|Reviews for Ruatha's Grammar Review|
| snoopsbme chapter 6 . 2/19/2006
You know, I just love reading these. It's like your English pet peeve of the day. What fun!
I also wish such things that seem so fundamental to us weren't such elusive factors of the other half of the population!
| iknowthethirdthingaboutpoetry chapter 1 . 2/18/2006
I have a question.
You know how when someone asks a friend what he thinks about a movie, that friend would reply with, "I *thought* it *was* blahblahblah" but then when he gets to the plot he switches to present tense? What is up with that?
Also, when can someone stop being present? For example, Shakespeare is long dead, but when I hear people talking about him, it's he does this and he does that, not he did this and that and whatnot. But he's... dead, and whatever he has/had done he does/did a long time ago.
In other words, please explain when/where/how to use and mix present tense and past tense. Apparently logic is subjective.
| Pheobe Meryll chapter 1 . 12/17/2005
I appreciate the...how shall I say...humble (?) tone of this essay. It's nice that you start out acknowledging you're not an english teacher or something. a lot of guides like this have been posted on fictionpress, however, many are by teens who THINK they are english majors but haven't even taken college enlgish one. so thank you for being so decent and reasonable.
I like your style and this paragraph appealed to me - "sometimes giving a copy to dear old Mom just isn't the best idea (especially if there's both a girl and a boy in the story, or maybe, just once, you used the word 'damn'). In that case, there's only one thing to do: POST IT ON FICTIONPRESS." hehe how true. very pithy advice.
don't know if I'll be reading this whole thing, but I thought I'd let you know I enjoyed it.
| The 2nd Mrs de Winter chapter 4 . 10/6/2005
Hi, this has been really helpful for my grammar retarded self, but I have a homophone question for you: what's the deal with all right and alright. I've looked it up and I think I have it right, but Word keeps on having it come up as wrong . . .
| Clodhopper chapter 2 . 9/10/2005
I've been reading through this and there's a bit of punctuation that I have for you to add. When someone is shouting or yelling a question, either ! or ? is used. NOT BOTH, PEOPLE! This is a mistake that I see all too often that needs to be addressed. If it is a question, it's better to use ? and then add a tag clarifying that the person is shouting. Just something I think you should add to this chapter. Also, that all words being emphasized NEED to be in italics, not CAPITALS. Capitalizing words that are not acronyms is distracting and takes away from what could possibly be a very good story.
| SisterMuse chapter 1 . 8/10/2005
Ok, I finally swallowed my pride and read your grammar review. One more thing I might add is that changing the format and font helps you see mistakes you may not have noticed.I wanted to ask you how the thesis went, and can I borrow your editors! I have been reading through Jennasis AGAIN (Yes I am obsessed) and I can't believe the errors I am finding! My sister and I both get lost in the story it seems... Is that concieted? To get lost in your own story? Oh well, back to correcting! Bye!
| Xavier Everett chapter 1 . 6/15/2005
In the paragraph about spell-checking, in the second-to-last line, is the grammatical error intentional? I can see why it might be, but if it's not, it's rather ironic that you have a grammatical error in the middle on grammar. I'm pretty sure "it's" should be "its" - most words take the possessive apostrophe, but I think "its" is the exception. Apart from that, this is good, as I'm a bit of a grammar Nazi myself.
Thanks for reading and reviewing Abnormality - your comments were most helpful, and if you're confused, don't worry: the next chapter should clear everything up. And the "trivial matter" is actually autobiographical. On a maths exam I took last year, I missed out on 100 percent by one mark because I hadn't rounded it to the number of significant figures they wanted me to. (They said to a suitable degree of accuracy). I was too precise, and missed out on 100 percent because of it!
| daphnegray78 chapter 5 . 3/26/2005
Hey Ruatha! :)
I have a question about grammar. I'm not sure if I can adequately explain it, but I will try!
I know that every time a new person speaks, you have to start a new paragraph. However, what about when it is the same person speaking, but his/her speech is broken up by something else taking place? For instance:
"Hey, Jack!" she yelled, running after him. He turned and looked at her in surprise. As she ran, she saw him shove his hands in his pockets as he quietly waited for her to catch up with him. "What are you doing after school today?" she queried.
Would you need to start a new paragraph before the second time she speaks? Thanks ahead of time for your help!
| Mystified chapter 5 . 2/4/2005
Okay, so I don't really have anything productive to add to my last review (I still think you've pulled this off remarkably well), but I do have a question for you, oh mighty grammar Nazi. I've asked several English teachers, and I always get varying answers. Let's say you've got a character whose name ends in an 's,' and you want to make it possessive. Would it be James's, or James'? I have that name in one of my stories, and I find myself flip-flopping with the formats, which is terribly annoying. Help!
| Mystified chapter 2 . 2/4/2005
Smart idea! This is definitely something quite a few writers on fictionpress could use, and I know my own grammar certainly isn't perfect. I like how you can make this essay format sound almost conversational; it's easy to read and doesn't start to drag. One thing, though. I've had this drilled into me by a teacher who would die before using a comma incorrectly: Never start a sentence or quote with an ellipse. Never. You wrote, "Of course, as warnthepenguins pointed out, '...Your tags shouldn't...'" and you need to kill the ellipse before the word your. Otherwise, it's great thus far.
| lostinscotland chapter 5 . 1/29/2005
bwaha, punctuation. fun stuff.
personally, i'm a big fan of semicolons. i don't use them often, but i think they're great fun. i find it interesting that you didn't address colons at all...i have more trouble with them than with semicolons. but that's just me, i guess. overall, you've done a wonderful job of explaining things- things that, in my opinion, aren't really that hard to grasp. maybe i just have a better head for English than most people i know. it certainly is a bloody annoying language. whatever. nice work. i shall shut up now, or i'll be babbling here all night
| lostinscotland chapter 4 . 1/29/2005
ok, so now you're officially my hero for inttroducing me to the word "defenestrate". that is great!
that said, well done, these are definitely things that screw up more than a few people. any others you should add? yes. "then" and "than" maybe not homonyms, per se, but bloody annoying when you find them mixed up!
| lostinscotland chapter 3 . 1/29/2005
first things first...::salutes the grammar nazi:: well done. i always get yelled at for being a grammar nazi...but i really don't see how people can bear their own horrendous grammar. (forgive me for not capitalizing...i'm really incredibly lazy when my word documents aren't there to do it for me)
so anyhow. i was reading through, finding this interesting, but not really knowing what to comment on, given that it's for our education more than for our entertainment and all that. but now i think i've found something to comment on...or at the very least i'll let you in on another way of thinking that's out there.
i'm going to address the examples you gave us... *"That way," pointed Meneschach.* this is a style i don't understand at all. yes, i get that you're trying to avoid overuse of certain 'said' homonyms, but 'pointed' isn't a 'said' homonym. i, personally, would phrase that *"That way." Meneschach pointed.* or perhaps "he said, pointing" said and asked can be used effectively, and not be monotonous, if coupled with an appropriate adverb or another verb.
*"With directions?" reproached S'ra.* ok, this one's better. it is actually a talking word. but i honestly don't know that it fits. i'd think you'd be better off with an "asked skeptically" or even "reproachfully" there's a big difference between saying something reproachfully and actually reproaching. but that's just me.
in that same sentence, you do something else i don't understand. it's seen often enough, and i used to do it, too, but then i thought about it and realized it doesn't make that much sense. "Reproached S'ra." not "S'ra reproached." all that is is inversion of natural word order, which is seldom if ever used in normal writing. why should dialogue be any different? it just seems to make more sense to write it the way you'd write any other sentence. subject, then verb.
*S'ra sighed. "I don't see why you just didn't ask. * Nothing wrong there. except...only about four sentences ago, she also sighed. maybe "s'ra sighed again" that helps drive in your point that she's so exasperated, she's sighing twice. it sets the mood better, and it also seeks to eliminate the threat of becoming monotonous because of having the same word used twice, so close together.
*"That is what I said, yes," agreed the Kerdon, slowly.* again with the word inversion thing. but that's not all. why the comma after kerdon? maybe it's just me, but that comma seems pretty much pointless. we understand it's done slowly, fine. keep the word, lose the comma.
again, all this is just my humble opinion... so feel free to ignore it if you like. i'm going to go read the rest of this...'tis very interesting so far
| warnthepenguins chapter 2 . 1/10/2005
Your rules are good. I am glad that someone is willing to spell them out. I also get tired of telling people how to do dialogue in my reviews.
But as for your point about dialogue tags...I know that our fourth-grade teachers made a big deal out of using all kinds of 'fun' words instead of "said" (well, I know *mine* did)-like "shouted," or "cursed," or "erupted," or "pontificated." But the more recent consensus, surprisingly, is that 'said' is almost always the right choice. Sure, it's bland. But your tags shouldn't be supporting your dialogue; your dialogue should carry itself. And 'said' is *so* bland that it's /invisible/. 'Said' never brings a reader up short like the more unfortunate 'fancy' tags. Granted, there are exceptions. But really, I've found a steady diet of 'saids,' augmented here and there with dashes of 'asked,' 'yelled,' 'screamed,' 'whispered,' 'replied,' and 'lied,' makes for a perfectly balanced diet. 'Said' is like grammatical fiber-it makes everything flow smoothly.
Also I like the occasional irresistible onomatopoetic tag, such as
"Stop making fun of my sheep form!" Ezera blatted.
| The Queen of Squirrels chapter 5 . 1/9/2005
I'm always trying to make my writing better (and I start langauge arts class up again tommorrow) so I figured I'd give this a look over. Back in the day when I had more time, I would leave larger reviews that often dealt with the dreaded to-toos, who's speaking, not everything being a 'he said/ she asked', so a lot of this I was familliar with, but I read it all anyway because I like to know what I'm talking about and no one is perfect. And you did help clear up a dialogue thing for me, for which I'm eternally grateful, but also leads me to another question. Sentence fragments! Starting with And or But was supposedly a big no-no with my 6th grade english teacher( She wasn't nearly as good as yours), yet I've seen it done before and do it myself. I've always thought it's more writing style and personal preference. Are there any major rules concerning it?