Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Red Marker Blogathon Update 4


Aaaa-nd we're back.

By the way, I was taught not to start my sentences with 'and' and 'because'. When doing so for dramatic effect, I was warned to keep such usage restricted to the barest minimum. My teacher was right, I find, too many sentences starting so make me feel somewhat breathless when I read them.

Now, where was I? Oh yes, we're back.

Note: We're is an abbreviation a contraction of 'we are' meaning 'hum hain' as opposed to 'were' which is the past tense of 'are' and means '(woh) thhey'. But I digress.
People are keeping those links coming in. Itchy kindly volunteered two posts from her archives:
A list of Bihari terms -- dude, I have to tell you, every one of them is followed in Bengal as well. I guess we are all just Biharis at heart. 3 addenda here to that list (singular: addendum, plural: addenda). God, what's with my prof persona today?

The Print Lover learns to Potomac it with the best of them. And it's a good thing she explains it because I never knew how to pronounce it either!

She also sends us the link to Average Jane's lucid explanation of question tags. Now a handy rule for question tags is to use the question word the sentence answers. So if you're saying, "He went home, is it?" your sentence ought to be "He went home, did he?" because the question tag ('did he'/'is it') refers to the chappie who went home and answers the question "who?"

Likewise, "The ball is red, is it?" (answering "what" and referring to the ball as 'it'). That said, I admit to using "is it" a lot when I chat with certain people. I enjoy the flavour of the phrase in my mouth.

Chinkurli continues the 'loosing' battle
and adds to the RMB badge while at it.

And lastly, Kiran explains all that gray hair. Or what she thinks is gray. Hey K, did I tell you Vicky found my first one while chopping off my hair recently?

Oh and before I end: here are the rules of the Red Marker Blogathon.

UPDATE: Rachna gets bitter over her quest for better grammar in blog posts.

22 comments:

Rachna said...

Hey Sue, chanced upon your blog and the Red marker blogathon yesterday.
And by a complete conincidence, I had written this blogpost a few days ago, on May 25!
http://rachnared.blogspot.com/2010/05/ends-dont-justify-medium.html

Will it qualify?
And am really glad to know it is not just me who gets really irritated by grammatical errors and the like.

Sue said...

Rachna -- Hey, welcome. Happy to link. Bag grammar irritates a lot of people I find, but I suppose it's also up to us to be the change we wish to see. :)

GettingThereNow said...

I read this, this morning: http://blogs.babble.com/strollerderby/2010/06/07/should-english-spelling-be-modernized/

I am SO upset. This is plain idiocy!!

K3 said...

Grand effort, Sue. Have loved reading all the posts via the blogathon.

Just put a post - though not entirely following the rules. So please feel free not to link up, but this was my first thought when I read your entry.

http://k3-rocks.blogspot.com/2010/06/mind-that-checker.html

Average Jane said...

Neat! Thanks for linking.

The Print Lover said...

I love this series Sue. I've re-learnt a few rules.

Now for a question:
I think the right usage of the word "too" is to be followed by a "to" and "so" to be followed by a "that".

For eg.:
It was too good to be true.

It was so cold that I needed a bathroom break pronto. (hehe)

I see a lot of writing that stops with the first part of the sentence, esp in blog comments. I am not 100% sure though. Can someone else chime in?

MahaVishnu said...

We're is a contraction - NOT an abbreviation.

Anonymous said...

"My teacher was right, I find, too many sentences starting so make me feel somewhat breathless when I read them."

Hi, you are usually spot on with grammar and punctuation but I couldn't help but notice the comma splice at "right," wrong usage of comma after "find" and too many/ambiguous pronouns (so, them) in the above sentence.

Gowri said...

I have a name by the way - Gowri. Just forgot to sign off in the anonymous comment.

Gowri said...

Sorry, but I'm quite the grammar nazi today. The way I learnt question tags, there has to be a semicolon before the tag and the question tag should negate the sentence. So, you'd have "He went home; didn't he?" In other words, "He did go home; didn't he?"
I may have learnt it all wrong, I don't know!

Itchingtowrite said...

http://itchingtowriteblogs.blogspot.com/2010/06/red-marker-blogathon-2.html

itchingtowrite said...

oops addenda

Gayatri said...

- Sue...what i meant was...my total blog will be 'red marked' by all the bloggers contributing :b

- Am scared to add another post to my blog after reading all the rules :O

Asha said...

I agree with Gowri on the question tag part. Not sure about the semicolon, but the rule is that the tag has to be negative when the first part is positive and vise versa. So it should be 'The ball is red, isn't it?'

Sue said...

Cee -- Thanks, let me go see what that's all about.

K3 -- Thanks, will link.

AJ -- My pleasure. :)

TPL -- This is trickier than it should be. Ideally the 'too' needs to be qualified by a 'to', of course, but sometimes the qualification is understood or pre-stated.

E.g: I have a sore throat, so I won't have any ice cream. It's too cold. ["to eat" is understood]

My hands are freezing. Really, it's too cold. ["for my liking" is understood]

Also, idiomatic (?) responses like "Too right, you are!" are correct, I believe.

Anybody else?

MahaVishnu -- You're right, thanks. I'll correct that.

Gowri -- The comma usage in that sentence is deliberate and perfectly accurate. 'I find' is a clause marked out by the commas on either side. If you can tell me what you find ambiguous I'll be happy to explain it to you.

As for the question tags, they can be both positive and negative depending on how you want to communicate.

'He went home, did he?' and 'He went home, didn't he?' are both grammatically correct but slightly different in nuance. The tone of usage and context can make them very different in nuance.

Itchy -- Wow, thanks.

Gayatri -- Don't be scared, the idea is to help you express yourself more accurately, not to scare you off expression altogether! See, the reason why people focus so much on grammar, punctuation, syntax, spelling etc is because errors in those fields make the sentence more difficult to understand. Know what I mean?

Asha -- Please see response to Gowri above.

The Footloose Doll said...

Hey Sue, I love the Red Marker Blogathon. :)

http://thefootloosedoll.blogspot.com/2009/03/word-slay.html

I wrote this post last year and I'm not sure if it fits the bill because what I'm ranting about is not necessarily grammatically incorrect.

But I'm going to come up with (maybe) multiple posts very soon which I'm sure will make it to the list.

Gyanban said...

What surprises me more are the contests floating around in the blog world. some of the winning posts have typos and grammatical errors and if nothing else, the post is so lame that the only way it could have won was with aggressive lobbying.

I ve discovered a new law of blogging -

1. "awesome you rock" comment is directly proportional to the number of followers you get.

Shyam said...

Here's mine:

http://shyamram.blogspot.com/2010/06/doing-my-bit-for-red-marker-blogathon.html

And for the record, Sunayana, I think your name is absolutely beautiful!

Rachna said...

@Sue- Thanks a lot for linking :)
I'd love to do a post on Hindi, but I have two considerations.
1. I haven't read many Hindi blogs.
So should my post be restricted to spoken Hindi?
And if so,
2. There are lots of Indians who are non-native Hindi speakers from different Indian states- e.g. my husband who is a Telugu- and almost ALL of them speak grammatically incorrect Hindi. That is understandable since they have not learned the language.
Also, I feel that it might lead to resentment/ racial profiling etc.
I know lots of Indians- non-native Hindi speakers- who do not want to learn Hindi or are even opposed to the suggestion that they should know it.
Which is fine, everybody has their own language.
So while I can do a post on Hindi-speaking, I am afraid of hurting regional sentiment.

But I have sometimes been treated badly by non-native Hindi speakers, simply because I was a native Hindi speaker, and because some Hindi speaking person had made fun of their non-Hindi speaking skills 3 years ago!

Which of course is bad, but taking it out on me is not good.
Anyway, I really must wrap up this comment.
Tell me what you think about this?

Artnavy said...

http://abouttimenow.blogspot.com/2010/06/this-queens-english.html

here is mine

Sue said...

Footloose -- Put on your dancing shoes! Sorry, couldn't resist.

Your post fits in and I'll link but I have to admit, I love shortening words myself. :D

Bring on more posts, RMB goes on all month.

Gyanban -- It's one of life's little lessons: flattery will get you everywhere.

'Mimi Sen' -- Sorry, no trolls welcome here. I'll be deleting all your comments.

Art -- Fab, I'll go check it out. Thanks.

Sue said...

Shyam -- Not Shyamala? You're welcome to post every week or more frequently if you wish. RMB is on all this month.

And thank you, I like my name too.

Rachna -- RMB is about language, both spoken and written. It's directed towards people who want to improve their linguistic skills. Nobody likes to have their mistakes pointed out, but everybody appreciates a helpful explanation provided in a non-judgmental way, I see. So yes, I do think if would be great if you were to share any little tips.

Speaking for myself, I studied CBSE Hindi till class X and still can't put a correct sentence together. I certainly wouldn't mind a refresher or two on the grammar.

If you think such a post will be badly received on your blog, you are welcome to guest post it here on Sunny Days.