Talk properly you cretins

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Emperor Fossil
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Post by Emperor Fossil » Mon Sep 03, 2007 8:36 am

CraigGrannell wrote:
Dudley wrote:No they shouldn't. However you could use quote marks I believe.
You're mostly right, but it does depend on the style guide you're writing for. Chances are, that UK broadsheet I mentioned would have a heading such as "More A's for GCSE students this year", because in all caps it'd otherwise be "MORE AS FOR GCSE STUDENTS THIS YEAR". (That said, one could easily argue that the headline should just be rewritten, to put the 'A' itself into the singular via something like 'A-grades'.)
Hmm, yeah, on the odd occasion I've run into this problem in the past, I've opted for re-casting the sentence to avoid the plural, though that can be clumsy too.

I do agree that setting off the letter with quote marks is preferable to an apostrophe in that kind of situation, though doing so can lend it a bit of an undesirable air quote* effect.

*Or should that be 'quotation fingers'
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pipoldchap
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Post by pipoldchap » Mon Sep 03, 2007 2:22 pm

I read the most God awful trash the other day... My colleague left it on the desk at the end of his shift. It's titled "A Kick Up The 80's" It's horrendous!!! There's no grammatic trends (one minute it's 'you're' (correct context) then 'your' (incorrect in context). It's written by a local (Buckingham/Milton Keynes) LAWYER and it slaughters the language. Don't buy it. Borrow it and Pi$$ on it, but don't buy it. And what ever you do, don't let him pen any conttacts for you! :lol:
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DrBlue
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Post by DrBlue » Mon Sep 03, 2007 5:47 pm

I'm quite prepared to read something regardless of bad punctuation (or even spelling) if it is informative or amusing.

There are many websites I have read where a non-English speaking person or even an English speaking person who isn't a great writer can still present a compelling piece. In fact I was reading a website yesterday about the movie Dark Star where the grammar and punctuation were not great but the writer delivered his point well and I learned things I never knew before.

English is a strange and difficult language and it's easier to speak it correctly than to write it correctly. It is absurd to dismiss something based on poor punctuation, spelling or grammar.
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acharris05
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Post by acharris05 » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:05 pm

The American english have some very different words to UK english and meaning. I mean words like "spastic" has a different meaning here to America and the best one is, and one I don't know what it means in America is W***er.

If you watch married, with children, then Peggy Bundy family name is W***er, from W***er county and that show was shown on American TV at times when youngsters watched it. Yet it never seemed to cause offence or nothing in America. Imagine a UK show with a family name like that.
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chewy
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Post by chewy » Tue Sep 04, 2007 3:56 am

acharris05 wrote:The American english have some very different words to UK english and meaning. I mean words like "spastic" has a different meaning here to America and the best one is, and one I don't know what it means in America is W***er.

If you watch married, with children, then Peggy Bundy family name is W***er, from W***er county and that show was shown on American TV at times when youngsters watched it. Yet it never seemed to cause offence or nothing in America. Imagine a UK show with a family name like that.
I was watching the first season of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Jeffrey calls Will a w*nker. I was so shocked, I squirted coke out of my mouth. True story.

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Post by CraigGrannell » Tue Sep 04, 2007 4:58 am

'W——ker' is actually a name, although it's not common. According to one friend over there, he was introduced to the word by Native American, who seemed to, for some reason, have a grasp on British English, and he and his mates merrily went around calling each other 'w——kers', before they actually discovered what the word meant.

On US TV, which is usually so anti-swearing, it is funny to see that word show up, often as some kind of 'Britishism' (even in Buffy/Angel, where Spike utters the word rather regularly, presumably in a very knowing sense from the scriptwriters, realising they can shoehorn an expletive past execs, without them knowing about it!).
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Post by Dudley » Tue Sep 04, 2007 5:37 am

In Buffy that's entirely the case, they spend a lot of time using British equivalents of words they couldn't possibly normally get away with.
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Post by felgekarp » Tue Sep 04, 2007 6:13 am

There's an episode of Mork & Mindy with a Mr W*nker in it, I was quite suprised to hear it at the time.
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Post by rossi46 » Tue Sep 04, 2007 2:19 pm

Certain factions of the US mountainbiking fraternity refer to W4nking periodically. I remember one letter writer to the editor of a US magazine talking about, "Myself and my fellow w4nkers hit the trail at speed and took apart the flowing singletrack..."

I was on a night shift at the time, reading the mag quietly trying not to let my boss see that I was doing this when I was supposed to be working. My constant sniggering soon caught his attention. :roll:
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Xesh
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Post by Xesh » Tue Sep 04, 2007 5:07 pm

If you want to have a laugh then you should read a book called "Eats, Shoots and leaves." It's a book that takes the p*ss out of various errors in punctuation.

Here's one.

A panda walks into a cafe. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots into the air.

"Why?" asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.

"I'm a panda," he says, at the door. "Look it up."

The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation.

"Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.

This book is full of things like that. Well worth a read. :lol:

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CraigGrannell
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Post by CraigGrannell » Tue Sep 04, 2007 7:01 pm

Truss's book is a good one—and worth reading—but for all her amusing stories about punctuation, I can't really forgive the fact that there's a punctuation error in the bloody strap-line that's on the damn cover! So much for "practice what you preach".
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DrBlue
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Post by DrBlue » Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:32 pm

Maybe she was trying to be 'ironic'?
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Post by paranoid marvin » Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:35 pm

DrBlue wrote:Maybe she was trying to be 'ironic'?
Yeah women like irony - or is it ironing ? I can never remember which
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Post by JetSetWilly » Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:55 pm

getting back to w4nk3rs, Wilma says it in an episode of The Flintstones. Cartoon Network shows it at 3pm. and even the DVD has the PG rating!!!

never laughed so much when she called fred it. if only he knew what she called him...........slaps aplenty!!
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Post by bolda » Wed Sep 05, 2007 5:16 pm

"Eats, Shoots and Leaves" is an interesting read, but it's a dangerous topic to write about as you are setting yourself up for a fall if any errors slip past the proof readers. I'm not a grammar-boffin but even I think I noticed a couple of potential errors in the book...

One was that she often uses a film called "Two Weeks Notice" as an example of bad grammar because of its missing apostrophe. I might be wrong, but shouldn't "Two weeks" also be hyphenated? She devotes a whole chapter to hyphenation but doesn't mention the "Two Weeks Notice" example at all.

Also, there was a section on the use of parentheses, in which she clearly states that a sentence should still make sense even if you don't read any of the parenthesised text in it... then a few pages later there is a sentence containing parntheses which doesn't make sense if you leave out the text inside the parentheses.

The parody "Eats, Shites & Leaves" is also worth a read! :D
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