Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

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Makri
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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby Makri » Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:45 am UTC

Er... "Bob" here isn't an argument of any verb, it's a vocative. So no "object" or anything.
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eSOANEM
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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby eSOANEM » Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:30 pm UTC

Gagundathar The Inexplicable wrote:"Oxford comma"


There are people who say the Oxford comma is wrong? I've heard people say they don't like it (me included) and so don't use it, but everyone who's ever given me the view on it has always said that either's correct and that as long as the person consistently does one or the other, they don't care.

Makri wrote:Er... "Bob" here isn't an argument of any verb, it's a vocative. So no "object" or anything.


QFT

Fred said, "Bob, come over here now!"

should be analysed:

[subject] [transitive verb] [quotation [vocative] [intransitive verb] [prepositional phrase] [adverb]]

the quotation acts as the object of the verb (I've shown this by not closing the quotation bracket until after the adverb bracket) and, other than that, everything behaves perfectly regularly.
my pronouns are they

Magnanimous wrote:(fuck the macrons)

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

Postby Gagundathar The Inexplicable » Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:04 pm UTC

Makri wrote:Er... "Bob" here isn't an argument of any verb, it's a vocative. So no "object" or anything.

Hey, you are right.

That changes things, for certain.

Hmmm...

However, my point about the symmetrical quotes still stands, I think.

Igidich
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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby Igidich » Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:35 pm UTC

I wonder if anyone knows of an old prescriptivist rule about the parenthetical use of commas. I noticed when reading Mervin Peake's Titus Groan that quite often he was dropping the second comma, the one that ends the parenthesis. I can't quote an example from the book, but I think it roughly took the form "Fuchsia, who at that moment was distracted had to be addressed twice before she focused her eyes in Steerpike's direction," and, "Prunesquallor, in a reverie of his own chewed absently at the second knuckle of his spindly little finger." [how's my quote punctuation? call 092359238] It led to a few minor garden paths, and the only reason I could figure for the whole frustrating practice was some kind of implausible prescription about punctuation. Anyone?

(Also, is it parenthetical use, or more just use in relative clauses?)

goofy
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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby goofy » Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:59 am UTC

Igidich wrote:Titus Groan


My favourite novel ever. I've never heard of this prescription, and I don't recall any garden paths in my many readings of the book, but if it's good enough for Mervyn Peake...

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

Postby PM 2Ring » Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:23 am UTC

Igidich wrote:I wonder if anyone knows of an old prescriptivist rule about the parenthetical use of commas. I noticed when reading Mervin Peake's Titus Groan that quite often he was dropping the second comma, the one that ends the parenthesis.

[...]

(Also, is it parenthetical use, or more just use in relative clauses?)

This kind of construction is called apposition. The standard form uses two commas; I don't know why Mervin dropped the second comma, I suspect it's just an annoying idiosyncracy.

I guess a case could be made for dropping the first comma, since you can usually figure out the start of the phrase or clause in apposition, but the end is generally not so obvious, as you have noted, so leaving out the second comma is unhelpful, to say the least.

Igidich
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Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

Postby Igidich » Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:51 am UTC

goofy wrote:
Igidich wrote:Titus Groan


My favourite novel ever. I've never heard of this prescription, and I don't recall any garden paths in my many readings of the book, but if it's good enough for Mervyn Peake...


I hasten to add that it's a damn fine book; it owes much to Peake's delicious verbosity, but that verbosity comes with a certain fustiness of language, and I can only imagine it's that fustiness that could lead to this dropping of apositive commas around the place. He's certainly not sloppy.


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