Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Grammar and the Peeves that Pet It

Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,896
Please note that the title is deliberately poorly worded!

If you've look at the links on my CarSpace page, you can probably guess that I'm a language freak, especially when it comes to usage, grammar, and punctuation. I won't even make you admit that you're a freak if you share examples and peeves here :)

MODERATOR
Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
Share your vehicle reviews

«13456718

Comments

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,468
    I am an Editor by profession, but I try very hard not to bring that with me on message boards. After all, it is not like this is FORMAL writing.

    Just as in my e-mails, I try to keep it loose and free. :)

    BUT, what drives me nuts on message boards are the lack of paragraphs and coherent sentences (you don't have to be completely proper and accurate to be coherent) and the use of ALL CAPS. While you don't need to be a language expert, making something easy to read is just simple courtesy. If you are looking for a response or, heaven forbid, intelligent correspondence, make it easy to read!

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,896
    I totally agree - when I'm in the company of friends or in a casual conversational atmosphere (such as message boards or non-business e-mail), I'm just trying to get my thoughts onto cyberpaper as efficiently as possible. Thus, my "work product" is quite often imperfect. However, I do try to make it readable.

    I'm more concerned with the mistakes on signs and in situations where proofreading should be standard. It really shows a complete lack of initiative, much less any courtesy to the reader, when this step is omitted.

    Example: I recently picked up the boxed set of all the Monty Python "Secret Policemen" DVDs. On the outside of the box in quite large letters, reads: "(xx company) will donate 10% of it's profit from the sale of these DVDs to Amnesty International."

    And no one along the lines noticed or cared?

    I try to pet & feed my peeves daily to keep them satisfied. If my neuroses go away, I may not have much left :)

    MODERATOR
    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,370
    I hesitate to post in this discussion. With me living in a glass house.. But, what the hey?

    My son (who is incredibly intelligent.. no really.. he is.. I'm not biased, at all) was in an academic competition, where the team from his school competed against other schools.

    The competition has a name.... and the host school had it printed on a big banner..

    Welcome to the Governers Cup

    I kid you not.. :surprise:

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,468
    you 2 apparently have the same peeve to pet.

    i'm more of a comma and hyphen freak. ;b

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,370
    Actually.. I can excuse the apostrophe..

    After all is it one governor, or more? Where do you put it...

    My issue was the spelling... even the kids (12-yr-olds) spotted it right away. Especially since it was in foot-high letters. (hyphen alert ;) )

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,468
    hell, i'll be honest, i didn't even spot the misspelling. i was sucked right into the apostrophe discussion. that's what i get for being a medical editor all these years. if it doesn't end in "trist" or "ology" it means nothing to me. :)

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,896
    That's OK. I have a pile of giant rocks to throw at your glass house. You can use them to return fire.

    I love that one.

    I so hope that this photo appears - took it with a cell phone, seen on a (really, really badly-painted) mural depicting the wreck of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, located in Grand Marais, Minnesota:
    image

    sparking the conversation:
    Toddy: How did all 29 men lose Captain McSorrley? You'd think someone could find him.
    kirstie_h: Especially since he was 729 feet long.

    MODERATOR
    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,370
    Dang!! Now, I'll be humming Gordon Lightfoot songs all day...

    Sundown, you better take care...

    How do you all feel about excessive periods at the ends of sentences? ;)

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,468
    excessive periods ... you mean as in ellipses? ... ?

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    I like periods... I like them a lot. Two is one two few. Three is just right. :shades:
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,370
    Well... okay then...

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,896
    They make me happy. I never feel like I have time to finish, so several at the end is like saying, "you haven't heard the last from me."

    MODERATOR
    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    I'd have to agree on the lack of paragraphs and coherent sentences. Sometime's I'm sensitive to poor grammar, butI'm sure, many people of many nationalities communicate on the board. Frankly, I'm often encouraged by their ability to communicate effectively in written English. And they are doing so without the redundancy there would be with verbal, facial and postural information...

    W.r.t. ALL CAPS, I have seen visually challenged individuals have a good deal of difficulty reading their computer screens, to the point they had to use specialized software. Also, once upon a time in our not so distant past (maybe 30 years ago) Teletype machines and Character Generators for CRTs had no UPPER / lowercase capability.

    I say, be inclined to be poster-tolerant; we really don't know who's on the other end of the ether do we?

    It's the message and the information that's important. :blush:
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    Sometimes I use them in an attempt to get people to pause and think about the great idea I just communicated because I'm very important and all the things I write are great.

    .not.

    I'll be back...
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,896
    allot of ppl dont know that all caps is bad message board etiquette so its always nice to tell them gently the first time and sure there are allot of ppl who dont speak english and we should be tolerant of them its just the ppl who dont have any consideration at all for the reader especially when they have a question and are looking for members to answer its not nice to expect them to be good at decoding as well as being good at automotive stuff

    MODERATOR
    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,895
    I'm OK with the ellipsis... :P

    As long as they're used correctly, they don't peeve me at all! :)

    Some folks... you've seen THEM... use them in place of commas!

    .........or use too many.....(three is the magic number)

    MODERATOR
    Need help navigating? pf_flyer@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,016
    Hey! I resemble that remark.

    Oh...yeah...forgot to put them in. :blush:

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    and you used all lower case, and a run on with no punctuation, and a typo and an unwidely used contraction, yet i easily read and interpreted your message with ease and wish you no ill will

    factually, i'm not going to avoid putting forth effort to help you if your problem is interesting because of that - after all, i work for free as do the rest of us that help other people on your site

    so how about dem shirts already? :shades:
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,468
    Terry got me started on the ellipses kick. I think he said his speak and spell software put them in automatically or something. I realized they were a great idea. :)

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,109
    Oh...yeah...forgot to put them in.

    Is ellipses singular or plural? I.e., which of these is correct?

    (1) Doesn't an ellipses require a leading and trailing space?

    (2) Do ellispses require a leading and trailing space?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,468
    ellipsis is singular, but not in the sense that it is a singular ... uhhh... period, but a singular occurrence.

    Ellipses would be multiple occurrences. So ... in the sentence in my first paragraph, I used 2 ellipses, but in this paragraph, I used 1 ellipsis.

    3 dots indicates the omission of words, while 4 dots indicates the omission of a full sentence or more.

    usually there are no spaces around 3 dots, but spaces around 4. But that's a style preference issues. I like to use spaces most times, personally.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,370
    Ellipses, ellipsis... Where does ellipse fit in? :surprise:

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,896
    Not in a round hole.

    MODERATOR
    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,468
    that's when the moon covers the sun, right?

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,306
    My head hurts already from reading this discussion.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,285
    ". . . . 3 dots indicates the omission of words, while 4 dots indicates the omission of a full sentence or more . . . ."

    Well, I'm in here with the rest of you pinheads, and this post is part of why. I try to execute proper usage, regardless of the venue, and I'd never heard this before. Or, as is becoming more the case recently, I forgot it if I did.

    My peeve to pet relates to people who & things that. I am sick to death of reading (or hearing) about people that do things.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,524
    Who?
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,524
    They make me happy. I never feel like I have time to finish, so several at the end is like saying, "you haven't heard the last from me."

    Absolutely! And, if you tend to ramble or trail off, such generous use of punctuation is simply a written version of the spoken equivalent....... ;)

    However, when using ellipses in quotations, stick to the rule outlined above for a proper result.
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,524
    In both spoken and written communication, the following three items are certainly the ones with which I am most annoyed:

    1. The improper use of 'good' and 'can' where 'well' and 'may' should be used.

    2. Ending a sentence with a conjunction. Honestly, what for?

    3. The use of contractions. I'd explain it, but I can't.

    Why do these items annoy me? Simply because they are lazy. They are communicated as lazy and unrefined, and I find them to be far too prolific within our society. For example, several years ago I worked at the Career Services office of my university. While there, I was asked to provide editorial oversight of the annual "Career Services Guide." Keep in mind that this guide is meant as a tool for students as they seek jobs and develop their careers. It was so lazily written that I had absolutely no confidence in the content, even though I knew the content itself was solid advice! My first task was to set about restructuring the sentences within the entire document so it was no longer "lazy." As a small university, this document was, of course, someone's "baby." After butting heads with that person for a few weeks and finally reaching a compromise, we produced a very solid document. In addition to some graphic and layout changes, there was very little modified within the document. However, we immediately received praise for the guide from administrators and students alike; the general reply was, "it feels so professional."

    My weaknesses:

    *Starting nearly every sentence with "However," "Therefore," and similar.
    *Passive sentences. I probably should not be frustrated by this, but I am. I use more "will be" and "has been" than a person is rightly alloted. :sick:
    *When writing at Edmunds, prolific use of parenthetical modifiers within sentences. I think this is a result of my detail-oriented nature and wanting to shove excessive detail into a small space.

    However, I was very proud the first time someone asked my son (18 months old at the time)"how are you doing?" and he replied, "[his name] is doing very well!" Unfortunately, now that he is nearly 3 and has been bombarded with "good" from nearly everyone else for so long, he recently started replying to such inquiries with, "I am doing good." :cry:
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,524
    BUT, what drives me nuts on message boards are the lack of paragraphs

    I notice that, every so often, the paragraphing seems to not work when posting here on Edmunds. It is almost always when I am writing a long post (which is... most... of the time)! I write it 5-6 paragraphs long and it comes out with a short paragraph to start, then 30 lines of run-on paragraph! I panic. I go back to edit the post. I double-check the paragraphing. I delete breaks and place them anew. I preview and all is well. I post.... no paragraphs! I cry (and often apologize in a follow-up post). :D
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
«13456718
Sign In or Register to comment.