1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Importance of Spelling

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Nick, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. Jul 17, 2012 #61 of 128
    Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

    4,567
    0
    Sep 3, 2004
    I don't abuse ellipsis although I have a friend who is a very good writer who fights their overuse all the time.

    My problem is parentheses. There is always something more I want to say for emphasis or further explanation (not true with this post). It's almost like the old Pop-Up videos on VH-1 (Anybody see Viacom bring that gimmick back in the current dispute?). Why can't I just say everything I want in the sentence and not have a trailing comment (or comments) in a parentheses?

    (Parenthetically speaking, of course.)
     
  2. Jul 17, 2012 #62 of 128
    Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

    15,343
    578
    Dec 2, 2010
    Winters,...
    I wouldn't mention this but for the thread topic, but shouldn't that be "as in your example"? Regardless, I have forgotten the rule, but it seems to me it should be "as". If someone knows the rule, all the better.
     
  3. Jul 17, 2012 #63 of 128
    Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

    15,343
    578
    Dec 2, 2010
    Winters,...
    "Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.", so says an amusing guide on grammar, originally published, IIRC, by Edwin Newman.
     
  4. Jul 17, 2012 #64 of 128
    Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

    21,866
    189
    Apr 23, 2002
    The...
    "Word" has it that Edwin Newman was a cunning linguist. :lol:
     
  5. Jul 17, 2012 #65 of 128
    Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

    15,343
    578
    Dec 2, 2010
    Winters,...
    Ooooomph! :p My son has quite a few "musical" pieces by a similarly named band.
     
  6. Jul 17, 2012 #66 of 128
    Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

    4,567
    0
    Sep 3, 2004
    There is that old joke, which I've updated for the 21st century:

    A koala bear walks into a bar. Hopping up on a stool, he orders up a eucalyptus leaf sandwich and a beer. He quietly eats his lunch but as soon as he's done, the koala pulls out a Glock 19 and taking aim at some liquor bottles on the back bar, blows away half a dozen of them. Glass flies everywhere and the noise is deafening. Everyone in the bar hits the deck, only to look up and see the koala bear calmly walking out of the bar. As the patrons get up and dust themselves off, the bar is a buzz with, "What the #$%* was that all about?"

    One man pulls out his smart phone and after looking at it for a while, says to no one in particular, "That explains everything."

    "What explains everything?" asks the bartender.

    The customer hands his smart phone over to the barkeep, who sees it is on the Wikipedia page for koala bears. Obviously contributed by a person who was grammatically challenged, the Wiki page says:

    "Koala bears. Eats, shoots and leaves."
     
  7. Jul 17, 2012 #67 of 128
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    45,739
    985
    Apr 17, 2003
    Michiana
    As long as we are not getting grammar tips from Alfred E. Newman we have nothing to worry about. :)

    The thing I have to watch the most on parenthetical remarks is to close the parentheses. Every once in a while I forget (not too often. :sure:

    And when I read that in another's post it makes the lines really hard to parse. It is like stopping a well known line before the end. I feel like Roger Rabbit hearing "shave and a hair cut" and needing (and I do mean needing) to hear the "two bits". :)

    BTW: Here is the missing ). :lol:

    Which reminds me of another issue ... people who don't know the difference between wants and needs. But that is another topic. (And there is another misspelled ellipsis - although it seems that the spelling without the spaces has become so common that it is now accepted as "correct".)
     
  8. Jul 17, 2012 #68 of 128
    Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

    21,866
    189
    Apr 23, 2002
    The...
    ba bum! And let that be a lesson to you!

    :p
     
  9. Jul 17, 2012 #69 of 128
    SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

    6,259
    133
    Jun 6, 2009
    Another place where Speel Chuckers won't help you .....

    When someone is having a hard time understanding something and they type 'Please bare with me'.

    Umm, sorry. I don't know you that well.
     
  10. Jul 17, 2012 #70 of 128
    Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

    4,567
    0
    Sep 3, 2004
    ^ That's a mute point.

    ;) :D
     
  11. Jul 17, 2012 #71 of 128
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    45,739
    985
    Apr 17, 2003
    Michiana
    That's what the cows say ... a moo point. (Joey from Friends.)
     
  12. Jul 17, 2012 #72 of 128
    Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    26,993
    522
    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    Yeah, it makes me feel odd every time I see one of those examples. I can't read Shakespeare without getting that same feeling. I think I'd rather read Shakespeare.

    Rich
     
  13. Jul 17, 2012 #73 of 128
    Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

    23,049
    149
    Aug 22, 2006
    Lower...
    Speaking of ellipses, I enjoyed this recent ode to the semicolon.

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/02/semicolons-a-love-story/
     
  14. Jul 17, 2012 #74 of 128
    Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    26,993
    522
    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    I must be missing something, you both spelled it right if you meant the plural form, I'm sure Drew did. "Ellipsis" is the singular form.

    Rich
     
  15. Jul 17, 2012 #75 of 128
    Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    26,993
    522
    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    Oops, this keeps happening because I read the most recent posts last, you beat me to it... :lol:

    Rich
     
  16. Jul 17, 2012 #76 of 128
    Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    26,993
    522
    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    I just looked that up the other day and "such as" and "like" are both acceptable. Another thing I didn't know.

    Rich
     
  17. Jul 17, 2012 #77 of 128
    Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    26,993
    522
    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    Interesting, we just had a discussion about semicolons a couple months ago. I never use them and rarely see them used.

    In that article Kurt V. (more keystrokes saved) calls them "transvestite hermaphrodites". That's impossible, I think. I read a lot of his books and had to stop. Strange person. Strange mind.

    Rich
     
  18. Jul 18, 2012 #78 of 128
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    45,739
    985
    Apr 17, 2003
    Michiana
    The actual ellipsis is "misspelled", not the name of the device (either singular or plural). :D

    By the style guides an ellipsis in the basic form is " . . . ". I type it " ... ", which has become more common and an acceptable form (although " . . . " is still preferred by the style guides). One can also use a special glyph "…", which is a single character consisting of the three dots.

    An ellipsis is intended to show that words were omitted but I more often use it as it is used in "reported speech" to denote a pause. As I noted in a previous post in this thread, I generally write as if I were speaking in a forum such as this one.
     
  19. Jul 18, 2012 #79 of 128
    SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

    6,259
    133
    Jun 6, 2009
    There's a name for this ... ?

    Who knew?
     
  20. Jul 18, 2012 #80 of 128
    Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

    4,567
    0
    Sep 3, 2004
    I have gone back and forth over the use of semicolons.

    When I first learned about semicolons and their proper use in high school, I used them a lot. I found they combined together two thoughts into a single sentence. But sometime in my thirties I heard Vonnegut's advice, mentioned in the NY Times story, that they should never be used. All a semicolon did was make the writer look pretentious. Not wanting to be highfalutin, I dropped them like a hot frying pan.

    I found this invigorating. I had gotten sloppy with semicolons. I'd let my sentences run on and on, without being run-on sentences, through semicolons. Unlike the NY Times writer, I found the replacement for the semicolon not the comma but the period. Dropping semicolons meant shortening up my sentences. I've always admired Hemingway's short, direct writing style, owing more to journalism than literature. Without semicolons, my own writing became more concise. Clarity is always a virtue in writing. I rediscovered the simple, declarative sentence. I probably went two decades without using a semicolon.

    Lately I've started using them again. I've never thought of the use of a semicolon in the terms described by the NY Times writer but he's correct. Thoughts are not simple, declarative ideas. They ramble. Connections are made, with separate concepts linked together. My original use of a semicolon was like that. It's not a run-on sentence but a run-on thought. Semicolons serve a function; they tie ideas together.
     

Share This Page