Pain in the English offers proofreading services for short-form writing such as press releases, job applications, or marketing copy. 24 hour turnaround. Learn More
Joined: November 6, 2002
Comments posted: 110
Votes received: 336
I’m the administrator of this site.
May 27, 2016
November 29, 2015
June 14, 2014
March 9, 2014
August 31, 2012
April 30, 2012
April 19, 2012
February 27, 2012
August 21, 2011
July 16, 2011
March 18, 2011
November 15, 2010
August 20, 2009
June 29, 2009
June 28, 2009
June 15, 2009
June 4, 2009
May 15, 2009
May 14, 2009
April 29, 2009
April 27, 2009
April 14, 2009
June 24, 2008
October 2, 2007
September 30, 2007
September 1, 2007
July 6, 2007
February 8, 2007
January 25, 2007
September 13, 2006
July 16, 2006
May 4, 2006
December 18, 2005
March 18, 2005
March 9, 2005
February 6, 2005
January 9, 2005
December 3, 2004
August 6, 2004
July 18, 2004
April 10, 2004
April 2, 2004
March 16, 2004
January 19, 2004
December 5, 2003
October 23, 2003
October 7, 2003
October 2, 2003
September 21, 2003
September 17, 2003
July 29, 2003
July 22, 2003
June 12, 2003
June 5, 2003
May 23, 2003
May 22, 2003
May 8, 2003
April 29, 2003
April 25, 2003
April 20, 2003
April 4, 2003
March 18, 2003
February 18, 2003
February 11, 2003
February 5, 2003
January 23, 2003
January 17, 2003
January 11, 2003
January 3, 2003
December 23, 2002
December 20, 2002
December 17, 2002
December 12, 2002
December 10, 2002
December 1, 2002
November 30, 2002
November 29, 2002
November 27, 2002
November 21, 2002
November 16, 2002
November 13, 2002
November 11, 2002
November 10, 2002
November 8, 2002
November 7, 2002
November 6, 2002
November 5, 2002
November 4, 2002
November 2, 2002
I'm not sure if it's possible to evaluate this sentence alone. I think it would depend on the tense of the sentences that came before it.
March 9, 2011, 9:49am
Well, my dictionary says both are fine. And, a lot of grammarians on the Web seem to agree. But what I'm curious about is how "cannot" became acceptable and then a preferred form. I would guess that at first "can not" was the only acceptable form. We don't use "maynot", "couldnot" or "shouldnot", so why "cannot"?
February 10, 2011, 2:10am
I have to say, I love the way you phrased the question. You are really just asking for a word that means bad taste, right?
"Malodor", according to my dictionary, is not a thing that smells bad; it means bad smell. So, are you asking for a word equivalent of bad taste, or a thing that tastes bad?
February 1, 2011, 3:39pm
Speaking of the tone, let me provide another example that might be more relevant. How would you read this sentence? Do you really read it like a question if you were to actually say it?
"Let's not add this feature for now. Who knows if we would ever come across a situation where this feature is necessary."
November 15, 2010, 5:23pm
<blockquote>Otherwise, you’re saying that someone named Who has the answer.</blockquote>
This is interesting. Doesn't "Who knows" function the same way "God knows" does? In my head, "Who knows" is a response phrase like "God knows".
November 15, 2010, 5:13pm
"e-mail" was how the word started, because it was a short for electronic-mail. But I think we evolved further now, and "email" is more common. If you are not hyphenating it, it makes more sense to capitalize the e. Email. That's what I do personally. But I don't think there is a definitive answer for this. It will be settled in about 10 years, I would guess.
Also, I would imagine that some of the manuals of style would have this in them.
October 14, 2010, 1:35pm
Technically speaking, "Her and I traveled" is wrong. Each has to stand on its own. "Her traveled" doesn't. But what puzzles me is why "Her and I" sounds OK. In comparison, "I and she traveled" sounds awkward even though it's technically correct. Whenever the "I" is included, it's usually the last one. "You and I traveled" sounds fine, but "I and you traveled" sounds weird.
It also depends on the verb too. "Me and you are..." is wrong but sounds OK (because we hear "me and you" as a phrase often). "I and you are" is technically correct (or is it?) but sounds awkward.
As a writer, we put a lot of effort in composing sentences in such a way that they naturally flow, and so that the readers are not distracted by the technicality of them. When the sentence sounds wrong, it almost doesn't matter if it's technically correct. So, I sometimes deliberately choose the wrong one just so that the majority of the readers can stay focused on the content.
June 20, 2010, 7:46am
Personally, I would call it "6th". Skipping a year does not necessarily cast a doubt on the number, but on the word "annual". If you end up skipping another year, it would turn into "biennial". In other words, the number part refers to a historical fact, but the "annual" part refers to your intention. That is my own opinion.
<a href="/?p=925" rel="nofollow">Here is a related post</a>.
March 31, 2010, 7:09am
At first I thought this was a silly question, but after researching it a bit I found that various languages have made concerted efforts to reduce the amount of capitalization over their histories, including English. Here is from <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalization" rel="nofollow">Wikipedia</a>:<blockquote>In German, all nouns are capitalized. This was also the practice in Danish before a spelling reform in 1948. It was also done in 18th century English (as with Gulliver's Travels and most of the original 1787 United States Constitution). Luxembourgish, a close relative of German and one of the three official languages of Luxembourg, also still uses capitalization of nouns to this day.</blockquote>Imagine if we had to capitalize all nouns. That would be a lot of work. Thank God it was changed.
A similar observation is made about the Japanese language by non-native speakers. They cannot understand why Kanji (the complex Chinese characters) has to be used in Japanese because they are actually not necessary. I believe there have been some organized efforts to eliminate or reduce the amount of Kanji. Some believe that it gives the Japanese a disadvantage in global competition because the complexity of Kanji adds to the amount of time spent on writing every piece of communication. The cumulative effect of this inefficiency can easily amount to millions or billions of dollars in loss.
So, in terms of efficiency, I believe English is one of the best.
March 31, 2010, 6:56am
My 5 year old daughter used to say "mines". We thought it was funny so we also started using "mines" sometimes. My sister made her a bag that said "mines". Maybe it's not just my daughter; perhaps this is a common mistake by toddlers, and the adults started using it because they thought it was funny.
For toddlers, perhaps the "s" is actually a possessive, as in "mine's". At around that age, claiming their possessions is a big preoccupation, so they might feel that "mine" is not good enough, so they feel the need to add the possessive "s" for the maximum impact.
That's my theory.
March 16, 2010, 3:01pm
Well, I think you could say "a quarter of a percent", but this does not address the fundamental problem of your question. For instance, what if the number is ".24%"?
March 3, 2010, 1:00pm
Both should be correct. One is used as a noun, the other used as an adjective. But what I'm not sure about is if there are any differences in nuance. For instance, saying "many apples" and "many of the apples" are quite different in meaning; the former means a lot of apples and the latter is a subset of a larger pool of apples.
March 1, 2010, 9:08am
Yes, it is indeed annoying. I see it all the time, and many people even argue that they are right. Some people even ask me, "Hey, how do you spell 'lose'? With one O or two O's?"
I just assumed that this has been going on forever, but you might be right, maybe it's relatively recent.
September 16, 2009, 11:47am
I think this is a legal issue (which term should be used for which situations), so only lawyers could answer this properly, but here is my own sense of the difference.
I think the difference becomes clearer if you use "the right". "Release the right" would means that you are handing over your right to someone else. For instance, if you sign a release before appearing in front of a camera, you are not only giving up your right, but also transferring the right to the photographer. The photographer has the right to use your image.
"Waive the right" would simply mean that you are giving up the right, but not transferring it, like waiving the right to sue someone. (In this case, it's not transferable anyway.)
But "release" might also be appropriate for situations that do not involve transferring of rights. If so, the two terms are interchangeable. But again, I'm not a lawyer, so I don't know how these terms are used in the legal world. In the end, that's what matters.
August 13, 2009, 6:24am
It is interesting that just by adding or eliminating a single letter, you can imply such a different philosophical meaning.
Check out <a href="http://www.nationalanthems.us/forum/YaBB.pl?num... target="_blank" rel="nofollow">this page</a>:
<blockquote>Some people have used the argument that as the anthem is a poem, the author was possibly using poetic licence. When Patrick Castagne was asked personally if this were so, he was adamant that he did not invoke poetic licence. He said he in fact wrote the “correct” word, finds, but changed it when he was overruled by an education official who was his superior.</blockquote>
Unfortunately, the source URL is not working, so I'm not sure how true/factual this is, but if true, the matter is settled. But then, I suppose we could argue that his "superior" meant the statement to be subjunctive. But then, we could argue that as long as Castagne is credited as the author, we should honor his original intention (unless we also credit his superior as a co-writer.).
Either way, I think we can agree that it's not grammatically incorrect because it's a matter of how we interpret it.
August 2, 2009, 4:23pm
I would vote for "finds". When I searched the Web for "every boy and girl is", I found <a href="http://www.theamericanview.com/index.php?id=467... target="_blank" rel="nofollow">a quote from Hillary Clinton</a>.
<blockquote>every boy and girl is loved and cared for equally, and every family has the hope of a strong and stable future.</blockquote>
But in <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=2yJusP0vrdgC&a... target="_blank rel="nofollow">Merriam-Webster's dictionary of English usage</a>, I found the following:
<blockquote>It is an arguable point whether a phrase like "every boy and girl" is singular or plural.</blockquote>
But this is in a context of trying to avoid sexism.
My argument for using singular is that, if you want to use plural, you should use "all", not "every". Compare the following:
<blockquote>Every boy and girl is wearing a T-shirt.
All boys and girls are wearing T-shirts.</blockquote>
Both say the same thing but place slightly different emphases on how you look at the same fact. The word "every" emphasizes the individuality, and the fact that there are no exceptions. If I just want to communicate the fact that all the kids I saw were wearing T-shirts, I would use "all". (i.e. I may be missing a few who aren't wearing them, but as far as I can see they all seem to be wearing T-shirts.) But, if, for some reason, I'm really impressed by the fact that I couldn't find anyone not wearing a T-shirt, I would use "every".
<blockquote>At this school, every boy and girl is committed to helping the environment.</blockquote>
In this type of statement, you would want to emphasize the individuality. Not only that there are no exceptions, but also that everyone is motivated and committed individually (i.e. Everyone happens to have the same ideal, as opposed to the school having this ideal.). So, it's a matter of style.
This is why I would vote for "finds" in the original example. “Here every creed and race finds an equal place” is making an ideological point. It should emphasize the individuality of "every creed and race". The use of "find" would diminish the point of using "every".
Since "an equal place" is singular also, you might as well make them all agree.
While it may not be grammatically incorrect, I would say "find" is a poor choice stylistically.
August 1, 2009, 7:01am
I think this is just a bad sentence. Sometimes it's just better to completely recast the whole sentence. For instance:
<blockquote>As this society becomes more internationalized, the students are expected to know more about other countries and to respect cultural differences.</blockquote>
This essentially says the same thing.
Your sentence has a lot of redundant words.
"being globalized" and "opening to the world" are essentially the same thing. You cannot open to the world without being globalized. Or, you cannot globalize your country without opening to the world.
"of this era" is not necessary. You've already said "modern society", so we know you are talking about this era.
"on the basis of broad knowledge of various places of the world"
Why do you need this at all? You've already said "understanding different countries".
It sounds like it was translated from a different language, or you are trying to squeeze a lot of words into it to make it sound more substantial.
July 30, 2009, 1:40pm
You are right. I see that someone has already coined the term "Twitter whore" on <a href="http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=... target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Urban Dictionary</a>, and the definition is exactly what I described.
June 16, 2009, 11:09am
I don't think it's incorrect, but it sounds awkward to me because "as of" usually implies that you sampled a moment of time to see a status of something. In other words, I interpret "as of" as "a particular point in time." For instance:
"As of March 14th, 2009, my stock portfolio was worth $123,456."
It's measuring or sampling something at a particular point in time. The reason why "As of yesterday, we had finished three tasks" sounds awkward to me is because "had finished" implies a duration of time, not a moment in time.
June 10, 2009, 12:09am
This deserves to be a post of its own. So, I'll create one.
May 14, 2009, 6:21pm
©2017 CYCLE Interactive, LLC.All Rights Reserved.