointing for a major British school?

It’s like the sign at Gatwick airport which directs passengers to do something along the lines of ‘check-in here’ where what is meant is ‘check in here’ because ‘check in’, being what you do, is a compound verb, and ‘check-in’, being the name of the place where you do it, is a noun. 

It is very elementary grammar, as taught to me at about the age of eight, noun! verb! and I find it almost incredible that a renowned Scottish public school can be so sloppy, and that a major airport in England, an English-speaking country, does not proof-read what is to be painted in huge letters on its walls. 

On the other hand, one’s reaction to seeing in Phnom Penh, in Cambodia, the “PRINCESSS HOTEL” in huge pink neon lights ranged in a column above the door, has to be mirth, and wondering what the extra S cost the management. It is not as though they could not afford an apostrophe, as in the foyer are life-size photographs of a number of these estimable ladies, so the ‘princesss’ are plural. So it was an ‘e’ which proved beyond budget, then, or a proof-reader. But that of course is forgivable, as it is not in an anglophone country.

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I’m not usually a peever, but I do make an exception for business buzzwords. A recent survey in Britain found that many office workers felt ‘management-speak’  to be ‘a pointless irritation’. Up to now my least favourite has been ‘going forward’, an expression Lucy Kellaway at the Financial Times campaigned against when it first appeared, but to no avail: everyone uses it now, from Obama to Beckham. But the one that I’m increasingly noticing is ‘reach out’. 

Apart from its physical meanings, my dictionary gives this meaning for ‘reach out’:

reach out to somebody - to show somebody that you are interested in them and/or want to help them - “The church needs to find new ways of reaching out to young people.”

Which is fine. But increasingly it seems to be being used simply to mean ‘contact’, especially on tech sites, for no good reason that I can see other than trendiness. Some examples:

‘If you would like any other suggestions or need help with transitioning your current Google Reader RSS feeds, please reach out to a Library’

‘Wired has also reached out to Google for additional comment.’

‘If you want to follow up, feel free to reach out to me by phone.’

I know I’m just an old fuddy-duddy, and these expressions are harmless, but they do niggle a bit. Any comments? Or anyone for Buzzword Bingo?

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It’s one I had not encountered before moving to NZ. Now I hear it and read it almost daily. Yet a Google seach shows 843,000 hits for NZ out of a total of 267,000,000 so it is obviously not restricted to the antipodes.

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My beef is with titled vs entitled. It seems that it is now acceptable to use entitled in the place of titled. For example: Jane won the contest so she was entitled to the winnings. This is correct. Jane wrote a book and it was entitled ‘How to win at the lottery’ In my opinion, the book was not entitled to anything. The misuse of the word is very widespread and supposedly the meaning has now been officially changed.

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Biggest pet peeve: anything that “changed history.” You cannot change what has already happened. It is over and done with. Even if you go back in time and make changes, you have not changed history, because now it never happened the original way. The original events never happened, became “the past,” and were therefore never history! The only history at that point is the one that did take place as a result of changes being made. There is only one history, regardless of sci-fi movies’ time travel themes, etc., and that is why every form of the phrase “to change history” drives me crazy!

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Pet peeve 3

Saying “get in contact’ or “keep in contact”

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As a follow up to Hairy Scot’s pet peeves. One of mine is the American pronunciation of Gala - gey-luh instead of the traditional English gal-uh.

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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