LinuxQuestions.org
Go Job Hunting at the LQ Job Marketplace
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Non-*NIX Forums > General
User Name
Password
General This forum is for non-technical general discussion which can include both Linux and non-Linux topics. Have fun!

Notices



Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 08-16-2004, 10:49 AM   #1
randyriver10
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Nova Scotia
Distribution: Mandrake
Posts: 122

Rep: Reputation: 15
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
 
Old 08-16-2004, 10:58 AM   #2
XavierP
Moderator
 
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Kent, England
Distribution: Lubuntu
Posts: 19,176
Blog Entries: 4

Rep: Reputation: 430Reputation: 430Reputation: 430Reputation: 430Reputation: 430
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.
 
Old 08-16-2004, 11:02 AM   #3
b0uncer
Guru
 
Registered: Aug 2003
Distribution: CentOS, OS X
Posts: 5,131

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
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
 
Old 08-16-2004, 11:06 AM   #4
randyriver10
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Nova Scotia
Distribution: Mandrake
Posts: 122

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Thanks alot, I appreciate this.

Luckily English is a very vesatile language

You mean versatile, right?
 
Old 08-16-2004, 11:11 AM   #5
amosf
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Australia
Distribution: Mandriva/Slack - KDE
Posts: 1,672

Rep: Reputation: 46
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.
 
Old 08-16-2004, 11:27 AM   #6
XavierP
Moderator
 
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Kent, England
Distribution: Lubuntu
Posts: 19,176
Blog Entries: 4

Rep: Reputation: 430Reputation: 430Reputation: 430Reputation: 430Reputation: 430
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
 
Old 08-16-2004, 03:52 PM   #7
mikshaw
LQ Addict
 
Registered: Dec 2003
Location: Maine, USA
Distribution: Slackware/SuSE/DSL
Posts: 1,320

Rep: Reputation: 45
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.
 
Old 08-16-2004, 04:30 PM   #8
XavierP
Moderator
 
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Kent, England
Distribution: Lubuntu
Posts: 19,176
Blog Entries: 4

Rep: Reputation: 430Reputation: 430Reputation: 430Reputation: 430Reputation: 430
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).
 
Old 08-16-2004, 04:30 PM   #9
vasudevadas
Member
 
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Bedford, UK
Distribution: Slackware 11.0, LFS 6.1
Posts: 519

Rep: Reputation: 30
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.
 
Old 08-16-2004, 04:37 PM   #10
XavierP
Moderator
 
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Kent, England
Distribution: Lubuntu
Posts: 19,176
Blog Entries: 4

Rep: Reputation: 430Reputation: 430Reputation: 430Reputation: 430Reputation: 430
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.
 
Old 08-16-2004, 05:04 PM   #11
vasudevadas
Member
 
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Bedford, UK
Distribution: Slackware 11.0, LFS 6.1
Posts: 519

Rep: Reputation: 30
Twenty-four pages! That'd be on the long side for a legal document.
 
Old 08-16-2004, 05:06 PM   #12
XavierP
Moderator
 
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Kent, England
Distribution: Lubuntu
Posts: 19,176
Blog Entries: 4

Rep: Reputation: 430Reputation: 430Reputation: 430Reputation: 430Reputation: 430
Punctuation hasn't always been around. Imagin War and Peace without punctuation. And then being asked to read parts of it out loud
 
Old 08-16-2004, 06:08 PM   #13
jailbait
Guru
 
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Blue Ridge Mountain
Distribution: Debian Wheezy, Debian Jessie
Posts: 7,592

Rep: Reputation: 188Reputation: 188
"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
 
Old 08-16-2004, 06:30 PM   #14
acid_kewpie
Moderator
 
Registered: Jun 2001
Location: UK
Distribution: Gentoo, RHEL, Fedora, Centos
Posts: 43,415

Rep: Reputation: 1968Reputation: 1968Reputation: 1968Reputation: 1968Reputation: 1968Reputation: 1968Reputation: 1968Reputation: 1968Reputation: 1968Reputation: 1968Reputation: 1968
in James Joyce's Ulysees, a character speaks a sentence originally spanning 40 pages...
 
Old 08-16-2004, 07:18 PM   #15
XavierP
Moderator
 
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Kent, England
Distribution: Lubuntu
Posts: 19,176
Blog Entries: 4

Rep: Reputation: 430Reputation: 430Reputation: 430Reputation: 430Reputation: 430
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.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
english spelling/grammar kpachopoulos General 4 11-14-2005 07:18 PM
Help with grammar Mr. New General 3 06-09-2005 07:16 AM
Grammar Check TuxFreak Linux - Software 2 12-27-2004 09:58 AM
Grammar Check neranjana Linux - Software 14 08-30-2004 04:53 PM
Grammar/ Parser questions? JMC Programming 0 06-06-2002 04:18 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:06 PM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration