Comments for Pain in the English https://painintheenglish.com Forum for the gray areas of the English language Sun, 26 Mar 2017 08:21:38 +0000 hourly 1 Comment on First annual vs. second annual by jayles the ungodly https://painintheenglish.com/case/925/#comment-27223 jayles the ungodly Sat, 25 Mar 2017 11:02:59 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/925/#comment-27223 @Lisa: biennial

]]>
Comment on First annual vs. second annual by Lisa at Gala Calendar https://painintheenglish.com/case/925/#comment-27222 Lisa at Gala Calendar Sat, 25 Mar 2017 10:11:48 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/925/#comment-27222 What happens if you skip a year?

]]>
Comment on “40 and 50%” vs. “40% and 50%” by Hairy Scot https://painintheenglish.com/case/5766/#comment-27221 Hairy Scot Sat, 25 Mar 2017 01:12:10 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/5766/#comment-27221 I'd say that when using the % sign it would be "between 40% and 50%" but when spelling it out "between 40 and 50 percent" would be adequate.

]]>
Comment on “40 and 50%” vs. “40% and 50%” by jayles the ungodly https://painintheenglish.com/case/5766/#comment-27220 jayles the ungodly Thu, 23 Mar 2017 06:14:15 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/5766/#comment-27220 It depends on what you are writing. In a legal document one might spell it out unambiguously as "between forty percent and fifty percent". Elsewhere omitting the first percentage sign may well be clear enough.

]]>
Comment on “if he were alive, he would be” vs. “would have been” by jayles the ungodly https://painintheenglish.com/case/5771/#comment-27219 jayles the ungodly Thu, 23 Mar 2017 06:09:36 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/5771/#comment-27219 There is a good explanation of mixed conditionals here:
http://random-idea-english.blogspot.co.nz/2011/02/more-on-condtionals-third-and-mixed.html

If I remember correctly, there is a comment in Michael Lewis's "Lexical Approach" (1993) that in conditional sentence one just uses the appropriate tense and modal. If we construe "would" as a modal subjunctive indicating a counter-factual situation, and "have been" as a perfect infinitive indicating the situation is in the past, then this does not sit well with the time adverb "today".

However, I do believe that in some areas, such as Quebec, usage may be different, so there may be some wiggle-room here.

]]>
Comment on Where are the commas? by dionne https://painintheenglish.com/case/4/#comment-27218 dionne Tue, 21 Mar 2017 13:35:31 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/4/#comment-27218 I was lead to believe it was Sally.

]]>
Comment on “Can I get” vs. “May I have” by Caroline https://painintheenglish.com/case/230/#comment-27217 Caroline Tue, 21 Mar 2017 10:53:24 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/230/#comment-27217 As far as I can discern, it is neither impolite nor polite. However, it is incorrect. "Can I get [something]?" implies that the person is asking whether it is possible that they, themselves, are able to go and fetch or obtain something e.g. "Can I get petrol there?" or because they are asking whether another person would like something that they could obtain on their behalf, for example "Can I get you a drink?"

If they are asking a waiter, bartender, shop assistant or other person serving if they would go and fetch something for them on their behalf, they should ask the question "May I have/can I have/could I have" and similar variants preferably with "please" in there somewhere!

]]>
Comment on Writing out percentages correctly by Joanna Said https://painintheenglish.com/case/859/#comment-27216 Joanna Said Tue, 21 Mar 2017 08:58:58 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/859/#comment-27216 I am wondering how you say this percentage in words:
.00011 percent.
Is it something like:
One hundredth and one thousandth of one percent??

I am trying to show how SMALL 1100 parts per billion is...

Thank you,

Joanna

]]>
Comment on hanged vs. hung by Maya https://painintheenglish.com/case/503/#comment-27215 Maya Mon, 20 Mar 2017 23:48:48 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/503/#comment-27215 I want to know , which is the correct sentence to use when your laptop freeezes. Like , " My laptop hung up or my laptop hanged or my laptop is hung

]]>
Comment on fill in the blanks! by Hstegall https://painintheenglish.com/case/313/#comment-27214 Hstegall Mon, 20 Mar 2017 10:56:57 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/313/#comment-27214 I have a release of all claims and above the notary & witness signatures, there is this statement:
WITNESS___________ hand and seal this ______ day of _________, 2017; what is put in after WITNESS?

]]>
Comment on Past tense of “text” by Monocle https://painintheenglish.com/case/474/#comment-27213 Monocle Mon, 20 Mar 2017 00:35:38 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/474/#comment-27213 Spelt: texed
Pronounced: texd or text... as one can't really hear the difference.
Easy way to get over that troublesome t thing.

]]>
Comment on Past tense of “text” by Monocle https://painintheenglish.com/case/474/#comment-27212 Monocle Mon, 20 Mar 2017 00:35:31 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/474/#comment-27212 Spelt: texed
Pronounced: texd or text... as one can't really hear the difference.
Easy way to get over that troublesome t thing.

]]>
Comment on Past tense of “text” by Althea Tanton https://painintheenglish.com/case/474/#comment-27211 Althea Tanton Sun, 19 Mar 2017 23:35:58 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/474/#comment-27211 So would you use text or texts for multiple text messages. For some reason it bothers me to hear/read "texts". What's appropriate?

]]>
Comment on Is it acceptable to say “higher than” when you mean “as high as”? by colin https://painintheenglish.com/case/5734/#comment-27210 colin Sat, 18 Mar 2017 19:28:00 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/5734/#comment-27210 No, it is NOT correct.

To say that the Eiffel Tower is as high as a giraffe's balls is NOT to state the situation accurately, nor to do justice to the Eiffel Tower's verticle dimension.

]]>
Comment on “Defeat to” by KK Brown https://painintheenglish.com/case/5541/#comment-27209 KK Brown Sat, 18 Mar 2017 18:32:24 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/5541/#comment-27209 I suppose that "defeat to" has (reluctantly) become acceptable if spoken in an American or 'Northern' English accent (or on the BBC), but one hopes that it never becomes standard in the Home Counties ! * W I N K *

]]>
Comment on Pronunciation: aunt by lamita https://painintheenglish.com/case/585/#comment-27208 lamita Sat, 18 Mar 2017 09:40:18 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/585/#comment-27208 lol

]]>
Comment on What is the word for intentionally incorrect spelling? by jamaica magoncia https://painintheenglish.com/case/644/#comment-27205 jamaica magoncia Fri, 17 Mar 2017 16:54:59 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/644/#comment-27205 a person who is poor in spelling and is bad in handwriting is called CACOGRAPHER. He has CACOGRAPHY

]]>
Comment on Is “leverage” a verb? by lynn sorenson https://painintheenglish.com/case/5392/#comment-27204 lynn sorenson Thu, 16 Mar 2017 10:19:07 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/5392/#comment-27204 You need someone to proof read this "http://painintheenglish.com/case/5392/" page.

]]>
Comment on First Generation vs. Second Generation by Generation Confusion https://painintheenglish.com/case/580/#comment-27203 Generation Confusion Wed, 15 Mar 2017 22:40:20 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/580/#comment-27203 If I am a 4th generation American and my husband is a 1st generation American what generation are my kids? 5th or 2nd?

]]>
Comment on Someone else’s by Stephen B. https://painintheenglish.com/case/4156/#comment-27202 Stephen B. Wed, 15 Mar 2017 20:13:54 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/4156/#comment-27202 else's is technically incorrect. I hate to disagree with all your other comments, and it is certainly common usage, but it is incorrect. In speech it is awkward, in writing this is the correct usage:
somebody's else
anybody's else
nobody's else
etc. therefore MS Windows is correct when spell check underlines it.

]]>
Comment on There was/were a pen and three pencils... by samurott https://painintheenglish.com/case/4374/#comment-27201 samurott Wed, 15 Mar 2017 08:32:09 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/4374/#comment-27201 i think we should say there is instead of there are in this sentence:
near the bank, there ... a post office, a hospital and a school.
Am i right?

]]>
Comment on “pi the type” by kathleen hallman adams https://painintheenglish.com/case/2585/#comment-27200 kathleen hallman adams Tue, 14 Mar 2017 18:25:58 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/2585/#comment-27200 As a child hanging out and occasionally helping out in our little Blue Ridge weekly newspaper, The Floyd Press (formerly The Mountain Boomer...named after a squirrel!) where my Daddy was the Editor & Publisher and my Grandmother set the type, I heard "Pi" more than once when a somebody dropped a form. It was cussing, as far as we knew...and we'd lay low while somebody would read the type backwards and figure out where it fit again.

]]>
Comment on Please be advised.... by Klarenca https://painintheenglish.com/case/3612/#comment-27199 Klarenca Tue, 14 Mar 2017 03:03:58 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/3612/#comment-27199 I can't believe people get upset about things like this. #FirstWorldProblems

]]>
Comment on couple vs couple of by Matt Torres https://painintheenglish.com/case/267/#comment-27198 Matt Torres Sun, 12 Mar 2017 03:03:48 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/267/#comment-27198 I have always been under the assumption that couple=2, few=3. (approx.)
This being said, would one say, "two of apples"? I feel the"of" is unnecessary.
However, if you were, let's say...choosing varieties for your dozen donuts, it would be appropriate to say, "i'll take a couple of these and a few of those". "A couple these and a few those would be incorrect.

What i'm trying to say is, the English language can be confusing as all hell sometimes!!!!

]]>
Comment on Worst Case or Worse Case by Nathaniel Baker https://painintheenglish.com/case/338/#comment-27197 Nathaniel Baker Sat, 11 Mar 2017 15:13:36 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/338/#comment-27197 It's not laziness to not pronounce the "T", although it isn't proper English either.

]]>
Comment on obliged or obligated? by Jayabc https://painintheenglish.com/case/1669/#comment-27195 Jayabc Thu, 9 Mar 2017 00:50:09 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/1669/#comment-27195 There is no such English word as "obligated". It is made up by Americans. You could say it is American English. The proper form is "obliged".

]]>
Comment on Is it sunday or sunduh? by MON https://painintheenglish.com/case/279/#comment-27194 MON Tue, 7 Mar 2017 14:23:23 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/279/#comment-27194 I say Sunduh.

]]>
Comment on beginning a request with “may” by KT https://painintheenglish.com/case/3283/#comment-27193 KT Tue, 7 Mar 2017 09:54:34 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/3283/#comment-27193 like scratching a chalk board is the use of MAY YOU in a question for me..."May you please hold?" Ughhhghghgh!!!!!! I know...who cares!...but when you answer phones for a large company you should really be trained in the proper use of the english.

]]>
Comment on “How is everything tasting?” by natej1976 @gmail.com https://painintheenglish.com/case/5187/#comment-27192 natej1976 @gmail.com Mon, 6 Mar 2017 15:49:26 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/5187/#comment-27192 Yes this saying is soooo unprofessional ! It is much better to ask " Is everything prepared to YOUR liking?" Yes food tastes, what kind of question is that. Please if your a server stop saying that as your tip will not be taken away !

]]>
Comment on Might could by Word https://painintheenglish.com/case/573/#comment-27191 Word Sun, 5 Mar 2017 12:20:57 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/573/#comment-27191 How about "maybe", "possibly" or "perhaps"? You know, the conditional tense mighta coulda been an option here...

]]>
Comment on DOUBT vs. QUESTION by Junior Antonio https://painintheenglish.com/case/347/#comment-27190 Junior Antonio Sun, 5 Mar 2017 04:35:33 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/347/#comment-27190 I'm also a non-native teacher, and it's very common for students to say that they have a doubt, but the meaning is not that they don't believe what you're saying, it means that they didn't understand and that they actually have a "question".

]]>
Comment on Joke by Tony Morgan https://painintheenglish.com/case/431/#comment-27189 Tony Morgan Fri, 3 Mar 2017 14:30:03 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/431/#comment-27189 Knickers are underwear. The joke is pretty obvious.

]]>
Comment on Writing out percentages correctly by latte https://painintheenglish.com/case/859/#comment-27188 latte Fri, 3 Mar 2017 00:41:18 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/859/#comment-27188 I'm not really sure, but most of the people did it correct I think :)

]]>
Comment on Is it acceptable to say “higher than” when you mean “as high as”? by liaza https://painintheenglish.com/case/5734/#comment-27187 liaza Thu, 2 Mar 2017 05:35:11 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/5734/#comment-27187 Neither of us is/are capable of winning.y

]]>
Comment on “If I was” vs. “If I were” by Hairy Scot https://painintheenglish.com/case/4662/#comment-27186 Hairy Scot Wed, 1 Mar 2017 02:57:47 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/4662/#comment-27186 @Henry

I respect your opinion however misguided it may be.

Since you are obviously not a grammar freak, are you perhaps some other genus of freak?

]]>
Comment on “If I was” vs. “If I were” by Henry https://painintheenglish.com/case/4662/#comment-27185 Henry Wed, 1 Mar 2017 02:35:51 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/4662/#comment-27185 The main problem here is that English has evolved from a largely synthetic language (one in which grammatical function is marked by verb form or inflections) to a largely analytical language (where word order, modals, and prepositions mark syntactical, grammatical, and semantic functions). The "irrealis were" is not even considered by modern linguists as a form of the "subjunctive" at all, and it is a relic of old English that quite simply no longer serves any grammatical purpose. The syntactical, grammatical and semantic functions that used to be marked by morphology (changes in verb form or inflections) are now marked by in other ways, so the distinction between the "irrealis were" and "was" is no longer needed. The language hasn't lost anything, it is just marking or expressing it in a different way. We don't need the "were" in most "irrelis were" constructions because the semantics of the construction is made plain by words such as "if" or "wish". It is hilarious that people attempt to work out whether they should use "were" by first working out whether the construction is counterfactual, etc. Proof that the "were" isn't what makes the semantics plain.

And "idiolect" is certainly not a neologism. It is a very common word in grammar or linguistics. And it is amusing how some people claim that "correct usage" is seen as pedantic. Not at all. Pedantic usage is what is seen as pedantic ;-)

Insisting on the "irrealis were" as "correct usage" is obviously pedantic and rather odd. It only exists in the one construction, (where a "was" is changed to a "were") and with no other verbs and in no other constructions, proof in itself that it no longer needed.

And, ironically, the "irrealis were" or "subjunctive" as so many call it is much more common in AmE than in BrE. I seems to only be in the US where it is ever taught these days and only in the US where many people, other than grammar freaks, care, or even know about it.

]]>
Comment on No Woman No Cry by Genesis441 https://painintheenglish.com/case/183/#comment-27184 Genesis441 Mon, 27 Feb 2017 16:56:36 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/183/#comment-27184 "No woman No cry" contrary to social belief is about telling a woman that she shouldn't cry. The idea that we have about a man not crying if he doesn't have a woman,or the famous one "if a man doesn't have a woman he doesn't have reason to cry,because he doesn't have a woman to cause him pain(emotionally) or to stress him out".
Many people taught that's what it meant. But really and truly its only saying that women shouldn't cry because of hardships.
And also the woman in the song specifically:In the song the man is a travelling minstrel telling his woman he will come back for her.
"So dry your eyes I say, and while I'm gone
everything is going to be alright
everything is going to be alright now
no woman no cry, no woman no cry".

]]>
Comment on There was/were a pen and three pencils... by Huyen https://painintheenglish.com/case/4374/#comment-27183 Huyen Mon, 27 Feb 2017 09:24:08 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/4374/#comment-27183 There ....... a book,a pen and three pencils on the tabble
A. Is
B. Are
C. Were
D. Was

]]>
Comment on “advocate for” or just “advocate”? by SCOT https://painintheenglish.com/case/4792/#comment-27182 SCOT Wed, 22 Feb 2017 23:42:45 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/4792/#comment-27182 When the preposition 'for' is used with the verb 'advocate' is would mean 'for the benefit of'. Therefore, the sentence 'She advocates for foster children' is grammatically correct while 'He advocates for lower taxes' is NOT grammatically correct as lower taxes is not the beneficiary.

Please note that just because a usage has become widespread, that does not make it grammatically correct. If so, the sentence 'I seen the movie' would be deemed correct.

]]>
Comment on “she” vs “her” by Gloria https://painintheenglish.com/case/4377/#comment-27181 Gloria Wed, 22 Feb 2017 22:31:29 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/4377/#comment-27181 Just finished reading a novel. Two times the author used "her" when I thought she should have used "she". I was taught that if you continued with the sentence you could test which word is correct.
The author wrote: "No one believed in him more than her. (more than she did.) "But no one thought it more than her." (more than she thought it.)

]]>
Comment on Plural of Yes by Harambe https://painintheenglish.com/case/4396/#comment-27178 Harambe Tue, 21 Feb 2017 15:39:53 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/4396/#comment-27178 Help me i dont know what to do B-)

]]>
Comment on Right Question For this Answer (about count/rank/order) by Helping Hand https://painintheenglish.com/case/250/#comment-27177 Helping Hand Tue, 21 Feb 2017 11:38:51 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/250/#comment-27177 As I answered to my friend, I found below answer is perfect for that,

"what is the position of Jawaharlal Nehru among Indian prime ministers??"

You can use this if you want.

Hope it will help you

]]>
Comment on X and S by Amy Pickett https://painintheenglish.com/case/550/#comment-27176 Amy Pickett Fri, 17 Feb 2017 12:43:28 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/550/#comment-27176 How do I make the name Fox in possessive plural form?
Ex. Ms. Fox' instructional practices... or Ms. Fox's instructional practices...

]]>
Comment on He was sat by Marusja https://painintheenglish.com/case/4796/#comment-27175 Marusja Fri, 17 Feb 2017 07:04:22 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/4796/#comment-27175 I can see that there is a long and diverse discussion on here, but my response is to you Brus, hailing from the British Isles. The epidemic as you rightly describe it, seems to be spreading contagion like from the BBC and into written material. "I was sat" and "we were stood" are examples of colloquial terms from the North of England. Dialects are unique to an area and rich in expression when used in an authentic way and don't appear out of place.

The reason we may be startled by the sudden introduction of such vernacular is due to it simply being out of place when spoken by someone who has been educated in the Queen's English. It rankles because it is wrong in our ears. Unfortunately, this is a legacy of inverted class snobbery whereby some people think that they should downgrade the language in order not to sound 'posh'. It backfires spectacularly though upon them when they try so hard to fit in with the crowd, rather than represent the side of 'well spoken'. I cringe whenever I hear these dialects out of place, not just because of the infringement but also because it doesn't sound beautiful or harmonious, but clumsy.

My mother couldn't speak English when she arrived in the country shortly after WW2. By listening to the radio and armed with a dictionary and the daily newspaper, she taught herself through these mediums. Later she read to us as children and took us to the library, where I inherited a love of the language, reading several books a week by the time I was 7 years old.

Although we lived in the Midlands, I didn't have a regional accent since my exposure early on had been to programmes such as 'Women's Hour' and radio presenters in those days all and without fail spoke to a standard considered appropriate. After all, they were communicating to all and needed to be understood widely.

On passing the eleven plus exam and entering Grammar school, we had a Headmaster and a Head Mistress. Miss Simister had a passion for the English language and heaven forbid any pupil who might drop an H or flatten a vowel. I felt right at home there.

It wasn't about being elite, it was about learning and knowledge. It was about aiming for excellence and drawing out the best in oneself.

Miss Simister would turn in her grave were she to hear the downfall of the language. As someone born and raised in the UK, I can assure you that the standards have slipped considerably. It isn't possible for someone learning the language to be sure that they are being taught English correctly if studying here.

I am not speaking out against dialects as they remain an integral part of our culture. To introduce a convoluted invasion however into received pronunciation is noticeably discordant, drawing attention in the wrong way. It becomes an interruption and tunes out whatever the speaker might be conveying.

There is hope though. Apparently when asked, people do prefer the sublime eloquence of the spoken word as voiced by Joanna Lumley and Diana Rigg, recognizing these dulcet tones to be vehicles of quality, easy on the ear and without question completely trustworthy ambassadors of English in all its glory.

]]>
Comment on No Woman No Cry by Charlotte J Safrit https://painintheenglish.com/case/183/#comment-27174 Charlotte J Safrit Thu, 16 Feb 2017 08:05:57 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/183/#comment-27174 It means, if the woman is gone, there will be no tears. It is a reference to the queen and her rule of Jamaica at the time. It's a political song.

]]>
Comment on fill in the blanks! by Sheri https://painintheenglish.com/case/313/#comment-27172 Sheri Wed, 15 Feb 2017 16:23:51 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/313/#comment-27172 I have a release of all claims and above the notary & witness signatures, there is this statement:
WITNESS___________ hand and seal this ______ day of _________, 2017; what is put in after WITNESS?

]]>
Comment on Idea Vs. Ideal by FrankR https://painintheenglish.com/case/519/#comment-27171 FrankR Tue, 14 Feb 2017 21:18:40 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/519/#comment-27171 I think that using ideal when idea should be the correct word is a silly way to speak. I hear ideal used incorrectly all the time, it really gets on my nerves. Oh well...

]]>
Comment on How many “ands” in a row by Josh S. https://painintheenglish.com/case/492/#comment-27170 Josh S. Mon, 13 Feb 2017 15:18:35 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/492/#comment-27170 Wouldn't it have been clearer if quotation marks had been placed before Peg, and between Peg and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and Whistle, as well as after whistle?" This sentence is much easier to read because the writer placed commas between and and and and and and And, and and and and And and and And and and, and and And and and and and and and And, and and and and And and and And and and, and and And and and and and and and.

]]>
Comment on Is it acceptable to say “higher than” when you mean “as high as”? by Lexo https://painintheenglish.com/case/5734/#comment-27169 Lexo Mon, 13 Feb 2017 14:27:52 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/5734/#comment-27169 Twice what it was (= 2x).

]]>
Comment on He was sat by marie https://painintheenglish.com/case/4796/#comment-27168 marie Mon, 13 Feb 2017 13:14:35 +0000 https://painintheenglish.com/case/4796/#comment-27168 Sorry, but your argument doesn't make sense to me. If you were teaching science you would give your students the correct formula. I think the tragedy is that in the UK grammar hasn't been taught for so long, a lot of people who try to teach English don't understand enough to do this effectively. I certainly wouldn't have any respect for a teacher who didn't teach me correctly.

]]>