1. Jabenton
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    Jabenton New Member

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    Please check this paragraph

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Jabenton, Mar 3, 2011.

    In his essay "Doubts about Doublespeak," which appeared in the July 1993 issue of State Government News, Author William Lutz explains the language of doublespeak (a term coined by George Orwell) and the negative effect it has on the population. Lutz says that "It is a language which avoids, shifts, or denies responsibility; language which is at variance with its real or purported meaning. It is a language which conceals or prevents thought."
     
  2. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    Seems good to me. Maybe "about" should be capitalized?
     
  3. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    Agree with guamyankee, 'about' should have capital A.

    I would also put comma after 'essay'

    Also, comma after, 'Lutz says'.
     
  4. Leonardo Pisano
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    Leonardo Pisano Active Member

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    The comma before the " should be placed after it - but I know there is much debate on this.
    I disagree with capitalising About because it reduces the alliteration effect of doub-doub (although the phonetical difference is killing the effect already, so it may be a non-issue).
    I would replace [Lutz says that] by [Lutz says:].

    Remember, though, I have ESL, so others are more qualified to reply to your request. HTH anyway.
     
  5. Leonardo Pisano
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    Leonardo Pisano Active Member

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    I have learned that there is never a comma before 'that' grammatically, but always before 'which' -- that is in the context of a connecting phrase. Am I mistaken?
     
  6. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    It depends who you listen to. There has never been a logic to "that" and "which", but some experts have been trying for decades (maybe centuries) to create a logical distinction. If you consistently use "that" for restrictive clauses and "which" for non-restrictive clauses then you are right. But there have always been great writers who have not considered that to be a rule.

    Oh, and none of that applies when "that" is used as a demonstrative pronoun: "I'll wear this shirt, that jacket and those trousers." That "that" can have a comma before it on anybody's rules.
     
  7. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    I'm suggesting a comma after 'Lutz says that' because it is introducing someone's speech, in the same way that you would say He said, 'don't leave the gate open.'
     
  8. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd have a comma if it were:
    Lutz says, "It is a language which avoids...​
    But not as it is because the quotation flows straight on from the introductory text. The sense of the sentence ignores the quotation mark. This seems to be academic writing, which isn't the same as creative writing and has its own rules.
     
  9. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    I don't know about technical writing, so I'm probably wrong, but, to me, speech marks indicate direct speech and after the tag, it's usual to put a comma.

    If it's reported speech, then I agree - no quotation marks, no comma.
     
  10. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    "Lutz says" would be a simple tag. Once you add "that" then I don't think it's just a tag any more.
     
  11. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    Think you're right. Adding 'that'confuses the issue a bit.
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    only if the piece is being written for the uk market... in the us, commas and periods always go inside the " "...

    and the title of the piece being quoted must be typed as it appears in print, not by anyone's idea of what should be capitalized, or not...
     
  13. Rawne
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    Rawne Member

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    Should Author have a capital A?
     
  14. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Agreed completely. But one style for capitalisation of titles is to capitalise all words (in which case "about" would be capitalised), and another style is to lowercase some classes of words, including prepositions, unless they're the first or last word (in which case "about" would be lowercased). I seem to remember that the Chicago Manual of Style allows either -- just be consistent.
     
  15. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    I live in the UK and I've been taught to do this:
    "The weather is bad again," said Nicky.
    ^Is that correct :S
    Sorry for hijacking the thread ^^;
     
  16. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not in English, no. Well spotted.
     
  17. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes it is -- both sides of the Atlantic, I think.
     
  18. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    I don't remember being taught that the periods and commas go outside the speech marks...
    Or am I misreading her post?
     
  19. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    That depends on the market you are writing for. Wikipedia has a good article on the differences between UK and US punctuation.
     
  20. Scottk70
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    Scottk70 New Member

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    My thoughts:

    My thoughts on this paragraph? I would say the clarity could be more effective if the first sentence was broken into two sentences. There are two qualifying ideas to convey in that sentence. 1) William Lutz wrote an essay that was published in SGN. 2) in the essay, the negative effects of Doubts of Doublespeak on the population is explained.

    Keith
     
  21. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    The trouble is, the first sentence would then seem to be irrelevant. The first idea that has to be communicated is in the second sentence. If you make it:
    Author William Lutz wrote an essay that explains the language of doublespeak (a term coined by George Orwell) and the negative effect it has on the population. The essay was "Doubts about Doublespeak," which appeared in the July 1993 issue of State Government News.​
    the effect starts to sound juvenile, as if you're not capable of constructing the original sentence.
     
  22. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    There is some confusion in this thread about the UK correct way to punctuate (inside/outside inverted commas), and the comma with 'that'.

    For the first point, a quotation is not the same as speech. So you have:
    'I wonder,' she said, 'if he is at home?' -- punctuation INSIDE the inverted commas for someone speaking, and the inverted commas are single.

    and

    It is said that 'Necessity is the mother of invention', but I can't do anything unless I'm in a creative mood. -- comma is OUTSIDE the inverted commas. There is no punctuation in the original quotation, so you can't have a comma (or any other punctuation mark) as part of the quote. The inverted commas are single, not double, because the quote is very short. For a long quote, you'd probably use double.

    The reason the punctuation is inside the inverted commas in the US is because the original standard way, which was used at first in the US as in UK, makes typesetting more fiddly, and there were less qualified typesetters there at one time. It is easier to damage the little lines of type (can't remember their name offhand) if the punctuation is at the end--it can get knocked off. Google if you doubt me.

    The 'that/which' thing--there is no comma in the example above because you are introducing a quotation, not dialogue, and you don't want to break the sentence. Where the which/that/comma or no becomes a problem is like this:

    I like food which/that is good. -- no comma, and you can use either which or that (defining relative clause). Meaning: I like good food, as opposed to bad.

    I like food, which is good. -- You can't use 'that' here (non-defining relative clause). The comma changes the meaning. Meaning: It's a good thing that I like food (otherwise I'd have an eating disorder or starve to death or something).

    So be careful out there with the commas!
     
  23. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    But you could have "that" if you used a semicolon or full stop:
    I like food. That is good.​
    No wonder people find it tricky, is it?
     
  24. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    This has always made sense to me.
     
  25. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    You could only have it if you meant the second meaning--'it's good that I like food', not 'I only like good food'. And, actually, it's poor style.
     

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