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: December 30, 2006  (email not validated)
Comments posted: 142
Votes received: 208

No user description provided.

Recent Comments

"I have found both terminations in verbs like optimiz(s)e, prioritiz(s)e, criticis(z)e. Which (or when, or where) is the academically correct form ?"

The answer is yes.

JJM May 16, 2012, 7:16am

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

There is no accusative form in English; you meant "objective". Not the same thing.

And the only "true" nominative forms occur only as a tiny corpus of pronouns: I, he, she, we, they and who - if you are one of those who still use "whom".

JJM May 16, 2012, 7:13am

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

"I would certainly say something like, 'Boy, was I mad. I really went through the roof'. However, it's my biggest pet peeve to hear somebody say, 'Boy, was I mad. I literally went through the roof'."

I'm amused that you would get all huffy about "literally" but yet have no objection to the use of "boy" as an interjection.

Why is the original meaning of "literally" so sacrosanct in your view but not that of "boy"?

JJM May 14, 2012, 7:20am

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

BJONES: "Fine, let's just change all the meanings of words to whatever we like..."

Well, in a sense, that's what does happen in language anyway.

Why don't you explain how the word "fine" took on its meaning of "OK" in your statement above?

JJM May 2, 2012, 10:49am

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

"I live in a country where English isn't the primary language so if these usages sound weird to you, they sound even weirder to me."

Not a problem, Ramon. Many constructions that native speakers take for granted can strike you as very odd when you do examine them closer.

A good example is something like "I had better go home" which can be very perplexing to a non-native English speaker when first encountered.

Even more perplexing in its elliptical form: "I better go home"!

JJM April 21, 2012, 7:43am

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

I must side with Hamish here. The adverb "literally" is (and has been) commonly used in English for emphasis and hyperbole.

Quite obviously, no one hearing a statement like "I'm so hungry I could literally eat a horse" will assume that the speaker is actually hungry enough to eat a horse.

But language pedants have a bad habit of putting up such false arguments to rationalize their various peeves.

No amount of belly-aching is going to change that.

JJM April 21, 2012, 7:36am

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

"Is it grammatically correct to say 'It had impacts on...'?"


(Sounds pretty leaden though.)

JJM April 21, 2012, 7:17am

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Still at it, eh?

JJM April 16, 2012, 12:57pm

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Still at it, eh?

JJM April 16, 2012, 12:57pm

2 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse

It's clearly a regionalism/dialect form. It actually makes some sense too. It seems to simply follow the pattern of all the other personal possessive pronouns: yours, his, hers, its, ours and theirs.

JJM April 16, 2012, 12:56pm

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

1. "Is it a correct syntax to say: 'I’ve no idea' to shortcut 'I have no idea? I see alot of people doing this and I feel that it is wrong."

I've no idea why you'd have trouble with it. It is perfectly fine English and completely unremarkable.

2. On "I've to go", I wondered: is this a BE usage? To me, (as a Canadian English speaker), it desperately needs either "got" in there or "have" in full to give it emphasis. Now, if the statement were extended e.g., "I've to go to the school tonight", I could certainly see that as a BE usage, though I would say "I've got to go to the school tonight."

Do any UK posters have thoughts on this?

JJM April 16, 2012, 12:49pm

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Well, "work" is the infinitive. The fact that it often requires the prepositional marker "to" doesn't change that.

By the way, my preference would be to use the term "base verb" as well.

JJM March 29, 2012, 4:44pm

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

"if in sentence hasn`t subject or oredicated it is fragment.excample: yes. no. go."


JJM March 29, 2012, 4:37pm

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

"I cannot stand how people in the USA say 'legos'. drives me nuts.

it hurts my ears like say 'sheeps'."

You must live in an odd place if you're hearing "legos" and "sheeps" all the time...

JJM March 29, 2012, 4:35pm

10 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse

If LEGO wishes me to "protect its brand name" in my private correspondence and speech, no problem: I'm willing to accept payment to do so!

Otherwise I'll use "LEGOs" or "legos" for a plural when and as I choose, thanks.

JJM March 27, 2012, 5:05am

8 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse

Typo: make that "weren't".

JJM March 18, 2012, 2:15pm

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

"but I speak as a Scot when I say that the Scottish version is as I described: Scoh-shia. What you say in the new Canadian one I leave for you to report."

We were'nt discussing the Latin name for Scotland; we were discussing the name of a Canadian province.

Canadians say "SKOE-shuh". How you might choose to pronounce the Latin name for Scotland is moot.

JJM March 18, 2012, 2:14pm

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

"I'm argentinian and I actually think it IS offensive."

Stop - you're breaking my heart!

You folks also believe the Falklands are the Malvinas. But you lost that argument too.

Life isn't fair. Get used to it.

JJM March 16, 2012, 7:05pm

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Well, as one who has lived "Down East", I agree with "dougincanada" here: I've only ever heard NOE-vuh SKOE-shuh.

Nova Scotia is Latin, of course. If it were pronounced in that language it would be NOH-WAH* SKOT-EE-AH.

You'd be hard pressed to find that version in common usage though!

* Or -VAH if you're going with Ecclesiastical Latin.

JJM March 16, 2012, 4:47pm

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

As for a "lucid argument", there's none to be made because no argument is necessary.

Clearly some dialects use "of" here and some don't.

End of story.

JJM March 15, 2012, 7:26am

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse