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 : Style

Some authorities (such as IBM and Wikipedia) say that “big data” should not be capitalised, while others say it should be capitalised as “Big Data”.

Logically, it would be capitalised only if it were a proper noun, that is, if it identified a unique individual. For example, “the Internet” refers to the global internet, of which there is only one, so it is capitalised. Big data does not really seem to be like that. In any technical usage, it refers to the use of very large databases, and should therefore be a common noun.

In the popular imagination, however, all instances of big data coalesce into a monstrous global conspiratorial network of databases, called Big Data. It is akin to Deep State.

So, it seems to me that “big data” should be used in any sober context, and “Big Data” reserved for conspiracy theories untethered from objective reality.

But ... in a proofreading context I would have to correct “a Big Data-driven project” to “a big data-driven project”, which is ambiguous as it could mean either “a big project that is driven by data” or “a project that is driven by big data”. 

Any suggestions?

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I need to give a range of percentages. Do I say “somewhere between 40 and 50%?” or “somewhere between 40% and 50%”? Does the percentage sign get assigned to the first value, even though it’s not verbally articulated?

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Is it alright to omit the word “I” in some cases. If I have already been writing about myself and I slip in a sentence that says for example, “Will be in town next week.” Is this acceptable or should I write “I” at the beginning of each sentence?

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The New York Yankees

The Utah Jazz

The Orlando Magic

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A) Must we have fish for dinner again?

B) Shall we have to have fish for dinner again?

C) Will we have to have fish for dinner again?

D) Do we have to have fish for dinner again?

Accepting that (D) is by far the commonest utterance and would express annoyance or lament. roughly the same as “I wish we weren’t having fish again”, my concern is with the other options, particularly (B) which looks “grammatical” but just sounds odd to me. (A) is less common today but seems to go back a long way whereas “have to” is relatively modern, so which sound “normal” to you?

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How do you handle a quote within a quote within a quote in an MLA citation?

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“She said she...” or “She said that she...”

All my life I have received great feedback about my grammar, but these past few years I find myself over thinking it—all the time. It actually causes me to create mistakes where there previously weren’t any. Bizarre? 

One such thing that I have thought too much about is the necessity of “that” in phrases like the above. When would you say it’s necessary? Always? Never? Sometimes? Explain! Thanks!

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Are adverbs something to be avoided like the plague or an inevitable mutation of the English language that we just have to deal with? I’ve heard it said that they’re the mark of a writer who lacks the vocabulary to use powerful words (for example, “He walked slowly” does not carry the weight of “He plodded” or “He trudged”) and the skill to vary their sentence structure. I’ve seen them used in published in professional work, from George R. R. Martin to J.K. Rowling, so it’s not something authors shy away from and, for the most part, the public accepts it without question.

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What is a correct... “A gift of John Doe” or “A gift from John Doe” when referring to a large charitable donation? I like the sound of “of” but not sure which one is right.

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What would be the preferred form of each of these:- 

a) “in hopes of” or “in the hope of” 

b) “a change in plans” or “a change of plan”

c) “apprise” or “inform” 

d) “envision” or “envisage”

I favour the second of each of the above, but no doubt there will be different opinions.

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Latest Comments

A Jew and Jews

Thank you very much for such a detailed explanation. I am interested in the question of Jews not only from the linguistic side, but also from the side of history, politics and their religious beliefs, which are very interesting for me. On the site https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/personal-beliefs/ I read some essays that dealt with personal beliefs, the beliefs of people of different faiths and the Jews interested me the most.

The Term “Foreigner”

Very often in political and economic aspects, the term “Foreigner” is found as a word that denotes not only foreigners, but also refugees. Several books on political science that I have read have used this term for this very purpose. At https://samplius.com/free-essay-examples/refugee/ I read several essays about refugees in my university research and did not come across such a term there. Can you explain what is special?

By the time

I think the amount of time gap between the two actions will dispose us to the use of the tense whatever best fits there . If the gap in the time is considerably of long duration , we tend to use past perfect tense and if the two actions are simultaneous or near simultaneous , we would find it too formal to use the perfect tense and thus we would go in for the progressive tense .

I have the knowledge of the use of this kind in certain announcements that read 'admissions going ' , ' repair works going ' and the like . At first they ,with their apparent lacking of the helping verbs ,hit me right in the eye but having come across the sentences of such kind particularly in advertisements or announcements , I have got used to them .

Where are the commas?

the first one i think lol

He was sat

There is only one correct way of speaking english ! He was sat is a mutilation and to think its coming from the Brits is even more upsetting. PLEASE teachers correct your students because the rest of the world is not impressed .Thank you ... "we are sitting"

It is the same as entering a password then to confirm that password by writing it again. You done get in unless you do. Or attempting to solve a captcha to prove you are not a robot but get it wrong.

Around October 2007. I'll never forget it. A recruiter left a VM for me stating "I saw your resume and decided to reach out to you". I thought it was the oddest and most plastic way to express oneself. Then from that day on, incredibly, almost every day, I began to hear the term used in that manner, more and more frequently.

"so long as" is used by people who are uneducated and repeat phrases they heard without thinking if those statements are logically or grammatically correct. "As long as" is the only correct phrase to mean "under the conditions of." This follows English grammar rules regarding comparisons, whereas the substitution of "so" for "as" is nonsensical since "so" is a qualifier.

Quick Question:

(1) This is she, who is speaking.
(2) This is her, to whom you are speaking.

Are both of those sentences grammatically correct, or only the first one? If the 2nd is not grammatically incorrect, then I could see answering the phone with an abbreviated version of that implied longer sentence, shortening it to "This is her...".

If the 2nd sentence is grammatically incorrect, would the correct formulation then be: "This is she, to whom you are speaking?"