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Punctuation rules explained for non-US-American.

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Writer’s_Magic, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. When you’re a non-mother tongue of US-English, punctuation is an absolutely horrible trap. However, it’s very important if you write! And not only as your hobby. In Germany English is one of the common core. So, I would be as jubilant as someone who has six numbers in the lottery, if you explain me it. (Please, so easy as you can.)
     
  2. goldhawk

    goldhawk Troubadour

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    Most Americans can't punctuate properly and each editor has their own idea of what is proper. Pick up a copy of Elements of Style and learn that. It's about the best you can do. :)
     
  3. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
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  4. CupofJoeCupofJoe Yep. I learned them already. Almost memorized. But I’m talking about rules for comma, point, etc.
     
  5. goldhawk

    goldhawk Troubadour

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    Napkin vs diaper.
     
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  6. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    Oh... I don't think we'd confuse THOSE TWO!
    That written... I've just read that Napkin is an old word for a Diaper and that Diaper is to do with the weave of the cloth they used for nappies... You learn something every day.
     
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  7. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

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    Well, there are a lot of rules about writing, and when I am in doubt, I usually refer back to Strunk and White's elements of style (see above). But I don't really consult with that much anymore. Writing, as in creative writing, or fiction writing, is also an art, and there are no rules to art. Punctuation and grammar and all that are just there to help communicate ideas, and if the ideas are being communicated, then there should be room to do some of it artfully, and at that point, the rules be damned.

    I break many rules when I write, and I am aware of a good number of them. Some will pick on them. Maybe some could do it better. I do it the way I think it ought to be, and as best I can. I also make a lot of errors and if they are pointed out, Ill try to fix them, so I do appreciate it. But I am more interested in the story than I am in comma usage.

    Unless it is just really bad, in which case, well...its just really bad.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
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  8. Napkin is british and diaper is american.
     
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  9. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    It might be, but if you ask a British person what to do with a napkin, they say to put it on your lap. They would put a nappie on a baby.
     
  10. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

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    Okay, that makes more sense... I’ve heard nappie before. But then I remember once after a night of drinking and getting breakfast... the waitress was a brit and asked a table full of drunk americans if they wanted bangers. That was one of the funnest waitresses I ever met.

    Oh yes, punctuation... commas are wild critters with overlapping rules once you exit the world of simple sentences and purist grammar. Whenever I’m feeling particularly masochistic I use a grammar checker on my commas. Brutal, baby.
     
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