OT: Grammar Cops Unite!

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Sgt_G, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Getting back to the subject of grammar, even the great Rod Serling could be guilty of a grammatical error. In one of the Twilight Zone intros, Serling intones, "A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination."

    The correct phrase, of course, is "A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are those of imagination." "Boundaries" is a plural noun, therefore a pronoun that refers to it must also be plural.
     
  2. Sgt_G

    Sgt_G Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yes, true. And I don't know how many times I've heard people say it should be "To go boldly where no man has gone before." What was it called? A split infinitive?

    "To boldly go" is improper English, but it just sounds better. I don't mind breaking the rules where there's a reason to do so. I'm just appalled by how often I see poor punctuation and lazy grammar all over the 'Web. Usually, I try to ignore it, even though it makes me fear what our school system is doing to kids.

    However, is this topic not for WRITERS?

    Should not people who want to write be held to a slightly higher standard? We're not professional writers, for the most part, and we don't have a professional editor looking it over before we post. A few missed commas will sneak thru, of course. We're not perfect, no one is, but shouldn't we try our best?


    On a side note: I have decided to dig out that old story and start posting it.
     
  3. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You're not breaking any rules. The notion that it's somehow "wrong" to split an infinitive was the creation of pedants who wanted to model English grammar after Latin grammar -- completely forgetting that modern English (with its Germanic roots, lack of grammatical gender, and noun function determined by word order rather than case endings) is totally different from Latin.

    So go ahead and split those infinitives! :)
     
  4. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm giving this one a bump because of something very odd I've seen. Just today, I noticed posts in two threads by two different members in which they used the word "vice" when they clearly meant "versus" (or its abbreviation "vs."). This isn't even a question of grammar; it's using a word with a completely different meaning. Is this some new internet fad?

    EDIT: Well, I Googled all the meanings of "vice." Apparently it can be a preposition meaning "in place of" or "rather than," although until now I had never heard it used that way.

    My bad. :alienblush:
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013
  5. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Methinks Sgt G was an English teacher in a previous life. ;)
     
  6. Sgt_G

    Sgt_G Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Nope, not even close. Math teacher, perhaps.

    All I remember doing in high school English class was parsing sentence structure. This is the subject, this is the verb, this is the object. That sort of crap. We never learned how to actually write a story.

    Years later, I took a college writing class. I probably learned more from that one class then I did in six years of high school.
     
  7. Sgt_G

    Sgt_G Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I had to laugh at a co-worker of mine. A few nights ago, wrote up a background paper to our leadership about a recurring technical issue. He asked me to read it over to see if it made sense. I said it looked okay but asked if he meant to write it entirely in passive-voice. About half an hour later, he sent the message out. I read it again and found he simply changed all the "was" and "were" to "is" and "are".