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

Username

Dyske

Member Since

November 6, 2002

Total number of comments

114

Total number of votes received

391

Bio

I’m the administrator of this site.

Latest Comments

I think this is a stylistic difference. I don't think you'd find anyone decisively saying it's grammatically correct or incorrect. The more common conundrums are with name suffixes, like PhD and Jr. "John Doe, PhD's résumé is impressive," looks quite awkward. "Jr." is even more awkward because it has a period.

The Chicago Manual of Style says "when a word ends in an apostrophe, no period or comma should intervene between the word and the apostrophe."

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/qanda/data/faq/topics/Punctuation/faq0018.html

But conveniently, they don't suggest a solution...

I am so sorry

  • May 8, 2018, 1:56pm

Merriam-Webster calls this specific usage "intensive," meaning "so" just intensifies the following adjective. It says, "The intensive use of so is widely condemned in college handbooks but is nonetheless standard." In other words, it's an informal use. Formal use of "so" must suggest a specific manner/way, as your examples do.

acclimated vs. acclimatised

  • May 8, 2018, 1:42pm

According to my research, acclimate, acclimatise, and acclimatize all mean the same thing. These are just regional differences. In the US, I mostly hear "acclimate," and it's always in the passive form, "be acclimated."

I just thought of one scenario where "width" is indeed used independently of the orientation: a carpet.

I think most people would call the shorter side "width" and the longer side "length" when describing the dimensions of a carpet regardless of where they are standing in relation to it. And, if they were to draw it on a piece of paper, they are more likely to draw it horizontally and still call the vertical side "width." This is because we write horizontally; drawing the carpet vertically on a sheet of paper would take up too much space.

So, any two-dimensional shape lying flat on the ground would use the convention where "width" is orientation-neutral. This may include a shape of land, pool, and road. It, therefore, makes sense that Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (the quote in my original post) would use "width" independently of the orientation. In fact, I can't think of another word that we could use instead of "width." In other languages, there may be an orientation-neutral word that is paired with "length" which simply means "the shorter side." In English, there isn't one.

This may be the source of confusion.

The word "height" has no ambiguities because it's not possible for us to change our standing positions in order to change the orientation. (We would have to be able to defy gravity and stand on a wall.) In contrast, with a shape lying flat on the ground, we can easily change the orientation without moving the object, hence the confusion/ambiguity.

Quotation marks for repeated items

  • February 5, 2016, 10:58am

I think you are referring to "ditto mark". See this Wikipedia entry:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ditto_mark

If the question mark is inside of the inner quote, 'no substitutions?', it would imply that the menu itself was asking the question. (As if the menu is asking the customers if they want substitutions or not.)

So the right answer is b.

“Defeat to”

  • November 10, 2015, 8:44am

@warsaw

The latest comments are at the bottom of the "Discussion Forum" page. http://painintheenglish.com/posts/index

If you guys want any particular features or changes, please email me at dyske@painintheenglish.com

fact vs. opinion

  • October 26, 2015, 10:31am

I would say the statement itself is a fact, not an opinion. It is expressing the fact that everyone expressed the same opinion (or preference).

What does “Curb your dog” mean?

  • March 19, 2014, 9:54am

I didn't know that "curb your dog" was legally defined. That's interesting, and good to know. Thank you.

But what I'm curious about is how that expression came to be; the etymological origin. If "curb" means to take something to the curb to pee/poo, is it ever used for anything other than dogs? If it only applies to dogs, it would mean that this particular usage of the word "curb" was invented only for this particular situation, nothing else. If so, who invented this usage? And, why did s/he invent it? If no such usage of "curb" existed outside of this particular instance with dogs, how could this person expect the public to understand that it means to take the dog to the curb to pee and poo?

And, if it applies only to dogs, why bother saying "your dog"? "Curb" alone should suffice. Just define it as a legal term to take your dog to the curb to poo and pee.

What does “Curb your dog” mean?

  • March 13, 2014, 10:42pm

I thought about this further and realized that street "curb" is put in place to control/restrain the movement of the cars. Curb is a framing device that contain/restrain what's inside of it. In that sense, "curb" as in the edge of the street and "curb" as in "control" are related. What is NOT related is the fact that it just HAPPENS TO BE a good place for dogs to poo or pee.

Questions

What Rhymes? November 2, 2002
Don’t you count money? November 2, 2002
Where are the commas? November 2, 2002
“A” News November 4, 2002
Text, A Text, Texts November 5, 2002
Past / Present November 6, 2002
A Part of ... November 7, 2002
What is / What are November 8, 2002
A lot of water November 10, 2002
Future November 10, 2002
Type November 10, 2002
A position followed by a company name November 10, 2002
Matching Numbers November 11, 2002
Control November 13, 2002
Letter A November 16, 2002
lack of “a” November 16, 2002
Multi-disciplinary November 21, 2002
a shit November 21, 2002
Emotionality November 21, 2002
Two Weeks Notice November 27, 2002
Gone to Seed November 29, 2002
Off His Rocker November 29, 2002
“got the best of him” November 29, 2002
hit a snag November 29, 2002
Potboiler November 29, 2002
Went to extremes November 29, 2002
Five of Ten November 30, 2002
Over-the-counter December 1, 2002
Motives vs. Motivation December 10, 2002
In and of itself December 12, 2002
Down to the Wire December 17, 2002
Neither is or neither are December 20, 2002
Fried Chicken December 23, 2002
Perturb vs. Disturb January 3, 2003
Social vs. Societal January 11, 2003
Sheep, Fish, and Cattle January 17, 2003
Decades January 23, 2003
Taking sides February 5, 2003
Matching the tense February 5, 2003
ON the Lower East Side February 11, 2003
Value February 18, 2003
20 Something March 18, 2003
The Reality March 18, 2003
Commas, Periods, and Quotation Marks March 18, 2003
There were/was an apple and an orange. April 4, 2003
War in/on/with Iraq April 20, 2003
Trouble with Trouble April 25, 2003
Ranks has or have April 29, 2003
Sister Company May 8, 2003
Email May 8, 2003
Couldn’t Care Less May 22, 2003
Dual Purpose or Dual Purposes? May 23, 2003
Commodity June 5, 2003
Shrewd June 5, 2003
Sweet and Savory June 5, 2003
Spaces After Period June 12, 2003
Hyphen, N-dash, M-dash July 22, 2003
Friends July 29, 2003
Chink September 17, 2003
A Jew and Jews September 21, 2003
Either Is or Am October 2, 2003
Shame on You! October 7, 2003
At least, at the least October 23, 2003
The Americans December 5, 2003
The Flu and a Cold January 19, 2004
Identical March 16, 2004
There is no such a thing as... April 2, 2004
Silk and Silkworm April 10, 2004
Wiener Coffee July 18, 2004
Color of People August 6, 2004
Murphy’s Law December 3, 2004
Tsunami January 9, 2005
I’m home February 6, 2005
We, I, or my wife had a baby? March 9, 2005
Life Savers 5 Flavor March 18, 2005
First Generation vs. Second Generation December 18, 2005
Paraphrase May 4, 2006
“The Official Dictionary of Unofficial English” July 16, 2006
Quarters September 13, 2006
Feeling concern September 13, 2006
Materialism January 25, 2007
Ass February 8, 2007
Don’t mind if I do July 6, 2007
What is this triangular symbol? September 1, 2007
Do’s and Don’t's September 30, 2007
First Husband or First Gentleman? October 2, 2007
Announcement June 24, 2008
Why Don’t We Abolish Irregular Verbs and Nouns? April 14, 2009
Effect vs. Affect April 27, 2009
Should the link include the quotes? April 29, 2009
One of the most... May 14, 2009
Peter thins them out May 15, 2009
Someone else’s June 4, 2009
Word for Twitter Whores? June 15, 2009
Word for Stroller Toppling Over June 28, 2009
Word for Showing Off Your MacBook at Cafe — Mac off June 29, 2009
Is Punctuation Part of “Mechanics”? August 20, 2009
Does “Who knows” need a question mark? November 15, 2010
It’s Official: email not e-mail March 18, 2011
Isn’t the word “feminism” itself gender-biased? July 16, 2011
LEGOs — Is the Plural form of LEGO incorrect? August 21, 2011
Collins Dictionaries February 27, 2012
It had impacts on... April 19, 2012
“hack” in “hackathon” April 30, 2012
Not just me who thinks... or Not just me who think... or Not just I who think... or Not just I who thinks... August 31, 2012
What does “Curb your dog” mean? March 9, 2014
Use my brain or brains? June 14, 2014
“go figure” November 29, 2015
Small Talk—Countable or Uncountable? May 27, 2016
What exactly is “width” in geometry? May 8, 2017
“hate with passion” June 21, 2018
Why Asian English Speakers Are Hard to Understand July 11, 2018