Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about Pure English? Look here first. If you cannot find what you want to know, please feel free to contact Pure English.

Quite simply, because you want to communicate well. That is the primary purpose of writing.

All of us at Pure English love language, particularly the English language. More importantly though, we are passionate about good communication. Whether you write for business or pleasure, saying what you mean in an engaging, clear way will make people want to read your work. That is the best reward a writer could want.

English as a second language is a particular strength of Pure English. With a large amount of direct experience in this field, we know how to understand and improve your writing. Well-written English will enhance your reputation and opportunities.

There are other organisations offering some of the same services as Pure English. Some of these groups are cheaper to engage than Pure English. Some charge much more. The quality of their work varies immensely. We offer outstanding quality at an affordable price, as well as a variety of services that we believe are unique to Pure English.

We know you will be delighted with our service.

No.

Spell checking and grammar checking are both useful automated tools. You can use them to help with your writing. Unfortunately, these tools do not understand everything about English. Sometimes they cause errors. Even if they offer valid corrections, your writing may become less accurate, potentially even dangerously so.

For example, if you type "pit" instead of "pat", "pet", "pot" or "put", spell checking will not correct it.

Another perfect example is if you intended to write "Do not drink this!" but instead you wrote "Do drink this!". Spell checking and grammar checking will not correct this mistake and the consequences could be disastrous.

Only an experienced human editor will find many of the mistakes in a document. A good editor will go further and make the writing flow and glow, giving life to your work in a way that automated tools cannot. Pure English editors will make your work shine brightly.

Pure English bases its charges on the number of words in the documents being edited. We also look at the writing to see if it will require heavy editing. Without seeing the documents, we cannot give you an exact cost for the work you require.

Some people ask us, "If I tell you the number of words, can you give me a quote?". The simple answer is "No", for the reasons above.

Pure English has strict provisions in its Privacy Policy governing how documents must be handled. If you do not accept a quote for documents you have sent us, we will immediately destroy those documents.

If you have requested a quote and

  • You want to cancel the request before you have received the quote, or
  • You have received the quote but do not want to accept it,

simply Contact Us and let us know. We will cancel the request and delete the files you sent us.

If you have received a quote and accepted it, but subsequently want to cancel the order, the Standard Terms and Conditions of Engagement relevant to Cancelled Orders apply.

Pure English only accepts documents that are sent electronically via the Internet. Paper copies of documents and other forms of electronic submission (for example, fax or posted CD) are not accepted.

Upload your documents using Request a Quote.

Be sure to submit your documents in one of the accepted source document formats.

Various service levels apply to the delivery of Pure English services. For example, when you Request a Quote, we will tell you the expected turnaround time to complete the work.

You can request a faster turnaround by specifying the Express option when you Request a Quote. Appropriate additional charges apply.

Methodology

Pure English has a set of editing principles and practices. These are the basis for our editing decisions and are derived from authoritative texts for the English language.

These editing principles and practices address issues of spelling, grammar, punctuation, usage, style and regional variation in the language.

Standard English style and usage conventions for the type of English you choose to write – British or American English – are used to edit your documents. If you do not explicitly choose a particular type of English, British English is used.

Scope

Pure English will edit the text in your entire document, unless you request only a part of your document to be edited, in which case, we will edit only the required section.

"Plain" means "clear". When people read something, the meaning needs to be as clear as possible so they will understand it easily and completely. The best way to achieve that is with plain English. Pure English uses plain English wherever it is possible to do so.

Using plain English does not mean the writing will be dull or boring to read. Plain English can easily sparkle with fine, high-quality writing. This is the approach Pure English takes.

As always, Pure English concentrates on good communication and edits according to its editing principles and practices, which are based on authoritative English language reference texts.

The author (or legal owner) of materials submitted to Pure English must ensure the work is original. Any material that comes from other sources must be used with explicit permission or fully cited or referenced in accordance with normal copyright laws.

Breaches of copyright and plagiarism are illegal. Pure English assumes no responsibility whatsoever for the original authorship of materials submitted for editing. All liability for infringement of copyright or other intellectual property rights remains with the author (or legal owner) of the materials.

Students submitting work to Pure English must ensure they comply with all policies, requirements and guidelines of their educational institution regarding editing by third parties.

All works submitted to Pure English are the property of the legal owner of the materials submitted. All intellectual property rights for those materials and any edited versions of them remain with that owner unless a specific written agreement is made with Pure English to assign some of the rights to us.

Pure English does not normally request any intellectual property rights, but is happy to discuss the matter with the legal owner of the materials at any time.

Pure English has a strong Privacy Policy to ensure your personal privacy and the confidentiality of your written works are protected. We recommend you read this policy and contact Pure English if you have any concerns whatsoever.

Pure English has competitive fees and charges for its services. You will be told the exact price we will charge you when you Request a Quote.

Pure English offers flexible payment options for products and services.

Anywhere in the world

No matter where you are in the world, you may pay Pure English as follows:

  • Credit cards: Mastercard and Visa only
  • Direct bank deposit (in Australian dollars)
  • PayPal

Direct Bank Deposit Details

Account Name: Mizpah International Pty Ltd
Account Number: 123832016
BSB: 184-446
SWIFT: MACQAU2SXXX
Bank: Macquarie Bank
Branch: Brisbane
Currency: Australian Dollars (AUD) only

In Australia

In addition to all options available internationally, in Australia you may also pay by BPay and bank cheque in Australian Dollars (AUD) only.

BPay Details

Biller code: 20206
Reference: 123832016

Details for Bank Cheques

Please make cheques in AUD payable to Mizpah International Pty Ltd and send them to:

Pure English
3 Oleander Drive
Bonagree
QLD
Australia 4507

We do not accept personal cheques.

Pure English keeps certain information about you to enable us to serve you as best possible. The information we keep and how it is used is detailed in our Privacy Policy. You can contact Pure English at any time to request that Pure English update or delete your information, as well as ask any questions you have.

Be assured that all information we maintain is protected in strict accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Pure English editors live all around the world, including England, the USA and Australia. They are extremely fluent English speakers with degrees from recognised tertiary institutions.

Our editors come from a multitude of backgrounds with extensive experience in many fields including technology, librarianship, education and teaching, writing, healthcare, aviation, etc.

Depending on the variation of English you choose to write – British or American English – appropriate editors are selected to edit your documents.

Pure English is always interested in suitable, qualified people to join its editing team. You need to have certain qualifications and characteristics. Specifically, you

  • Are a fluent English speaker
  • Understand the English language and all its nuances extremely well
  • Communicate extremely clearly in written and spoken English
  • Have excellent editing skills including being meticulous, thorough, consistent and disciplined
  • Hold at least a degree from a recognised tertiary education institution
  • Are able to use appropriate computer software and edit competently with it.

If you believe you meet these requirements, take the Pure English Editing Test. If you still want to apply to be an editor with us, contact Pure English and tell us about yourself.

Learning English

If you want to write any language well, you must learn to read the language well, and to do that you must learn to speak it well.

To learn and improve your spoken English, we recommend the Rosetta Stone English language products. By improving how you speak the language, you will improve your ability to read it. This is crucial for good writing.

English Reference Texts

Pure English highly recommends the reference texts we use for our editing principles and practices. They will certainly be of benefit to all people using the English language.

Online Resources

AskOxford has many good resources available to assist you with enquiries about English.

Ask Pure English

If you are a client of Pure English and you have a specific question about English for which you cannot find an answer, feel free to ask Pure English.

The Society for Pure English

The Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language lists The Society for Pure English as follows:

SOCIETY FOR PURE ENGLISH, The. A reforming society founded in England in 1913 by a number of writers and academics on the initiative of the poet Robert Bridges. The outbreak of the First World War impeded its development, but between 1919 and 1946 it carried on a campaign against what it regarded as degenerate tendencies within the language, mainly through a series of 66 Tracts, for many years printed and distributed by Oxford University Press. The terms pure and tract indicate the quasi-missionary approach adopted by Bridges and his associates. In Tract 21 (1925), which sets out the aims of the Society, Bridges indicated that by pure he did not intend Teutonic (that is, Germanic), an interpretation associated with the 19c reformer William BARNES, who had advocated a return to undiluted SAXONISM. Pure was deliberately adopted ‘as an assertive protest against that misappropriation of the term which would condemn our historic practice’. Bridges considered that the spread of English throughout the world was ‘a condition over which we have no control’, but one that ‘entails a vast responsibility and imposes on our humanity the duty to do what we can to make our current speech as good a means as possible for the intercommunication of ideas’.

Bridges argued that ‘we are the inheritors of what may claim to be the finest living literature in the world’, and that steps should therefore be taken to ensure that the everyday language does not ‘grow out of touch with that literature…so that to an average Briton our Elizabethan heritage would come to be as much an obsolete language as Middle English is to us now’. He saw as a special peril the scattering of speakers of English among ‘communities of other-speaking races, who…learn yet enough of ours to mutilate it, and establishing among themselves all kinds of blundering corruptions, through habitual intercourse infect therewith the neighbouring English’.

Although the Society had only a slender influence on users of English beyond literary and philological circles, many of the views expressed by Bridges and his fellow members continue to be widely endorsed, especially by older members of the middle classes throughout the English-speaking world. They are from time to time restated by pressure groups with similar interests, such as the Queen's English Society in England in the 1980s, under the presidency of the writer and retired BBC broadcaster Godfrey Talbot, who echoes Bridges in writing:

Accost me as The Old-Fashioned Anglo if you like, but it appears to me that the Mother Tongue which half the world now uses is a cause for concern because while in demand overseas it is in decay at home, where increasingly it is both taken for granted and tainted. Restoration and repair are needed. Rarely has a rich inheritance been so undervalued as English today. (‘Protecting the Queen's English’, English Today 11, July 1987)

© Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language 1998, originally published by Oxford University Press 1998.
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The Society for Pure English

The Introduction to Society for Pure English Tract 3 has this to say about The Society for Pure English:

The Society for Pure English was established so "that a few men of letters, supported by the scientific alliance of the best linguistic authorities, should form a group or free association, and agree upon a modest and practical scheme for informing popular taste on sound principles, for guiding educational authorities, and for introducing into practice certain slight modifications and advantageous changes." The purpose of the society can be stated as follows "The ideal of their proposed association is both conservative and democratic. It would aim at preserving all the richness of differentiation in our vocabulary, its nice grammatical usages, its traditional idioms, and the music of its inherited pronunciation: it would oppose whatever is slipshod and careless, and all blurring of hard-won distinctions, but it would no less oppose the tyranny of schoolmasters and grammarians, both in their pedantic conservatism, and in their ignorant enforcing of newfangled 'rules', based not on principle, but merely on what has come to be considered 'correct' usage. The ideal of the Society is that our language in its future development should be controlled by the forces and processes which have formed it in the past; that it should keep its English character, and that the new elements added to it should be in harmony with the old; for by this means our growing knowledge would be more widely spread, and the whole nation brought into closer touch with the national medium of expression."

Copyright © Standard Publications, Incorporated.
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The Society for Pure English Tracts

The Society for Pure English published many tracts during its history. The first sixty have been published in (at least) two editions:

  • SOCIETY FOR PURE ENGLISH. Tracts 1-60. Published by Clarendon Press, Oxford (Oxford University Press), 1919-1948. [6 volume original edition]
  • SOCIETY FOR PURE ENGLISH. Tracts 1-60. Published by Garland Publishing, New York, 1979. [Reprint of original edition in 7 volumes]

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The Society for Pure English (Article in The New York Times)

The following is an extract from an article in the New York Times that talks about the Society for Pure English in early 20th century England.

A Campaign for Pure English by Brander Matthews

The Society for Pure English came into being in England in 1913 at the suggestion of Robert Bridges, the Poet Laureate, Henry Bradley, the successor of Sir James Murray as editor of the still unfinished Oxford Dictionary; Sir Walter Raleigh, the Oxford Professor of English Literature, and L. Pearsall Smith, author of a useful little book on the history of the English language. Among those who joined it immediately were Arthur J. Balfour, A. C. Bradley, Austin Dobson, Thomas Hardy, J. W. Mackaif, Gilbert Murray, Mrs Humphry Ward and Mrs Wharton – this last being the only American adherent, unless L. Pearsall Smith can be reckoned as another. The rallying of these men and women of letters was not more significant than the prompt adhesion of the professors of English in the various British universities: W. M. Dixon, Oliver Elton, E. S. Gordon, C. H. Herford, W. P. Ker, G. C. Moore-Smith, F. W. Moorman, A. Quiller-Couch, George Saintsbury and H. C. K. Wyld.

Read the complete article.

Published in The New York Times, 26 September 1920.
Copyright © The New York Times
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The Society for Pure English (Article in The Spectator)

The Society for Pure English featured in an article in The Spectator in 19 November 1921. It may be read online at The Spectator Archive.
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Treatise on Pure English

An interesting book, Pure English : a treatise on words and phrases, or practical lessons in the use of language, by Fred H. Hackett and Ernest A. Girvin, was published in 1886 but is still relevant today. It is available for reading online.

The image is a representation of Pegasus. Pegasus is the mythological winged horse that carries the thunderbolt of Zeus. Born of the dying Medusa, Pegasus was caught and tamed whilst drinking at the fountain of Pirene by the hero Bellerophontes. Pegasus is said to have created many famous water sources in the earth by stamping his hoof, most notably the soul-inspiring waters of Hippocrene on Mount Helicon. He appears on the early coins of Corinth and, in Roman times, he became a symbol of immortality.

The Pegasus logo is the logo of Mizpah International Pty Ltd, the parent organisation of Pure English.

Since its foundation, Pure English has donated a portion of its profits to worthy charitable organisations. From local to global, our concern for the well-being of all is indivisible from the ethos and nature of Pure English.

We support many organisations, including

Pure English encourages you to be generous in your support of worthy and effective charitable organisations.

Pure English also encourages you to speak up for human rights, moral justice and ethical behaviour in the world. One organisation that Pure English particularly recommends is Avaaz.org.

Pure English has had the privilege of experiencing high-quality products and services from a number of suppliers that we would like to recommend, both in Australia and overseas.

Website Design and Marketing

The Pure English website was designed and made by Creative Concepts. Based in Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast in Australia, this relatively small company has a superb group of designers and marketing professionals.

Airlines

When travelling overseas, we use Singapore Airlines or Thai Airways whenever possible. For domestic travel within Australia, we use Qantas.

Information Technology

For most of our IT requirements, we use Hewlett Packard (HP) equipment. For our networking requirements, we use Fritz! equipment from AVM.

Mizpah

Our sister companies in the Mizpah International Pty Ltd group are suppliers of fine products and services:

Note: We make the recommendations above genuinely and without any recompense or incentive in any form whatsoever from any supplier.