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Old 12-10-2010, 12:41 AM   #451
Sayan Acharjee
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This thread reminds me of my grammer teacher.
 
Old 12-10-2010, 04:48 AM   #452
pwc101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCode View Post
I think the more correct syntax would be to leave the first "on" off; it's technically unnecessary.
What about leaving off the second on instead?...
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCode View Post
"I am not aware of how things go on a bidding site."
I'd have to disagree and say that the two on's are necessary. For example, using two had's is perfectly valid:
Quote:
If I had had the time to do such and such.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCode View Post
Actually, I think a more appropriate form of that would be more like:

"I am not aware of how things work on a bidding site."
I think this is by far the most sensible approach. There are hundreds of different ways of saying the same thing.

@sayan_acharjee: I think you meant grammar...
 
Old 12-11-2010, 03:25 AM   #453
Xeratul
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Good written English (US)
Difference between?

Quote:
A, B, C and D
and
Quote:
A, B, C, and D
 
Old 12-11-2010, 06:12 AM   #454
catkin
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Both forms are acceptable. The second form is more popular in the US. I used it for a while but found no advantages to justify the extra comma so reverted to the first form.
 
Old 12-11-2010, 06:27 AM   #455
pwc101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xeratul View Post
Good written English (US)
Difference between?


and
It's called the Oxford comma. They're much more common in the US than in the UK. There's an argument they're useful for listing things which are pairs of words (e.g. fish and chips, black and white etc.):
Quote:
This is a list of fish and chips, black and white and other things.
Without the Oxford comma, that looks a bit odd ("black and white and other things"), whereas with the Oxford comma, it separates the items:
Quote:
This is a list of fish and chips, black and white, and other things.
 
Old 12-11-2010, 07:49 AM   #456
MTK358
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I didn't know that the "Oxford comma" is optional, I thought it's required.
 
Old 12-11-2010, 05:53 PM   #457
pwc101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTK358 View Post
I didn't know that the "Oxford comma" is optional, I thought it's required.
Depends where you're from. The UK has them as an option; I believe in the US they're standard.
 
Old 12-11-2010, 06:22 PM   #458
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTK358
I didn't know that the "Oxford comma" is optional, I thought it's required.
Depends where you're from. The UK has them as an option; I believe in the US they're standard.
I didn't even know there was a term for that...I've always used a comma before the "and" in a list of items.

E.g. "One, two, and three." as opposed to "One, two and three.".
 
Old 12-11-2010, 07:09 PM   #459
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I also never knew it had a name until now.
 
Old 12-12-2010, 04:38 AM   #460
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Quote:
A, B, C and D
That looks like you're specifying 3 options: A, B, and C + D.

Quote:
A, B, C, and D
And 4 options: A, B, C, and D.
 
Old 12-12-2010, 04:43 AM   #461
pwc101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianL View Post
That looks like you're specifying 3 options: A, B, and C + D.
To me, the last item in a list is always preceded by an "and", irrespective of whether there's a comma before that and or not. So, in that example, the list has four items. If it were written as:
Quote:
A, B, and C and D
that would have three items ("A", "B", "C and D").
 
Old 12-12-2010, 04:58 AM   #462
brianL
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How about:
Chaplin, Keaton, Laurel and Hardy
or:
Chaplin, Keaton, Laurel, and Hardy

?
 
Old 12-12-2010, 05:51 AM   #463
pwc101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianL View Post
How about:
Chaplin, Keaton, Laurel and Hardy
or:
Chaplin, Keaton, Laurel, and Hardy

?
Well, if there were three groups, then it'd be Chaplin, Keaton, and Laurel and Hardy with the Oxford comma, otherwise it'd be Chaplin, Keaton and Laurel and Hardy without. However, in this instance, reordering the list is sometimes more sensible: Laurel and Hardy, Chaplin and Keaton.

If there were four groups, then the last example you've given makes sense as a list with the Oxford comma; drop the last comma and it's still valid as a list of four items. At least in UK English.

This is the thing about commas in particular, they're quite subjective. As far as I'm aware, there are no hard and fast rules about exactly where they belong. If you're into this sort of thing, Lynn Truss' book "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" (itself a phase whose meaning changes if you omit the comma) is quite entertaining. However, this subject is covered by many authors. A fairly definitive guide is the book "The Elements of Style", though it's more American English than English English.
 
Old 12-12-2010, 06:00 AM   #464
brianL
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Anyway, we don't usually bother with proper English in Oldham.
Quote:
Lynn Truss' book "Eats, Shoots and Leaves"
I've heard of that, but not read it. Something else for my Todo list.
 
Old 12-12-2010, 12:21 PM   #465
XavierP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianL View Post
I've heard of that, but not read it. Something else for my Todo list.
Worth reading, it explained a lot of stuff that was never raised in school. And the book is somewhat entertaining too.
 
  


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