Author Topic: Grammar quirks  (Read 39107 times)

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Oh Joy

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Re: Grammar quirks
« Reply #135 on: July 25, 2012, 07:40:20 PM »
Just to irritate me, my sweet sweet husband relishes telling me he went to the ATM machine and entered his PIN number.

The M is for Machine and the N is for Number, folks!  Grrrr...

But, then again, hot water heater bothers me, too.  You don't heat hot water; you heat cold water.   ::)

Elfmama

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Re: Grammar quirks
« Reply #136 on: July 26, 2012, 12:51:05 AM »
The one I forgot: I and me.

'Me and KayMarie are distressed by aberrant apostrophes.'

No, we aren't. 'KayMarie and I are distressed by aberrant apostrophes.'

It's not difficult: use the same one you would use if there were (subjunctive!) only you - so 'I am distressed', not 'me am distressed'. And you yourself always come last. That's easy to remember - this is an etiquette board, and etiquette says I should let KayMarie go first, right?
And its opposite: "They gave some apples to KayMarie and I." Same rule.  DH tried to argue this one with me, saying that Sister Mary Godzilla told him that a plural subject/object was always "KayMarie and I."

Do not argue with a writer who has a Chicago Manual of Style within arm's reach.  >:D
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Elfmama

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Re: Grammar quirks
« Reply #137 on: July 26, 2012, 01:08:10 AM »
Another verbal tick that I hate in print:  "Jus' sayin'."

It sounds very low-class.

tic!

But it's fine in dialogue, if it's in keeping with the character.  That's the point at which my grammar head gets all explody - to create real and vibrant characters, I can't have them all speaking the Queen's English, with perfect grammar and received pronunciation.  They have to use slang and misuse the language.  The writing of characters and dialogue is where the artist and the pedant clash.
Or the writer and the copy-editor.  If I write the line of dialog in a deliberately thick accent, "Well, hit's jest her word, bein' as how he's daid an' cain't speak fur hisself," the copy-editor does NOT get to change it to "Well, it's just her word, since he's dead and can't speak for himself."
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Elfmama

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Re: Grammar quirks
« Reply #138 on: July 26, 2012, 01:15:49 AM »
SoCalVal (post #42), starry diadem (post #45) and Mikayla (post #51), discuss "their" as the gender-neutral single possessive. I use "their" for the purpose -- being male, not wishing to risk slighting the opposite sex by universal use of the male form; and (JMO) "his / her" or "his or her" sound and look infuriatingly cumbersome and stilted, in comparison with "their".
But it's just as easy to recast the sentence so that "their" is the proper form.  "Teachers can put their things in the office for safekeeping" works a lot better than "A teacher can put their things in the office for safekeeping."
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cabbageweevil

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Re: Grammar quirks
« Reply #139 on: July 26, 2012, 09:29:13 AM »
Sometimes, though, that ploy won't function -- you are stuck between "his (/ or her)", and the not-grammatically-pure "their".  I'm influenced, perhaps, by a story by James Thurber, involving an interview with an eccentric and irascible author.  A chance turn in the conversation causes the bad-tempered literary gent to declare: " 'everybody / their', for Deity's sake ! I hate 'everybody / his'.  A teacher of mine used to say, 'has everybody brought his or her slate?' " ... the guy goes on to utter very hostile epithets about this long-ago teacher.  I'll admit to sympathising with the curmudgeon's sentiments, whilst deploring his manners.

Lexophile

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Re: Grammar quirks
« Reply #140 on: July 26, 2012, 11:29:13 AM »
Ooh, ooh, thought of another one - "simplistic" instead of "simple." 

I think that one falls in the category of "it has more syllables, so it MUST be the better word!"

Same thing with "incident." The plural of it is apparently now "incidentses." I think people are confusing it with "incidence." I'm not sure how.

Or intense and intensive.
"Submission to what people call their 'lot' is simply ignoble. If your lot makes you cry and be wretched, get rid of it and take another." - Elizabeth von Arnim

Redneck Gravy

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Re: Grammar quirks
« Reply #141 on: July 26, 2012, 11:49:22 AM »
Just to irritate me, my sweet sweet husband relishes telling me he went to the ATM machine and entered his PIN number.

The M is for Machine and the N is for Number, folks!  Grrrr...

But, then again, hot water heater bothers me, too.  You don't heat hot water; you heat cold water.   ::)

It's a water heater!     

and I'm with you on the ATM and PIN   

Scratch and itch drive me wild too.  If it itches, you scratch it, you don't itch it.  Few people get that one wrong - but it drives me wild to hear it.

Surely by now learned and taught have been covered.  My stepdad would say, he learned me to drive.  Agghhh!

 

amylouky

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Re: Grammar quirks
« Reply #142 on: July 26, 2012, 11:53:29 AM »
I got an email from a coworker yesterday regarding upcoming work to be done on System X. It included the sentence, "No network maintenance may be scheduled for X date, if it will affect or have an effect on System X."
I'm glad that they used affect/effect correctly, but isn't this redundant?

Mental Magpie

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Re: Grammar quirks
« Reply #143 on: July 26, 2012, 12:43:04 PM »
I see a lot of people do it (even here on the Grammar Quirks thread), and I realize that it is "becoming more accepted", but I hate seeing a sentence that begins with "but" or "and".  It briefly annoys me in informal writing but drives me up the wall in formal writing.  The sentence can always easily be restructured to not begin that way or it can be added to the sentence before it with proper punctuation.

I know, I know, lots of people do it, but it still bothers me.  You can flame me now.  :-[
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Bexx27

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Re: Grammar quirks
« Reply #144 on: July 26, 2012, 12:50:14 PM »
I see a lot of people do it (even here on the Grammar Quirks thread), and I realize that it is "becoming more accepted", but I hate seeing a sentence that begins with "but" or "and".  It briefly annoys me in informal writing but drives me up the wall in formal writing.  The sentence can always easily be restructured to not begin that way or it can be added to the sentence before it with proper punctuation.

I know, I know, lots of people do it, but it still bothers me.  You can flame me now.  :-[

Well, you're certainly entitled to be bothered by it - this thread is about "quirks," after all - but it's not incorrect.

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/16/ch05/ch05_sec206.html
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these. -George Washington Carver

Mental Magpie

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Re: Grammar quirks
« Reply #145 on: July 26, 2012, 01:02:19 PM »
I see a lot of people do it (even here on the Grammar Quirks thread), and I realize that it is "becoming more accepted", but I hate seeing a sentence that begins with "but" or "and".  It briefly annoys me in informal writing but drives me up the wall in formal writing.  The sentence can always easily be restructured to not begin that way or it can be added to the sentence before it with proper punctuation.

I know, I know, lots of people do it, but it still bothers me.  You can flame me now.  :-[

Well, you're certainly entitled to be bothered by it - this thread is about "quirks," after all - but it's not incorrect.

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/16/ch05/ch05_sec206.html

I can't access the link because I am not a subscriber.  It may not be incorrect according to the Chicago style, but it is incorrect according to others.  APA says it is inappropriate because they are joining words; if they are used at the beginning of a sentence, they aren't joining anything.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Bexx27

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Re: Grammar quirks
« Reply #146 on: July 26, 2012, 01:05:06 PM »
I see a lot of people do it (even here on the Grammar Quirks thread), and I realize that it is "becoming more accepted", but I hate seeing a sentence that begins with "but" or "and".  It briefly annoys me in informal writing but drives me up the wall in formal writing.  The sentence can always easily be restructured to not begin that way or it can be added to the sentence before it with proper punctuation.

I know, I know, lots of people do it, but it still bothers me.  You can flame me now.  :-[

Well, you're certainly entitled to be bothered by it - this thread is about "quirks," after all - but it's not incorrect.

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/16/ch05/ch05_sec206.html

I can't access the link because I am not a subscriber.  It may not be incorrect according to the Chicago style, but it is incorrect according to others.  APA says it is inappropriate because they are joining words; if they are used at the beginning of a sentence, they aren't joining anything.

Sorry, here's the text (odd, I didn't realize I was a subscriber!):

"5.206Beginning a sentence with a conjunction

There is a widespread belief—one with no historical or grammatical foundation—that it is an error to begin a sentence with a conjunction such as and, but, or so. In fact, a substantial percentage (often as many as 10 percent) of the sentences in first-rate writing begin with conjunctions. It has been so for centuries, and even the most conservative grammarians have followed this practice. Charles Allen Lloyd’s 1938 words fairly sum up the situation as it stands even today:

Next to the groundless notion that it is incorrect to end an English sentence with a preposition, perhaps the most wide-spread of the many false beliefs about the use of our language is the equally groundless notion that it is incorrect to begin one with “but” or “and.” As in the case of the superstition about the prepositional ending, no textbook supports it, but apparently about half of our teachers of English go out of their way to handicap their pupils by inculcating it. One cannot help wondering whether those who teach such a monstrous doctrine ever read any English themselves.7

Still, but as an adversative conjunction can occasionally be unclear at the beginning of a sentence. Evaluate the contrasting force of the but in question, and see whether the needed word is really and; if and can be substituted, then but is almost certainly the wrong word. Consider this example: He went to school this morning. But he left his lunch box on the kitchen table. Between those sentences is an elliptical idea, since the two actions are in no way contradictory. What is implied is something like this: He went to school, intending to have lunch there, but he left his lunch behind. Because and would have made sense in the passage as originally stated, but is not the right word—the idea for the contrastive but should be explicit. To sum up, then, but is a perfectly proper word to open a sentence, but only if the idea it introduces truly contrasts with what precedes. For that matter, but is often an effective word for introducing a paragraph that develops an idea contrary to the one preceding it."
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these. -George Washington Carver

jmarvellous

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Re: Grammar quirks
« Reply #147 on: July 26, 2012, 01:18:48 PM »
Commas or periods outside (not "outside of") quotation marks

Accept vs. except

Shorter dashes where an em dash is needed

Excessive hyphenation

"ISBN number"

Towards, afterwards, etc.

Missing commas between adjectives in a series

Awkward phrasing to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition

Gerunds where other words will do

Rhetorical questions punctuated with periods

Unnecessary quotation marks (or missing quotation marks)

Brackets instead of parentheses

Written dialect or dialogue that doesn't resemble natural speech

Tonite, nite, donut, drive-thru, kwik, etc.

Postal abbreviations, unless they're in a mailing address

Excessive acronyms ("alphabet soup") and excessive capitalization

#O%#$%(; or s**** instead of swearing, particularly when it's being read by adults

Some of these are rules. Some are just my quirks. I care a lot about grammar, including many of the rules mentioned in other posts, but I am pretty good about letting go when reading for fun.

stitchygreyanonymouse

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Re: Grammar quirks
« Reply #148 on: July 26, 2012, 02:15:00 PM »
Commas or periods outside (not "outside of") quotation marks

But this is the punctuation rule for non-American English.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Grammar quirks
« Reply #149 on: July 26, 2012, 02:17:01 PM »
Commas or periods outside (not "outside of") quotation marks

But this is the punctuation rule for non-American English.

That doesn't mean it still doesn't bother her, though.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.