Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

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

jayles the unwoven

Joined: June 3, 2014
Comments posted: 201
Votes received: 87

No user description provided.

Questions Submitted

Salutations in letters

November 20, 2016

Are proverbs dying?

June 30, 2014


June 24, 2014

Recent Comments

1) Some adjectives are (by their very meaning) gradable, and some not. For instance it would hardly make sense to assert that seven were "more prime" than five. Or again, she is a "more born" pianist than I am. Sometimes it is just a bit illogical: this carpet is less wall-to-wall than that one. Could one say: practice is more key to success than theory. Well, I guess I would understand.
2) if one googles or ngrams "is key to", it does come up. Sometimes arguably just a journalistic shorthand for "is the key to". For example: "information sharing is key to effective ..."
3) This all harks back to the big ask: what do you mean by "right" and "wrong"; is it common usage, or possible but uncommon usage? The exact criteria will affect all answers to the original post.
"Spurs boss Harry Redknapp opted to rest many of his key players,"

jayles the unwoven March 20, 2016, 8:56pm

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Does anyone else have the impression that the -er ending for comparatives is slowly dying?
I have just heard the weather forecaster reading from a script say "more wet"; and in speech people here seem to be saying "more easy" or "more easier", or "more happy" and similar examples.

jayles the unwoven March 20, 2016, 1:08pm

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

putting 2.0459% into legal terms:
a) two and four hundred fifty-nine tenthousandths percent

b) one could recast the numbers and words using per mille
or parts-per-million; but the end result would be no clearer to my mind

c) 2.00459% two and four hundred fifty-nine hundredthousandths percent

d) caveat: I am no lawyer and no experience of drafting

jayles the unwoven March 7, 2016, 9:57pm

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Two point zero four five nine percent

People here would say 'oh' instead of zero but in a legal document zero would seem more appropriate.
Again 0.45 might be 'zero point four five', although people might actually say 'nought'

jayles the unwoven March 2, 2016, 2:12pm

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

@LLJ Well I really didn't understand your sentence on first reading so could I suggest:
"My greatest passion in life is creativity; put it together with art, food, or wine - well then you have my attention!"

jayles the unwoven February 19, 2016, 1:56pm

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

yet ‎(not comparable)
1) (usually with negative) Thus far; up to the present; up to some specified time.
He has never yet been late for an appointment; I’m not yet wise enough to answer that; Have you finished yet?‎
2) Continuously up to the current time; still.
The workers went to the factory early and are striking yet.‎
facts they had heard while they were yet heathens
3) At some future time; eventually.
The riddle will be solved yet.‎
He'll be hanged yet.

your example seems to be a less common usage these days

jayles the unwoven February 9, 2016, 11:39am

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

a) "you're" is short for "you are" - "I hope you are well " sounds ok so the answere is "you're".
"Your" sounds the same but indicates possession (compare we - our / you - your) ; "I hope your health is ok" is correct.

b) Who is seeking? Answer: "our client"; singular or plural? = singular; therefore "is" is correct. Thus either: "Our client is seeking" or "Our clients are seeking".

c) "Our client seeks" is fine, just perhaps a little more formal in this context.

jayles the unwoven February 5, 2016, 1:11pm

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Some people of a certain generation and background (like me) can recall being told at school NEVER to use this so-called "ugly" (ie lower-class) word.
Quite why the word "get" was deemed bad was never explained, and that indeed is the question.
'Get' has been in English an awful long time and is widely used:

Nonetheless, for examinations/academic writing I do still teach my students to consider using a more precise word such as "obtain/receive/become", if only to demonstrate a wider lexis.

However there are phrases where "get" is the only natural choice:
"They became married" would sound quite odd.

I would suggest there is little wrong with sentences like "The hard disk got erased by mistake" either, where get=become befits the situation.

As to why "people" use "get" so widely, well I think it might have something to do with it being somehow harder to formulate the sentence without "get" in some situations. But who are these people? Be not peeved, life is too short.

jayles the unwoven January 30, 2016, 1:20pm

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Subjunctive with inversion tends to mean "if" or "though" or "whether" as in:
"Yes, dearest, it is an awful moment to have to give up one's innocent child to a man, be he ever so kind and good..."
"As it might be, perhaps, were I a woman, ... " (12th night)

see also :

jayles the unwoven January 30, 2016, 12:54pm

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

@HS Doubtless you are not alone. I must say I despair of modern English - I notice people no longer pray like they used to - whatever happened to :
"Oure fadir that art in heuenes, halewid be thi name; thi kyndoom come to; be thi wille don in erthe as in heuene: gyue to us this dai oure breed ouer othir substaunce; and forgyue to us oure dettis, as we forgyuen to oure gettouris; and lede us not in to temptacioun, but delyuere us fro yuel."

How times have changed!

jayles the unwoven January 9, 2016, 3:18am

3 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse

comman format would be: January 16th, 2016
see date formats at:

jayles the unwoven January 7, 2016, 9:35pm

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Overhead yesterday in a coffee shop:
Customer: Excuse me; I was wondering if I could trouble you for a side salad.
Waitress: Side salad?

Slight mismatch of styles!

jayles the unwoven November 26, 2015, 7:01pm

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

@WW Sorry, I assumed 'cacography' was just a made-up word - it's all Greek to me ;}

jayles the unwoven November 20, 2015, 1:09pm

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

The exact origin of the continuous aspect in English is debatable. The theory that I find most useful is that it corresponds to the dialect German eg: "Sie war am Buegeln" = She was an-ironing. This exists in English in phrases like:
"A-hunting we wil go"; "The cocks were a-crowing"; and so on.
The "a-" prefix was, as I understand it, originally a preposition as in "asleep", "awake", "abed", and so forth. In time the prefix fell by the wayside to form the continuous aspect, but the meaning of being in the process/activity remained.
The reason I favor this explanation is that it makes sense of the so-called "present perfect continuous" - "What have you been doing? I've been hunting. (cf I've been a-hunting.) The root idea behind the continuous is still to this day about being engaged in an activity or process.
Thus if one could say:
"How's the burger, Rastus?" "I'm a-loving it"
then it would all make sense. That it does not quite - as "loving" is not really an activity unless it involves bodily movement - demonstrates the underlying meaning of the continuous.

jayles the unwoven November 17, 2015, 1:07pm

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

The whole thrust of the original question is misguided. Why do we need "a word" for "intentionally incorrect spellling". Surely the "word" is "intentionally incorrect spelling" if that is what one means. Why bury the meaning in some obscure word that few know or understand? Where does this mentality come from? We seem to do it all the time; for example "arachnophobia"? Who are we kidding? It's just very Stephen Fry and snobby. What's so wrong with "fear of spiders" - or even "spider-dread" or something that a normal person would understand. After all, isn't language for communicating with normal people? Why make it so esoteric?

jayles the unwoven November 17, 2015, 12:42pm

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

@HS Why are you resorting to Greek? Why do you think that we must find and borrow a Greek/Latin word in order to make up a "proper" word for something? Why not just use an English expression like "willful misspelling" or something?
BTW "cacography" would just mean "bad writing" IIRC - 'kakos' means 'bad' and 'graphein' is to write cf 'cacophony' = bad sound

jayles the unwoven November 17, 2015, 11:09am

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

BTW when I started skool (and dinos roamed the earth) one of the beginner classes was named "2B", so we said:
2B, or not 2B?
Note the different pron!

jayles the unwoven November 15, 2015, 2:59pm

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

There are three choices: question mark, period (full stop), or exclamation mark, depending on the intonation required.

Punctuation is there to show how the sentence is to be read, denoting pauses, intonation, interpolations and so forth.
Many rhetorical questions need a rising intonation at the end, so a question mark is appropriate. Sometimes a falling intonation is sought with a period (full stop). Try saying the following out loud and notice how the intonation changes:
To be, or not to be ?
To be, or not to be !
To be, or not to be.
To be or, not to be ??

jayles the unwoven November 15, 2015, 2:52pm

2 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse