Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
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Member Since

November 23, 2002

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Latest Comments


  • February 5, 2003, 6:23am

I dont believe a name has been given to the first decade.

Taking sides

  • February 5, 2003, 6:21am

If you were siding with one particular person, you would be "taking a side". But when people take opposite views, the act is called "taking sides". I believe it's to imply that there is more than one side, even though it is redundant. I think it has developed from slang, though. I believe the correct use is singular.

Perturb vs. Disturb

  • January 6, 2003, 4:06am

Disturb is to distract, disrupt, etc. Perturb is to disturb and subsequently cause annoyance. Like when someone disturbs your slept, you are then perturbed.

Motives vs. Motivation

  • December 11, 2002, 8:31am

Both motive and motivation basically mean incentive or drive.

However, in English, most commonly people say "What are his MOTIVES." When "motives" is used rather than "motivation" it implies "ulterior motives", such as those for suspicious actions.

For example, in a murder trial, the lawyer will discuss the suspect's possible motives for committing the crime. In general "motives" has a negative connotation, whereas "motivation" has a positive one.

Gone to Seed

  • December 1, 2002, 5:21am

"gone to seed" refers to the stage in gardening in which the flowers are not blooming and the leaves have fallen off the trees, like during the winter. So basically when refering to a person or thing, it means past its prime, not full of life any more. If a celebrity has "gone to seed" then they are thought of as a "has-been" and no longer what they used to be.

Off His Rocker

  • December 1, 2002, 4:53am

This means crazy or insane. The origin is unknown, but I imagine it's sopposed to mean a person who is not doing what they are sopposed to, like a train that has jumped its tracks.


  • December 1, 2002, 4:46am

This is one explanation I found online:

POTBOILER: Formulaic works of art produced cheaply and quickly produced to satisfy a market demand -- usually for genre paintings -- and to make a modest income (i.e., to keep soup boiling in the pot). By extension, the term has come to mean any work considered to lack distinctive quality or originality.

Two Weeks Notice

  • December 1, 2002, 4:43am

Merge is correct. Well both are correct.

If you say "two week notice" you usually precede it with "a" or "my". As is "I gave him a two-week notice." Meaning that "two-week" is the proper name for that kind of notice, which most people are familiar with as ample notice for quitting a job.

But both are correct, because you could say "I gave him three weeks notice."

Don’t you count money?

  • November 23, 2002, 8:50am

"I have a lot of money."
"Banks exchange foreign monies for local currency."

Therefore, monies refers to different types of money, or funds coming from various sources.