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


Joined: February 1, 2011
Comments posted: 43
Votes received: 21

No user description provided.

Questions Submitted

-ic vs -ical

September 11, 2012

ye, yer, yers

December 23, 2011

...ward/s and un...worthy

November 26, 2011

Had he breakfast this morning?

November 19, 2011

Correct way to omit words?

November 10, 2011

whensoever vs. whenever

October 3, 2011

Rules for -ise and -ize

March 7, 2011

i’s vs “i”s

February 15, 2011

Whom are you?

October 14, 2010

Recent Comments

I didn't say I'm a native English speaker, and, regardless of whether or not I see English from a different perspective because of it, both native and non-native anglophones have experienced the same problems in regards to the thread's topic.

sigurd December 31, 2011, 3:49am

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse


sigurd December 30, 2011, 11:21pm

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

I don't think it's againt the nature of English, since they used to be part of it and still are dialectally and ecclesiastically at least.


Also, I was typing about the practicality of single-worded differentiation which is nothing new to English, not about whether or not a language is difficult.

sigurd December 30, 2011, 11:20pm

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Porsche: ‘‘Come on now. surely, none of your are really serious that we need to (or even can) revamp all English pronouns to suit your particular pet peeves.’’

I know an official change is probably unlikely in the near future, but, to me, addressing the obvious lack of pronoun forms which many other languages have (many do, and without befogging etiquette) is better than being apathetic and passive about it.

Also, as I’ve continuously stated, it isn’t just my ‘‘pet peeve’’ but also that of many anglophones and people who speak foreign languages and who are used to using the obviously practical distinction.

sigurd December 27, 2011, 10:04pm

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

I’m aware there’d still be a lack of the possessive forms, but, even with just the readdition of a clear objective and subjective plural, English is much more practical, even if it’s just in personal use.

sigurd December 27, 2011, 9:45pm

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

‘‘Don't you think that if there had been a real problem, the language would have adapted somehow.’’

Language doesn’t always evolve for the better/to be practical. And, yes, I and many other people have been in situations where ‘you’’s singularity or plurality has not been clear upon hearing it. Most anglophones probably have.

‘‘Languages that have separate singular and plural forms often end up with the latter being used as a formal singular form, and the former being used to speak to imagined 'inferiors'.’’

This needn’t be the case with English. My point is using ‘ye’ as both the subjective and objective plurals for practical differentiation from the singular ‘you’, not for addressing a single person, which is unnecessary etiquette in English. That way, the problem is solved.

sigurd December 27, 2011, 12:12pm

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Warsaw Will: ‘‘When we use 'you' we are addressing someone or more than one directly. Both sides know who is being referred to.’’

Balderdash. There are plenty of situations where an audience is uncertain whether or not ‘you’ refers to the person hearing it or another one hearing it or to more than one hearing it.

‘‘And if we don't, we can simply ask.’’

Is asking more practical than just using a simple word, which immediately clarified the difference in first place?

‘‘[...] I really wonder sometimes why you find the natural English we speak and love so unsatisfactory that you're forever wanting to change it.’’

Apart from this thread's topic, do I ‘‘find the natural English we speak and love so unsatisfactory’’ that I'm ‘‘forever wanting to change it’’?

sigurd December 26, 2011, 5:30pm

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

AnWulf, I meant using ‘ye’ as both the subjective and objective plural as I stated in ‘[...] willing to accept ‘ye’’s other meaning *alongside* its original one [...].’

Also, what do you (or should I type ‘thou’?) think about the current ‘‘error/misuse’’ of the singular ‘you’? Or do you (oops, I did it again) regularly use ‘thou’?

sigurd December 26, 2011, 5:12pm

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Likewise, ‘you’ should only be a plural, yet, like ‘ye’, it’s been established as meaning something else too in more recent times.

Ideally, if ‘thou’, ‘thee’, ‘thy’ and ‘thine’ were in use today, ‘ye’ should only be ‘thou’’s plural. However, since they no longer are, I’m willing to accept ‘ye’’s other meaning alongside its original one for practicality’s sake.

I don’t write fantasy stories but think modern English should definitely have a proper objective plural to remove the ambiguity of the nowadays both singular and plural ‘you’. Many other languages have both forms, and I don’t see why the English language must be impoverished by removing the other. It’s too impractical.

Established since the 15th century, I think ‘ye’ works well as the plural objective form too, and most people would understand it.

Any thoughts?

sigurd December 26, 2011, 7:07am

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

I’d rather not stay away from them. I’m curious and seek answers. I want to know if ‘your’ and ‘yours’’s plural exist or have been used in English.

Moreover, according to the OED, ‘ye’ was also used as the objective form in the 15th century AD.

sigurd December 25, 2011, 8:44am

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

(‘[...] As such, you can't say "ye are"; thus no "ye're".’)

Why not? ‘Ye’ was also used as ‘thou’, wherefore ‘thou art/are’ is ‘ye are’, ‘ye’re’.

sigurd December 25, 2011, 4:09am

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Apparently, ‘ye’re’ and ‘ye’ve’ are English, though deemed archaic.

Maybe ‘yer’ and ‘yers’ exist too (?).

sigurd December 23, 2011, 10:15am

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

‘‘By far, common usage and every formal definition I have checked, is simply "American of African descent" with an occasional addendum of "especially of black African descent"’’

Hyphenated or not, there’s a distinction made by African-Americans themselves (and non-African-Americans) between African-Americans (which some also write unhyphenated) and other black Americans, who aren’t descended from the United States’ slaves.

Some even make the distinction reversed, ‘Black American’ referring to people whose ancestors endured US slavery and ‘African(-)American’ referring to otherwise black Americans. Nonetheless, the distinction is clearly often made, usually by Americans whose forebears were enslaved in the United States.

sigurd December 21, 2011, 11:29pm

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

‘‘Further, I have often seen the idea that African-American might refer to "descended from black slaves..." portrayed as itself a form of naive and provincial bigotry stemming from a stereotypical and false notion that all "blacks" in the US are descended from slaves, ignoring the rich and varied cultures and origins of African-Americans here’’

I see not how the foregoing is at all relevant to ‘African-American’’s meaning. I guess most African-Americans, who knowledgeably use the ‘African-American’–‘African American’ distinction, must be ‘bigotted’ then ... ?

sigurd December 21, 2011, 10:44pm

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

However, since one can’t always know every black person’s heritage, be it African-American, Caribbean, African, South American, Malagasy or what not, it’s better to just use the all-encompassing term ‘black’ instead of trying to be ‘politically correct’ (ugh) and assigning the person in question a wrong ethnicity, such as ‘African-American’ when, in fact, they may well be from Barbados.

sigurd December 20, 2011, 7:01am

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

I stand by my intial statement that ‘African-American’ (hyphenated), which may also be written ‘Afro-American’ (hyphenated), specifically refers to the descendants of United States’ Black slaves.

The vast majority of African-Americans I know concur, likewise acknowledging that Barack, for instance, is, by descent, an African American (unhyphenated) but not African-American (hyphenated), as he isn’t descended from the United States’ slave population.

The distinction between the terms isn’t useless, either. Anthropologically, not only do the African-American population share a collective history, struggles and often identity but also are ethnically distinct from African Americans.

sigurd December 20, 2011, 3:33am

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Ignore the inverted commas following the first sentence.

sigurd December 3, 2011, 5:08am

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

njtt, I disagree. Rarely used and/or unfamiliar to some people, a word or form isn’t necessarily unacceptable/incorrect. ‘’

Since ‘Jerusalemward/s’ has been used by Geoffrey Chaucer (‘[...] Jerusalemward the righte wey to ryde’) and other significant writers since him, such as S.R. Crockett (‘[...] cheered the way of the Master Jerusalemwards with strewn palm leaves and shouted hosannas’) and Professor A.C. Spearing (‘[...] and be a trewe pilgrim to Jerusalemward [...]’, I’d say ‘Jerusalemward/s’ certainly is an established word, though uncommon to some.

Moreover, even if some affixed words haven’t been used before, insofar as they follow the logic of other so affixed words with only one clear possible denotation, they’re acceptable. That’s why verbs can be affixed with ‘-worthy’, even if the resulting word is new, since such words consistently have only one possible denotation (=worth/deserving [verb]), whereas forming new words by affixing ‘-worthy’ to nouns should be avoided, since ‘[noun]worthy’ words have multiple different denotations and follow no single established rule unlike ‘[verb]worthy’ words.

Likewise, the affix ‘non-’ can be used with just about anything, even if the word formed is new, with its meaning being completely clear due to ‘non-’’s one consistent denotation (=not [word]). The same applies to ‘-ward/s’ insofar there’s one clear meaning.

Were it not so, it would most likely be mentioned in their respective entries in as in the case of affix ‘-wise’.

sigurd December 3, 2011, 5:07am

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Because ‘sunward’ exists, that makes me wonder if ‘Sunward’ is correct too. It would be useful a distinction, since there’s the Sun (our star) and the sun (the light or warmth of the Sun).

Also, if ‘Jerusalemwards’ is correct (?), can ‘-ward/s’ be suffixed to other cities/locations, such as in the examples ‘The snowstorms’s trajectory is New Yorkward’ and ‘The aeroplane flew Pariswards’.

The following are what I found, searching for ‘Jerusalemwards’:

sigurd November 27, 2011, 4:33am

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Correction: Of course, with ‘un[...]worthy’, I meant the thing mentioned is NOT worth/deserving swimming, watching and buying respectively.

sigurd November 26, 2011, 9:22pm

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse