Punctuation Question

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks
Positive Passion
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Re: Punctuation Question

Postby Positive Passion » 26 Nov 2017, 15:11

kath wrote:i would leave out the comma. basically, yer lookin at did they do this or that?


Not quite. You are using two different verbs, one of which takes a preposition (apply/reach a decision contrary to) and so the subordinated clause "or reach a decision contrary to" should be in commas - [did they] apply, or reach a decision contrary to, Strickland.....

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Re: Punctuation Question

Postby Rayge » 26 Nov 2017, 22:11

Positive Passion wrote:
kath wrote:i would leave out the comma. basically, yer lookin at did they do this or that?


Not quite. You are using two different verbs, one of which takes a preposition (apply/reach a decision contrary to) and so the subordinated clause "or reach a decision contrary to" should be in commas - [did they] apply, or reach a decision contrary to, Strickland.....

This is what I would do as a copy editor, but I'm English.
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Snarfyguy
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Re: Punctuation Question

Postby Snarfyguy » 27 Nov 2017, 15:07

Positive Passion wrote:
kath wrote:i would leave out the comma. basically, yer lookin at did they do this or that?


Not quite. You are using two different verbs, one of which takes a preposition (apply/reach a decision contrary to) and so the subordinated clause "or reach a decision contrary to" should be in commas - [did they] apply, or reach a decision contrary to, Strickland.....

That's ultimately what I went with, and my reason for doing so.

Thanks, all.
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kath
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Re: Punctuation Question

Postby kath » 29 Nov 2017, 01:13

Snarfyguy wrote:
Positive Passion wrote:
kath wrote:i would leave out the comma. basically, yer lookin at did they do this or that?


Not quite. You are using two different verbs, one of which takes a preposition (apply/reach a decision contrary to) and so the subordinated clause "or reach a decision contrary to" should be in commas - [did they] apply, or reach a decision contrary to, Strickland.....

That's ultimately what I went with, and my reason for doing so.

Thanks, all.


that's fine. i don't mind being in a minority on this. did they apply this or reach that is fairly simple to me.

then again, i am no longer an editor. i have zero interest in dying on comma hill.

maybe the real question is if BTO applied crap music or reached out to people who love crap music.

snarf, i'm lookin at you.

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Re: Punctuation Question

Postby Positive Passion » 29 Nov 2017, 07:08

kath wrote:
maybe the real question is if BTO applied crap music or reached out to people who love crap music.

b

Now here you do not need a comma ( though could use one if you wanted after the first "crap music"). Why is it different? Because by repeating the object (crap music) you have added two complete clauses together, not used a subordinated clause. To mimic the orginal your phrase would have to read "if BTO applied or reached out to people who love crap music". Without commas it is harder to identify the object of the sentence - the people, or the crap music. So you add in commas: "if BTO applied, or reached out to people who love, crap music".

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Re: Punctuation Question

Postby Snarfyguy » 29 Nov 2017, 14:16

:lol:
Jimbo wrote:Look, all I know is pretty much what I get from Robert Parry over at Consortium News.

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kath
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Re: Punctuation Question

Postby kath » 29 Nov 2017, 21:03

well, okay.  sucky example.  using BTO fucqued me up.

i'm gonna try again.

obviously, two things here.  what the original writer *wanted* to be subordinate and what came out instead as a confusing, coordinate construction.

did led zeppelin's fish-costume phase spectacularly fail or represent the counter to their manly, hairy image?

i would (and did) write that without the commas under discussion.  if i wanted to show clear subordination, i would've written that sentence in a very different way.

(hey, at least my example is closer to what i want than the BTO.)

the problem here is that any notion of subordination doesn't change the fact that you have two main verbs tied to one subject, each with equal billing in the structure of the sentence as it was written and with that coordinating conjunction "or'.  subordinating clauses, the ones set off by commas (like this one), are offshoots of primary sentence structure... meaning they typically don't appear attached as main verb or verb constructions.  so yeah, that use of "or" probably pisses me off more than any comma issyew. any coordinating conjunction would work the same way in the layout of the sentence. take the ever popular "and". if you used "and" instead of "or" in yer original example or in my zep example, would you still insert the commas in there?

sure, you can (and did) throw in commas to break that up and show some subordination.  i would say the better, clearer way would be to use actual subordinate clause construction, cuz something like "or represent the counter to" aint it.

do you know what i mean?

what.  i really do love talking about this stuff.

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Re: Punctuation Question

Postby Positive Passion » 30 Nov 2017, 20:42

kath wrote:well, okay.  sucky example.  using BTO fucqued me up.

i'm gonna try again.

obviously, two things here.  what the original writer *wanted* to be subordinate and what came out instead as a confusing, coordinate construction.

did led zeppelin's fish-costume phase spectacularly fail or represent the counter to their manly, hairy image?

i would (and did) write that without the commas under discussion.  if i wanted to show clear subordination, i would've written that sentence in a very different way.

(hey, at least my example is closer to what i want than the BTO.)

the problem here is that any notion of subordination doesn't change the fact that you have two main verbs tied to one subject, each with equal billing in the structure of the sentence as it was written and with that coordinating conjunction "or'.  subordinating clauses, the ones set off by commas (like this one), are offshoots of primary sentence structure... meaning they typically don't appear attached as main verb or verb constructions.  so yeah, that use of "or" probably pisses me off more than any comma issyew. any coordinating conjunction would work the same way in the layout of the sentence. take the ever popular "and". if you used "and" instead of "or" in yer original example or in my zep example, would you still insert the commas in there?

sure, you can (and did) throw in commas to break that up and show some subordination.  i would say the better, clearer way would be to use actual subordinate clause construction, cuz something like "or represent the counter to" aint it.

do you know what i mean?

what.  i really do love talking about this stuff.


In the interests of the fun side of this - the real point is that the two verbs are contrary to each other, but relate to the same OBJECT in the sentence.

The original, broken down, says "did the court apply the decision in Strickland; or did the court reach a decision contrary to the decision in Strickland". These are opposites.

In your ledzep example, along these lines the sentence, broken down, would be "did the fish costume phase spectacularly fail their hairy image; or did it represent the counter to their hairy image." I have to say that these are not obviously opposites, and also that the first bit -did it fail their hairy image - doesn't make much sense to me, but then led zep are largely an unopened book to me.

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kath
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Re: Punctuation Question

Postby kath » 30 Nov 2017, 22:13

the contrary meaning doesn't change the structure or punctuation.

yes, you have the same object, the same subject, too.  two verbs on either side of that "or".

using "or" indicates a contrast in the court case.  "or" usually signals that. the word "but" also indicates contrast.  they both still follow the same coordinating conjunction rules that "and" does, including where they take commas and where they don't.

in the court case, if it's only a contrast (which is not a subordinating idea then), the "or" covers that all by itself. 

my example was a different use of "or" but for the same structural point.  (and yeah, it's not about the meaning of failing an image or representing a counter to that image.) the point: inside that sentence structure, "or" still works as a coordinating conjunction and follows the same commaless rules.  if you want subordination in either case, it's the wrong way to set it up. 

"or" doesn't take extra punctuation any more than "and" would, in either my or snarf's example. 

it's interesting that in yer post, you twice use a semi-colon in front of that "or" when you are using it in between two independent clauses back-to-back in the same sentence.  in american english, anyway, that is the place where you would use a comma before the "or", not a semi-colon.  from my perspective, more over-punctuation.

by the way, i worship zep but hate BTO.

furthermore, i worship but hate tequila. let's not delve.