Author Topic: Grammar quirks  (Read 44237 times)

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jmarvellous

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Re: Grammar quirks
« Reply #150 on: July 26, 2012, 02:59:40 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.

Indeed. I am an American editor, and as such I primarily edit American publications by American writers, who ought to follow American grammar rules. I acknowledge the differences in different places, but that doesn't mean I have to like them. I'm certain I would adjust if it became necessary.

My annoyances are quite useful in my job, so I haven't worked to turn them off entirely. I merely to turn down the volume so I can read the Internet without going mad.

Chickadee

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Re: Grammar quirks
« Reply #151 on: July 26, 2012, 03:15:04 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.   ::)

I twitch when someone tells me she gets up at the unseemly hour of 5:00 AM in the morning. Yup, if it's 5:00 AM, then it's the morning  ::)

Moonie

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Re: Grammar quirks
« Reply #152 on: July 26, 2012, 03:34:39 PM »
Funner and funnest instead of more fun and most fun.  And "more better" gets me as well.

Margo

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Re: Grammar quirks
« Reply #153 on: July 26, 2012, 03:47:27 PM »
We've got this far, and no-one has mentioned uninterested and disinterested yet? That one really annoys me. My other pet hate is the  use of 'refute' when what is meant is 'deny' or 'dispute'. It seems to come up every time anyone is accused of any crime or wrongdoing.

I get very annoyed by bad grammar and incorrect use of words in formal reports and professional letters.

Free Range Hippy Chick

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Re: Grammar quirks
« Reply #154 on: July 26, 2012, 05:07:02 PM »
Commas or periods outside (not "outside of") quotation marks

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

Is it? I'm not American, and my punctuation goes inside my quotation marks. I had rather assumed that punctuation outside was American, but I admit that I was basing that largely on an American word-processing programme (not one of the standard ones) in which the grammar checker didn't have a British English option, and which went totally hysterical with rage when I wanted to put a full stop inside my quotation marks. It wasn't a very good programme - it use to make spelling and grammar changes even when the option was turned off.

I gained a terrifying reputation once because one of my responsibilities as the most junior member of staff was to check letters drafted by a manager and typed by secretarial staff; I used to send them back with the spelling and punctuation corrected. Since I was technical staff, not secretarial, this didn't go down well, because the secretaries were told to type what the manager had written, not what he ought to have written. I was too young to be either pragmatic (it's his name on the letter so he'll be the one who looks unprofessional, not me) or tactful. I did hear, a long time later, that I was still being used to terrify junior staff a good five years after I left, along the lines of "if you're using 'however' or 'therefore', you have to have at least a semi-colon before it, not just a comma on each side. Why? Because if you don't, FR Hippy Chick sends your letter back."

Ah, happy days...

We haven't had 'barbeque' for 'barbecue' yet, have we? I hate 'barbeque'. I always, always read it the way it would be pronounced, which is bar-beck, or possibly bar-be-kay.

Elfmama

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Re: Grammar quirks
« Reply #155 on: July 26, 2012, 05:16:25 PM »
Sometimes it is necessary to put punctuation marks outside the quotation marks, because what is quoted does not make sense with the quote. Bleh.  That's easier to illustrate than it is to explain.

Sample: Did your mother-in-law really say that "All cats are disgusting creatures and I won't have one near MY grandchild"?  MIL wasn't asking the question, so the ? goes outside the quotes, not inside.
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Jones

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Re: Grammar quirks
« Reply #156 on: July 26, 2012, 05:39:57 PM »
Someone posted this on my FB page today (apparently I have a reputation) and I thought I would share:




Elfmama

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Re: Grammar quirks
« Reply #157 on: July 26, 2012, 06:00:17 PM »
12.  Always proofread.  You might have something out.
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baglady

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Re: Grammar quirks
« Reply #158 on: July 26, 2012, 09:20:56 PM »
Quote
We haven't had 'barbeque' for 'barbecue' yet, have we? I hate 'barbeque'. I always, always read it the way it would be pronounced, which is bar-beck, or possibly bar-be-kay.

I hear you! I also can't stand BBQ or bar-b-que or any other cutesy spelling unless it's the official name of a barbecue restaurant.

It also bugs me when the word is used for all events where food is cooked/eaten outside. If you're cooking chicken or ribs or pork with barbecue sauce, that's a barbecue. If you're throwing burgers and dogs on the charcoal or gas grill, that's not a barbecue; it's a cookout.

Quote
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.

The teacher could have avoided the whole thing by saying, "Have you all brought your slates?"
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 09:23:35 PM by baglady »
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TZ

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Re: Grammar quirks
« Reply #159 on: July 26, 2012, 10:33:46 PM »
The misuse of "that" and "which" makes my skin crawl every time I see it. The two words are not interchangeable. Unfortunately, I see this one a lot.

I also get annoyed by the improper addition or omission of a comma before a conjunction. You do use a comma if an independent clause follows the conjunction. If there isn't a complete sentence after the conjunction, there shouldn't be a comma.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Grammar quirks
« Reply #160 on: July 26, 2012, 11:01:42 PM »
The misuse of "that" and "which" makes my skin crawl every time I see it. The two words are not interchangeable. Unfortunately, I see this one a lot.

I also get annoyed by the improper addition or omission of a comma before a conjunction. You do use a comma if an independent clause follows the conjunction. If there isn't a complete sentence after the conjunction, there shouldn't be a comma.

What also bothers me is when someone uses "what" when "which" is the proper word.

It is not, "What movie do you want to see?"; it is "Which movie do you want to see?"
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Free Range Hippy Chick

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Re: Grammar quirks
« Reply #161 on: July 27, 2012, 04:21:25 AM »
The misuse of "that" and "which" makes my skin crawl every time I see it. The two words are not interchangeable. Unfortunately, I see this one a lot.

I'll confess that I am not totally sound on that one and if somebody could PM me a link to a site addressing it clearly (do you see what I did there?), I would be grateful.

Come on, at least I know that I'm not sound!

Slartibartfast

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Re: Grammar quirks
« Reply #162 on: July 27, 2012, 09:31:33 AM »
The misuse of "that" and "which" makes my skin crawl every time I see it. The two words are not interchangeable. Unfortunately, I see this one a lot.

I'll confess that I am not totally sound on that one and if somebody could PM me a link to a site addressing it clearly (do you see what I did there?), I would be grateful.

Come on, at least I know that I'm not sound!

In a nutshell, "which" is for clarification.  "That" is for specifying one out of a number of choices.  So "I cut down the tree that is on the hill" means "There are many other trees, but I specifically cut down one."  Conversely, "I cut down the tree which is on the hill" means "I cut down a tree, and for your additional information, the tree was also on a hill."

pinkyblue

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Re: Grammar quirks
« Reply #163 on: July 27, 2012, 10:35:16 AM »
The misuse of "that" and "which" makes my skin crawl every time I see it. The two words are not interchangeable. Unfortunately, I see this one a lot.

I also get annoyed by the improper addition or omission of a comma before a conjunction. You do use a comma if an independent clause follows the conjunction. If there isn't a complete sentence after the conjunction, there shouldn't be a comma.

Preach it!  I work with someone who simply cannot (or refuses to) grasp the concept of the compound predicate, and I have to yank innumerable improper commas out of everything she writes. 

katiescarlett

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Re: Grammar quirks
« Reply #164 on: July 27, 2012, 05:01:51 PM »
Less versus Fewer.  (I know, a capitalization violation. >:D)

I find it especially cringe-worthy when I see it by vendors as "20 items or less."  Items in a cart is quantifiable, not a mass.  Use fewer.

Sounds like a song.  You know, it was a capitalization violation...that day the grammar went bad.