Author Topic: Why There Are Rules for Writing  (Read 7538 times)

Offline thatollie

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Re: Why There Are Rules for Writing
« Reply #30 on: February 04, 2009, 11:52:36 PM »
You know the old saying.
Either they'll laugh to death in the crowd, or you'll die onstage.
someone's not leaving the theater
Never make a decision standing up.

Offline Swampfox one

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Re: Why There Are Rules for Writing
« Reply #31 on: February 05, 2009, 07:18:07 AM »
Ollie
I'll tell you if you can tell me why the Mona Lisa is the most famous painting in the world.
The answer to your question is the genus of the painter and the eye of the beholder.

Rules!
Yes we must follow the rules spelling grammar punctuation but this does not make a good writer.  Larry McMurtry comes to mind; I have read some of his work where he is in the head of no less than four character in one paragraph.  One most written about in textbooks is Lonesome Dove which is one of my favorites.  He also will slip from third person POV to omniscient POV which is so easy to do.  But look at his work óman!  :o 8)

Offline Spell Chick

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Re: Why There Are Rules for Writing
« Reply #32 on: February 05, 2009, 09:23:50 AM »
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/4522525/Education-ministers-blog-littered-with-spelling-mistakes.html?10000=Spoons

This is why it's important. No one takes you seriously, no matter your position, if you don't use the language correctly.
Little Bits of History A short essay on something that happened on any day.

Imperfect Reason My thoughts, such as they are.

GondorianPrincess

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Re: Why There Are Rules for Writing
« Reply #33 on: February 05, 2009, 11:07:57 AM »
I do agree that the rules that make comunication clear should be adhered too.
However, since I am a creative writer, I also believe that breaking rules isn't all that bad.
If anyone here has read "Unfortunate Events" there is one chapter in the first book where the Author uses the word "Really" about a hundred-and-something times.

That let me know that I could do that, my self, if I so wanted.

Offline Spell Chick

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Re: Why There Are Rules for Writing
« Reply #34 on: February 10, 2009, 07:38:37 AM »
From Robert Gorrell's 1994 book, Watch Your Language:

This is the opening paragraph of chapter 4 Ė on grammar.

"Language conveys meaning in two ways, semantically and grammatically. Semantically we get meaning because a word is a symbol for an idea, for a thought. We get meaning from dog because we relate it to our experience with a certain variety of four-legged animal. We get meaning from bone because it stands for our impressions of an object or a substance. We know what kind of action bury symbolizes. But just speaking those words Ė in alphabetical order, for instance Ė wouldn't say much: "bone bury dog." To make sense we have to show how the ideas represented by the words are related. We do this by creating a grammar, using grammatical devices. We can say "The dog buries the bone," and listeners know what we mean."

So far the book has been really a fun read, for a word person. Some of the idiomatic speech he was decrying has fallen by the wayside, some has become standard usage already. Language is a living thing.
Little Bits of History A short essay on something that happened on any day.

Imperfect Reason My thoughts, such as they are.

Offline Vienna

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Re: Why There Are Rules for Writing
« Reply #35 on: February 10, 2009, 08:05:41 AM »


Depends whether one knows when ones breaking the rules when one breaks them....I think bad spelling is a serious misuse of language but then to many people it is not important.
Just a well-read punk peasant

Going to church makes you a christian as much as standing in a garage makes you a car!

Offline Swampfox one

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Re: Why There Are Rules for Writing
« Reply #36 on: February 10, 2009, 09:07:31 AM »
Just what are we talking about?  Everyone is making good points.  However if we are talking about fiction then does not it depend on your story and your characters within.  How they speak? :-\

Offline Vienna

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Re: Why There Are Rules for Writing
« Reply #37 on: February 10, 2009, 09:14:38 AM »


yeah good point, if you have a character from a  certain part of the country or a less-educated character it could be that you show this by using grammar mistakes etc. But I think here in the forum we should take care with language and how we use it.
Just a well-read punk peasant

Going to church makes you a christian as much as standing in a garage makes you a car!

Offline Spell Chick

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Re: Why There Are Rules for Writing
« Reply #38 on: February 10, 2009, 09:24:55 AM »
Mark Twain's characters could speak any old which way they needed to speak. Even dialect was included.

The prose around the speech had to be filled with grammatically correct sentences.

Nouns and verbs need to match. Tense needs to be consistent. Homophones need to be watched.
Spelling needs to be correct. Punctuation has rules to follow or all is lost in a run-on sentence filled with ideas allegory metaphor and the like all squished together.

BTW, I learned in school, when we were still carving our words on rocks, that the series did not have a comma before the "and" or "or" and now it is supposed to be there.
I also learned to not split infinitives and now I can.

I'm all for a living language. And color and colour are both correct, depending on geography.

But to say grammar doesn't matter or some editor is going to correct your mistakes is jarring to me.
Little Bits of History A short essay on something that happened on any day.

Imperfect Reason My thoughts, such as they are.

Offline Swampfox one

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Re: Why There Are Rules for Writing
« Reply #39 on: February 10, 2009, 10:37:44 AM »
Quote
But to say grammar doesn't matter or some editor is going to correct your mistakes is jarring to me.
SpChick you have the point. ;)
What I try to do is let the reader see the way one of my characters speak then slowly go to correct spelling and grammar.
OOOH how I love Samuel!!  ;D ;D  He can teach you so much.  8)

Offline Spell Chick

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Re: Why There Are Rules for Writing
« Reply #40 on: February 10, 2009, 10:45:29 AM »
Yes,
Two Marks for you.

I wonder how hard he had to work to get such easily flowing tales on paper.

I think that is what makes writing great. How graceful, how easy to read it is.
Little Bits of History A short essay on something that happened on any day.

Imperfect Reason My thoughts, such as they are.

GondorianPrincess

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Re: Why There Are Rules for Writing
« Reply #41 on: February 10, 2009, 11:59:50 AM »
Here is how I look at it.

In a third person prose - the Character can use any sort of language as long as its their charcteristic. I may have one character who say's one word all the time, and, I can also use the word "ain't" in the character speach but no in the prose.

In first person - Since I view this as the character narating the story, I feel that they may use the word "ain't" and I put it in the prose but only when neccesary and if I am making a funny.

exp - Ain't he a peculiar sort of person?

This I could also use in the third person prose, but only if the character is saying out loud to themselves or to another character.

Offline Swampfox one

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Re: Why There Are Rules for Writing
« Reply #42 on: February 10, 2009, 12:23:32 PM »
 "I swear, Elf" ::)

GondorianPrincess

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Re: Why There Are Rules for Writing
« Reply #43 on: February 10, 2009, 01:52:11 PM »

Nelodra

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Re: Why There Are Rules for Writing
« Reply #44 on: February 10, 2009, 02:08:09 PM »
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/4522525/Education-ministers-blog-littered-with-spelling-mistakes.html?10000=Spoons

This is why it's important. No one takes you seriously, no matter your position, if you don't use the language correctly.

I agree.
A minister of Education, no less. Good grief!  :o