1. caters
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    caters Member

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    What some other grammar checkers say about 2nd chapter of 1st volume

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by caters, May 6, 2014.

    I have checked some other grammar checkers online like Paperrater and Ginger and Nounplus and the first 2 when I put in this sentence: They had to prepare for the high Gs that there are when you descend so fast. said that there was nothing wrong but nounplus suggested using is instead of are.

    I don't think I should replace are with is in that sentence because Gs is plural.

    Some other ones including the first 2 suggested that I change Gs to gas but I am talking about the force that gravity puts on you once you have been where there is microgravity and not the 3rd state of matter.
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Most grammar checkers look for the closest noun to the verb for agreement and are not sophisticated enough to recognize an intervening clause. But this is an awkward sentence:

    "They had to prepare for the high Gs that there are when you descend [one feels descending] so fast."
     
  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Never mind what they have to say about the G's. They'll never get that bit right. But the other construction it doesn't like is... really awkward, even to read. Perhaps, ... that exist or ...that are present. The way you've worded it, you have two words that are technically serving the same syntactic purpose of connecting one idea with the next, that and there, fighting one another.
     
  4. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I would get rid of the words entirely and write it: The had to prepare for the high Gs from the fast descent.
     
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  5. caters
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    caters Member

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    nounplus suggests replacing the are with is. Gs is plural and so is are.

    Wouldn't it make more sense to say "The high Gs that are present" than it would to say "The high Gs that is present"?
     
  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Nounplus is not recognizing that G's is a plural (probably because it's not recognizing it as a word at all), that's why it's not going to get that bit right. Ever. It should, of course, be are.
     
  7. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    "Gs" and "high Gs" in this context is a measurement of a single phenomenon. It's analogous to:

    high weight
    high pressure
    high light level
    high temperature

    Just as temperature is described in "degrees", the apparent gravity is described in "Gs". But that doesn't mean that temperature needs to be expressed as a plural. Now, it can be expressed as a plural:

    Due to the high temperatures used in candymaking, child cooks should always be supervised.

    But it's not expressed as a plural when a single measurement is taken. You don't say:

    The candy's temperature(s) are three hundred degrees.

    You say:

    The candy's temperature is two hundred degrees.

    "Gs" is not inherently plural, any more than "degrees" is.

    However, there is no hope whatsoever that a grammar checker will understand these nuances. It may treat "Gs" as plural because of the s, it may have no idea what to do with it because it doesn't look like a word, or any number of other possibilities. You can't trust the grammar checker's advice on this one.

    I would rewrite the sentence:

    They had to prepare for the high-G condition that results from a rapid descent.
     
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  8. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Those are good points @ChickenFreak, things I hadn't thought of.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's all too needlessly complex and overworded... why not simply 'the G's sustained/experienced when descending so rapidly'?
     
  10. caters
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    caters Member

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    well complex phrases can be errors according to some grammar checkers but I honestly don't think complex phrases are an error, In fact I am one of those who likes detailed and complex phrases.
     
  11. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, of course they're not errors. The grammar checkers just can't handle them. Grammar checkers are not very smart. :)
     
  12. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Change high Gs to gravitational force. :-D
     
  13. caters
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    caters Member

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    maybe not in phrasing but they are very smart when it comes to actual grammar and spelling errors, especially grammar.
     
  14. caters
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    caters Member

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    That will make it sound like they are landing on a gas giant when they are actually in 1 G gravity and it just feels much more because of fast descent.
     
  15. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I disagree, but I suppose we don't need to agree on this.
     
  16. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I've read through the entire thread, and this is definitely the best of the re-writes. It's the only one that reads smoothly AND makes perfect sense.

    As to the structure of the sentence, I'd forget the grammar checker. (In fact, I'd forget the grammar checker, full stop.)

    Instead, why not ask our resident expert in these matters - @dillseed? He's the one who poses the tricky questions on this topic. I'm sure he'll know the answer.
     
  17. caters
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    caters Member

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    Somebody at CC forums said when looking at my first chapter of first volume that I should use something besides said or told before the dialogue if the quote(direct or indirect) is declarative or imperative respectively.

    They also say each quote should have its own paragraph yet books say to avoid 1 or 2 sentence paragraphs so I disagree on the "each quote needs its own paragraph" thing and think instead that it should be every conversation that has its own paragraph.
     
  18. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, they're right--each new speaker needs a new paragraph. This overrides the objection to short paragraphs. I would say that this is not a style decision, but an actual standard.
     
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  19. caters
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    caters Member

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    books on English say this "No matter the sentence, whether it has quotes or not or is a quote itself avoid 1 or 2 sentence paragraphs." At least that is what mine says anyway.

    Edgar Rice Burroughs who wrote the Tarzan series did not follow that standard because he has a lot of 1 sentence paragraphs.

    According to books on English it should be every conversation having its own paragraph, not every speaker. This "Every conversation should have its own paragraph" should become standard because of these reasons:
    1) it means shorter chapters than there would be otherwise which is good
    2) it also is more convenient to read a conversation that is in 1 paragraph than 1 quote per paragraph
     
  20. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    What book is saying this? I have never seen this rule recommended in any book, and I have never seen a book that uses it.

    Edited to add: I just picked up novel from 1950, 1973, 2009, and 2013, and they all use the standard convention of starting a new paragraph for a new speaker.

    Edited yet again to add: Is it possible that the "avoid one or two sentence paragraphs" advice is referring to nonfiction? I picked up the 1950 book again, by Josephine Tey, a very well-regarded mystery writher, and counted the number of sentences per paragraph in a page. The page has nineteen paragraphs, and only three of them have more than two sentences. In fact, only four have more than one sentence.

    Apparently I can't let go of this. I'm offering one chunk of dialogue presented normally, with a new paragraph for each speaker. It's from Josephine Tey's _Brat Farrar_. (And I apparently can't get the paragraph indentation to show in the post.)

    "But you can't stay here," Bee said, looking with loathing at the room, and the forest of chimney-pots beyond the window.
    "I have stayed in a great many worse places."
    "Perhaps. That is no reason for staying here. If you need money we can give you some, you know."
    "I'll stay here, thanks."
    "Are you just being independent?"
    "No. It's quiet here. And handy. And bung full of privacey. When you have lived in bunk houses you put a high value on privacy."
    "Very well, you stay here. Is there anything else we can--can stake you to?"
    "I could do with another suit."


    Using your suggestion, with one paragraph per conversation:

    "But you can't stay here," Bee said, looking with loathing at the room, and the forest of chimney-pots beyond the window. "I have stayed in a great many worse places." "Perhaps. That is no reason for staying here. If you need money we can give you some, you know." "I'll stay here, thanks." "Are you just being independent?" "No. It's quiet here. And handy. And bung full of privacey. When you have lived in bunk houses you put a high value on privacy." "Very well, you stay here. Is there anything else we can--can stake you to?" "I could do with another suit."

    Do you really like the second better?
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2014
  21. caters
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    caters Member

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    the second with reference to who is speaking in each sentence is what I like better and am using in my novel.

    I have 4 English books that are high school courses and they tell you to avoid 1 or 2 sentence paragraphs no matter the sentence type(whether it is simple, compound, or complex, whether it is declarative, imperative, interrogative, or exclamatory or a hybrid of any 2 of these), no matter if it is all quotes or if there is/are a quote/quotes in it those high school English courses.
     
  22. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do they tell you to do that when writing *fiction*?

    A book that teaches a writing style that is not used in fiction is either wrong, or is not referring to fiction.
     
  23. caters
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    caters Member

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    Those high school English books do yes. That is part of why I am using the "Every conversation should have its own paragraph" thing with each sentence referring to who is speaking before the actual quote.
     
  24. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I find that I'm unable to believe that a textbook gives such incorrect advice; I think that there's a misunderstanding. It's rather like a cookbook saying "Chocolate should always be accompanied by calves' liver. There is no exception." When a book gives advice that is essentially never used by professionals, either the book is wrong, or there's a misunderstanding of the book.

    Are you able to find even one novel that follows this advice?
     
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  25. hummingbird
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    hummingbird Member

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    This isn't a grammar thing, but the pilot in me is bothered by this and I had to speak up.
    You get high Gs in a rapid climb or steep turn. A fast descent would have low (or even negative) Gs.

    High Gs come when you are pressed down into your seat, similar to if an elevator started going up very quickly, you'd be pressed into the floor and feel very heavy. If the elevator started a rapid descent (or if you pushed the nose of the plane over into a steep descent) you'd start floating as the floor dropped out from underneath you.
     
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