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Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English (3rd Edition)

By Patricia T. O'Conner

During this re-creation of Woe Is I, Patricia T. O'Connerunties the knottiest grammar tangles and monitors thesame full of life humor that has charmed andenlightened thankful readers for years. With newchapters on spelling and punctuation, and freshinsights into the rights, wrongs, and maybes ofEnglish grammar and utilization, Woe Is I deals down-to-earthexplanations and plain-English recommendations to thelanguage mysteries that bedevil all of us:

  • Avoid the continual (and repeatedly embarrassing)grammatical mistakes that bewilder the easiest andthe brightest[*]Pronounce and spell phrases that even the smartestpeople mangle[*]Correctly use enormous quantities of woefully abused wordsand phrases

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This will get an either/or resolution. you could placed the query mark on the very finish. might Tina need to purchase a brand new hair dryer, toothbrush, go well with? Or, for emphasis, you could positioned a question mark after every one merchandise (you don’t want capital letters for every merchandise, considering that it’s nonetheless one sentence). could Tina need to purchase a brand new hair dryer? toothbrush? suit? • How do you introduce a query inside of an extended sentence? the easiest approach is to exploit a comma and begin the query with a capital letter. The query used to be, How lengthy may still she look ahead to her baggage? an analogous is right if the query is a citation: Introduce it with a comma. Tina cried, “What subsequent? ” but when the advent is a whole sentence, in particular if it’s an extended one, a colon works larger. The query she requested herself was once this: How lengthy should still she stay up for her baggage? • What comes after a query mark? If the sentence maintains after the query, don’t use a comma after the query mark. what is going to I do with out my hair dryer? she requested herself. “What extra can get it wrong? ” she stated to the price tag agent. THE SILENT SCREAM: THE EXCLAMATION aspect (! ) The exclamation aspect is just like the horn in your car—use it in basic terms if you have to. A refrain of exclamation issues says issues approximately your writing: First, you’re now not convinced that what you’re announcing is necessary, so that you want bells and whistles to get consciousness. moment, you don’t recognize a truly startling suggestion if you happen to see one. if you do use an exclamation aspect, take into account this: • Use it by myself (don’t upload a comma afterward). “Holy cow! ” stated Phil. And continue your voice down. short INTERLUDE: PARENTHESES () occasionally you'll desire a short aspect journey, a gradual interruption to tuck details right into a sentence or among sentences. a method to surround this interruption is with parentheses (the finish rhymes with cheese), and also you simply now observed a couple. the item to grasp approximately parentheses is they can enclose a complete sentence status on my own, or whatever inside a sentence. The tough half is figuring out the place the opposite punctuation marks pass: within or outdoors the remaining parenthesis. Punctuation by no means precedes a gap parenthesis (not within the comparable sentence, anyway). • whilst the apart is a separate sentence, positioned punctuation contained in the parentheses, and begin with a capital letter. Jimmy thinks he has gained the lottery. (He is incorrect, notwithstanding. ) • whilst the apart is inside of a sentence, placed punctuation open air the parentheses, and begin with a small letter. Jimmy thinks he has gained the lottery (fat chance). An exception happens whilst the comment inside of parentheses is an exclamation (wow! ) or a query (huh? ). The exclamation element or query mark is going contained in the parentheses, yet any accompanying punctuation marks cross outdoors: Jimmy has already made plans for the money (poor man! ), yet his spouse is skeptical. He can have misinterpret the numbers on his lottery tickets (how dumb are you able to get? ). an excessive amount of OF an exceptional factor: THE sprint (—) shall we do with fewer dashes. in reality, the sprint is maybe much more overused nowadays than the exclamation point—and I admit to being an criminal myself (there i am going again).

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