Skip to main content

View Diary: John McCain very sad that President Obama has no desire to 'have social interface' with him (293 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  That was fun! (8+ / 0-)

    I'll keep my grammar book, however. The video points out that the internet has debased our sense of grammar and syntax. I agree.

    We are none of us perfect, but some of us do try.

    One thing I do disagree with is the assertion that it is ungrammatical to end a sentence with a preposition. While English has a great deal of Latinate loan words, it is a Germanic language and as such it is completely permissible to end a sentence in a preposition. I am also a great proponent of the "Oxford comma".

    "Dick, Jane, and Tim went to the beach" implies three separate persons went to the beach. "Dick, Jane and Tim went to the beach" implies Jane and Tim are a couple.

    I wonder: How do you feel about the old rule of capitalizing the word that follows a colon?


    by commonmass on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 10:14:57 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  My wife (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Marti, Aunt Pat, commonmass

      is a huge fan of both Weird Al and the Oxford Comma. She was quite distressed that her favorite musical parodist diverged in his opinion of the Oxford Comma. I'm trying to think of a time when I have used a lowercase letter after a colon and can't think of any so I guess I agree with that particular rule although I haven't given it much thought.

      It is not the private interests of the individual that create lasting fellowship among men, but rather the goals of humanity. ~ The I Ching, 13th Hexagram

      by Blue Intrigue on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 10:22:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The only thing that kept me sane when (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, Geenius at Wrok

      translating Cicero was that I knew there would be a verb at the end of the sentence.  It was my anchor.  I still threw the book at the wall many times.

      •  In German that is nearly always true, except (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        anon004, gfv6800, Geenius at Wrok

        when a preposition comes at the end (usually when it is attached to the verb, as in "mitkommen", literally, "come with": It would be "Kommst du mit?" "Do you want to come (with me/us)?"

        I notice that friends of mine from the upper Midwest often say "Do you want to come with?" instead of "Would you like to come with me?". I chalk that up to the influence of German and Scandinavian languages in that region of the country.


        by commonmass on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 11:54:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I tried learning German (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          commonmass, Geenius at Wrok

          in my thirties in the 1990s, when my husband and I traveled there frequently to visit friends of ours (they're still friends, we just all have kids now, which makes traveling much more of a hassle).  Anyway, in my limited exposure (I don' think we had Rosetta Stone in those days :), I was fascinated to find out that the so-called Romance languages that are direct descendants of Latin, like French and Spanish (took French for five years in Middle School and High School and minored in Spanish in college), have dropped so many Latin grammatical constructs like noun declensions and word order that modern German, which is not a Romance language, retains.  

    •  Ending sentences with prepositions-- (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      remember the story about Winston Churchill who received a staffer comment on some paper WC had written:  "Sentences should not be ended with propositions."  Supposedly WC wrote a note back saying:  "This is the sort of arrant pedantry up with which I will not put!"

    •  Oxford comma rebuttal (0+ / 0-)

      The comma substitutes for the conjunction. "Red, white and blue" = "red and white and blue." "Red, white, and blue" = "red and white and and blue." Otherwise, why wouldn't you use a serial comma between just two items: "my mother, and my father"?

      As for capitalizing the word that follows a colon, the answer is yes if it begins a clause that could stand alone as a complete sentence, no if it begins a clause that would be a fragment. (Although you might choose not to capitalize it if the complete sentence explains or elaborates on the clause that precedes the colon.)

      "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

      by Geenius at Wrok on Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 02:20:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Dick, Jane and Tim went to the beach" can also (0+ / 0-)

      be read as someone telling Dick that Jane and Tim went to the beach.

      I am a stickler w.r.t. the Oxford comma (a new term for me, BTW). Never heard of capitalizing a word that follows a colon. Like "Colonoscopy"?

      Not sure about ending sentences with prepositions. We don't have the separable-prefix verbs of German, e.g. "Ich sehe das Haus an." "You're the one I'm talking to" is fine with me.

      •  prepositions (0+ / 0-)

        always told as a child when we said "Where at" that it is behind the a and the t.  I thought it was completely maddening. Now when I hear "where at" I find that maddening:)

        Oxford comma is term unknown to me too.  I always thought using 2 commas was pretty redundant, yet I notice it is used all the time now.  The teachers would knock off points for 2 commas when I was in school.  Could it possibly be just part of " dumbing down" the system.  

        a full colon was a way to separate 2 complete sentences, but not capitalized.  If you wanted to capitalize 2nd part you just made a 2nd sentence without colon.

        And showing my age for sure now, but my mother insisted that we eat French Fries with a fork.  lol.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site