Author Topic: Grammar nazi  (Read 101077 times)

Silverado

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #300 on: May 02, 2015, 08:05:04 PM »
Oh, how does this community feel about 'snuck' instead of 'sneaked', which I believe is correct?

I also hate quote punctuation. Putting the punctuation inside the close quote just bothers me.

Edit: I believe sneaked is the correct form. I realized it was not perfectly clear.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2015, 08:06:58 PM by Silverado »

JenniferOnFIRE

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #301 on: May 02, 2015, 09:22:36 PM »
"and I" when it should be "and me" (and vice versa)

I hear the wrong form of pronoun used so often in our society lately, especially in compound phrases, that it is starting to sound correct - terrible!  Use the pronoun form you would use if it was not in a compound phrase, people!

TheFixer

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #302 on: May 02, 2015, 10:22:47 PM »
Poor, pour, pore.

"We poured over the new catalog."  You poured what over the catalog? Syrup?

Peak, peek, pique.

"The stranger's accent peaked my interest."  So your interest climbed a mountain?
« Last Edit: May 02, 2015, 10:25:08 PM by TheFixer »



Cathy

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #303 on: May 03, 2015, 01:45:41 PM »
I also hate quote punctuation. Putting the punctuation inside the close quote just bothers me.

This is not really a grammar issue. It's more in the domain of typography. According to one internet source of unclear pedigree, the tradition of placing punctuation inside quotation marks regardless of the structure of the sentence can be traced to a peculiarity of historical printing presses.

The above source cites Fowler as opposing the historical practice. The relevant Fowler chapter, "Quotation Marks" (published 1908) is well worth reading and actually contains a pretty lengthy argument on why the historical practice should not be followed and why punctuation should be placed according to the structure of the sentence, not always inside the quotation marks. At one point he saliently notes:

       Argument on the subject is impossible; it is only a question whether the printer's love for the old ways that seem to him so neat, or the writer's and reader's desire to be understood and to understand fully, is to prevail.

For my part, I've never respected or followed the historical tradition. As you may have noticed from my corpus of writing on this forum, I always place my punctuation according to the structure of the sentence.
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Silverado

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #304 on: May 03, 2015, 07:32:59 PM »
I also hate quote punctuation. Putting the punctuation inside the close quote just bothers me.

This is not really a grammar issue. It's more in the domain of typography. According to one internet source of unclear pedigree, the tradition of placing punctuation inside quotation marks regardless of the structure of the sentence can be traced to a peculiarity of historical printing presses.

The above source cites Fowler as opposing the historical practice. The relevant Fowler chapter, "Quotation Marks" (published 1908) is well worth reading and actually contains a pretty lengthy argument on why the historical practice should not be followed and why punctuation should be placed according to the structure of the sentence, not always inside the quotation marks. At one point he saliently notes:

       Argument on the subject is impossible; it is only a question whether the printer's love for the old ways that seem to him so neat, or the writer's and reader's desire to be understood and to understand fully, is to prevail.

For my part, I've never respected or followed the historical tradition. As you may have noticed from my corpus of writing on this forum, I always place my punctuation according to the structure of the sentence.

Excellent. Thanks, me gots something to reed.

Kris

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #305 on: May 04, 2015, 06:28:46 AM »
Free reign, instead of free rein.

I see that a ton.  Including on this forum!
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TheFixer

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #306 on: May 04, 2015, 06:50:46 AM »
Excellent. Thanks, me gots something to reed.




shelivesthedream

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #307 on: May 04, 2015, 07:01:32 AM »
Poor, pour, pore.

"We poured over the new catalog."  You poured what over the catalog? Syrup?

Peak, peek, pique.

"The stranger's accent peaked my interest."  So your interest climbed a mountain?

With things like this, I wonder whether people are being lazy or stupid. I often use colloquialisms in casual speech that I know are not correct but which fit the moment, like misusing the word "literally". But if I think about it, I know that I didn't "literally die laughing". Indeed, sometimes the fact that it's so wrong adds to the joke to me (privately). If you asked someone who "poured over a catalogue" to think about what they said for a second, would they know it was wrong? The kind person inside me wants to say they would and were just being lazy (which can be forgiven in general conversation) but the realist in me says they would have no idea. It particularly bothers me when people who ought to know better and be precise do this, such as interviewers on the radio. They are not allowed to be lazy, so must be stupid.

Kris

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #308 on: May 04, 2015, 07:10:35 AM »
Poor, pour, pore.

"We poured over the new catalog."  You poured what over the catalog? Syrup?

Peak, peek, pique.

"The stranger's accent peaked my interest."  So your interest climbed a mountain?

With things like this, I wonder whether people are being lazy or stupid. I often use colloquialisms in casual speech that I know are not correct but which fit the moment, like misusing the word "literally". But if I think about it, I know that I didn't "literally die laughing". Indeed, sometimes the fact that it's so wrong adds to the joke to me (privately). If you asked someone who "poured over a catalogue" to think about what they said for a second, would they know it was wrong? The kind person inside me wants to say they would and were just being lazy (which can be forgiven in general conversation) but the realist in me says they would have no idea. It particularly bothers me when people who ought to know better and be precise do this, such as interviewers on the radio. They are not allowed to be lazy, so must be stupid.

I've always assumed that it's people who don't read much.  After all, since they all sound the same, the way to learn them would be from seeing them in written form.

Unfortunately, these days, they are written incorrectly so often on social media, blogs, etc. that the wrong forms are probably being reinforced in the only media most people read anymore.
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TheFixer

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #309 on: May 04, 2015, 07:28:33 AM »
Poor, pour, pore.

"We poured over the new catalog."  You poured what over the catalog? Syrup?

Peak, peek, pique.

"The stranger's accent peaked my interest."  So your interest climbed a mountain?

With things like this, I wonder whether people are being lazy or stupid. I often use colloquialisms in casual speech that I know are not correct but which fit the moment, like misusing the word "literally". But if I think about it, I know that I didn't "literally die laughing". Indeed, sometimes the fact that it's so wrong adds to the joke to me (privately). If you asked someone who "poured over a catalogue" to think about what they said for a second, would they know it was wrong? The kind person inside me wants to say they would and were just being lazy (which can be forgiven in general conversation) but the realist in me says they would have no idea. It particularly bothers me when people who ought to know better and be precise do this, such as interviewers on the radio. They are not allowed to be lazy, so must be stupid.

Indeed.  Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.



Grid

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #310 on: May 04, 2015, 07:55:10 AM »
Excellent. Thanks, me gots something to reed.



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TheBuddha

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #311 on: May 04, 2015, 12:50:30 PM »
Unfortunately, these days, they are written incorrectly so often on social media, blogs, etc. that the wrong forms are probably being reinforced in the only media most people read anymore.

Because of that, I think eventually "your" and "you're" will officially switch meanings. It's starting to happen already. (Or maybe we'll drop them for a phonetic version like "yorr".)

I've already started to see "you're" used as the possessive. The sequence of events is understandable: the writer remembers from grammar school that "you're" and "your" are different, but also knows that all their friends use "your" to mean "you are". Assuming their friends are correct, they use "you're" to mean "your".
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Dicey

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #312 on: May 04, 2015, 01:10:04 PM »
Unfortunately, these days, they are written incorrectly so often on social media, blogs, etc. that the wrong forms are probably being reinforced in the only media most people read anymore.

Because of that, I think eventually "your" and "you're" will officially switch meanings. It's starting to happen already. (Or maybe we'll drop them for a phonetic version like "yorr".)

I've already started to see "you're" used as the possessive. The sequence of events is understandable: the writer remembers from grammar school that "you're" and "your" are different, but also knows that all their friends use "your" to mean "you are". Assuming their friends are correct, they use "you're" to mean "your".

^^Shudder^^ This reminds me of the famous Mom Nag, "Would you jump off a roof just because all your friends are doing it? I think not, but thanks for sharing your thoughts.
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Silverado

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #313 on: May 04, 2015, 06:18:37 PM »
Unfortunately, these days, they are written incorrectly so often on social media, blogs, etc. that the wrong forms are probably being reinforced in the only media most people read anymore.

Because of that, I think eventually "your" and "you're" will officially switch meanings. It's starting to happen already. (Or maybe we'll drop them for a phonetic version like "yorr".)

I've already started to see "you're" used as the possessive. The sequence of events is understandable: the writer remembers from grammar school that "you're" and "your" are different, but also knows that all their friends use "your" to mean "you are". Assuming their friends are correct, they use "you're" to mean "your".

^^Shudder^^ This reminds me of the famous Mom Nag, "Would you jump off a roof just because all your friends are doing it? I think not, but thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Yeah, certainly this will not happen. But I think it is an unfortunate fact that some people do not understand they are writing it incorrectly. I am okay with someone being wrong when they can realize it. I know I make errors, but at least it ticks me off and I try to do better.

BlueHouse

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #314 on: May 05, 2015, 08:26:40 AM »
Quote
I've already started to see "you're" used as the possessive.

What does that look like?  you're's? 
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Kris

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #315 on: May 05, 2015, 08:34:26 AM »
Quote
I've already started to see "you're" used as the possessive.

What does that look like?  you're's?

No, like using "you're" instead of "your" to show possessionů I suppose because there's an apostrophe there.  So, e.g:

"Can I come over to you're house?"

Ugh, it hurt my brain to type that.
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Gerard

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #316 on: May 05, 2015, 12:43:10 PM »
No, like using "you're" instead of "your" to show possessionů I suppose because there's an apostrophe there.

Yeah, I would guess the apostrophe is what triggers this... I mean, we do use apostrophes with possessives most of the time. So this, along with possessive it's, is kind of a case of people getting it wrong by making it better (i.e., by levelling the paradigm).

With respect to sneaked/snuck, I think people started doing it playfully, and it just caught on. Another twenty years and nobody will remember sneaked. Like what happened with dived/dove.
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Kris

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #317 on: May 05, 2015, 05:49:15 PM »
"I'd rather be safe then sorry."

Just saw this on my FB feed.

I laughed out loud. Resisted the temptation to reply, "Really?  If I had to choose an order, I'd rather it be the reverse."
"Well I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation."   - David St. Hubins, This is Spinal Tap

Silverado

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #318 on: May 05, 2015, 06:43:08 PM »
No, like using "you're" instead of "your" to show possessionů I suppose because there's an apostrophe there.

Yeah, I would guess the apostrophe is what triggers this... I mean, we do use apostrophes with possessives most of the time. So this, along with possessive it's, is kind of a case of people getting it wrong by making it better (i.e., by levelling the paradigm).

With respect to sneaked/snuck, I think people started doing it playfully, and it just caught on. Another twenty years and nobody will remember sneaked. Like what happened with dived/dove.

Well shit, now I have be on the lookout that I say 'dove'.

I am really really close to getting 'drug' out of my vocab instead of dragged.

MandalayVA

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #319 on: May 06, 2015, 09:33:53 AM »
Something I see a lot is this:

"I saved $100 dollars."

No.  Either it's "$100" or "100 dollars."  If there's a currency symbol, no need to spell it out.
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RidinTheAsama

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #320 on: May 08, 2015, 12:57:52 PM »
The one that irks me the most is when people say "insure" when they mean "ensure".

I'm always tempted to ask if there's a deductible and what the premiums will be...

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #321 on: May 08, 2015, 05:10:44 PM »
Something I see a lot is this:

"I saved $100 dollars."

No.  Either it's "$100" or "100 dollars."  If there's a currency symbol, no need to spell it out.

Well the '$' is also the sign for peso. So you could say that it is a more specific definition of the denomination.
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sol

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #322 on: May 17, 2015, 09:13:22 PM »
Has this been posted in this thread yet?  https://xkcd.com/326/

TheBuddha

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #323 on: May 17, 2015, 10:15:41 PM »
Has this been posted in this thread yet?  https://xkcd.com/326/

It made me effect a humorous affect...
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iris lily

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #324 on: May 28, 2015, 12:31:11 PM »
This is not a grammar rant, but I need to complain about this word usage:

I am tired of the phrase "I tried to tell him/ I tried to explain / "...

What the speaker really means is: I tried to convince him. They did, in fact,  "tell him" and "explain" they just did not change anyone's mind or action.

ok, now I am done.   This has been bugging me.

Cathy

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #325 on: May 28, 2015, 02:15:51 PM »
This is not a grammar rant, but I need to complain about this word usage:

I am tired of the phrase "I tried to tell him/ I tried to explain / "...

What the speaker really means is: I tried to convince him. They did, in fact,  "tell him" and "explain" they just did not change anyone's mind or action.

ok, now I am done.   This has been bugging me.

If I tried to explain something to you and you did not grasp it after the attempted explanation, it might mean that I failed to explain it to you. If I tried to explain set theory to you without mentioning the axiom of union, it would be fair to say that I failed to explain set theory to you. I could then say that I tried (but failed) to explain set theory to you.

If I tried to tell you that the axiom of unrestricted comprehension leads to paradoxes and cannot be part of a logically consistent set theory, but you cut me off part way through the argument because you didn't want to hear about set theory, then I could say that I tried to tell you about na´ve set theory (but you didn't let me tell you, because you weren't interested).

So, both phrases can make sense.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2015, 02:17:38 PM by Cathy »
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blue mutant

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #326 on: May 28, 2015, 04:28:01 PM »
I'm a lawyer and just received correspondence contemplating "dyer consequences" if we don't do what they asking for etc.... I love it when spell check fails people in formal writing.

Other pet peeves that come up often.

"We'll just have to make due"

"person x didn't fair well on the test" 

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #327 on: May 28, 2015, 04:30:09 PM »
It annoys me when people say, "I resemble that remark." When someone says this, they are almost never attempting to be humorous and they really mean to say, "I resent that remark."

Using travesty instead of tragedy. They really don't mean the same thing.

"I resemble that remark" is a classic Three Stoogies saying.

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Reyes01

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #328 on: May 28, 2015, 05:41:23 PM »
This is not a grammar rant, but I need to complain about this word usage:

I am tired of the phrase "I tried to tell him/ I tried to explain / "...

What the speaker really means is: I tried to convince him. They did, in fact,  "tell him" and "explain" they just did not change anyone's mind or action.

ok, now I am done.   This has been bugging me.

Good one:-) I like that!

Kris

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #329 on: June 09, 2015, 08:36:01 AM »
Not grammar, but spelling:

It's "whoa", not "woah".

Grrrr.....
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choppingwood

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #330 on: June 09, 2015, 08:31:16 PM »
I can't tell you how annoying I find this thread.

If this matters to you, spend some time tutoring people in English literacy or English as a Second Language. (You'll need to be respectful if you want to do this effectively.)

The people you are quoting are not being careless. They simply don't have the knowledge to use the English language any other way.

Focus on what they are trying to communicate. That is the only point of language. If you stop "listening" because of grammar and spelling, the failure in communication is yours.

Kris

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #331 on: June 09, 2015, 09:07:19 PM »
I can't tell you how annoying I find this thread.

If this matters to you, spend some time tutoring people in English literacy or English as a Second Language. (You'll need to be respectful if you want to do this effectively.)

The people you are quoting are not being careless. They simply don't have the knowledge to use the English language any other way.

Focus on what they are trying to communicate. That is the only point of language. If you stop "listening" because of grammar and spelling, the failure in communication is yours.

Meh.

1) There's an easy way to improve grammar: read a book.

2) I am actually a teacher. I teach people to communicate for a living. Most of the time, they don't even bother to listen. In a class they are taking to learn to communicate better.  Point being: if I tell them over and over, and they still don't bother, then hell yes, they are being careless.  And I am trying to prepare them to communicate correctly in a future career. 

3) I can "focus on what they are trying to communicate". But I am not paying them.  If they don't learn how to have a functional mastery of the one language they speak, that is not helpful to them professionally or personally. In an ideal world, not being able to communicate intelligently would have no impact on their lives. But that is not the world we live in.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2015, 09:27:49 PM by Kris »
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cerebus

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #332 on: June 10, 2015, 10:09:41 PM »
I'm a minor level grammar Nazi but when you live among the Afrikaans people who comingle English and their own version of Afrikaans constantly resulting in monstrous frankensentences (kan jy go to die shop just now now?) You learn tolerance. I draw the line with my own family though and when my 5 year old boy starts saying afrikaanisms like 'he did go' when it should be 'he went' I quickly put him in check.


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enigmaT120

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #333 on: June 11, 2015, 01:09:35 PM »
Not grammar, but spelling:

It's "whoa", not "woah".

Grrrr.....

How do you know the person didn't mean "Woe!"

You guys should know this:  does the exclamation point go inside or outside the quote mark?


Kris

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #334 on: June 11, 2015, 02:12:55 PM »


You guys should know this:  does the exclamation point go inside or outside the quote mark?

If it's not part of the quoted material, it should go on the outside. 

Example:

He said, "I hate it when people misspell words!"


vs.

I hate it when people don't know the difference between "whoa" and "woe"!

"Well I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation."   - David St. Hubins, This is Spinal Tap

cerebus

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #335 on: June 11, 2015, 10:37:53 PM »



You guys should know this:  does the exclamation point go inside or outside the quote mark?

If it's not part of the quoted material, it should go on the outside. 

Example:

He said, "I hate it when people misspell words!"


vs.

I hate it when people don't know the difference between "whoa" and "woe"!

^5 awesome


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mlejw6

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #336 on: June 24, 2015, 04:09:32 PM »
Just read through this thread. Love it!

I'd like to echo the fiance/fiancee problem because I see it so often on this forum. If your fiance is a man, there is one E at the end. If your fiancee is a woman, there are two Es at the end. In this day and age, it helps eliminate confusion about whether you are gay or not.

No one seems to have mentioned one of my pet peeves: using quotation marks to stress a word rather than using bold or italic font or underlining. Quotation marks are to indicate a quote (hence the name) or to indicate sarcasm or irony.

Every single Thursday morning, a division administrator sends out an email to everyone to remind them to complete their timesheets. It always says the exact same thing (in comic sans, no less):

All timesheets "must" be completed by the close of business TODAY.

I always think to myself, "Know what I mean, wink, wink, nudge, nudge"
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Kris

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #337 on: June 24, 2015, 04:49:35 PM »
Just read through this thread. Love it!

I'd like to echo the fiance/fiancee problem because I see it so often on this forum. If your fiance is a man, there is one E at the end. If your fiancee is a woman, there are two Es at the end. In this day and age, it helps eliminate confusion about whether you are gay or not.

No one seems to have mentioned one of my pet peeves: using quotation marks to stress a word rather than using bold or italic font or underlining. Quotation marks are to indicate a quote (hence the name) or to indicate sarcasm or irony.

Every single Thursday morning, a division administrator sends out an email to everyone to remind them to complete their timesheets. It always says the exact same thing (in comic sans, no less):

All timesheets "must" be completed by the close of business TODAY.

I always think to myself, "Know what I mean, wink, wink, nudge, nudge"

Oh my God, how has this not been mentioned yet?!?!?!??????!!!!  A thousand times yes!!!!!!!


Or, should I say, a "thousand" times yes?  ;)
« Last Edit: June 25, 2015, 09:19:22 AM by Kris »
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TheBuddha

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #338 on: June 24, 2015, 09:42:15 PM »
No one seems to have mentioned one of my pet peeves: using quotation marks to stress a word rather than using bold or italic font or underlining. Quotation marks are to indicate a quote (hence the name) or to indicate sarcasm or irony.

Check out this "blog": http://www.unnecessaryquotes.com/
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mlejw6

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #339 on: June 25, 2015, 07:34:38 AM »
No one seems to have mentioned one of my pet peeves: using quotation marks to stress a word rather than using bold or italic font or underlining. Quotation marks are to indicate a quote (hence the name) or to indicate sarcasm or irony.

Check out this "blog": http://www.unnecessaryquotes.com/

Hee hee! So painful to read those. Thanks!
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Jon_Snow

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #340 on: June 25, 2015, 08:24:09 AM »
It is very unlikely I could be friends with grammar nazi types. Talk about being wound up WAY too tight.

brooklynguy

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #341 on: June 25, 2015, 08:38:44 AM »
I have a tendency to try to pack too much meaning into a single sentence (like stuffing clowns into a clown car), stringing together separate clauses with reckless abandon until even the most assiduous reader will have trouble parsing the tortured maze of a run-on sentence that results (not to mention my corresponding overuse of parenthetical clauses, which technically does not violate any rules of grammar of which I am aware but which (I would imagine) does not sit well with you grammar nazis either (or are you okay with Russian nesting dolls of embedded parentheticals?)).

TheBuddha

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #342 on: June 25, 2015, 10:17:28 AM »
I have a tendency to try to pack too much meaning into a single sentence (like stuffing clowns into a clown car), stringing together separate clauses with reckless abandon until even the most assiduous reader will have trouble parsing the tortured maze of a run-on sentence that results (not to mention my corresponding overuse of parenthetical clauses, which technically does not violate any rules of grammar of which I am aware but which (I would imagine) does not sit well with you grammar nazis either (or are you okay with Russian nesting dolls of embedded parentheticals?)).

Haha well it's better than in German, where the verb is kicked to the end of the run-on sentence and by the time you get to it, you have no idea what it was referring to.

(I love nested parentheses by the way (not sure why other people don't use them more often).)
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TheBuddha

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #343 on: June 25, 2015, 10:21:54 AM »
It is very unlikely I could be friends with grammar nazi types. Talk about being wound up WAY too tight.

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Eirene

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #344 on: June 26, 2015, 08:12:12 PM »
So, I'm guessing that this is a pro-Oxford comma crowd?

Not necessarily. I'm a comma minimalist. Down with the stuffy Oxford comma etc.

sol

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #345 on: June 27, 2015, 12:09:44 AM »
So, I'm guessing that this is a pro-Oxford comma crowd?

Not necessarily. I'm a comma minimalist. Down with the stuffy Oxford comma etc.

I'm the exact opposite, I love commas too much.  Any time I write something more than a few pages long, I have to go back and manually remove about half of them.  It's like my fingers automatically insert them whenever my brain pauses during sentence construction, regardless of whether or not that's where the sentence actually needs one for fluent readability.

I also overuse the word actually. 

Cathy

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #346 on: June 27, 2015, 12:40:53 AM »
I think some writers lose sight of the purpose of punctuation. Punctuation isn't imposed to decorate the writing through strict adherence to a series of arbitrary rigid rules. The sole purpose of punctuation is to enhance the reader's ability to understand the text (while also not offending the reader's sensibilities by deviating too much from what they expect).

In school, teachers are prone to teach many "rules" about comma use, such as to use one to introduce or set off certain forms of clauses, or to employ one whenever the reader would pause in oral reading. However, the only real "rule", if it can be called that, is that commas should be employed when they make a sentence easier to parse unambiguously, and not otherwise.

The so-called "Oxford comma" should be used -- not because of the dictates of any Oxford or other authority -- but rather because it serves the salutary purpose of ensuring that a sentence is parsed correctly and that the reader extracts the single unambiguous meaning from it without too much trouble. Omitting such commas is elevating the writer's stylistic preference above the desire of the reader to understand what she is reading.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2015, 12:42:59 AM by Cathy »
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Dicey

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #347 on: June 27, 2015, 01:16:18 AM »
I think some writers lose sight of the purpose of punctuation. Punctuation isn't imposed to decorate the writing through strict adherence to a series of arbitrary rigid rules. The sole purpose of punctuation is to enhance the reader's ability to understand the text (while also not offending the reader's sensibilities by deviating too much from what they expect).

In school, teachers are prone to teach many "rules" about comma use, such as to use one to introduce or set off certain forms of clauses, or to employ one whenever the reader would pause in oral reading. However, the only real "rule", if it can be called that, is that commas should be employed when they make a sentence easier to parse unambiguously, and not otherwise.

The so-called "Oxford comma" should be used -- not because of the dictates of any Oxford or other authority -- but rather because it serves the salutary purpose of ensuring that a sentence is parsed correctly and that the reader extracts the single unambiguous meaning from it without too much trouble. Omitting such commas is elevating the writer's stylistic preference above the desire of the reader to understand what she is reading.
Oh, man, I like, love this answer, ya know? (Sorry, couldn't help it. I really do like your perspective, Cathy.)
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TheBuddha

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #348 on: June 27, 2015, 09:50:01 AM »
One of my grade-school teachers told me to insert a comma "wherever you would naturally pause, were you saying the sentence out loud". That's the rule I still use.
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Eirene

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Re: Grammar nazi
« Reply #349 on: June 27, 2015, 06:14:22 PM »
I'm the exact opposite, I love commas too much.  Any time I write something more than a few pages long, I have to go back and manually remove about half of them.  It's like my fingers automatically insert them whenever my brain pauses during sentence construction, regardless of whether or not that's where the sentence actually needs one for fluent readability.

I also overuse the word actually.

Heh, sneaky sneaky colour tags. Funnily enough, I was going to post about the distinct lack of commas in that post.

Also noticed the two spaces after the full stops. Which is a whole can of worms that hasn't been opened yet so I just went and did it.