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  #61  
Old 02-18-2013, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McClain View Post
if the word doesn't end in s, use 's

The 100 sheep's coats
You misunderstand me. How would I say that something belongs to a group of kidz (distinct from kids)?
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  #62  
Old 02-18-2013, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Bongo Bill View Post
You misunderstand me. How would I say that something belongs to a group of kidz (distinct from kids)?
For the love of god don't try to put a serious grammar rule to something like using z for a plural like that!
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  #63  
Old 02-18-2013, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady View Post
Can't tell if serious, so just to be safe, notice how none of those words are pronouns, they're just regular nouns.
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Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
Oh, I honestly didn't understand that that was the point of the list. Yeah, in case you're not a native English speaker, the standard case is to use apostrophe+s for possessives. "Its" is the exception that confuses everyone.
Half the time I use 's on possessives it would be okay with my teachers, and the other half they are all "Are you trying to say "Yoshi IS Island??""
So I've been scarred for life and rarely trust apostrophes.

Going back to that list, what would happen if I wrote something like:
Alligators Sword
Yoshis Cookie


Quote:
Originally Posted by McClain View Post
You only hyphenate compound adjectives. The way I remember it is "blue-green eyes." You don't hyphenate ANY adverb. At least I'm pretty sure that's the rule.
Does this mean Spider-Man is wrong? What about Blue-Eyes White Dragon?
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  #64  
Old 02-18-2013, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bongo Bill View Post
You misunderstand me. How would I say that something belongs to a group of kidz (distinct from kids)?
Kidzeses - a derivative of the rule that says you always pronounce the name of the band as "Puddle of Mududud" to highlight how dumb the premise is.
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  #65  
Old 02-18-2013, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost from Spelunker View Post
Does this mean Spider-Man is wrong? What about Blue-Eyes White Dragon?
I got an angry email from a reporter once for adding a hyphen to Spider-Man. I think because the story in question was about a piece of knock-off merchandise. With great punctuation comes great responsibility!
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  #66  
Old 02-19-2013, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost from Spelunker View Post
Going back to that list, what would happen if I wrote something like:
Alligators Sword
Yoshis Cookie
Those titles are nonsensical. At best, you're left wondering whether it should be "Alligator's" or "Alligators'"; at worst, you're left thinking the game is about a sword made of alligators.



Quote:
Does this mean Spider-Man is wrong? What about Blue-Eyes White Dragon?
Spider-Man is the official spelling. So is Blue-Eyes White Dragon, but that's horrible phrasing that you wouldn't use if that weren't its established name. "Blue-Eyed White Dragon" makes more sense.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Zef
I always see "deceptively [x]" used in sense of "it only looks [x] as a deception; its true nature is [Y]."
You have it backwards. If something is deceptively easy, then it looks hard. Cursory research reveals that an alarming number of people will mistake your meaning, and you are probably better off picking a more readily understood phrase.
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  #67  
Old 02-19-2013, 11:45 AM
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One might say it's deceptively deceptive.
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  #68  
Old 02-19-2013, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
Spider-Man is the official spelling. So is Blue-Eyes White Dragon, but that's horrible phrasing that you wouldn't use if that weren't its established name. "Blue-Eyed White Dragon" makes more sense.



The furigana says to me that it was always meant to be "Blue Eyes" before it ever came to [native] English-speaking areas, so our English grammar norms probably never came into the picture.
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  #69  
Old 02-20-2013, 06:36 AM
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...but that's not white. That dragon is blue all over!
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  #70  
Old 02-20-2013, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
At worst, you're left thinking the game is about a sword made of alligators.
You're kind of making me want to never use possessive apostrophes.
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  #71  
Old 02-20-2013, 08:49 PM
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That situation would only come up without using a possessive apostrophe though x_x

Listen, there are only so many different rules for possessives. Here is a primer.

singular nouns and proper nouns: use apostrophe ess
---ex. Lady's book

singular nouns ending in ess or ess-like sounds: consult the style guide of your choice (or your class), but I would still use apostrophe ess
---ex. Jesus's mom

pronouns: use possessive pronouns (see below)
---ex. your choice

plural nouns ending in ess: use an apostrophe
---ex. the dogs' food

plural nouns not ending in ess: use apostrophe ess
---ex. the mice's food

This will get you through the majority of cases. Out of 5 possibilities, there are only 3 unique outcomes. A fair chance!
There is nothing wrong with using an apostrophe to indicate possession or belonging. In fact, for every case besides pronouns, you need to use one! That's what they're for.


List of possessive pronouns:
he:his/his
she:her/hers
they:their/theirs
it:its/its
you:your/yours
I:my/mine
weur/ours
y'all:y'all's (jk about this one)
__________________________________________________ ____

Now, if you want to confuse yourself further, continue reading about possessive pronouns.


"Its" is the main possessive anything that everyone messes up because
a) it ends in ess already, so it's natural to overextend the rule for nouns and insert an apostrophe there
b) it sounds identical to the contraction "it's", so it's (omg) easy to typo/writo since that one comes up a lot more often

The table of possessive pronouns below shows you two words. The first is the actual possessive you need for most situations. The second is what you use if you want to define the noun being possessed to be something, but without explicitly naming that noun, instead just referring to whoever possesses it
(this process of defining is called the copula. you are saying that one thing is another thing)
---ex. That book is her book.
---ex. That book is hers.

Or if you want to be redundant
---ex. Her book is hers.
implying> Her book is her book.

*Bonus*Omake*
If you'll notice, both possessive pronouns for "he" end in s. If you listen to young people or those without a lot of grammar study, they will sometimes trick themselves into saying "his's" [hiz' uz] by extending the rule for the other possessive pronouns-in-a-copula-formation.
Hilarious!
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  #72  
Old 02-21-2013, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost from Spelunker View Post
You're kind of making me want to never use possessive apostrophes.
Mission accomplished.
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  #73  
Old 02-23-2013, 08:30 AM
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Here's one:

You imply to somebody, you infer from somebody (or something).
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  #74  
Old 02-23-2013, 12:52 PM
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Well, those are "easy" because they're loans of compound latin verbs. To infer is a direct borrow from latin of the verb fero- and the prefix in-, of which the most general translation is "to bring into" and you add a few centuries of linguistic drift you get the verb "infer" in English. Fero as a verb in latin is one of the most commonly used verbs in the language, and is generally used to indicate the transfer (see, it pops up again) or movement of whatever the target of the verb is.

Implicate comes form the verb plico, and the prefix im (an alternate form of in used with certain declensions). Plico in its most general sense is to link things together, where in/m in this case is to add a sense of grammatic direction to the verb directed towards the target of the "link" as opposed to the link itself.

And yeah, I did take Latin in college, haha.
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  #75  
Old 09-24-2013, 01:03 PM
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So, I don't know if this is the right thread for this, but here's a fascinating article on the evolution of English pronouns.
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  #76  
Old 09-24-2013, 01:58 PM
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We have initialisms which arise when you use the initials of something as an abbreviation (e.g., NSA, USB)

In some cases, you pronounce the initialism as a word (e.g., NASA), and over time the capitalization may be dropped (e.g., laser, scuba). Some people insist that only this latter "pronounced as a word" case is what we should call an acronym, while most people would say these are all acronyms.

Now the "fun" part: when you are picking between "a" and "an" for an initialism/acronym that starts with "S," you actually need to consider how the term is pronounced and not just how it is spelled:

"I read a SCOTUS ruling you wouldn't believe!" (pronounced as a word)
"I got an SAT score you wouldn't believe!" (pronounced by sounding out each letter)

The trouble is, there are certain cases where people disagree on how to pronounce a term, or the term is uncommon enough that its pronunciation is not commonly known. For example, "SCSI" is sometimes pronounced "scuzzy," but you can't really count on your readers to know or follow that convention. So what do you do? No matter what you write, it will sound "off" to some of your readers.
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  #77  
Old 09-24-2013, 02:36 PM
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It's really not that hard. Typically "saying" words like SCSI is jargonny. It's not really a proper acronym because it's not spelling an actual word, even if some people make up a way to say it. Use "an" because it's the letters as an abbreviation.
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  #78  
Old 09-24-2013, 03:24 PM
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I'd personally say it comes down to "know your audience." I'd write "does anybody have a SCSI cable?" if I was emailing my co-workers. If I were writing for a broader audience I'd probably write out the full term and give the acronym parenthetically, which would avoid the whole problem.

Certainly not as thorny as picking whether to use "data" pedantically correctly (as a plural) or like a normal human (as a massive noun) when writing a research paper.
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  #79  
Old 09-24-2013, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangent Vector View Post
I'd personally say it comes down to "know your audience."
Well yeah, of course, but I would say in general for professional writing to not try to assume pronunciation of uncommon acronyms.

Put it this way: if it doesn't work phonetically (missing vowels being a biggie), it's most likely an abbreviation.

Of course, the "a" vs. "an" thing can cause other problems. How many folks think "an historic victory" is correct?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangent Vector View Post
Certainly not as thorny as picking whether to use "data" pedantically correctly (as a plural) or like a normal human (as a massive noun) when writing a research paper.
I'd say avoid using it altogether. Why say the word "data" when you can just ... show the data?
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  #80  
Old 09-24-2013, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangent Vector View Post
I'd personally say it comes down to "know your audience." I'd write "does anybody have a SCSI cable?" if I was emailing my co-workers. If I were writing for a broader audience I'd probably write out the full term and give the acronym parenthetically, which would avoid the whole problem.

Certainly not as thorny as picking whether to use "data" pedantically correctly (as a plural) or like a normal human (as a massive noun) when writing a research paper.
When writing a research paper (or any paper for a scientific/technical publication)? Pedantically correctly. When doing anything else? Like a normal human. That's how I approach it.

I once had a coworker ask me "are you really going to use it the pretentious way?" and that made up my mind on the latter half.
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  #81  
Old 09-24-2013, 03:36 PM
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But think of all the poor data points and their individualism!

(I hate that rule too)
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  #82  
Old 09-24-2013, 04:15 PM
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Please note that Lt. Cmdr. Data is always singular.

As many times as I've seen "xir" and other genderless singular pronouns suggested as a solution to the ambiguous single gender pronoun, I've never actually seen them used in that context. There's a good reason, too: you can use "he," "she," or (pedants aside) "they" in that context without too many people batting an eye, but you are immediately and forcibly breaking flow when you use a word most readers are unfamiliar with. (How do you even pronounce those words, anyway?) I'm not the biggest fan of the singular "they," but I vastly prefer it over a word that someone invented so he/she/they wouldn't have to use a singular plural.
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  #83  
Old 09-24-2013, 04:20 PM
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Use "they" casually, use "one" professionally. Easy
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  #84  
Old 09-24-2013, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madhair60 View Post
I literally could care less.
I see what you did there.
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  #85  
Old 09-24-2013, 04:37 PM
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Are YOU a Language Bully?
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  #86  
Old 09-24-2013, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfgang View Post
This reads like a body of good points bookended by stupidity. The comments about signaling, and about the ego-driven nature behind some people acquiring knowledge of particular words, are well-made. But the suggestion at the beginning that knowing how to use words like "peruse" and "rebut" makes you one of those people and that there's nothing to do with that knowledge besides be an affable know-it-all is just dumb. You could use a thorough command of the language to help you be a distinctive and evocative writer, for instance. And the bit at the end, where the persnickety dweeb gets put in his place in a public forum, is so nakedly populist I'd swear the author was in high school.
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  #87  
Old 09-24-2013, 05:10 PM
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His article about how people use knowledge to make themselves feel superior to other people would read a lot better if it didn't sound like he wrote it to make himself feel superior to those people.
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  #88  
Old 09-24-2013, 05:13 PM
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I don't do it to feel superior, but because I am superior.
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  #89  
Old 09-24-2013, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Bongo Bill View Post
I don't do it to feel superior, but because I am superior.
Ahahahahahahahaha.

Please get banned
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  #90  
Old 09-24-2013, 08:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
Please note that Lt. Cmdr. Data is always singular.

As many times as I've seen "xir" and other genderless singular pronouns suggested as a solution to the ambiguous single gender pronoun, I've never actually seen them used in that context. There's a good reason, too: you can use "he," "she," or (pedants aside) "they" in that context without too many people batting an eye, but you are immediately and forcibly breaking flow when you use a word most readers are unfamiliar with. (How do you even pronounce those words, anyway?) I'm not the biggest fan of the singular "they," but I vastly prefer it over a word that someone invented so he/she/they wouldn't have to use a singular plural.
But in my experience, the slightest of rearrangements will usually allow you to so phrase the sentence that the single gender pronoun isn't required. You can use "you", or "one", or put the whole sentence into plural for "they", there's any number of workarounds that aren't too complicated.
Which isn't a solution to the theoretical issue of the single gender pronoun as such, but I've never seen it as being that big a problem.
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