The Grammar Query Thread!

Discussion in 'Writing' started by Forrest, Aug 29, 2002.

  1. Forrest

    Forrest Closet Romantic

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    is it:

    "The entire situation was like a puzzle WHOSE pieces floated indistinctly in a haze of questions"

    or


    "The entire situation was like a puzzle WHO'S pieces floated indistinctly in a haze of questions"

    I can't believe I'm stuck on that! lol
     
  2. Artistic Wizard

    Artistic Wizard Death Dealer

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    You would use the word WHOSE. This is the possessive case of who or which used as an adjective........WHO'S is a contradiction of who is or of who has.......I hope this helps.
     
  3. Forrest

    Forrest Closet Romantic

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    ah, yes. Thank you kindly.:)
     
  4. Kirby

    Kirby Hlœgiligr!

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    A"grammar" forum?

    For those really tricky little ones like "(sentence)" - do I use 'practise' or 'practice'?

    Or Tblues /Tblue's /Tblues'

    I know there are varying levels of grammar ability around, and what is basic to one is not so to another.
    I'm not that bad at English, but the two above are the sorts of things I often get caught by!

    Maybe a grammar forum with a FAQ? (updated whenever something useful comes up?)

    I'm not advocating it as a "Here's my paragraph, check my spelling" place (dictionaries and spell checkers are for that), but rather a forum for those who actively seek to get things right.

    Anyway - just thought it might be a useful thing?

    i before e except after c, and all that!
     
  5. someguy

    someguy Olo Bumbleroot of Haysend

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    Not a bad idea.

    If it was in the writing forum, it would quickly get overrun, so a separate forum makes sense....

    Maybe, when the grammar issue in question was resolved, the thread would be closed. The Subject lines of the thread would have to be very descriptive to avoid unneccessary duplication.

    The hard-headed answer would be that writers should deal with that on their own, but I am not that hard-headed.

    I guess the key thing would be how much work was involved in mods renaming the threads, closing them once completed, and then making sure that people dont post the same subject.

    Like I said, not a bad idea at all, just a question of how much admin work is invovled for the mods...
     
  6. Erebus

    Erebus Keeping The Equilibrium

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    There's no reason why this can't be done in this very thread, in the Writing section. There's no need to keep starting new ones for each query. So, if you have any grammar queries, bring them on and discuss them here. Oh, and in keeping with the writing theme, this thread is now a sticky in the Writing section. :)

    To start it off, Forrest's very good query has been merged here as well.
     
  7. Susan Boulton

    Susan Boulton Edited for submission

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    Grammar, the bane of my life.

    I think this idea is great. Grammar has always been my weakness. I am relearning skills I let slip nearly thirty years ago. (you don't need much grammar when you crunch numbers all day.) I kept enough to draft notes and lettes for typists and left the rest up to them...

    Grammar can be a tool to alter the tone of a piece.

    This is a skill I want to develop to the full if a can...
     
  8. Kirby

    Kirby Hlœgiligr!

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    Apostrophe, "s"

    Well, if someone could explain the whys and wherefores of:
    Tblues/Tblue's/Tblues' apostrophe and "s", I'd appreciate it!

    I know about the "Tblue is" contraction (Tblue's), but say I'm talking about something of mine - Tblue's cat? Is that right?

    And how would the other situations of "apostrophe S" apply?
    Thanks :)
     
  9. Nimea

    Nimea Leisure time optimizer

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    Tblue's cat is right.

    Tblues would be plural. ;)

    And if you would be called Tblues not Tblue, than it would be Tblues' cat. Also, if all the Tblues in the world have one cat it would be Tblues' cat as well.

    One more example: Julia's cat, but Jules' cat.

    Sorry that I can't explain it, hope you understand it anyway.
     
  10. Jacquin

    Jacquin Shovelly Joe

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    The apostrophe always goes at the end of the word. If the word is Tblue referring to a singular person named Tblue then it becomes Tblue's cat if however the word is Tblues referring to multiple Tblues (interesting thought....) then it becomes Tblues' cat.

    The difficulty occurs when you have a word ending in 's' that refers to a singular item/person such as Chris. Then the apostrophe again goes at the end of the word but you add an s hence Chris's cat. A cat owned by a number of people called Chris however would just be ridiculous...

    Confused? I am... :(

    Take Care

    J
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2002
  11. Forrest

    Forrest Closet Romantic

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    I had heard one time, but don't know if its true, that some words that end in "S", such as "Jesus", merely get an apostrophe added to the end. So a sample sentence would be,

    "Jesus' disciples got funky to the music."

    Has anyone else heard of this? Its probably wrong. :shrug:

    NOTE: Cool! My name will now be at the top of the forum forever! MWA AHAHHAHAHA [laughs menacingly into the night]
     
  12. Gary Wassner

    Gary Wassner GemQuest

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    That would be correct. Jesus is not plural, so the possessive form would be the word with an apostrophe added to the end. When the 's' does not indicate a plural situation, that is the rule.
    American English and British English are often different as to the rules of writing. When it comes to quotation marks and other grammatical characters one form is acceptable in the states and another on the continent. It gets confusing.
    What about the usage of 'effect' and 'affect'?
    Or 'who' and 'whom'?
    These seem always to create issues of thought for authors.
     
  13. Nimea

    Nimea Leisure time optimizer

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    Okay now, this got me thinking.

    Btw. do a search on google on grammar and differences between American and British english - there is a lot about that out there. ;) And indeed very interesting.

    About the apostrophe and adding the 's':
    I learned it the way GemQuest stated it. So Jesus' cat, it would be.
    Yet all the pages I checked said the 's' is not added if it is a plural form. But singular form ending with 's' gets one. :confused:

    Here now is an answer I like. Good ol' consistency. ;)
     
  14. Forrest

    Forrest Closet Romantic

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    Ok:

    Affect is a verb and effect is a noun. For example, I was AFFECTED by her speech, and the EFFECT of her speech was that everyone cheered.

    "Affect" means to influence or change in some way, wheras "Effect" is the result of an action or choice.

    Who/Whom

    Let's say Bill has a ball. Jane asks Sarah who has the ball. Sarah will respond,
    "He has the ball." Since there is no "m" at the end of "he", we therefore use "who". Thus, Jane's question would be, "Who has the ball?"

    Scenario 2: Sarah saw some one at the party. Jane wants to ask who it was. Sarah will respond, "I saw him." Becauese there is an "m" at the end of "him", Jane would use "whom" and say, "Whom did you see at the party?"

    So basically you just read whatever the question is outloud and answer it to yourself. If you respond with "he/she/they" then it is who. If the answer is "him/her/them" it is whom.

    Its a nice little trick for figuring out which word to use.
     
  15. Gary Wassner

    Gary Wassner GemQuest

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    I use the exact same rule for determining the who and whom usage. Actually, I found it on the internet somewhere a number of years ago, and it was the first uselful explanation.

    As far as effect and affect, i know the rule too. You stated it very well. My problem is remembering which one is the verb and which one is the noun. For some odd reason, I cannot. Any good associations that will help me to remember?

    One more thing: Affectation is a noun as well, isn't it? "he had a serious affectation when he spoke of his father"
    That adds to the confusion for me.
     
  16. Forrest

    Forrest Closet Romantic

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    I guess I remind myself by thinking of special effects, since I like movies. The phrase "special effects" has a certain look and feel to it that conjures up images of bright lights, visuals, and explosions. It reminds me that these things are "EFFECTS" of something.
     
  17. Miriamele

    Miriamele Witch of the Woods

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    I know I've plugged this book before in the Writing Forum, but I'm going to do it again.

    Everyone who wants to be a serious writer but sometimes struggles with grammar (as in all of us) should pick up The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. It explains everything, without getting too wordy. This book clarified a lot for me, not only with technical grammar but with what sounds good and what doesn't. It's a must for every writer IMHO.

    :) :)
     
  18. someguy

    someguy Olo Bumbleroot of Haysend

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    I used the book at University too.

    It is quite good. Well worth it.
     
  19. Forrest

    Forrest Closet Romantic

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    I hate that stupid book, but only because I had to use everyday in a really boring class at university. lol
     
  20. Valada

    Valada Overworked & Underpaid

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    1) Use of apostrophe s
    Initially I also believed that you would not add an s after the possessive of a word ending in s (eg. I thought it was Jesus' cloak). However, I've increasingly found that the "correct" usage would be Jesus's cloak. It enables immediate knowledge of singular/plural, and just makes sense.

    2) Something to remember for apostrophe s
    The rule people often forget when it comes to the possessive apostrophe s - it does not apply to the word "it"! That is, you would write "at the end of its lift", not "at the end of it's life". The word "it's" is only ever used to represent the contraction of "it is". This is something that many writers do, and is a common (and incredibly annoying) error.

    3) Affect and effect
    Generally speaking, and at the most basic level, these quotes are correct. However, there are exceptions. For example, effect can be used in the following way: "He effects change", that is, he initiates/creates change.