Please advise how to better or emend https://ell.stackexchange.com/q/38683/8712 for want of its reopening? I beware of 'requests for resources" but would appreciate help on the names of fr what I should be seaching.

Update to 200_success's answer: I ask NOT about resources, but about terms that describe frequent, but more understated, nuanced grammatical errors in English? What are they called?

  • Manuals of style, manuals of usage. An example might be Fowler's Modern English Usage, or The Reader Over Your Shoulder by (poet, novelist) Robert Graves.
    – TimR
    Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 14:58
  • @TRomano: or "Avoiding Solecisms" (hee hee!)
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 14:35

3 Answers 3


I think you would have been better off to provide a few specific examples that fall under what you call:

trickier, but more nuanced grammatical errors

By the way, I understand that you are not asking for references themselves, but for a word that would describe "tricky and more nuanced grammatical errors" and could therefore be used a search term when seeking such references. I've retagged the question accordingly. However, I won't support a move to reopen the question until some specific examples are provided; I think it's too vague as is.

  • Thanks. I had meant to provide a few specific examples upon writing: 'For example: 4724, 57954, 28662, 3447, and 25951.' Does this help?
    – user8712
    Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 11:54
  • 1
    That's a step in the right direction, but I really think you should put more effort into your questions: that string of numbers looks like the output from some kind of cipher or something. You're essentially requesting that people to go visit five other questions just to get the gist of what you are asking. I think there are more courteous ways to elaborate – ways that would also improve your question.
    – J.R. Mod
    Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 15:42
  • I did visit the questions, but I couldn't figure out what specifically the OP wanted to know.
    – user230
    Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 23:56
  • @J.R. Thanks, better now? I've entitled the links. Please advise on further improvements?
    – user8712
    Commented Nov 8, 2014 at 7:16
  • That's a big improvement (although I don't think there is anything advanced or tricky about "him" vs. "he"). I really doubt there's a word out there that fits your question; that is, a word that will help a search engine differentiate between general grammar books and grammar books that delve into more details about the trickier nuances of the language. One word I thought of was gotchaused as a noun – but I don't think gotcha grammar would help you refine your search very well.
    – J.R. Mod
    Commented Nov 8, 2014 at 11:21

The question was tagged , and I therefore interpreted it as a request for resources (which is off-topic, according to the Help Center.

(There are 8 other questions tagged , which are all off-topic, or should be. To prevent proliferation of such questions, I propose that these questions all be deleted, and the tag abolished and blacklisted.)

Your question, despite being tagged , is about self-learning. For that, there is a tag. That would have avoided some miscommunication.

Nevertheless, as it currently stands, I don't think it's a good question, even if it is not directly asking for resources. It's either too broad or unclear what you're asking — as four other users who voted to close the question agree.

  • Thanks. I didn't know about the learning tag. Please advise how I can improve the question though?
    – user8712
    Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 11:55
  • Unless you give lots of examples of what you want to be included and what you want to be excluded from the concept whose name you are looking for, I don't think that we can say anything other than "Advanced English Grammar". Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 12:00
  • I entitled some examples. Do they help? Or would you need more examples?
    – user8712
    Commented Nov 8, 2014 at 7:17
  • The presentation is now better, but the substance of the question is still as unclear as before. Commented Nov 8, 2014 at 7:44

The problem with this type of question is that there can be no way that it is not about resources. In the question itself, you have explicitly asked for references.

One of the issues is that I don't think there have been any studies into what you would call errors committed by native speakers, as generally, the language is defined by their (collective) usage. Speakers don't speak in a way that they believe is ungrammatical unless they are using it to make a point (or perhaps to play the role of someone who would speak in that fashion).

Generally, references that aren't targeted at language learners take native speaker usage to be grammatical, and so are extremely unlikely to describe them as errors - more often, they're called "features" of a dialect or variant of a language.

Finally, the criteria that you have provided are too vague and broad - by whose criteria would things not be "ordinary faults"? You're wasting everyone's time by defining what you want negatively. If I order a coffee, I say I want a cappuccino, not that I don't want a cup without milk, without froth, without cocoa powder, and without sugar.

If this question were to somehow be reopened, I would expect it to be a request for information, not resources (that is, a question with a substantial answer, not a list) and for it to be positively-defined, so we know what to look for.

Note: the existence of negatively-defined criteria in open questions is not a good enough argument to have it here. Where in other questions the scope is more limited, what you're asking for is a google search that excludes some arbitrary criteria you have established. Which is too broad.

  • Thanks. Your para 1: My main goal is to know the proper linguistic term, so that I can search. Your para 3: The problem is that I simply don't know how to define my search area positively, which is precisely what I want to learn. Does this help?
    – user8712
    Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 11:57
  • Not really. It's like you're trying to lead us through a maze, except you can't see anything that we can, and you keep telling us what not to do. It's a waste of time.
    – jimsug
    Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 12:03
  • I think a similar question would be ell.stackexchange.com/q/34475. It had the same sort of purpose, but described what was being looked for more clearly.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 13:39

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