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If it's not a ridiculous suggestion, what grammatical slovenliness do pedants NOT get worked up about?

38 replies

Tinker · 08/09/2008 23:10

I'm not qualified to be a pendant but I cannot get worked up about the overuse of !!!!!!!!!!!!!! I mean, how else does one express excitable shrieking etc? Apart from being articulate of course.

OP posts:
harpomarx · 08/09/2008 23:13

I am totally qualified to be a pedant but don't really get worked up about anything apart from impenetrable or pretentious language.

you can shriek all you like when I'm around!!!!!!!!!!!!!

littlelapin · 08/09/2008 23:15

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ScummyMummy · 08/09/2008 23:15

Don't sell yourself short, tinks. I think you'd make a really lovely necklace.

whomovedmychocolate · 08/09/2008 23:16

I'm qualified enough to be offended by your use of the word pendant to describe a certain leaning towards accuracy in text.

GrimmaTheNome · 08/09/2008 23:16

All sorts of constructs are allowed, or even encouraged, if they add expression to an email or post (ellipses being the current case under discussion).

whomovedmychocolate · 08/09/2008 23:17

Parts of me do hang quite low though these days, I could be a pendant

hf128219 · 08/09/2008 23:17


harpomarx · 08/09/2008 23:17

you see, I am not a pedant at all - didn't even notice the typo

Tinker · 08/09/2008 23:17

Oh shit. And I was concentrating so carefully on my title so as not to picked up on by The Pedants

OP posts:
GrimmaTheNome · 08/09/2008 23:18

Pendants are wannabe pedants who just like hanging around here...

littlelapin · 08/09/2008 23:18

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

harpomarx · 08/09/2008 23:18

oh, just pretend you did it on purpose to upset them.


Tinker · 08/09/2008 23:18

Boom boom.

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snowleopard · 08/09/2008 23:22

I actually think multiple exclamation marks can be very funny when well-used. What annoys me is when someone uses them all the time in emails etc, for things that aren't funny. "Anyway, we'll have to meet up next time I'm in your neck of the woods!!!!!! See you soon!!!!" etc.

And I don't mind split infinitives either
whomovedmychocolate · 08/09/2008 23:24

I wiggle my bottom in your general direction

Tinker · 08/09/2008 23:26

Thank you snowleopard. Couldn't really slink back to shout "Answer me, answer me" just to invite further ridicule

OP posts:
WilfSell · 08/09/2008 23:30

To neatly split an infinitive for the purposes of elegance is fine.

Writing passively, on the other hand, is bloody awful.

whomovedmychocolate · 08/09/2008 23:31

It annoyed me today when I received an immunisation invitation for my son with his first initial as 'B' on the envelope. I assumed they had picked the wrong kid till I opened it and found that the 'B' was for 'Baby' because they couldn't be arsed to look up his name . Yet they think I'm going to let them near him with a needle.

But that's technically just ignorance.

I don't get worked up about pub blackboards these days, I have accepted that the people that write them are not going to be highly educated in languages in most cases and so it's a bit unfair to judge their writing style.

thumbwitch · 08/09/2008 23:39

I am culpable for the misuse of these - as I use them indiscriminately to break up sentences, and not really as they are supposed to be used. Therefore I can't get worked up about it when anyone else does it.

I also find that sometimes re-arranging a sentence to ensure that there is not a preposition at the end of it creates a horrible level of artificial-ness of language, so am less bothered by that.

!!! are fine in their place but I can't be doing with them in written reports/ essays/ college assignments (all of which I have had to mark)

Wilfsell - writing passively? As in scientific speak? Again, fine in its place.

Am also culpable for loss of pronouns and articles when typing on MN and in my personal diaries - so far it doesn't seem to affect others' understanding!

ScummyMummy · 08/09/2008 23:43

Awww- don't sob. It was the most excellent typo. And a bit of !!!!!!!!!!! is bearable, I agree. I think most pedantry is a result of feeling secretly justly proud at stuff you've taken the trouble to learn. And, btw, I like starting sentences with conjunctions in a deliberate breaking the rules type way.

edam · 08/09/2008 23:45

Agree about prepositions. It does sometimes feel a bit wrong putting one at the end of a sentence, but it better than being artificial, pompous or stilted.

I don't mind split infinitives if they are done well. It's a very strange rule anyway. Who decided that it was wrong to split an infinitive because one wouldn't do it in a completely different language, i.e. Latin? And why?

Still sounds wrong, though. Odd. Maybe I've absorbed a bit of my parents' grammar school education.

edam · 08/09/2008 23:47

Scummy, no less an authority than Fowler himself says it's fine to start sentences with conjunctions, on the grounds that if it's good enough for the Bible...

thumbwitch · 08/09/2008 23:48

I love the famous split infinitive of Star Trek - "to boldly go" - just wouldn't sound the same if you said "to go boldly"

Tinker · 08/09/2008 23:50

Thought split infinitives were ok now.

See, am also very guilty of not using (scrolls down to check using correct terminology) pronouns and articles. Makes posts seem terse and easily misunderstood. Makes me look like a hotbed of busyness. Ha!

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ScummyMummy · 08/09/2008 23:54

And I agree with Fowler, Edam. But I'm sure that one of my English teachers did not as I recall being told it was a no-no at some point... I quite like the dot dot dot effect, actually... Trailing off into bemused silence cannot be bad every now and then...

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