BLUE SUN ROOM

Handy Grammar Guide

POSTED BY: PHOENIXROSE
UPDATED: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 09:08
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Friday, August 17, 2007 8:28 AM

PHOENIXROSE

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


The last thread I made for this got really long, so I thought I'd do a new one for faster loading. I’m hoping I got most of the meat from the last thread copied here; we had a lot of great discussion! Just in case, here's a link to it: http://www.fireflyfans.net/thread.asp?b=12&t=22762

This is meant to be a resource for fanfic writers. Like the fruity oaty bar, it is not mandatory. However, proper grammar certainly increases my personal enjoyment of a fic. It's just easier to read and get into the flow of it. I also have to say that if someone is completely incomprehensible, they might not find the response to be positive. When it comes to communication, there's no good reason not to better yourself.

All the spellings and definitions can be checked and expanded upon at www.dictionary.com
If you have any questions, please ask. The Grammar Geeks here will be happy to help you
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.
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, especially a mountain. A high point or climax.
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"

Conversely, "in to" should basically always be written as "into".

—Usage note on all right: 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!)

"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/

Hawkmouth’s guide to punctuating dialogue: http://words-in-flight.livejournal.com/14637.html#cutid1

Ellipsis (plural ellipses) is a mark or series of marks that usually indicate an intentional omission of a word in the original text. An ellipsis can also be used to indicate a pause in speech, an unfinished thought, or, at the end of a sentence, a trailing off into silence (aposiopesis). When placed at the end of a sentence, the ellipsis can also inspire a feeling of melancholy longing. The ellipsis calls for a slight pause in speech.

The most common form of an ellipsis is a row of three periods or full stops (...)


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.


Guide to Firefly character name spellings:

Zoë Alleyne Washburne
Hoban "Wash" Washburne
Malcolm Reynolds
Inara Serra
River Tam
Simon Tam
Jayne Cobb
Shepherd Derrial Book
Kaywinnit Lee Frye - Kaylee


From Mal4Prez:
Use of semicolons (;) versus commas (,) - semicolons separate what could be complete sentences!
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 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.

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.


I use "anymore". No idea of the correctness of that - except that both options come up on dictionary.com. There's no explanation of one versus the other though.

"I'm fairly sure anymore is a word, and anymore versus any more is kind of like everyday versus every day. For example: "You can't have any more caffeine." would be correct, whereas "You can't have anymore caffeine." would not be. "I can't take this anymore." would be a proper way to use 'anymore'. Anymore means 'any longer' or 'nowadays' which makes the rather odd-sounding "That's just how it is anymore." to be grammatically correct. 'Any more' means 'something more' 'in addition' 'a greater quantity' etc."


From Constance:
I would like to promote the proper spelling of my haircolour. I am blonde. My boyfriend however is blond. (and oh I’m a girl..)



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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Tuesday, September 18, 2007 6:24 PM

DESERTGIRL



Hey PR - Thanks for continuing the thread, I hadn't realized it had gotten so long. I spent an hour rereading it all. There's a lot to remember.

So here my grammar question: I have a dialogue sentence with the tag stuck smack in the middle. What is the best what to punctuate it?

"blah blah blah. But," she paused to consider her words carefully, "The captain's tetchy, his deals goin' south."

I'm sure there is a correct way to do this, just not sure what it is.

Also - I have read all seven Harry Potter books out loud to my kids, I never noticed her colon thing either. Weird.

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Monday, March 30, 2009 9:10 PM

RIVERDANCER


Embarking on a master's in English, this thread makes me grin.

I'm probably much too late to help Desertgirl, but the correct way to punctuate would be what's there, only I believe the continuation of the sentence in the second set of quotes would not be capitalized. It's kind of a messy structure, it's best to put that kind of pause between two complete sentences.

I was wondering if there were any threads on commonly misspelled words, a bane of my online and fanfic-reading existence, and I stumbled upon this instead. It seems to have dried up a couple years ago, but maybe we can bring it back for some pointers in spelling as well as grammar?

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Monday, March 30, 2009 10:03 PM

CELLARDOOR


Ha, I should pass this along to some of the college freshmen to whom I teach writing 101 and 102... I think many of them missed a lot of these tips.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009 1:29 AM

RALLEM


I remember back in the day when I went to school at Vermont Technical College, lots of the engineering students felt that writing was not one of their main concerns, so they failed to put a great deal of effort into that aspect of their education, and looked like a bunch of dumb asses. I myself was a Computer Engineering major, but I did not want to look like a dumb ass to any potential employer, so I put a great deal of effort in my writing classes, and I cajoled my fellow study partners to do so themselves. One trick I used to remember the difference of their, and there was to think of their as a person ((t)heir), and there as a place, ((t)here). I’m sure that to this day I still make a few mistakes, but not with their or there, and I generally catch most of my errors by proof reading my work, and then if time allows I put my work away and come back to it later on to reread with a fresh perspective.



http://www.swyzzlestyx.com/index.html

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009 1:45 AM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


This should be a Sticky.

The only downside is, those who need this thread most desperately, are least likely to invest the time reading it...

\m/

I'm something of a ne'er-do-well
even though that's something I could never do well...




The "On Fire" Economy -
The Dow closed at 10,587.60 on January 20, 2001, the day GW Bush took office. Eight years later, it closed below 8000 on the day he left office - a net loss of 25%. That's what conservatives call an economic "success".

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009 4:09 AM

RALLEM


Quote:

Originally posted by Kwicko:
This should be a Sticky.

The only downside is, those who need this thread most desperately, are least likely to invest the time reading it...

\m/

I'm something of a ne'er-do-well
even though that's something I could never do well...




The "On Fire" Economy -
The Dow closed at 10,587.60 on January 20, 2001, the day GW Bush took office. Eight years later, it closed below 8000 on the day he left office - a net loss of 25%. That's what conservatives call an economic "success".





You’re probably right about the people whom most need this thread not taking the time or effort to use it, but they are taking the time and effort to write fan fics, so they’re not a totally lost cause. Is it possible to make this thread so that the people who are its primary target would want to come here and use it?



http://www.swyzzlestyx.com/index.html

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009 8:46 AM

RIVERDANCER


Quote:

Originally posted by Kwicko:
This should be a Sticky.


Agreed! This forum doesn't seem to have those, though, so we just have to hope people will keep bumping it.


You should spell definitely D-E-F-I-N-I-T-E-L-Y. Anyone else have some spelling things that bug them?

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009 8:52 AM

PHOENIXROSE

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


Awww, my thread!

Quote:

Originally posted by RiverDancer:
Anyone else have some spelling things that bug them?



^
Possibly my favorite little icon ever


People who can't spell should get Firefox. Spell-check in your browser. Simple. I love it.

[/sig]

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009 9:40 AM

RALLEM

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009 9:43 AM

RIVERDANCER


Please don't take offense, Rallem, but your signature is rather overwhelming. It makes me a little dizzy.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009 9:54 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by Kwicko:

The only downside is, those who need this thread most desperately, are least likely to invest the time reading it...


Why is it that our self-identified Conservative friends here have the most need of this thread? Is it cause us Ivory-Tower Libs all graduated from Harvard & Berkley & s**t?



The laughing Chrisisall

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Thursday, April 9, 2009 8:45 AM

RIVERDANCER


I haven't graduated... yet.

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Thursday, April 9, 2009 10:25 AM

RALLEM


I am going to try going back to school to get a Bachelors degree in Movie Making. The part that most interests me right now is script writing, but I have to admit that some camera work, editing, and special effects are exciting too. I have to set things up with the Vocational Rehabilitation at the V.A.



http://www.swyzzlestyx.com/index.html

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Sunday, April 19, 2009 9:29 PM

ANOTHERSKY


"NOT MANDATORY" Ha ha!

Therefore this pat on the back shall blue your mind, in a manner of speakin'. :D

--
Another Sky
(just another ivory-tower conservative...we think too ya know. Everybody's makin' a fuss--no need to get your knickers in a twist.)

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009 8:24 PM

RIVERDANCER


Felt the urge to give this a bump.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009 9:06 AM

RIVERDANCER


Urge to bump this up again...

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Thursday, June 18, 2009 9:20 AM

BYTEMITE


I think some slight clarification is needed on effect/affect.

According to dictionary.com...

Quote:

Affect and effect, each both noun and verb, share the sense of “influence,” and because of their similarity in pronunciation are sometimes confused in writing. As a verb affect means “to act on” or “to move” (His words affected the crowd so deeply that many wept); affect can also mean “to pretend” or “to assume” (new students affecting a nonchalance they didn't feel). The verb effect means “to bring about, accomplish”: Her administration effected radical changes. The noun effect means “result, consequence”: the serious effects of the oil spill. The noun affect pronounced with the stress on the first syllable is a technical term in psychology and psychiatry.


I note that "effects" are also possessions that someone can carry on their person.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009 9:28 AM

PHOENIXROSE

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


Thanks, Bytemite, those two gave us some tangled issues in the last thread, and we thought we'd gotten it solved. Guess we missed a couple things!

[/sig]

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Thursday, June 18, 2009 9:51 AM

ECGORDON

There's no place I can be since I found Serenity.


This doesn't apply to fanfic, since I never read any of it, and it's not really about grammar either, but rather about spelling. I'm not sure why most people aren't concerned that they do not know how to spell correctly, but when I see something wrong it bugs the hell out of me.

One word in particular I have seen misspelled several times lately in various posts.

People, nothing can PEAK your interest. Your interest may peak when you finally experience the event in question, but until then your interest has been PIQUED.



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Thursday, June 18, 2009 8:26 PM

PHOENIXROSE

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


I heartily agree, and I see it in half the fanfics I've read as well as in posts. I also see things about 'fits of peak' which make me cringe just as much, if not more. That's why the entry for pique, peak, and peek in my main post has pique in bold. Everyone seems to have heard it, but clearly many people don't understand it's a completely separate word.
(This would actually be a usage issue rather than a spelling or grammar issue. Now I think of it, maybe this should be called "Handy Usage Guide")

[/sig]

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Thursday, September 24, 2009 10:56 AM

PHOENIXROSE

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


Importance of Usage


I have a spelling checker,

It came with my PC,

It plainly marks four my revue

Mistakes I cannot sea.


I've run this poem threw it,

I'm sure your please too no,

Its letter perfect in it's weigh,

My checker tolled me sew.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009 11:08 AM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


That is just shiny, PR. It makes my brain hurt to read it, though.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009 1:35 PM

PHOENIXROSE

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


Quote:

Originally posted by Kwicko:
It makes my brain hurt to read it


Haha, exactly!

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009 9:08 AM

MEATPUPPET42


The original post was very much gooder.

Thats why i don't kiss them on the mouth.

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