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Thread: A place to help us all write better

  1. #1
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    A place to help us all write better

    If we point out errors in threads where they occur, the thread can be sidetracked. Worse, justified or not, pointing out the error could be seen as nitpicking and as an unreasonable attempt to discredit a posters POV with something irrelevant to that POV.

    Yet (I hope) we all want to write well. So...what to do?

    How about we point out common errors when we spot them, but in some place other than the threads where they occur, where they would be a distraction? Say, here?

    For example, several folks use "definately" for "definitely." One way to remember the correct spelling is to remember that both "definitely" and "finite" come from the same Latin root that means having a limit or an end--as does the French word "fin," which means "end."

    Just in case someone thinks that the purpose of this thread is to be hypercritical, let me invite folks to point out errors in my writing too. I don't mind learning to write better.

    Of course, this thread will be useful only if we don't call out specific posters. If we focus on the error and the correction, we all can improve our writing without having to be petty with each other.

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    Derek Zoolander: So join now, 'cause at the Derek Zoolander Center For Kids Who Can't Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too, we teach you that there's more to life than just being really, really, really good looking. Right kids?
    It just fit in my mind.
    Last edited by epilogue; 02-04-2011 at 11:47 PM.

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    Thank you epliogue!

    I've been waiting for someone to work a Zoolander quote into OC for over a year of watching. Ahhh, the relief...

    Freedom can never be lost, only given away by ignorance, by choice, or at the point of a gun. Here in America we can still choose.

    Freedom First 1775

    "I aim to misbehave..." Malcolm Reynolds

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    Regular Member sharkey's Avatar
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    Thanks, I kept wanting to say definitely but kept writing defiantly so just took that word out of my vocabulary. I wasn't trying to be defiant, now I can use it.

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    Regular Member sultan62's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Good post. Also:

    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/misspelling
    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/apostrophe

    and

    http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.co...verything.html

    Warning: These are hilarious, especially the last one. The first two are significantly more educational than the last, though.
    "They don't give a damn about any trumpet playing band
    It ain't what they call rock and roll
    And the Sultans...
    Yeah the Sultans, they play Creole"

    OCDO Member
    NCGO Member

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    Regular Member William Fisher's Avatar
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    I'm bad with the I before e except after c spellings. The following is usually used.

    i before e except after c
    or when sounded like a
    as in neighbor and weigh

    There are exceptions though, such as neither, height, leisure, their and weird.

    I seem to always have trouble with their (get in too much of a hurry). A big problem I have is with the correct use of commas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by William Fisher View Post
    ...I seem to always have trouble with their (get in too much of a hurry). A big problem I have is with the correct use of commas.
    Think about "their" being a variant of "they," with the "i" taking the place of the "y," as it does in so many variants of so many other words, such as "variant."

    On the commas, I have been working on not over-using them. Apparently the Framers had trouble with them too--as in the 2A.

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    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Think about "their" being a variant of "they," with the "i" taking the place of the "y," as it does in so many variants of so many other words, such as "variant."

    On the commas, I have been working on not over-using them. Apparently the Framers had trouble with them too--as in the 2A.
    All of the variants of the word that sounds like "there" start with "the"

    Their
    There
    They're

    Remember that, and you'll never misspell "their" again. Now, which "there" is which -- we were taught "their" was the person who could be the heir. And "they're" is a contraction of "they are". Process of elimination leaves "there" for a place.

    The other trick I remember from elementary school (a looooooooonnnnnnnnnng time ago): I smell a rat in separate.

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    No matter how articulate/well educated/experienced (old) we are, there are always words that catch us. Committee is mine. Comittee is mine. Commitee is mine....see what I mean:>

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, due to eye95 placing me on his ignore list, he has not been privy to a couple of recent corrections I made of his usage/spelling.


    I generally use private messages for this, though. Especially folks I like... I send 'em a quick PM whenever I see a mistake the correction of which I think might benefit their arguments.
    Last edited by marshaul; 02-07-2011 at 03:53 PM.

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    Regular Member sharkey's Avatar
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    That's just weird.

    Darn, I just saw you already had that one listed.


    Quote Originally Posted by William Fisher View Post
    I'm bad with the I before e except after c spellings. The following is usually used.

    i before e except after c
    or when sounded like a
    as in neighbor and weigh

    There are exceptions though, such as neither, height, leisure, their and weird.

    I seem to always have trouble with their (get in too much of a hurry). A big problem I have is with the correct use of commas.
    Last edited by sharkey; 02-07-2011 at 10:12 PM.

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    Regular Member usamarshal's Avatar
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    Use word...copy and paste...Done

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    Quote Originally Posted by usamarshal View Post
    Use word...copy and paste...Done
    You don't have a spell check in your browser?

    Any way, wen sum use spell Czech, it does knot ketch awl they're spelling miss steaks.

  14. #14
    Regular Member 1245A Defender's Avatar
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    well,,,

    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    You don't have a spell check in your browser?

    Any way, wen sum use spell Czech, it does knot ketch awl they're spelling miss steaks.
    i like to use lotsa commas.
    i just recently learned how spell checker worked, but sometimes my word is so botched
    that the returns are not the right word, so i have to misspell my word all over again
    in the attempt to illicit the correct spelling of the right word.
    i am getting better, i just spelled that whole paragraph without spell checker stopping me!

    years ago, when i was taught I before E, i thought learning that one rule would be enough.
    little did I know that their are more exceptions than rules, and their are more
    exceptions to the exceptions!
    EMNofSeattle wrote: Your idea of freedom terrifies me. So you are actually right. I am perfectly happy with what you call tyranny.....

    “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

    Stand up for your Rights,, They have no authority on their own...

    All power is inherent in the people,
    it is their right and duty to be at all times ARMED!

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Think about "their" being a variant of "they," with the "i" taking the place of the "y," as it does in so many variants of so many other words, such as "variant."

    On the commas, I have been working on not over-using them. Apparently the Framers had trouble with them too--as in the 2A.
    The framers did not have trouble with them. It was on purpose to distinguish, that the people's (not just in the militia sense) right to bear arms shall not be infringed.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Regular Member 1245A Defender's Avatar
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    and,,,

    I am sick and tired, of Cs acting like Ss, and Ss acting like Zs!!!
    Just who in HEII invented this dumb spelling thing anyway??
    if i have to damn, and comb, climb, or knife,,, where do all these
    silent letters go to die?
    EMNofSeattle wrote: Your idea of freedom terrifies me. So you are actually right. I am perfectly happy with what you call tyranny.....

    “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

    Stand up for your Rights,, They have no authority on their own...

    All power is inherent in the people,
    it is their right and duty to be at all times ARMED!

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    Someone already posted a funny link about this common mistake, however not everyone clicks on all the links so it might be worth pointing out again.

    The phrase "a lot" is two separate words. There is no such word as "alot".
    Last edited by END_THE_FED; 02-11-2011 at 04:28 AM.
    A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.- Thomas Jefferson March 4 1801

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    In trying to remember whether to use "loose" or "lose," make the association that "loose" rhymes with "noose."

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    Through v. Threw.

    Tommy threw his ball and it went right through the open window and landed on the table.
    When Jane was through with her test she went to the library.

    Hey v. hay.

    Jane forgot the rancher's name and said, hey mister can I feed your horse some hay?
    A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.- Thomas Jefferson March 4 1801

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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1245A Defender View Post
    I am sick and tired, of Cs acting like Ss, and Ss acting like Zs!!!
    Just who in HEII invented this dumb spelling thing anyway??
    if i have to damn, and comb, climb, or knife,,, where do all these
    silent letters go to die?
    I agree! It would have only taken 47 letters for a complete phoenemic alphabet, instead of the measely 26.
    Last edited by since9; 02-21-2011 at 04:11 AM.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    How to repair a quote.

    This is not really about writing well. However, since breaking a quote makes the post (and future quotes of that post) hard to read, it might be useful to learn that they can be fixed.

    Many times, in snipping posts, part of the closing tag (or the whole closing tag) is deleted. This will make the quote appear to be part of the post proper, instead of being set off in a quote box. If, at the end of the quote box, you see something like "/quote]", then you have accidentally deleted the open bracket in the closing tag. Edit your post and put it back. If you have corrected the tags, the quote should appear in its box when you view the post.

    If the whole closing tag is gone, edit the post and put it back. The closing tag that should appear at the end of the quote is "[/quote]".

    Sometimes the opening tag is damaged. It should look like this "[quote=name;post-number]". The post number is not necessary and just allows tracking back to the quoted post. (This is actually a really nice feature for following sub-conversations. Repeatedly click on the track-backs of posts until you get to the first post in the sub-conversation. Then use the forward button in your browser to read those selected posts in order.)

    You don't need to repair the track-back number for the quote tag to work properly. You can use "[quote=name]" for the opening tag, and it will work just fine. (This also allows you to attribute non-site quotes. After copying quoted text into your post, select it and click the cartoon bubble icon. Then add the words "=James Madison" (or whoever) to the opening quote tag.

    Don't be afraid to fix broken quote tags. It isn't that hard, and you can't crash OCDO if you make a mistake. Just edit the post again.

    I hope this helps!

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    Ridiculous and ridicule have the same root. Ridicule has a distinctive short "i" sound in the first syllable, helping us spell it correctly. Even though ridiculous is usually pronounced with a schwa sound in the first syllable (or sometimes a long "e"), prompting folks to spell the word "rediculous," remembering that it is a form of the word ridicule will remind us that the first vowel is an "i."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    No matter how articulate/well educated/experienced (old) we are, there are always words that catch us. Committee is mine. Comittee is mine. Commitee is mine....see what I mean:>
    Oh, Gee! And I thought my 99% AFOQC English score would have saved me from that one!

    Honestly, I didn't see it coming.

    Do I really care, in the light of things?

    Not particularly.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    Oh, Gee! And I thought my 99% AFOQC English score would have saved me from that one!

    Honestly, I didn't see it coming.

    Do I really care, in the light of things?

    Not particularly.
    I got a 790 on my verbal SAT. Fortunately, I didn't have to spell committee.

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    Quote Originally Posted by William Fisher View Post
    I'm bad with the I before e except after c spellings. The following is usually used.

    i before e except after c
    or when sounded like a
    as in neighbor and weigh

    There are exceptions though, such as neither, height, leisure, their and weird.

    I seem to always have trouble with their (get in too much of a hurry). A big problem I have is with the correct use of commas.
    "i" before "e" except after "c" except in science and in half of the other cases!
    Last edited by Felid`Maximus; 03-01-2011 at 08:35 PM.

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