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Posts Tagged ‘separate’

A few days ago, we picked up on a thread that was going around, and we made an original contribution to an existing list.

See our previous post: Logic and the English language, part 2.

Yesterday, we got an email from a friend that took this concept even further, and now it has us on a roll …

Here is more evidence that English may not be the easiest language to learn:

  • The bandage was wound around the wound.
  • The farm was used to produce produce.
  • The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
  • We must polish the Polish furniture.
  • He could  lead if he would get the lead out.
  • The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
  • Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
  • A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
  • When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
  • I did not object to the object.
  • The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
  • There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
  • They were too close to the door to close it.
  • The buck does funny things when the does are present.
  • A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
  • To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow. (Later, the farmer also taught the sow to sew.)
  • The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
  • Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
  • I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
  • How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

And a few additions of our own:

  • The violinist, a master with the bow, took a bow to the audience.
  • You wouldn’t want to be late for your morning latte.
  • Many decorate with holly in the holy season.
  • The judge dared to convict the convict once again.
  • The lather worked up quite a lather while cleaning the woodworking equipment.
  • Does it take a college course to learn to make a collage?
  • The august scholar was introduced in August.
  • A rebel with a cause has reason to rebel.
  • Do they eat lima beans in Lima, Peru?
  • There is a very nice city called Nice, in France.

And, several entries from our friends at fun-with-words.com:

  • Please excuse me while I think of an excuse.
  • The button was so minute that it was a minute before I found it.
  • It’s the referee’s job to record the new world record.
  • When people abuse drugs this is called drug abuse.
  • To contest the issue they held a contest.
  • John became a convert after deciding to convert to another religion.
  • If I need a duplicate I can use the copy machine to duplicate the letter.
  • The guard will permit you to pass if you show a valid permit.
  • Please put my typewriter to use because I never use it.
  • They alternate between using the alternate machine and the main one.
  • My grandfather is aged ninety-two so he is quite aged.
  • I crooked my neck to see the man with the crooked stick.
  • Extreme weather may desolate a place making it a desolate place.
  • Everything I know I learned from that learned old man.
  • The overture took years to perfect, but eventually it was perfect.
  • I want you to separate the cards into two separate piles.
  • I tried to console the controller as he stood at his console.
  • John was content that the content of the box was undamaged.
  • The drawer drew a picture of the cupboard and drawer.
  • The lavishly decorated entrance will entrance the visitors.
  • It will incense the bursar that we have spent so much on incense.
  • As my mother moped about, a man on a moped rode by.
  • I broke a number of bones in my right hand; it’s number than the left.
  • As the charity event proceeds, the proceeds keep pouring in.
  • The President will recount the events that led to a vote recount.
  • I resent the fact that the letter was lost, but I have resent it.

Now, you’ve had a loose lesson on Heteronyms. wasn’t that fun?

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Punctuation is a device used to assist the reader. Punctuation is defined as the practice or system of using certain conventional marks or characters in writing or printing in order to separate elements and make the meaning clear, as in ending a sentence.

Today’s subject: “end marks:”

1.        the period “.”

2.        the question mark “?”

3.        the exclamation point “!”

1. A statement is followed by (ended with) a period. Periods follow declarative sentences, sentences that make statements. Further, a declarative sentence containing an indirect question is followed by a period, not a question mark. “A reader asked why that is.”

The period is often used for terminal purposes when a sentence is not involved, as after numbers in a list:

1.        there is

2.        a period

3.        after each

4.        bullet number

In addition, the period is used to terminate many abbreviations: e.g., i.e., Mr., Dr., Ms., Rev., etc.. (Did you notice the “double period” there? the first period is to terminate the abbreviation “etc.,” and the second period is to complete the sentence.)

Our favorite … possibly overused … is the three periods … used to indicate the omission of one or more words or sentences in a quotation: “I pledge allegiance … to the republic …” Notice this additional period which terminates a sentence in a longer quote: “Shakesperare was born in 1564. … He married Anne Hathaway in 1582.”

2. Why is a question is followed by (ended with) a question mark? Again, to make meaning clear to the reader. Let’s look at examples:

  • A direct question with the word order as an interrogative sentence, “Why did you visit our site today?”
  • A direct question with the word order as a declarative sentence, “A fish can drown?” (This one could also be a statement, “A fish can drown.” (ended with a period).)

Remember, though, that a declarative sentence which contains an indirect question is ended with a period. “Someone asked us what keeps readers coming back.”

Here’s a twist … Readers sometimes ask us, “When are you going to post a new poll?” In other words, “we are often asked when we will post a new poll.”

3. We want to make a strong expression of feeling about this end mark! We caution against using the exclamation point to indicate only mild emotion. Most writing guides suggest that the overuse of exclamation points will dull the effectiveness of the mark. This is not nonsense! We totally agree!! Pay attention!!!

Helpful sources:

Warriner, John E., Mary E. Whitten, and Francis Griffith. English Grammar and Composition. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1965.

Hopper, Vincent F., Cederic Gale, Ronald C. Foote, and Benjamin W. Griffith. A Pocket Guide to Correct Grammar. New York: Barron’s Educational Service, Inc., 1984.

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