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Thread: Grammar / Spelling / Punctuation Discussion and Appreciation (questions welcome!)

  1. #61
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    Default Re: Grammar / Spelling / Punctuation Discussion and Appreciation (questions welcome!)

    Advice or advise?

    I prefer to think the former as the noun and the latter as the verb, although some people prefer to use advise for everything:

    Jack gave Daniel some advise. (for an example)

    What's the correct form, by the way?

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    Default Re: Grammar / Spelling / Punctuation Discussion and Appreciation (questions welcome!)

    Quote Originally Posted by blazingfire View Post
    Advice or advise?

    I prefer to think the former as the noun and the latter as the verb, although some people prefer to use advise for everything:

    Jack gave Daniel some advise. (for an example)

    What's the correct form, by the way?
    According to The Oxford Guide to English Usage, advice is indeed the noun, and advise is the verb. Mind you, that's British English usage; American usage may well be different, I don't know.

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    Default Re: Grammar / Spelling / Punctuation Discussion and Appreciation (questions welcome!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Goose View Post
    According to The Oxford Guide to English Usage, advice is indeed the noun, and advise is the verb. Mind you, that's British English usage; American usage may well be different, I don't know.
    No, it's precisely the same in American usage, Goose.

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    Default Re: Grammar / Spelling / Punctuation Discussion and Appreciation (questions welcome!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Goose View Post
    Cannot or can not? I've seen both types, and as far as I'm aware, both are acceptable. Which do you prefer, and why? Personally, I like cannot, because, to me, words generally look better if written together rather than apart (which would probably explain why I love word nevertheless.) In Swedish, which is my mother language, words are mostly written together (fire engine, for example, would be spelt fireengine, though obviously in Swedish), and one of the worst 'sins' of Swedish is to spell a word as two words if they are supposed to be spelt as one. So that's why I tend to, sometime erroneously, prefer English spellings that are spelt as one rather than two words. Anyone else have any thoughts, or preferences?
    My basic rule for this is if you could substitute "can't", then "cannot" is the word. "Can not" isn't used much, but if it is, it seems to me to fit only in situations where you're saying someone could safely avoid doing something, rather than that they can't do it. For example"

    John can't lift the box.
    John cannot lift the box.

    Both of these are correct and semantically equivalent.


    John can not lift the box. -- to me this implies that you're "giving permission" to John to leave the box where it is.

    Make sense?

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  5. #65
    Leslie Winkle mathpiglet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grammar / Spelling / Punctuation Discussion and Appreciation (questions welcome!)

    If it implies permission, wouldn't 'may not' make more sense?
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  6. #66
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    Default Re: Grammar / Spelling / Punctuation Discussion and Appreciation (questions welcome!)

    Not in the context we're talking about. In the context I listed above, "may not" would be construed as "maybe wont" or "is not permitted to". "Can" would be the colloquial (not necessarily grammatical) way of saying what I gave as my example.

    Another, better example might be this:

    "We can go shopping at the mall, and then go to the movies afterward. Or, we can not go to the mall and just go straight to the movies. Which do you prefer?" Permission, sort of, but not in any formal sense, and the whole thing is basically a colloquial construction. "May" wouldn't work in this example.

    The best way to avoid the whole hassle is simply to use "cannot" exclusively for all instances that Goose brought up, and avoid "can not" altogether except in instances that are specifically of the above type.

    (Yes, I'm female. Okay?)
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  7. #67
    First Lieutenant Feast of the Muse's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grammar / Spelling / Punctuation Discussion and Appreciation (questions welcome!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Goose View Post
    Cannot or can not? I've seen both types, and as far as I'm aware, both are acceptable. Which do you prefer, and why? Personally, I like cannot, because, to me, words generally look better if written together rather than apart (which would probably explain why I love word nevertheless.) In Swedish, which is my mother language, words are mostly written together (fire engine, for example, would be spelt fireengine, though obviously in Swedish), and one of the worst 'sins' of Swedish is to spell a word as two words if they are supposed to be spelt as one. So that's why I tend to, sometime erroneously, prefer English spellings that are spelt as one rather than two words. Anyone else have any thoughts, or preferences?
    I do prefer the compound words, or at least a hyphen to connect them, as to me that ensures that they are treated together as one concept. If you stick them out alone in the sentence, you could be inviting accidental confusion. Just like I say 'alright' instead of all right - you wouldn't hear the difference if I just spoke it, but in writing it, it makes a difference. If I write, "The directions that he gave us were all right," you could conceivably think we won't make any left turns. If I instead write, "The directions that he gave us were alright," it is clear that they will will suffice and I am not talking about a direction. Not the best example, I know, but it does make my point.

  8. #68
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    Default Re: Grammar / Spelling / Punctuation Discussion and Appreciation (questions welcome!)

    Well, you can't properly hyphenate cannot and all right. That said, I have to admit that whenever I read "alright" I always want to get out a red pen, because I was taught all through school that it's an unacceptable spelling.

    I think very few people would construe "the directions were all right" as meaning no left turns - the default for any native English speaker, at least of American English, would be to hear "all right" as meaning "okay". Then again, in order to avoid confusion, you could simply use "okay" instead of "all right" in that context.

    There are lots of words that English speakers elide, but I don't really think we should start turning all of those combinations into single words. If we did, you'd have words like "righturn" and "lefturn" and "cardoor"...

    (Yes, I'm female. Okay?)
    Sum, ergo scribo...

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  9. #69
    First Lieutenant Feast of the Muse's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grammar / Spelling / Punctuation Discussion and Appreciation (questions welcome!)

    Yeah, I knew that wasn't the best of examples. Am I wrong in thinking that we commonly put a dash between (I said hyphenate before) two words if we need to convey them as one concept, but they aren't a commonly accepted compound word? I know I do it all the time, but now that I need one, they've all gone swimming.

  10. #70
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    Default Re: Grammar / Spelling / Punctuation Discussion and Appreciation (questions welcome!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Feast of the Muse View Post
    Yeah, I knew that wasn't the best of examples. Am I wrong in thinking that we commonly put a dash between (I said hyphenate before) two words if we need to convey them as one concept, but they aren't a commonly accepted compound word? I know I do it all the time, but now that I need one, they've all gone swimming.
    That'll teach you to buy your vocabulary a pool pass.

    We use the dash or hyphen (great, now I'm having brain hiccups as to which is which) for some of those compound concepts, but I don't think there's actually a real rule that says to use it. I only know that in some cases it looks more correct when it's used, and in others it looks more correct to me without it. Also, I think it's more common to use it in British English than in American English. Perhaps one of our friendly neighborhood Brits will be so kind as to chime in and address that issue, please?

    (Yes, I'm female. Okay?)
    Sum, ergo scribo...

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  11. #71
    First Lieutenant Goose's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grammar / Spelling / Punctuation Discussion and Appreciation (questions welcome!)

    Quote Originally Posted by SF_and_Coffee View Post
    That'll teach you to buy your vocabulary a pool pass.

    We use the dash or hyphen (great, now I'm having brain hiccups as to which is which) for some of those compound concepts, but I don't think there's actually a real rule that says to use it. I only know that in some cases it looks more correct when it's used, and in others it looks more correct to me without it. Also, I think it's more common to use it in British English than in American English. Perhaps one of our friendly neighborhood Brits will be so kind as to chime in and address that issue, please?
    I'll dig out my style book when I get home, because I distinctly remember there being something about hyphens in there

  12. #72
    Leslie Winkle mathpiglet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grammar / Spelling / Punctuation Discussion and Appreciation (questions welcome!)

    Quote Originally Posted by SF_and_Coffee View Post
    Not in the context we're talking about. In the context I listed above, "may not" would be construed as "maybe wont" or "is not permitted to". "Can" would be the colloquial (not necessarily grammatical) way of saying what I gave as my example.

    Another, better example might be this:

    "We can go shopping at the mall, and then go to the movies afterward. Or, we can not go to the mall and just go straight to the movies. Which do you prefer?" Permission, sort of, but not in any formal sense, and the whole thing is basically a colloquial construction. "May" wouldn't work in this example.

    The best way to avoid the whole hassle is simply to use "cannot" exclusively for all instances that Goose brought up, and avoid "can not" altogether except in instances that are specifically of the above type.
    I thought for maybe, maybe not, you would use 'might not'. But I see your point.

    I went looking and found this:
    The only context in which can not, two words, occurs is as an emphatic alternative: "You can do it, or you can not do it."
    and this:
    The only instance in which "I can not [two words] work here" would be correct is this: I have a choice between working here and not working here. In other words, I can work here or I can not work here. In this case, not negates work; in cannot, not negates can. The latter is what we usually mean when we say we cannot (can't) do something.

    Strange as it may sound, "I can not work here" means "I am able to not work here," whereas "I cannot work here" means "I am unable / not able / not permitted to work here."
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  13. #73
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    Default Re: Grammar / Spelling / Punctuation Discussion and Appreciation (questions welcome!)

    Those two examples you've quoted peg it exactly. They say much more clearly what I was thinking. Thank you!

    As for "might/might not", yes. That, too.

    (Yes, I'm female. Okay?)
    Sum, ergo scribo...

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  14. #74
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    Default Re: Grammar / Spelling / Punctuation Discussion and Appreciation (questions welcome!)

    Glad to help. I'm not an expert, but I do find the study of the language intriguing.
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  15. #75
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    Default Re: Grammar / Spelling / Punctuation Discussion and Appreciation (questions welcome!)

    *sighs contentedly* I am no expert, but I do care and I love that we can talk about this stuff in such a civil manner. I visited a shipper thread for one of the other shows recently and the energy in there was not any fun at all. Lots of whining and pouting and childishness. I really appreciate that we all communicate like adults in here!


  16. #76
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    Default Re: Grammar / Spelling / Punctuation Discussion and Appreciation (questions welcome!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Feast of the Muse View Post
    *sighs contentedly* I am no expert, but I do care and I love that we can talk about this stuff in such a civil manner. I visited a shipper thread for one of the other shows recently and the energy in there was not any fun at all. Lots of whining and pouting and childishness. I really appreciate that we all communicate like adults in here!


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    Sum, ergo scribo...

    My own site ** FF.net * All That We Leave Behind * Symbiotica ** AO3

    now also appearing on DeviantArt
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  17. #77
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    Default Re: Grammar / Spelling / Punctuation Discussion and Appreciation (questions welcome!)

    My Chicago Manual of Style doesn't address this and my AP Stylebook is for writing articles, not fiction, so i'ts no help.

    With a third-person omniscient narrator, would characters be referred to by their first name or last name? For instance, Jack O'Neil and John Sheppard are referred to by fans and the characters by first name usually while Richard Woolsey and George Hammond both fans and character tend to refer to last name.

    When would it make more sense in the narrative to use a first name and when would it make more sense to you a last name when mentioning characters?
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    Default Re: Grammar / Spelling / Punctuation Discussion and Appreciation (questions welcome!)

    Quote Originally Posted by WraithRichard View Post
    With a third-person omniscient narrator, would characters be referred to by their first name or last name? For instance, Jack O'Neil and John Sheppard are referred to by fans and the characters by first name usually while Richard Woolsey and George Hammond both fans and character tend to refer to last name.
    Character name usage isn't really a function of what person you're writing in, but it can be a function of who your narrator is. My rule of thumb in 3rd-person omniscient is to just pick one version of the name and then stick to it. I used to write in 3rd omniscient all the time, but these days people complain about the head-hopping involved in that, no lately I write in more of a tight 3rd, except that my POV switches from character to character depending on what chapter I'm in, or I may possible switch POV into someone else's head with a distinct scene change within a chapter. One thing this does is allow me to use different names for the same character, as I will call other characters by whatever name the POV character would be most likely to use. For scenes in which the narration isn't really coming from any character, I then tend to simply use people's last names. (You'll notice both of the above techniques in my current story, if you haven't already.)

    When would it make more sense in the narrative to use a first name and when would it make more sense to you a last name when mentioning characters?[/QUOTE]

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  19. #79
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    Default Re: Grammar / Spelling / Punctuation Discussion and Appreciation (questions welcome!)

    Quote Originally Posted by blazingfire View Post
    Advice or advise?

    I prefer to think the former as the noun and the latter as the verb, although some people prefer to use advise for everything:

    Jack gave Daniel some advise. (for an example)

    What's the correct form, by the way?
    Jack gave Daniel advice.
    Daniel asked jack to advise him.

  20. #80
    First Lieutenant Feast of the Muse's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grammar / Spelling / Punctuation Discussion and Appreciation (questions welcome!)

    Quote Originally Posted by WraithRichard View Post
    My Chicago Manual of Style doesn't address this and my AP Stylebook is for writing articles, not fiction, so i'ts no help.

    With a third-person omniscient narrator, would characters be referred to by their first name or last name? For instance, Jack O'Neil and John Sheppard are referred to by fans and the characters by first name usually while Richard Woolsey and George Hammond both fans and character tend to refer to last name.

    When would it make more sense in the narrative to use a first name and when would it make more sense to you a last name when mentioning characters?
    Taking a stab at it here - as you say, there is no rule.

    Personally, I call them by what the other characters do. When my character Sarah first meets Sam, she calls her either Doctor or Major, until they get to know each other and Sam asks her to call her Sam. After that point in the writing, she is referred to as Sam, instead of, for example, "Major Carter led them out of the room."

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