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

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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 : Usage

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?

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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?

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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. 


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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?

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

Trump’s “ask the gays” statement:

- what exactly is wrong with it grammatically?


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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!

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Could somebody please explain the problem with “as such”? I understand the frustration with its incorrect usage as a synonym for “therefore” or “thus”, but the response thereagainst wants to banish its usage entirely. I am confident that I am using it correctly, but I am constantly being directed to remove it from my papers nevertheless. Could you explain its proper usage?

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I noticed in reports of the recent GOP debate a number of instances where the phrase “Person A debated Person B.” was used rather than “Person A debated with Person B.” Is this common in USA?

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Is it escaped prison or escaped from prison?

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From my local medical centre’s web page:-

“The carpark at xxxxxx Health & Wellness Centre is now limited to 180 minutes. Cars parked longer than this and not displaying an exemption permit will be infringed with a $65 parking fine. This is intended to keep the carpark free for patients and customers of the building only. Unauthorised parkers leaving their vehicles in our carpark all day will be infringed.”

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Latest Comments

I feel that legos is correct, and evolved much like the verb google (from the brand Google) has become. No one is going to say Lego bricks or blocks, they're going say legos.

So, I support the pluralized version and will probably continue with that, since it is about all I hear. To satiate the masses, I would distinguish with a capitalized version. Lego = brand and legos is pluralized version of where the branded item has evolved.


The attributive use of 'chary' appears to work well. The word chary is less commonly used than wary and may be used to connote a slightly different tone in context with its use.

As an attributive term it is very descriptive; it seems to be more interesting and less cautionary than the more familiar term 'wary'.

Me neither is in no wY a double negative. “Me” is not negative but “neither” IS!

It is difficult to pronounce “me either” because you have to pu in a glottal stop before the “e” unless “either” is the first word of the sentence. Without the glottal stop you must say “meether”.

Reading these comments just confirms what I've been sure about for years - that there's total confusion about this. It's beyond me how the English speaking world got to the moon when not only can we not agree about what "next Wednesday" means but when most people don't even realise what a minefield for miscommunication it is!
I avoid using the word "next" in this context as much as possible, try to use language that can't be misunderstood and - to their bemusement - almost always check what exactly people mean.

‘S (apostrophe+S) versus OF

Not my first language, and yes it makes me crazy just to find an explanation to distinguish when to use these two. Can I just said that apostrophe+s is possessive but OF is more like the characteristic?

On Tomorrow

I've only heard black people use "on." Definitely not a southern thing, maybe just a southern BLACK thing. They have their own version of English. Lmfao

I actually googled "pronunciation of strong" and came upon this site. It's something that I notice and wonder about often. I had a friend back in elementary school who pronounces "str" like "shtr." Every time I hear it, I think of her. I was guessing it's the way someone's mouth is shaped, like a minor speech impediment. I still don't know what to think of it but I hear it often.

eat vs. have breakfast

Good job by your side ! Keep it up

Use my brain or brains?

After reading these comments, my brains are more confused than ever before.