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 : Misc

I thought you could put /s/ on a copy of a signed letter to indicate the original had been signed. Right or wrong?

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Can anyone tell me why the second ‘a’ in Canada and Canadian is pronounced differently? 

I’m English/British and I and from England/Britain.

Surely it should either be Can-a-da & Can-a-dian or Can-ay-da & Can-ay-dian...

My guess is it has something to do with the French influence, but I would love to know for sure.

Here in the UK our language has been heavily influenced over the years, including by the French and it has always interested where these things start or change.

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I was in empty space in an elevator one day when it occurred to me that it’s actually “pains-taking”, the taking of pains to do something thoroughly. I’d never thought about it before.

But it’s too hard to pronounce “painz-taking”, because the “z” sound must be voiced; whereas the unvoiced “s” combines easily with the “t” to make “-staking”, so that’s what we say. That’s my theory, but BrE might be different. Is it?

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Why does the Western media have so many different spellings for some Arabic terms?

eg:

1. hezbollah hesbollah hizbullah hizbollah hisbollah

2. ayatollah ayatullah

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I’m having a custom item made to indicate when our home was established.  The year will be the year my husband and I were married and started our family.  My issue is I’m not sure how our name should appear.  Here is the text.

The (LAST NAME)

Est. 2008

Our last name is Myers.  Please help!  I’m not sure if it should be possessive (ownership of the home/family) or plural (for the people).

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At the clinic I was directed to the “subwait area” and left to ponder my fate. I did wonder whether this should be sub-wait and how fully portable “sub” has become as a preposition and/or prefix, when attached to a Germanic-rooted word. What other words are there where “sub” is used as an English word, apart from phrases like “sub judice” and “sub” as a short form of “substitute” eg in sport “he was subbed off”?

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Can you please comment on a trend that I have noticed recently. More and more people seem to be pronouncing words that contain the letters “str” as if they were written “shtr”. Strong sounds like shtrong, strange sounds like shtrange, and so on. I have noticed even my favorite NPR journalists mispronouncing these words. I first noticed this pronunciation in one of Michelle Obama’s early speeches. I’d appreciate any insight that you might have.

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I have always believed, probably in common with most Scots, that the pronunciation of “gill” varies depending on whether one is referring to the organ of respiration in fishes and other water-breathing animals ( /ɡɪl/ ), or a measure of liquid (/dʒɪl/ ), or even one of the many other variations of the word. I was therefore somewhat surprised recently when watching an episode of QI to hear the erstwhile Stephen Fry and his guests use /ɡɪl/ for both the fishy organ and the liquid measure..

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Does anyone know if there are rules governing the pronunciation of “a”? It’s either “AYE” or “UH”, depending on the word following. My preference is dictated by how it sounds and how it flows off the tongue, but I have never been able to establish if actual rules exist.

Americans and Australians tend to use “AYE” all the time and sometime it just sounds ridiculous, like...”Aye man driving aye car stopped at aye traffic light”

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What diacritic would I use over the word YANA to accent the first a as an “ah” (short o) sound. It is pronounced Yahna. Thanks!

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Texted

The term "Texted" is an incorrect past tense representation of the verb, or of the referenced noun text. The verb text has always been past: text, Present: (text later with cell phones texting, showing present form), and Future: text.

Incorrect language: we had texted.
Any competent English teacher can tell you what is wrong with that statement.
You do not use the past perfect in a later action. Please ask a credible Professor.

The term texted is a term made up in the later 1990's to early 2000's. It was a slang used by some whom did not understand tense in the English language. Putting in Wikipedia and others, till they repeat/accept it, does not make it correct language.

Yes, I understand, the English language isn't easy. We All make mistakes! It would seem as a natural progression to just add "ed" to the end of text thus creating texted. However, that addition is in contradiction to the basic rules of English. If teachers of English would have been more educated in the texted orgin, they would have fixed this before it started.

Thanks for listening, all education can be difficult, and the English language is one made more so, because it is the melting pot of most languages on the planet.

Victorian Era English

Started by Hutu nationalists in the capital of Kigali, the genocide spread throughout the country with shocking speed and brutality, as ordinary citizens were incited by local officials and the Hutu power government to take up arms against their neighbours

s/he

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s/he

The main problem with "s/he" is this: how the hell is it pronounced?

This is silly. Ignorance with an air of superiority. The rules of modern standard British English don't necessarily apply to all other variants. One example, is this, 'bring' and 'take'.

In Irish English, and from Irish, tóg, meaning take, traditionally was used primarily to 'take' possession of something (from someone). Take a sweet! So you can take something given to you or you could steal it. Something is 'changing hands'. But there was 'no movement of travel', so traditionally it would be, (take the kids 'from me') and bring them to school. Will you bring the kids to school? In Irish English, you bring the kids TO school and then you bring them home FROM school (One verb is enough, no need to reference 'taking possession') You bring food (with you) to the party. No one ate any of it. You (take it and) bring it home with you at the end of the night.

Of course, you can TAKE an umbrella, BUT WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH IT....""BRING"" it with you, therefore 'BRING AN UMBRELLA in case it rains!'

In Br-En you use TAKE (for bringing something/someone) from HERE to THERE.
I am taking the kids TO SCHOOL. Take that to them.
and you only BRING from THERE to HERE.
I am bringing the kids home FROM SCHOOL. Bring that to me!

Weird snobbery across these posts. Likely due to the British 'take/bring' directionality rule becoming commonplace. Still silly though.

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A pure second conditional would have both an unreal present (or future) condition and result: "If I studied hard, I would get a good grade"

"Lego" is the plural of "Lego."
I would no more look at a bunch of branded, plastic pieces and call them "Legos" than I would look at slices of bread and call them "breads."
It's the same. It's a slice of bread, a loaf of bread; it's a piece of Lego, a Lego brick a Lego set, a pile of Lego. It's not "a bread" and it's not "a Lego," either.
And just because a bunch of people say it that way doesn't make it any more acceptable. Unless, of course, they all started saying "breads," too.

Past tense of “text”

Past tense of "text" is text' as in "he text' her his reply"
The implied "ed" is not spoken, much as in the same way that the "s" is not added or pronounced when we attribute ownership to a name ending in "s" e.g. "the robe belongs to Jesus" or "that is Jesus' robe" not "Jesus's"

Wholeheartedly agree