My secretary is doing her degree, thesis is due

It’s in English. She is a very last minute sort of person. Could I proof read it?


22 pages to be proofed by tomorrow morning.


“Depressed from glooms” is really rather good but I think they’d prefer “depressed with gloom”, no?

23 thoughts on “My secretary is doing her degree, thesis is due”

  1. When I was married my wife asked me to proof-read her social services thesis. I had to stop about a quarter of the way in as I violently diagreed with the arguments being asserted.

    “Old people need to be tricked into deciding they want to move into supported care….” sort of thing.

  2. Well, look on the bright side. If she’s waited this long to get grammar proofreading done then she’s not likely to have done a great job on the thesis anyway – so no matter what level of effort you put into it, she’s probably not going to get a passing mark.

  3. My wife (then fiancee) had me up all night typing her thesis. In those days IT undergrads had typing skills and 24 hour access to computers and Geography undergrads had neither.

    Much Pro Plus was taken.

  4. I don’t think wither version makes a lot of sense. Either “depressed” or “gloomy” by themselves would be enough, wouldn’t it? To be more idiomatic, how about “weighed down with gloom”?

  5. @Diogenes

    It may not make much sense, but it is a brilliant turn of phrase nonetheless, and the type only someone not fluent in English could have come out with. A proper gem.

  6. @VftS

    It’s not (I assume) a doctoral thesis. 30-40,000 words is perfectly respectable for a first degree, or even a masters (depending on subject, to some extent).

  7. Blow-job in return, Tim? I’m thinking that ‘secretary’ is a euphemism, though I am on my second bottle of good red from Arcos de la Frontera.

  8. NB The “Thomas Fuller” above is not me. He/she/it is semi-literate. Why some twit would want to use my stupid pseudonym is a mystery, but there it is.

    I care just enough to have made this post, but no more.

  9. Thomas Fuller (8.59pm)

    As you say, this is not important.

    If yours (regular poster here) is a pseudonym, perhaps the chap above is Thomas W Fuller, whom I’ve seen quite a bit of (on the internet) on climate science? Ie, could simply be completely innocent, or perhaps I missed something?

  10. Bloke in Costa Rica

    I think “freighted with despondency” or “laid low by melancholy” are more felicitous phrases.

  11. No, real secretary, or at least used to be. And nothing quite so exciting. She deals with a German accountant for me, I proof read.

  12. Jonathan Miller, use a green pen. That’s what auditors use (or at least they did when I worked in banking).

  13. @Henry Crun

    When I did internal verification of coursework at a college, lecturers marked in blue/black, the IV team in red, while the external verifier would mark in green. So not just banking!

  14. In the days when draft legal documents would be typed out and then be subjected to handwritten amendments by each side in turn, there was a strict order for the colour of pencil used: first set of amendments in red; second in blue; third in green … yeah, even unto the sixth and seventh generations. The idea was that you could always tell who had made any given amendment (IANAL so may have got the order wrong).

    I think MS Word retains the same convention (if you turn on document tracking).

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