Author Topic: Ask Opus: On Grammar  (Read 13329 times)

Offline Hugh

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Re: Ask Opus: On Grammar
« Reply #45 on: October 12, 2009, 02:11:10 PM »
When I said that a sentence “conveys exactly what you mean”, I meant just that. You say it may do no such thing for others if you are using “a private grammar construct you have simply gotten used to”. (Is that American for not being able to write proper English?)

If, for whatever reason, the reader gets a different message, then the sentence has not conveyed exactly what you mean, so I stand by what I said.

I fully appreciate that one could write a sentence that could be interpreted in different ways by different readers. When Aristotle talked about the precise and special meaning of a word, it was a warning to think about what a word could mean to others before you use it.

If I wrote, “He looked cool in a pale blue cotton shirt”, it could be taken in different ways.

But if I wrote, “He wore a pale blue cotton shirt”, wouldn’t that convey exactly what I meant, regardless of whether or not my grammar was technically perfect?

I’m not trying to be awkward here, but when someone corrects something I write, I like to be sure they are right in doing so.

Hugh

Offline Opus

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Re: Ask Opus: On Grammar
« Reply #46 on: October 12, 2009, 03:34:10 PM »
Hugh,

I'm sorry, my friend.  I can see that my post did not convey the information that I had intended.  This may have been due to my own misunderstanding of the point you were trying to make.  It is nothing personal toward you.

It seems to me that:

You are saying that the important thing is communication regardless of whether the execution conforms perfectly with some technical standard.  I agree with this.

You think I am trying to say that "perfect" grammar is important as an end in itself.  I am not saying this.  I am actually trying to say that a knowledge of grammar is important as a means to the end of effective communication.

Kind regards,
Opus

Offline Hugh

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Re: Ask Opus: On Grammar
« Reply #47 on: October 12, 2009, 03:47:07 PM »
I concur. We are batting for the same side – if you’ll forgive a cricket term.

Now you can have your thread back and concentrate on what it’s here for, while I sit in a deck chair enjoying watching someone else doing the work.

Hands across the sea and all that …

Hugh

Offline Opus

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Re: Ask Opus: On Grammar
« Reply #48 on: October 13, 2009, 08:21:02 PM »
Mr. Opus is in the hospital but will probably return in a few days.
 
Mrs. Opus

Offline Cathy C

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Re: Ask Opus: On Grammar
« Reply #49 on: October 13, 2009, 08:45:07 PM »
I am so sorry to hear that.

Would you tell Mr. Opus that I wish him well (you too, Mrs Opus) My thoughts are with you.

Hugs

Novel: Where There’s Smoke. Published by Fireborn publishing http://amzn.to/2tZKNCn

Short Story: A Killer Week Published by Bridge House http://amzn.to/2rhLVAX

Offline Jos

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Re: Ask Opus: On Grammar
« Reply #50 on: October 14, 2009, 02:52:35 AM »
Get well soon, Opus.  :-*
One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time - André Gide

Go on, buy a copy. http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/the-winter-of-our-mixed-content/7967165

Offline Don

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Re: Ask Opus: On Grammar
« Reply #51 on: October 14, 2009, 07:33:53 PM »
"Come back, Opus." *running into sunset* "Come back."
I have a motto: when in doubt, go for the cheap laugh.

Offline Opus

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Re: Ask Opus: On Grammar
« Reply #52 on: October 16, 2009, 07:06:08 AM »
I have left the hospital.  Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Offline pb

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Re: Ask Opus: On Grammar
« Reply #53 on: October 27, 2009, 05:02:01 PM »
thanks for the heads-up on parenthesis, Opus (i only noticed it today)

hope you're well, old chap

Offline Opus

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Re: Ask Opus: On Grammar
« Reply #54 on: November 15, 2009, 10:56:03 PM »
I have finally reached a point where I can start posting again.  My vacation is over, and I have returned to work.  My new medications are helping me avoid a recurrance of the illness that has plagued me for the last few years, so maybe I will be able to stay out of the hospital.  After six visits over the last few years--and two in the last year--I am ready to be well for a good long time.

Now with my routine returning to normal, I will be able to return to my activities here.

Kind regards,
Opus

Offline Cathy C

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Re: Ask Opus: On Grammar
« Reply #55 on: November 21, 2009, 02:24:03 PM »
Good to have you back, Opus :-*
Novel: Where There’s Smoke. Published by Fireborn publishing http://amzn.to/2tZKNCn

Short Story: A Killer Week Published by Bridge House http://amzn.to/2rhLVAX

Offline Opus

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Re: Ask Opus: On Grammar
« Reply #56 on: November 21, 2009, 02:58:20 PM »
I need to get back to this thread.  I have some things to post but have been too busy to get around to doing so.

Kind regards,
Opus

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Re: Ask Opus: On Grammar
« Reply #57 on: November 21, 2009, 05:05:13 PM »
If you find the time, I would love to hear you discuss the proper use of ellipses. Seen many writers misuse them. Would you clarify how-to for everyone?

Edit: I'll list the specific mistakes I see most often.

1. Proper use and spacing between sentences.

2. Proper use at the end of a sentence.

3. Proper use in dialogue.

4. Proper use with ending punctuation other than a period.

Thank you much.

Wolfe
« Last Edit: November 21, 2009, 05:29:57 PM by Wolfe »

Offline A.W.M

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Re: Ask Opus: On Grammar
« Reply #58 on: November 21, 2009, 08:43:05 PM »
Good one, Wolfe.  I look forward to the reply. 
Most people live and die
with their music still unplayed.
They never dare to try.

~ Mary Kay Ash

Offline Opus

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Re: Ask Opus: On Grammar
« Reply #59 on: November 22, 2009, 03:31:21 AM »
I will be happy to tackle this quite soon.

Kind regards,
Opus