Grammar Is Important!

This topic contains 16 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  semoochie 2 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
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  • #28045

    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    In my English classes, I was always taught that when I write a list of items, I must write, item A, item B, item C, and item D. There was never any question that a comma should be used before the word “and.”

    Years later, I learned that this comma is called an Oxford comma, and there is some controversy regarding its use. Journalistic style manuals advise against using it. The classic Elements of Style, the U.S. Government Printing Office Style Manual, the MLA Manual of Style, and APA style state that it must be used.

    Now, the Oxford comma is having some legal consequences. A Maine statute that exempts from overtime pay workers who perform certain activities with agricultural produce, meat products, fish products, and perishable goods. The question with the way that the law was punctuated became, are the truck drivers who distribute these products exempt? The U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals says no: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/16/us/oxford-comma-lawsuit.html?_r=0

    #28049

    semoochie
    Participant

    In this case, A comma replaces the word “and” so if you use “and”, you don’t need the comma. This is true with any word the comma replaces.

    #28055

    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    In this case, there was a Maine legal element of style that said not to use the Oxford comma. The lawmakers followed this rule. However, the truckers’ lawyers and the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed.

    I always use the Oxford comma simply because all of my grammar textbooks in school called for it, and my English teachers would have taken points off my work had I left it out. Yes, ultimately, what was of paramount importance to me was that number that the teacher wrote in red on the front page of the assignments that I turned in.

    #28060

    nosignalallnoise
    Participant

    In my high school newspaper class the Oxford comma was considered taboo. My typing teacher also strongly frowned upon it. My sophomore and junior English teachers embraced it whereas my senior one denounced it. It seems that, at Evergreen around the turn of the century, there were two warring factions in the language and business departments: those who approved it and those who didn’t.

    I never use it myself, if I can help it.

    Grammar is the difference between knowing your shit and knowing you’re shit.

    Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.

    #28064

    Vitalogy
    Participant

    I’m not qualified for this kind of conversation but I prefer the oxford coma. I think it makes for clearer communication.

    #28066

    semoochie
    Participant

    With an Oxford coma, there’s no communication at all! 🙂

    #28067

    paulwalker
    Participant

    I come from a family of noted authors/writers, and I don’t give a flying f__k about the Oxford comma.

    There are general rules of grammar, and most importantly these rules are just to write like you speak. Of course this only applies if you speak well. So write like you speak, but make sure you use commas correctly, then you will have no trouble communicating. So use a comma or don’t use a comma or then again use a comma when needed. 🙂

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  paulwalker.
    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  paulwalker.
    #28089

    Scott J
    Participant

    So which sentence here is the RIGHT usage for the comma?

    Jack made a mistake, and in the interest of fairness, he corrected it.
    OR
    Jack made a mistake and, in the interest of fairness, he corrected it.

    #28092

    paulwalker
    Participant

    Neither. The entire sentence makes logical sense without any comma’s. Comma’s separate different subjects or thoughts.

    Hey, grammar is not an exact science but it is a common mistake in writing. And my coma after “Hey” is allowed as it calls attention to a subject that is not known by that one word. It is pretty simple but most over-think it.

    And we are all guilty of making comma mistakes. Like, me. 🙂

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  paulwalker.
    #28095

    Can someone tell me how to properly punctuate a quoted question within a sentence?

    For example:

    The man said, “Where is the post office?”.

    Is that correct? Should “where” be capitalized? Should there be a period after the quote?

    #28096

    paulwalker
    Participant

    Can’t answer your question, but I can offer that when one offers a period at the end of a sentence and/or quote, it simply means the sentence is over by the poster.

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  paulwalker.
    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  paulwalker.
    #28099

    Amus
    Participant

    Nevermind.

    You edited while I asked for clarification.

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  Amus.
    #28104

    paulwalker
    Participant

    OK, but feel free to ask the question again. I love this topic.

    #28106

    semoochie
    Participant

    Proud2, I agree with what Jr. Tech is about to say.

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  semoochie.
    #28108

    jr_tech
    Participant

    Possibly substitute “asked” for “said”?

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