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 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 passion. Learn More



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September 4, 2011

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Latest Comments

“It is I” vs. “It is me”

  • May 25, 2014, 5:54am

Is 'it' your imaginary friend?

“It is I” vs. “It is me”

  • May 24, 2014, 6:26pm


Computer mouses or computer mice?

  • May 16, 2014, 6:54pm

I have no grice with those points. Or is it singular, as there is none? So I have no grouse with those points. There we go then ...

“It is I” vs. “It is me”

  • May 16, 2014, 6:16pm

David the Relief

welcome, we are all some good people here.

Computer mouses or computer mice?

  • May 13, 2014, 6:52pm

If you call them mouses, do you pronounce with the z sound as in houses, or the s sound as in scouses? Both versions sound potty, as it cries out to be mice. I like mice. They have tried to eradicate them, and get us to trail our fingers over the screen to get it to do things, and tap, and stuff, but all along mice do the tricks with a few clicks - much better.

Warsaw Will, you mention the ratio of present perfect in BrE in relation to AmE as 4:3 and 1.7:1.. My calculations suggest that the difference is not huge: it is the same as 4:3 and 5.1:3, or 40:30 against 51:30, so about 21%, which in linguistics is a bit of a sideways dive but not hugely significant except for curiosity value. Now wait till the Scots vote for independence in September: judging by the quality of English already employed in the debating chamber of the Scots Assembly there will be linguistic mayhem when we northerners go free! The expression "all over the place" will be rendered an understatement.

I, for myself, avoid the present perfect construction in relating my own stories, but I notice that in Scotland it is very common now for folk to tell theirs in the present tense. For example "Well, I'm sitting in the train when I notice that my child isn't with me, and I'm sure I've brought him with me that day. Then I see him ... "

All part of the delightful argot which keeps the wheels going round.

It is an example of a copulative disjunctive, which sounds really kinky. It means the same grammatical structure as 'C'est moi!' in French: subject - 'being/becoming' verb - complement. Such verbs don't have an object, they should have a nominative complement. When this is in the form of a pronoun, as is very usual in using the first person of the verb, the disjunctive (me/us) is preferred: 'It is I' or (impersonal) 'it was we who ...' sound a bit implausible, no? Especially "It is I" when answering the phone, for example. But there are times when "It is I" is okay, as in "It is I who have to shoulder the burden".

Second person: you can't tell, as all forms go "you".

Third person: 'That's him/her/them', because 'that' is impersonal, and wants a disjunctive complement, which in English looks like the accusative/object form. In French it would be 'lui/elle/eux'. "C'est lui qui doit ..." and such is the French attention to their grammar, so sadly badly taught in England, or not at all, that I would put "Ce sont eux qui doivent ...".

Back to the point: when people ask for me on the phone I say (if indeed it is me) "that's me", and if they grumble about my grammar I say I am using the disjunctive pronoun "me" because it is appropriate in a short statement, not followed by a relative clause, and if they don't like it they must put up with it.
That usually puts their gas on a peep, as we say in Scotland, and has them flocking to bookshops seeking works on English grammar for their edification.

Computer mouses or computer mice?

  • April 14, 2014, 6:36pm

It's mice for those with a sense of humour. Mouses is absurd, and what is wrong with 'mice' anyway?
'Nuff said.

What does “Curb your dog” mean?

  • March 22, 2014, 6:12pm

Overheard tonight in a Dorset pub: "I always used to hold doors open for ladies, but then I was accused of kerb-crawling".
It reminded me of this debate, and perhaps of what the kerb is, as the notion of curb-crawling makes no sense at all. It is clear that kerb is a noun, and that is how kerb-crawling is spelled. Curb-crawling suggests the idea that crawling must be stopped, or at least controlled.
If I am expected here to throw light on the matter of dogs and their disgusting canine lavatory habits, then I am afraid that I must disappoint, as my contribution has nothing to do with the faeces of the species.

How about the idea that 'enamoured with' means 'fallen in love with', whereas 'enamoured by' suggests you are the object of someone else's falling in love with you.

"I am enamoured with the idea of selling up and moving to Tahiti to live the high life there." That's good.

I am enamoured by a fine Tahitian tahini. (Assuming that's a Tahitian lady but maybe it's a kind of Italian bread.)

I don't like 'enamoured by'. 'I am the enamoured of a Tahitian maiden', where enamoured is a noun, that's fine. So is Tahiti, but I found it very expensive.

Your manuscript demands "enamoured with".