Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with a passion. Learn More

Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with a passion. Learn More



Member Since

June 19, 2011

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Native English speaker. Conversant in German, Russian, Spanish, and Anglo-Saxon.

Ferþu Hal!

I hav a pilot's license (SEL certificate); I'm a certified diver (NAUI); I'v skydived and was qualified as a paratrooper in the Army (Airborne!); I was a soldier (MI, Armor, Engineer).

I workt for a corporation, was a law enforcement officer, and a business owner.

Bachelor's in Finance; minor in Economics
Masters of Aeronautical Sciences

Strong backer of English spelling reform.


Now I'v written my first novel [ ] and I'm working on others.

Latest Comments

Have diphthongs gone for good?

  • April 23, 2014, 3:07pm

More often than not, when a vowel is follow'd by an 'e', it shows that the first vowel is long ... foe, Gaelic, maelstrom ... when it doesn't (as in does), it can be befuddling to anyone who doesn't know the word.

I see not reason for the 'o' in the British way of spelling maneuver (Br: manoeuver). It does nothing. The 'eu' shows the 'oo' sound məˈno͞ovər. What does the 'o' do for it?

@WW, I hav to disagree without about foreigners not having trouble with English spelling. I think that you're likely seeing the ones who hav spent years and hav been willing to put in the time for the rote memorization of oddball English spellings. As an expat living in non-English speaking land, I can tell you that I see many, many beginners who are more than frustrated by the spelling of English. There are many here who hav spent four and five years studying English yet will not speak English to me for that they are unsure of how to say the words! They also make many spelling mistakes if they are bold enuff to write in English.

And Jayles is right ... Most folks will spell the way the spellchecker tells them too. Before the days of spellcheckers, I had to fix the spellings of many college students (nativ speakers) when proofreading. If you note OpenOffice, it will auto-fix many wrong spellings on the fly! So you don't even need to get them right the first time, the software will fix the word as you type.

Do we need 'oe' and 'ae' for the long ē sound? No, we don't. As you pointed out, most of these are alreddy gone in American spellings. And, btw, the 'e' in archeology is long ˌärkēˈäləjē. There's no diphthong there so the 'o' is not needed.

Have diphthongs gone for good?

  • April 15, 2014, 10:59am

I assume that you're talking about the letters æ and œ. The problem is that they show a sound that is alreddy shown by other letters and diphthongs. Thus they aren't needed for the long ē.

In the IPA the æ is noted to show the flat a as in ash ... which is the name of the letter. This happens to be an Old English note of the letter as well. In OE 'at' was 'æt', 'path', 'pæþ' þ=th.

If the letter were noted for this sound, I would be all for it. But for the long ē, let it go.


  • April 4, 2014, 1:51am

@jayles ... frame is a noteful word.

The drawsbacks outweigh the good ... the boon ... the worth ... the rewards (ward is Teut.) ... the gain ...


  • April 3, 2014, 9:26pm

@jayles ... Did you mean "freme"? The word fremful means beneficial, useful, effectiv.

Most of the words that meant "benefit, advantage, profit" in OE didn't make it. The word "good" can often be put in or "behoof" for the noun.


  • March 24, 2014, 4:12pm

@Jayles, benefit in ME was ... benefit ... also benefet. As for behoove (v)/behoof (n)... that's a long tale about how it was noted. But to answer your frain, yes, in ME it was noted in the first person: If thou gif me I behoued [rime: foode] ... Here it means "need, require".

But think about it, we don't often note 'benefit' aside from third person ... it would benefit/behoove you to learn this. It is of benefit/behoof to us all.

Or as in the past tense (as in the ME byspel above): I benefited/behoovd. ... Or ... It was a benefit/behoof to me.


  • March 7, 2014, 8:25am

Another reason that English got swampt by Latinates is that many thought that Latin was the mother tung!

There was a general idea among many that all English was derived from Latin, for no better reason than because this was true of many borrowed words; … Skeat, p57, Sci. of Etymo.

Of this I am certain, that the Celtic and Armoric, and even the Sanskrit identities, are very often nothing but Latin itself, pura puta Latina vox. Thus the Armoric Pirgrin and Relizhon must be corruptions of Peregrinus and Religionis, the Cornish Paun of Pavonis, and the German Ente of Anatis: … So the Northern Recht, Richt, Right, are from the Latin Rectus, … Valpy, pA3, "Virgilian Hours"


  • March 6, 2014, 6:37pm

Thanks Jasper but the 2nd 'cash' that is on the link is from Tamil thru Portuguese ... A coin of low value from China, southern India, or SE Asia. ... It also came into English in the late 1500s. Now that you'v shown me that the 'cash' ... supposedly from the French ... came in the tung in 1596 ... Well, that's pretty late!

So now the frain is when did the 'cash' from Tamil ... meaning a coin ... make it's first showing?Well, we known that the Oxfd Dict Online (ODO) says "late 16th Century" ... Can't get much later than the 1596 of the supposed French/Italian upspring of 'cash'. My thoughts are that the Tamil 'cash' is the true root. The ODO says that the Tamil rooted 'cash' was swayd by the French rooted 'cash'. I was looking for any hard proof of that. It looks more like they had two choices and went with the French for the till as the root rather than the Tamil which truly meant money.


  • February 18, 2014, 7:06am

@Jasper, here is word that falls into that dead space between ME and the 1800s ... cash. The Oxford Dict. Online has two roots ( ... both coming into English as the "late 16th century) ... I'd like to know if which shows up first in the OED ... that is, if one can tell clearly from the meanings. Thanks

Pronunciation of “often”

  • January 28, 2014, 9:19am

I'v always he(a)rd it said both ways and I hav said it both ways. I don't think that it is anything new.

As for spelling, as most of you know, I back spelling reform. Not in a radical way but to moov towards a better showing of how the word is said and for the letters to be noted in a more consistent, steddier way. Spelling of English words has always been and likely always will be in flux.

There are many and sundry reasons that we should do so but the one that slaps me in the face so often is how many folks I hav met who hav study'd English for four or five years yet will not utter a word to me for fear of saying them wrong ... They are that unsure of how to say the words. My gess (ME gessen) is that for every one that works hard to learn our nearly hieroglyphic way of writing is that two or three ... or more ... throw of their hands in frustration.

The best byspel of this is -ough.

Though the rough cough and hiccough plough me through,
O'er life's dark lough I ought my way pursue.
— 1842, Horace Mann, first Commissioner of Education of Massachusetts, publish'd this to show the problems in putting sounds to spellings in English.

By changing the way of saying the 8 "-ough" words noting their own analogies, this ditty can be said in 8 to the 8th power (16,777,216) nother ways! … Only ONE of which (hwich) is right!

Care to take a guess as to how to say clough and slough? (There are two ways to say slough hanging on the meaning!)

Luckily, sum of these words hav alreddy either chanj'd or hav alternativs. Thru, hiccup, plow, and loch are common. Ruff is gaining sum traction. Coff is still on the frinjes but seen.


  • January 17, 2014, 6:13am

One more thing ... and it's been brought up before. The OED often stops ... by its only policy ... at Middle English starting in the year 1150. Thus is misses that "peace" first came into English in Late OE in 1135. The word still wasn't needed as the OE had both frith and grith ... but the OED puts the word as coming into English in ME and not LOE.

peace – pais – peace [from Old French pais, from Latin pax, pac- ‘peace’] LOE: Pais he makede men and dær. … AS Chronicles, 1135


What can I do besides... October 8, 2011