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Thread: grammar question

  1. #16
    Registered User miyako73's Avatar
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    Which is correct?

    He left forever and was forgotten.

    or

    He left forever, and was forgotten.
    "You laugh at me because I'm different, I laugh at you because you're all the same."

    --Jonathan Davis

  2. #17
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    Both are correct, though the comma (called an 'Oxford comma' because it precedes 'and' - not used so much nowadays) would be better employed if there was more to follow, such as

    He left forever, and was forgotten once his only living relative died.

    H

  3. #18
    Registered User miyako73's Avatar
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    I hope I'm not the only one who has benefited from my questions--the subtleties in English grammar. So, which is correct?

    I listened to the hit novella on the radio about two lovers where one was doomed to die and the other destined to mourn.

    or

    I listened to the hit novella on the radio about two lovers where one was doomed to die and the other, destined to mourn.

    or

    I listened to the hit novella on the radio about two lovers where one was doomed to die and the other was destined to mourn.
    "You laugh at me because I'm different, I laugh at you because you're all the same."

    --Jonathan Davis

  4. #19
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    1 and 3 are correct - 2 is missing something because the pause after 'the other' suggests there's more to follow otherwise it doesn't make sense... like

    I listened to the hit novella on the radio about two lovers where one was doomed to die and the other, destined to mourn, never forgave herself for cheating on him.

    H

  5. #20
    Registered User billl's Avatar
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    Regarding the punctuation, I think the comma in the second example is a little too much, kind of melodramatic, maybe. Other than that, they all look fine to me. The third seems more in the spirit of "just the facts" and the others seem a little more "poetic" or something, maybe because the sharing of the auxiliary "was" gives us a hint of their conjoined fates or something.

    BONUS ANALYSIS, PERHAPS COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY AND UNWANTED
    At first, though, I thought other aspects of the sentence where in question. Is this just some crazy example sentence, put together just to test the construction? Here are my other thoughts about this sentence, but perhaps it's all unnecessary…

    If we change "hit novella" to "story" (or "song") and change "was doomed to die" and "was destined to mourn" to "got into trouble" and "got him out of it" or something, then all three sound like the sort of thing people might naturally say. I'm kind of joking around here, and I know it completely changes the meaning of the sentence, but I'm trying to lead into my opinion that using "where" like this doesn't sound like something a person would do if they were also throwing the words doom, destiny, mourn, and novella into the same sentence. Using "where" in that way sounds colloquial to me, especially relative to those more "fancy" words.

    Of course, a person might enjoy novellas, might naturally use words like doom, destiny, and mourning, and ALSO speak informally/coolquially, and use "where" in this sort of construction, just like other people in their community do while talking about everyday matters--but, just seeing these sentences on their own, with no other info about the speaker or examples of how they talk/write, I'm quite struck by how they are "mixing modes" here. Beyond the concept of "hit novella" (on the radio!), I could imagine myself saying any of these three sentences. But it's a little strange, and there's a good chance I'd take care to say it in a way that matches the construction to the "literary" subject, like maybe, "I listened to the hit novella on the radio about two lovers, one of whom was doomed to die, the other destined to mourn."

  6. #21
    Registered User miyako73's Avatar
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    Thanks a bunch!

    For some reason I'm allergic to the sounds of "in which" and "of whom" in a literary prose. They sound too academic or professorial. Is "where" exclusively used for places? Is a jewelry box that contains rings a place? if it is, then which is correct?

    I found the box in which I put my rings.

    or

    I found the box where I put my rings.


    I find the flow of the second better. What do you think?
    "You laugh at me because I'm different, I laugh at you because you're all the same."

    --Jonathan Davis

  7. #22
    Registered User billl's Avatar
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    The second sounds MUCH better to me (and yes, the box would be a place) but both are correct. I don't like to use "in which" either (if you ever use it, be careful it doesn't sound just as you now fear it might sound...). I think the issue I had had more to do with using "where" to refer to a story or situation. "I was talking about the car accident where you forgot to exchange insurance info last year." "It was the ceremony in which the esteemed prophet conveyed our faith and commitment to our Lord Of The Great Beyond."
    Last edited by billl; 12-09-2012 at 03:52 PM.

  8. #23
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    If we're being pedantic the second sentence is 'incorrect' for what you're trying to convey.

    I found the box in which I put my rings - is fine, though should probably be 'inside which I put by rings'

    I found the box where I put my rings - suggests you found the box in the same place you put your rings (and does NOT imply the rings are inside the box)


    So the flow of the second might be better but the meaning has changed from what you intended.

    H

  9. #24
    Registered User billl's Avatar
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    That's a good point, I guess it would just be "colloquially correct" without specific context (e.g. if the listener had no idea the speaker had been looking for a box, I think it could be fair for a certain type of pedant to judge the sentence as "correct"). For the record, miyako, in the specific example I'd probably most naturally say, "I found the box I put my rings in", with the preposition right at the end there (and quite a few pedants would jump on that)--which is a nod to the first sentence, really.
    Last edited by billl; 12-09-2012 at 05:28 PM.

  10. #25
    Registered User miyako73's Avatar
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    On series and the absence of "and":

    1) I gave her a flower, a chocolate bar, and a handwritten poem.

    2) I gave her a flower, a chocolate bar, a handwritten poem.

    I liked the flow of number 2, but the sentence number 1 expressed exactness. In the first sentence, I gave her only three things. In the second, I could only list three of the things I gave her. What do you think?
    Last edited by miyako73; 12-09-2012 at 08:51 PM.
    "You laugh at me because I'm different, I laugh at you because you're all the same."

    --Jonathan Davis

  11. #26
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    Both your examples are fine - it's down to the chosen style raaher than exactness of expression. For the record - most would remove the Oxford comma (the one preceding 'and' in your first example) as it's no longer in common use.

    H

  12. #27
    Registered User miyako73's Avatar
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    Grammar time... hehehehe... thank you.


    long, jet black-haired woman

    or

    long jet black-haired woman
    "You laugh at me because I'm different, I laugh at you because you're all the same."

    --Jonathan Davis

  13. #28
    Registered User billl's Avatar
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    "Jet-black" is a hyphenation I'd definitely use, so I'd end up with "jet-black-haired woman"

  14. #29
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    He's right ^^ otherwise we're left wondering where the jet woman came from.

    H

  15. #30
    Registered User miyako73's Avatar
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    Split infinitive:

    I had to readily give her the money to avoid confrontation.

    I had to give her readily the money to avoid confrontation.

    I had to give readily her the money to avoid confrontation.

    I had to give her the money readily to avoid confrontation.

    Readily, I had to give her the money to avoid confrontation.


    I think the split infinitive in sentence number 1 sounds better. What do you think?
    "You laugh at me because I'm different, I laugh at you because you're all the same."

    --Jonathan Davis

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