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Re: [Beta_Unlimited] I need all of your adivce! PLEASE!

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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 1 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 2 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 3 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)

          __________________________________
          Do you Yahoo!?
          The New Yahoo! Shopping - with improved product search
          http://shopping.yahoo.com
        • 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 4 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 5 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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              Get your free email from http://mymail.fastermail.com

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