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The rules of punctuation thread

Discussion in 'Parents Off Topic' started by Jacob'sDad, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. Lisa P.

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    This is as close as I can get to anything remotely reasonable. I cry uncle!

    James, while John had “had had”, “had” had had a better effect on the teacher.
     
  2. frizzyrazzy

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    This is like Bill Clinton's famous line "It depends on what the definition of 'is' is. "
     
  3. Lisa P.

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    Yes, but I prefer this Groucho Marx line I found while cheating about the had had had had sentence (couldn't stand it anymore):

    "Time flies like an arrow... Fruit flies like a banana."
     
  4. buggle

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    The rules for quotation marks are different in English English vs American English. :p I can barely figure out American English, so I'm not bothering with anything else.

    I look at writing the same as art. You should learn the rules to do it properly, but then you should be able to express yourself however you wish -- especially in fiction or informal writing. Otherwise, everything is so boring and stilted.
     
  5. momandwifeoftype1s

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    I don't want to post anything now for fear of being reprimanded for my punctuation errors or netiquette ;). Honestly, I think this is one place where spelling and grammar should not be so important. If parents are looking for quick information and help for their children, who cares if everything is perfect?
     
  6. funnygrl

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    As long as we're nit-picking today, semicolons need a full sentence on either side of them. A comma would be more appropriate there.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2008
  7. Twinklet

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    Nah, you won't be reprimanded here for that at all! This was just a fun and silly thread. Don't worry about grammar when you're posting!
     
  8. Twinklet

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  9. Twinklet

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    Affect is a verb, effect is an adjective. That's how I remember.
     
  10. Jacob'sDad

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    You're not that far off! Here it is.

    James, while John had had "had", had had "had had"; "had had" had had a better effect on the teacher.

    Which basically means, "While John had used 'had,' James had used 'had had.' The teacher had preferred 'had had.'"



    OK, I'm still confused as to why there is no apostrophe before the "s" in "its" in the sentence "The dog went into its house."

    It is because the word "its' is already possessive. So what? If I say "The dog went into the dog's house", then there is an apostrophe before the "s" in "dogs". If I say "It went into its house" then there is no apostrophe before the "s" in "its"? That makes no sense to me. The word "it" simply replaces the word "dog" therefore the rules of what happens when you add an "s" to it should be the same. For example, what if I had replaced "dog's" with "Fido's". There would then be an apostrophe before the "s" in "Fido's" right?
    So what if "its" is already possessive? "Dog's" is already possessive too. It can show either possession or mean "dog is" as in "The dog's going along, too." "It's" should be able to be used either way as well. It should be able to show possession or mean "It is", depending on the context.
     
  11. TheFormerLantusFiend

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    But this one isn't. An apostrophe should never pluralize. It's apostrophes.

    An apostrophe is used for possessive forms EXCEPT in the words its. "It's" always stands for it is, and so my CGMS has a sticker on its back, not on it's back. I learned that in 8th grade English :) My teacher sent my papers back to me for corrections and I got frustrated and said, "What's wrong with this?!" so she told me.
    The other confusing place that apostrophes go is at the end of words that end with S. Whether a law in Kansas is Kansas's law or Kansas' law is up for debate (though it is agreed among grammarians that it isn't Kansa's law). In general, the rule that I follow is that if I would pronounce a word differently in the possessive form, I add an apostrophe S, and if I pronounce the word the same way in the possessive and non-possessive forms, then I only add an apostrophe. So I personally would write Kansas's laws, but the zeroes' curves. The differences in pronunciation might lead to differences in punctuation in this case.
     
  12. Mama Belle

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    I do the exact same thing.
     
  13. Jacob'sDad

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    But WHY does "it's" always mean "it is"? When did that start and what's the logic behind it?
    Come on, I want more fascinating debate about "its" and "it's".
    Shouldn't it depend on what your definition of "it's" is? What would Bill Clinton have to say on the topic?
     
  14. Mama Belle

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    It is because "its" is a possessive pronoun. Other possessive pronouns are mine yours, hers, his, theirs. You do not add an apostrophe to hers, theirs or yours, so why would you add it to its? I hope that was satisfactory. I am sure Bill's explanation would have been much more verbose, but I'm no Bill Clinton.
     
  15. StillMamamia

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    See below....sorry
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2008
  16. StillMamamia

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    This is my take on it.

    "It is" is contracted into "it's", unless used to make an emphasis, such as:

    "It's a lovely day today!"
    "Yes, it is." (it would sound very weird saying "Yes, it's.")

    "Its" is always possessive


    "It's" has an easier flow when speaking, so with time, it just has become part of acceptable English usage. "It's" is a contraction of the pronoun "it" and the verb "is", so when contracted it takes an apostrophe between the two. "Its" is a different story.


    "Its" is historically derived from the genetive case, which is the 'ownership' case. You find grammatical cases in many languages, such as German, Russian and others. English, being a mix of Latin and Germanic languages, has kept these cases, although they are rarely taught as such in English language classes, excepting advanced English language history, linguistics, semantics or etymology classes.

    Like verbs, nouns and pronouns were "declined" into cases in earlier English. It is no longer done so formally, but the cases are still there.

    The cases are

    Subjective - who the subject is or who does the action, basically - I, you, he, she, it, we, they
    Objective - who receives the action - me, you, him, her, it, us, them
    Genetive - ownership - my/mine, your/yours, his/her(s), its, your(s), our(s), their(s)
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2008
  17. Mom2Will

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    Found this site helpful for my two oldest children:

    http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/grammar/g_apost.html

    The apostrophe has three uses:

    1) to form possessives of nouns
    2) to show the omission of letters
    3) to indicate certain plurals of lowercase letters.

    Apostrophes are NOT used for possessive pronouns or for noun plurals, including acronyms.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Forming possessives of nouns
    To see if you need to make a possessive, turn the phrase around and make it an "of the..." phrase. For example:

    the boy's hat = the hat of the boy
    three days' journey = journey of three days

    If the noun after "of" is a building, an object, or a piece of furniture, then no apostrophe is needed!

    room of the hotel = hotel room

    door of the car = car door

    leg of the table = table leg

    Once you've determined whether you need to make a possessive, follow these rules to create one.

    • add 's to the singular form of the word (even if it ends in -s):
    the owner's car
    James's hat

    • add 's to the plural forms that do not end in -s:

    the children's game
    the geese's honking

    • add ' to the end of plural nouns that end in -s:

    houses' roofs
    three friends' letters

    • add 's to the end of compound words:

    my brother-in-law's money
    • add 's to the last noun to show joint possession of an object:

    Todd and Anne's apartment
     
  18. saxmaniac

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    AFAIK "dog's" is not a standard contraction for "dog is". It may sound like that when you say it fast. But that looks just wrong to me written out.

    Similalry, "I should've had a V8" is a contraction of "should have" and a lot of people write it "I should of had a V8". It doesn't matter how you say it, the written English doesn't vary. Otherwise people in Bahstin would write English wikk'd diffrintly, ya heah?
     
  19. MissEmi

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    One thing my over-grammatical seventh grade English teacher told me: it's okay to start a sentence with "because."
    Example: "Because I don't want to."
    The above sentence is incorrect.
    Example: "Because I don't want to, I will not go to the grocery store."
    The above sentence is correct.

    So I generally use that to fall down on when my "perfect" relative tries to correct me :D.
     
  20. frizzyrazzy

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    the way I remember It's and its is that I always remember that It's stands for it-is. That's the only way I can remember. Its is like hers or his. You don't say her's, their's or hi's (for that matter, why isn't it hes?) hahah

    For names, like Chris I think the correct form is Chris' not Chris's same with Kansas. Or Jesus.
     

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