I will not go down to posterity talking bad grammar.:

Total posts: [7]
1 TheHandle16th Oct 2012 02:03:12 AM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In my bunk
So, here's the thread to talk about the finer points of English grammar and style. Let's start off with these two references:
"Pretend you're trapped in a cave made of jell-o, and that your only escape is to eat your way out!" Zeppeli, R.I.P.
2 JHM16th Oct 2012 07:50:05 AM from Neither Here Nor There , Relationship Status: Not war
Element of love
Hey guys can you recomend soemthing for a not native speaker?

I got a very high score on the TOEFL. But grammar has always been my bane tongue

edited 16th Oct '12 8:16:33 AM by FallenLegend

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. C. S. Lewis
Not to pick a nit, but shouldn't it be "using bad grammar?"

Ok, here's my two cents. Grammar IS important, but largely because of how you or your writing will be perceived if your grammar is incorrect. There are a lot, a LOT of language/grammar snobs out there who will jump all over you for using bad grammar, or who will use bad grammar as part of a "see what's wrong with these kids today" screed. The truth of the matter is, language (and grammar) changes with usage. The evolution has slowed down considerably with the advent of mass communication, but it still does change over time. Language is a living entity; we do not, and cannot, impose rules on it, we can only observe how it behaves.

Your guiding star should be clarity. Conventional, mainstream grammar will make your writing clear and understandable. It is for this reason, and this reason alone, that grammar is important. Rules, however, can be broken.

For those to whom English is a second language, don't feel bad if many of the rules are challenging. Modern English is the second youngest language on Earth (Swahili is the youngest), and it, and its rules, is a composite old Germanic and French languages. Composites are always troublesome.

A few bits of trivia: did you know that "ain't" is a contraction of "am not," and used to be perfectly acceptable? Did you know that nearly all of the "vulgar" words in English are vulgar not because they're scatological, but because they're Saxon words, and were labelled vulgar by Normans when they invaded England? Did you know that the rule in English about not using a double negative was imposed on us by a mathematician, who felt that if two negatives make a positive in mathematics, the same must be true for language? Interestingly, despite this rule, English speakers still use double negatives, informally anyhow, in the same way Chaucer, and writers before him, used them: for emphasis.

edited 16th Oct '12 3:22:15 PM by Robbery

5 TheHandle16th Oct 2012 03:45:30 PM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In my bunk
Not to pick a nit, but shouldn't it be "using bad grammar?"

Dat's Da Jowk. And double negatives are illogical; they make my head hurt.

I hear that the m-dash is supposed to be longer a pause than the semicolon, but shorter than a period—however, when I'm reading it, I can't help but make it shorter than either of those things. Why? Because, in Spanish, one of my native languages, the m-dash is a dialogue tag, and does not represent a pause at all.

—In fact, one would wonder; why are so many people so keen on writers not adopting the conventions of their original languages, at least when it comes to simple matters that do not affect semantics, such as punctuation—wonders this troper—, or, for instance, dialogue tags.

«Sometimes this can be especially troublesome if you have a French keyboard and it's downright hard to use normal inverted commas», drawled the Frenchman.

„Indeed, for my first quotation mark not to come off the way it does, I would have to use Unicode!“ And that's hardly practical if you're using Linux and are a little lost about these things.

edited 16th Oct '12 3:52:51 PM by TheHandle

"Pretend you're trapped in a cave made of jell-o, and that your only escape is to eat your way out!" Zeppeli, R.I.P.
6 Morven17th Oct 2012 08:18:40 AM from Seattle, WA, USA
Because conventions are for the reader, not the writer.

Of course, most of these could be fixed in a later edit, so if you find it easier to use something when writing your first draft, go ahead!
A brighter future for a darker age.
7 TheHandle12th Apr 2013 03:13:57 PM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In my bunk

edited 12th Apr '13 3:14:19 PM by TheHandle

"Pretend you're trapped in a cave made of jell-o, and that your only escape is to eat your way out!" Zeppeli, R.I.P.
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Total posts: 7