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Unread 01-05-2010, 02:31 PM
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Re: Use Of Punctuation In A Post And What Is Annoying or Confusing

This is just a friendly reminder that proper capitalization and punctuation (not to mention spelling) can go a long way towards making your posts easier to read and towards getting a response that you like.
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Unread 01-05-2010, 08:27 PM
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indieFan's List (was Re: Use Of Punctuation In A Post...)

I have a number of pet peeves when it comes to grammar and mispelligns, as well as posts in general. Here they are, in no particular order.

1. No use of commas when needed. Ask yourself if the sentence would make sense if you moved the part after where a comma may belong to the front. If it does, then a comma is usually necessary. I was taught "FANBOYS" in my 9th grade English class. It stands for the following: For, An, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So. Each of those words typically requires a comma (,) before it. There are exceptions, of course, but that's what makes English so fun.
2. No paragraph breaks. Or, perhaps, too many blank lines between one paragraph and the next. (Too bad there is no way to indent effectively.)
3. Capitalization missing, overused, or entire post. (For those that use it when it's the entire post, I try to gently remind them that that's considered shouting on the 'net.)
4. Lack of apostrophes (') and quotes ("), as needed. Or, on the flip side, the use of them where they are not needed. If something is owned by someone, it needs an apostrophe, with rare exception. "It's" and "Its" are very different words. The first word is a contraction, the second is not. A contraction is two words that are merged together with missing letters replaced by an apostrophe. "Don't" is another example. Any time you remove letters from a word, an apostrophe is necessary. (i.e., internet becomes 'net)
5. "Me too" posts. If you agree with someone's post, that's great. You don't have to tell me unless you have more to add.
6. Posts from people that look like they are knowledgeable engineers when they may not be. I'll look at specific posts from people that I already trust.
7. Duplicate posts. If someone else has already posted on the subject, and you are not seeking clarification, there is no need to post it again.
8. Search for the answer before you post your question. If you don't know the appropriate key words, ask someone else (i.e., a mentor, a teacher, a librarian, etc.).
9. The use of "well" versus "good". I was mortified when I overheard someone at a major university say "The Chancellor did a well job of recruiting for next year." (I actually wanted to slap the person.)
10. For those of us that hate being politically correct, the accepted term for a single person in writing is to use "he". (i.e., Can you find out if he knows the answer?)
11. If you have multiple issues on separate topics, post individual threads. If you have multiple issues on the same topic, post in an individual thread.
12. If you have a follow-up question, you may choose to post a new thread. If you do so, please reference the original thread in the title and/or the text. I'd like to be able to find the original thread quickly. Please see the subject line for this post as an example.
13. If you do not choose to post a new thread for a follow-up question, please change the subject line. It will help me get an idea of whether I want to keep reading the thread. Please look at the subject line for this post for an example. (You may change the subject line by selecting the "advanced" button at the top of the text box when creating your post.)
14. If you have several issues that you are putting into a single post, consider using numbers for the following reasons: Easier reading of the post and easier referencing in responses to the post. Also hit the "Return" or "Enter" key before typing the next number. (Review this post for an example.)
15. Please read the entire post/thread before making any comments. You will often find that someone else has beat you to stating what you were thinking.
16. The incorrect use of ellipses (...). As stated previously, ellipses are used to denote that one is thinking of what to say.
17. Smilies do not have to be all over a single post. If they are in your signature, that is great. If they are in the body of the text, they are more than annoying. This is not a chat room, it is a message board.
18. If you are going to use acronyms, please explain what they mean after the first use in parentheses (). For example: CDR (Change Design Review) can be used to determine if something can be manufactured.
19. Not giving credit where credit is due. If you copy ideas from someone else, give them credit. If you take information from a book or a magazine, even if you paraphrase it (put into your own words), you must cite your source. If you don't, this is called plagiarism and can get you into legal trouble.
20. When naming a book, magazine, or movie, the title shall be underlined or italicized. See below for an example.

Not all of the ideas in this post are mine. Some of the other ideas are ones I saw while reading each and every post, except the poem, on the previous 7 pages.

If you have questions about grammar and are still in school, in addition to using Strunk and White's The Elements of Style, see if you can borrow a book from the library or textbook room on the subject.

I hope you enjoyed this post.
indieFan

P.S. How much extra credit do I get for the proper use of a semi-colon (; ) rather than a colon (: )? (Extra spaces required to prevent smilies from showing up.

Last edited by indieFan : 01-05-2010 at 11:52 PM. Reason: Added "italicized" to item 20.
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Unread 01-05-2010, 09:09 PM
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Re: indieFan's List (was Re: Use Of Punctuation In A Post...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by indieFan View Post
...
12. If you have a follow-up question, you may choose to post a new thread. If you do so, please reference the original thread in the title and/or the text. I'd like to be able to find the original thread quickly. Please see the subject line for this post as an example.
...
While we are on the subject of peeves I think that using the transitive verb "reference" is often less appropriate than the simple and direct phrase, "refer to".

Quote:
Originally Posted by indieFan View Post
...
16. The incorrect use of ellipses (...). As stated previously, ellipses are used to denote that one is thinking of what to say.
...
According to Miriam Webster's online dictionary, an ellipsis can indicate a pause or an omission of words. See this post for an example.

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Last edited by gblake : 01-06-2010 at 09:46 AM.
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Unread 01-05-2010, 10:34 PM
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Re: indieFan's List (was Re: Use Of Punctuation In A Post...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by indieFan View Post
2. No paragraph breaks. Or, perhaps, too many blank lines between one paragraph and the next. (Too bad there is no way to indent effectively.)
True enough, but if you want to indent both sides (as if inserting a long quotation in a document that doesn't support [quote][/quote] tags), there's always this: [indent][/indent].

Quote:
Originally Posted by indieFan View Post
9. The use of "well" versus "good". I was mortified when I overheard someone at a major university say "The Chancellor did a well job of recruiting for next year."
"Well", or "swell"? Hopefully it was the latter colloquialism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by indieFan View Post
10. For those of us that hate being politically correct, the accepted term for a single person in writing is to use "he". (i.e., Can you find out if he knows the answer?)
You've hinted at why it's not actually universally accepted. Users of English haven't yet settled on appropriate pronouns for some situations—at present, the best bet is to use whatever format you think will convey your intention most clearly. If gender plays no important role in the discussion, it might be sufficiently clear to use "he". If gender could be relevant, you might want to avoid using the masculine pronoun to mean the neuter, and instead be specific. Sometimes, when there's little possibility of confusing the singular with the plural, it makes sense to use a singular "they". (This has been universally understood for 500 years, but is still occasionally condemned.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by indieFan View Post
14. If you have several issues that you are putting into a single post, consider using numbers for the following reasons: Easier reading of the post and easier referencing in responses to the post. Also hit the "Return" or "Enter" key before typing the next number. (Review this post for an example.)
There's another way—vBulletin supports numbering: [list=1][*]List item[/list]. (You can also pass A, a, I and i to the list tag, for other numbering styles.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by indieFan View Post
20. When naming a book, magazine, or movie, the title shall be underlined.
Only if your name is Strunk or White, and the year is 1910. Underlining in printed works to indicate a title is an artifact of the period when typewriters were used to produce some printed matter—roughly between the era of movable type and the era of word processing. (Most typewriters were not equipped with italic cartridges, so underlining was used instead, in the manner of some handwritten styles.) Conventionally, italics are used for this purpose whenever practical.

Similarly, two spaces after the period (full stop) is a typewriter convention, and is not useful in modern word processing software that adjusts spacing automatically. If a differently-sized space needs to be typographically encoded, the usual way to do it is with one of several special space characters. (Unfortunately, this forum seems to have support for those characters disabled.) In any event, the question of whether two spaces are an appropriate substitute for a wide space in this forum depends on personal preference and the font settings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by indieFan View Post
P.S. How much extra credit do I get for the proper use of a semi-colon (; ) rather than a colon (: )? (Extra spaces required to prevent smilies from showing up.
All you need is [noparse]:)[/noparse].
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Unread 01-06-2010, 12:02 AM
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Re: indieFan's List (was Re: Use Of Punctuation In A Post...)

Unfortunately, it was the word "well".

Re: He/She/They
I prefer not to be politically correct since I feel that it has been taken to extremes. I use "policeman", "fireman", "mailman", and "he" when I write. That's why I had the statement in there. *big grin*

I disagree about "they" being used as a singular, though. While it may have been understood for a long time, it doesn't make it correct grammar. Do you have an actual book or article supporting your argument? I think my book Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student supports my view. It's been over 10 years since I've read it. Then again, it's the third edition instead of the newer fourth edition.

Re: Underlining vs. Italicizing
Thanks for the reminder about italicizing. I edited my earlier post to include that.

Re: Two spaces after a period
This is what I was taught to do, and I will continue to do so. I guess I'm too set in my ways to stop.

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Unread 01-06-2010, 12:00 PM
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Re: Use Of Punctuation In A Post And What Is Annoying or Confusing

Ellipsis (plural ellipses; from the Greek: ἔλλειψις, élleipsis, "omission") is a mark or series of marks that usually indicate an intentional omission of a word or a phrase from the original text. An ellipsis can also be used to indicate a PAUSE IN SPEECH, an unfinished thought, or, at the end of a sentence, a trailing off into silence (aposiopesis) (apostrophe and elipsis mixed). The ellipsis calls for a slight pause in speech.



Just sayin'


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Unread 01-06-2010, 01:33 PM
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Re: indieFan's List (was Re: Use Of Punctuation In A Post...)

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Originally Posted by indieFan View Post
9. The use of "well" versus "good". I was mortified when I overheard someone at a major university say "The Chancellor did a well job of recruiting for next year." (I actually wanted to slap the person.)
I hope this is a joke.
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Unread 01-06-2010, 01:59 PM
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Re: indieFan's List (was Re: Use Of Punctuation In A Post...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MadeAtMidnight View Post
I hope this is a joke.
She's told that story before. I don't think it is.

By the way, irony of ironies: "misspellings" is not spelled "mispelligns".
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Unread 01-06-2010, 02:27 PM
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Re: Use Of Punctuation In A Post And What Is Annoying or Confusing

I should have been more specific, I was referring to the reaction to the error. I guess that's what I get for posting in a thread about acceptable posts
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Unread 01-06-2010, 02:39 PM
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Re: indieFan's List (was Re: Use Of Punctuation In A Post...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricH View Post
By the way, irony of ironies: "misspellings" is not spelled "mispelligns".
It is an ironclad Rule of the Internet that "misspell(ed)(ing)" is always mipselled. It's right up there with Godwin's Law, even if it currently has no name of its own.

(And did you notice that I correctly used "it's," "its," and "there?" Amazing, really.)
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Unread 01-06-2010, 02:41 PM
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Re: indieFan's List (was Re: Use Of Punctuation In A Post...)

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Originally Posted by indieFan View Post
Re: Two spaces after a period
This is what I was taught to do, and I will continue to do so. I guess I'm too set in my ways to stop.
That's also what I was taught to do. In elementary and middle school, it didn't matter so much, and was accepted as a standard. After that, English teachers, bosses, etc. may start getting picky about it. I had thought that I was too set in my ways too, but I had to change them when I joined the newspaper staff last year, and stories weren't accepted if there was more than one space after a period. That's due to issues with the page and column layouts, and is a common newswriting practice. It wasn't that hard for me to make the change.
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Unread 01-06-2010, 09:13 PM
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Re: indieFan's List (was Re: Use Of Punctuation In A Post...)

Sadly, this was not a joke. I honestly wish it were, but it was not.

21. The use of "me" vs. "I". Please say the sentence in your head with both words and then use the one that sounds correct. 9 times out of 10, it probably is. Don't trust what you hear on television shows. I don't even know how many times I've cringed when hearing them make this mistake.

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Unread 01-09-2010, 07:45 AM
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Re: indieFan's List (was Re: Use Of Punctuation In A Post...)

Since the thread title includes "what us annoying" I will add this.

Everyone on hear watched the Kickoff. It is pointless for 5 threads to be made saying "XXXXX IS THE PASSWORD!". Please do not post for the sake of posting. Take the time to read the manual and try to be gentle to the CD server.
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Unread 02-01-2011, 10:01 PM
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Re: Use Of Punctuation In A Post And What Is Annoying or Confusing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Baker View Post
I'll chime in here also.

Along with all of the wise advice above, be concise.

Keep in mind, every post you make on this site may be read by over 1,000 people within one day. These people include adults and students, executives and siblings, people who can hire you and people who can turn you down for a possible job. Each one of these readers create an instant opinion about you. Careful posting will drive positive opinions.

Andy B.
I love it when I can quote the wise ones like Andy Baker.

This is a thread resurrection but I think it is ok. It's a good read and has some wise advice such as the quote you are enjoying from Mr. Baker. I'd like to add a couple of thoughts about tone and usage of a smiley.

Smileys are awesome when used well. When misused, they are a distraction and can be annoying. They also emphasize the tone of the post. As Andy says, careful posting will drive positive opinions. If you are posting in a Chit-Chat thread, it is very possible that the discussion will be a little different than say, a rules thread or an awards thread. In threads where information is being exchanged, discussed, or clarified - clear communication is necessary. Humor is a great tool when used wisely. When humor or sarcasm is misused or applied with too heavy a hand, it can derail or interrupt the discussion, perhaps causing confusion instead of clarity. One should also try to keep in mind that people who read threads like the rules threads, may be reading them for more than discussion's sake and they appreciate the integrity and careful thinking reflected in the discussion.

Jane
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Re: Use Of Punctuation In A Post And What Is Annoying or Confusing

Murphy's Law: If anything can go wrong it will.

Murphry's Law: When correcting someone's spelling, you will invariably have a spelling error in your correction.
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