~ "Grammar for Dummies." On sale! ~

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~ "Grammar for Dummies." On sale! ~

Post by Emmy Winchester on Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:16 pm

Alright People Listen up! I do not think it's too much to ask us all to obey the basic rules of English grammar. So in the spirit of helping those who may not remember those grammar lessons I'm sure everyone suffered through back in grade school or even high school, I've decided to provide you with a quicky list to refer to! If I catch people abusing the English language repeatedly.

Please use proper capitalization. This means the first letter at the beginning of all sentences, proper nouns such as someone's name or the name of a town/city/etc. Also included is capitalizing "I" when refering to one's self.

Punctuation: USE IT. This means commas, semicolons, colons, exclamation marks, etc. If you're really confused, this website has a nice quicky guide: http://esl.about.com/od/englishgrammar/a/a_punctuation.htm

Tense consistency. If a thread begins in a particular tense, please do your best to keep in that tense. This includes, but is not limited to past tense, present tense and future tense. There are thirteen acceptible tenses within the English language, it shouldn't be that hard to pick one and stick with it.

Contractions. When contracting phrases such as "I will," please be sure you are punctuating it correctly as "I'll" and not as "ill" or "Ill." You'll just end up looking like an idiot and everyone will publicly mock you.

Words that sound alike - please try to use the correct word, as it makes me cringe. This includes, but is not limited to:
There/They're/Their. Proper usage of these would be: "The book is over there." "They're going to the movies together." and "This is their home." This website here: http://www.business-words.com/dictionary/ has an extensive directory of sound-a-like words as well as this website, which is very good: http://www.elearnenglishlanguage.com/difficulties/difficulties.html. Make use of either if you're really confused.

Lie vs. Lay
Lie (to recline): She lies quietly. Last night, she lay quietly. For years, she has lain quietly.
Lay (to place): She lays it there. Yesterday, she laid it there. Many times she has laid it there.
Lay (to place) must always be followed by an object.

Lose vs. Loose
Loose is an adjective, the opposite of tight or contained. Such as: "Those ropes are too loose."
Lose is a verb that means to suffer the loss of, to miss. Such as: "I never meant to lose my heart."

Paragraphs. Yes I realize that everyone is trying to stick to the five sentences per paragraph, two paragraphs per reply minimum, but please please please, if you are changing ideas, start a new paragraph. In the end, you'll have a better reply, it will look better, be less confusing to follow and in the long run will maybe allow you to grow as a writer. It would be better to have three or more paragraphs that are coherently written than to have two garbled and smushed together paragraphs. Very few professional writers have exactly 3-5 sentences in every single paragraph. The main goal is to give a good, solid reply that others can work from. This is especially true of dialogue!

Spelling. Dear lord folks, try and check your spelling if you're unsure of how a word is spelt, especially if it's a rather common word. I'm sure everyone is capable of either checking their replies in Spell Check, although don't place all your faith in that, since it doesn't catch everything. There's also this amazing website, dictionary.com that is fantastically helpful and also has a thesarus so you can also look up other options to any word. It's a wonderful site and I whole-heartedly recommend it.

Spell out numbers. This means one, two, three and so on, rather than 1, 2, 3 when describing the number of any given numbers. Exceptions include monetary amounts and time (such as 1p, although it's also acceptable to use one o'clock). Rule of thumb for this is spell out one-ten, anything above that, you can use numerals for.

This isn't a rule, so much as a recommendation - People should just keep in mind that unclear referents are the devil. Pronouns always refer to the last noun, in proper grammer. With so many male characters it may become difficult to keep it straight just who that "he" in the paragraph is. Descriptive words are your friends when you don't want to repeat a proper name over and over again.

Dialogue suggestions:
Space out your dialogue! It gets very difficult to read and/or follow what your character is saying when it's all in one great big chunk of text. Be descriptive! Some people are very animated when they speak - Some character will move there hands when speaking.

A lot - This is always two words. Not alot, a lot. Proper use: A lot of people make simple mistakes. Same thing with at least, it is not atleast.

Anything that you would like to PM me about, please do so, I will add it.


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