Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 222115 times)

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Two Ravens

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1995 on: April 24, 2014, 08:57:08 PM »
Right, you don't join two distinct sentences with a comma. Consider if there were not quotation marks.

She told him to stand there, she closed the door.

It doesn't work.

violinp

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1996 on: April 24, 2014, 08:58:49 PM »
I understand that.  I don't understand why not.  The rule doesn't make sense to me.

Well, because it's just not correct. You can just not have speech tags, but you can't use action verbs as speech tags.

For example:

"I need a new grater," Mark said as he pulled up a chair - this is the more correct and easier to understand version, at least to me.

"I need a new grater." Mark pulled up a chair - this is fine, although a little awkward - sounding.

"I need a new grater," Mark pulled up a chair - that's not okay, because it makes no sense.

You need the speech tag included for it to make sense; authors can't just assume that readers will make the mental leap themselves. Even though I can do that if needed, it's mentally exhausting and makes me really not like the book.
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Mental Magpie

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1997 on: April 24, 2014, 09:43:00 PM »
I understand that.  I don't understand why not.  The rule doesn't make sense to me.

Well, because it's just not correct. You can just not have speech tags, but you can't use action verbs as speech tags.

For example:

"I need a new grater," Mark said as he pulled up a chair - this is the more correct and easier to understand version, at least to me.

"I need a new grater." Mark pulled up a chair - this is fine, although a little awkward - sounding.

"I need a new grater," Mark pulled up a chair - that's not okay, because it makes no sense.

You need the speech tag included for it to make sense; authors can't just assume that readers will make the mental leap themselves. Even though I can do that if needed, it's mentally exhausting and makes me really not like the book.

I don't see it as mentally exhausting at all.


Right, you don't join two distinct sentences with a comma. Consider if there were not quotation marks.

She told him to stand there, she closed the door.

It doesn't work.

However, this makes absolute sense.  I don't know why I didn't see it that way before. 
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Jocelyn

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1998 on: April 26, 2014, 11:24:32 PM »


I thought it was fascinating when I was reading a C.S. Lewis book and two characters were whispering.  One of the characters lisped in the conversation (she didn't normally), and the narration said that she did so because she knew from Girl Guides, or something like that, that the "s" sound carries.  So she deliberately talked like, "Thee that tree over there?  We'll thircle around it and head to the house."
When I was in the first grade, the music teacher was preparing us for a Christmas program, and wanted to avoid having us sound like a pack of snakes. So we had to sing, 'We Wi You A Merry ChriMa'. Enough children were going to forget and add in the S sounds that the song would sound correct, but if we all had put in the S sounds, well, having 250 children hissing away would have been way too much.

Ceallach

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1999 on: April 26, 2014, 11:29:38 PM »
I understand that.  I don't understand why not.  The rule doesn't make sense to me.

Well, because it's just not correct. You can just not have speech tags, but you can't use action verbs as speech tags.

For example:

"I need a new grater," Mark said as he pulled up a chair - this is the more correct and easier to understand version, at least to me.

"I need a new grater." Mark pulled up a chair - this is fine, although a little awkward - sounding.

"I need a new grater," Mark pulled up a chair - that's not okay, because it makes no sense.

You need the speech tag included for it to make sense; authors can't just assume that readers will make the mental leap themselves. Even though I can do that if needed, it's mentally exhausting and makes me really not like the book.

Thanks all for explaining this, it makes sense.

I still can't imagine ever being bothered by this in a book myself - my eye doesn't stop to check if it's a comma or a full stop (period) or specifically where the speech marks are (inside or outside), as long as the overall meaning is clear.    In all 3 examples cited I would still assume Mark was the one speaking and wouldn't give it a second thought.    Interesting to learn though!  I will try to take note of this in my own writing now that I know it's something people are actually concerned about or will notice. 
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Petticoats

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #2000 on: April 27, 2014, 01:53:25 AM »
At a certain point it's futile to ask why certain grammatical rules are in place. The important thing is that certain conventions have been agreed upon, and their use makes things clearer because they teach us how to understand meaning. That's the point of all rules of grammar and usage: to enable all of us speaking the same language (and writing in it) to understand each other, and ideally to do so quickly and easily.

That's one of the reasons wanton breaking of grammatical rules infuriates me. It's not that I'm a purist for the sake of pure usage; it's that refusal to follow agreed-upon conventions makes things harder for everyone else to understand. When I read something (like Twilight) that frequently violates accepted usage, it makes it harder for me to read, even if only by the tiniest amount. Even if an error or stylistic ugliness only jars me for a fraction of a second, it pulls me out of the story. Do that enough, and I'll put a story down and never read that author again. Usage errors are little (or big) irritants that can accumulate into massive annoyance.

gmatoy

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #2001 on: April 27, 2014, 03:14:56 AM »
At a certain point it's futile to ask why certain grammatical rules are in place. The important thing is that certain conventions have been agreed upon, and their use makes things clearer because they teach us how to understand meaning. That's the point of all rules of grammar and usage: to enable all of us speaking the same language (and writing in it) to understand each other, and ideally to do so quickly and easily.

That's one of the reasons wanton breaking of grammatical rules infuriates me. It's not that I'm a purist for the sake of pure usage; it's that refusal to follow agreed-upon conventions makes things harder for everyone else to understand. When I read something (like Twilight) that frequently violates accepted usage, it makes it harder for me to read, even if only by the tiniest amount. Even if an error or stylistic ugliness only jars me for a fraction of a second, it pulls me out of the story. Do that enough, and I'll put a story down and never read that author again. Usage errors are little (or big) irritants that can accumulate into massive annoyance.

And this is why I can not read Danielle Steele's books. Does she have an editor? Her story lines sound like they should be interesting; however, the jarring of sentence after sentence that breaks the rules is exhausting! (Way too many of her sentences start with: and, or, but.)

Ceallach

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #2002 on: April 27, 2014, 03:46:04 AM »
At a certain point it's futile to ask why certain grammatical rules are in place. The important thing is that certain conventions have been agreed upon, and their use makes things clearer because they teach us how to understand meaning. That's the point of all rules of grammar and usage: to enable all of us speaking the same language (and writing in it) to understand each other, and ideally to do so quickly and easily.

That's one of the reasons wanton breaking of grammatical rules infuriates me. It's not that I'm a purist for the sake of pure usage; it's that refusal to follow agreed-upon conventions makes things harder for everyone else to understand. When I read something (like Twilight) that frequently violates accepted usage, it makes it harder for me to read, even if only by the tiniest amount. Even if an error or stylistic ugliness only jars me for a fraction of a second, it pulls me out of the story. Do that enough, and I'll put a story down and never read that author again. Usage errors are little (or big) irritants that can accumulate into massive annoyance.

The fascinating thing for me is that I got A+ in English in high school, wrote excellent essays in university, and have always been praised for my writing skills.   Yet my knowledge of grammar rules is very weak.   There are many that I know instinctively from years of reading (which I assume is what has carried me through) but there are others, such as this, which I've simply never noticed and therefore not aware of.   I did buy a grammar book a few years back, I probably need to study it more extensively.   
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Katana_Geldar

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #2003 on: April 27, 2014, 03:51:57 AM »
The funny thing I've found out about grammar is that it's very hard to explain why something is right or wrong sometime,so particularly to an non-native speaker.

poundcake

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #2004 on: April 27, 2014, 11:33:25 AM »
Came across another one today: either quoting poetry incorrectly, or using it incorrectly. Like taking a love poem that's very possessive or satirical, and using it as an example of "romance." Or even incorporating other novels/literature as source material without really understanding it. Like using a novel that is about a dysfunctional relationship as an example of "romance." Understand the source material you're invoking!

Nikko-chan

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #2005 on: April 27, 2014, 01:59:55 PM »
Came across another one today: either quoting poetry incorrectly, or using it incorrectly. Like taking a love poem that's very possessive or satirical, and using it as an example of "romance." Or even incorporating other novels/literature as source material without really understanding it. Like using a novel that is about a dysfunctional relationship as an example of "romance." Understand the source material you're invoking!

Can we please please have some example quotes?

Petticoats

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #2006 on: April 27, 2014, 02:02:48 PM »
At a certain point it's futile to ask why certain grammatical rules are in place. The important thing is that certain conventions have been agreed upon, and their use makes things clearer because they teach us how to understand meaning. That's the point of all rules of grammar and usage: to enable all of us speaking the same language (and writing in it) to understand each other, and ideally to do so quickly and easily.

That's one of the reasons wanton breaking of grammatical rules infuriates me. It's not that I'm a purist for the sake of pure usage; it's that refusal to follow agreed-upon conventions makes things harder for everyone else to understand. When I read something (like Twilight) that frequently violates accepted usage, it makes it harder for me to read, even if only by the tiniest amount. Even if an error or stylistic ugliness only jars me for a fraction of a second, it pulls me out of the story. Do that enough, and I'll put a story down and never read that author again. Usage errors are little (or big) irritants that can accumulate into massive annoyance.

And this is why I can not read Danielle Steele's books. Does she have an editor? Her story lines sound like they should be interesting; however, the jarring of sentence after sentence that breaks the rules is exhausting! (Way too many of her sentences start with: and, or, but.)

There's definitely a lot of variation between readers as to what is acceptable. :) When used in moderation, coordinating conjunctions at the beginnings of sentences don't bother me (unless there's a comma chucked in afterward without cause). I believe it was being done back in Chaucer's day, so I think there's sufficient precedent... but it's only fair to add that lots of people disagree!

Reika

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #2007 on: April 27, 2014, 02:03:19 PM »
This might seem like a petty thing, but I recently read this one book couldn't make up his mind if he was going to capitalize a species name or not. So for example, you'd sometimes see Human in one sentence then in the following sentence it would be human. And we weren't talking about a specific person, just humanity in general.

That combined with making a futuristic society all porntastic (without saying so in the description of the book) was a real turn off and has ensured I will never read that author again.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #2008 on: April 27, 2014, 04:35:31 PM »
Came across another one today: either quoting poetry incorrectly, or using it incorrectly. Like taking a love poem that's very possessive or satirical, and using it as an example of "romance." Or even incorporating other novels/literature as source material without really understanding it. Like using a novel that is about a dysfunctional relationship as an example of "romance." Understand the source material you're invoking!

Can we please please have some example quotes?

Not the OP, but I know for me I honestly don't understand why people consider "Wuthering Heights" to be so romantic when it strikes me as being incredibly dysfunctional.

Also makes me think of people using "Every Breath You Take" as a song for their first dance. Or "We've Got Tonight".
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Cherry91

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #2009 on: April 27, 2014, 04:47:23 PM »
Came across another one today: either quoting poetry incorrectly, or using it incorrectly. Like taking a love poem that's very possessive or satirical, and using it as an example of "romance." Or even incorporating other novels/literature as source material without really understanding it. Like using a novel that is about a dysfunctional relationship as an example of "romance." Understand the source material you're invoking!

Can we please please have some example quotes?

Not the OP, but I know for me I honestly don't understand why people consider "Wuthering Heights" to be so romantic when it strikes me as being incredibly dysfunctional.

Also makes me think of people using "Every Breath You Take" as a song for their first dance. Or "We've Got Tonight".

Anyone who tries to compare themselves to Romeo and Juliet - "So you're 13 and 16 respectively and several people are going to die?"