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Hate grammar and spelling pedants here on BF, read this.

Old 02-11-18, 11:10 PM
  #1  
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Hate grammar and spelling pedants here on BF, read this.

Just how important is a comma?
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Old 02-11-18, 11:27 PM
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Shouldn't that title read something like this:

"Hate the grammar and spelling pedants here on BF? Read this:"
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Old 02-11-18, 11:33 PM
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2 points for a field goal.

However, I said what I meant, and meant what I said. Adding the subtly alters the meaning.
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Old 02-11-18, 11:37 PM
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Sorry.

It seemed like the most appropriate way to demonstrate my appreciation and empathy for the struggles of a fellow language maven.
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Old 02-11-18, 11:37 PM
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So instead of abusing commas they substituted abuse of semi-colons to create a list without a colon.

Next up, Appeals Court Part 2.
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Old 02-11-18, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
so, instead of abusing commas, they substituted abuse of semi-colons to create a list without a colon.

Next up, appeals court, part 2.
fify
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Old 02-11-18, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Sorry.

It seemed like the most appropriate way to demonstrate my appreciation and empathy for the struggles of a fellow language maven.
No apology needed. After all I did give you two points.

I just wanted to say that the original meaning was intended.
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Old 02-11-18, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
So instead of abusing commas they substituted abuse of semi-colons to create a list without a colon.

Next up, Appeals Court Part 2.
A colon would have been misplaced there.
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Old 02-12-18, 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
fify
Appeals Court Part 2 is a movie sequel. They couldn't get Harrison Ford and Angelina Jolie so it'll star Wings Hauser and Adrienne Barbeau.

In classic 1990s Apple and Kodak advertising parlance, "It's. The. Best."
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Old 02-12-18, 12:07 AM
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I'm the worst for sure.
Words just get messed up in my head. And I cant read long story's my mind wanders
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Old 02-12-18, 12:11 AM
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Oxford comma FTW
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Old 02-12-18, 01:47 AM
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A comma is pretty danged important...........a feller could die ifn hes in a comma long enof
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Old 02-12-18, 02:51 AM
  #13  
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I have been a writer and editor almost all my working life. To be sure, bein’ a lawyer, my writing has mostly been of the legal sort, but still, clarity is important. (You jokers shuddup. I heard ‘em all.) (En français: la ferme!) I have found that the Oxford comma always leads to greater clarity, so I insist on it for my own writing and when I edit others’ stuff.
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Old 02-12-18, 05:43 AM
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So, to be clear, the "Oxford comma" is the inclusion of a comma in a serial list that is otherwise only separated by a conjunction, such as "and," or "or."

Correct?
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Old 02-12-18, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
So, to be clear, the "Oxford comma" is the inclusion of a comma in a serial list that is otherwise only separated by a conjunction, such as "and," or "or."

Correct?
Yes, that's how I understand it. It helps to remove ambiguity - as in here are the bikes I own:

A LeMond, a Panasonic and a Giant.

Versus:

A LeMond, a Panasonic, and a Giant.

Okay not the greatest example, but the first sentence could be misconstrued as meaning I have two bikes, one of which is a nightmarish chimera of old steel and new aluminum. The second sentence better communicates that I own three different bikes.

Those are some clever delivery drivers to be sure, five million dollars is no joke! I'd love to hear how the drivers caught this.

Of course I prefer to use the Shatner period. Because I. Feel the need to sound. so thoughtful. So deep in thought I. can not even begin to hope that. the words exiting my mouth even inflect. like a normal person.
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Old 02-12-18, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by GrainBrain View Post
Yes, that's how I understand it. It helps to remove ambiguity - as in here are the bikes I own:

A LeMond, a Panasonic and a Giant.

Versus:

A LeMond, a Panasonic, and a Giant.

Okay not the greatest example, but the first sentence could be misconstrued as meaning I have two bikes, one of which is a nightmarish chimera of old steel and new aluminum. The second sentence better communicates that I own three different bikes.

Those are some clever delivery drivers to be sure, five million dollars is no joke! I'd love to hear how the drivers caught this.

Of course I prefer to use the Shatner period. Because I. Feel the need to sound. so thoughtful. So deep in thought I. can not even begin to hope that. the words exiting my mouth even inflect. like a normal person.
Shatner. period. FTW.
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Old 02-12-18, 10:49 AM
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I, for one, will, if possible, comment; but, is it, I'd love to know, if it's even knowable, in this context at least, even possible?
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Old 02-12-18, 11:07 AM
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All of the commas indicated a logical OR, as did the "or" without a comma, so I submit that the inclusion of a comma would have made no logical difference in the clause for time-and-a-half pay exemptions. The semi-colons do present a logical grouping, but I submit further that this construction does not indicate a "lesson learned" with respect to the Oxford comma, nor with respect to grammar generally.

In the spirit of pedantry.

By the way, I do hate grammar and also spelling pedants, sometimes, but I do not hate grammar pedants.

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Old 02-12-18, 11:44 AM
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True, true, nothing worse than a faithless, craft-loving, blustering, despicable, notorious, atrocious, bloody-execrable… pedant!
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Old 02-12-18, 12:32 PM
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The other day, I gave my boss a mock up of a book, which he had requested I get from our print vendor. In publishing, such a hand-made mock-up is called a "dummy."

So it arrives and I hand it off to him, saying, "Here's your book dummy." And he stops and says, "Do you mean, 'Here's your book dummy,' or 'Here's your book, dummy"?

Yes, commas matter, and since I'm in trade book publishing, serial commas are the preferred style.
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Old 02-12-18, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
All of the commas indicated a logical OR, as did the "or" without a comma, so I submit that the inclusion of a comma would have made no logical difference in the clause for time-and-a-half pay exemptions. ......
I'm with the judge in this case.

Then issue is the phrase "packing for shipment or distribution"

As written (without the comma) it implies that that phrase in it's entirety is the last element of the series, so only packing related work is exempted.

If the comma had been included it would have read xxx, packing for shipment, or distribution, making distribution (standing alone) part of the series of exempted jobs, so drivers of trucks are also exempted,even if their job doesn't include packing or any of the other categories.

I regularly use the Oxford comma, but am fine with dropping it if the last element is a single word which logically is consistent with the others, ie. he painted in 4 colors, red, yellow, green and blue. But when the last element is a phrase, you need the comma to separate it properly, the same way we use parentheses to clarify the meaning of these formulae 3 x 2 + 4 = X and 3 x (2 + 4) = Y. Ans = 10 and 18 respectively.

BTW - I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the recent grammar text Eats, Shoots and Leaves which can describe koalas or someone who robs diners depending on the inclusion of a comma.
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Old 02-12-18, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
I'm with the judge in this case.

Then issue is the phrase "packing for shipment or distribution"

As written (without the comma) it implies that that phrase in it's entirety is the last element of the series, so only packing related work is exempted.
I don't dispute the judge, I dispute the "fix".

Problem is the "AND" part. The second group is logical AND with the first, and it is distributive over the OR list if the first list is grouped. You would include a final comma to indicate grouping (brackets around) the previously listed set. That would be a terrible mathematical convention, using the same symbol that is recurring in a list but having different meanings.

Grammatically perhaps (did I mention that I hate grammar?), mathematically or logically, no. They needed to explicitly group the elements, such as "with any:" or by repeating the word "of" on each element of the list. I am sure that there are many examples of statutes that are more precisely worded which the legislature could have copied, and their final product is still potentially ambiguous. Disappointing.

By the way, as written the enumerated list implies an "AND" condition (because it says "and" ), so all three requirements must be satisfied. In other words, all three of Agricultural produce, Meat and fish products, and Perishable foods must be packed, stored, or distributed etc. in order for the exemption to be qualified. Logically speaking. The statute should say "or" if they mean "or".
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Old 02-12-18, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
I don't dispute the judge, I dispute the "fix".

Problem is the "AND" part.....

And?

I must be missing something. I didn't see any "and" in either version.
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Old 02-12-18, 03:23 PM
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Logically, thinking anything may be illogical; but, logically thinking, anything may be illogical.
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Old 02-12-18, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
And?

I must be missing something. I didn't see any "and" in either version.
or distributing of:

(1) Agricultural produce;

(2) Meat and fish products; and

(3) Perishable foods.
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