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Bellelettres Profile
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Re: Miss Grundy's Classroom


I would never give up my Oxford comma!
6/1/2018, 2:16 pm Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Re: Miss Grundy's Classroom


quote:

Bellelettres wrote:

I would never give up my Oxford comma!



Hear, hear!

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6/1/2018, 2:47 pm Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: Miss Grundy's Classroom


I keep insisting on it! emoticon

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Lis

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6/1/2018, 5:02 pm Link to this post PM JustLis
 
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Re: Miss Grundy's Classroom


What's an Oxford comma?

I remember in my first job out of college, as a secretary, I was criticized for using too many commas. I would type something like "Larry, Curly, and Moe" instead of "Larry, Curly and Moe."
6/1/2018, 11:52 pm Link to this post PM Birdz
 
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Re: Miss Grundy's Classroom


An Oxford comma, sometimes called a "Harvard comma" or "serial comma" is a comma used after the penultimate item in a list of three or more items, before ‘and’ or ‘or’ (e.g. an Italian painter, sculptor, and architect ).

I know when I was in grade school we were taught not to use it and that list would have been written as

"an Italian painter, sculptor and architect"

i.e., no comma after sculptor.

However the omission of that can lead to "confusion" as these examples show:

Image

And the problems aren't restricted to humorous ones. Lawsuits have actually resulted from lack of that comma.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/09/us/oxford-comma-maine.html
6/2/2018, 5:43 am Link to this post PM shiftless2
 
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Re: Miss Grundy's Classroom


quote:

Birdz wrote:

What's an Oxford comma?

I remember in my first job out of college, as a secretary, I was criticized for using too many commas. I would type something like "Larry, Curly, and Moe" instead of "Larry, Curly and Moe."



You were using an Oxford comma, and they criticized you for it.

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6/2/2018, 9:11 am Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: Miss Grundy's Classroom


I had occasion to google the singular "they" today, and thought you all might be interested in what I found about what the Chicago Manuel of Style thinks about it nowadays:

Chicago Style for the Singular They

Chicago Manual / April 3, 2017

Since the announcement that the 17th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style will arrive in September, there has been a lot of buzz about some of the announced changes to the Manual. We’ll be looking closer at some of the changes over the coming weeks. First up is the pronoun they when it refers to a singular antecedent.

The pronoun they

Most often in English the pronoun they refers to a plural antecedent, but they can also be used to refer to a singular antecedent. There are two main ways in which they has this singular meaning. In CMOS 17, one type is approved for use in all kinds of writing, including formal contexts; the other is recommended mainly for informal writing.

They as a substitute for the generic he
First, let’s take they as the familiar substitute for the so-called generic he when referring to someone whose gender is unknown or unspecified.

{Whoever tallied the scores should add their own vote to the total.}
{Does anyone want their pizza reheated?}

Chicago accepts this use of singular they in speech and informal writing. For formal writing, most modern style and usage manuals have not accepted this usage until recently, if at all. CMOS 17 does not prohibit the use of singular they as a substitute for the generic he in formal writing, but recommends avoiding it, offering various other ways to achieve bias-free language.

A note on flexibility: Editors should always practice judgment and regard for the reader. For instance, some recent books published by the University of Chicago Press feature the use of the singular they as a substitute for the generic he. Context should be a guide when choosing a style, and the writer’s preferences should always receive consideration.

They to refer to a specific person
A writer (or speaker) may also use they to refer to a specific, known person who does not identify with a gender-specific pronoun such as he or she. (They used in this way was the American Dialect Society’s 2015 Word of the Year.) CMOS 17 will advise that “a person’s stated preference for a specific pronoun should be respected.” This usage is still not widespread either in speech or in writing, but Chicago accepts it even in formal writing.

The grammar of they

Like singular you, singular they is treated as a grammatical plural and* takes a plural verb.

{their favorite color is blue}
{they have a degree in molecular biology}

CMOS 17 will state that themself (like yourself) may be used to signal the singular antecedent (though some people will prefer themselves).

{they blamed themself [or themselves]}

https://tinyurl.com/kmg6rpr

I must confess that "themself" gives me the creeps.
7/11/2018, 4:23 pm Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Re: Miss Grundy's Classroom


quote:

Bellelettres wrote:

I must confess that "themself" gives me the creeps.



Miss Grundy and I will sneer at that one every time. Miss Grundy also opposes the singular they, although she realizes it's a battle that has probably been lost already.

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7/11/2018, 5:48 pm Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: Miss Grundy's Classroom


Those whose manuscripts I edit will continue to get a singular he or he/she or s/he, but no "they"s from me. emoticon

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Lis

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7/11/2018, 6:12 pm Link to this post PM JustLis
 
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Re: Miss Grundy's Classroom


YAY Lis!

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7/11/2018, 6:22 pm Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: Miss Grundy's Classroom


Of course, what THEY do with their manuscripts and the "accept" or "reject" button is up to them.... emoticon

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Lis

Just one voice.... Singing in the darkness....
7/11/2018, 6:28 pm Link to this post PM JustLis
 
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Re: Miss Grundy's Classroom


Looking at s/he, a person I know came up with s/h/it. (And I like that better than s/he.)
7/11/2018, 6:29 pm Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Re: Miss Grundy's Classroom


Ha! The person you know has a wonderful sense of humor and grammar.

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7/11/2018, 6:32 pm Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: Miss Grundy's Classroom


Very punny person.
7/11/2018, 6:33 pm Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Re: Miss Grundy's Classroom


LOL, Belle! I actually prefer s/he. A whole lot of school policies discussing students are filled with either improper "they"s or a litany of "he or she"s. When you're looking at a page with perhaps 20 "he or she"s on the page, it's out of hand. The s/he works far more succinctly.

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Lis

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7/11/2018, 9:16 pm Link to this post PM JustLis
 
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Re: Miss Grundy's Classroom


Being a grammar redneck I will leave the proper English language to you wonderfully educated ladies.
7/11/2018, 10:19 pm Link to this post PM CooterBrown44
 
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Re: Miss Grundy's Classroom


In a professional setting, I was a grammar Nazi, but in real life, I don’t sweat it too much. Some rules I keep, like proper use of apostrophes, and some rules I don’t, like using “they” for singular. Even though teachers and bosses (and Miss Grundy) insist on adhering to all the rules of grammar, language does change with time. Five or six generations from now, the rules may be different.
7/11/2018, 10:41 pm Link to this post PM Birdz
 
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Re: Miss Grundy's Classroom


True, Birdz. I'm not as careful here as I am in professional writing. Heck, I even resort to ALL-CAPS for emphasis, and I torture ellipses to death.... But it's how I talk, with my sentences just fading off into nothing.... emoticon

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Lis

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7/11/2018, 11:42 pm Link to this post PM JustLis
 
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Re: Miss Grundy's Classroom


My big change with the times has been switching from the closed comma style to the open comma style. Open style makes a sentence flow better, and I'm careful about using a comma where to omit it would change the meaning I intend.
7/12/2018, 6:58 am Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Re: Miss Grundy's Classroom


On those occasions when I had to edit the writing of colleagues, what I came across a lot was loooong sentences. They just didn’t flow well, even though they were grammatically correct. I found myself breaking up long sentences into two or more shorter sentences for better readability.

What do you call inserting a thought - in the middle of a sentence just as I’m doing now for illustration - in between hyphens? I sometimes do that to make the sentence flow better.
7/12/2018, 11:36 am Link to this post PM Birdz
 


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