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Grammar/Spelling/Syntax/English lessons

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

  1. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Distinguished Member

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    I hate this construction with a buring passion that cannot be assuaged. "What it is is" is a construction I believe I first started hearing in the early 80s. It grated on my nerves from the very first and I vowed never to use it. Unfortunately, when thoughtless constructions like this become widespread, they become infectious and you have to make a concentrated effort to avoid using them. For a shit topping, add "it's," eg.: "What it is is, it's a way of sounding like an utter moron."
    hey man, it is what it is.
     


  2. LabelKing

    LabelKing Stylish Dinosaur

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    I hate this construction with a buring passion that cannot be assuaged. "What it is is" is a construction I believe I first started hearing in the early 80s. It grated on my nerves from the very first and I vowed never to use it. Unfortunately, when thoughtless constructions like this become widespread, they become infectious and you have to make a concentrated effort to avoid using them. For a shit topping, add "it's," eg.: "What it is is, it's a way of sounding like an utter moron."
    That sounds like common argot, which usually signifies mediocrity.
     


  3. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red "Mr. Fashionista"

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    hey man, it is what it is.

    This is not even close to being in the same league. It's not what it's not, too.

    That sounds like common argot, which usually signifies mediocrity.

    In this case, aspiring to the bottom rung of mediocrity.
     


  4. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    "Each was better than the next"... what you're probably trying to say was that they just kept getting better, but what you are saying is that they kept getting worse.

    What you meant to say was "each was better than the last".

    ..

    "Principle" means rule, ethical standard, basic generalization.
    "Principal" means the most important or primary, or the guy who gave you a detention.
     


  5. Mr. Checks

    Mr. Checks Distinguished Member

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    I think this was on the thread we lost, and I disagree that it is a hard-and-fast rule.

    "Hicks", "rednecks", and "the unsophisticated" prefer inferior service.
    When words/phrases are in scare quotes, or are in quotation marks to denote the unusual use of the word, or as a citation, etc., I don't think the commas should be in the quotes. (do not check this sentence for parallel construction Bob)

    "I have begun," he said, "to go insane."
    In this case, it makes sense to me. However, if the quotation itself doesn't include a comma or the end of a sentence, why would it be in the quotation marks?



    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.
     


  6. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red "Mr. Fashionista"

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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.).
     


  7. Arethusa

    Arethusa Distinguished 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.
     


  8. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red "Mr. Fashionista"

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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"?
     


  9. Arethusa

    Arethusa Distinguished 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.
     


  10. RJman

    RJman Posse 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.
     


  11. Arethusa

    Arethusa Distinguished Member

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


  12. Kent Wang

    Kent Wang Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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  13. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red "Mr. Fashionista"

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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.
     


  14. LabelKing

    LabelKing Stylish Dinosaur

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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.
     


  15. LabelKing

    LabelKing Stylish Dinosaur

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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?
     


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