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.

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Latest Posts : Style

There is a town called “Two Egg” in Florida USA. My question is; why the egg is not plural there. Also there is something like “Two egg cake”.

Can someone explain it? Actually i am planning to establish a shop. Which one would suit better “two egg” or “two eggs”

Thank you?

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I’ve developed a “tic” for adding - I believe the expression is “postpositively” “is what I’m saying” at the end of a sentence. In usage, it is an intensifier. So I might say “I’ve been noticing that I use this expression a lot, is what I’m saying!”  Typically after some prior exposition on the topic - this becomes the concluding thought. 

Two questions - has anyone else heard anyone else say this? Where does it come from? Where did I pick it up? I’m in the Northeastern US.  Is the expression or any variant from this region?  

It’s awfully similar to “I’m just saying” but my understanding of “I’m just saying” is that it’s somewhat negative - connoting an undercurrent of a wink and a nod.  “...is what I’m saying” doesn’t have that connotation, is what I’m saying. LOL! 

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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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Interesting. thanks!

This makes sense that curb means control and picking up what you can. New Yorkers tend to do this well. Gerard Rotonda

So if people say ont do they say onts in the pants or onts in the ponts?

The company 'are'

Dyske, I don't disagree with you. I would probably use 'it' though, since 'it' was used already (Google said 'it')

Irregardless?

So this word always bothered me because it feels like a word, it's in the dictionary, even though it's classified as a nonstandard. But then I found a few articles that showed that people basically use it in the wrong context. In an informal setting it can be used (correctly) to shut a conversation down, basically an abrupt ending. To me it makes sense, well kind of. It is however, not to be used in a formal setting i.e. essays, speeches, meetings etc. I like to use it now just to upset people ha ha.

The company 'are'

  • Dyske
  • June 29, 2022, 7:42pm

"Google said it would file a lawsuit but did not specify the date."

I'm tempted to use "they" in the example above because I visualize multiple people involved at Google.

“Let his/him come in.”

This is why language can't be taught from a book; it has to be heard to be accurately understood and repeatable--English far less so than, say, Mandarin, but here's one comparatively rare occurrence where emphasis and intonation are crucial to the meaning.

Or is that so rare, in English?

Vaccine doses or dosages?

Dose is a unit.
Dosage is a rate.

trouble to

The examples you found use "trouble" as a verb. Your question is about "trouble" as a noun. The rest of the sentence is an adjective phrase describing what kind of "trouble" and requires a gerund, not the infinitive.