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 a 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 a 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.

Do You Have a Question?

Submit your question

Latest Posts : Usage

Andrew Cuomo, in his popular COVID press conferences, often uses the words “dose” and “dosage” interchangeably (at least so it seems). Here is an example:

“We have the operational capacity to do over 100,000 doses a day — we just need the dosages.”

Here is another:

“To date, New York has administered 2.5 million dosages, with about 10% of New Yorkers receiving their first dose. Ninety-two percent of dosages allocated to the state to date have been used.”

I thought “dosage” refers to the amount in a dose, like x milligrams. A single dosage can have multiple milligrams, so, when you pluralize “dosage,” what exactly are you referring to, if not the number of doses?

Read Comments

I recently ran across the working word in a document that was: “re-substantial.”

Even if it were only listed as "resubstantial," my question is this: Is this even a real word? If it is, what on earth does it actually mean?

Your help is greatly needed.

Read Comments

Is it grammatically ok to use the adjective “respective” with a singular noun ?

Many dictionaries such as Longman define the term “respective” as follows.

used before a plural noun to refer to the different things that belong to each separate person or thing mentioned.

But, I often see “respective” used with a singular noun as follows (cited from an Internet site).

Each of the Division’s three regional offices - in Chicago, New York, and San Francisco - handles criminal matters arising in its respective area and serves as the Division’s liaison with U.S. attorneys, state attorneys general, and other regional law enforcement agencies.

I wonder if the above usage is now common, though it is gramatically incorrect.

Read Comments

In our office we are advocates for our client and in representing what we do with a client we have times that we advocate for our clients. I am under the impression that you can advocate for your client to do something with them and several of my co workers disagree stating that you can only advocate for them to receive something with another provider or resource. Who is corrent? examples:

Can you correctly say:

“the care support provider provided advocacy in encouraging the client to participate in therapy” or the “Care manager advocated with the client to participate in therapy weekly.”

Can we advocate for a client to do something that they are recommended to do. Using advocated in the place of “encouraged”

office question responses appreciated.

Read Comments

In some recent fiction books written by American authors, I have seen the word “acclimated” as in “...she took a day to become acclimated to her new area.”

Shouldn’t this word be “acclimatised” or is this a case of American’s using one word and New Zealanders using another, both for the same purpose?

Read Comments

I’m reviewing a New Zealand scientific report which uses the word ‘equivalency’. This sounds to me like an Americanisation of the word ‘equivalence’, both being nouns but with the redundancy of an additional syllable in ‘equivalency’.

As we use British English (despite word processing software trying to force American English upon us) I’m inclined to use ‘equivalence’.  What do you think?

Read Comments

It grates every time I hear a local radio traffic reporter say “there is an accident just prior to the Erindale Rd turn-off.” 

I believe I’m right in thinking the word ‘prior’ is more correctly used in a time context, meaning earlier than or sooner than. 

Thoughts?

Read Comments

In American Grammar specifically, there is a somewhat new trend of referring to a singular collective as a plural noun. For example, “The band are playing at the Hall tonight.” To which I want to reply “It are?” While the British and Canadians have never understood the concept of singular collectives such as large companies or the aforementioned musical groups known by a name such as Aerosmith or Saint Motel, but why is this becoming popular in America where singular collectives have been referred to, until recently, as a singular entity? It’s on the radio, it’s on TV commercials and even in print. Are singular collectives now plural?

Read Comments

Hi everyone, I’ve got an interesting question from my student:

Trump’s “ask the gays” statement:

- what exactly is wrong with it grammatically?

Thanks!

Read Comments

I would like to know if it is correct to use the adjective “key” predicatively. I was taught that this word is like the adjective “main,” which can only be used in the attributive position. I’ve seen sentences like “This is key to the success of the plan,” but I remember typing something similar and the word processor marked it immediately as wrong. I think both “key” and “main” are special, (irregular, if you want) adjectives (in fact, they have no comparative forms) and feel they should be treated accordingly. I’ve never seen something like “This book is main in our course.” We will normally say “This is the main book in our course.” Thank you for your help!

Read Comments

Latest Comments

Pled versus pleaded

That is a cogent observation: pleaded is indeed more emotional (or describes a situation involving more emotion). The change in citations in the media observed and commented on by many respondents can be laid at the feet of the two big style manuals (Chicago and AP) who--for reasons of their own, one must assume--laid down the law about that time.
As some clever wag said, "He pled guilty, then pleaded with his wife to forgive him."
A reporter at a rural Oregon newspaper that carried my syndicated language column ("The Language We Use") back in the '80s raised the question then--and I feel uneasy to this day that I never addressed the issue in my column.
Life in Tropical North Queensland helps assuage any feelings of guilt, so I plead with you not to blame me.

Five by Five

It’s a military meaning. Communications rating from 1-5. 5 being great.

English being my fourth language, you are all confusing me. I spent my precious time reading all your comments, but all I got was nothing but confusion.

Is it sunday or sunduh?

My mother, who grew up in St. Louis as did my grandparents, used to say sunduh. I never really questioned her about it.

“she” vs “her”

  • whodat
  • January 21, 2023, 3:38pm

If "elizabethingram" is still in her probation period of employment, this company needs to FIRE her IMMEDIATELY!!!!!! ANYONE and I mean ANYONE who doesn't know correct English ONLY makes the company for which he/she works look beyond inferior!!! Does ANY company wish to be perceived as inferior??????????????

Old post, I know, but I just came across here somehow and wanted to share an old 1962 paper I came across recently about the origin of "O.K."

There was a Boston fad of, what Allen Read calls, "humourous misspellings" and abbreviations. O.K was likely formed from a humourous misspelling of "Oll Korrect"

"The author who popularized misspelling as a humorous device in America was George W. Arnold (I783-I838), who wrote letters under the pen name "Joe Strickland" from 1825 to 1830. The following passage is characteristic:

Konstanty Nople, Jennywerry, 1828

Deer & lovin unkle Ben,

I spoze you thort kaze I was so darn fur of that I wasnt goen tu rite yu agin. but iph you think I kan evver forgit yew, ur Ant Nabby yew are tarnally mistaken, kaze I should remember yew iph I waz tother side ov awl1e kreashun. not by a darn site-un iph I evver git Bak agin i'll be hang'd if yew evver ketch me in this kutthrote kuntry agin. taint half so good as oald Varmount-I kum plaigy neer starvin tu deth afore I got here, we hadn't northen under hevven tu ete haff the time only Dry Kod fish un taters-finally and tarnally arter an evverlastin long pasage we got heer. i'de bin see sik awl the time, un had pritty neer spewd my gizard up, til by the lord harry I wa'rnt much bigger round than Dekon Bigalows pichfork handel-when I got hear tha axt me if I was evver in Turky before, no ses I. but i've had a darn menny turkys in me-i'de aleys heerd a plaigy deel about, Turky in Urop, in the gogfry when I went tu skool tu Ikabud Krane, whare I larnt tu Spell-un by the jumpin jingo my mouth wartered az soon as I landed.""

The entire paper is definitely a fun read and I highly recommend checking it out!

Read, Allen W. (19 July 1941). "The Evidence on O.K.". Saturday Review of Literature.

The best solution may be to avoid the awkward use of my/mine:

"Greg and I so appreciate you taking our child to school today."

Mentee?

"Mentee" smacks more than a little of "the Kingfish" on radio's "Amos 'n' Andy." "Now, you see, Andy, I is the mentor and you is the mentee!" Maybe that's one reason I hate it!

Mentee?

"Mentee" smacks more than a little of "the Kingfish" from radio's "Amos 'n' Andy." "Now, you see, Andy, I is the mentor, and you is the mentee!" Maybe that's one reason I hate it.

Pronunciation: aunt

Grew saying “ont” (from Manhattan). It’s weird to say “ant” and I don’t know that I could ever bring myself to say it consistently even though I live in the mountain west region now. Sometimes I say “ant” so I don’t get funny or confused looks, but it feels odd whenever I say it.