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Dorian E. Gray israfel at eircom.net
Fri Jan 23 18:29:29 EST 2004


  Minnow said...

  > It may be that the reason people don't know what you're talking about when
  > you talk about a comma splice is that they don't recognise the term, rather
  > than that they don't recognise that it is wrong, though.

  Oh, absolutely.  I thought I said that.  Did I not say it?  ::gets confused::

  > >  Then again, part of my job entails copy-editing/proof-reading the
documents
  > >that my company sends out, and every time I mention the evilness of the
comma
  > >splice to whoever wrote the document, I get "what's a comma splice?".
(Mostly
  > >Irish guys, but one Australian and one American-raised.)  Though to be
fair,
  > >once I explain the term, they usually admit that it is a bad thing and they
  > >wrote whatever it was wrong.
  >
  > Coo1  Do they then refrain from repeating the offence, or do they expect
  > you to correct it for them forever on the grounds that you know what it is
  > and they don't?

  Generally, they seem to be getting better, but do still slip up now and then.

  > I throw you a sentence for your collective consideration.

  <snip>

  > "It's this sort of attention to detail which makes the book so good, and
  > feel so right."

  I'm totally missing what you feel is wrong with this.  "attention to detail"
is the direct object of the sentence.  Both "so good" and "feel so right" modify
the verb ("is this which makes the book").  Okay, that's an adverbial phrase or
something.

  (Bear with me here, because I'm an instinctive grammarian and have to work
stuff out from first principles.)

  ::starts from first principles again::

  It (subject) is (verb) <everything else> (object).

  Now breaking down the everything-else-object, because it's a huge chunk of
sentence all by itself:  "attention to detail" is our new subject.  "makes" is
our new verb. "the book" is the new object, and both "so good" and "feel so
right" are shiny new modifiers: "makes <object> so good", "makes <object> feel
so right".

  So...yeah.  It all makes happy good sense to me.  What was triggering your
alarms?

  (No doubt someone will now jump all over my attempts at grammaticism.  If you
can explain me the rules such that they actually stick in my head, I'll be
happy.  I do good grammar myself by instinct, which makes explaining it to
others difficult to impossible.)

  Until the sky falls on our heads...

  Dorian.
  --
  Dorian E. Gray
  israfel at eircom.net

  "[My rule] for keeping my temper in order, is never to leave it too long with
another person."
  - Horace Walpole

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