Punctuation Standards

Some grammar rules (and embarrassing mistakes!) transcend the uniqueness of different regions and style guides. This new International Grammar section by OnlineBookClub.org ultimately identifies those rules thus providing a simple, flexible rule-set, respecting the differences between regions and style guides. You can feel free to ask general questions about spelling and grammar. You can also provide example sentences for other members to proofread and inform you of any grammar mistakes.
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Miriam Molina
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Re: Punctuation Standards

Post by Miriam Molina » 01 Nov 2018, 04:03

In a book I reviewed, the author (a word fanatic) mentioned that there's no single standard for writing in English. (The Spanish, French, and the Italians apparently have governing bodies for their languages.)

I believe Scott also mentioned in an earlier post that it would be difficult to pinpoint a particular "style" or "standard" to follow. So we will just have to do our best and hope that the editor who picks our reviews will speak the same English we do.

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Post by raqstar1 » 03 Nov 2018, 06:20

As with most everyone else here, I get dinged with commas almost every time. I use 3 or 4 different grammar websites and inevitably every time I change a comma use based on the corrections, it is listed as one of my errors. It's very frustrating, to say the least. I'll get dinged for a comma in one sentence, then in another for no comma, and they are relatively similar sentence structures.
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Post by CatInTheHat » 03 Nov 2018, 08:44

raqstar1 wrote:
03 Nov 2018, 06:20
As with most everyone else here, I get dinged with commas almost every time. I use 3 or 4 different grammar websites and inevitably every time I change a comma use based on the corrections, it is listed as one of my errors. It's very frustrating, to say the least. I'll get dinged for a comma in one sentence, then in another for no comma, and they are relatively similar sentence structures.
A big thing to watch for with commas is whether the conjunction is connecting two independent clauses or an independent with a dependent. The first uses a comma, the latter does not. My point is that your sentences might be similarly structured but that aspect makes a huge difference. Note that I did not use a comma before "but" as it connects a dependent clause with an independent clause.
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Post by jgraney8 » 03 Nov 2018, 23:01

CatInTheHat wrote:
03 Nov 2018, 08:44
raqstar1 wrote:
03 Nov 2018, 06:20
As with most everyone else here, I get dinged with commas almost every time. I use 3 or 4 different grammar websites and inevitably every time I change a comma use based on the corrections, it is listed as one of my errors. It's very frustrating, to say the least. I'll get dinged for a comma in one sentence, then in another for no comma, and they are relatively similar sentence structures.
A big thing to watch for with commas is whether the conjunction is connecting two independent clauses or an independent with a dependent. The first uses a comma, the latter does not. My point is that your sentences might be similarly structured but that aspect makes a huge difference. Note that I did not use a comma before "but" as it connects a dependent clause with an independent clause.
Please don't hate me as I get pedantic.
Actually, you should have used a comma before the but because aspect is the subject of your second independent clause and makes is the verb. There are two independent clauses in your compound sentence: (1) My point is that your sentences might be similarly structured, (2) that aspect makes a huge difference. Furthermore, "The first uses a comma, the latter does not." is a comma splice. You could use a semicolon to join the two. The first uses a comma ; the latter does not. or a coordinating conjunction The first uses a comma, and the latter does not.
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Post by CatInTheHat » 04 Nov 2018, 08:31

jgraney8 wrote:
03 Nov 2018, 23:01
CatInTheHat wrote:
03 Nov 2018, 08:44
raqstar1 wrote:
03 Nov 2018, 06:20
As with most everyone else here, I get dinged with commas almost every time. I use 3 or 4 different grammar websites and inevitably every time I change a comma use based on the corrections, it is listed as one of my errors. It's very frustrating, to say the least. I'll get dinged for a comma in one sentence, then in another for no comma, and they are relatively similar sentence structures.
A big thing to watch for with commas is whether the conjunction is connecting two independent clauses or an independent with a dependent. The first uses a comma, the latter does not. My point is that your sentences might be similarly structured but that aspect makes a huge difference. Note that I did not use a comma before "but" as it connects a dependent clause with an independent clause.
Please don't hate me as I get pedantic.
Actually, you should have used a comma before the but because aspect is the subject of your second independent clause and makes is the verb. There are two independent clauses in your compound sentence: (1) My point is that your sentences might be similarly structured, (2) that aspect makes a huge difference. Furthermore, "The first uses a comma, the latter does not." is a comma splice. You could use a semicolon to join the two. The first uses a comma ; the latter does not. or a coordinating conjunction The first uses a comma, and the latter does not.
I'm going to stand corrected on my example. Call it replying when I'm in the middle of watching my constantly moving nephew... In your example of the comma splice, either can be used: a comma or a semicolon. Often, a comma instead of a semicolon when the clauses are short. It is an acceptable stylistic choice.
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Post by jgraney8 » 04 Nov 2018, 13:08

CatInTheHat wrote:
04 Nov 2018, 08:31

I'm going to stand corrected on my example. Call it replying when I'm in the middle of watching my constantly moving nephew... In your example of the comma splice, either can be used: a comma or a semicolon. Often, a comma instead of a semicolon when the clauses are short. It is an acceptable stylistic choice.
It may be acceptable as a stylistic choice, but do all the reviewers of reviews agree upon this? It appears that different reviewers have slightly different standards.
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Post by CatInTheHat » 04 Nov 2018, 14:37

jgraney8 wrote:
04 Nov 2018, 13:08
CatInTheHat wrote:
04 Nov 2018, 08:31

I'm going to stand corrected on my example. Call it replying when I'm in the middle of watching my constantly moving nephew... In your example of the comma splice, either can be used: a comma or a semicolon. Often, a comma instead of a semicolon when the clauses are short. It is an acceptable stylistic choice.
It may be acceptable as a stylistic choice, but do all the reviewers of reviews agree upon this? It appears that different reviewers have slightly different standards.
Do you mean editors? They are the ones that score the reviews.
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Post by jgraney8 » 04 Nov 2018, 19:39

CatInTheHat wrote:
04 Nov 2018, 14:37
jgraney8 wrote:
04 Nov 2018, 13:08
CatInTheHat wrote:
04 Nov 2018, 08:31


Do you mean editors? They are the ones that score the reviews.
Yes, I couldn't think of their title, but those are who I mean. Thank you for the correction.
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Post by Tiny_Turtle » 06 Nov 2018, 20:13

jgraney8 wrote:
04 Nov 2018, 13:08
CatInTheHat wrote:
04 Nov 2018, 08:31

I'm going to stand corrected on my example. Call it replying when I'm in the middle of watching my constantly moving nephew... In your example of the comma splice, either can be used: a comma or a semicolon. Often, a comma instead of a semicolon when the clauses are short. It is an acceptable stylistic choice.
It may be acceptable as a stylistic choice, but do all the reviewers of reviews agree upon this? It appears that different reviewers have slightly different standards.
This is exactly why we need a style guide. Reviewers and editors need to be on the same page. Choosing one really wouldn't be a difficult task. We could borrow one of the numerous ones that are posted online for the public to use. Every college has one. It would assure that the majority of the published reviews would have a more polished and professional flair.

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Post by jgraney8 » 06 Nov 2018, 22:13

Tiny_Turtle wrote:
06 Nov 2018, 20:13
This is exactly why we need a style guide. Reviewers and editors need to be on the same page. Choosing one really wouldn't be a difficult task. We could borrow one of the numerous ones that are posted online for the public to use. Every college has one. It would assure that the majority of the published reviews would have a more polished and professional flair.
I agree. Hoping you don't rock someone's hobby horse makes writing for the editors frustrating at times. Most of the time they are correct. However, a style sheet would help with some of the times when an editor makes a big deal out of something the other editors miss entirely or editors may differ on like the Oxford comma. In fact, the Oxford comma should be an issue addressed in the style sheet.
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