About the Author

Kelly Centrelli has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in English literature from Queens College, City of New York, where she graduated with honors, and is ABD from Royal Holloway, University of London. (un)Enlightened English was created in 2009 when she was a undergraduate student as an attempt to better serve the diverse community at Queens College. During her academic career, Ms. Centrelli worked as a peer tutor, taught First-Year Composition and university prep courses, and helped pilot new English-language proficiency exams. She was a founding member and editor-in-chief of Exegesis Journal at Royal Holloway, an open-access, peer-reviewed, postgraduate e-journal.

For more information on Kelly and her resume, please see her LinkedIn or Facebook pages.

Previous iterations of (un)Enlightened English included a sister-site entitled (un)Enlightened Philosophy, with posts written by Joseph Centrelli. Joseph graduated from Bloomsburg University with a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy. To view (un)Enlightened Philosophy’s legacy posts, click here.


  1. Your site blocks long comments as “a bit spammy” even though the comment posts are moderated. I can’t get around leaving what I think is valuable information in response to questions in other comments because Why can’t you set it up so it doesn’t automatically block a comment when AI thinks it’s “spammy” and let the moderator(s) handle it?

    • The comments go through for approval (I approved them in the Shakespearean English post), so I’m not sure why it’s indicating that they’re blocked for spam. I’ll have to fiddle with it a bit, see if I can replicate the error, and fix it. Thanks so much for pointing it out! 😀

  2. Hi!
    I just wanted to thank you for writing such a splendid blog. I’m also a Writing Center-employed English Master’s student, and your posts have helped me explain complex concepts to deer-in-the-headlights First Years. I searched your site for an e-mail address to send this to you personally, but I was unable to find one, so I’ll simply ask here: Would it be OK to feature your blog posts on our WC Bulletin Board? There are many entries that the students would find to be helpful, and I would make sure that you are properly cited (in MLA, of course).
    Another Literate Kelly

  3. Kelly,

    I would love to read your insights on the current trend toward the verbification of nouns. 😉 “I texted…” “He friended…”

    Also, have you also noticed a recent surge in the lost art of contractions? One particularly disturbing error I see frequently is “W- C- Should’ve” presented as “W- C- Should of”. Maddening!


    • Verbing nouns isn’t as recent a development as you would think! It’s actually quite common. For example, “cup.” We have the noun form and the verb form “to cup” (as in one’s hands). In this particular case, the action of cupping emulates the shape of the noun. Today’s verbing is particularly interesting in relation to Google–“I Googled it.” I don’t believe I know many instances where a PROPER noun becomes a verb.

      The particular should’ve/should-of error is something I run into a LOT. ESL students make this mistake because it sounds like “should of” (at least so they’ve told me). Native English speakers frequently are not taught this particular contraction, and it’s not necessarily the type of contraction you would find in a novel or online. The approach I take is this: “Let’s say I want to take out the ‘should.’ Could I say ‘I of’? No. Could I say ‘I have’? Yes. ‘Should’ is part of the verb form. ‘Of,’ as a preposition, works with nouns.”

  4. Thanks for an interesting blog. I want to subscribe to its feed, since I’m a writer and also take on copyediting roles from time to time. I hope you’ll push this on and update! It’s very helpful. Thanks again, Kelly!

    • Yeeeeeeeeeah, I was busy with my MA for awhile, but now that I’ve completed it, I should probably update more!!

  5. er, i meant to say instructor, not professor. point was that i think you meant to say “an.” but who’s proofreading?

    anyway, enjoyed your site. i am an esl instructor and i came across it via a google search for some grammar rule.

    other fun ones – began/begun (someone actually said “be begun” to me recently and i was surprised it worked), further/farther, jealousy/envy, take over/overtake.

    anyway, thanks for the posts, good work!

  6. Grammar Guide

    A pronoun is a word that is used in place of a noun in a sentence. These function in the same way as nouns; a pronoun is also a “person, place, or thing.” However, there is a slight difference. A pronoun replaces a noun–that noun is called the “antecedent.”

    (Looks like you’re using an n-dash here, between “noun” and “that.” That’s GREAT, except you should insert a space on each side of the dash. Otherwise it reads as a hyphen.

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