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 11, 2009  (email not validated)
Comments posted: 10
Votes received: 36

No user description provided.

Recent Comments

Well, it depends on the context. "Anything" can be exclusive: John is so out of his element in the kitchen: He can never find anything.

Contrast that with "John is so out of his element in the kitchen: He can never find everything."

The second version is a completely different meaning from the first; and in fact, the way the sentence is written, doesn't make a lot of sense.

Putting it another way, "anything" and "everything" are not synonymous, in any way.

Steve - Kestrel's Aerie August 5, 2010, 12:52pm

2 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse

"A 10,000 of apples" is indeed poor English; however, as was pointed out, the <i>original</i> meaning of "myriad" was 10,000. That's no longer the common meaning. Thus, "a myriad apples" and "a myriad of apples" are both correct. Normally, though, when we're counting apples, we use pounds, kilograms, bushels, or simply, "a lot" to describe a large number.

Steve Hall July 28, 2010, 11:06pm

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

The pronoun "you" always takes a plural verb, even when the object is singular, as in your example.

Leave out the "who" and you'd have either "you are wrong" or "you is wrong". "Who," in your example, modifies "you." It's neither the subject ("you" is the subject--and there's an example of an exception to the rule I stated initially, but that's because what I'm really saying is "The word {fill in the blank} is the subject") nor the object of the verb "to be."

Hope this helps!

Steve - Kestrel's Aerie July 24, 2010, 11:18pm

5 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse

The link above is somewhat helpful, but doesn't address the question specifically. In the UK (and other English-speaking countries outside North America), just about all collective nouns (e.g., team, or the name of a team, such as "England") take plural verbs. Hence, "England were playing generally lousy football." If you listen to Versus Network's Tour de France coverage, you'll hear things such as "The Radio Shack team are led by Lance Armstrong," since the announcers are again British.

Steve - Kestrel's Aerie July 20, 2010, 6:01pm

4 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse

In either case the verb for should be "...has surprised us." However, here's how I'd write the sentence for clarity and concisesness:

"His selection as headmaster surprised us."

Steve - Kestrel's Aerie May 30, 2010, 12:32pm

4 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse

dyske is correct: "Myriad" is both a noun (with a much older history) and an adjective. Originally, "myriad" meant ten thousand; its second meaning is "a great many," hence "a myriad of [something]."

As an adjective it means "innumerable": John had myriad reasons for not finishing his homework, all of them plausible.

Steve Hall March 1, 2010, 12:55pm

5 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse

Douglas pretty much nailed it. The reflexive "myself" is almost always incorrect, unless it is preceded somewhere in the sentence by the objective "me."

Steve Hall December 28, 2009, 2:24pm

4 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse

I'm afraid the editor to whom you made your pitch was probably negatively impressed. Writing is <i>not</i> speech, especially formal writing. (And even in speech, making a statement with a rising intonation is affective, and quite off-putting to many.)

If you want to ask a question, <i>ask a question</i>. Don't force your reader to guess at your intent, and don't leave your skills and knowledge open to question, as in "Does this person really know how to write?"

Steve Hall December 23, 2009, 2:07pm

4 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse

In fact, according to Merriam-Webster's 3rd Unabridged, neither is a verb, although "uncapitalized" is an adjective. Try "change to lower case." That's what copyeditors do with a stroke through the improper capital and "lc" in the margin.

Steve Hall December 16, 2009, 1:04pm

7 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse

Thought we had this discussion here; perhaps it was elsewhere.

At any rate: My theory is, people use whichever form has the fewer number of syllables. Thus, "twenty-ten" (3 syllables) over "two-thousand ten" (4).

Two-thousand one and twenty-oh-one each have 4; two-thousand'n'one is really close to four (no one says "two thousand AND one").

Steve Hall December 11, 2009, 7:10pm

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse