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


D. A. Wood

Member Since

November 7, 2011

Total number of comments


Total number of votes received



Latest Comments

Latest vs. Newest

  • August 11, 2012, 12:00am

@Warsaw Will
To say that you use a nouns as a adjecive is self-contradictory.
That cannot be done. A noun is a noun and an adjective is an adjective.
The process is more complcated than you imagine, and it is a step by step process. That process can take decades.
1. Start with a noun - for example "glass".
2. Convert noun into an adjective.
3. Use the adjective as an adjective, for example "glass house".

Confucius said, "Man who lives in glass house ...."
We can now see the sequence of parts of speech:
noun, relative pronoun, verb, preposition, adjective, noun...

Language has step-by-step processes in it just like mathematics does.
People have laughed at me about this idea, and they claimed that language and mathematics didn't have anything to do with each other.

Actually, I say that if you have idea A and idea B, it is far better to just assume that A and B are connected to one another in SOME way until this is proven otherwise --
rather than rejecteding the notion of any connection out of hand.
You can learn a lot more but using the first method.
D.A.W. .

Latest vs. Newest

  • August 10, 2012, 11:41pm

"Well I've never heard anybody use 'chose' for 'chosen',"

@Warsaw Will
Then you may count yourself as fortunate. Just say a prayer of thanksgiving.

I certainly have heard it, and I didn't like it. Just because you haven't heard it is no reason to question the fact that I have.


Latest vs. Newest

  • August 10, 2012, 11:35pm

When you quote something, YOU are responsible for what it says:
"I didn't say that his father's nationality was relevant. I merely quoted their Lordships in the House of Lords appeal. I suspect that they are all dead now so it won't be possible for you to take the matter up with them."

By quoting things without comment or corrrection, you are endorsing them and agreeing with them,

Why is it that you have your way of trying to weasel yourself out of nearly everything that you write or do?
You don't want to take responsibility for anything.

Latest vs. Newest

  • August 10, 2012, 11:26pm

Furthermore, the Associated Press has its headquarters in New York City.
I do not want articles that are written in Kenyan English, New Zealand English, Irish English, Hoing Kong English, South African English, etc.

If I wanted to read artricles in South African English, I would switch on the Internet and read newspapers from Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Latest vs. Newest

  • August 10, 2012, 11:20pm

"And who are these so-called 'lazy dog writers' who confuse England with English etc, Can you provide any examples."

I am sorry that you didn't get the gist of what I was writing. That was "We're doomed. It is coming inevitably." Lazy writers will inevitably start writing stuff like "England cars", and "England music", just as they already write these:
"Mexico drug cartel", "Australia wool", "Canada government", "Cuba refugees", "Denmark ham", "Hungary people", "India famine", "Iraq unrest", "Korea army", "Peru radicals", "Spain rain", "Syria massacre". "Turkey troops", and "Venezuela president".

Is it possible that such balderdash is unique to the United States? I doubt it because I read a lot from the Internet, and I get loads of articles from around the world, It becomes clear that hundreds of articles were written by people whose native language was not English. Furthermore, the editors at companies like the Associated Press and Reuters are too lazy to edit the articles into American English even when they plan to publish them in the United States.

I have written to the Associated Press several times with this comment,
"You are an American Company, aren't you? With its headquarters in the United States, right? Then insure that your articles are in American English."
Also, not "Peru radicals." The Shining Path is PERUVIAN radicals.


“If I was” vs. “If I were”

  • August 10, 2012, 10:12pm

I do not think that anyone else has written anything here about the use of the subjunctive mood to express that elements of doubt in statements, questions, commands, etc. Yes, it truly is used this way, too.

I know an American who had lived in Saudi Arabia for a number of years to teach at a technical university there. The subject of Saudi Arabian food came up. He told me that he had eaten some goat meat while he was there, but he had never tried any camel meat.
Well, while he was there, someone might have asked him,
"Would you like to eat some grilled camel at the students' party?"
Aha, this is in the subjunctive mood because there is doubt.
He might have replied,
"Hell, no," or "I don't think so," or "It is time for me to try some of that."
Also, he might put some in his mouth and then spit it out.
Doubt, doubt, doubt! The subjunctive mood.
Situations that are clearly in contrast with reality:
"If I were the king of Saudi Arabia, there would be free camel for everyone!"
Subjunctive mood.
Adding politeness to an order, such as to a waitress:
"Would you bring me some of that goat with noodles and gravy?"
Subjunctive mood.
Believe it or not, this is in the subjunctive mood, too:
"May God be with us." (Or Allah, or Jesus, or The Buddah.)

Ultimately: "May The Force be with you!"
Yes, the subjunctive mood in STAR WARS.


“If I was” vs. “If I were”

  • August 10, 2012, 9:53pm

"A Student's Introduction to English Grammar" by Huddleston and Pullum describes three uses for the past tense:
3 backshift in indirect reported speech: I told Stacey that Kim had (instead of has) blue eyes.

In German, this is readily explained by the use of the subjunctive mood in indirect quotations, which is nearly always done.

As it was explained to me, when you are indirectly quoting someone, there is no guarantee that the person really said that. Hence, the subjunctive mood comes into use to express that element of doubt.

“If I was” vs. “If I were”

  • August 10, 2012, 9:46pm

Brus, from the study of German we come to realize that in the following sentence of yours, the addition of the VERB "would" is just an element of politeness:

"I would prefer that you don't come with me."

In contrast, the sentence without the "would" is bossy:
"I prefer that you do not come with me."

Then, we could make it completely bossy by putting it into the imperative mood:
"Don't come with me."

Some people have laughed at me for stating that to really understand English grammar and to use it right, it is very helpful to understand other Western European languages.
The use of the subjunctive mood is a salient case of this.

I only know German, but my impression is that knowing Dutch, Czech, Polish, or Italian would help dramatically in understanding the subjunctive mood in English -- and especially since so much of the subjunctive mood in English has become vestigal.

Languauges do no exist in a vacuum. English is an Indo-European language, and understanding other Indo-European languages helps you understand how English works!

It is similar to how understanding the anatomy of the horse helps you understand the anatomy of th rhinoceros and the zebra. Some people still believe that all of this is preposterous -- but that is their failing.

“If I was” vs. “If I were”

  • August 10, 2012, 9:26pm

Oops - I used incorrect word order. One of my example sentences should have been:

"Ich moechte Wiener schnitzel, Kartoffelen und Apfelsafte gern haben."
"I would like to have Wiener schnitzel, potatoes, and apple juice."

“If I was” vs. “If I were”

  • August 10, 2012, 9:20pm

In German, the subjunctive mood is alive and well, and people use it every day.
I have few doubts that thsi is also true of other languages of Mainland Europe.
Hence, people who are accustomed top using the subjunctive mood in their native language (on "automatic pilot"), then they are much more likely to use the subjunctive mode the right way in English. So, this is the root of that.

Furthermore, in German there are two forms of the subjunctive mood, referred to as Subjunctive I and Subjunctive II, but I never could keep those names straight.
Nevertheless, in English, one of these forms is dead EXCEPT in some uses of the verb "may" that do not have anything to do with asking permission. E.G.
"That may be true," and in some odd kinds of commands such as "May the prisoner be hanged, drawn, quartered, and burned at the stake." I don't get this last one.

The other form of subjunctive mood in English still exists, but its use has become less and less common. I think that this loss is shameful. Examples.
1. That might be true.
2. If you would only use your brains, but that is hard to imagine.
3. If I were the emperor of the entire planet, then ...."
4. Then there is a whole family of helping verbs ("modal auxiliaries") that can be used in the subjunctive mood, especially in questions:
A: Could you do that for me? (Maybe you can and maybe you cannot.)
B. Do you have breakfast for me? (Maybe you do and maybe you don't.)
C. Will you let me out of here? (Maybe you will and maybe you won't)
D. Might we go to the circus tonigtht? (Maybe we will and maybe we won't.)
E. "Would" has more subjunctive uses in questions than can easily by counted. However, millions and millions of people have no idea that they are using the subjunction mood when they use the word "would". In fact, they use the word "would" in sentences that cast them into the subjunctive mood when the situation is not subjuntive at all. Why??? I just say sheer carelessness.

Would you give me 100 pounds sterling or 150 dollars? (Maybe you will and maybe you won't)
Also, being polite when giving an order: To a waitress: "Would you get me some ketchup and mustard?" Most speakers have no idea that this is in the subjunctive mood.
In German, the subjunctive form for the auxiliary verb "mag" is used much more than the indicative mood - as far as I know. This verb translates as "would" and it is "moechte" in German. (On the other hand, perhaps we American students were taught to use "moechte" a lot so that we would not come across as boorish in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Do you want to visit a country to be a guest, and then be a boor, too? I don't." Here is an example sentence:

"Moechte ich Wiener schnitzel, Kartoffelen und Apfelsafte gern haben."
equals, "I would like to have Wiener schnitzel, potatoes, and apple juice."

"Moechten Sie etwas Erpsensuppe gern haben?"
"Nein! Niemals moge Ich Erpsensuppe haben!"
equals. "Would you like to have some green pea soup?"
"No! I never want to have any green pea soup!"



“Much More Ready” July 8, 2012
Molotov Cocktails July 8, 2012
Latest vs. Newest July 15, 2012