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Grammar/Spelling/Syntax/English lessons

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by j, May 12, 2006.

  1. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red Senior member

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    I'm gonna hang with my 4th grade English teacher and Strunk & White on this one.

    Period goes inside the quotes, "period."

    Why? The construction of the sentence isn't altered by a quotation. The quotation marks are used to indicate something to the reader, not to change the grammatical construction of the sentence.
    I can't think of any reason why your example would generate some kind of exception.
    It's like starting a sentence with a capital letter.


    As a professional editor, I want to voice my complete agreement.

    Placing periods and commas outside of quotation marks is a British convention. This is the style used by The Economist. If you want to use this style as an American, be consistent throughout with spelling too ("colour," etc.).
     
  2. Arethusa

    Arethusa Senior member

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    I just hate doing it with periods but not doing it with exclamation and question marks. Everything tends to go inside quotation marks with me, save in formal writing.
     
  3. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red Senior member

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    I just hate doing it with periods but not doing it with exclamation and question marks. Everything tends to go inside quotation marks with me, save in formal writing.

    Yes, but consider how including either of the others within quotation marks materially changes the quoted text:

    Have you read Tolstoy's "War and Peace?"

    vs

    Have you read Tolstoy's "War and Peace"?
     
  4. Arethusa

    Arethusa Senior member

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    I realize it does, but that doesn't stop the inconsistency of the system from annoying me. In that sense, the British convention is preferable, even if I can do without the colour.
     
  5. RJman

    RJman Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Yes, but consider how including either of the others within quotation marks materially changes the quoted text:

    Have you read Tolstoy's "War and Peace?"

    vs

    Have you read Tolstoy's "War and Peace"?

    Wouldn't it be War and Peace? I was taught that books and films should be underlined or italicized, and short stories or songs are in quotes.
     
  6. Arethusa

    Arethusa Senior member

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    In formal, cited writing, underlined— never italicized— at least in MLA form. Otherwise, just capitalized like normal.
     
  7. Kent Wang

    Kent Wang Senior member Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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  8. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red Senior member

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    Wouldn't it be War and Peace? I was taught that books and films should be underlined or italicized, and short stories or songs are in quotes.

    Yes, this is correct. That was not the best example. This should illustrate the point better: ([​IMG])

    Did you hear him when he said, "All humhahs are weewahs, and all weewahs are poobahs, therefore all humhahs are poobahs?"

    vs

    Did you hear him when he said, "All humhahs are weewahs, and all weewahs are poobahs, therefore all humhahs are poobahs"?


    In the first, he's being quoted as framing the syllogism as a question, when, in fact, it was a statement.
     
  9. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Wouldn't it be War and Peace? I was taught that books and films should be underlined or italicized, and short stories or songs are in quotes.
    In reportage texts, the titles are italicized.
     
  10. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    On another tangent, I love those quite British appropriations of grammar, cantering it into verbose, dense sentences, pregnant like biting little poems of hate. An especial example would be Dame Edith Sitwell: I'm not the man to balk at a low smell, I not the man to insist on asphodel. This sounds like a He-fellow, don't you think? It sounds like that. I belch, I bawl, I drink. Why not be oneself? That is the whole secret of a successful appearance. If one is a greyhound, why try to look like a Pekingese?
     
  11. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quotation_mark#Punctuation Quote: \t \t \t\t \t\t\t \t\t\t\tDue to the influence of computer science (see BNF rules for describing formal languages), what is essentially (if unknowingly) the British standard has become more widely accepted in the U.S.
    i'm on board with that. i think, generally, something that is quoted should be treated as an untouchable symbol; if you add a punctuation mark to it, it changes the meaning.
     
  12. Margaret

    Margaret Senior member

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    Thank you. I now have a name to put to what my students constantly do. They just do not get this logical fallacy. It is maddening.


    bob


    How embarrassing! [​IMG]
    Thanks.
     
  13. rdawson808

    rdawson808 Senior member

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    How embarrassing! [​IMG]
    Thanks.


    Are you one of my students?

    bob
     
  14. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red Senior member

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    A: We can't give you this loan unless you have someone who can vouch for you.

    B: Quimby will vouch for me.

    A: But why should we trust Quimby's word?

    B: Oh, I'll vouch for Quimby. His word's as good as gold.
     
  15. Margaret

    Margaret Senior member

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    Are you one of my students?

    bob


    I guess I am now![​IMG]

    A: We can't give you this loan unless you have someone who can vouch for you.

    B: Quimby will vouch for me.

    A: But why should we trust Quimby's word?

    B: Oh, I'll vouch for Quimby. His word's as good as gold.


    Oh, I get that meaning. I just thought the other one was a legit substitution for "raises the question," i.e., "begs [one to ask] the question". I still like the strictly incorrect/evolved usage -- I don't think that in context it's easily confused with the other meaning.
     
  16. Nick M

    Nick M Senior member

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    Today I overheard a woman talking about a costume her husband was to wear for a party, saying that "... he probably won't have the kahunas to put it on."
     
  17. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    Today I overheard a woman talking about a costume her husband was to wear for a party, saying that "... he probably won't have the kahunas to put it on."

    did she mean cojones?


    i'll add one. the word panini is the plural form of the singluar panino.

    therefore, the correct way to order is, "i'll have a panino please." or, "i'd like two panini." there is no such thing as a panini.
     
  18. bachbeet

    bachbeet Senior member

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    I've never received a satisfactory explanation for the way "it" is treated in the English language. The possessive is its. And the contraction is it's. With all other words, one doesn't change it (one uses the apostrophe) and one knows which use it is by the context.

    I also have quoted a favorite grammatical quote of Churchill's:

    "Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I shall not put."

    I also read a piece some time ago about the lengthening of words. the example is move and its past tense moved. Someone substituted motive to describe what moved someone to do something. Then motive became motivation. Then, the author felt it was not a far step to change these to verbs -- motived; motivationed. This "Stretch Trend" can be seen in other words which some of you may be aware of. (Thank you Winston. [​IMG] )
     
  19. dah328

    dah328 Senior member

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    Tenants != tenets. How come no one gets that right?
     
  20. Arethusa

    Arethusa Senior member

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    I knew a guy once who couldn't tell the difference between "or other" and "or rather." I tried telling him a few times. He just seemed confused or something or rather.
     

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