a, b, and c OR a, b and c

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jason L., Oct 25, 2006.

  1. Rommel_L

    Rommel_L Second Unit

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    apples, bananas and cherries
     
  2. ChrisHeflen

    ChrisHeflen Supporting Actor

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    I don't mean to de-rail the thread, but I have trouble with apostrophys when denoting ownership.
    Like; "I'm going to Chris' house". How should that be? Chris's house?

    Or let's eat at Chris' reststuraunt...how do you use it properly?
     
  3. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Anyone who has read that other thread towards which I directed Chris already knows that I think Strunk & White is the bible on such issues.

    Amazingly, adding the 's to form the possessive singular is Rule #1 is Strunk & White. Rule #2? To use a comma after each term except the last in a series of three or more terms with a single conjunction! (Thus write: red, white, and blue). For me, case closed.

    These guys were omniscient when it came to HTF grammar issues! [​IMG]
     
  4. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Get the LITTLE book. Get the LITTLE book. Get the LITTLE book. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. BrettGallman

    BrettGallman Screenwriter

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    The final comma should still be there. MLA still says so, so it goes. I think the comma gets left out a lot in journalism circles, at least that's what a student told me earlier this semester. This topic actually came up in class, but I just told the students to use the last comma because that's what MLA says, and that's how I've always done it. The ever-changing rules of English...got to love them.

    However, I just re-read Toni Morrison's Beloved this past weekend and realized the last comma wasn't there. Weird that someone would post this after I made that observation.

    Oh, and it would be "I'm going to Chris's house to eat." You still put the apostrophe S when dealing with proper nouns ending in s. But that's another whole thread (but an interesting one). [​IMG]
     
  6. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    I was always under the impression it was
    "apples, bananas and cherries"
    but Jason's example of
    "Mike and Laura, Tom and Jill, and Bob and Mary"
    makes perfect sense where the "extra" comma should be added, for clarity, because of the additional presence of the word "and" in denoting pairs. I suppose if clarity demands the extra comma, why not?

    What's even more confusing is the way credits are done, where there is apparently a difference between using the word "and", or the ampersand "&".
     
  7. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    > What's even more confusing is the way credits are done, where there is apparently a difference between using the word "and", or the ampersand "&".

    I always assumed one of those meant the writers were a team, and the other meant they just both contributed to the script, such as "Burns & Allen and Abbott & Costello".
     
  8. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    What I don't get is why people want to talk about clarity, acceptability, usefulness, consistency, et cetera....when there CAN be a definitive answer. "Get the LITTLE book." [​IMG]

    I understand changes in language and usage as society evolves, but change-for-change's-sake, or because people can't remember the rule, or because they don't like the rule is silly.

    Strunk says it, so it is so. [​IMG]
     
  9. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    That was my understanding too, whether as a formal/regular team, or they literally worked together in one phase of script polishing, whereas two or more writers linked by "and" means first one worked on it, then another, then the third and so on, and such writers would not necessarily have collaborated, just the latter one "taking over" from the former and continuing the process.
     
  10. Micah Cohen

    Micah Cohen Screenwriter

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    Not to derail, but punctuation goes inside the quotes.

    [​IMG]

    MC
     
  11. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    No. Periods and commas do. But colons and semi-colons ALWAYS go OUTSIDE the quotation marks.

    Questions marks are sometimes-inside/sometimes-outside depending upon the situation.
     
  12. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    I figgure that Jack Briggs will show up here any moment.... [​IMG]
     
  13. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Dennis: thanks for getting me to re-read E.B White's Introduction to The Elements of Style. [​IMG]

    My daughter (now attending Cornell) was quite proud to ask me, one day recently, if I was aware that "Strunk & White" was originally written at Cornell?" She knows how much stock I put in that "little" book. [​IMG]
     
  14. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    The quote was not a sentence, and it made no sense to put a period on that phrase.
     
  15. andrew markworthy

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    Actually, old chap, it's a quotation - 'quote' is a verb. [​IMG]

    Back on topic - I was taught that the Oxford comma should be used only to avoid ambiguity. Most book editors I've worked with follow the same rule.
     
  16. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Chris: You've confused me...since your quotation in the first quote box above is, indeed, a sentence.

    In fact, in BOTH of those sentences, the period should be inside the quotation marks. That is the oddity of the rule. Whether the words inside the quotation marks are a complete sentence or just a single word, the period goes inside the quotation mark. If you can believe this, in that same sentence, the comma should also fall inside the last quotation mark of those marks surrounding the word "and." [​IMG] The period should also fall inside the quotation mark after Costello.

    As Professor Strunk points out, "typographical usage dictates that the comma be inside the marks, though logically it often seems not to belong there." The beauty of the situation is that this rule is hard and fast--you don't need to worry about whether it is appropriate based on usage.
     
  17. andrew markworthy

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    Being American, I shall excuse you using double quotation marks where single quotation marks would be perfectly adequate. [​IMG]

    There may be specialised versions of this rule in screen credits etc, but in most situations, the rule is very simple: the ampersand is an abbreviation and should not be used in formal writing. There are two exceptions to this rule of which I know. First, in technical writing where multiple authors of a publication are being cited (e.g. Jones, Blogg & Smith rather than and Smith). However, this only applies when the citation is in parentheses - if the citation is in the main body of the text, then and should be used. Second, it is permissable (though strictly speaking, incorrect) to use the ampersand when writing a company name if the ampersand is conventionally used in the company logo.

    This isn't a personal opinion, but the rules laid down by many publishing houses.
     
  18. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    Errr, I wrote the offending sentence, and I'm not American...

    My bad (which is, come to think of it, a horrible Americanism). I vaguely recall the differences between single and double quotation marks, but wasn't really paying attention when I wrote the sentence in question. Having said that, when I raised the issue of `and' v. `&', it was indeed in the special context of screen credits.

    IIRC, double quotation marks when literally quoting someone (or something), naming the title of a movie, book or song etc, single quotation marks for highlighting a word per se, rather than using the word normally. Is that about right?
     
  19. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    Ooh, the old "that which is not mandatory is prohibited". [​IMG]
     
  20. Micah Cohen

    Micah Cohen Screenwriter

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    That's what I'm talking about. That's all. I know about the colons and other stuff, unless they are part of the quote, etc. Punctuation inside quotes.

    Move along. Nothing more to see here. Sorry for the delay.

    MC
     

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