Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

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PM 2Ring
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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby PM 2Ring » Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:32 pm UTC

Oflick wrote:On IMDB's music board, which I occasionally visit, there is a thread titled "Last Song/Music To Which You Listened? " I would have preferred it to have just been "Last Song/Music you listened to?"

I don't know why. The wording is to my knowledge correct, but it sounds forced. I'm sure many members of this forum (if not the majority) would naturally say "Last Song/Music To Which You Listened", but to me it doesn't seem natural.

I suspect that since the members of this forum are mostly descriptivists the majority would agree that the wording of that thread title is forced.

From http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/001702.html

A Churchill story up with which I will no longer put

An old, old story about Winston Churchill (almost certainly misattributed) is retold one more time by Joe Carter at The Evangelical Outpost:

After an overzealous editor attempted to rearrange one of Winston Churchill's sentences to avoid ending it in a preposition, the Prime Minister scribbled a single sentence in reply: "This is the sort of bloody nonsense up with which I will not put."

Joe notes correctly that in The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (see page 627, footnote 11) it is mentioned that "The ‘rule’ was apparently created ex nihilo in 1672 by the essayist John Dryden." (See the article "Preposition at end" in (Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage for more discussion). However, there is one thing he doesn't point out, and hardly anybody ever has, except in footnote 12 on page 629 of The Cambridge Grammar, and briefly on Language Log in a post that Mark did a while back: Churchill (or whoever it may have been) was cheating, in two separate ways.
[See link for further details].

Oflick wrote:On a related note, but slightly off topic, to me it looks like it should read "Last Song/piece of music To Which You Listened?" It's probably acceptable, but "last song to which you listened" makes sense to me, but "last music to which you listened" doesn't.

I agree that "piece of music" works better than "music".

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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby tesseraktik » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:22 am UTC

I personally use the Saxon genitive when writing letters, notes and the like in Swedish, but have to avoid doing so when writing official texts, as it's considered to be incorrect Swedish (except in the case of words ending in s, x or z; then it's unusual, but not wrong). I wish it were allowed as an option.
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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby yurell » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:30 am UTC

Also, are archaic spelling variations considered grammatical errors? I know 'reflexion' is still listed as a word (or is in my dictionary), but things like 'connexion' aren't, and I'm rather fond of it as a word (gives the letter 'x' a use outside 'xylophone', which should be the domain of 'z' anyway). Also, gramme!
I trust you grammar-nazi's / grammar-whateveryoucallkindpeople to know what is correct, and proceed to ignore you as I use my archaic spellings anyway (because it should be acceptable)!
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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby Lazar » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:38 pm UTC

yurell wrote:I know 'reflexion' is still listed as a word (or is in my dictionary), but things like 'connexion' aren't,

That must just be a quirk of your dictionary; I've never seen those words given different treatment. I'm in favor of 'connexion', 'reflexion', 'deflexion', 'inflexion', etc. because they're both simpler and more etymologically correct.
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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby PM 2Ring » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:02 pm UTC

I went through a phase of using "reflexion" for a few years, but I don't think I was ever game to use "connexion", although I heartily endorse any moves to promote such forms. :)

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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby Fire Brns » Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:36 pm UTC

"it's" when refering to ownership.
You say "tom's", "mary's", and "joe's". You could argue against it by saying that then we would have to change "hi's", "her's ", "your's ", ect but those are unique pronouns; "its" is simply modified "it" as opposed to "he/his" and "she/hers". I would much rather forbid the contraction of "it is".
I wrote a few more paragraphs on this for english class but I can't find it now; it was far better explained.
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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby skullturf » Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:02 pm UTC

Fire Brns wrote:"it's" when refering to ownership.
You say "tom's", "mary's", and "joe's". You could argue against it by saying that then we would have to change "hi's", "her's ", "your's ", ect but those are unique pronouns; "its" is simply modified "it" as opposed to "he/his" and "she/hers". I would much rather forbid the contraction of "it is".
I wrote a few more paragraphs on this for english class but I can't find it now; it was far better explained.


I kind of hear what you're saying. Writing "it's" for the possessive is common, though of course considered incorrect.

As you mention, because we write "Tom's house" and "the house's chimney", some people feel like we "should" write "it's chimney" rather than "its chimney".

I can see why people would do this.

However, practically speaking, we're probably stuck with the rule the way it is. If you agree, we then have the question of how best to teach the rule to children.

Sometimes when teaching the rule to children, we emphasize the wrong thing in my opinion. We emphasize that "it's" is short for "it is" (or occasionally "it has"). This is true, but it doesn't even address the observation that elsewhere, apostrophe+s is sometimes used to indicate possession.

I think the "right" thing to emphasize when teaching this rule is that "its" is just like "his", "her/hers", "your/yours", "our/ours". Granted, the analogy isn't perfect, because as you point out, "his" isn't "hi+s".

Nevertheless, since the rule is the way it is, I think the way it should be taught is: None of the possessive pronouns have apostrophes. (When an ordinary noun, like "dog", "house", or "chimney", becomes a possessive, we use an apostrophe. But possessive pronouns, like "his", "her/hers", and "its", don't have them.)

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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby Derek » Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:44 pm UTC

skullturf wrote:I think the "right" thing to emphasize when teaching this rule is that "its" is just like "his", "her/hers", "your/yours", "our/ours". Granted, the analogy isn't perfect, because as you point out, "his" isn't "hi+s".

Nevertheless, since the rule is the way it is, I think the way it should be taught is: None of the possessive pronouns have apostrophes. (When an ordinary noun, like "dog", "house", or "chimney", becomes a possessive, we use an apostrophe. But possessive pronouns, like "his", "her/hers", and "its", don't have them.)

Agreed. Until someone on this forum pointed this out, I couldn't remember which form of "its" used the apostrophe and which didn't.

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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby Роберт » Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:59 pm UTC

Derek wrote:
skullturf wrote:I think the "right" thing to emphasize when teaching this rule is that "its" is just like "his", "her/hers", "your/yours", "our/ours". Granted, the analogy isn't perfect, because as you point out, "his" isn't "hi+s".

Nevertheless, since the rule is the way it is, I think the way it should be taught is: None of the possessive pronouns have apostrophes. (When an ordinary noun, like "dog", "house", or "chimney", becomes a possessive, we use an apostrophe. But possessive pronouns, like "his", "her/hers", and "its", don't have them.)

Agreed. Until someone on this forum pointed this out, I couldn't remember which form of "its" used the apostrophe and which didn't.

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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby pinkie pi » Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:40 pm UTC

Periods and commas should go after the ending quotation mark instead of before it. It looks nicer and makes more sense (the punctuation generally isn't part of the quote).

Singular "they" should be allowed instead of using a generic "he" or some awkward construction like "he or she" or "s/he". The use of the male pronoun for the generic is incredibly sexist. Also, other than singular "they", there is no way to refer to people who are neither male nor female; this is an easy way to fix the lack of a non-gender-specific third-person pronoun.

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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby distractedSofty » Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:31 pm UTC

pinkie pi wrote:Singular "they" should be allowed instead of using a generic "he" or some awkward construction like "he or she" or "s/he". The use of the male pronoun for the generic is incredibly sexist. Also, other than singular "they", there is no way to refer to people who are neither male nor female; this is an easy way to fix the lack of a non-gender-specific third-person pronoun.

Isn't this the generally accepted usage?

"If someone wanted to get me icecream, they would be my best friend forever."
or
"You said there was someone to see me, are they still here?"

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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby Iulus Cofield » Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:59 pm UTC

Singular they is standard usage, but I wouldn't call it "accepted" as some people refuse to get the message.

Incidentally, commas after quotation marks is standard in British English as far as I am aware, excepting cases where the comma is part of the original. I seem to recall reading that young Americans have started to prefer it as well, perhaps influenced by reading British material online.

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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby Derek » Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:06 pm UTC

I started putting my punctuations after the quotation mark sometime in high school because it makes more sense. I didn't know it was standard in British usage until later.

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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby Gigano » Sat Dec 24, 2011 1:41 pm UTC

Derek wrote:I started putting my punctuations after the quotation mark sometime in high school because it makes more sense. I didn't know it was standard in British usage until later.


From my point of view it does not make any sense. In Dutch we write punctuations within the quotation marks. In the following sentence for example:

"Where is Charles? I haven't seen him around," Peter said.

The comma plays the double part of a comma leading up to "Peter said" and a period for the sentence "I haven't seen him around." We do the same thing with exclamation and question marks. To me at least it makes no sense to exclude punctuation that is part of the quoted sentence. Other examples:

"We are going to Disneyland!" the children shouted.
"What the hell are you doing?" asked mother.
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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby yurell » Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:02 pm UTC

The British usage from what I understand it (and from what I was taught in school in Australia) is to put punctuation inside the quotation marks if the thing you're quoting uses that punctuation, otherwise put it after ... I shouldn't think it's quote verbatim if you start making up punctuation to go inside the marks.
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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby Lazar » Sat Dec 24, 2011 6:06 pm UTC

Gigano wrote:From my point of view it does not make any sense. In Dutch we write punctuations within the quotation marks. In the following sentence for example:

"Where is Charles? I haven't seen him around," Peter said.

The comma plays the double part of a comma leading up to "Peter said" and a period for the sentence "I haven't seen him around." We do the same thing with exclamation and question marks. To me at least it makes no sense to exclude punctuation that is part of the quoted sentence. Other examples:

"We are going to Disneyland!" the children shouted.
"What the hell are you doing?" asked mother.

No, that isn't what Iulus was referring to. When full sentences are quoted, as in your examples, the universal practice is to put the punctuation marks inside. The difference is in small quoted items - here the British practice is to put punctuation marks outside, and the American practice is to put them inside. (I think I've seen these styles referred to as "logical" and "aesthetic", respectively.) For example,

British: The device, which is called a "thingamabob", doesn't work very well. According to Joe, it's "woefully insufficient".
American: The device, which is called a "thingamabob," doesn't work very well. According to Joe, it's "woefully insufficient."

But as Iulus indicates, there are many Americans (myself included) who prefer the British style.
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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby Gigano » Sat Dec 24, 2011 9:33 pm UTC

Ah, I see. In that case we do it the British way too in Dutch.
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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby Fire Brns » Mon Dec 26, 2011 3:08 pm UTC

pinkie pi wrote:Singular "they" should be allowed instead of using a generic "he" or some awkward construction like "he or she" or "s/he". The use of the male pronoun for the generic is incredibly sexist. Also, other than singular "they", there is no way to refer to people who are neither male nor female; this is an easy way to fix the lack of a non-gender-specific third-person pronoun.
Sexist lol, People use pronoun "he" with the intention of putting women down...
"he or she" is correct in the grammer nazi book format but most people use "they". A thing I noticed is people tend to omit the "h" when they don't know the subject gender, "ee", wich I think should also be a pronoun; English doesnt have enough.

Lazar wrote:But as Iulus indicates, there are many Americans (myself included) who prefer the British style.
I now have precedent to contradict people. Thank you.
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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby Monika » Mon Dec 26, 2011 4:57 pm UTC

Fire Brns wrote: Sexist lol, People use pronoun "he" with the intention of putting women down...

You need to read about male privilege.

"he or she" is correct in the grammer nazi book format but most people use "they". A thing I noticed is people tend to omit the "h" when they don't know the subject gender, "ee", wich I think should also be a pronoun; English doesnt have enough.

I haven't seen ee; ze seems to be the dominant form in current times, at least on the internet and/or among genderqueer (=non-binary-identified) people. Wikipedia suggests a surprisingly long list of others, some of them fairly old: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender-neu ... un#Summary (scroll up for history). Ee is not in this extensive list.
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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby Derek » Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:28 pm UTC

In unstressed contexts, "he" is often reduced to /i:/. This is probably what he is thinking of. It's not actually gender neutral though since "she" won't reduce likewise.

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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby Iulus Cofield » Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:25 pm UTC

It's a reduction with the /h/ phoneme specifically. So, while it doesn't happen to <she>, it does happen to <her>, as I seem to recall being pointed out in a recent Language Log post about the "X 'er, I hardly even know 'er" punchline.

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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby Derek » Mon Dec 26, 2011 11:12 pm UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:It's a reduction with the /h/ phoneme specifically. So, while it doesn't happen to <she>, it does happen to <her>, as I seem to recall being pointed out in a recent Language Log post about the "X 'er, I hardly even know 'er" punchline.

I was thinking of the exact same post when I was typing my response :D

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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby PM 2Ring » Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:22 am UTC

Fire Brns wrote: Sexist lol, People use pronoun "he" with the intention of putting women down...

Sometimes they do, OTOH, it's possible to behave like a dickhead without actually intending to do so...

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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby Fire Brns » Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:53 pm UTC

Monika wrote:
Fire Brns wrote: Sexist lol, People use pronoun "he" with the intention of putting women down...

You need to read about male privilege.

"he or she" is correct in the grammer nazi book format but most people use "they". A thing I noticed is people tend to omit the "h" when they don't know the subject gender, "ee", wich I think should also be a pronoun; English doesnt have enough.

I haven't seen ee; ze seems to be the dominant form in current times, at least on the internet and/or among genderqueer (=non-binary-identified) people. Wikipedia suggests a surprisingly long list of others, some of them fairly old: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender-neu ... un#Summary (scroll up for history). Ee is not in this extensive list.

We aren't cavemen anymore and people who feel victimized over gender because of trivial things like which pronoun is used this are just bitter and no fun to be around. We give a lot of nice things feminine status: boats, weapons, buildings, emotional states even, ect (and don't say because they are property; they are valuable)

with "ee" I have only heard it spoken, it's not going to be on some linguists "official proposed list", and I wasn't references wikipedia that likely cites an arguement on this forum.
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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:59 pm UTC

Fire Brns wrote:We aren't cavemen anymore and people who feel victimized over gender because of trivial things like which pronoun is used this are just bitter and no fun to be around.
I strongly suspect their feelings toward you are pretty much the same.

In any case, this is not the thread for you to complain about bitter feminists or whateverthefuck.
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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby skullturf » Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:29 pm UTC

I'm a supporter of having a gender-neutral third-person pronoun (personally, my vote is for "they"), but my reasons are not necessarily primarily about whether or not anybody feels excluded by the generic "he".

There are much more basic and prosaic reasons for wanting a gender-neutral third-person pronoun. For example, sometimes you simply don't know whether somebody is male or female. It could be because you know them only through writing, and you only know their last name, or their first initial, or you know their first name but it's from a language you're unfamiliar with.

We shouldn't need to do a Google image search on somebody's first name in order to be able to refer to them quickly in passing by using a pronoun.

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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby Catmando » Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:50 am UTC

I saw some discussion farther up the page about using archaic variations of words, and I think it's worth mentioning I like to use "fora" instead of "forums." Technically both are accepted, but fora just sounds cooler if you ask me.

Also, regarding putting punctuation like periods and commas inside or outside of quotation marks, my general rule is to put them inside if what I'm quoting is only a phrase or word and to put them outside the quotes if it can be a standalone sentence. Examples:

    1. He only said "hi," which I thought was a little rude.
    2. The directions read "Please pour three tablespoons of water into the pot", and I did exactly that.

I'm sure my rule is wrong and not only that, it probably creates ambiguity and inconsistencies and plenty of other clarity problems, and I ought to be burned at the lingual stake for it, but I can't help it! I can never remember the real rules regarding quotes. I'm also inconsistent when it comes to putting punctuation inside a standalone quote. I think that depends more on my mood than anything, although I know that when the quote has to have punctuation of its own like a question mark and an exclamation mark I never thrown commas and periods into that mix. Like, if example 2 from above had an exclamation mark, I would've just added it, changing nothing else about the sentence. If example 1 had an exclamation mark, I would've added it and moved the comma outside the quotation marks.

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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby Fire Brns » Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:01 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:In any case, this is not the thread for you to complain about bitter feminists or whateverthefuck.
She was the one who brought social issues into linguistics, I was simply rebutting.
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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby lucrezaborgia » Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:14 am UTC

Not sure if this is a grammar issue or not...

I like to use caps for emphasis rather than italics and will get dinged for it in papers at times. I don't feel that italics properly conveys the way people use inflection when emphasizing words when speaking. Does that make sense?

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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby yurell » Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:17 am UTC

To me, all-caps looks like yelling, rather than emphasis. Some people (mostly men) use volume for emphasis (as opposed to the more pitch-based 'feminine' emphasis), but not to the degree I feel caps would be justified. Even then, I find all-caps a lot harder to read and they break the flow of the writing.
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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby Fire Brns » Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:04 pm UTC

What If You Emphasise Like This?
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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby Iulus Cofield » Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:15 am UTC

That. Is. So. 19th. Century.

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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby Catmando » Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:24 pm UTC

yurell wrote:To me, all-caps looks like yelling, rather than emphasis. Some people (mostly men) use volume for emphasis (as opposed to the more pitch-based 'feminine' emphasis), but not to the degree I feel caps would be justified. Even then, I find all-caps a lot harder to read and they break the flow of the writing.


I agree—caps are more like yelling than anything. I think that if you want to add volume emphasis, you could do it in more subtle ways, like making the emphasized text slightly larger. I've seen it done once before, and it had the intended effect on me.

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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby Fire Brns » Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:13 pm UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:That. Is. So. 19th. Century.

Like "WAR OVER"?

I would propose every line that is serious should end with "stop" like a telegraph.
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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby lucrezaborgia » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:48 pm UTC

Catmando wrote:
yurell wrote:To me, all-caps looks like yelling, rather than emphasis. Some people (mostly men) use volume for emphasis (as opposed to the more pitch-based 'feminine' emphasis), but not to the degree I feel caps would be justified. Even then, I find all-caps a lot harder to read and they break the flow of the writing.


I agree—caps are more like yelling than anything. I think that if you want to add volume emphasis, you could do it in more subtle ways, like making the emphasized text slightly larger. I've seen it done once before, and it had the intended effect on me.


What if it's only used for emphasizing single words instead of whole sentences?

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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby Fire Brns » Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:09 pm UTC

Then you end up with PEOPLE using it MULTIPLE times in a SENTENCE or PARAGRAPH and sounding like a JERK.
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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby yurell » Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:40 pm UTC

Personally, I think it looks RIDICULOUS to capitalise a word for emphasis. It's why we have italics and bold.

In that sentence, it looks like I'm shouting the word 'ridiculous' at the reader, certainly not a tone I'm after. Then again, I wouldn't classify that as a grammatical thing but a typesetting one.
cemper93 wrote:Dude, I just presented an elaborate multiple fraction in Comic Sans. Who are you to question me?


Pronouns: Feminine pronouns please!

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Grop
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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby Grop » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:10 pm UTC

Writing all caps *sucks*. Most of the time I won't read you at all.

Catmando
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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby Catmando » Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:24 am UTC

lucrezaborgia wrote:
Catmando wrote:I agree—caps are more like yelling than anything. I think that if you want to add volume emphasis, you could do it in more subtle ways, like making the emphasized text slightly larger. I've seen it done once before, and it had the intended effect on me.


What if it's only used for emphasizing single words instead of whole sentences?


I still wouldn't like that. I think in the end having a standard is better so we don't have people using fifteen different ways to emphasize text with half of those methods failing. And if there's going to be a standard, I'd prefer it be the way I like/use it. :)

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Gagundathar The Inexplicable
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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby Gagundathar The Inexplicable » Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:30 pm UTC

Two things I couldn't find here was the use of the "Oxford comma" or the use of "Y'all".
I tried, mind you.
I use the search function.

(As a point, "Y'all'" comes back with such funny responses, that I suggest that you all (the long form of y'all))

.............


Seriously.

The usage of quotes seems a bit weird to me as well.

I'm going to put some horizontal spaces here to make it easier for me to explain this.
And some vertical space.
Sorry about that.

(This is always assuming that any of y'all will read this. I am Adam's Housecat at this point. But I am not a nutcase... I promise.)

Fred said, "Bob, come over here now!"
Since what you are saying is:
<Person/Subject> <Transitive Verb> <Comma>
<Start Quote>
<Person/Object> <Comma> <Intransitive Verb> <Noun> <Adverb> <Interjection>
<Close Quote>

Anyone notice notice the symmetry?
I certainly didn't until I started coding software.

It just seemed silly when I was growing up (Atlanta, Georgia, USA).

Now it makes sense.


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