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Calling all Grammar Nazi's & Punctuation Police

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posted on Sep, 4 2017 @ 12:24 PM
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Yo yo yo! Brace yourselves because I'm about to take y'all to school.



Hey guys, it's me.. the guy with terrible grammar and punctuation. In fact, so terrible that I should've been caught and executed a very long time ago but somehow managed to wander around freely and avoid prosecution - or is it persecution? -- or is it persecution? (or is it persecution?)

You see, I have no idea how to properly use "-" or "--" - is there even a difference between the 2? I just place them wherever I think looks right -- or atleast feels right.

(Is that even right?)

Thankfully, after embarrassing myself more times than I can remember, I've finally learned the difference between their vs there, and then vs than (don't judge me).

Wait, do I put the period before the brackets, inside the brackets or after the brackets?

.(are these even brackets?).

Truth be told, I didn't start "writing" until (till?) I signed up for ATS, which wasn't too long ago, but I think I've come a long way and now I'm comfortable enough to not be embarrassed about it. And considering the fact I can't seem to keep my mouth shut, I had better learn quickly before the po-po catch on.

I know you're not (you aren't?) supposed to start a new sentence with the word "And", but there are exceptions to the rule, right? Because I just did it, and I think I just did it again with another word.

Dot dot dot... this can kind of prolong the middle of a sentence (see opening line of first paragraph) or drag the end of one, correct? Is this even a real thing, or will my professor look at me like there's something wrong with me? Personally, I just use this when I have no clue what the correct thing to do is but want to pretend like i do, by avoiding it completely. Or I'll just use it when I want to appear (melo)dramatic.

Oh well...

Luckily for me, where I lack in technical prowess, I greatly make up for in other areas. Like... uh... never mind.

Here's where it gets really tricky for me; semicolons.

I probably just commited a felony with that, but let's try that again.

Hopefully I'm doing this right; am I doing this right?

I know what a comma does and I know what a period does, so I'm just going to assume a semicolon is somewhere between the 2. Not quite the same sentence and not quite a new one either, but kinda is? Sorry for the brain-fart, but I'm just gonna have to leave it at that.

Kinda = kind of
Gonna = going to


Anyway(s), I think I'll end it here before I somehow commit genocide, so if you managed to survive up to this point without having your eyes bleed to death or your brain exploding, congratulations.


On a scale of "Deathrow Inmate" to "Grammar God", how'd I do?







edit on 4-9-2017 by knowledgehunter0986 because:





posted on Sep, 4 2017 @ 12:34 PM
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originally posted by: knowledgehunter0986
Truth be told, I didn't start "writing" until (till?) I signed up for ATS, which wasn't too long ago, but I think I've come a long way


Well, according to your profile, you joined nine months ago (Jan 2017). I think you are doing really well.


I am a grammar fascist. I admit it. My pet hates on ATS are people not using capitalisation at the start of sentences, poor punctuation discipline and poor paragraphing.

I am not going to "mark" your narrative (above), but I will say that you're doing pretty good.
edit on 4/9/2017 by paraphi because: sorted my spelling out!!!



posted on Sep, 4 2017 @ 12:35 PM
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As champion abuser of elipses I feel ya.

Run on sentences, overindulging of emoticons (emoji's?) ending sentences with prepositions using nouns as verbs and verbs for everything I should have been take out and shot long ago.

I will just have to live with the shame.
Heheheheheh



posted on Sep, 4 2017 @ 12:37 PM
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a reply to: paraphi

So which side of the fence are you on?

One space after the period in a sentence or two spaces? I actually was at a dinner where that argument almost turned into a wine tossing event and it took months for tempers to cool down.



posted on Sep, 4 2017 @ 12:39 PM
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I feel your pan 👎🏻



posted on Sep, 4 2017 @ 12:42 PM
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a reply to: knowledgehunter0986

Right, well wht cha ya gonna do about it ole man?
edit on 4-9-2017 by olaru12 because: Im callin brenda....



posted on Sep, 4 2017 @ 12:45 PM
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ha! fun op.

i'm a horrible speller and even worse (worst?) at punctuation.

semi-colon? no idea.. do we REALLY need them?



posted on Sep, 4 2017 @ 12:46 PM
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originally posted by: knowledgehunter0986
Truth be told, I didn't start "writing" until (till?) I signed up for ATS, which wasn't too long ago, but I think I've come a long way and now I'm comfortable enough to not be embarrassed about it.


Well, lets be fair here..

Learning a written language by observation in months is pretty darn good! Out of curiosity though, how did you get along without knowing how to write?

Seems tough in today's world.




posted on Sep, 4 2017 @ 12:50 PM
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Grammar 'Nazis' use mistakes to discredit posters content. They won't admit that though...



posted on Sep, 4 2017 @ 12:52 PM
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I believe that people including myself, for sure myself decline using capitalization to show our contempt. Example ... mexico or cali, maybe even use numbers instead of alphabet letters in say, 0bama. But the audience here is quite forgiving, and not too petulant.

I ignore your type all together really, and if provoked will sometimes respond, but today I'm under the weather, wither or whether I like it or not. So sorry, you'll have to spar elsewhere. That is, if you were baiting. No banana peels please.



posted on Sep, 4 2017 @ 12:52 PM
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a reply to: paraphi
Since we are having a conversation about grammar and punctuation, let us discuss semi-colons !
If I recall, they can be use to skip the conjunction words of and, but, or, and a handful of others. What I cannot remember is if both sides of the ; have to be able to stand on their own as sentences, or if the ; can treated as the conjunction word plus comma.

Do you have any insights on this?? Let me see if I can make a proper example.
Hurricane Irma is projected to tear up the Caribbean coast; most people have enough warning to evacuate.
Have I correctly used the semi-colon in that sentence? If not, would you please take me back to school?? I think more people should use ; . I feel that it is under utilized in writing.

Semi-colon lives matter too!



posted on Sep, 4 2017 @ 01:02 PM
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a reply to: Serdgiam

When I say writing, I mean formally. Due to circumstances, I dropped out of school pretty early and never really had to write anything substantial, like essays and whatnot.

Sure, I texted throughout my whole life and talked a lot of smack, but it wasn't until I came here and started to write for real did I realize how terrible I was.

By no means was I an illiterate, I'm a great live speaker and fortunately for me I was able to rely on mostly just that to get me through life (so far).





edit on 4-9-2017 by knowledgehunter0986 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 4 2017 @ 01:05 PM
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originally posted by: knowledgehunter0986

...

Here's where it gets really tricky for me; semicolons.

I probably just commited a felony with that, but let's try that again.

Hopefully I'm doing this right; am I doing this right?

I know what a comma does and I know what a period does, so I'm just going to assume a semicolon is somewhere between the 2. Not quite the same sentence and not quite a new one either, but kinda is? Sorry for the brain-fart, but I'm just gonna have to leave it at that.



...


On a scale of "Deathrow Inmate" to "Grammar God", how'd I do?








So, you did fairly well (overall). You've injected some humor into a subject in which some find no humor at all (for some reason).

Regarding semicolons though; your two examples could be better. In the first example your use of the semicolon results in an incomplete sentence. You might have better used a comma in that example. Your second example is closer, but I probably would have written that as two separate sentences. Your summary of your understanding is essentially correct though; two separate thoughts or ideas which are better understood in a single sentence than two separate sentences.

The way I always look at it is this; if the follow on element is less than a complete sentence then use a semicolon. The same can hold true for the first part also. Together they make a complete sentence with the semicolon. (Note how that first sentence wouldn't have made sense as two sentences?) This is not a hard fast rule, but a good rule of thumb.

As for slang, it looks better is you follow intentional slang with an apostrophe. It just shows you meant to write it like that. So, for example, "gonna" looks better if you write it "gonna' ". Same for "kinda"; it looks better as "kinda' ". (see the semicolon usage there again?). Slang is okay to use as long as it's not over used and fits with the mood of what you're typing. It really should be used when you're trying to be funny, or intentionally sarcastic. I hope you can kinda' see what I'm talking about.

Elipsis "..." (something I abuse quite frequently) have a couple purposes. The first is to show a continuation. So, at the beginning of this post I used an ellipsis to show there was text before the part I C&P'd from your post. The other use of an ellipsis is to emphasize the first part of a sentence with the closure of the sentence. Overuse (like I sometimes do) is probably bad form and, if you were writing a book or formal paper, an editor would likely strike it.

The best advice I've ever gotten for learning how to write well is to try to write like you speak. Understand where the inflections and pauses are in your speech and then write that way. However, you first must learn correct diction.

A great example of the use of ellipsis usage is to recall the famous tag-line of Paul Harvey's famous radio program The Rest of the Story. At the end of every broadcast he would end with "And now you know...the rest of the story."

Hope this helps.

edit on 9/4/2017 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 4 2017 @ 01:09 PM
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a reply to: knowledgehunter0986

I think I can clear your semicolon issue up for you. I am a Library Science and English major. You probably don't need to use semicolons; they usually just get in the way. In almost all cases, you may simply separate the two sentences. You probably don't need to use semicolons. They usually just get in the way. Some people believe that we should simply do away with them, and I tend to agree. The best advice that I can give is to avoid using them at all costs. I hope that helps! Also, your grammar is fine. If you really want to improve, get a copy of English Grammar for Dummies. It is a very good book, and it will help you to stop splitting your infinitives.



posted on Sep, 4 2017 @ 01:10 PM
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Yes I need lessons too. I have just gone back to study after 25 years and not having to write properly and never really knowing before that. I have to write academic talk. At the moment I have to write 5 annotated bibliographies on journal articles about early childhood education. If I fail one paper it's all over rover. Scared and feeling dumb.



posted on Sep, 4 2017 @ 01:12 PM
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I've had a couple of blasts come my way for pointing out punctuation and sentence errors. Sentences with no verb and others with no subject. Or run on sentences that begin with one thought and end waaaaaaaay over there with another as if the author's brain performed some slick somersault and didn't bother to warn us.

I enjoyed your post but did not scrutinize it with my microscope, as I am really not a grammar Nazi as some have suggested, but rather just someone who tries to grasp what it is the author is presenting. Your post was comprehensive
I took my schooling in writing over half a century ago so when it comes to some of the finer points you mention I find that in my own case I use the tactic you mention.

when I have no clue what the correct thing to do is but want to pretend like i do, by avoiding it completely.



posted on Sep, 4 2017 @ 01:14 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Thank you so much for that and thank you for the tips as well. I'm starting to understand it much better and feel like I just evolved another level.

And elipsis is also new to me, so thanks again.




posted on Sep, 4 2017 @ 01:15 PM
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One other thing. You didn't bring it up, but I will, and this is the usage of the word "that". The word "that" is probably one of the most overused words in the English language and can often be deleted entirely.

My employees laugh about me being on a "crusade against the word 'that'".

I see statements like... "It's because that if I don't go to the store I will be out of eggs." Eliminate the word "that" and you are left with a sentence which flows much better. Read how many times the word "that" gets used here on ATS. Remove the word and see if the sentence doesn't sound better without it; it will 99% of the time.

The other one which kills me is a phrase in which people use the word "that". "It is for this reason that I went to the store." (just as an example) What they might have better said would have been "This is the reason I went to the store".

In writing, less is often more.



posted on Sep, 4 2017 @ 01:20 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk




The best advice I've ever gotten for learning how to write well is to try to write like you speak. Understand where the inflections and pauses are in your speech and then write that way. However, you first must learn correct diction.


I second this.



posted on Sep, 4 2017 @ 01:20 PM
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originally posted by: knowledgehunter0986
On a scale of "Deathrow Inmate" to "Grammar God", how'd I do?


you're fine by me.

language that is living is flexible, it changes and it grows. most rules are just guidelines, unless you're in academia.

and most people who want to police every little thing really just want to demonstrate that THEY know the correct way, so they can pat themselves on the back.

as long as the communication is clear, who cares?




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