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 18, 2012 #81 of 128
    Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

    23,041
    147
    Aug 22, 2006
    Lower...
    Same here. I've always been a fan, but worrying it might look pretentious, I've been incorrectly using ellipses to convey the same "pause" that a semicolon implies. E.g., I might have said "Semicolons serve a function... they tie ideas together."

    I know it's technically wrong, but it looks right to me. :p
     
  2. Jul 18, 2012 #82 of 128
    Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

    21,838
    186
    Apr 23, 2002
    The...
    As they do on every keyboard, each has its place in my writings: the ellipsis to convey to the reader...a moment of pause; the semicolin, to connect similar thoughts without the abrupt disconnect of a new sentence.
     
  3. Jul 18, 2012 #83 of 128
    Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    26,069
    460
    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    I've tried so many times to read Hemingway's books and I just end up staring at pages and not comprehending what I'm reading. Same thing happens with Elmore Leonard's books. Must be a syndrome of some kind. Only happens with a few authors, but it's frustrating.

    Rich
     
  4. Jul 18, 2012 #84 of 128
    Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    26,069
    460
    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    And you're probably one of the few that even notices it.

    Rich
     
  5. Jul 18, 2012 #85 of 128
    Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    14,040
    94
    Jan 24, 2007
    I always thought the convention was to spell out the number if it's one or two words, and beyond two words use the figures...unless it starts the sentence, then spell it out even if it's more than two words. I'm sure there are other exceptions but I don't know them. :grin:

    Edit: I just looked it up in A Writers Reference by Diana Hacker. Hacker states “Spell out number of one or two words. Use figures for numbers that require more than two words to spell out” (185). Holy Cow there are a lot of execptions. :eek2: :lol:

    Mike
     
  6. Jul 18, 2012 #86 of 128
    SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

    6,259
    133
    Jun 6, 2009
    As the interwebs become more multinational and more posters try to interact no matter where they're from or what language they speak, there will be less and less 'rules' and more and more 'exceptions' (not execptions). ;)


    We haven't even gotten into words morphed from one language to another or words that didn't exist when most of the 'rules' were written, like 'morphed'. :sure:
     
  7. Jul 18, 2012 #87 of 128
    Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

    4,567
    0
    Sep 3, 2004
    The number convention I learned was spell out numbers under 100. Over that, use the number. It sort of fits the "one or two word" rule. Most numbers over 100 will take more than three words.

    On the Internets, I get lazy, though. "4 and 20 blackbirds baked in a pie" would probably be how I'd write it here.
     
  8. Jul 18, 2012 #88 of 128
    runner861

    runner861 Icon

    859
    0
    Mar 20, 2010
    it's = it is

    its = possessive

    Conceptually it is the same as:

    he's = he is

    his = possessive

    There is a difference between a typographical error and a grammar or spelling error. The typographical error is just that--a typographical error. The grammar or spelling error is the error made intentionally but unwittingly.
     
  9. Jul 18, 2012 #89 of 128
    SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

    6,259
    133
    Jun 6, 2009
    The Annual report was released to the company's stockholders.

    The Company released the Annual report to its stockholders.

    :confused:

    Don't make no sense. To me, it should be:

    The Company released the Annual report to it's stockholders.
     
  10. Jul 18, 2012 #90 of 128
    Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    26,069
    460
    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    I've been struggling with that since last summer. The whole thing makes little sense, but it is what it is and I've been trying to use the correct method.

    Rich
     
  11. Jul 18, 2012 #91 of 128
    SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

    6,259
    133
    Jun 6, 2009
    Just expanding for clarification in case anyone didn't pick up on it.

    If 'it' is used in reference to a company and the possessive of 'company' is 'company's', shouldn't the possessive of 'it' be 'it's'?

    company's employees
    it's employees

    See whut I mean, Verne?
     
  12. Jul 18, 2012 #92 of 128
    Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

    4,567
    0
    Sep 3, 2004
    I once joined a game/story site and the test to join was to use their, there and they're correctly in one sentence. The owners of the site got sick and tired of the poor grammar of the people playing the game.

    There are many families in the park with their kids and they're all having fun.
     
  13. Jul 18, 2012 #93 of 128
    Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

    4,567
    0
    Sep 3, 2004
    How about this test, SayWhat?:

    If you can replace "i-t-s" in the sentence with "it is", then "it's" is the correct choice. If you can't, then use "its".
     
  14. Jul 18, 2012 #94 of 128
    Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    21,572
    373
    Jan 7, 2005
    Kittrell, NC
    But you're ignoring the problem introduced by people who insist on using contractions.

    IF we didn't have contractions, there would be no issues.

    But... people want to use "it's" instead of "it is"... and you can't use "it's" for the contraction AND for the possessive.

    So... you have to pick one... and frankly it is something of a coin flip... but the coin was flipped long before I was born... so live and learn and go with the rules.

    "it's" = "it is"
    "its" = possessive form of "it" (i.e. something belonging to "it" is "its something")
     
  15. Jul 18, 2012 #95 of 128
    Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

    15,234
    552
    Dec 2, 2010
    Winters,...
    Yes, indeed. For all contractions, if you sound out in your mind the two words, such as "it is", you'll see that "the dog wagged it's tail" is wrong.

    The dog's tired.= OK (a contraction for "dog is")
    The dog's ran to the kennel= not OK. (Not a contraction, but a plural)
     
  16. Jul 18, 2012 #96 of 128
    SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

    6,259
    133
    Jun 6, 2009
    But in my example, company's is not a contraction so it's wouldn't be either.
     
  17. Jul 18, 2012 #97 of 128
    Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    26,069
    460
    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    I wouldn't be surprised if that rule didn't change to "either is acceptable" sometime in the future. Seems like you can always find a dictionary that contradicts the rules.

    For instance, let's go back to my old friend "decimate". How did that come to mean destroy? Common usage.

    How about "next"? One of my favorite words. Most of the people I know would tell you next Thursday will be next week. Seems logical. But wrong (for anyone who reads this months from now, today is Wednesday, tomorrow is next Thursday). Didn't stop an engineer who I corrected during a meeting when he used next wrong from spending a lot of time going thru our R&D library until he found a new dictionary that said the usage was "optional" and should be understood by the context of the conversation.

    So, next becomes another vague word by common usage. And the language evolves as it always has.

    Fire away!...... :lol:

    Rich
     
  18. Jul 18, 2012 #98 of 128
    Drew2k

    Drew2k New Member

    14,514
    228
    Aug 16, 2006
    I feel like I've had this conversation before, likely in real life, but consider this:

    It's Friday afternoon and someone asks two questions: What are you doing this weekend? What are you doing next weekend?

    This weekend = "now"
    Next weekend = a week hence

    So ... if today is Tuesday and you want to reference the day after tomorrow, that would be "this Thursday" and 7 days after that would be "next Thursday".

    At least that's how I roll.... :)
     
  19. Jul 18, 2012 #99 of 128
    Drew2k

    Drew2k New Member

    14,514
    228
    Aug 16, 2006
    Ah, now I see what you meant!

    MS Word will replace three periods with a single ellipsis character, but I'm not going to memorize the char codes needed to enter that symbol when I'm not using Word! I'm thrilled that I remember I can display ¢ (cents) by typing ALT-0162, and I can display ° (degree symbol) by typing ALT-0176. :p
     
  20. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

    6,259
    133
    Jun 6, 2009
    Yuh'huh.


    (slang contraction)
     

Share This Page