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Maksutov
2007-Apr-05, 04:13 AM
OK, have at it! (http://www.wikihow.com/Use-English-Punctuation-Correctly)

PS: More goodies at the end of the article.

http://img394.imageshack.us/img394/4879/iconbiggrin1kg.gif

HenrikOlsen
2007-Apr-05, 04:31 AM
# Use a comma if your subject has two or more adjectives describing it. This is somewhat similar to a series, except that it is incorrect to place a comma after the final adjective.

INCORRECT - The powerful, resonating, sound caught our attention.
CORRECT - The powerful, resonating sound caught our attention.


So what do you do if it's compound adjectives?

danscope
2007-Apr-05, 04:55 AM
This thread should prove interesting. :)

Josh
2007-Apr-05, 06:01 AM
What a good little wiki article!

What a good, little wiki article!

What, a good little wiki article?

What a good little-wiki article.

What? A good little wiki article!

whaT, a ... g:p:)d. little' "wiki" art'icle.

Maksutov
2007-Apr-05, 08:13 AM
BTW, the whole set of American English rules for quotation marks is a disaster area which even an Arabian horse expert named Katrina couldn't fix.

Case in point:

Let's say you're quoting someone named John Dough who said "I love my wife."

But, per American English rules of grammar, the quote must be presented in the following context:


I know John Dough and I know he really hates his wife. How then is it possible that he could say "I love my wife?"

Clear as mud.

Van Rijn
2007-Apr-05, 09:08 AM
That appears to be a question about John Dough's statement, which was not a question, so the quotation mark should be before the question mark:

I know John Dough and I know he really hates his wife. How then is it possible that he could say "I love my wife"?

On the other hand, if you were quoting John Dough's statement and it was a question, the question mark would be inside the quotation marks. For instance:

John Dough said, "You're asking if I love my wife?"

The same rule applies to the exclamation mark. That makes sense to me, but the rule that a period or comma should be inside the quotation marks, even though it isn't part of the quoted material, does not.

Gillianren
2007-Apr-05, 09:31 AM
Quite right. The "always inside quotation marks" rule applies exclusively to commas and periods. A semicolon, interestingly, is always outside quotation marks, and question marks and exclamation points (which are overused) vary depending on the meaning of the sentence.

Henrik, adjectival phrases (compound nouns, but adjectival phrases) can be hyphenated for clarity; often, the hyphens are required. However, if the order of the adjectives is arbitrary, commas are mandatory. If they are not, commas are not put in. That's the shorthand, anyway. I could give more details, but it's 2:20 here, and we're leaving for Portland at about noon.

Maksutov
2007-Apr-05, 09:34 AM
That appears to be a question about John Dough's statement, which was not a question, so the quotation mark should be before the question mark:

I know John Dough and I know he really hates his wife. How then is it possible that he could say "I love my wife"?

On the other hand, if you were quoting John Dough's statement and it was a question, the question mark would be inside the quotation marks. For instance:

John Dough said, "You're asking if I love my wife?"

The same rule applies to the exclamation mark. That makes sense to me, but the rule that a period or comma should be inside the quotation marks, even though it isn't part of the quoted material, does not.Understood.

But what I was taught way back when in HS English was that any kind of punctuation that ended a sentence always had to be put inside the last quotation marks.

My objection to this is not only exemplified by what I wrote above, but the irrational rule against including the final punctuation of the quote, when the quote was at the end of sentence.

To me the clearest way to write this, and one that closely simulates how it is spoken/inflected, would be

I know John Dough and I know he really hates his wife. How then is it possible that he could say "I love my wife."?

I guess I have this bad habit of expecting predicates to include their terminal punctuations, even if they're in quotes. Otherwise, the quoted sentence, to me, isn't a sentence; it's a fragment missing its final bit of punctuation.

Fazor
2007-Apr-05, 02:44 PM
Understood.

But what I was taught way back when in HS English was that any kind of punctuation that ended a sentence always had to be put inside the last quotation marks.


Really? We were taught exactly what Gillian stated. We were also taught that you always put a comma before quotation marks, as in:

How could he say, "I love my wife"?

I always got mixed up on quotes that were broken, as in this poorly constructed sentance:

"How," John Doe Jr exclaimed, "can you say that you love mom?"

(I say poorly constructed because when I write I tend to avoid this structure. It can really butcher the flow for the reader.)

NEOWatcher
2007-Apr-05, 02:51 PM
Amazing, 12 years of English lessons from age 5, all reduced down to a few bullet points.
Where English teachers that bad? :think:

Maybe now, they can just put those bullets on a Powerpoint, and just read it to the class.:p

SeanF
2007-Apr-05, 04:00 PM
Number six, about parantheses, says, "Be sure to include the period after the closing parenthesis."

The last example, however, says, "Most grammarians believe that parentheses and commas are always interchangeable. (I disagree.)"

If there are situations where you don't put the period after the closing parenthesis, shouldn't they give us some idea of what they are?

Dr Nigel
2007-Apr-05, 05:46 PM
AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!


Use hyphens when creating compound words from separate words.

The reporters stay up-to-date with the current events occurring in the world.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong!!! They are not using "up to date" as a compund in this example.


CORRECT: The reporters stay up to date with the current events occuring in the world.

A sequence of words should only be hyphenated when it is used as a compound adjective.

E.g.: Is your software up to date? Yes, I have the most up-to-date version.

ETA: Another example: The container is full of dry ice / The dry-ice container is full.

Gillianren
2007-Apr-05, 06:12 PM
Number six, about parantheses, says, "Be sure to include the period after the closing parenthesis."

The last example, however, says, "Most grammarians believe that parentheses and commas are always interchangeable. (I disagree.)"

If there are situations where you don't put the period after the closing parenthesis, shouldn't they give us some idea of what they are?

I will.

Do you intend the parenthetical comment to be a separate sentence from the non-parenthetical comment? Use punctuation inside the parentheses. If you don't, use it outside. Unfortunately, it's just that vague, but you'll get to understand it with practice. (I think I've gone through almost all of the word forms I can think of in my grammar text, so I'm about to start with punctuation marks. If I think of anything particularly useful regarding parentheses more than "don't use them too often," I'll let everyone know.)

Edit: Oh, and Dr. Nigel, there are indeed compound nouns that get hyphenated as well; "up to date," however, isn't a compound noun.

SeanF
2007-Apr-05, 07:22 PM
I will.

Do you intend the parenthetical comment to be a separate sentence from the non-parenthetical comment? Use punctuation inside the parentheses. If you don't, use it outside. Unfortunately, it's just that vague, but you'll get to understand it with practice. (I think I've gone through almost all of the word forms I can think of in my grammar text, so I'm about to start with punctuation marks. If I think of anything particularly useful regarding parentheses more than "don't use them too often," I'll let everyone know.)
Thanks, Gillianren. I assumed it was something like that.

ad hominem
2007-Apr-05, 07:27 PM
i think people worry about these things too much there is an easy solution to this problem

Donnie B.
2007-Apr-06, 12:05 AM
i think people worry about these things too much there is an easy solution to this problemyoure absolutely right but dont be supprised if nobody understands u

cjl
2007-Apr-06, 12:25 AM
i think people worry about these things too much there is an easy solution to this problem


Yes - the solution is to learn and use proper conventions. It will make it a lot easier to understand than if you simply ignore punctuation (as it would appear that you are doing), and it really isn't that difficult.

MrClean
2007-Apr-06, 12:31 AM
By the way, if you REALLY are into this English stuff, do a search on the Grammer Girl Podcast.

I didn't understand a word she said, but she sounded nice doing it.

Maksutov
2007-Apr-06, 01:21 AM
Really? We were taught exactly what Gillian stated.What I wrote is what I was taught during the 1950s. It wouldn't suprise me if a lot of English teachers back then used/made up their own rules to cover things the book didn't.
We were also taught that you always put a comma before quotation marks, as in:

How could he say, "I love my wife"?I'm inconsistent on that. Mainly I don't use the comma because it's essentially non-functional. One reads and pronounces
How could he say "I love my wife?"the same as the sentence with the comma. Anyone with good speaking rhythm will automatically put in a slight pause before the quote. Kind of like rubato in music: it's not in the score, instead it's found in the technique.

There's also something not right about the question mark doing double duty there. I have to remember a few examples of where this causes all sorts of confusion as to the actual meaning the writer intended.

Here's one:
He very strongly questioned my veracity by loudly proclaiming "How could say you love your wife?" Taken as a whole, is that sentence declarative or interrogative? It ends with a question marl, so it must be interrogative. But it's making a direct statement of objective fact, so it must be declarative.
I always got mixed up on quotes that were broken, as in this poorly constructed sentance:

"How," John Doe Jr exclaimed, "can you say that you love mom?"

(I say poorly constructed because when I write I tend to avoid this structure. It can really butcher the flow for the reader.)Yeah, that one is rather stilted, and comes across as something you might hear in one of those old drawing room plays.

ad hominem
2007-Apr-06, 01:50 AM
Yes - the solution is to learn and use proper conventions. It will make it a lot easier to understand than if you simply ignore punctuation (as it would appear that you are doing), and it really isn't that difficult.

capital you apostrophe re right period an unusual style of writing can be a way to express individuality comma but it can also impede understanding comma and proper understanding is a more important goal period capital so it is lucky that capital i have come to this website comma because already capital i have learned something important exclamation

Van Rijn
2007-Apr-06, 04:16 AM
What I wrote is what I was taught during the 1950s. It wouldn't suprise me if a lot of English teachers back then used/made up their own rules to cover things the book didn't.


I think this teacher was making up rules. Granddad on my dad's side was an English geek (dad and I were always science geeks, of course). I still have some of my grandfather's books, such as American Punctuation by George Summey and Scribner's Handbook of English (Second Edition) both with a 1948 copyright date. Their recommendations are consistent with current usage in this area.



I'm inconsistent on that. Mainly I don't use the comma because it's essentially non-functional.


Both of those texts provide a few examples without a comma:

He quoted Pascal's saying that "reason makes her friends only miserable."

The Preamble begins with the words "We, the people of the United States." [Defining Appositive.]

He called out "Get Going, Boys."

He shouted "Thief!" and took up the chase.

Usually, though, a comma precedes quoted material.



Here's one:
[I]
He very strongly questioned my veracity by loudly proclaiming "How could say you love your wife?"

Taken as a whole, is that sentence declarative or interrogative? It ends with a question marl, so it must be interrogative. But it's making a direct statement of objective fact, so it must be declarative.

It's declarative. The question mark is inside the quotation marks, so is part of the quoted statement.

danscope
2007-Apr-06, 04:30 AM
Hi Gillianren, be sure to check out "Youtube", search for "Portland Ice Storm".
This is highly educational. It gives an insight into the driving personna and
quandry of 'talent on ice' when they have an ice storm. It's an exciting
several minutes you won't forget soon. :exclaim:
Best regards, Dan
/

Maksutov
2007-Apr-06, 04:42 AM
I think this teacher was making up rules. Granddad on my dad's side was an English geek (dad and I were always science geeks, of course). I still have some of my grandfather's books, such as American Punctuation by George Summey and Scribner's Handbook of English (Second Edition) both with a 1948 copyright date. Their recommendations are consistent with current usage in this area.That would have been consistent with the vintage of the books we were taught from back then.
Both of those texts provide a few examples without a comma:

He quoted Pascal's saying that "reason makes her friends only miserable." [Integral sentence element]

The Preamble begins with the words "We, the people of the United States." [Defining Appositive.]

He called out "Get Going, Boys."

He shouted "Thief!" and took up the chase.

Usually, though, a comma precedes quoted material.I like those. Right to the point.
Here's one:

He very strongly questioned my veracity by loudly proclaiming "How could say you love your wife?"

Taken as a whole, is that sentence declarative or interrogative? It ends with a question marl, so it must be interrogative. But it's making a direct statement of objective fact, so it must be declarative.
It's declarative. The question mark is inside the quotation marks, so is part of the quoted statement.OK. But let's say we wanted to make the sentence exclamatory. I'm sure the English purists would get upset with
He very strongly questioned my veracity by loudly proclaiming "How could say you love your wife?"!Looks like a job for interrobang (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interrobang):


although the original quote employed only a question mark, and any altering of that punctuation should not be allowed.


http://img394.imageshack.us/img394/4879/iconbiggrin1kg.gif

cjl
2007-Apr-06, 11:07 PM
capital you apostrophe re right period an unusual style of writing can be a way to express individuality comma but it can also impede understanding comma and proper understanding is a more important goal period capital so it is lucky that capital i have come to this website comma because already capital i have learned something important exclamation
Seriously, use some punctuation. This is REALLY difficult to understand.

HenrikOlsen
2007-Apr-07, 12:06 AM
That example is one where I saw the first three to five words, then it faded to the gray of useless waste of time and I skipped to the next post. Not because of the content, but because of the presentation.

Only once have I enjoyed watching a text all in the same case, and no punctuation, it started:

ΠΟΙΚΙΛΟΘΡΟΝΑΘΑΝΑ
ΤΑΦΡΟΔΙΤΑΟΑΙΔΙ
ΟΣΔΟΛΟΠΛΟΚΕΛ
and I leave it as an exercise for the reader to find out why I enjoyed watching it:)

Gillianren
2007-Apr-07, 11:15 PM
Hi Gillianren, be sure to check out "Youtube", search for "Portland Ice Storm".
This is highly educational. It gives an insight into the driving personna and
quandry of 'talent on ice' when they have an ice storm. It's an exciting
several minutes you won't forget soon. :exclaim:
Best regards, Dan
/

Um . . . okay. I don't watch YouTube videos, but thanks.

Yeah, add me to those who won't read posts entirely devoid of punctuation. It's not even as though the majority of the rules are all that difficult to learn! (Actually, one of the things I have to do with my weekend is start writing the punctuation part of my grammar text.)