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

Username

Skeeter Lewis

Member Since

March 16, 2012

Total number of comments

165

Total number of votes received

135

Bio

Latest Comments

troops vs soldiers

  • February 22, 2014, 6:03am

'Fortuitous' in the sense of 'accidental' was the usual meaning until the Seventies or Eighties in Britain and still is among the educated. But I never tell other people how to use the language. My rules are for myself. I permit myself to comment, however, on a site such as this.

troops vs soldiers

  • February 22, 2014, 3:37am

Porsche, I don't think my strictures about 'cohort' can be called an etymological fallacy since, as my research assistant Warsaw Will has pointed out, as recently as 1965 it was described as 'an American vulgarism'.

troops vs soldiers

  • February 22, 2014, 3:26am

Incidentally, Will, the social sciences have a lot to answer for linguistically.

troops vs soldiers

  • February 22, 2014, 3:20am

Decimated! Quite. An other one is 'fortuitous' which, some years ago, started to be misused for 'fortunate'. Originally, it meant 'accidental', pure and simple. A death could be 'fortuitous'. It didn't mean you were happy about it.
Some dictionaries cover their behinds nowadays by saying it means 'fortunately accidental', rather like 'serendipitous'.

troops vs soldiers

  • February 21, 2014, 2:01pm

It's true that some descriptivist dictionaries list the wrong use of cohort. But then, to misquote Mandy Rice Davies, they would, wouldn't they?

troops vs soldiers

  • February 19, 2014, 5:40pm

Another term that gets misused to mean a single person is 'cohort' which is a tenth of a legion or, more generally, any group of soldiers.

Pronunciation of “gill”

  • January 30, 2014, 8:58am

Yes, I'm intrigued also as to why Stephen Fry is 'erstwhile'. Maybe he's had a sex change and become 'Stephanie'.

Pronunciation of “gill”

  • January 28, 2014, 4:40am

It's 'jill' for the English too.

Pronunciation of “often”

  • January 25, 2014, 10:56am

Will - I agree. There are all sorts of variations and changes in the development of language. What was 'fallacious' was the idea that words must be pronounced as spelled, with an emphasis on 'must'. Of course, sometimes pronunciation follows spelling and sometimes it doesn't.

Pronunciation of “often”

  • January 24, 2014, 7:24pm

The pronunciation awf'n is becoming old-fashioned and of'n or often is now usual. According to the OED the sounding of the t was not then recognized by the dictionaries. But that was before the speak-as-you-spell movement got under way, and as long ago as 1933 the SOED recorded that the sounding of the t was then frequent in the south of England . That would now be an understatement of its currency. The long-drawn-out joke in The Pirates of Penzance - 'When you said orphan did you mean a person who has lost his parents or often , frequently' - will soon be unintelligible to the audience.
Fowler's Modern English Usage. Second edition, revised by Gowers.

Fowler disliked the notion that words must be pronounced as spelled.

Questions

Medicine or Medication? October 27, 2012
What’s happening to the Passive? July 30, 2014
The 1900s June 11, 2015