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Grammar/Spelling/Syntax/English lessons

j

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Reviving another lost thread.

The lesson for the day is parallel sentence construction. I see this all the time, and it's mildly annoying but mainly distracting. You don't want your syntax to be distracting! This is a bad thing.

I don't know how to explain it using all the correct terminology, so I will provide a common example.

A is as good -- if not better -- than B. (WRONG)
A is as good as -- if not better than -- B. (Right)

Can you see why?

A is as good than B? No. A is as good as B, if not better than B.
 

Fabienne

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The last time I added my list to the now lost thread, the forum crashed.
 

Bouji

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When one does not use commas after concluding words and the word "˜which', 99% of the time there should be one after such words, so often people under use commas, it is somewhat annoying.

For example, after the following words:
Therefore
So
Thus
However
 

skalogre

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Uh oh. I never really formally learned English grammar and syntax so I will try hiding for the time being
 

faustian bargain

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X is different than Y. - wrong X is different from Y. - right
 

faustian bargain

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Originally Posted by Bouji
When one does not use commas after concluding words and the word "˜which', 99% of the time there should be one after such words, so often people under use commas, it is somewhat annoying. For example, after the following words: Therefore So Thus However
the rule i learned about that is that it depends whether the clause following the 'however' is short or simple enough. maybe less than 99%, but more than 66%. i think the british tend to leave off the comma more than USAians though.
 

johnapril

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data is plural
 

faustian bargain

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so is media also phenomena, although that is misused for slightly different reasons than 'data' and 'media'.
 

dah328

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Originally Posted by Bouji
When one does not use commas after concluding words and the word "˜which', 99% of the time there should be one after such words, so often people under use commas, it is somewhat annoying.
Seeing as how this is the grammar thread, I have to say that's some interesting sentence construction there -- dependent clause, comma, independent clause, comma, coordinating conjunction, independent clause, comma, independent clause.
 

skalogre

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My pet peeve. Why do newscasters in the USA say "This is the news?"
Whatever happenned to the distinction between plural and singular? I mean, come on! It is your JOB for heaven's sake!
 

Kent Wang

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A comma is always used before 'etc.' right?
 

Margaret

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Originally Posted by Kent Wang
A comma is always used before 'etc.' right?

Usually. Though in your post, you should have used one after.
 

Fabienne

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Originally Posted by skalogre
My pet peeve. Why do newscasters in the USA say "This is the news?"
Whatever happenned to the distinction between plural and singular? I mean, come on! It is your JOB for heaven's sake!


I believe the word news is actually singular, despite its Old French origins being plural. Any native speakers around?
 

SGladwell

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Originally Posted by faustian bargain
so is media.

While data is obvious, I always thought that treating "media" as a plural was outside of Standard American English. I know I was hounded for it in high school. Now, "the media are...." sounds strange to me, whereas "the media is..." sounds right.

Every time I hear "the data says" my skin crawls, though.
 

Margaret

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Originally Posted by SGladwell
While data is obvious, I always thought that treating "media" as a plural was outside of Standard American English. I know I was hounded for it in high school. Now, "the media are...." sounds strange to me, whereas "the media is..." sounds right.

Every time I hear "the data says" my skin crawls, though.


I'm pretty sure that if "the media" is used as a reference to the collective institution (i.e. journalists as a whole), it should be treated as singular. If you're referring to various distinct types of media (e.g., newspapers, television and radio -- or Cassette, VHS and BETA, for that matter), then it's plural.
 

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