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Joined: February 21, 2009  (email not validated)
Comments posted: 13
Votes received: 36

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Sixteen hits on Google hardly bespeaks a well established usage. I got 34 hits for "ztghxp", which is just a random string of letters I made up.

Google indexes people's grammatical mistakes and typos just as much as their correct or intentional usages.

nigel March 28, 2013, 9:33am

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It does not follow from the fact that some blogger ( a self-appointed crusader against prescriptivism, no less! Be still my beating heart!) and a small minority of his correspondents are ignorant about certain English idioms, that those idioms can mean whatever you want.

"No end" (without a preposition) is a well established idiom meaning "a great deal".

"To no end" means "to no purpose" or "to no significant effect". So far as I can see, it is not an idiom at all, but entirely literal, although it may confuse some because it uses the word "end" in one of its less common senses.

Both expressions are correct English, but they mean different things. If you mix them up, you will be misunderstood by competent English speakers.

nigel March 28, 2013, 9:24am

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“Mandaytory” is not in the least pretentious, it is merely wrong. Presumably the error arises when people guess at the pronunciation by extrapolating from that of "mandate" (a homosexual assignation).

nigel July 8, 2012, 10:32am

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Could that work as good?
/non-native English speaker”

So it seems.

nigel June 14, 2012, 11:49am

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I do not see any problem with the grammar, but using "stuff" in this sense (I am guessing it means television programs, or something like that) is both vague and slangy. Perhaps it is that which is making you uneasy. Also, it is not a very euphonious sentence.

nigel April 18, 2012, 4:02pm

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"Ye" is not the plural of "you", it is the plural of "thou". Of course, "ye" (except in Ireland, so I am told) and "thou" are both obsolete in most English dialects, and have both been replaced by "you", which is both singular and plural.

If you are deliberately trying to write in an archaic form of English, using "ye" and "thou", I dare say the forms that you mention would be acceptable.

nigel December 24, 2011, 8:22am

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I guess awkwardness is a subjective matter, but why on Earth would you prefer to say “This is my friend Jane. She and I traveled to Kansas together,” rather than “This is my friend Jane. We traveled to Kansas together”?

nigel July 8, 2010, 6:01pm

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Darn, I forgot to close the italics tag after "almost." :(

nigel July 4, 2010, 3:09am

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Porsche: I did not say, and did not knowingly imply, that "she and I" is incorrect, and I agree that there are some contexts where it is preferable to "we." I said, after all, that it is '<i>almost always be more natural to say “we”.' Such contexts are rather rare, however, and I see nothing in the description of the original post's example to suggest that it is one of them. In most contexts, "she and I" is awkward (which is not to say "wrong").

As for "me and her" versus "her and me," I see very little to choose between them. Both sound a little bit awkward, but I have a hard time seeing either as ungrammatical (in the object position), although perhaps it is true that the latter is, marginally, more polite (although I cannot imagine anyone actually being offended by the former). I do believe I was taught that it is polite to say "Jane and I" rather than "I and Jane," and the latter does sound a bit awkward to me, but again, I have trouble seeing this as a matter of grammar rather than courtesy or good taste, and, in reality, I would not be in the least offended by someone who said "I and Nigel . . .."

By contrast, "Her and I" is a clear grammatical error.

nigel July 4, 2010, 3:08am

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<a href="" rel="nofollow">There is a popular blog entirely devoted to this issue.</a>

nigel July 4, 2010, 2:09am

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Are there any other examples, besides "behead," of the <b>be-</b> prefix with a privative meaning? I can't think of one. If not, I do not think the question has really been answered (or, rather, the answer given by <i>Soup</i> is question begging).

nigel June 23, 2010, 10:30pm

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If there are any certainties in English grammar, the fact that "her" cannot be used in the subject position of a sentence is among them. Your administrator was entirely correct. You were wrong.

If "she and I" sounds odd, that is because it would almost always be more natural to say "we" (or to use the person's name.) "Me and her" also sounds a bit odd, although, in the object position, it is not ungrammatical, because it is almost always more natural to say "us" (or "Jane and me," or whatever).

nigel June 23, 2010, 8:15pm

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Jon is correct. Andrew is making an error (or, at least, an implausible assumption) about the scope of the operators "and" and "or" (i.e., about the bits of the sentence they are supposed to be conjoining or disjoining).*

Andrew seems to be reading the sentences as if they were "I didn't sleep last night and/or I didn't sleep the night before," or, using brackets to make the scope more obvious, "[I didn't sleep last night] AND/OR [I didn't sleep the night before]." But the sentences as given are much more naturally analyzed as follows: "I didn't sleep [last night AND/OR the night before]." If the intended meaning is that the speaker did not sleep on either night, she should say either "I didn't sleep last night or the night before," or "I didn't sleep last night and I didn't sleep the night before."

To avoid all chance of scope confusion, but at the cost of sounding dreadfully stilted, she could say, "I slept neither last night not the night before."

*In logical parlance, "and" is the conjunction operator; "or" is the disjunction operator.

nigel February 21, 2009, 7:46am

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