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



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Latest Comments

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.

When is a bridge not an overbridge?

  • June 28, 2013, 7:52am

See this definition:

"Where a bridge takes one form of transport over another it is both an overbridge and an underbridge, depending on the reference level. For example, where a road passes above a railway, the bridge is an overbridge from the point of view of the railway and an underbridge from the point of view of the road."

I think this definition is confusing. It should be the other way around. From the point of view of the railway, it should be called "underbridge" because the bridge structure allows the train to go under the road. And, from the point of view of the road, the same structure allows the cars to go over the railway. In other others, it should describe what it allows you to do as you use the structure. The other way is unnatural, because you are thinking from the point of view of the other, what the structure allows the other party to do (go over/under me).

The terms "overpass" and "underpass" are used in the way I describe. It's an overpass if it allows YOU to go OVER something. It's an underpass if it allows YOU to go UNDER something.

So, it should be called "overbridge" if it allows YOU to go OVER something, and "underbridge" if it allows YOU to go UNDER something.

So, the question is: What is the difference between these two statements?

"If I had studied, I would have gotten a good grade."
“If I had studied, I would have a good grade.”

For instance, I would say that the former would be appropriate if receiving a bad grade happened in the past. The latter implies that having a grade is still a current state. For instance, I could imagine a conversation like this:

"So, are you an A-student or a B-student?"

"I'm actually a C-student now. If I had studied, I would have a good grade."

In other words, having a bad grade is his current state, so it would make sense to say "I would have a good grade now, but I don't."

This would make more sense for health inspection grades for restaurants or grading of hotels. Some restaurants are rated "B" by the health department, and that status would remain so until the next inspection. So, until then that restaurant is a "B" restaurant. The owner could say, "If we had cleaned our kitchen better, we would have a good grade now."

While I agree with Warsaw Will, wouldn't it still be grammatically correct to use "mine" in this case, if you were to think of "mine" as referring to "my child"? That is, what if the original sentence was this?:

"I so appreciate you taking my child and Gregg’s child to school today.”

This should be grammatically correct although it would be stylistically better not to repeat "child" twice.

What if we then replaced "my child" with "mine"? Wouldn't it still be grammatically correct?

Preferred forms

  • January 1, 2013, 9:42am

If they are grammatically correct, the rest is all about their contexts, no?

-ic vs -ical

  • September 11, 2012, 1:22pm

Some of those are not legitimate words, like "horrifical" and "feministical", but I see your point. Why there are two forms, and if there are any differences.

I guess it's like "Think different." I don't have an answer but I would be curious to know if "Live local" would be grammatically correct.

“hack” in “hackathon”

  • April 30, 2012, 7:16pm

Thank you for that link. That is interesting. In the comment section, another person left a link to another page:

I'm not quite satisfied with those explanations. When we create a word with "er" to mean a person who does something, the verb usually comes first. For instance, "bake", I'm sure came before "baker", because the act of baking had to be invented before the word "baker" can be born. The same is true for "hitter", "driver", "swimmer", runner", "programmer", "painter", and so on... The verb has to come first.

So, the verb "hack" must have been used in the field of computers or technology before the word "hacker" was coined. And, "er" was added later to mean someone who hacks. If we want to trace the history of the word "hacker", we should trace the origin of the verb "hack" as it was first used in the field of computing or technology.

“hack” in “hackathon”

  • April 30, 2012, 5:21pm

Interesting. My guess was that "unauthorized access" came before "tinkering". If you are right, I would imagine that "hack" to mean "tinker" or "cope" came before computers.


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Text, A Text, Texts November 5, 2002
Past / Present November 6, 2002
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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
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hit a snag November 29, 2002
Potboiler November 29, 2002
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In and of itself December 12, 2002
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Social vs. Societal January 11, 2003
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20 Something March 18, 2003
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Paraphrase May 4, 2006
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Ass February 8, 2007
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