LinuxQuestions.org

LinuxQuestions.org (/questions/)
-   General (http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/general-10/)
-   -   Proper grammar questions. (http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/general-10/proper-grammar-questions-218272/)

randyriver10 08-16-2004 09:49 AM

Proper grammar questions.
 
Hi, I try my best to use the right context on forums and stuff... However my first question is on continous sentences (Like the one I just did) do I capitalize the H? And is there a set number of commas I can not exceed in a sentence, and is it ok to ask another question in a sentence(Like I just did)? And lastly, is it ok to end your post without a period? For example, like this

XavierP 08-16-2004 09:58 AM

Luckily English is a very vesatile language (the shortest proper sentence is "I am."). The first letter of a sentence should be capitalised. I treat commas as pauses for breaths in a conversation - read it back and imagine you are saying the sentence, the commas and full stops (periods) should fall into place naturally.

Best rule - use words, proper words, never use AOLspeak, you don't speak that way (except ironically/sarcastically) so don't write that way. Using full words also helps our non-native English speaking members.

I have no problem with multiple questions in a sentence, as long as question markes break them up. The exception to this, in my view, is where the questions are totally seperate from each other and should then be given there own sentences.

Hope that helps.

b0uncer 08-16-2004 10:02 AM

in my opinion you can use as much commas as you think is possible without making the sentence impossible to understand. questions and other stuff is just the same: use whatever you wish and come up with, as long as the text can be understood without any mathematical application suite or a genius :)

and then these "shortcuts" like imo or imho and so on - I'd like people to give up using them since they only make the text slower to read and understand ("imo u r newb 4real, r u or not?" is like hell...and this is only a _small_ example).

anyway, I'd say write what and how you like as long as you can be sure that it is understood :) it helps everybody read it quicker and answer better...if I bump into a text that I cannot understand without reading it 10 times letter by letter, I let it be and don't care no matter what the problem is it is describing. it's just that I can use my time better by answering to questions I can read normally....

of course, I'm just me - everybody has their own opinions about this :)

randyriver10 08-16-2004 10:06 AM

Thanks alot, I appreciate this.

Luckily English is a very vesatile language

You mean versatile, right?

amosf 08-16-2004 10:11 AM

A good rule of thumb is to use short sentences. Is these situations it helps keep things clear. Basic punctuation like the period is also a good idea.

Long sentences, although perfectly clear when constructed correctly, can become difficult to comprehend if there are several thoughts or concepts contained withing the same sentence and this can confuse the reader and reduce the chances of getting an answer to a technical question which was already probably quite confusing. :)

Obviously posts like this are typed in a big hurry. I type dozens every night, so you have to expect a lot of mistakes. If you keep your post as clear as possible it will help get an answer.

Capitals come at the beginings of sentences. The number of commas will depend on the structure of the sentence. There are no set minimum or maximum limits. :)

XavierP 08-16-2004 10:27 AM

Luckily English is a very vesatile language

You mean versatile, right?


See? I said it was versatile - I spelt it wrong and you knew exactly what I meant :)

I think my grammar was correct, my spelling/typing will only be correct in a spelling/typing thread :D

mikshaw 08-16-2004 02:52 PM

I have a habit of using a lot of dots....I visualize it as two separate, yet related, sentences. I don't believe it's proper, but at the same time I don't think it is any more difficult to understand than a semicolon. The truth of the matter is I don't think semicolons are appropriate in prose....they should be left for coding as far as I'm concerned.

Spoken english is constantly evolving, and I believe written English would naturally follow. The exception is when it becomes ridiculously difficult to understand, as mentioned above. It's fine, however, to add your own flavor to your writing as long as it's legible.

XavierP 08-16-2004 03:30 PM

Heheh - that reminds me of our old CEO who would send out his regular email to the staff filled with ... , as in:
"I was in Japan ... met with heads of trade ... very impressed with all we are doing .... have to remember that cost efficiency is needed ... met with the President ...." and so on. Really used to both wind me up and make me laugh - this man earned millions but couldn't put a proper sentence together.

... is used when paraphrasing and reducing - esp. when two thoughts from 2 sentences could be used as one sentence, as in "Spoken english is constantly evolving, ... It's fine, however, to add your own flavor to your writing as long as it's legible." you see? (not a perfect example).

vasudevadas 08-16-2004 03:30 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by mikshaw
The truth of the matter is I don't think semicolons are appropriate in prose....they should be left for coding as far as I'm concerned.
I beg to differ. I consider semicolons very appropriate in prose; they join sentences together.

There is no maximum length for a sentence as far as I know; however, if you can keep to expressing one idea per sentence that seems good.

XavierP 08-16-2004 03:37 PM

The guy who first measured longitude accurately (Harrison the watch/clock maker) wrote an opening sentence in one of his books which was 24 pages long. Otherwise, writers tend to go for short, snappy sentences: "He shot him through the room." and suchlike.

vasudevadas 08-16-2004 04:04 PM

Twenty-four pages! That'd be on the long side for a legal document.

XavierP 08-16-2004 04:06 PM

Punctuation hasn't always been around. Imagin War and Peace without punctuation. And then being asked to read parts of it out loud ;)

jailbait 08-16-2004 05:08 PM

"Spoken english is constantly evolving, and I believe written English would naturally follow."

The English alphabet does a poor job of representing spoken English. For example, the alphabet does not reproduce voice inflection. Punctuation makes a few pathetic attempts to reproduce inflection with ? and !. The Internet has invented emoticons which help some but there are still occasional flames over misunderstood voice inflections in written posts.

Many languages have much better alphabets. As an example I once listened to a Thai read a newspaper article to me about the Americans landing on the moon. The article was in Thai and the reader did not speak a word of English. Yet he pronounced the English words "Neil Armstrong", "rocket ship", and "Houston" perfectly with a Texas accent.

So I agree that both spoken and written English evolve but I think that there will always be a difference between spoken and written English in order to make up for the deficiencies of the English alphabet.

-------------------------
Steve Stites

acid_kewpie 08-16-2004 05:30 PM

in James Joyce's Ulysees, a character speaks a sentence originally spanning 40 pages...

XavierP 08-16-2004 06:18 PM

Pah! That's just showing off. If we looked hard enough, we could probably find posts on this board with the first line spanning 40 pages. :D


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:26 AM.