Home Forums Ganymede & Titan Forum HELP ME IMPROVE MY ENGLISH

Viewing 18 posts - 1 through 18 (of 18 total)
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  • #4053
    John Hoare
    Participant

    Tonight, I am buying the following two books on a recommendation: Guardian Style, and Fowler’s Modern English Usage. Working with someone very clever has made me realise that my grammar and that could wot be lots bester in my riting, like.

    Has anyone got any suggestions for any similar books they’ve found useful?

    #100924
    JamesTC
    Participant

    The Dictionary.

    #100925
    John Hoare
    Participant

    Yeah, yeah, I *just* caught that and changed it. Grammer indeed.

    #100927
    Carlito
    Participant

    *ahem* grammar *ahem*

    #100929
    John Hoare
    Participant

    That was my point!

    #100940
    Baz
    Participant

    The Complete Molesworth.

    Incidentally, I can’t access G&T from work now, the Barracuda filter considers it “Tasteless and Offensive”. Well duh.

    #100949

    Have you tried the book Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss? I for one have found it to be a useful–and even enjoyable–book. It isn’t really exhaustive, but it doesn’t promise to be; instead it provides a good refresher for some of the more common uses of punctuation marks and how they’re properly used. Also, it manages to make punctuation really fun to read about. It might be a good start for the sort of thing you’re looking to do. (Also, if I remember correctly, it has a bibliography in the back which might help you further.)

    #100956
    Seb Patrick
    Keymaster

    I’m not sure if it’s exactly along the lines you’re looking for, because I think he talks more about general history and theory of language rather than specifically teaching usage, but David Crystal is the absolute master for writing about English linguistics in a way that is both academically superb and yet supremely engaging, clear and accessible. Again, I don’t know if it’d be right for your needs (and it’s pricey, and more of a degree-level thing), but his Cambridge Encyclopedia is a wonderful work.

    #100969
    Steve Harris
    Participant

    I’ve always found the Mr Men range very handy or indeed any Roger Hargreaves book for that matter.

    #100971
    ChrisM
    Participant

    I have the bad habit of putting a lot of brackets in my sentences (like this.) Then there are the run on sentences… (I’m usually aware of them though.)

    Incidentally, when would you use the hyphen -like this- instead of brackets? Is the hyphen used as an amplification of the previous point while brackets are a complete aside? Or are they interchangeable?

    #100979
    Tarka Dal
    Participant

    I’m really not the one to advise on this, but I thought a hyphen was usually to tie two sentences together. Also a journalist for The Times once advised me that full stops should be outside of brackets (like this).

    #100982
    TheLeen
    Participant

    That’s right, but only if the part in the brackets are still part of the sentence (like these).

    If there’s an entire sentence of its own right inside the brackets, it’s getting its own full stop. (I’m talking about a whole sentence in brackets.)

    #100984
    Danny Stephenson
    Keymaster

    There’s this brilliant one where Dick finds this ball… this big ball… this big red ball. it’s amazing stuff.

    #101025
    ChrisM
    Participant

    >Also a journalist for The Times once advised me that full stops should be outside of brackets (like this).

    I didn’t know that (as you can tell by my post)! I have often wondered about brackets and punctuation and I based my writing on what I’ve seen in books, etc. It’s quite possible I happened to see complete sentences in brackets and just applied the rule to them all. Nice to know! (It really looks odd to me though.)

    #101045
    Tarka Dal
    Participant

    The question is why would you ever have an entire independent sentence in brackets? If you’re typing a long section within brackets, then sure it needs it’s own punctuation. Chris’s last sentence “(It really looks…)” doesn’t appear to need the brackets.

    #101048
    Dave
    Participant
    #101094
    J_Spaced
    Participant

    Chris?s last sentence ?(It really looks?)? doesn?t appear to need the brackets.

    It’s an aside. (Which doesn’t really add to the sentence before but maybe demonstrates an opinion or an alternative, while standing separately.)

    The grammatical equivalent of a stage-whisper?

    #101095
    ChrisM
    Participant

    >Chris?s last sentence ?(It really looks?)? doesn?t appear to need the brackets.

    It?s an aside. (Which doesn?t really add to the sentence before but maybe demonstrates an opinion or an alternative, while standing separately.)

    He’s right though. I do tend to use brackets too much and it probably isn’t really required there. I’ll admit it was intentional there, since brackets we’re discussing brackets and grammar.

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