The homophone/spelling thing got me thinking....
- about one of the things I notice a lot when betaing/reading. Namely
the capitalisation of rank.
The way I understand it, a title/rank should be capitalised if it's
a form of address:
"Hello, Colonel, how are you?"
Though it doesn't seem to hold true if you're using
sir/madam: "Yes, sir."
But if you aren't talking about someone specifically, it's lower
case: "I think the colonel's really hot." As opposed to: "I think
Colonel Sheppard is really hot."
Same thing in narrative, if it's not a specific person, it's lower
case: Doctor McKay turned to the other doctor and said...
Maybe I've got it wrong. If so, can someone set me straight?
This has also reminded me about a couple of other things. Firstly,
another US/UK difference- the use of s rather than z i.e.
Secondly, another common thing I see is the lack of commas when
addressing someone. When one character addresses another, it should
have commas on either side of that address: "So, John, how are you
today?" It's that first comma that most people seem to forget.
Hope this is useful to someone.
- On 5/15/06, Laura <laura_hackett@...> wrote:
> But if you aren't talking about someone specifically, it's lowerSee, I would capitalise the first one too because you are speaking
> case: "I think the colonel's really hot." As opposed to: "I think
> Colonel Sheppard is really hot."
about a *specific* Colonel, namely Lt. Colonel Sheppard.
However, if you find colonels in general to be hot (it's the uniform
::g::), then it's lower case.
> Secondly, another common thing I see is the lack of commas whenYes, that's another common error we see a lot of on WB. The most
> addressing someone. When one character addresses another, it should
> have commas on either side of that address: "So, John, how are you
> today?" It's that first comma that most people seem to forget.
common errors in terms of dialogue go something like this:
- punctuating dialogue tags incorrectly, i.e. using full stops and
upper case when the sentence actually continues beyond the dialogue.
- not using commas to offset direct forms of address in dialogue (it's
not just names but any form of address, e.g. sir, madam, dude, man,
- forgetting to start a new paragraph when someone new begins to speak.
Other common errors include:
- run on sentences where several sentences have been combined into one
without any punctuation
- incorrect spelling of canon character names (even though we have a
dropdown list that includes many of them) - Shepherd/Shepard, Mckay,
Zalenka/Zelanka, Wier, Aidan, Tayla. Kavanaugh.
Ronan/Ronon and Emmagen/Emmegan is slightly more difficult because at
different times the two official sites (MGM and SciFi) have actually
used different spellings. These days I go with the SciFi version on
account of the fact that they always seem to win those particular
- not offsetting sub-clauses in sentences with commas (or dashes, if
that suits the flow and form of the sentence better). A sub-clause is
an elaboration on what you're saying in the sentence, providing more
information to the reader.
The point is, however, that you can take it out of the sentence and
still have the sentence make sense. That's why it's considered a
sub-clause, and is separated from the rest of the sentence by commas.
The city of Atlantis is a wondrous sight.
The city of Atlantis, which is in the Pegasus Galaxy, is a wondrous sight.
Other common homonym/homophone errors:
- loose/lose - this one is *incredibly* common.
love and Thorntons' chocolates
unconsciousmind - www.unconsciousmind.co.uk
> The way I understand it, a title/rank should be capitalised ifLike so many aspects of English grammar (hello, "whom"), this seems to
> it's a form of address:
be in the process of changing. The rule of thumb that I was taught is
that if it's replacing someone's name, then it should be capitalized.
Otherwise, it shouldn't.
I personally wouldn't capitalize colonel in "the colonel", even though
it is specifically referring to an individual. Feel free to educate
me if I'm wrong:)
"loose/lose" -- How did I forget that one? It's one of the worst.