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I need all of your adivce! PLEASE!

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  • Cari
    Hey everybody. Well, today we were in English class and we were studying--low and behold--GRAMMAR! Yay! Well, seeing as I beta a lot, I am very meticulous
    Message 1 of 7 , Oct 6, 2003
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      Hey everybody. Well, today we were in English class and we were
      studying--low and behold--GRAMMAR! Yay! Well, seeing as I beta a lot,
      I am very meticulous about my grammar...and, well, to say the least,
      my teacher hates it.

      Well, first, have any of you heard of the english Grammar book,
      Harbrace? Well, that's the book we use, and I consider it my bible.
      It's awesome--everything you want to know in it! Well, we have a
      school-wide grammar test on commas coming up (don't ask me, I think
      it's stupid)...can you all see where this is going.

      As a worksheet, our teacher gave us these two sentences:

      1) I was able to take a class from Dr. Thompson who teaches Shelly
      and Keats.
      2) I was able to take a class from the Dr. Thompson who teaches
      Shelly and Keats.

      Now, which sentence needs a comma, where, and why? My teacher is
      wrong, dammit! And I will prove this to her!

      FYI, she is choosing to disrupt my fragile world of grammar, which I
      so carefully and meticulously constructed in eight grade. And she
      wants to SHATTER it. COMPLETELY DESTROY IT! We made a bet, and the
      three STUDENTS (who are all delinquents...is that how you spell
      that?) sided with her. But I know she's wrong. If she's right, I'm
      going to CRY. And now I have a headache from all my frustration...oh
      well. So, what do you think? Sentence one or two? Oh, and BTW, I
      might have to use your explanation in class...just letting you know!
    • Chrys B
      Hi, ... So let s see if I can actually explain why... hmm... nope, sorry. Can t verbalize it. (Can somebody else explain?) ~Chrysanthemum~
      Message 2 of 7 , Oct 6, 2003
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        Hi,

        I'm not sure I could really explain it (grammar is more of an intuitional thing for me ;) ), but my vote is for:

        > 1) I was able to take a class from Dr. Thompson, who teaches Shelly
        > and Keats.
        > 2) I was able to take a class from the Dr. Thompson who teaches
        > Shelly and Keats.

        So let's see if I can actually explain why... hmm... nope, sorry. Can't verbalize it. (Can somebody else explain?)


        ~Chrysanthemum~
        http://www15.brinkster.com/fleurdiabolique
        AIM: fleurdiabolique

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      • LuckyCharm2410@aol.com
        Here s my question on this, why is there a the in front of Dr. Thompson in the second sentence. Wouldn t that be bad English as it is? Getty
        Message 3 of 7 , Oct 6, 2003
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          Here's my question on this, why is there a "the" in front of Dr. Thompson in
          the second sentence. Wouldn't that be bad English as it is?

          Getty
        • Marta
          ... It s been several years since I ve studied grammar in a classroom situation, but here s my best (probably fairly un-eloquent saying. If you have a sentence
          Message 4 of 7 , Oct 6, 2003
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            > I'm not sure I could really explain it (grammar is
            > more of an intuitional thing for me ;) ), but my
            > vote is for:
            >
            > > 1) I was able to take a class from Dr. Thompson,
            > who teaches Shelly
            > > and Keats.
            > > 2) I was able to take a class from the Dr.
            > Thompson who teaches
            > > Shelly and Keats.
            >
            > So let's see if I can actually explain why... hmm...
            > nope, sorry. Can't verbalize it. (Can somebody else
            > explain?)
            >

            It's been several years since I've studied grammar in
            a classroom situation, but here's my best (probably
            fairly un-eloquent saying.

            If you have a sentence with a clause that is
            unnecessary (i.e., the sentence's meaning is clear
            without the clause) then you set the clause off with
            commas; if the sentence is ambiguous without the
            clause, then you don't put in commas. An example. Say
            I have two sisters, Katy and Marie, both of whom have
            red hair. Now let's say we have the sentence:

            I asked my sister who has brown hair to take out the
            trash.

            In this scenario, I would punctuate it thus:

            I asked my sister, who has brown hair, to take out the
            trash.

            The phrase "who has brown hair" does nothing to
            clarify the sentence: both my sisters have brown hair,
            so the sentence is no less ambiguous with the phrase
            "who has brown hair" than without it. If, on the other
            hand, Marie has red hair, the sentence would be:

            I asked my sister who has brown hair to take out the
            trash.

            In this scenario the phrase "who has brown hair" is
            identifying Katy as the sister I asked to take out the
            trash, and thus is necessary to the sentence -- commas
            are then necessary.

            Now, to the case at hand. I'm copying it down here as
            much for my own convenience for the reader, so you and
            I don't have to scroll up to see what I'm talking
            about.

            > > 1) I was able to take a class from Dr. Thompson,
            > who teaches Shelly
            > > and Keats.
            > > 2) I was able to take a class from the Dr.
            > Thompson who teaches
            > > Shelly and Keats.
            >

            In sentence 1 there's nothing to indicate that there's
            more than one Dr. Thompson. The basic point of the
            sentence is that I am taking a class from Dr.
            Thompson, and the fact that he teaches Shelly and
            Keats is irrelevant to that point. Thus the clause
            "who teaches Shelly and Keats" is unnecessary to the
            sentence (the sentence is no more unambiguous for it
            being there).

            The second sentence, however, has "the Dr. Thompson".
            This suggests that there is another Dr. Thompson and
            we are identifying which one. We are identifying him
            based on the fact that he teaches Shelly and Keats.
            Therefore the phrase "who teaches Shelly and Keats" is
            necessary to cut down on ambiguousness, so you
            shouldn't use commas.

            Does this make sense?

            PS- Someone asked recently for a beta for a HP/LotR
            fanfic. I would be glad to do this, however, my time
            is a bit tight at the moment, so my turn-around time
            will be more like 3-5 days instead of my normal 1-3. I
            have read all the books in both series multiple times,
            am better at LotR minutiae than Potter, but also write
            fanfic myself, and as I have just proven (I hope) have
            a basic feel for grammar. Let me know if you're
            interested.

            PPS- Someone on this list (I believe it is this list)
            is beta-ing my fanfic "Lady of Gondor". I had promised
            to re-send the latest chapter but have not been able
            to as of yet -- will try to do so tomorrow. Bear with
            me, I have not forgotten about you!

            Marta

            =====
            The Lord of the Rings: A story of jewelry theft and the ensuing hand injuries. (Source unknown)

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          • Marta
            ... Not really. It suggests that there is another Dr. Thompson and you are selecting one and not the other. Ah, the intricacies of English. (That s sarcasm
            Message 5 of 7 , Oct 6, 2003
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              --- LuckyCharm2410@... wrote:
              > Here's my question on this, why is there a "the" in
              > front of Dr. Thompson in
              > the second sentence. Wouldn't that be bad English as
              > it is?
              >
              > Getty
              >
              >

              Not really. It suggests that there is another Dr.
              Thompson and you are selecting one and not the other.

              Ah, the intricacies of English. (That's sarcasm
              there.)

              Marta

              =====
              The Lord of the Rings: A story of jewelry theft and the ensuing hand injuries. (Source unknown)

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            • Chrys B
              ... Not necessarily. Say there was more than one Dr. Thompson. Then you d have to differentiate between Dr. Thompsons, so you d perhaps say the Dr. Thompson
              Message 6 of 7 , Oct 6, 2003
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                > Here's my question on this, why is there a "the" in front of Dr. Thompson in
                > the second sentence. Wouldn't that be bad English as it is?

                Not necessarily. Say there was more than one Dr. Thompson. Then you'd have to differentiate between Dr. Thompsons, so you'd perhaps say "the Dr. Thompson who..." in order to indicate which one you were talking about.

                ~Chrysanthemum~
                http://www15.brinkster.com/fleurdiabolique
                AIM: fleurdiabolique

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              • Abinikai
                Thanks everybody! (and yes, it is proper english, for there would be more then one Dr. Thompson). Well, after much debating and going to the almighty lord of
                Message 7 of 7 , Oct 7, 2003
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                  Thanks everybody! (and yes, it is proper english, for there would be more then one Dr. Thompson). Well, after much debating and going to the almighty lord of English, Mr. Landis, we found that WE ARE RIGHT! Whoo hoo! Beta'ers rule! Well, I have been recognized, and I have an "I am a Star" thingy on my shirt...but that was actually for the English Paper I wrote on poetry. *grin* Okay, g2g. Having a nervous breakdown about life, so I must go confer with best friend. But hey, you guys (and girls) brightened my day! We rock!

                  Chrys B <chrysanthemum@...> wrote:
                  > Here's my question on this, why is there a "the" in front of Dr. Thompson in
                  > the second sentence. Wouldn't that be bad English as it is?

                  Not necessarily. Say there was more than one Dr. Thompson. Then you'd have to differentiate between Dr. Thompsons, so you'd perhaps say "the Dr. Thompson who..." in order to indicate which one you were talking about.

                  ~Chrysanthemum~
                  http://www15.brinkster.com/fleurdiabolique
                  AIM: fleurdiabolique

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