RAF's Grammar Rant Wiki

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Mike Frezon, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Administrator Robert Fowkes has written an HTF wiki on improper grammar usage.

    A couple of points intrigue me. The first is his use of a capital "I" when describing the internet.


    While this has become an interesting topic of discussion among grammarians, I fall on the side of the argument that even though the word has evolved into a noun which refers to a specific thing, the English language doesn't currently capitalize similar nouns such as radio and television. We wouldn't say: "Yes, Television can be a wonderful place..."

    The other involves the "quote/unquote" issue. It was always my belief that, rather than "unquote" the term was "endquote" to match the name of the second quotation mark used to close the quoted material. I think the evolution of the term to "unquote" is just another example of the sloppy diction/hearing which is responsible for my biggest grammatical pet peeve currently in vogue on the HTF: "of" in place of "have."

    An example: "I 'should of' written that sentence differently so that I 'might of' had a funner time making my point." It seems to be showing up more and more often across the boards.
     
  2. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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  3. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Mike,

    Interesting. On a related note, my literary agent told me recently that ending sentences with prepositions seems to be acceptable (and in some case preferable) to publishers. She said that when a sentence becomes 'awkward,' then using a preposition at the conclusion is fine.

    Example:
    "... with which to keep track." (Perhaps grammatically correct, but not preferred)

    " ... to keep track of." (Preferred)

    I don't agree with it, but she's calling the shots and is promoting my book. So, I abide by her wishes in this matter. ;)

    Another one that is very ugly for me to hear (and it has become quite common even in print) is:

    "Where's the cars?"

    and


    "There's the boys."

    Sometimes, I reverse it when speaking to people, and they look at me in confusion:

    For example, "Where are my car?" or "There are the dog." ;)
     
  4. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Originally Posted by Ockeghem
     
  5. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I assume you all know the famous observation attributed to Churchill?



     
  6. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Mike,

    Exactly. It may pay off (literally) for me in the long run. :)
     
  7. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Good luck to you. It is very much a roller coaster ride of an experience.
     
  8. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Thanks. I am enjoying it immensely thus far. Having an agent whom is very responsive and critical (in a positive sense) is enjoyable. It also pushes me to do my best work.

    I have a contract for another book I'm working on, and I do not require an agent for that one as it is more academic in nature.
     
  9. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    LOL! Yes, I do. :)
     
  10. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Mike,

    My good friend has some neat things to contribute. Now I have to get him to join the HTF ! :)

    "Quote/Unquote" is oral -- it makes sense when one says it. In formal writing, "endquote" might be better -- more precise -- but usually there is a rewriting route around the whole issue. I've observed that many books apparently use a different style guide than magazines or academic papers, when it comes to quotes. Books, I think, mostly use double-quotes to represent direct speech, and single-quotes to represent anything else -- paraphrasing for example. In papers and articles, I think it's a different ruleset.


    Should have/Must have...: "Should of" etc. is a barbarism, but language won't be confined. Careful old fogies like you and I will stick to our lasts, and then when we are gone, the kids will need a translator for folks who first learned their craft in the twentieth century. Poke around in some late nineteenth century sentences -- not by Mark Twain -- to see what I mean.


    Capital "I" for internet doesn't bother me, I think it is fine. Reifying abstract nouns is always a problem. Television isn't a place, any more than I/internet is. I find myself slipping down that hole sometimes as well, when having to talk about market sectors or niches -- e.g., "such-and-such space." It's icky but sometimes the battle for clarity is exhausting, and time pressure triumphs over exactitude -- and elegance -- in expression.

     
  11. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Originally Posted by Ockeghem
     
  12. Bill Buklis

    Bill Buklis Supporting Actor
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    I think it's funny that people always point to text messaging as the cause of these abbreviations. The truth is these started long before text messaging was even capable. These started on various chat boards in the BBS days. It was text messaging that brought it to the forefront of the general public, however. Personally I don't mind the "quote/unquote" usage that much. This originated from the hand signal usage of quotes, which can't be used when there's no visual to go with the speech. I don't think I've ever heard anyone say "quote something unquote." That sounds really cumbersome to me. I don't think either of those terms are grammatically correct as it should never be used in printed text. It is strictly for verbal speech. As such I think "quote/unquote" gets the point across better than RAF's version. My personal rant for incorrect grammar is the usage of "loose" to mean "lose." This is clearly not a simple typo as it's usage is so common on the discussion boards. I could easily point to well over a hundred examples on HTF alone. One does not loose the game if they don't win, they lose it. The pronunciations are even different between these words, so I find it quite strange that this problem is so pervasive. I can easily forgive typos and unintentional grammatical mistakes. It's these (hopefully unknowing) intentional mistakes that annoy me.
     
  13. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Mike,

    I'd love to say that it was intentional on my part. ;)
     
  14. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    Myself, I don't care at all about spelling on the internet, it's just the internet. As long as I get the point, that's all that matters. I laugh a little at those who get upset and grammer issues on the net. Seriously, it's just the internet. It's not that important.
     
  15. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Originally Posted by Ron-P )

    I agree, though, that there's no point in getting upset over other people's linguistic failings.
     
  16. Adam Gregorich

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  17. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    Oh, I admit, I completely suck at spelling and grammar, but I also don't care, that's just me. If someone has an issue with it, oh well. I don't spend, nor do I like to, hours on the internet at a time. I log on, post my thoughts and checkout. If somethings spelled wrong, oh well, as long as my point gets across, it's all good.

    Back in my school days I was much more caring as I was being graded. For me it comes down to what I am doing and how careful I need to be. For the internet, I don't need to be careful or caring much about my spelling and grammar.
     
  18. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Originally Posted by Ron-P

    One of the things I like about the HTF is that most members have a pretty good capacity with the language. I see misspellings, typos and the like all the time but don't feel the need to call people out on them. That's not my job.
     
  19. Kevin Hewell

    Kevin Hewell Cinematographer

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    The way I look at it is if someone wants me to take their opinions seriously they should take the time to write properly. I won't call them out on it but I'll probably just not read their post.

    We usually don't have that problem here, for the most part.
     
  20. drobbins

    drobbins Screenwriter

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    People should write the same way that they talk. If everybody spoke and wrote with out breaking or bending the rules, language and cultures would have a hard time changing and evolving with the times. We would all be still speaking in colonial English in the USA. I was born and raised in NJ in between the Philly and NY accents and now live in KY with the southern and country ways of speaking. These differences are what gives the cultures their individuality and should be communicated in how they post.
     

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