|Reviews for Ruatha's Grammar Review|
| 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?
| Dirty Wallpaper chapter 5 . 12/29/2004
Oi! So i finally get around to reading it, late at night, when i'm half asleep - how logical. This was really good, helpful as always :). Thanks for answering my question, saves me from endeavoring to go and find the answer myself and getting confused. Oh the laziness and stupidity! Anyway, great work, kudos.
| Tiuwiu chapter 5 . 12/5/2004
Hiya, first I need to say that I'm very relived to have found your "grammar series" as I'm not the best of the world in grammar (in English anyway, my motherlanguage is fairly easier). I've found it very useful and I hope you will continue it. I know that your main purpose isn't writing to non-english-writers but as it is very useful to any one I would like to suggest you to make a point about using articles and prepositions (okay, they might come quite naturally to you, but assure me, it is not so easy to some one who doesn't even know the concept. [in Finnish you just add letters to end of the word]).
So sorry if this confusing, but as I said, i'm not the best in English. x] Oh yes, I've been wondering if there are any verbs that shouldn't be used in future (will go, will do etc.) ?
Well, that's it for now.
with thanks, Tiuwiu
ps. Did you know that there is 15 different (don't know what) things instead of the prepositions in Finnish ? E.g. house - in house, talo - taloSSA. And of course, you might need to change the word your using: table - on table , pöytä - pöyDäLLE. XD hope this you didn't mind this, but I couldn't resist. XXD
| meonlymejustme chapter 5 . 11/19/2004
Thanks for that!
I've never used a dash before in my life, i didn't even know that you could or what they were for. But now... well i still probably won't use them but it's very useful to know that i can.
| entityjerry chapter 5 . 11/15/2004
First, I'd like to point out that fictionpress removed your URL. I haven't had the chance to check it out myself, but I'm fairly certain they use a script that filters out any text with non-space characters on both sides of a period. My theory is only supported by the fact that your showed up, while your naked URL did not.
Er, anyway, there are three ways to get around the filter: put spaces before and/or after the periods in your URLs, use a place marker for the periods (such as commas or the word "dot" inside parentheses), or you could refer to a link posted in your profile.
I also wanted to mention that I found your opinion of semicolons highly amusing. One of the English teachers I had during eleventh grade professed a similar opinion of dashes - she found them frivolous, as one can generally get the message across with a comma, a colon, or a semicolon. We probably spent more than our fair share of time arguing about the importance of dashes; I'm pleased to have found someone who somewhat agrees with me.
| entityjerry chapter 3 . 11/15/2004
In the example from the nineteenth chapter of Sirach, I ran into a familiar problem (for me). I tend not to consciously pay attention to the specific rules of grammar, trusting my instincts instead, and half of the time I find myself wanting to rephrase the 'he said' statements.
"'That is what I said, yes,' agreed the Kerdon, slowly." Is the difference between the quoted 'he said' statement and, "the Kerdon slowly agreed" also one of personal preference? Too, regarding the difference between, "'With directions?' reproached S'ra,"
and, "'Just you wait and see,' Meneschach sniffed," does the word order from the 'he said' statements change because you wanted variety or for a different reason?
| ghenne04 chapter 5 . 11/14/2004
Nice job with this chapter! I hope everyone reads this one, at least, because I see so many errors in grammer when I'm reading. My only comment about this chapter, though, is about the commas in a series. You said that the final comma is optional, and I know many people agree with you. However, I was always taught that in English, it's required, whereas in other languages, you're not supposed to use the final comma. For example, the sentence you wrote first would be correct in English, but the sentence you wrote second (if you translated it), would be correct in a language like Spanish. It might have just been the way I was taught, but I figured I would mention it to you, just as another perspective. Anyway - Very nice job on such a tricky subject! Keep writing and update soon!
| Tommy2007 chapter 1 . 11/14/2004
Nice work; well written and interesting to read (compared to most texts based on grammar).
| meonlymejustme chapter 3 . 11/10/2004
I have no idea how i found this but, wow I'm so glad i did! Very helpful indeed. I really don't have much of a clue when it comes to gramma rules, I just sort of write down what i think sounds right, using commas whenever i'm stuck, even though i know there can't possibly be that many commas in a sentence. Hm. Oh well, cheers for the advice!