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: October 20, 2005
Comments posted: 670
Votes received: 1642
I would say it's a matter of intent. It was your comment, so what was your true intent? Did you mean that people often think that blues is simple music (describing the music as simple)? Or did you mean that people often "label" blues music as "simple music"? I would say that your actual comment was ambiguous enough that only you know your true intent. Whether you were correct or not is completely up to you. Of course, we both know that you were wrong and it should be misconception. Why? Because that will you get you off the couch, yes?
February 16, 2013, 2:49pm
"And yet" is no worse than "and then", "and so", "and still", etc., etc. In most cases, the "and" can be removed and the sentence is still clear, but that doesn't mean that the "and" is wrong or even redundant. In "and yet", yet usually means "in spite of". "And" means "in addition to". The two notions are different but not exclusive of each other, so if I want to describe a second occurrence that happens in spite of a first occurrence and also want to stress that the second occurrence happens in addition to the first one, then "and yet" is the perfect means.
January 23, 2013, 2:10pm
@Warsaw Will, I agree with almost all that you said, except for one thing. You said that the original sentence is not very clear. I disagree. Every version put forth so far has a very specific meaning:
"I so appreciate you taking Gregg’s and my child to school today.”
can only mean that Greg and you have one child together and someone took him or her to school.
"I so appreciate you taking my and Gregg’s child to school today.”
can only mean the same thing. A few would say this is ungrammatical, with "my" coming first, but if not ungrammatical, it is at least considered rude by all. This pronoun shift is completely unacceptable, even in informal speech. If you talk like this, everyone, "educated" or not, will think you're a young teenager who can't put down their cellphone.
"I so appreciate you taking Gregg’s child and mine to school today.”
can only mean Greg has a child, you have a different child, and someone took both children to school.
"I so appreciate you taking mine and Gregg’s child to school today.”
can also only mean Greg has a child, you have a different child, and someone took both children to school. While this also may or may not be grammatical, it is still rude. See the comment above about "my".
If you and Greg had more than one child together, then the only way to say it would be
"I so appreciate you taking Gregg’s and my children to school today.”
Note, evey single one of these versions is completely unambiguous. Possibly all are grammatical, but some are to be avoided for reasons mentioned.
Last, Will, your comment about the need to mention Greg is very well taken. Specifically for cases where Greg and you have a child together, it would be extremely unlikely to mention Greg at all (which makes it even clearer that "mine" meaans two different kids). First, by mentioning Greg, it's at least implied that he's not actually present. If that was the case, why would he even be mentioned? You would simply say
"I so appreciate you taking my child to school today.”
Greg's siring would be completely irrelevant (but not ungrammatical). Perhaps that's why it would sound awkward.
January 20, 2013, 7:08pm
"...as "adjective" as - is a comparisonso "adjective" as - does not make sense..."
and to all others who suggest that using "so" in the comparative, non-conditional sense is somehow wrong:
I disagree. I certainly do hear "...so big as...", ...so tall as...", "...so <picture-your-adjective-here> as..." etc.
I would suggest there is a subtle difference in meaning. Tolkien and Warsaw Will are on the right track here.
"He's not as successful as his sister" simply means the sister is more successful than the brother.
"He's not so successful as his sister" similarly means the sister is more successful than the brother, but also means that the sister is very successful. The "as" version implies nothing about whether either is particularly successful.
if "so" is less common, it's not necessarily because it's wrong; it may simply be because the difference in sentiment it conveys is not as often needed or intended.
January 9, 2013, 1:06pm
I can venture a guess about defense and offense. The accent on the first syllable is typically reserved for sports references and often when "defense" is referring to the actual collection of players. I'm not much of a sports fan, but I have heard "DE'-FENSE', DE'-FENSE', DE'-FENSE'..." chanted at games. It just wouldn't be sonorous for a crowd of fans to chant "de-FENSE', de-FENSE', de-FENSE'...", would it?
December 22, 2012, 11:09pm
Not quite the jovial mea culpa I was expecting, well, hoping for:)
December 22, 2012, 4:27pm
Re: "Finally, what is it that makes you and those who think like you believe that you are correct and those who think otherwise wrong?"
Kettle, meet pot.
(sorry, I just couldn't resist:)
December 22, 2012, 2:43pm
I'm surprised no one has offered an explanation as to why vacuum tubes are called valves. Well, it's because they behave just like valves. In a vacuum tube triode, a small voltage applied to the grid can control a large current flowing between anode and cathode. The current can be gated on and off, just like a valve. Even a two-terminal vacuum tube rectifier behaves like a simple valve, allowing current to flow only in one direction (just like the check valve in my sprinkler system).
December 20, 2012, 6:23pm
"Affectatious" serves another useful purpose; it isn't ambiguous like "affected".
December 20, 2012, 11:03am
Hairy, spoken like a man who isn't old enough to have ever typed one on a mechanical typewriter:)
December 20, 2012, 10:55am
Re: "...so It looks to me as if "with" goes better with active clauses and "by" with passive clauses...", I'm not sure that really tells the whole story, but it certainly seems on the right track. I'd like to propose the following (completely without justification):
"Paper bags have been largely replaced by plastic bags."
means that paper bags are no longer used. Plastic bags are now in common use, serving the same purpose, making paper bags obsolete.
"Paper bags have been largely replaced with plastic bags."
means that paper bags were, say, physically on the shelves in some actual storeroom, and someone removed most of them, putting plastic ones in their place.
Just a thought.
November 22, 2012, 3:42pm
I'm not sure I agree with the notion that the backshift is optional with situations that have not changed (I assume that by "not changed" we're talking about situations that are still true today). I would think that in at least some cases, there should be no backshift. For example, I have no electricity after hurricane Sandy. I'm staying at a friend's house. Let's say one of my neighbors called to say that the power's back on. I would say "That was Steve. He said that we now have power." If instead, I said "That was Steve. He said that we had power.", I'm quite sure my wife would say, "HAD power? Gee, what happened to it???" Interestingly, I see a problem with has/had, but not so much with is/was. "One of my neighbors called to say that the power was back on." doesn't bother me nearly as much.
November 5, 2012, 12:13pm
I have to smile after reading comments suggesting that a misspelled "re/ésume/é" could cause one's re/ésume/é to be discarded. The word "re/ésume/é" doesn't appear anywhere in my "re/ésume/é" and I can't say I've ever seen it in anyone else's! By the way, y'all like my new solution to the spelling dilemma?
November 4, 2012, 4:22pm
I would agree with Will. Let me add that I would reserve 'who' only for times when identity is the issue. 'What' would be used for attributes, etc. To me, ...not who she was... means she underwent some kind of personality change, at least metaphorically, or maybe entered the witness protection program. Another way of looking at it is to ask "who are you?". I'm Porsche..."What are you?" I'm a doctor, a lawyer, a human being...
November 1, 2012, 8:14pm
Unthawed, wow, that's a good one. Tell you the truth, it only partly bothers me. If one says something is unthawed, meaning it is presently frozen but is expected to be thawed, then I would say "unthawed" is a perfectly useful word, downright wonderful. Unlike the adjective "unthawed", the verb "unthaw" is far more pernicious as it is usually used to mean the same thing as "thaw". I've posted this elsewhere, but my favorite is "deboned". If boning a chicken means to remove the bones, then what does deboning mean, to put them back in?
October 28, 2012, 12:23pm
For the original author (hint: it's not John Cleese), plus several alternate versions and two American rebuttals, see:
October 23, 2012, 1:16pm
@Mikesheehan, bereave and beshear are not privative examples of be-; they are both intensive examples. If beshear were privative, it would mean to put hair back on; If bereave were, it would mean, oh, I don't know, something like returning one's deceased loved ones, as in resurrection.
October 22, 2012, 1:50pm
Will, I assume that was just a careless typo, but "it" isn't a preposition. It is the direct object. "Michelle and me" are the indirect objects. I'm not quite sure why you chose to give "ownership" of the objects to a preposition, but in any case, I think you meant "to" not "it".
October 22, 2012, 11:45am
Actually, in the original sentence, clearly "the years", as the subject of the sentence, are doing the delivering; however, "their" in "their promise" refers to the Oslo Accords. This is more a matter of semantics than grammar. The passing years don't promise anything. The promise occurred when the accords were written. It is the fulfillment of the promise (the delivery) that takes place during the passing years.
Also, while the original sentence might seem a little awkward or confusing, it's not really ungrammatical, nonsensical (or even ambiguous). Years can deliver in the same sense that, say, "The years have treated you well, my friend."
October 15, 2012, 10:06am
Will, you compared "got another think..." with "YOU got another thing...". You should make the comparison fairer by taking out the "you" in the second version. "Think" still outnumbers "thing", but the recent growth of "thing" will be more apparent.
October 2, 2012, 1:34pm
©2016 CYCLE Interactive, LLC.All Rights Reserved.