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. 

Thoughts?

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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?

Thanks!

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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

Pronunciation of “often”

@MrsLovewell The tendency to pronounce as spelled has traditionally been stronger in Scotland and America than in England. In an international world where we need to communicate with people from outside our local community, this tendency will probably gradually become stronger in England too.

Live or Living

i am living in B

Pronunciation of “often”

I have no educational credentials to offer here, but I'm going to give my two cents anyway. I just need to say to Skeeter Lewis that your comment "It's based on the fallacious idea that words have to be pronounced as they are spelled" is highly irritating. I live in an area where people make up incredibly annoying spellings for names because they don't believe things need to be pronounced the way they are spelled. People can't just go around creating new spellings for sounds that already exist in the English language and write it off as "words don't have to be pronounced as they're spelled." Just sayin'.

He was sat

  • Eljay
  • August 6, 2018, 6:43pm

I live In Scotland and everyone across the country says “ I was sitting , or I was standing “ . When I go to England or I hear an English person say this sentence, it is always “I was sat , or I was stood “.

If we cast everything into the active voice, there is no confusion.

a) I replaced the old rug with a new one. -> The old rug was replaced with a new one.

b) Plastic bags replaced paper bags. -> Paper bags were replaced by plastic bags.

So, the question is NOT "with" vs "by". The real question is whether

A) Somebody replaces X with Y.

or

B) Y replaces X.

When cast in the passive voice, (B) becomes "X is replaced by Y".

“hate with passion”

  • jaxxon
  • July 21, 2018, 5:38pm

I think the difference is "sing" and "say" are physical things that you can do (I talk, I sing) with emotion. For example, she spoke with passion about the needs of the homeless (acted with feeling).

However, "hate" is an emotion so you really wouldn't say, I feel with feeling. So, it's more I hate with a passion.

Someone else’s

@BrockawayBaby

"The justifications of "passersby" as the proper plural is silly. I know the grammar tyrants like to think it's correct, but think about the following: the word "playoff" is made up, like "passerby," of a noun (passer) and an adjective (by). Under the grammar tyrant rule, the plural of "playoff" should actually be "playsoff.""

This is not a noun + adjective. It's a verb + adverb. The same goes for those other words in your list. 'Passersby' is correct, as is 'playoffs'.

How do you spell out 6.75%?

Tell About

As a native speaker and ESL teacher from California, I personally cringe every time I see “tell about” without an object, yet I keep seeing it written in our school texts.

Past tense of “text”

I have many different arguments about this there is only text-noun,texting-verb,and text-past tense. Also, after reading some of the comments there needs to be a "thumb down" option. For me its not even about their opinion , we all are entitled to one, it is wrong facts that they use to support them.