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Re: [wraithbeta] Question on Grammar

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  • 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 1 of 10 , May 22, 2006
      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 2 of 10 , May 22, 2006
        > "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 3 of 10 , May 22, 2006
          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 4 of 10 , May 22, 2006
            >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 5 of 10 , May 22, 2006
              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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