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: September 4, 2004  (email not validated)
Comments posted: 16
Votes received: 18

No user description provided.

Recent Comments

I think most English-speakers would hardly recognize a distinction between AT and IN in this context, verb or no.

Dave October 30, 2004, 3:47am

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

A COUPLE X is everyday North-American English, but wouldn't generally be acceptable in a formal context. It's hardly used in Britain at all, although I've used it myself a couple times. ;)

Dave October 30, 2004, 3:45am

3 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse

Certainly LUX'S.

Dave October 27, 2004, 1:29pm

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

All of them.

Dave October 24, 2004, 2:58am

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

I think you're right. It's hard to expound on the meaning of idioms when they're considered abstractly, outside a particular context.

I was thinking of it by analogy to "when the shit hits the fan", but I think that was misleading.

Dave October 18, 2004, 11:21am

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Usually "when the rubber hits the road" refers to the moment when something happens to make a situation become volatile.

For example, if I accidentally spilled coffee all over my mom's favourite rug, I'd say, "When Mom gets home, the rubber'll really hit the road!", i.e. she'll find out and get mad.

Presumably the metaphor is something to do with car tyres -- perhaps the friction/heat caused by the rubber when a car sets off on the road?

Dave October 17, 2004, 3:38am

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse


It was a joke, a combination of two words beginning and ending fu- and -ff consecutively.

I'm afraid I'll probably have to leave you to work it out. :D

Dave October 2, 2004, 3:08am

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

I'd probably tell you to fuff.


(Just teasing.)

Dave October 1, 2004, 12:08pm

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse


What you call "proper English" is just one variant of the English language. There is nothing linguistically inferior about a language form simply because it isn't widespread or isn't acceptable in particular social contexts.

Conversations about what's appropriate in what we call "standard English" can take place without denigrating non-standard variants of English, and without making value judgments.

Any trained linguist will tell you the same.

Dave September 22, 2004, 11:21am

4 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse

Eurgh. No, that's not what I meant. CAN I and MAY I have long overlapped in English usage as a means of requesting permission. It was GET that I was suggesting would confuse an Englishman, which in that particular context would sound like FETCH FOR MYSELF.

Dave September 22, 2004, 2:08am

3 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse

SAVOURY is perfectly acceptable in the UK.

GENRE is inappropriate in this context, however. It tends to be used of works of literature or film, for example, rather than food groups, say. A better sentence would be FOR SAVOURIES, PIZZA WAS THE BEST THING THEY HAD.

Dave September 21, 2004, 4:05pm

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

There is nothing "lazy" or "bad" about I SAYS. As Ben notes, it's just a variant of I SAID.

Dave September 21, 2004, 4:02pm

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Nick, I don't think the problem with CAN I GET is that it's rude, but that it isn't understood everywhere. Certainly in Britain CAN I GET would be interpreted CAN I FETCH FOR MYSELF, which in a restaurant would seem a rather odd request to English ears.

Dave September 21, 2004, 3:59pm

4 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse

THE CHANCES OF rather than THE CHANCES FOR; and MY is probably redundant, depending on the context.

Other than that, it sounds perfectly adequate English.

Dave September 20, 2004, 7:26am

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

My guess is that the similarity to IRRESPECTIVE, which means much the same thing, is the reason IRREGARDLESS slips out.

Dave September 5, 2004, 3:30pm

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

BTW, was "mutilation" intended as a value judgment?

Dave September 4, 2004, 5:31pm

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse