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Question on Grammar

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  • Laryn
    I ve got a question, and since my last useful grammar class was at least a decade ago (possibly two), please bear with me on this one. The story I m currently
    Message 1 of 10 , May 22, 2006
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      I've got a question, and since my last useful grammar class was at least a decade ago (possibly two), please bear with me on this one.  The story I'm currently looking at interjects a lot of conversation tags into the middle of sentences preceded and followed by commas - this is a convention that I've not seen before and I'm not sure it's legal.
      Example 1: "Dialogue1," he said, "Dialogue 2."
       
       

      Assuming it is legal, I'd expect to see that it's used consistently within the story such that the tag continues the conversation (like a sub-phrase), and expect the second piece of the dialogue to begin with a lowercase character since this is not the start of a new sentence.  This doesn't look right to me either.
       
      Example 2: "Dialogue1," he said, "dialogue2."
       
       
      If the tag is meant to stop the previous conversational sentence then I'd recommend the use of a period, and would expect the second piece of dialogue to begin with an uppercase character as the start of a new sentence.
      Example 3: "Dialogue1," he said. "Dialogue2."

      Does this make sense, and is it correct?  I'm used to seeing Example #3 as the convention, but my most recent writing classes have been for technical writing and quite frankly dialogue doesn't come up in those classes that often. This author has very good writing skills, so I don't want to mark up the story with a lot of corrections that I think make sense if they're already correct, and I don't want to pass the story back if they need reviewed either.
       
      Help!
      Laryn
       
       
    • Aiden Byrne
      Hi Laryn I ve just got your email, and to be honest i m not that good with Grammar and punctuation so i don t think i ll be any help, i m really sorry wish i
      Message 2 of 10 , May 22, 2006
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        Hi Laryn

        I've just got your email, and to be honest i'm not that good with Grammar and punctuation so i don't think i'll be any help, i'm really sorry wish i could help. It did make sense by the way. But if you still need my help let me know i'd be happy to in anyway i could, if i can.
        By the way are you a beta, cause i need one for my SGA fic, if you can't help me its ok i'll find someone else.

        Aiden 
         
      • redthunder213
        ... Example 3 is the only one of the three that is grammatically accurate, and I ve never heard of any other way of putting dialogue tags inside two sets of
        Message 3 of 10 , May 22, 2006
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          > Example 3: "Dialogue1," he said. "Dialogue2."

          Example 3 is the only one of the three that is grammatically accurate,
          and I've never heard of any other way of putting dialogue tags inside
          two sets of dialogue. If you'd like to send me a more specific
          example off-list, however, I'd be happy to look at it again.

          RT
        • Kristin Bledsoe
          I m not an expert, so I could be wrong, but I have to disagree with RT (below). I ve seen Example 2 used quite frequently in professional novels. While some
          Message 4 of 10 , May 22, 2006
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            I'm not an expert, so I could be wrong, but I have to disagree with RT
            (below). I've seen Example 2 used quite frequently in professional
            novels. While some grammatical slips do make it into professionally
            published works, I've seen this often enough to think that it's legal.
            I believe Example 1, however, is grammatically incorrect. The second
            part of the sentence should not start with a capital, since the "he
            said" is something of an interjection. It doesn't change the spoken
            sentence itself; it's just put in the middle to break it up a bit and
            provide clarification.

            Just my two cents!

            - feather

            -----Original Message-----
            From: wraithbeta@yahoogroups.com [mailto:wraithbeta@yahoogroups.com] On
            Behalf Of redthunder213
            Sent: Monday, May 22, 2006 10:32 AM
            To: wraithbeta@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [wraithbeta] Re: Question on Grammar


            > Example 3: "Dialogue1," he said. "Dialogue2."

            Example 3 is the only one of the three that is grammatically accurate,
            and I've never heard of any other way of putting dialogue tags inside
            two sets of dialogue. If you'd like to send me a more specific
            example off-list, however, I'd be happy to look at it again.

            RT







            Yahoo! Groups Links
          • Slade, Penny
            I agree, the only time the second have should be capitalized is if it starts a whole new sentence, not if it is a continuation . ... From:
            Message 5 of 10 , May 22, 2006
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              I agree, the only time the second have should be capitalized is if it starts a whole new sentence, not if it is a continuation .

              -----Original Message-----
              From: wraithbeta@yahoogroups.com [mailto:wraithbeta@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Kristin Bledsoe
              Sent: Monday, May 22, 2006 9:49 AM
              To: wraithbeta@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: RE: [wraithbeta] Re: Question on Grammar

              I'm not an expert, so I could be wrong, but I have to disagree with RT (below). I've seen Example 2 used quite frequently in professional novels. While some grammatical slips do make it into professionally published works, I've seen this often enough to think that it's legal.
              I believe Example 1, however, is grammatically incorrect. The second part of the sentence should not start with a capital, since the "he said" is something of an interjection. It doesn't change the spoken sentence itself; it's just put in the middle to break it up a bit and provide clarification.

              Just my two cents!

              - feather

              -----Original Message-----
              From: wraithbeta@yahoogroups.com [mailto:wraithbeta@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of redthunder213
              Sent: Monday, May 22, 2006 10:32 AM
              To: wraithbeta@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [wraithbeta] Re: Question on Grammar


              > Example 3: "Dialogue1," he said. "Dialogue2."

              Example 3 is the only one of the three that is grammatically accurate, and I've never heard of any other way of putting dialogue tags inside two sets of dialogue. If you'd like to send me a more specific example off-list, however, I'd be happy to look at it again.

              RT







              Yahoo! Groups Links












              Yahoo! Groups Links
            • Alyse
              Examples two and three are both correct usage, providing that example two is the continuation of the same sentence. Example one is not correct, at least not if
              Message 6 of 10 , May 22, 2006
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                Examples two and three are both correct usage, providing that example two is the continuation of the same sentence.

                Example one is not correct, at least not if you're talking about two separate sentences.

                So, for example this is correct:

                "I think I underestimated you, Rodney," John said.  "This is a turn up for the books."

                whereas this wouldn't be:

                "I think I underestimated you, Rodney," John said, "This is a turn up for the books."

                It's because 'John said' is a dialogue tag.  A dialogue tag is something attached to a piece of speech to give the reader some guidance as to who is speaking and how they are saying it.  This makes it part of the same sentence as the dialogue.  But it can't be attached to two different sentences.

                On the other hand, this would be perfectly acceptable:

                "You know," blustered Rodney, "I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about."

                That's because Rodney is actually saying just one sentence.  You could easily rearrange it to be:

                "You know, I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about," blustered Rodney.

                You wouldn't say:

                "I think I underestimated you, Rodney, this (or even This) is a turn up for the books," said John. So you can't stick the 'said John' in there, with two commas.  Your choices are example two or:

                "I think I underestimated you, Rodney.  This is a turn up for the books," said John.

                Hope that helps :)

                I'm back and I know I owe people mail.  I'll try to get the backlog cleared tonight, but unfortunately my tennis elbow has been playing up, which Leah I think has let at least some people know.

                On 5/22/06, Laryn <aleirian@...> wrote:
                I've got a question, and since my last useful grammar class was at least a decade ago (possibly two), please bear with me on this one.  The story I'm currently looking at interjects a lot of conversation tags into the middle of sentences preceded and followed by commas - this is a convention that I've not seen before and I'm not sure it's legal.
                Example 1: "Dialogue1," he said, "Dialogue 2."


                --
                love and Thorntons' chocolates

                Al

                =================================================
                unconsciousmind - www.unconsciousmind.co.uk
                =================================================
              • redthunder213
                ... I ve always written something similar to the above as: You know, blustered Rodney. I have absolutely no idea what you re talking about. Is that also
                Message 7 of 10 , May 22, 2006
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                  > "You know," blustered Rodney, "I have absolutely no idea what
                  > you're talking about."

                  I've always written something similar to the above as:

                  "You know," blustered Rodney. "I have absolutely no idea what you're
                  talking about."

                  Is that also correct?

                  Thanks for the clarification!
                  RedThunder
                • Alyse
                  ... It can be *provided* you wanted to have two separate sentences. In other words, if you wanted to write: You know. I have absolutely no idea what you re
                  Message 8 of 10 , May 22, 2006
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                    On 5/22/06, redthunder213 <redthunder213@...> wrote:
                    > > "You know," blustered Rodney, "I have absolutely no idea what
                    > > you're talking about."
                    >
                    > I've always written something similar to the above as:
                    >
                    > "You know," blustered Rodney. "I have absolutely no idea what you're
                    > talking about."

                    It can be *provided* you wanted to have two separate sentences. In
                    other words, if you wanted to write:

                    "You know. I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about," said Rodney.

                    What you actually have is a fragment (an incomplete sentence) followed
                    by another sentence. So, while it wouldn't be grammatically correct,
                    people aren't always grammatically correct and do use fragments in
                    dialogue (and in thought patterns as well). Personally, I wouldn't
                    for Rodney's dialogue, because with Rodney's inflections and speech
                    patterns, it's unlikely (imho) that he'd actually be saying two
                    separate sentences there. Rodney doesn't tend to use fragments in his
                    speech, largely because his thoughts are whizzing around so quickly,
                    and his speech is so rapid, that he actually ends up with run on
                    sentences rather than sentence fragments. Although, saying that, he
                    does sometimes cut himself off in mid thought and change direction as
                    something new occurs to him but *personally* I'd either use a dash or
                    ellipses to indicate that :)

                    John is different, because he does have a habit of using fragments
                    like that, so it would strike me as being less odd for John than it
                    would be for Rodney.

                    In other words, it's not grammatically correct, but could be correct
                    for the character, depending on someone's canonical speech patterns :)

                    Hope that helps.

                    --
                    love and Thorntons' chocolates

                    Al

                    =================================================
                    unconsciousmind - www.unconsciousmind.co.uk
                    =================================================
                  • Anthony Docimo
                    ... If I may ask, is that a British expression? What does a turn up for the books mean? *curious* thank you.
                    Message 9 of 10 , May 22, 2006
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                      >Example one is not correct, at least not if you're talking about two
                      >separate sentences.
                      >
                      >So, for example this is correct:
                      >
                      >"I think I underestimated you, Rodney," John said. "This is a turn up for
                      >the books."

                      If I may ask, is that a British expression? What does "a turn up for the
                      books" mean? *curious*

                      thank you.
                    • laura_hackett@tiscali.co.uk
                      It s certainly a phrase I am familiar with, and I m a Brit. I don t know whether it s exclusively British though. It means basically, a surprise, something
                      Message 10 of 10 , May 22, 2006
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                        It's certainly a phrase I am familiar with, and I'm a Brit. I don't know
                        whether it's exclusively British though.

                        It means basically, a surprise, something unexpected. I looked it up in
                        'Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable' and the definition reads:

                        A completely unexpected result or occurrance, especially a welcome one. 'Turn-up'
                        alludes to the turning up of a particular card in a game, while the 'book'
                        is the one kept by a bookmaker on a racecourse. the expression dates from
                        the 1940s.

                        Hope this clears it up for you.

                        Laura.

                        >-- Original Message --
                        >To: wraithbeta@yahoogroups.com
                        >From: "Anthony Docimo" <keenir@...>
                        >Date: Tue, 23 May 2006 00:17:43 +0000
                        >Subject: Re: [wraithbeta] Question on Grammar
                        >Reply-To: wraithbeta@yahoogroups.com
                        >
                        >
                        ><html><body>
                        >
                        >
                        ><BR>
                        ><BR>
                        >>Example one is not correct, at least not if you're talking about two<BR>
                        >>separate sentences.<BR>
                        >><BR>
                        >>So, for example this is correct:<BR>
                        >><BR>
                        >>"I think I underestimated you, Rodney," John said.  "This
                        >is a turn up for<BR>
                        >>the books."<BR>
                        ><BR>
                        >If I may ask, is that a British expression?  What does "a turn
                        >up for the <BR>
                        >books" mean?  *curious*<BR>
                        ><BR>
                        >thank you

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