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 Post subject: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 11:58 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
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Location: "Buy My Books"-land
I can't stand it any longer. Listen up and learn, you people who slept through English class:

"A" is not used in a sentence when it precedes most words starting with a vowel. Vowels are a, e, i, o, and u for you people in Rio Linda, and for this rule.

Example:
"An" elephant, an oyster, an independent person, an author, an ulcer. NOT "a" elephant...however, there are exceptions, like a unicorn. Try to read what you write and see how it sounds. If the use of "A" makes the sentence sound awkward or makes the flow hesitate, then it's probably wrong.

Here's an example from a thread on one of our forums: "This nightsnake was found under a empty 12pk soda box." :x :x :x

Another problem that really irritates me is the number of posters that do not know the difference between their, they're and there. Well kiddies, here it is:
there-a place...ie. "look over there."
their- a word that denotes possession by someone or a group...ie. "Their photos suck..."
they're-a word that means "they are"
I get really tired of sentences like this: "There pics are good." Wrong-It should be, "Their pics are good"!!!!

Another one that some people mess up is Your and You're. Your denotes possession, just like Their...so, "your snake." You're means "You are" You don't say "you are snake", you say "Your snake" when talking about someone's snake.


OK, I hope this was helpful... :x


Last edited by Brian Hubbs on March 4th, 2012, 9:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 12:02 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:52 pm
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Location: Amarillo, Texas
An historian, not a historian is considered proper.

For non native English speakers, consider yourself immune to any criticism (but not constructive advice) since I promise that my Japanese, Chinese, German, Spanish, Danish, etc are a lot worse than your English.

Of course I never can keep its/it's straight either.


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 12:07 pm 
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Thank you Paul, I overlooked the Historian example. I guess that works because if you say historian fast it sounds like it starts with "I", which is a vowel. but when you use just "history", it should be "a history of someplace"

As for its and it's: "It's" means "it is", and "its" denotes possession, like, "that snake likes to eat its tail." and "It's going to be a hot day."


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 12:12 pm 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9_kahA_wQo

Besides, you have an unfair advantage, you've written several books.


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 12:56 pm 
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Joined: November 6th, 2010, 9:59 am
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Location: Athens, GA (Columbia, MO)
And the plural form of genus is genera. Not genuses or genus' or any other random thing people come up with.


Last edited by Stohlgren on March 4th, 2012, 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 1:01 pm 
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Joined: June 20th, 2010, 7:17 am
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And never, under any circumstance utter the term Canebrake on this message board. To do so will prompt swift and determined action by the Canebrake is a non-entity police :P

Phil


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 1:18 pm 
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HA! We have pictures of Canebrakes in our book, so I KNOW they exist... :lol: :lol: :lol:

Rob, I even made a few goofs in my books....it's hilarious... :lol: :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 1:40 pm 
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I don't know why, but one that has always especially bugged me is ensure versus insure. The first means to do whatever one must to make certain that something does or doesn't happen ("I locked the rattler's cage to ensure that no one else could let it out"), the second means to be protected in the event that something does or doesn't happen contrary to one's wishes ("I found a company to insure me in case the rattler gets out and bites someone, anyway").

And gray versus grey, too. The first is American English, the second is British English.

And to follow up on what Stohlgren posted, the singular form of species is the same as the plural form: species. "Specie" is not a word.

Geez, Brian et al., now you've gotten me started! :x

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 1:44 pm 
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Oh, I'm sure we'll think of a lot more as this thread progresses... :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 1:48 pm 
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Location: Sydney, Australia
the contraction of "should", "would", or "could" and "have" is should've, would've, could've

not should of, would of, could of


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 1:54 pm 
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Joined: June 6th, 2011, 9:42 pm
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Location: central Florida
Brian Hubbs wrote:
I can't stand it any longer. Listen up and learn, you people who slept through English class:

"A" is not used in a sentence when it precedes most words starting with a vowel. Vowels are a, e, i, o, and u for this rule. example:
"An" elephant, an oyster, an independent person, an author, an ulcer. NOT "a" elephant...however, there are exceptions, like a unicorn. Try to read what you write and see how it sounds. If the use of "A" makes the sentence sound awkward or makes the flow hesitate, then it's probably wrong.

Here's an example from a thread on one of our forums: "This nightsnake was found under a empty 12pk soda box." :x :x :x

Another problem that really irritates me is the number of posters that do not know the difference between their, they're and there. Well kiddies, here it is:
there-a place...ie. "look over there."
their- a word that denotes possession by someone or a group...ie. "Their photos suck..."
they're-a word that means "they are"
I get really tired of sentences like this: "There pics are good." Wrong-It should be, "Their pics are good"!!!!

Another one that some people mess up is Your and You're. Your denotes possession, just like Their...so, "your snake." You're means "You are" You don't say "you are snake", you say "Your snake" when talking about someone's snake.


OK, I hope this was helpful... :x



HAHAA!!, yes, I agree with all of those observations you mentioned. Good thing you aren't on the KS forum anymore I guess, or you would be REALLY frustrated at how some of the people "their" spell "there" words. :lol: :lol:

Anyone can make typo's here and there, and it's pretty much human nature to make simple mistakes here and there when you type things out too fast and don't bother to check before clicking "submit". But when people CONSTANTLY make countless gross errors in their spelling, it can say alot. Some people are so lazy they couldn't care less if they misspell just about every other word, and THAT has always bugged me quite a bit.

Anyway, I was very happy to see that you spelled my very uncommon name correctly in your "Common Kingsnake" book :lol:


~Doug


Last edited by DMong on March 4th, 2012, 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 1:54 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:21 am
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Location: Iowa
Ok, here is something I seem to stumble on. Let's say you are talking about a museum specimen that does not have a proper ID. Would you say "The taxon is unknown" or the "The taxa is unknown"

That's an odd example because you could just say the species or subspecies is unknown, but I run into that problem when putting notes into the forms on NAHERP. "Please enter a taxon for this record" just sounds weird compared to "Please enter a taxa for this record". A person can enter genus, species, or subspecies as an ID, so "taxa" or "taxon" seems more appropriate to use.


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 2:00 pm 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 5:29 pm
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Location: I love L.A.
DMong wrote:
Brian Hubbs wrote:
I can't stand it any longer. Listen up and learn, you people who slept through English class:

"A" is not used in a sentence when it precedes most words starting with a vowel. Vowels are a, e, i, o, and u for this rule. example:
"An" elephant, an oyster, an independent person, an author, an ulcer. NOT "a" elephant...however, there are exceptions, like a unicorn. Try to read what you write and see how it sounds. If the use of "A" makes the sentence sound awkward or makes the flow hesitate, then it's probably wrong.

Here's an example from a thread on one of our forums: "This nightsnake was found under a empty 12pk soda box." :x :x :x

Another problem that really irritates me is the number of posters that do not know the difference between their, they're and there. Well kiddies, here it is:
there-a place...ie. "look over there."
their- a word that denotes possession by someone or a group...ie. "Their photos suck..."
they're-a word that means "they are"
I get really tired of sentences like this: "There pics are good." Wrong-It should be, "Their pics are good"!!!!

Another one that some people mess up is Your and You're. Your denotes possession, just like Their...so, "your snake." You're means "You are" You don't say "you are snake", you say "Your snake" when talking about someone's snake.


OK, I hope this was helpful... :x



HAHAA!!, yes, I agree with all of those observations you mentioned. Good thing you aren't on the KS forum anymore I guess, or you would be REALLY frustrated at how some of the people "their" spell "there" words. :lol: :lol:

Anyone can make typo's here and there, and it's pretty much human nature to make simple mistakes here and there when you type things out too fast and don't bother to check before clicking "submit". But when people CONSTANTLY make countless gross errors in their spelling, it can say alot. Some people are so lazy they couldn't care less if they misspell just about every other word, and THAT has always bugged me quite a bit.

Anyway, I was very happy to see that you spelled my very uncommon name correctly in your "Common Kingsnake" book :lol:


~Doug

And then there are those who wear welding gloves while they type. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 2:05 pm 
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Joined: June 6th, 2011, 9:42 pm
Posts: 195
Location: central Florida
Ross Padilla wrote:
DMong wrote:
Brian Hubbs wrote:
I can't stand it any longer. Listen up and learn, you people who slept through English class:

"A" is not used in a sentence when it precedes most words starting with a vowel. Vowels are a, e, i, o, and u for this rule. example:
"An" elephant, an oyster, an independent person, an author, an ulcer. NOT "a" elephant...however, there are exceptions, like a unicorn. Try to read what you write and see how it sounds. If the use of "A" makes the sentence sound awkward or makes the flow hesitate, then it's probably wrong.

Here's an example from a thread on one of our forums: "This nightsnake was found under a empty 12pk soda box." :x :x :x

Another problem that really irritates me is the number of posters that do not know the difference between their, they're and there. Well kiddies, here it is:
there-a place...ie. "look over there."
their- a word that denotes possession by someone or a group...ie. "Their photos suck..."
they're-a word that means "they are"
I get really tired of sentences like this: "There pics are good." Wrong-It should be, "Their pics are good"!!!!

Another one that some people mess up is Your and You're. Your denotes possession, just like Their...so, "your snake." You're means "You are" You don't say "you are snake", you say "Your snake" when talking about someone's snake.


OK, I hope this was helpful... :x



HAHAA!!, yes, I agree with all of those observations you mentioned. Good thing you aren't on the KS forum anymore I guess, or you would be REALLY frustrated at how some of the people "their" spell "there" words. :lol: :lol:

Anyone can make typo's here and there, and it's pretty much human nature to make simple mistakes here and there when you type things out too fast and don't bother to check before clicking "submit". But when people CONSTANTLY make countless gross errors in their spelling, it can say alot. Some people are so lazy they couldn't care less if they misspell just about every other word, and THAT has always bugged me quite a bit.

Anyway, I was very happy to see that you spelled my very uncommon name correctly in your "Common Kingsnake" book :lol:


~Doug

And then there are those who wear welding gloves while they type. :lol:



HAHA!!, I see you remembered my email to you from a good while back regarding my good forum "buddy" who uses welding gloves when typing :lol: :D too funny Ross,.I love it!!


~Doug


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 2:09 pm 
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Brian, I no what your getting @! It bothers me, two! I prbly sea those things three or fore times a weak and their r times I just wanna scream.

A few more internet grammar gems to add:

'Of' and 'have' are not interchangeable. It is okay to say "I should have flipped that tin, because there may have been a canebrake under it". It is not okay to say "I should of flipped that tin because there may of been a canebrake under it". (edit - as I was typing this, Vanar had already mentioned this one)

'Aloud' refers to noise levels, not the granting of permission. It is okay to say "you're not allowed to use the word 'canebrake' here". It is not okay to say "you're not aloud to use the word 'canebrake' here". Maybe one should just go with "you're not allowed to say the word 'canebrake' aloud here".

'No' and 'know' are not interchangeable. It is okay to say "I didn't know that the word 'canebrake' is no longer allowed here". It is not okay to say "I didn't no that the word 'canebrake' is know longer allowed here".

'Two', 'to' and 'too' are not interchangeable. For example: "Two days ago I went there to look for canebrakes, too"


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 2:12 pm 
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The grammatical error I've seen here most often is the use of "alot"...Heck, it's even used in this post. Although it probably will be changed in the next few decades, as of right now, "a lot" is two words. :thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 2:43 pm 
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Oh oh, crocdoc is using the Canebrake word while formulating a comparitive example. Expect a hell (hail) storm of retribution!

Phil


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 3:36 pm 
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DMong wrote:
Anyone can make typo's here and there


That's one of my favorites, and one of the most common.....apostrophes where they don't belong. The only time there should be an apostrophe behind "typo" is if you're using it as a conjunction instead of "typo is", as in "the typo's at fault". The plural of "typo" is "typos".

Another pretty minor one is using "too" instead of "to". There's a thread on another board entitled, "What are you listening too" and for some reason, it bugs me each time I see it.

Brian seems to have a pretty good handle on things, but I can assure you that the ability to write a book doesn't necessarily indicate a command of grammar. You'd probably be amazed at the number of prominent writers who have awful grammar. That's why they have editors and proofreaders. One thing that REALLY bothers me is when I see articles in magazines and such with multiple grammatical errors. There's no excuse for that and it matters, because stuff like that is all a lot of people read, and the publisher, I feel, has a responsibility to the readers to ensure correct grammar and spelling.


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 4:07 pm 
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Not to change the subject, but I still see magazines using the wrong capitalization for herp names. The correct way to write a common name is with all names capitalized as long as the animal belongs to the same species (like getula). For example:

Common Kingsnake is correct, but just the word "kingsnake" should not be capitalized if used alone, because a kingsnake might be in zonata or pyromelana. I see Reptiles magazine do this all the time. They will say "pale milk snake" or "Pale milk snake", instead of Pale Milk Snake. Of course, we all do it on the forum too, but that's mostly laziness.

Also, it is Milk Snake and Kingsnake. Not Milksnake or King Snake.
*I don't care what SSAR says about Milksnake...I'll never use that word.


Last edited by Brian Hubbs on March 4th, 2012, 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 4:15 pm 
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This is one of my pet peeves as well. We are using computers for crying out loud! Spell-checkers are common. In fact, I use google chrome and it is telling me right now that google is misspelled! All I have to do is right click and it gives me options for correct spellings. One that really gets me is shortening words. I can see it for texting, but not when you have a full keyboard at your disposal. Anyway, fun topic!

Josh


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 4:24 pm 
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Another thing that I see way too often is the lack of properly spaced hyphens, particularly preceding the definitions of "their, there, and they're". Consistency may sometimes trump protocol, so if you're going to do it wrong, do it wrong all the time. With any luck, no one will notice, and if they do notice, then there it is a good chance your repeated errors will be considered to be an element of your personal brand, and deemed acceptable despite grammatical rules to the contrary.


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 4:27 pm 
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I get irked when our local press uses "an" preceeding initials, the first of which is uttered as if it were a vowel. I.E., in referencing sources within the South Carolina Highway Patrol, they write, "...an SC trooper," or "according to an HP commander." Both sound correct when spoken, but are they? Makes my teeth itch..............


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 4:28 pm 
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My question is this - why is it now kingsnake, bullsnake, bullfrog, etc.. yet it's still milk snake, pine snake and so forth. What grammarian decided that it is now proper to conjoin some herp species names yet not others?

Phil


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 4:33 pm 
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Grammar is a pet-peeve of mine. The "your", "you're" thing really gets me upset. Another thing that I've seen often is someone getting on a high horse about correcting grammar...and they spell "grammar" as "grammer".

:lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 4:36 pm 
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Phil Peak wrote:
My question is this - why is it now kingsnake, bullsnake, bullfrog, etc.. yet it's still milk snake, pine snake and so forth. What grammarian decided that it is now proper to conjoin some herp species names yet not others?

Phil


Good point, and personally, I don't lose any sleep over herp names, whether scientific or vernacular. So much of that stuff changes yearly, or depends upon which "expert" you happen to reference.


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 4:38 pm 
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An in front of initials is correct in many cases, mostly if the pronunciation sounds like the initials start with a vowel.
It's always been Kingsnake and Bullfrog Phil, and Bullsnake back to 1958....


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 4:39 pm 
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Don wrote:
I get irked when our local press uses "an" preceeding initials, the first of which is uttered as if it were a vowel. I.E., in referencing sources within the South Carolina Highway Patrol, they write, "...an SC trooper," or "according to an HP commander." Both sound correct when spoken, but are they? Makes my teeth itch..............


I think that depends on how you expect the reader to read it. "... and Ess See trooper" would be correct, but if they read the state name, "... a South Carolina trooper".


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 4:42 pm 
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Two more examples for really bad grammar that's actually made its way into the accepted mainstream (= people use it all the time and think it's correct):

- "Just because you're an English native speaker, doesn't mean you write English well"

- "I can't hardly wait for a reform of the US education system."

You figure out where they're wrong.


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 4:43 pm 
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Another common misusage is "who's" and "whose".

Correct usage:

"Who's going to tell me whose snake hook this is?"


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 4:46 pm 
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Hans Breuer (twoton) wrote:
Two more examples for really bad grammar that's actually made its way into the accepted mainstream (= people use it all the time and think it's correct):

- "Just because you're an English native speaker, doesn't mean you write English well"

- "I can't hardly wait for a reform of the US education system."

You figure out where they're wrong.


You write English better than about 90% of the native English speaking (and writing) people I run across, Hans. I'd hate to think that they do a better job of teaching English in foreign countries than they do here in the US, but it wouldn't surprise me. I think that a lot of this stuff is a direct reflection on the sad state of the American education system. I still remember how to deal with grammar from school, 40 years ago, and my nephew tells me that they don't spend much on it at all these days.


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 4:51 pm 
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Brian Hubbs wrote:
Not to change the subject, but I still see magazines using the wrong capitalization for herp names...

Sorry, Brian, but I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one. Capitalization of animal common names might (as in birds) or might not (as in mammals) be done by convention, but it's not by any means a requirement. And with respect to herps specifically, so far as I'm aware no authorative body has weighed in favor of one or the other (i.e. there is as yet no convention firmly established), and not capitalizing is probably still more common than capitalizing.

In scientific nomenclature, however, there are indeed rules. Genus is always capitalized, and species never is.

Mark, those stray apostrophes have been known to drive my wife into a rage, especially when they appear in educational(!) materials.

Back when I lived in Gainesville, FL, I once attended a dinner party at which someone who wrote for the local newspaper was also present. This paper was notorious for mispellings, grammatical errors and even missing ends to paragraphs in the manner of articles in The Onion, even above the fold on the front page. Anyway, a bunch of us were standing around, each telling the group what s/he did for a living (the great majority of us being academics or graduate students), when it got to be this guy's turn and he said "I work for The Gainesville Sun." Not only our group but that entire side of the room got so quiet that you could have heard a pin drop. Then the guy dropped his head in embarassment and said "I know, I know..." and everyone burst out laughing. Quite a moment.

What bothers me, way more than anything I see anywhere in print, is that I've now seen some of these mistakes so often that I have to watch myself to keep from repeating them. I used to be an impeccable speller, but nowadays I have to check words I've known all my life, just because I've seen them spelled so many different ways on the internet in recent years that a bit of doubt has crept in. It's very frustrating!

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 4:53 pm 
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Brian Hubbs wrote:
Not to change the subject, but I still see magazines using the wrong capitalization for herp names. The correct way to write a common name is with all names capitalized as long as the animal belongs to the same genera (like Crotalus). for example:

Red-diamond Rattlesnake is correct, but just the word "rattlesnake" should not be capitalized if used alone, because a rattlesnake might be in Crotalus or Sistrurus. I see Reptiles magazine do this all the time. They will say "pale milk snake" or "Pale milk snake", instead of Pale Milk Snake. Of course, we all do it on the forum too, but that's mostly laziness.

Also, it is Milk Snake and Kingsnake. Not Milksnake or King Snake.


Nitpicking... It's Red Diamond Rattlesnake (no apostrophe, since "red" does not modify "diamond") and Milksnake, according to the SSAR list. Kingsnake is correct, "king snake" is not.

Cornsnake, ratsnake, gartersnake, nightsnake, watersnake, etc., are all correct too. It's basically all the same for types of snakes that that have a simple noun before the word "snake"; they become one word to designate a specific variety of animal. It's similar to the way it is in Dutch - a Boomslang ("Treesnake") is a Boomslang, not a Boom Slang.

Here's a whopper for everyone (though not currently officially recognized by SSAR):

California Red-sided Gartersnake <- Correct!
California red sided garter snake <-Wrong!
California Red-Sided Garter Snake <-Also wrong!
california redsided garter snake <-Definitely don't do this!

One thing that I think can go either way depending on which taxonomy you follow is "rubber boa" and "Rubber Boa". If you stick to the notion that there are two separate species in the genus Charina, then "rubber boa" would be correct since it simply designates a particular genus of snakes, similar to saying "kingsnake" or "hog-nosed snake". But if you believe that there is only one species in the genus Charina, irrespective of whatever subspecies there may be, then you must use "Rubber Boa" since it's the proper species designation. I tend to go back and forth with these two terms, though.


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 4:56 pm 
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SSAR has adopted the capitalization I described, and it has been that way since at least 2004. CNAH also follows those guidelines.


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 4:58 pm 
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Natalie McNear wrote:
Brian Hubbs wrote:
Not to change the subject, but I still see magazines using the wrong capitalization for herp names. The correct way to write a common name is with all names capitalized as long as the animal belongs to the same genera (like Crotalus). for example:

Red-diamond Rattlesnake is correct, but just the word "rattlesnake" should not be capitalized if used alone, because a rattlesnake might be in Crotalus or Sistrurus. I see Reptiles magazine do this all the time. They will say "pale milk snake" or "Pale milk snake", instead of Pale Milk Snake. Of course, we all do it on the forum too, but that's mostly laziness.

Also, it is Milk Snake and Kingsnake. Not Milksnake or King Snake.


Nitpicking... It's Red Diamond Rattlesnake (no apostrophe, since "red" does not modify "diamond") and Milksnake, according to the SSAR list. Kingsnake is correct, "king snake" is not.

Cornsnake, ratsnake, gartersnake, nightsnake, watersnake, etc., are all correct too. It's basically all the same for types of snakes that that have a simple noun before the word "snake"; they become one word to designate a specific variety of animal. It's similar to the way it is in Dutch - a Boomslang ("Treesnake") is a Boomslang, not a Boom Slang.

Here's a whopper for everyone (though not currently officially recognized by SSAR):

California Red-sided Gartersnake <- Correct!
California red sided garter snake <-Wrong!
California Red-Sided Garter Snake <-Also wrong!
california redsided garter snake <-Definitely don't do this!

One thing that I think can go either way depending on which taxonomy you follow is "rubber boa" and "Rubber Boa". If you stick to the notion that there are two separate species in the genus Charina, then "rubber boa" would be correct since it simply designates a particular genus of snakes, similar to saying "kingsnake" or "hog-nosed snake". But if you believe that there is only one species in the genus Charina, irrespective of whatever subspecies there may be, then you must use "Rubber Boa" since it's the proper species designation. I tend to go back and forth with these two terms, though.


Strong justification for sticking with Latin names!! :D


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 5:01 pm 
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Natalie: You got me on the ruber...I had a brain fart from the past... :lol: You may have also got me on the genus too, I guess it was species I was thinking of, like Common Kingsnake vs. kingsnake. And I will not accept the word Milksnake ever...it sounds too much like milkshake. 8-) so this is weird, until they devide up triangulum, we have to say Milk Snake, but after they do, we will have to say milk snake. Original comment edited.


Last edited by Brian Hubbs on March 4th, 2012, 5:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 5:01 pm 
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Thank you, Mark. That's a huge compliment. But if it's any consolation: most Earthlings who do not work with words (either reading or writing them) on a regular basis is bound to mess up without knowing it. The Mandarin spoken here in Malaysia is a joke (as the Malaysian Chinese, coming from many different dialect backgrounds, use it only as a lingua franca), and don't get me started on the sad state of my mother tongue.


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 5:04 pm 
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Quote:
most Earthlings who do not work with words (either reading or writing them) on a regular basis is bound to mess


Uh, it's "are" bound... :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 5:06 pm 
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Natalie McNear wrote:
Nitpicking... It's Red Diamond Rattlesnake (no apostrophe, since "red" does not modify "diamond") and Milksnake, according to the SSAR list. Kingsnake is correct, "king snake" is not.


Ok, but why is that correct? What rule is the SSAR basing their spellings on?


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 5:10 pm 
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They pull the rules out of their butts every 10 years or so...it's kind of a tradition, I think... :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 5:16 pm 
I'm about to loose it with all this grammar talk.


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 5:16 pm 
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The Oatmeal sums up this thread nicely :)

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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 5:24 pm 

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I’m treading on thin ice when I try to correct people’s grammar, but one I see all the time on these forums that really sort of bugs me is, “We seen three bullfrogs and a garter snake."


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 5:44 pm 
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Brian Hubbs wrote:
... I will not accept the word Milksnake ever...

Well, then I feel justified refusing to bow to the SSAR/CNAH capitalization convention. ;)

Seriously, I didn't know they'd adopted such a stance, let alone most of a decade ago. Where the heck have I been? In that case I apologize for picking on you, Brian - but capitalizing herp common names is still just a convention (and one I really will ignore, at that :P I've always thought birders silly for capitalizing bird common names, too).

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 5:58 pm 
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Brian

During 'crepuscular times' I have detected sooty pots effronting grayish kettles.

On the other hand, your edificaceous and inciteful commentary warrants an ecclesiastic "Amen".

Jeff


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 6:02 pm 
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Brian Hubbs wrote:
An in front of initials is correct in many cases, mostly if the pronunciation sounds like the initials start with a vowel.
It's always been Kingsnake and Bullfrog Phil, and Bullsnake back to 1958....


For what it's worth Raymond Ditmars used the terms Bull Snake and King Snake in 1936, so it has not necessarily always been like that. I consider the terms kingsnake and bullsnake to be of relatively recent vintage (the past several decades). My question - why not milksnake, watersnake, etc.. who decided which would be conjoined and which would be separated? What standard is used?

Phil


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 6:08 pm 
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gbin wrote:
Sorry, Brian, but I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one. Capitalization of animal common names might (as in birds) or might not (as in mammals) be done by convention, but it's not by any means a requirement. And with respect to herps specifically, so far as I'm aware no authorative body has weighed in favor of one or the other (i.e. there is as yet no convention firmly established), and not capitalizing is probably still more common than capitalizing.



I actually take a couple of pages in my field guide to talk about this. Most academic journals that I can recall necessitate that lower case be used for common names: now that's well and good for Tufted Titmice, but without capitalization how does one know whether a "brown snake" is Storeria dekayi or a snake that happens to be brown?

And with the Kingsnake/King Snake thing - I combine the words if there is no spoken pause between them. In other words: if you say a name like "Worm Lizard," one can hear the pause, not so with "Milksnake." Sorry Hubbs. :thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 6:09 pm 
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Phil Peak wrote:
Brian Hubbs wrote:
An in front of initials is correct in many cases, mostly if the pronunciation sounds like the initials start with a vowel.
It's always been Kingsnake and Bullfrog Phil, and Bullsnake back to 1958....


For what it's worth Raymond Ditmars used the terms Bull Snake and King Snake in 1936, so it has not necessarily always been like that. I consider the terms kingsnake and bullsnake to be of relatively recent vintage (the past several decades). My question - why not milksnake, watersnake, etc.. who decided which would be conjoined and which would be separated? What standard is used?

Phil


I started the trend: I use "Florida Watersnake" and "Brown Watersnake" etc. in my guide. :beer: Take that establishment.


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 6:27 pm 
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Right on Josh! It matters not to me which is used, I only find it curious as to how it is selectively applied.

Phil


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 6:47 pm 
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So, if the proper usage would be Bull Snake or Milk Snake, then we should change to Rattle Snake, right?

Conversely, someone in Europe might look at Natrix natrix and think: "Grasssnake....now, that just doesn't look right". :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: Grammar time
PostPosted: March 4th, 2012, 6:48 pm 
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You're right Phil, I just checked Blanchard's 1921 "Revision of the King Snakes" and he had the words separate (although the reprint had them together on the cover of the book). I guess Conant changed it in the 1950s.


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