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  1. #16
    Closet Romantic Forrest's Avatar
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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.

  2. #17
    Witch of the Woods Miriamele's Avatar
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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.


  3. #18
    Olo Bumbleroot of Haysend someguy's Avatar
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    I used the book at University too.

    It is quite good. Well worth it.

  4. #19
    Closet Romantic Forrest's Avatar
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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

  5. #20
    Overworked & Underpaid Valada's Avatar
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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
    Affect is a verb and effect is a noun
    "Affect" means to influence or change in some way, wheras "Effect" is the result of an action or choice
    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.

  6. #21
    Closet Romantic Forrest's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Valada
    For example, effect can be used in the following way: "He effects change", that is, he initiates/creates change.
    I looked it up and you are right! Interesting. I always thought you used "affect" for that. Cool.

  7. #22
    Overworked & Underpaid Valada's Avatar
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    You can say "affect change" too - it just has a different meaning. When you affect change you alter it (ie. change was already happening, you altered the way it progressed or developed) whereas when you effect change you initiate it or cause it.

  8. #23
    Barcelona! milamber_reborn's Avatar
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    With the s's thing, in books they usually leave off the last s, in my experience. If the sentence has the intended meaning, you should read it correctly even with the missing s.

    Who and Whom - Word 97 almost always wants me to use whom in siuations where who sounds better. I guess it's just the way we speak, because we don't say whom too often.

  9. #24
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    With who and whom, I rephrase the sentence in order to know which one to use. For example, "Whom shall I give it to?". If you ask, "Shall I give it to him?" then the word to use is 'whom'.
    When the question requires him or her, then whom is the right choice. Whereas, "who is coming for dinner" requires the replacement, "she is coming for dinner", therefor 'who' is correct.

  10. #25

    Strunk

    First off, hello from a first-time poster!
    Secondly, Elements of Style from William Strunk can be found at http://www.bartleby.com/141/

    It's a somewhat effective (as opposed to affective) search engine for Strunk's English, King's English, American English and British English. Pretty cool, you can type in a word and find out the proper usage. Such as, the difference between "comprise" and "compose."

    Also, it would be Jesus's, not Jesus', because "Jesus" is a name (a proper noun), so the "s" on the end doesn't count as a plural. You only write somthing like " cats' " for words that are plural, not all words ending in an "s."

    So, for instance, "it was the cats' hideout." But if Cats was the name of a family, it would be "it was the Cats's hideout."
    Hope that makes sense. Anyway, behind every good writer is an excellent editor to clean it all up.

    This seems like a most excellent board, can't wait to be a regular.
    -Shiny

  11. #26
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    Parents - both hold PhD's in English, M.A's in both Latin and Greek, PhD's in Classical Studies. Them: overeducated (though I'll be about the same I imagine!) Me: insane.

    Great, great idea. I grew up in a very grammatically strict household, so I'm generally quite good with grammar, but always manage to slip up and sound completely illiterate at the worst of times.

    One person might have a "trick" for remembering proper usage that seems utterly mindless to them, but will work wonders for others. And then there are just those "egads..." questions.

    And of course, if no one can come up with the answer, my parents are just a phone call away! And I'll even cut out the heavy etiology and explanation

  12. #27
    Loveable Rogue Moderator juzzza's Avatar
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    OK, when I have a grammar query I usually turn to one of two things, books (I.E. I grab one of my favorites and try and find an example of the right way to do something) or Erebus.

    My books on this occasion contradict each other and Big E is offline.

    Some authors use "in dialogue" but others 'Just these'.



    WHYYYYYYYYYYY?

    Am I dumb?

  13. #28
    Edited for submission Holbrook's Avatar
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    If you mean 'for speech' it is usually found in British printed books and is accepted by British publishers on submissions.

    If you mean "dialogue in these" it is what is found in American printed books and required by their publishers, but is accepted by UK and other countries for theirs....

    Confused, I still am about it....

  14. #29
    Loveable Rogue Moderator juzzza's Avatar
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    Gaaaaaaaah,

    And I just went through replacing ' with " in a ten thousand word piece!!! Thinking Stephen King can't be wrong, he's LOADED.

    Ah well.

  15. #30
    Edited for submission Holbrook's Avatar
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    For what it's worth all my work has been changed to that on the advice of my demon from hell...... bless his little cotten socks...

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