Language Editing and Proofreading: Multilingualism and Native Speakers

English Grammar

"The ideal philologist regards the 'misuse' of language as a psychiatrist regards murder: just one more phenomenon of human behaviour" (Gary Jennings, 1965)

In order to avoid mixing apples and oranges we will post here common errors in academic English usage.

We will list both errors made by native speakers of English and errors made by non-native speakers of English.

Giles Deleuze = Gilles Deleuze

vise versa (misspelling) = vice versa well as...= both...and...

Use one or the other, but not both. Carrie had both a facial and a massage. Or: Carrie had a facial as well as a massage.”

According to "Garner's Modern American Usage" (Garner, 2009, p. 112), the construction " well as" is both unidiomatic and verbose for "both...and".

surrounding = surroundings

In the reminder of this chapter = In the remainder of this chapter

The own body (as translation of "le corps propre") = one's own body; the lived body

We only use own after a possessive word. Nevertheless, it seems that the own body has become quite common in texts about phenomenology; e.g.: Christopher Macann uses "the own body": C. Macann (1991). The Impossibility of a Phenomenological Constitution of the Own Body, Presence and Coincidence, 119, pp. 85 - 102

According to Merriam-Webster "own" can be also used to express immediate or direct kinship, e.g.: an own son; an own sister.

An own body is also used to translate Husserl's notion of Leib. (see p. 206, note 10, Handbook of Phenomenology, Springer, 2009).

as well as = a) (literal meaning) "as proficiently"; b) (idiomatic

meaning) "and"



  • She has experience in management, as well as being an actor of talent;

  • Beauty as well as love is redemptive


  • Abstraction as well as impressionism were Russian inventions

  • She means what she says as well as says what she means

See: Rodney Huddleston, Geoffrey K. Pullum (2002). The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, Cambridge University Press, p. 1316

We must conclude that the idiomatic as well as can be construed syntactically by introducing an element that is coordinate [as in b)] and the literal as well as can be construed syntactically by introducing an element that is subordinate as in [a).]