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Thread: Poor English

  1. #31

    Default I need tuition

    Help, please!

    I make up my grammar and spelling, have repetitive diction, lack brevity, use ad-hoc paragraph structure, ramble, and miss many mistakes during proof-reads.

    How do I improve my writing quickly?

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  2. #32
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Default Badger on Good English

    Quote Originally Posted by colmena View Post
    It seems learnt is OK.
    In matters of good English I always defer to Badger -

    "The Toad, having finished his breakfast, picked up a stout stick and swung it vigorously, belabouring imaginary animals. `I'll learn 'em to steal my house!' he cried. `I'll learn 'em, I'll learn 'em!'

    `Don't say "learn 'em," Toad,' said the Rat, greatly shocked. `It's not good English.'

    `What are you always nagging at Toad for?' inquired the Badger, rather peevishly. `What's the matter with his English? It's the same what I use myself, and if it's good enough for me, it ought to be good enough for you!'

    `I'm very sorry,' said the Rat humbly. `Only I THINK it ought to be "teach 'em," not "learn 'em."'

    `But we don't WANT to teach 'em,' replied the Badger. `We want to LEARN 'em--learn 'em, learn 'em! And what's more, we're going to DO it, too!'

    `Oh, very well, have it your own way,' said the Rat. He was getting rather muddled about it himself, and presently he retired into a corner, where he could be heard muttering, `Learn 'em, teach 'em, teach 'em, learn 'em!' till the Badger told him rather sharply to leave off."

    - "Wind in the Willows", by Kenneth Grahame.

  3. #33
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Default

    Victor always knows just what to say.

  4. #34
    Wonderer Samuel De Mazarin's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Help, please!

    I make up my grammar and spelling, have repetitive diction, lack brevity, use ad-hoc paragraph structure, ramble, and miss many mistakes during proof-reads.

    How do I improve my writing quickly?
    Strunk and White's "The Elements of Style"... that's a classic and a must-have for anyone who cares about the English language.

    I'd also recommend "Rhyme's Reason" by John Hollander... it's a very small and beautifully written book on English verse, but it teaches you a lot about how the language can be used to create different effects. Even a rank amateur's grasp of the mechanics and aesthetics of verse can have, when used wisely and sparingly, a very excellent influence on one's prose.
    Madman's azure lie: a zen miasma ruled.

    Realize us, Madman!

    I razed a slum, Amen.

    ...............................................

  5. #35
    señor member colmena's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    - "Wind in the Willows", by Kenneth Grahame.
    I don't disagree with the post's sentiment.

    As people in RL and on here have noticed, I regularly make up my own words (often passing them off as existing dialect).

    I thought I was picking up on mistakes on a finicky thread. I see I was wrong.

    I should have more faith in you, Ted.
    (no misnomers there)
    http://badges.mypersonality.info/badge/0/6/68764.png
    Ti Ne Fi Ni

    -How beautiful, this pale Endymion hour.
    -What are you talking about?
    -Endymion, my dear. A beautiful youth possessed by the moon.
    -Well, forget about him and get to bed.
    -Yes, my dear.

  6. #36
    Rats off to ya! Mort Belfry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Also, since when do we start novels with words like "Renowned"?
    What, an adjective?

    But one thing I did notice the other day on my old crappy laptop, is that when it dials up the internet it says, "Dialing," when it should say, "Dialling."
    Why do we always come here?

    I guess we'll never know.

    It's like a kind of torture,
    To have to watch this show.

  7. #37
    Wonderer Samuel De Mazarin's Avatar
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    Those who break the rules of the game ought to understand and have played by the rules of the game first. Otherwise, their deviations might merely be seen as deviant as opposed to innovative.
    Madman's azure lie: a zen miasma ruled.

    Realize us, Madman!

    I razed a slum, Amen.

    ...............................................

  8. #38
    Oberon
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel De Mazarin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Help, please!

    I make up my grammar and spelling, have repetitive diction, lack brevity, use ad-hoc paragraph structure, ramble, and miss many mistakes during proof-reads.

    How do I improve my writing quickly?
    Strunk and White's "The Elements of Style"... that's a classic and a must-have for anyone who cares about the English language.
    And if you're looking for a rationale from Strunk and White that will solve a multitude of writing ills in one fell swoop, I give you this simple dictum from Will Strunk: Omit needless words.

    Let that be your guiding principle for all serious writing, and you will rarely go astray.

  9. #39
    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
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    Half the crap I write is bad in one way or another. It seems the longer it's been since I've had an english class, the worse my english gets.
    intp | type 9w1 sp/sx/so

  10. #40
    Wonderer Samuel De Mazarin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    And if you're looking for a rationale from Strunk and White that will solve a multitude of writing ills in one fell swoop, I give you this simple dictum from Will Strunk: Omit needless words.

    Let that be your guiding principle for all serious writing, and you will rarely go astray.
    Excellent point, Oberon! One that I would do well to be conscious of at all times...

    It's funny... a lot of people find Joyce, particularly in certain spots of Ulysses and, of course, the infamous Finnegan's Wake, to be quite prolix and highfalutin. But he always maintained that he was very exact in his choice of words and strove to never use more words than necessary for what he was describing. That he was describing complex emotions and situations ended up requiring more verbiage than some felt comfortable with.

    __________

    There's a great story, possibly apocryphal, about Joyce's writing process.

    He'd often write for six, eight, ten hours in the day, fixed immovably in front of his typewriter or notebook. One day, he met a friend in the evening and was relaxing after a particularly grueling workday.

    The friend asked, "So, how'd the writing go?"

    "Oh, excellently! Excellently! I really got a lot done today. I'm very pleased."

    "Ah, really? That's wonderful. How much did you get written?"

    "A sentence. Seven words," came the matter-of-fact reply.

    The friend was a bit flabbergasted and, with a moment to adjust, he queried, "I see! That... uhm... was it so very difficult for you to find the right words?"

    Joyce replied simply, "Not at all. I had them from the very beginning. It was determining the right order that was so tough."

    ___________________________
    Madman's azure lie: a zen miasma ruled.

    Realize us, Madman!

    I razed a slum, Amen.

    ...............................................

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