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#TrickyEnglish #385: A knobble: small knob, a rounded protuberance. To nobble: to influence unfairly or intervene; to steal, seize or catch

 

#TrickyEnglish #386: ‘Babyhood’ may be described as the state before childhood, during which time a ‘baby hood’ might be worn in sun or rain

 

#TrickyEnglish #387: Empathy is the mental power to comprehend someone fully. Sympathy, perhaps a level down from empathy, is more a sharing

 

#TrickyEnglish #388: The noun ‘wet nurse’ needs a hyphen when turned into a verb. Other examples: silk screen, double check, saddle stitch.

 

#TrickyEnglish #389: Some dangerous plurals: coltsfoots, goosefoots. Both are plants, not the feet of those animals. Also bird’s-foots.

 

#TrickyEnglish #390: Some awkward apostrophe-hyphen combinations. Bird’s-eye view and speedwell, bird’s-nest orchid, but ‘bird’s nest soup’.

 

#TrickyEnglish #391: Won’t: will not. Old-fashioned ‘wont’ (pronounced as ‘won’t’) means one’s customary behaviour. ‘He is wont to sleep in’

 

#TrickyEnglish #392: Adverse: notably difficult (‘adverse conditions’). Averse: to have strong feelings against (‘I am averse to boxing’).

 

#TrickyEnglish #393: Words that may be spelled in two ways. malemute/malamute, highfaluting/highfalutin, lynchpin/linchpin, hinnie/hinny.

 

#TrickyEnglish #394: Watch out for spaces, or lack thereof: mole station, melancholic ally, know ledge, fib roma, Pau city, the rapist.

 

#TrickyEnglish #395: ‘Hermitic’ is the adjective from ‘hermit’: living solitarily, reclusively. ‘Hermetic’ means completely sealed, airtight

 

#TrickyEnglish #396: Hooker: rugby union No. 2 in scrum; prostitute (slang); small Irish/Dutch fishing vessel. Hookah: Oriental tobacco pipe

 

#TrickyEnglish #397: ‘Incurable’ is for a disease, bad habit, passion etc. which cannot be cured. ‘Incurrable’: adjective from verb ‘incur’.

 

#TrickyEnglish #398: ‘Porage’: not a misspelling of ‘porridge’, but seen only on Scott’s packaging: old Scots ‘poray’ + French ‘potage’.

 

#TrickyEnglish #399: ‘Borne’ comes from ‘bear’ & has nothing to do with ‘born’. Jim has long borne the truth that he was born out of wedlock

 

#TrickyEnglish #400: Sop (noun): something done to pacify. Sop (verb): drench or soak thoroughly. Thus soppy: infatuated with, too sentimental

 

#TrickyEnglish #401: Crake: bird of the rail family esp. a corncrake. Creek: small coastal bay. Creak: squeaking sound. Quake: tremble/shake

 

#TrickyEnglish #402: Use commas. I asked my eyebrows rising. The man who loved me well he’s dead. Stop excessively clubbing A Level students

 

#TrickyEnglish #403: The Prof has just coffee-sprayed his screen reading an email stating: ‘Wet rust this clarifies the situation.’

 

#TrickyEnglish #404: Words that may be spelled in two ways. Hair΄s breadth/hairbreadth, lodestone/loadstone, lotta/lotsa, honeyed/honied.

 

#TrickyEnglish #405: Use semi-colons (or a dash). Slow police. There was only one thing on the librarian’s mind reading. Vacant chef wanted.

 

#TrickyEnglish #406: ‘Dinned’: not a typo of ‘dined’. To din: instil something by continuous repetition. The time tables were dinned into us

 

#TrickyEnglish #407: The sheer stress of the job made me ill; shear stress is the component of stress coplanar with a material cross section

 

#TrickyEnglish #408: Where would we be without the Glenn Hoddle English Academy? Moving quick, learning good, finding gaps what no else does

 

#TrickyEnglish #409: What a difference a comma makes. ‘I’m pleased to report that the suspected Gulf War terrorist has been named Mr Blair.’

 

#TrickyEnglish #410: It’s not bullshit to say that bull shit is the excrement from a particular bovine animal.

 

#TrickyEnglish #411: ‘ID’: abbrev for identity; ‘id’ (related!): unorganised part of our personality structure containing instinctual drives

 

#TrickyEnglish #412: Some errors from recent jobs. Aurora of holiness. Top draw of a chest. A bold head. It was on her conscious. Folk law.

 

#TrickyEnglish #413: Zygomatic (bone): forming the main part of the cheek and eye socket. Zymotic (disease): contagious after infection.

 

#TrickyEnglish #414: ‘Acerbic’ means sour or bitter; forthright. ‘Ascorbic acid’ is Vitamin C, and ‘ascorbate’ is its anion, ester or salt.

 

#TrickyEnglish #415: Verb ‘peak’ means to reach or achieve the highest point of something. Verb ‘peek’ means to have a quick, furtive look.

 

#TrickyEnglish #416: You do not have to be an atheist to write, correctly, ‘the gates of Hell’, or a believer to ‘stand a hell of a chance’.

 

#TrickyEnglish #417: What a difference a hyphen makes. As Day-Lewis joined Cumberbatch there was suddenly a second class actor on the stage.

 

#TrickyEnglish #418: Verbs ‘squash’ & ‘quash’ are almost interchangeable but ‘quash’ has a narrower (usu. legal: ‘quashed conviction’) usage

 

#TrickyEnglish #419: Perpetrate vs. perpetuate. You can perpetrate a mistake once, but to do it repeatedly is to perpetuate it.

 

#TrickyEnglish #420: Some more tautologies. Bowing your head down. A huge, man-sized creature. He was accelerating faster and faster.

 

#TrickyEnglish #421: There are four ways to write the adjective from ‘paradise’: paradisal, paradisiacal, paradisaical and paradisical.

 

#TrickyEnglish #422: I campaign for the abolition of cruelty and women’s rights. I campaign for the abolition of cruelty, and women’s rights

 

#TrickyEnglish #423: Cache: hidden store (‘geocaching’); (computing) auxiliary memory. Cachet: prestige or distinguishing mark. Cash: money.

 

#TrickyEnglish #424: Pâté: rich, cooked, savoury (meat, fish) paste. Pate: the head (‘bald pate’). Pâte: paste used to make porcelain.

 

#TrickyEnglish #425: ‘Officinal’: (pharmaceutical) kept ready for immediate dispensing. Not to be confused with or misspelled as ‘official’.

 

#TrickyEnglish #426: ‘I had to dig myself out of a hole.’ The Prof asks how literally, metaphorically or figuratively this is ever possible.

 

#TrickyEnglish #427: Don’t use proverbs – there’s always another one to contradict you. Look before you leap. He who hesitates is lost.

 

#TrickyEnglish #428: Pedicel: small stalk, esp. with a flower in inflorescence. Pedicle: part of skin graft still attached to original site.

 

#TrickyEnglish #429: Watch out for spaces, or lack thereof: present ability, throw away society, kidnap pee.

 

#TrickyEnglish #430: Noun ‘instillation’ from introducing an idea into someone’s head. Noun ‘installation’ from the process of installing.

 

#TrickyEnglish #431: ‘Coral’ is a hard calcareous substance, while ‘corral’ is a pen for cattle (noun) or to round up into such a pen (verb)

 

#TrickyEnglish #432: To ‘chafe’ is to wear away by rubbing. ‘Chaff’ (noun) is corn husks, and (verb) to joke light-heartedly (and the noun).

 

#TrickyEnglish #433: ‘Knoll’ isn’t the past of ‘knell’: the former is a small hill, the latter the fateful sounding of a bell (death knell).

 

#TrickyEnglish #434: ‘Beside’ means next to (the book is beside the bed), but ‘besides’ means either in addition to/apart from or ‘moreover’

 

 

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