BLUE SUN ROOM

Handy grammar guide

POSTED BY: PHOENIXROSE
UPDATED: Friday, August 17, 2007 08:08
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VIEWED: 17782
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Tuesday, August 1, 2006 10:10 PM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


From your friendly neighborhood PhoenixRose comes her handy guide to grammar! Here I outline the difference between words that sound or look the same and give a few tips on sentence structure. These are mostly based on the most common mistakes I see in BSR fanfic, and I thought there might be some folk who would appreciate a few pointers.
I keep updating, so check back if you feel like it.
Everything can be checked and expanded upon at www.dictionary.com
Here we go:

You’re = you are. As in "You’re a writer." or "You’re a Firefly fan!"
Your = possessive term. As in "This is your story." or "That is your boxset of Firefly."
Yore = past, history. As in "Days of yore."

There = description of location. As in "It is over there." or "There it is."
They’re = they are. As in "They’re not here." or "They’re not yours."
Their = possessive term. As in "That is their house." or "This is their problem…"

Too = also, as well. As in "Me too!" Also used as a descriptive term of something excessive or emphatic. As in "This is too much." or "I will too do this!"
To = descriptive of direction "Went to the store." Also if it’s regarding anything "An answer to a letter."
Two = 2

Advice = the noun. As in "Anyone have any advice?." or "I need your advice."
Advise = the verb. "To advise". As in "I want you to advise me." or "I must advise you..."

New = recent, not old. "He bought a new set of Firefly because his old disks were worn out."
Knew = past tense of "know". As in "She knew there was trouble when she heard shots fired."

Quit = to stop, to desist. As in "He wants to quit smoking."
Quite = really, actually. As in "I am quite sure about this." Can also mean to a high degree, as in "It's quite good." Usage note Eloisa has informed me that 'quite' can be used a bit differently in the UK. Much the same way as those in the US sometimes use 'rather' it can be sarcastic in its tone so that it means "slightly", "mostly", "sort of" or "very" depending on tone and context. See her posts below for more nuance.
Quiet = silent. As in "Please be quiet, I'm trying to think."

It’s = it is. As in "It’s a crying shame that Firefly was cancelled." Also used for it has, as in "It’s rained every day this week."
Its = possessive term. As in "The Alliance retracted its statements."

Lose = to suffer loss. As in "The Independents were sure the Alliance would lose the war."
Loose = not tight. As in "Her shoes were loose because they were a size too big."

Loss = the state of being deprived of or of being without something that one has had "The loss of a friend" "It's their loss" etc.
Lost = past tense of 'lose'. "They lost the game." Also 'to be lost' is an adjective: "You're lost in the woods."

Hon = short for honey. As in "See you later, hon."
Hun = a barbarous or destructive person; an invader. Attilla the Hun. Was also used as a disparaging term for Germans during the World Wars. I cannot stress enough: This is an insult. Please stop using it as a term of endearment or short for 'honey'.

Poor = meagerly supplied or endowed with resources or funds "A poor family applied for welfare. " "The area was poor in minerals. " Also of an inferior, inadequate, or unsatisfactory kind "He suffered from poor health."
Pore = to read or study with steady attention or application "She pored over the manuscript. " Also a minute opening or orifice, as in the skin or a leaf, for perspiration, absorption, etc. "Sweat streamed from his pores. "
Pour = to send (a liquid, fluid, or anything in loose particles) flowing or falling, as from one container to another, or into, over, or on something: "I will pour a glass of milk." or "She poured water on a plant. "

(Thanks to Squish!)
Then = at that time. As in "I was still in school then." Or "Come at noon; I'll be ready then."
Next in time, space, or order; immediately afterward. As in "I watched the late movie and then went to bed."
In addition; moreover; besides. As in "It costs $20, and then there's the sales tax to pay."
Used after but to qualify or balance a preceding statement. As in "The star was nervous, but then who isn't on the first night of a new play."
In that case; accordingly. As in "If traffic is heavy, then allow extra time."
As a consequence; therefore. As in "The case, then, is closed."
Than: Used after a comparative adjective or adverb to introduce the second element or clause of an unequal comparison. As in "She is a better athlete than I."
Used to introduce the second element after certain words indicating difference. As in "He draws quite differently than she does."
When. Used especially after hardly and scarcely. As in "I had scarcely walked in the door than the commotion started."

Effect = the noun "Our protests had no effect"
Affect = the verb "The cold weather affected the harvest."

Pique = to excite interest, curiosity, etc. As in "Her curiosity was piqued by the news." Also less commonly used as: to affect with sharp irritation and resentment, especially by some wound to pride, as in "She was greatly piqued when they refused her invitation."
Peak = The pointed top of anything, especilaly a mountain.
Peek = To look or glance quickly or furtively, esp. through a small opening or from a concealed location, as in "She peeked down from the catwalk."

Sight = vision. As in "She was quite a sight!" or "I have poor eyesight."
Site = a setting, a place or location. As in "A good site to build." Also short for "website".

I wasn't going to add this one, but I see it so much in chat that I have to put it here.
Sense = logic. As in "That makes sense." Also a "sense" is smell, touch, taste, etc.
Since = continuously. As in "We have been friends since we were children." also a subsequent time, as in "She has since moved out of state." Also can be used as because, as in "Since she never showed up, her understudy took her place."

Ladder= a structure of wood, metal, or rope, commonly consisting of two sidepieces between which a series of bars or rungs are set at suitable distances, forming a means of climbing up or down. A means of rising, as to eminence: the ladder of success.
Latter= being the second mentioned of two, the 'former' being the first. Also near or comparatively near to the end: "In the latter part of the century."
Later= occurring, coming, or being after the usual or proper time "Later than usual" Also can mean at a time in the future "See you later"

(Thanks to RMMC!)
Bare = stripped down, naked, without covering. As in "The walls were bare of ornamentation." or "River's bare feet." Also plain, bald, unadorned, unconcealed. As in "The bare facts." or "Mal's bare dislike of the Alliance." Also open to view or reveal. As in "She bared herself." (this can be figurative or literal.)
Bear = to hold up, support, remain firm, carry. As in "He bears up under pressure." or "She bore the weight of her burden." or "We come bearing gifts." or "Bear with me." or even "Bearing children." Also to press "The Alliance was bearing down on them." And of course, bears are the big furry animals who like fish and possibly honey. This is a really good word to look up, because it has many, many different meanings and forms of usage.
Bore = the past tense of "to bear" see above. Also to be dull, weary. As in "The book was boring." or "I am bored." Or can also mean "to drill" as in "The carpenter ants bored through the wood." Also can refer to a tiring person. As in "He was a bore."
Boar = a male swine, either an uncastrated male pig or a wild pig with tusks.
Boor = a churlish, rude, or unmannerly person, as in "Jayne often acts like a boor."

Witch = one who practices magick. As in "I am a witch."
Which = uh, a lot of things. "Which one?" "He left the scene, which was wise." "She likes Firefly, which is shiny." This is the more commonly used, so when in doubt...

Wait = to remain or stay in expectation. As in "I will wait for more Firefly."
Weight = measure of heaviness. As in "The weight is five pounds."

Choose = present tense, to make a choice. As in "I choose to have chicken for dinner tonight."
Chose = past tense, to make a choice. "A year ago, I chose to move."

(one letter can make a BIG difference in meaning!)
Exorcise = to expel demons, evil spirits, or malignant influences. "To excorcise the demons in one's mind." as in "Miranda excorcised some of River's demons."
Exercise = bodily or mental exertion, esp. for the sake of training or improvement of health. "Walking is good exercise." or "It's important to excercise the brain every day." etc.

Except = to exclude. As in "I'll buy everything except that." Also to object, as in "I take exception to that statement." Also a term meaning "if not for the fact". As in "I would buy it, except that it's so expensive."
Accept = agreement, consent, something affirmative. As in "I accept your invitation." or "She was accepted to the University."

Here = location. As in "You are here."
Hear = what you do with your ears. As in "Hope to hear from you soon."

Coarse = harsh, grating; lacking in fineness or delicacy of texture, structure, etc; lacking delicacy, taste, or refinement; unpolished manners or behavior; crude
Course = a direction or route taken or to be taken; a mode of conduct; behavior "A course of action". Also used for the term 'of course', meaning a certainty.

Threw = past tense of "throw". As in "I threw my notebook across the room."
Through = from beginning to end. As in "He walked through the door." or "She saw the matter through."
Thorough = complete, painstaking. As in "A thorough search for answers."

Throne = fancy chair used by royalty. A king's throne.
Thrown = another past tense form of 'to throw'. As in "She was thrown across the room by the force of the explosion."

Boys = plural form of "boy"
Boy’s = possessive term for one boy as in "That is the boy’s book."
Boys’ = possessive term for multiple boys, as in "This is the boys’ mule; they share it." (pronounced "boyses")

Let's = let us. As in "Let's be bad guys."
Lets = allows. As in "Having a job lets me pay my bills."

Vain = conceited. As in "You’re so vain." Also can be fruitless, as in "We tried in vain."
Vein = what blood runs through. Synonymous with "blood" a lot of the time, as in "The music was in her veins."

Gripe = to complain, complaint. As in "She would gripe about her food." or "He had a gripe about the job."
Grip = to hold tightly. As in "She would grip her gun when she felt threatened."

Illusion = something not real; not a reality. As in "I thought things would work out at my job, but it was just an illusion." or "Someone dying in the desert will often see a mirage or illusion."
Allusion = hint or indirect reference. See below.
Allude = to hint or make indirect reference. As in "The possibility was alluded to, but never directly stated."
Elude = avoid, evade. As in "They were able to elude capture."

Whole = Entire, complete. As in "I read the whole book in a day."
Hole = an opening through something; gap; aperture, as in "tearing holes in the huill that won't cause inner breach." Also a hollow place in a solid body or mass; a cavity: a hole in the ground.

Alot = not a word. Should be two separate words: "A lot"
Noone = also not a word. Two separate words: "No one"

"In to" should basically always be written as "into".

"ing" words:
When you add "ing" to a word that ends in "e" you need to drop the "e". Hope=Hoping, Make=Making, Take=Taking, Gripe=Griping (whereas grip would be gripping), Fake=Faking, and so on and so forth.
The only exception to this rule (that I know of) is the word 'dye'. Die is written 'dying' and so dye is hence written 'dyeing'

Referring to yourself and others in the same sentence:
Be sure you can take the "others" out and still have the sentence make sense. For example: "Thank you for helping me and the girls." Would be proper because without the others it would read "Thank you for helping me."
You would not say "Thank you for helping the girls and I." because you wouldn’t say "Thank you for helping I."
However, the sentence "The girls and I are going out" would be proper because without the others it would read "I am going out"

I found a site called "The Apostrophe Protection Society". It's got some good and simple info on proper use of apostrophes. http://www.apostrophe.fsnet.co.uk/

More to be added on request or as I think of things... I've added a lot! Will add and edit more as needed. Check back for updates!


**********************************
"Languages are not just sets of symbols. They also often conform to a rough grammar, or system of rules, used to manipulate the symbols. While a set of symbols may be used for expression or communication, it is primitive and relatively unexpressive, because there are no clear or regular relationships between the symbols. A language that also has a grammar can manipulate its symbols to express clear and regular relationships between them."
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Wednesday, August 2, 2006 12:54 AM

NANITE1018


Thank you PhoenixRose. Those are really common mistakes on the 'net. Especially "your" instead of "you're". That one always annoys me.

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Wednesday, August 2, 2006 12:56 AM

HAWKMOTH


Excellent!

Care to borrow my guide to punctuating dialogue?

http://words-in-flight.livejournal.com/14637.html#cutid1

I also suggest a reminder on the proper spelling of character names.

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Wednesday, August 2, 2006 1:21 AM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


You're quite welcome, Nanite! I know, they annoy me too. Just doing my part to bring down the annoyance level...
Excellent guide, HawkMoth!
OK, character names, if needed:
Zoë Alleyne Washburne
Hoban "Wash" Washburne
Malcolm Reynolds
Inara Serra
River Tam
Simon Tam
Jayne Cobb
Shepherd Derrial Book
Kaywinnit Lee Frye - Kaylee


"Languages are not just sets of symbols. They also often conform to a rough grammar, or system of rules, used to manipulate the symbols. While a set of symbols may be used for expression or communication, it is primitive and relatively unexpressive, because there are no clear or regular relationships between the symbols. A language that also has a grammar can manipulate its symbols to express clear and regular relationships between them."

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Wednesday, August 2, 2006 9:08 AM

HAWKMOTH


Thanks, PhoenixRose.


(Although I'm pretty sure it's "Alleyne" for Zoe, and I know it's "Frye" for Kaylee.)

And thank you, because it can't be said often enough:

Shepherd!

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Wednesday, August 2, 2006 9:23 AM

DAYVE


....i feel as though I've been transported back in time...back to Ms. Newsome's 8th grade english class..... but an english class like no other on this earth.... an english class in...The Twilight Zone....

i'm just glad no one is griping about bad punctuation, for i am Dayve...King of Grammatical Errors... he who uses too many dot dot dots



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Wednesday, August 2, 2006 9:31 AM

HAWKMOTH


If PhoenixRose gives me permission to share her thread, I'd be happy to post some punctuation rules here!

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Wednesday, August 2, 2006 5:35 PM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


I looked up the name spellings in about three different places, and they all said "Allayne" and "Fry". I'll see if I can find some official place that has all their names. Or you can. And if so, well, I'll change it.
Well, you posted your link to your guide, and that's shiny. If you want to post a few punctuation rules, I have no problem with that.

And hey, I'm way more efficient than any English class! English classes for years and a lot of it is summed up in that one page of text at the top of the thread. Pretty sad.
(I've actually pasted it into a document and it's four pages. But still!)


"Languages are not just sets of symbols. They also often conform to a rough grammar, or system of rules, used to manipulate the symbols. While a set of symbols may be used for expression or communication, it is primitive and relatively unexpressive, because there are no clear or regular relationships between the symbols. A language that also has a grammar can manipulate its symbols to express clear and regular relationships between them."

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Wednesday, August 2, 2006 6:05 PM

HAWKMOTH


Referencing the Serenity Official Movie Magazine (as it's what I've got at hand at this moment...):

"Zoe Alleyne Washburne" (Did we see Zoe's dossier in the movie, when the Operative was researching the crew? Something that could be zoomed on the DVD?)

"Kaywinnet Lee Frye" (Although Zoe and Wash's last names were a mystery until the movie came out, "Frye" was right out of the script for Shindig back in the day).

You have awesome summing up powers!

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Wednesday, August 2, 2006 7:13 PM

LEIASKY


Excellent post. I'm sure it will be very helpful! I've definitely made some of those mistakes before.

"A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned."

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Wednesday, August 2, 2006 9:25 PM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


Quote:

Originally posted by HawkMoth:
You have awesome summing up powers!




OK, names are changed, things are shiny, and I'm glad to be doing good works!

If anyone has any questions or are fuzzy on word usage not covered here, please feel free to ask! I will be editing and adding anything I think of, and I'm happy to answer specific questions.

...My mom says I'm a frustrated English teacher.


"Languages are not just sets of symbols. They also often conform to a rough grammar, or system of rules, used to manipulate the symbols. While a set of symbols may be used for expression or communication, it is primitive and relatively unexpressive, because there are no clear or regular relationships between the symbols. A language that also has a grammar can manipulate its symbols to express clear and regular relationships between them."

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Thursday, August 3, 2006 2:07 AM

HAWKMOTH


I know just where you're coming from--I taught English once upon a time and set up a grammar guide* page out of frustration when I was in ST:Voyager fandom. You really did hit on all the worst "offenses" in your first post.


(*Known as "DangerMom's Handy-Dandy Grammar Guide!"

Here's an excellent source for all writers:

Common Errors in English: http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~brians/errors/errors.html

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Thursday, August 3, 2006 5:15 AM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


Major updates have been added to main post! Just... thought I'd declare that. Keep seeing things that get mixed up and annoying. Gets rid of some itchy frustration, really, to have a place to post "No, it's like this!" and hopefully have people appreciate it.


"Languages are not just sets of symbols. They also often conform to a rough grammar, or system of rules, used to manipulate the symbols. While a set of symbols may be used for expression or communication, it is primitive and relatively unexpressive, because there are no clear or regular relationships between the symbols. A language that also has a grammar can manipulate its symbols to express clear and regular relationships between them."

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Thursday, August 3, 2006 5:28 AM

DESERTGIRL


Great addition for us writers. These are all things that spell check does not catch. I for one get so wrapped up in the story as it is coming out that what gets typed isn't necessarily the right word.

Here’s what I have been wondering.

The crew tends to drop g’s from their words as in wonderin and thinkin. Should that g be replaced with a ‘ ?

I seem to remember from creative writing class (a very long time ago) that in dialogue. Each new speaker starts a new line.

What I don’t remember is:

1. Do I remember correctly that if a second PP is needed by the same speaker quotations are not used at the end of the first PP but are used again at the start of the second.

2. What if you want to add a tag onto that PP such as "Ching-wah tsao duh liou mahng," Mal slamed his cup down on the table.

or "Inara you have got to stop that your driving me crazy.

Mal picked up the tea cup to throw at her. "Put your cloths on."

2. And lastly. If you put a tag in the middle of a dialogue PP should you really start a new line when the dialogue picks back up, even if it is the same speaker?

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Thursday, August 3, 2006 6:13 AM

MAL4PREZ


PR -

Can you add two of my punctuation pet peeves?

Use of semicolons (;) versus commas (,) - semicolons separate what could be complete sentences!

And punctuation with quotes... it makes me crazy!! Don't use a period, as in:

"I'm so hot." said Mal. WRONG!!!

These are right:

"I'm so hot," said Mal.
"I'm so hot," Mal said.
"I'm so hot!" yelled Mal.
"I'm so hot." Mal scratched his nose while he spoke.


Desertgirl - I'm slow - what do you mean by tag and PP?


-----------------------------------------------
I'm the president. I don't need to listen.

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Thursday, August 3, 2006 6:29 AM

DAYVE


I would be eternally grateful to any educator (primary or secondary - English or otherwise) who could effectively teach the proper conjugation of the verb " to See"...

If I hear one more overpaid athlete (or anyone else), give an interview and say “I seen you at Wal-Mart, or I seen this or I seen that….”
Well, it just really bugs me, is all I’m saying.




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Thursday, August 3, 2006 1:00 PM

HAWKMOTH


Good one to point out, MAL4PREZ.


>>"I'm so hot," said Mal.
"I'm so hot," Mal said.
"I'm so hot!" yelled Mal.
"I'm so hot." Mal scratched his nose while he spoke. <<

What also needs to be emphasized is that verbs and pronouns (and articles) used thusly are not capitalized, which is usually an error seen with the improper use of commas and quotation marks. Plus, using commas to set off names when someone is directly addressed:

"What's wrong, Mal?" asked Zoe.

"I'm so hot," he replied.

"Kaylee, check the life support settings," the first mate ordered.

"Sure, Zoe, I'll get right on it," she replied.

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Thursday, August 3, 2006 7:27 PM

DESERTGIRL


Sorry should not abraviate. PP stands for paragraph.

By tag I mean what happens outside the dialogue. Such as:

"Give me the money," he said while putting his hand on his gun.

'he said while putting his hand on his gun'is what I would call a tag for dialogue.


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Thursday, August 3, 2006 10:01 PM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


desertgirl:
Yes, it would be proper to replace a dropped "g" with an '. This can make for some strange looking sentences.
"I was just sayin'," said Jayne. Looks weird, yet is correct.
Yes, when a second paragraph of dialogue is used for the same speaker, you do not put quotes at the end of the old one, but you do put quotes at the beginning of the new one. This shows that someone is still talking, but it's still the same person as before.
This: "Ching-wah tsao duh liou mahng," Mal slamed his cup down on the table.
Would actually be written like this: "Ching-wah tsao duh liou mahng." Mal slammed his cup down on the table. (could also have a "!" at the end)
This: "Inara you have got to stop that your driving me crazy.

Mal picked up the tea cup to throw at her. "Put your cloths on."
Would actually be written like this: "Inara you have got to stop that, you're driving me crazy." Mal picked up the tea cup to throw at her. "Put your clothes on."
So no, if there's a tag like that in the middle, you usually wouldn't start a new line, unless the tag you insert does not have to do with the character who is speaking.
For example:
"Inara, you've got to stop that!"
Inara flinched.
"You're driving me crazy!" Mal continued.

And yes, semicolons. I've always thought of them as something like a "soft" period. They can be used to break up run-on sentances and other handy things like that. I love them...


"Languages are not just sets of symbols. They also often conform to a rough grammar, or system of rules, used to manipulate the symbols. While a set of symbols may be used for expression or communication, it is primitive and relatively unexpressive, because there are no clear or regular relationships between the symbols. A language that also has a grammar can manipulate its symbols to express clear and regular relationships between them."

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Friday, August 4, 2006 4:53 AM

MAL4PREZ


desertgirl,

Yeah - what PR said!

Funny, I think I'm decent with grammar and punct (with beta help!) but I don't remember the words for anything. tag and nominative and dangling parti-whatever. blech!!

-----------------------------------------------
I'm the president. I don't need to listen.

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Friday, August 4, 2006 5:07 AM

SAHARA


What a great, great thread.

For some reason, I can never remember when to use "affect" and when to use "effect". Any tips?



Sahara
Blackbird fly into the light of the dark, black night.

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Friday, August 4, 2006 5:12 AM

RUGBUG



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Friday, August 4, 2006 5:13 AM

DESKTOPHIPPIE


Thanks, PhoenixRose! Your reely good to correct our grammer like this. Their are just to many silly mistakes being made these days. Its a real annoyance. Noone should be forced too read threw badly written posts. Hear's hopeing all our post's will be grammer perfect from now on!





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Friday, August 4, 2006 5:21 AM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


Certainly, Sahara! It's rather comlicated, I might just copy from dictionary.com

Effect:
Something brought about by a cause or agent; a result.
The power to produce an outcome or achieve a result; influence: "The drug had an immediate effect on the pain." "The government's action had no effect on the trade imbalance. "
A scientific law, hypothesis, or phenomenon: the photovoltaic effect.
Advantage; avail: "She used her words to great effect in influencing the jury."
The condition of being in full force or execution: "A new regulation that goes into effect tomorrow."
Something that produces a specific impression or supports a general design or intention: "The lighting effects emphasized the harsh atmosphere of the drama."
A particular impression: "Large windows gave an effect of spaciousness."
Production of a desired impression: "Spent lavishly on dinner just for effect."
The basic or general meaning; import: "He said he was greatly worried, or words to that effect."
effects Movable belongings; goods.

Affect:
To put on a false show of; simulate: "He affected a British accent."
To have an influence on: "Inflation affects the buying power of the dollar."
To attack or infect, as a disease: "Rheumatic fever can affect the heart."

I hope that's clear. Of all similar words, they seem most similar.


"Languages are not just sets of symbols. They also often conform to a rough grammar, or system of rules, used to manipulate the symbols. While a set of symbols may be used for expression or communication, it is primitive and relatively unexpressive, because there are no clear or regular relationships between the symbols. A language that also has a grammar can manipulate its symbols to express clear and regular relationships between them."

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Friday, August 4, 2006 5:24 AM

SAHARA


Thank you!

Shiny.

I guess where I get confused is that I think of "The power to produce an outcome or achieve a result; influence:" for "effect" and "To have an influence on:" for "affect" to be almost indistinguishable.

I want it to be as easy as "if you can answer the question with "him", then use "whom" in the question.

Sahara
Blackbird fly into the light of the dark, black night.

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Friday, August 4, 2006 5:33 AM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


Very welcome, Saraha! Always happy to help. Yes, they seem very similar. Those trip even my mom up at times.
Quote:

Originally posted by DesktopHippie:
Thanks, PhoenixRose! Your reely good to correct our grammer like this. Their are just to many silly mistakes being made these days. Its a real annoyance. Noone should be forced too read threw badly written posts. Hear's hopeing all our post's will be grammer perfect from now on!


Are you mocking me?


"Languages are not just sets of symbols. They also often conform to a rough grammar, or system of rules, used to manipulate the symbols. While a set of symbols may be used for expression or communication, it is primitive and relatively unexpressive, because there are no clear or regular relationships between the symbols. A language that also has a grammar can manipulate its symbols to express clear and regular relationships between them."

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Friday, August 4, 2006 6:15 AM

ISAACSHEPHERD


Wow PhoenixRose that's a pretty handy guide (and that's comming from an English major ). For anyone who wishes to polish up grammar and or/spelling I highly suggest a book simply titled "The Grammar Bible", I don't have the book around otherwise I'd say the author. The author starts from the beginning and gives good examples to polish up that grammar if it's been a while.

IS

The Bible's a bit fuzzy on the subject of kneecaps.

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Friday, August 4, 2006 4:27 PM

SQUISH


If I may, I'd like to add something that I see often in grading college papers (something that I never would have imagined that people would confuse for one another):

Then and Than (info. below taken from dictionary.com)

Then:

At that time: I was still in school then. Come at noon; I'll be ready then.

Next in time, space, or order; immediately afterward: watched the late movie and then went to bed.

In addition; moreover; besides: It costs $20, and then there's the sales tax to pay.

Used after but to qualify or balance a preceding statement: The star was nervous, but then who isn't on the first night of a new play.

In that case; accordingly: If traffic is heavy, then allow extra time.

As a consequence; therefore: The case, then, is closed.


Than:

Used after a comparative adjective or adverb to introduce the second element or clause of an unequal comparison: She is a better athlete than I.

Used to introduce the second element after certain words indicating difference: He draws quite differently than she does.

When. Used especially after hardly and scarcely: I had scarcely walked in the door than the commotion started.


Thanks for starting this thread and I highly recommend Hawkmoth's link cited above!


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Saturday, August 5, 2006 2:32 AM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


Quite excellent, squish!

Knew I was forgetting a few things...

I'm adding that to the top post, just to make reference easier.


"Languages are not just sets of symbols. They also often conform to a rough grammar, or system of rules, used to manipulate the symbols. While a set of symbols may be used for expression or communication, it is primitive and relatively unexpressive, because there are no clear or regular relationships between the symbols. A language that also has a grammar can manipulate its symbols to express clear and regular relationships between them."

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Sunday, August 6, 2006 12:02 AM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


Quote:

Originally posted by Dayve:
I would be eternally grateful to any educator (primary or secondary - English or otherwise) who could effectively teach the proper conjugation of the verb "to see"...


Ok, then.
"Are you going to see it?"
"Will you see it?"
"Have you seen it?"
"Did you see it?"
"Yes, I saw it."
"No, I haven't seen it."
"No I didn't see it."
"Has he seen it?"
"No, he hasn't seen it."
"No, he didn't see it."
"Yes, he saw it."

Is that all clear?


"Languages are not just sets of symbols. They also often conform to a rough grammar, or system of rules, used to manipulate the symbols. While a set of symbols may be used for expression or communication, it is primitive and relatively unexpressive, because there are no clear or regular relationships between the symbols. A language that also has a grammar can manipulate its symbols to express clear and regular relationships between them."

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Sunday, August 6, 2006 2:39 AM

COZEN


Quote:

Originally posted by PhoenixRose:


And yes, semicolons. I've always thought of them as something like a "soft" period. They can be used to break up run-on sentances and other handy things like that. I love them...




Although I'm certain semicolons exist for a good reason, I've had a hard time accepting their necessity. To wit, I'm with Vonnegut:

“Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.”
-- K.V., A Man Without a Country

{edited to add....} "Rules can only take us so far. Even good rules." ibid. In the context of this thread, I would apply that statement this way: proper grammar is a good thing, but secondary to getting the message to the reader.

Fun thread... for a geek.


***
Huh: an incomplete citing of a source. *Gives up all literary pretensions.*

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Sunday, August 6, 2006 3:06 AM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


Um, I think grammar is important to properly convey a message to a reader. Sometimes I can't understand what is meant because the structure is so incomprehensible. Most of the time I can work it out, true, but it can take several readings, or the initial reading just doesn't go smooth because I keep pulling up short at an error and going "Do they mean... They must. Okay." It interrupts the flow of stories in particular, but sometimes it's a problem in simple posts.
And just for the record, I haven't been to college. I also am not getting all that in-depth here; there are things that can't be summed up easily and maybe aren't as important as actually using the right word. Usage is something everyone should know for any language they speak, and so I don't really consider it a geeky pursuit.
Please take your backhanded 'compliments' elsewhere. Thank you.


"Languages are not just sets of symbols. They also often conform to a rough grammar, or system of rules, used to manipulate the symbols. While a set of symbols may be used for expression or communication, it is primitive and relatively unexpressive, because there are no clear or regular relationships between the symbols. A language that also has a grammar can manipulate its symbols to express clear and regular relationships between them."

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Sunday, August 6, 2006 3:22 AM

COZEN


Wasn't meant as an insult. I'm very sorry you took it that way. I thought I could contribute to a lively, if somewhat insular, debate. I guess this is one of those cases where I was poking a little fun, and no one but me got the joke. I suppose my choice of emoticons weren't good enough for the task.

Again: my apologies. I won't bother you again.

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Sunday, August 6, 2006 4:47 AM

MSG


I see we are having a moment:)Excellent grammer lesson. I give it an





I choose to rise instead of fall- U2

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Monday, August 7, 2006 12:06 AM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


Oh look, I've been teacher elf mooned... Yay?

Hey, I found a site called "The Apostrophe Protection Society". It's got some good and simple info on proper use of apostrophes. http://www.apostrophe.fsnet.co.uk/


"Languages are not just sets of symbols. They also often conform to a rough grammar, or system of rules, used to manipulate the symbols. While a set of symbols may be used for expression or communication, it is primitive and relatively unexpressive, because there are no clear or regular relationships between the symbols. A language that also has a grammar can manipulate its symbols to express clear and regular relationships between them."

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Friday, September 1, 2006 1:40 AM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


I'm sad my thread is dying. I'm sorry I got snarky and put my back up, but that was nearly a month ago! I'm better now!
And I did send an apology and explination to cozen, but I don't know if he even got it.


A family is a place where minds come in contact with one another. If these minds love one another the home will be as beautiful as a flower garden. But if these minds get out of harmony with one another it is like a storm that plays havoc with them. - Gautama Siddharta

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Friday, September 1, 2006 2:30 AM

FELLOWTRAVELER


Quote:

Originally posted by cozen:

Although I'm certain semicolons exist for a good reason, I've had a hard time accepting their necessity. To wit, I'm with Vonnegut:

“Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.”

-- K.V., A Man Without a Country



Now, that's funny!

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Friday, September 1, 2006 3:41 AM

LVS2READ


Great thread, PR!

You missed my biggest pet peeve (I think--didn't catch it as I scrolled down): using 'alright' instead of 'all right'. I don't know, maybe I'm old school and 'alright' is becoming accepted, but it still jars me every time I see it. Already is a word, alright is not. At least in my book.

Here's wishing this thread a long and useful life!

"I love my captain."

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Friday, September 1, 2006 3:44 AM

MAL4PREZ


Hey now, I love the semicolon! Lots of short sentences bother me. Don't get me wrong - it works great for Vonnegut. He's sarcastic. Makes fun of a lot of stuff. All the breaks work for his style. They make it tongue in cheek.

Hi-ho.

(You've read slapstick, right?)

Myself, I want my fiction to flow. I want the writing and my voice to be invisible, so the reader will forget that I am telling the story. They should see the characters and the settings and not be aware of me at all. I am a window, see how I... um, never mind.

I find that sentence lengths and the pauses between phrases are a HUGE part of this. Too many hard stops ruin it. They kill the flow. Break up continuity. Get kind of dull to read too. Unless you're Kurt Vonnegut and you're speaking in your own voice which needs short setences. (OK, it's his narrator's voice, but he admits it is often some fictionalization of himself.)

Hope this doesn't come off ranty. I felt a moment of OMG I must get rid of all my semicolons cause Kurt said so! But then I changed my mind. It's all about the style you want. Semicolons provide a shorter break than periods; they are flowy and I like that.

As for what PR said above, I second the need for clarity and less errors! You should never have to go back over a phrase to figure out what the hell the writer means. That kills the illusion!

-----------------------------------------------
I'm the president. I don't need to listen.

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Friday, September 1, 2006 3:48 AM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


Hmmmmm, that's an interesting one.
From dictionary.com:
—Usage note: The form alright as a one-word spelling of the phrase all right in all of its senses probably arose by analogy with such words as already and altogether. Although alright is a common spelling in written dialogue and in other types of informal writing, all right is used in more formal, edited writing.
adj : nonstandard usage adv 1: used to reinforces an assertion; "it's expensive all right" (syn: all right, without doubt) 2: sentence-initial expression of agreement [syn: very well, fine, all right, OK] 3: in a satisfactory or adequate manner; "she'll do okay on her own"; "held up all right under pressure"; ('alright' is a nonstandard variant of 'all right')
So for them writing stories, this is something to watch for. However, informal usage seems fine. And our Big Damn Heroes use informal speech a lot of the time, so would this be how we'd put it in their dialogue? Or should it be avoided altogether?
Good one, Lvs2read!

*edit* Mal4Prez, you put things so well!


A family is a place where minds come in contact with one another. If these minds love one another the home will be as beautiful as a flower garden. But if these minds get out of harmony with one another it is like a storm that plays havoc with them. - Gautama Siddharta

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Saturday, September 9, 2006 3:48 PM

STINKINGROSE


You know, it's embarassing but I think I may have asserted the inverse of the it's/its rule the other day.
I'm so used to seeing that poor apostrophe abused around town I am starting to forget everything I have learned since third grade.
Knowing the difference between affect and effect helped me in anatomy and physiology class. I had no trouble differentiating between afferent and efferent paths of the nervous system.
Yay vocabulary wonks!

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Saturday, September 9, 2006 5:09 PM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


It can be hard to remember that kind of thing (especially with it's and its) and that's what this thread is all about!


Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship. - Gautama Siddharta

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Saturday, September 9, 2006 8:07 PM

RMMC


Nice thread, PR. I've got one to add to the mix because strange as it may be, I've actually run across it when reading fic.

Bare: without clothing or covering. This includes:
a.) being physically naked, (example: Kaylee touched Simon's bare back.)
b.) having an object devoid of any usual components, (example: The cockpit control panel was bare of dinosaurs.)
c.)not concealing the view (example: At the start of the movie, you could see Mal through the bare glass of the cockpit.)

Bear: Large furry animals that are usually quite dangerous and still hunted for sport. (Example: Kaylee's favorite book as an old Earth book titled "Goldilocks and the Three Bears.")

Barred: to be excluded from. (Example: Due to having been caught cheating, Tracey was barred from the card tables.)

Yeah, I won't throw stones about punctuation. I know mine's not the best.

But I will have fun and make a confusing sentence with all three.

The entire crew voted that Jayne should be barred from lying bare on the bearskin rug while cleaning Vera.


*******
RMMC

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Saturday, September 9, 2006 8:50 PM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


I was debating whether to put that one in, RMMC. Good to have it on here. I'll add something for "bare" though, because it's often used in sentences such as "She bared it all" or something like that. This of course just means to get naked, but it's important to remember, when using this sentence, that you don't add an 'r'. As RMMC pointed out, 'barred' means something totally different from 'bared'. Same with 'barring' and 'baring'.
Also, 'bear' can also be a verb. "To bear a burden" or "Bear in mind". This is the same verb as would be used in the past tense as "bore" as in "She bore herself well under pressure." Bore, of course also has another meaning, as in "It bored her" or "It was boring".
Oh dear, you don't think about how confusing English can be until you start talking about these little points, do ya? Well, I never did, anyway...


"Languages are not just sets of symbols. They also often conform to a rough grammar, or system of rules, used to manipulate the symbols. While a set of symbols may be used for expression or communication, it is primitive and relatively unexpressive, because there are no clear or regular relationships between the symbols. A language that also has a grammar can manipulate its symbols to express clear and regular relationships between them."

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Sunday, September 10, 2006 4:24 PM

RMMC


Thanks, PR. I wouldn't have mentioned it, but I've run across it more than once (bear where it should be bare) due to many folks thinking that spell and grammar check in MS Word is comparable to having a beta or an editor. It's not.

Heck, I've seen these sorts of mistakes (lack of knowledgable editing) in professionally marketed books and big city newspapers.

Thanks for making such a nice guide for folks.

******
RMMC

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Monday, September 11, 2006 12:04 AM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


There are so many definitions of "bear" that I'm not sure I summed it all up, but 'bear' 'bare' 'bore' and 'boar' have been added to the top main post. Whew!

I've also seen it in professional books and newspapers in particular. Bothers me. I hope to make the quality of this site just a little higher than some newspaper


"Languages are not just sets of symbols. They also often conform to a rough grammar, or system of rules, used to manipulate the symbols. While a set of symbols may be used for expression or communication, it is primitive and relatively unexpressive, because there are no clear or regular relationships between the symbols. A language that also has a grammar can manipulate its symbols to express clear and regular relationships between them."

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Monday, September 11, 2006 10:45 AM

RMMC


Looks good!!!! But it also looks like we both forgot reproduction (bearing young) and that's it's a compass direction of one thing to another [a ship to move at a bearing of "x". (I have no idea other than it usually has decimalized numbers going with it.)] Plus the furry bears. GAHHH! Too much fur! AAIIEE!!!!

*whimper*

So them's the bear facts, folks.

♪Look for the bear necessities
The simple bear necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife.♪


******
RMMC

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Sunday, September 17, 2006 5:53 PM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


*hums along*

Okay, I fixed it. The bearing of children could said to be carrying, so I just snuck it in there.


"Languages are not just sets of symbols. They also often conform to a rough grammar, or system of rules, used to manipulate the symbols. While a set of symbols may be used for expression or communication, it is primitive and relatively unexpressive, because there are no clear or regular relationships between the symbols. A language that also has a grammar can manipulate its symbols to express clear and regular relationships between them."

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Monday, September 18, 2006 11:14 AM

RMMC


Looks great, PR! You did a very shiny job!




And now we can really blow some minds with the following nature tidbit: polar bears aren't bears; they're more closely related to the weasel family.

*******
RMMC

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006 3:16 AM

ELOISA


Phoenixrose, I'd be grateful if you'd amend the top post to clear up some confusion over the definition of "quite".

I had a discussion about this yesterday with an Australian and an American (I am British). In US English, "quite" always means "very". In Australian English, "quite" almost always means "slightly". In UK English, "quite" normally means "slightly" except when used for dramatic irony. The difference in the UK - annoyingly enough, when posting on the internet - is often conveyed solely in tone of voice. I might say, "I'm quite OK" when I had a slight headache but apart from that was fine. I might also say, "I'm quite OK!" when I was on top of the world. In the same way, the interjection "Quite" as a one-word sentence would mean "maybe you're right" if said with a down-tone at the end or "extremely so" if said in a stronger voice.

This confusion aside, it would help international relations on this site if you mentioned this problem in the first post. I'm likely to use "quite" in fanfic with its full range of meaning, even if I haven't yet, and I know I've read some other authors who've seemed to use it in a UK "slightly" context. UK readers would be able to decode the US meaning by a US author due to context, but the reverse is not true.

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