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Raistlin
07-14-2013, 07:04 PM
http://pbmo.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/oxford-comma2.png


http://pbmo.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/oxford-comma.png

Do you use the Oxford comma? If not, why do you support human-rhino abominations?

Pike
07-14-2013, 07:05 PM
I'm in the "I honestly don't care either way" club.

Yeah I'm a terrible person.

Denmark
07-14-2013, 07:06 PM
who gives a fuck about an oxford comma

P_i1xk07o4g

but yeah i think in general i use it, when i use punctuation

Faris
07-14-2013, 07:09 PM
Always use the stripper example when explaining the Oxford comma. Always.

Rantz
07-14-2013, 07:48 PM
In Swedish the Oxford comma is not a thing and actually considered incorrect, so I didn't use it in English at first either but now I guesss I do when I have a reason to bother!

escobert
07-14-2013, 08:22 PM
I support all human animal abominations.

Chris
07-14-2013, 09:45 PM
I feel so dumb. I have no idea what anyone has said in this thread.

snacks
07-14-2013, 10:05 PM
What the heck is a comma or punctuation

Shlup
07-14-2013, 11:16 PM
People who don't use the Oxford comma bother me. Like a completely different kind of bother than people use the wrong "your." If you use the wrong word (your/you're, its/it's, who's/whose, etc...) I judge you harshly, but if you don't use an Oxford comma I just think you are terribly uncouth and am offended by your very presence.

Shorty
07-15-2013, 12:15 AM
I don't use it, no.

Calliope
07-15-2013, 01:09 AM
Yes to serial, series, Oxford, and Harvard Commas.

NorthernChaosGod
07-15-2013, 01:39 AM
Yeah, I use it.

Jiro
07-15-2013, 01:58 AM
Yes, because it increases clarity. As a professional writer you should always strive for clarity, insofar as your company's style guide demands/allows you.

Raistlin
07-15-2013, 02:20 AM
If you couldn't tell from the OP, I always use an Oxford comma. And, like Shlup, I always notice when other people don't use it and it bugs me. Even regions that don't use the Oxford comma, like the UK, require its use where the lack of the comma can cause ambiguity (such as in the OP's examples), so I don't understand why it's not just always used. Silly Brits.

And I was an editor on a law journal for two years, which like all good American publications required the Oxford comma, so I became used to correcting people's omission of it.

Formalhaut
07-15-2013, 02:29 AM
I try and use it whenever possible.

But, why is it given the name 'Oxford'? It's just a comma isn't it? Why give it a fancy name?

Raistlin
07-15-2013, 02:32 AM
But, why is it given the name 'Oxford'? It's just a comma isn't it? Why give it a fancy name?

I actually have no idea why it has that name and don't really care enough to look it up. You're right that it's "just a comma," but it's just a commonly-understood label for a comma used in a specific situation: namely, before the last part of a serial list of three or more components.

snacks
07-15-2013, 02:39 AM
I really don't know the difference, but my aspirations to become a writer I guess I should probably learn these things no? :grover:

DMKA
07-15-2013, 03:01 AM
I was taught in elementary school that such a use of a comma is improper.

Then again I was also taught "fishes" as a plural for "fish" and using "'s" after a subject ending in an s to demonstrate posession were improper too, but I see those both used regularly now.

Perhaps the American public education system just needs work.

CimminyCricket
07-15-2013, 03:05 AM
I only use it if I'm listing things that aren't related to each other. If I'm listing Fred, Daphne and Shaggy I don't think that I'm going to use the comma. If I'm listing the rhinoceri, Washington and Lincoln and I don't want them all to be a rhinoceros I'll use the comma.

Pumpkin
07-15-2013, 03:19 AM
We were taught in grade school that a comma before and was incorrect, because that is what the and is for. Then in Grade 11, it was suddenly expected that we use it, even though they told us not to.

Raistlin
07-15-2013, 03:24 AM
This just goes to show that elementary school teachers are not exactly the go-to experts on grammar rules. :p

Mine was actually pretty good, though. We learned Oxford commas and that the past tense of "hang" in the sense of execute is "hanged" and other stuff that many people similarly get wrong.

Denmark
07-15-2013, 03:39 AM
So wesley What you saying is you was teached good

Raistlin
07-15-2013, 03:42 AM
So wesley What you saying is you was teached learned good

Fixed.

Araciel
07-15-2013, 05:06 AM
If you know how to structure a sentence, you don't have to worry about it being a problem in.

(no I don't)

fire_of_avalon
07-15-2013, 05:56 AM
If you couldn't tell from the OP, I always use and Oxford comma. And, like Shlup, I always notice when other people don't use it and it bugs me. Even regions that don't use the Oxford comma, like the UK, require its use where the lack of the comma can cause ambiguity (such as in the OP's examples), so I don't understand why it's not just always used. Silly Brits.

And I was an editor on a law journal for two years, which like all good American publications required the Oxford comma, so I became used to correcting people's omission of it.


If you couldn't tell from the OP, I always use and Oxford comma.


If you couldn't tell from the OP, I always use and Oxford comma.


I always use and Oxford comma.

http://i.imgur.com/AUAhpi9.gif

Raistlin
07-15-2013, 05:59 AM
I will follow you around correcting your typos! :mad2: *fixes*

~*~Celes~*~
07-15-2013, 06:01 AM
I roflcoptor'd

Aulayna
07-15-2013, 10:22 AM
Should've gone to Oxford.

Jiro
07-15-2013, 01:28 PM
I try and use it whenever possible.

But, why is it given the name 'Oxford'? It's just a comma isn't it? Why give it a fancy name?

It is used for a specific reason. It's the same reason we give signs designations instead of just "sign," only far less obvious.

Chemical
07-15-2013, 01:38 PM
Yes, and I like to secretly look down on those peons that do not.
This despite the fact that my grammar is not most excellent.

Pike
07-15-2013, 05:53 PM
I really don't know the difference, but my aspirations to become a writer I guess I should probably learn these things no? :grover:

No, just make the editor do it for you

snacks
07-15-2013, 10:21 PM
*makes pike do it*

DO IT ALL PIKE DO IT

Mahad
07-15-2013, 10:35 PM
I refuse.

Except when forced.

CimminyCricket
07-16-2013, 12:41 AM
One has claws at the end of its paws and one is a pause at the end of a clause

Mister Adequate
07-16-2013, 12:46 AM
I'm amused at how it's called the Oxford comma when the UK is a place you don't generally use it.

And yes, I always use it (unless I forget or something obviously) because it is much neater and makes more sense.

snacks
07-16-2013, 06:11 AM
One has claws at the end of its paws and one is a pause at the end of a clause

Yerushalmi
07-16-2013, 09:36 AM
The requisite response from the editor! :)

It's actually referred to most often as the "serial comma". "Oxford comma" and "Harvard comma" are localized variations of the name.

I use it because in most cases it improves clarity. However, I've worked in many places that lack it, and I have a certain appreciation for the other side of the argument as well. The truth is, just as there are misunderstandings caused by its absence (such as the one presented by the OP), there are no fewer misunderstandings caused by its presence. If you have a list of "my father, a potato, and Michael", then the serial comma makes it ambiguous - is my father a potato? But not using the serial comma makes it clear: "my father, a potato and Michael" are three different items (though I suppose my father could be a potato and Michael).

The answer, of course, is to read your sentence and make sure it's clear. Choosing new grammar rules never solves the entire problem - whatever you choose will result in an ambiguity somewhere. What elementary school teachers (and, yes, those who follow style guide writers! You should see how much Strunk & White violate their own rules in their own book) don't seem to understand is that rules are never a substitute for clarity.

Yar
07-16-2013, 06:56 PM
I don't use it. It only redundancy to an already redundant English language, and actually creates ambiguity in some instances.

Just don't be so dense as to actually believe that JFK and Stalin are strippers.

Yerushalmi
07-16-2013, 07:08 PM
I don't use it. It only redundancy to an already redundant English language, and actually creates ambiguity in some instances.

Just don't be so dense as to actually believe that JFK and Stalin are strippers.

As I pointed out, there are ambiguities creatable either way. Okay, don't actually believe JFK and Stalin are strippers - but what if I told you "his parents, Mike and Elaine"? Are those two people or four? The serial comma makes it clear by its presence or absence.

The Summoner of Leviathan
07-16-2013, 07:25 PM
JFK and Stalin could easily be stage names for male strippers, especially at a club where the whole theme is world leaders. :D!

Also, if you are a careful writer then you can use the Oxford comma without causing ambiguity, though this also applies to its omission as well.

To answer the OP, yes I do use the Oxford comma. :D

Jinx
07-16-2013, 07:26 PM
Just don't be so dense as to actually believe that JFK and Stalin are strippers.

How do you know? They might be. Maybe they're just trying to put themselves through med school. :colbert:

Tigmafuzz
07-16-2013, 07:27 PM
Yes, because it increases clarity. As a professional writer[s] human being with an IQ above that of a dead squirrel, you should always strive for clarity [s]insofar as your company's style guide demands/allows you in all possible situations.

CimminyCricket
07-16-2013, 07:28 PM
Just don't be so dense as to actually believe that JFK and Stalin are strippers.

How do you know? They might be. Maybe they're just trying to put themselves through med school. :colbert:

Because their degree in Philosophy is worthless.

Shorty
07-16-2013, 07:28 PM
Just don't be so dense as to actually believe that JFK and Stalin are strippers.

How do you know? They might be. Maybe they're just trying to put themselves through med school. :colbert:

Because their degree in Philosophy is worthless.

Exactly.

The Summoner of Leviathan
07-16-2013, 07:34 PM
Just don't be so dense as to actually believe that JFK and Stalin are strippers.

How do you know? They might be. Maybe they're just trying to put themselves through med school. :colbert:

Because their degree in Philosophy is worthless.

Exactly.

Hey, I am doing a degree in Philosophy! :(

Shorty
07-16-2013, 07:34 PM
Just don't be so dense as to actually believe that JFK and Stalin are strippers.

How do you know? They might be. Maybe they're just trying to put themselves through med school. :colbert:

Because their degree in Philosophy is worthless.

Exactly.

Hey, I am doing a degree in Philosophy! :(

You're the one who slighted it, not me!

Tigmafuzz
07-16-2013, 07:35 PM
Because their degree in Philosophy is worthless.



Because their degree in Philosophy is worthless.

Exactly.

:doublecolbert:

The Summoner of Leviathan
07-16-2013, 07:37 PM
BUNCH OF MEANIES! I bet if you were to do the Veil of Ignorance thought experiment proposed by Rawls, you would not slight philosophy! :p

Shorty
07-16-2013, 07:38 PM
Because their degree in Philosophy is worthless.

You slighted it, nerd. Not anyone else.

Denmark
07-16-2013, 07:43 PM
People, people, please.

Use of the Oxford comma is context-dependent. Philosophy degrees are worth enlightenment or something.

Yerushalmi
07-16-2013, 07:50 PM
People, people, please.

Use of the Oxford comma is context-dependent. Philosophy degrees are worth enlightenment or something.

It's really, really not. Every single method of avoiding comma-based ambiguity is dependent on a consistent system being employed throughout the work. If I write "his parents, Mike and Elaine", it's only clear that these are two people if the serial comma appears everywhere else. Otherwise it could just be four people and a lack of a comma. Clarity is defined by consistency.

Ouch!
07-16-2013, 07:51 PM
Strunk & White's Elements of Style insists on the use of serial comma. One does not argue with Strunk & White.

Jinx
07-16-2013, 07:53 PM
There's this joke on That 70s Show that Philosophy degrees are super useful because the people who get them can go on to work in "philosophy factories."

It pretty much sums up my feelings on Philosophy degrees. But I mean, more power to anyone who wants to get one.

Yerushalmi
07-16-2013, 07:54 PM
Strunk & White's Elements of Style insists on the use of serial comma. One does not argue with Strunk & White.

One who does not argue with Strunk & White is one who does not read Language Log enough. See my post earlier in this thread, which was mostly in reference to the passive voice.

CimminyCricket
07-16-2013, 08:31 PM
Just don't be so dense as to actually believe that JFK and Stalin are strippers.

How do you know? They might be. Maybe they're just trying to put themselves through med school. :colbert:

Because their degree in Philosophy is worthless.

Exactly.

Hey, I am doing a degree in Philosophy! :(

You're the one who slighted it, not me!



Because their degree in Philosophy is worthless.

You slighted it, nerd. Not anyone else.


We aren't the same person!

Tigmafuzz
07-16-2013, 08:33 PM
Am I the same person? Just checking, I don't know whether or not you're me. I've had that problem before :(

CimminyCricket
07-16-2013, 08:59 PM
Am I the same person? Just checking, I don't know whether or not you're me. I've had that problem before :(

I dunno, we might be! There are no mirrors in my apartment.

Del Murder
07-17-2013, 07:43 AM
People who want to moan about how I use my commas go tell it to my ass cheeks, Shlup and Raistlin.

Loony BoB
07-17-2013, 10:58 AM
If you couldn't tell from the OP, I always use an Oxford comma. And, like Shlup, I always notice when other people don't use it and it bugs me. Even regions that don't use the Oxford comma, like the UK, require its use where the lack of the comma can cause ambiguity (such as in the OP's examples), so I don't understand why it's not just always used. Silly Brits.

And I was an editor on a law journal for two years, which like all good American publications required the Oxford comma, so I became used to correcting people's omission of it.
complains about grammar

starts a sentence - no, a PARAGRAPH - with a 100% entirely massively redundant 'And'

gtfo of here Raistlin

Yerushalmi
07-17-2013, 11:45 AM
complains about grammar

starts a sentence - no, a PARAGRAPH - with a 100% entirely massively redundant 'And'

gtfo of here Raistlin
As an editor, I can tell you that that rule is really no longer considered compulsory. It's a zombie rule of grammar much like not splitting infinitives - it has its sticklers but most people have moved on.

Loony BoB
07-17-2013, 12:05 PM
I don't care how old school or new school you are, that 'And' he used is 100% redundant and it's at the start of a PARAGRAPH which makes it even worse. Terrible. Horrible! I don't think I can associate with him anymore.

On topic: I don't use the serial comma. I can see why some people might, but for me it just looks butt ugly. I like Yeru's bit about how there are arguments for both sides that are fairly valid. Personally speaking, I just do what I can to make a sentence make sense. If I find myself forced into a situation where it's just not gonna work without a serial comma, I leave it out purely because that's how I was brought up and it feels wrong to have a comma there. In the end, I want my post to look right to me first and foremost. I imagine most people are this way.

The Man
07-17-2013, 12:23 PM
I don't care how old school or new school you are, that 'And' he used is 100% redundant and it's at the start of a PARAGRAPH which makes it even worse. Terrible. Horrible! I don't think I can associate with him anymore.What's more miraculous is that anyone here is even willing to associate with you after that abomination of a soup thread.

Also there's no grammatical rule against redundancy. The sentence "I'd like to say 'thank you' on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we've passed the audition" is entirely grammatically correct, despite being quite redundant.

As for the topic, yes, I usually use the Oxford comma, unless it creates ambiguity to do so (and I'm not too out of it to notice said ambiguity).

Loony BoB
07-17-2013, 12:30 PM
I didn't say it was grammatically incorrect, I said it was terrible and horrible. And I'm right.

Chemical
07-17-2013, 12:45 PM
I don't use it. It only redundancy to an already redundant English language, and actually creates ambiguity in some instances.

Just don't be so dense as to actually believe that JFK and Stalin are strippers.

Well maybe in an obvious case with Stalin and JFK you could argue to omit the Oxford comma... but really, unless you are listing like items (I ate apples, bananas and pears) then the Oxford comma helps to reduce ambiguity by demonstrating a continuation in a list as opposed to a reference back to an improper noun. That being said I have only seen the Oxford comma demonstrate use in this case of improper nouns followed by a list of proper nouns and is really only most efficient when that list of proper nouns is limited by two.

I played with my gerbils, Tammy, and Sarah.
I played with my gerbils, Tammy and Sarah.

I played with my gerbils, Tammy, Sarah and Ryan.
I played with my gerbils, Tammy, Sarah, and Ryan.
(I don't really see how the comma helps in this instance without the use of extreme semantics).

If you really wanted to clarify, why not just pop in a colon?
I played with my gerbils: Tammy and Sarah.


Anyway, yes I still use it as noted... but really it is just an old habit from grade school.

Yerushalmi
07-17-2013, 01:02 PM
Well maybe in an obvious case with Stalin and JFK you could argue to omit the Oxford comma...

Again, this is a really bad idea. You should NEVER use the serial comma in some cases but not in others, because then in a case of ambiguity the reader has no idea what you intended. If you write "I played with my gerbils, Tammy and Sarah", and your use of the serial comma is inconsistent, people will have no idea what you mean - but if you consistently use the serial comma everywhere, even when talking about JFK and Stalin, then its absence here makes your meaning clear. Similar cases of ambiguity can arise if you fail to consistently leave it out.

Either use it or don't use it. My personal preference is to use it. But if you don't want to use it everywhere, stick to that decision.

The Man
07-17-2013, 01:10 PM
I didn't say it was grammatically incorrect, I said it was terrible and horrible. And I'm right.
You implied it was grammatically incorrect by sticking a complaint about it immediately after talking about WesLY's complaints about grammar. If you're not trying to argue WesLY was a hypocrite for using the article at the start of the sentence, then your post makes very little sense.

And, as Yeru has pointed out, almost no one gives a shit about articles at the starts of sentences anymore.

Yerushalmi
07-17-2013, 01:13 PM
And, as Yeru has pointed out, almost no one gives a trout about articles at the starts of sentences anymore.
:O_O: We agree on something?!

Loony BoB
07-17-2013, 01:15 PM
I didn't say it was grammatically incorrect, I said it was terrible and horrible. And I'm right.
You implied it was grammatically incorrect by sticking a complaint about it immediately after talking about WesLY's complaints about grammar. If you're not trying to argue WesLY was a hypocrite for using the article at the start of the sentence, then your post makes very little sense.

And, as Yeru has pointed out, almost no one gives a trout about articles at the starts of sentences anymore.
makes assumptions about implications

posts in a blue font all the time

gtfo out of here Aaron

The Man
07-17-2013, 01:21 PM
gtfo out of here Aaron"get the fuck out out of here"

I rest my case.

@Yeru: Probably more than that, but I'm too lazy to figure out right now :monster:

Loony BoB
07-17-2013, 01:24 PM
Dude, if you can't tell when I'm being facetious I don't know what to say to you. I even said used the sentence "And I'm right." in one of my posts. I don't know what I'm supposed to do with you anymore.

The Man
07-17-2013, 01:26 PM
Oh, no, it was obvious you were being facetious from the fact that you claimed you had no desire to associate with WesLY anymore (as opposed to the soup thread, which legitimately would make someone want to have nothing to do with you :monster:), but I found it more entertaining to pick apart your post because of boredom :monster:

Maybe I just need to use :monster: every time I'm being facetious or flippant myself in the future, since people seem to have come to expect it :monster:

Loony BoB
07-17-2013, 01:31 PM
I can give you more things to complain about if you like! I'm sure I can come up with something.

The Man
07-17-2013, 01:31 PM
Nah, I'm good :monster:

Yerushalmi
07-17-2013, 01:39 PM
I didn't say it was grammatically incorrect, I said it was terrible and horrible. And I'm right.
You implied it was grammatically incorrect by sticking a complaint about it immediately after talking about WesLY's complaints about grammar. If you're not trying to argue WesLY was a hypocrite for using the article at the start of the sentence, then your post makes very little sense.

And, as Yeru has pointed out, almost no one gives a trout about articles at the starts of sentences anymore.
makes assumptions about implications

posts in a blue font all the time

gtfo out of here Aaron

He fails to use complete sentences or punctuation and types everything in lowercase. GTFO of here, BoB.

Tigmafuzz
07-17-2013, 01:43 PM
>lol

sharkythesharkdogg
07-17-2013, 02:11 PM
I'm late to the party, but yes I try to use it where applicable. I think it makes the sentence structure more clear, and feels natural.

Yerushalmi
07-17-2013, 02:13 PM
where applicable

*growls*

Rantz
07-17-2013, 03:03 PM
I'd say context carries much more weight on how people interpret your sentence than whether or not you used a serial comma back when you were listing things two pages ago. In fact, I'll wager less than 1% of readers in most settings will even notice inconsistent use, and even those few that do should be able to use context and sense to figure out the meaning, and even come to expect inconsistency! :monster:

Yerushalmi
07-17-2013, 04:04 PM
I'd say context carries much more weight on how people interpret your sentence than whether or not you used a serial comma back when you were listing things two pages ago. In fact, I'll wager less than 1% of readers in most settings will even notice inconsistent use, and even those few that do should be able to use context and sense to figure out the meaning, and even come to expect inconsistency! :monster:

While that may be the case most of the time, it's not always possible to figure out the meaning merely based on context and sense. For those cases, you want to be able to at least give some unambiguous indication of which interpretation is intended.

Raistlin
07-17-2013, 04:56 PM
If you couldn't tell from the OP, I always use an Oxford comma. And, like Shlup, I always notice when other people don't use it and it bugs me. Even regions that don't use the Oxford comma, like the UK, require its use where the lack of the comma can cause ambiguity (such as in the OP's examples), so I don't understand why it's not just always used. Silly Brits.

And I was an editor on a law journal for two years, which like all good American publications required the Oxford comma, so I became used to correcting people's omission of it.
complains about grammar

starts a sentence - no, a PARAGRAPH - with a 100% entirely massively redundant 'And'

gtfo of here Raistlin

1. You're way late to the party; foa already highlighted one actual error, albeit a typo. :p

2. Use of "And" or "But" to start a sentence is not a grammar error. It can be unprofessional, so I wouldn't do it all the time in a formal paper, but it's not "wrong." And in casual e-conversation, I type how I talk, which includes more informal speech and colloquialisms (neither of which are "wrong" in that context).

3. Your face is dumb.

Loony BoB
07-17-2013, 04:58 PM
:<3:

Goldenboko
07-17-2013, 05:24 PM
Sometimes you remind me why we hate you Raistlin.

Steve
07-17-2013, 06:35 PM
I'm British and my job primarily consists of me writing an average of 200 emails a week on a professional level. If I didn't use the Oxford Comma, it'd likely cause me to lose my job.

Editing time:

Yes I realise that the Oxford Comma is not essential in the UK. However, as Raistlin points out correctly, it can be a great thing for clarification in an email when sending it to a customer.

Unfortunately, this is where my agreement with that colonial half wit Raistlin ends. As he started a paragraph with an unforgivable sentence fragment. Much like the word 'but', you do not start a sentence let alone a paragraph with the word 'and'. If you must use a word to signify such a thing, then you should use terms such as; 'furthermore', 'in addition', 'also', 'yet', 'however' or even 'alas' is acceptable. Ergo: Raistlin is a failure and should learn to write in the English language correctly before he starts preaching.

Pumpkin
07-17-2013, 06:36 PM
You know what bugs me? Ending a sentence with at when there doesn't need to be an at. Some sentences I can see why it's there but some are just unnecessary.

Like, where are my keys at? Why can't you just say, where are my keys? It comes out to the same thing.

Pike
07-17-2013, 06:43 PM
One time somebody pointed out to me that a lot of people say "try and help" rather than "try to help" and now I can't unhear it and it bothers me a lot.

But then there's other stuff that used to bother me that I end up assimilating into. It's a pretty Montanan thing to throw "anymore" onto the end of sentences - "it's pretty hot anymore" - and at first I was :eyebrow: at it but now I say it sometimes too and I'm :shobon:

Rantz
07-17-2013, 06:45 PM
I'd say context carries much more weight on how people interpret your sentence than whether or not you used a serial comma back when you were listing things two pages ago. In fact, I'll wager less than 1% of readers in most settings will even notice inconsistent use, and even those few that do should be able to use context and sense to figure out the meaning, and even come to expect inconsistency! :monster:

While that may be the case most of the time, it's not always possible to figure out the meaning merely based on context and sense. For those cases, you want to be able to at least give some unambiguous indication of which interpretation is intended.

I took my father, a potato and Michael to see the strippers, JFK, and Stalin.

I took my father, a potato, and Michael to see the strippers, JFK, and Stalin.

I took my father, a potato and Michael to see the strippers, JFK and Stalin.

I don't understand how the inconsistency of the first example allows for more ambiguity than either of the two with consistent use. Show me an example to the contrary (where the use or non-use of the serial comma is optimally chosen, of course)!


You know what bugs me? Ending a sentence with at when there doesn't need to be an at. Some sentences I can see why it's there but some are just unnecessary.

Where all the white ladies at?

Lonely Paper Star
07-17-2013, 06:56 PM
I always use serial commas. Sometimes my friend (who worked at the college newspaper) looks over my writing and she takes out those commas, though. It bothers me, so I end up ignoring that bit of edit. Idk if that's an AP style thing or not.

Tigmafuzz
07-17-2013, 08:12 PM
It's a pretty Montanan thing to throw "anymore" onto the end of sentences - "it's pretty hot anymore"

I don't... What?

Raistlin
07-17-2013, 08:22 PM
Did... did Iceglow just criticize my forum posting style?

:lol:

(Also yes, it is, in fact, perfectly acceptable (http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2012/01/can-i-start-a-sentence-with-a-conjunction/) to begin a sentence with a conjunction. Just FYI)

Shorty
07-17-2013, 08:22 PM
This thread is amazing.

I begin sentences with "and" and "but" all the time. No smurfs are given.

Loony BoB
07-17-2013, 08:32 PM
You know what bugs me? Ending a sentence with at when there doesn't need to be an at. Some sentences I can see why it's there but some are just unnecessary.

Like, where are my keys at? Why can't you just say, where are my keys? It comes out to the same thing.
I know what you mean, like.

Steve
07-17-2013, 08:49 PM
The fact that it is considered grammatically correct to start a sentence with the word 'and' or the word 'but' for dramatic effect, or to express that such an "action" following on from another is a clause triggered by the "action" (see the section on 'because' in the link you posted which is wholly useful when writing a legal contract or terms and conditions document) does nothing to excuse the fact that, your paragraph starting with the word 'and' was both spurious [was it a fake or false conjunction?] and wholly unnecessary. [unnecessary =/= wrong, otherwise everything you say would be wrong. oh wait...] You did not need to put dramatic effect on such a sentence, nor was it said in the sense of a dialogue that [be wary of that/which usage] would lessen the requirements for traditional grammatical rules to be followed.

Regardless of my own posting styles, habits, or past habits. [sentence fragment and missing Oxford comma] Your sentence structure was bad, you made a mistake in using the word 'and' at that time. Had you read the sentence aloud you would understand my point about this; the sentence jarred like the photo of you in a bikini top sticks in people's heads. Now stop throwing up 'really valid point and I'm impressed by your thinking.' arguments and accept it. A far better word to have used would have been the word 'Also' in place of your 'And' If I were to re-read the offending paragraph with that substituted in place, not only would your paragraph make sense and be more correct in terms of grammar (as face it, you literally did leave a fragment hanging out there for the world to see) it would have flowed better too.

Just thought I'd clean this up a bit. -Raist

Edit: don't include corrections of words said in quotation marks or words in swear filter amendments. Or are you unaware of how a quotation mark works? I'll allow the That/Which usage comment to stand though it was purely subjective to how you wish to approach the sentence. The only real reason I would go for that over which in that sentence would be to alleviate the alliteration of w's which some poor sods with southern accents might struggle to pronounce.

Tigmafuzz
07-17-2013, 08:58 PM
You know what bugs me? Ending a sentence with at when there doesn't need to be an at. Some sentences I can see why it's there but some are just unnecessary.

Like, where are my keys at? Why can't you just say, where are my keys? It comes out to the same thing.

where da white women at

Raistlin
07-17-2013, 09:07 PM
:lol: :lol: :lol:

So apparently my sentence structure was so bad and jarring, yet substituting the word "also" for the word "and" at the beginning would have magically cleared that all up. You can identify plenty of grammar errors in my informal posts on EoFF, especially casual sentence fragments; that just happens not to be one of them. But it's so cute that you think you're some sort of expert because you type emails at work. Really, it's entertaining for everyone. I would pinch your cheek right now if I could.

The alleged rule against using conjunctions to begin sentences is a myth, and I have cited authority in support of that position. It's not a grammar rule, traditional or otherwise. You also have a professional editor in this thread who has backed me, as well as the fact that I was an editor for a law journal for two years and had such grammar rules beaten to death in my brain as I worked on dozens of articles, including working with law students towards the publication of their own articles (in fact, we were told conjunctions were preferable to the overused "however" to begin a sentence, but that was more of a stylistic choice than a grammar rule).

Yerushalmi
07-17-2013, 09:12 PM
Unfortunately, this is where my agreement with that colonial half-wit Raistlin ends, as he started a paragraph with an unforgivable sentence fragment.
Fixed it for you :p


Show me an example to the contrary (where the use or non-use of the serial comma is optimally chosen, of course)!
Your very first sentence was this:
I took my father, a potato and Michael to see the strippers, JFK, and Stalin.

Now follow it with this:
"Then my brothers, John and David, went to the mall."

This is a classic if-there's-no-serial-comma-it's-ambiguous sentence (you can replace it with a classic if-there-is-a-serial-comma-it's-ambiguous sentence, and reverse the positions of everything in the following two paragraphs; I can't be arsed to write it all out twice).

In your sentence, you didn't use the serial comma in the first trio because they were obviously three separate items either way, but you did in the second trio to "eliminate the ambiguity". But let's say John and David really are your brothers. Because you were inconsistent in the previous sentence, the reader doesn't know that anymore.

Had you been consistent in your first sentence, and used the serial comma in both cases, its absence here would have made your meaning in the second sentence clear.

Steve
07-17-2013, 09:17 PM
I love how Raistlin has no real argument against this so he has to try and attempt to prove his point with hollow strawman arguments.

Enough said I never once stated that I am a paragon of grammar here at EoFF but I still know when you're wrong. Funny thing about this is how much it's getting your panties in such a big bunch. If they rode much higher Raistlin then your mother would have to rename you Wendy.

Lonely Paper Star
07-17-2013, 09:18 PM
ITT grammar nazi party.

Tigmafuzz
07-17-2013, 09:21 PM
ITT grammar nazi party.

The best kind of party. I'd be participating as well if I cared enough.

Ace Protorney
07-17-2013, 09:29 PM
I feel smarter after having read this thread despite not having read the whole damn thing and i'm going to turn this post into one terrible sentence so feel free to correct it with your grammar nonsense if you are up to it though really i really do want to see what you guys do to this post.

Tigmafuzz
07-17-2013, 09:31 PM
I feel smarter after having read this thread despite not having read the whole damn thing and i'm going to turn this post into one terrible sentence so feel free to correct it with your grammar nonsense if you are up to it though really i really do want to see what you guys do to this post.

Run-on sentences aren't as annoying as smaller mistakes.

Raistlin
07-17-2013, 09:34 PM
I love how Raistlin has no real argument against this so he has to try and attempt to prove his point with hollow strawman arguments.

Enough said I never once stated that I am a paragon of grammar here at EoFF but I still know when you're wrong. Funny thing about this is how much it's getting your panties in such a big bunch. If they rode much higher Raistlin then your mother would have to rename you Wendy.

Ok, I was going to give up on you, but you just defaced my sacred logical fallacy: the stra<i></i>w man. It is creating an argument for someone instead of responding to the actual argument made. Please point out where I actually did this.

Also, my actual argument is backed by authority, which is a stark contrast to yours. See here (http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2012/01/can-i-start-a-sentence-with-a-conjunction/) and here (http://www.dailywritingtips.com/can-you-start-sentences-with-%E2%80%9Cand%E2%80%9D-and-%E2%80%9Cbut%E2%80%9D/) and here (http://grammarmadeclear.blogspot.com/2010/05/can-i-start-sentence-with-and-yet-or.html) and here (http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2005/11/but_its_okay_an.html) and here (http://www.writing-skills.com/grammar/hit-or-myth-you-cant-start-a-sentence-with-and-or-but/) and literally every single link on the first page of a Google search of this question.

I would make fun of you more, but I actually need to leave now. Of course, your next response will almost certainly be "LALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU YOU'RE STILL WRONG [insert quip about someone's mother]." You can copy/paste that to save time, if you wish (don't worry, I won't respond anymore to this argument). And then, of course, you'll ultimately claim that you knew I was right all along but were just trolling, but unfortunately we stopped buying that one from you long ago. :p

Steve
07-17-2013, 09:41 PM
Actually I was going for the "lalalalala I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome I am the idea of sex with the man-beast who whelped you is entirely unappealing, yet frankly whilst you may have been correct in that you can start a sentence with the word 'and' or the word 'but', I would argue that you presented a real fragment there without any dire need to do so. As BoB said, you could simply have begun with 'I' why you chose not to I will never know. Also your first argument was not as follows:

"Steve I would like to point out this here link which proves I can start a sentence with the word 'and' or even the word 'but' should I wish to do so."

It was actually attacking me for being the one who corrected you, rather than presenting a valid argument immediately you tacked on the validation of your argument as an afterthought and an edit. To that end, I say up yours Wendyand jog on.

Yerushalmi
07-17-2013, 09:41 PM
I feel smarter after having read this thread, despite not having read the whole damn thing, and I'm going to turn this post into one terrible sentence - so feel free to correct it with your grammar nonsense if you are up to it, though I really do want to see what you guys do to this post.

I didn't even need to split it into more than one sentence.

Shauna
07-17-2013, 09:42 PM
:stare:

Yerushalmi
07-17-2013, 09:44 PM
:stare:

Hey, don't hate my mad editing skills!

(I know you didn't really mean me :p )

Rantz
07-17-2013, 10:01 PM
Show me an example to the contrary (where the use or non-use of the serial comma is optimally chosen, of course)!
Your very first sentence was this:
I took my father, a potato and Michael to see the strippers, JFK, and Stalin.

Now follow it with this:
"Then my brothers, John and David, went to the mall."

This is a classic if-there's-no-serial-comma-it's-ambiguous sentence (you can replace it with a classic if-there-is-a-serial-comma-it's-ambiguous sentence, and reverse the positions of everything in the following two paragraphs; I can't be arsed to write it all out twice).

In your sentence, you didn't use the serial comma in the first trio because they were obviously three separate items either way, but you did in the second trio to "eliminate the ambiguity". But let's say John and David really are your brothers. Because you were inconsistent in the previous sentence, the reader doesn't know that anymore.

Had you been consistent in your first sentence, and used the serial comma in both cases, its absence here would have made your meaning in the second sentence clear.

That's fair enough, although I'd still say that the reader would be just as likely to pick up on the fact that I use serial commas based on context (and determine that if I was referring to four people I would have used one) as they would be to notice a consistent use or non-use of it and go by that. And even if I did use it consistently, the cases where serial commas are normally used are so few and far between that this last sentence could just as easily be mistaken for inconsistency, if they're really paying that much attention to my commas.

Although if I was facing this problem in a real setting I'd have a much better solution than going over all my commas: I'd phrase the sentence in a clearer way. :D Basically what I'm arguing is the same thing you said earlier: no hard-and-fast rule is a substitute for clarity.

Tigmafuzz
07-17-2013, 11:02 PM
Rantzien is a god.