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Frequently Seen Grammar Errors

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ElenaTiriel



Joined: 17 Mar 2004
Posts: 22
Location: The Grey Havens

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NancyBrooke wrote:
Good grammar is kind of like good manners in that it should make the reader more comfortable, and avoid misunderstandings.


Well put, Nancy! I just discovered this thread, and think it's a great idea!

May I share a spelling pet peeve of mine? I notice many different misspellings in the (Tolkien) fandom, and usually they don't bother me much. But this one seems to be close to universal, even in stories that are otherwise properly-spelled, which is discouraging! If even one person reads this and avoids an error, I'll be pleased....

Discreet vs. discrete: I've read so many stories in which "discreet" (meaning judicious, prudent, circumspect...) is spelled as "discrete" (which means separate or distinct). Confused

The (tongue-in-cheek Hello ) rule is this: if you're writing fiction or are describing people, you probably want "discreet". If you're doing technical writing about subjects like high-level mathematics or electronic circuitry, you probably want "discrete".

And I'm just beginning to note a very similar error, which is infrequent... but I'd like to nip it in the bud before it spreads!

Meet vs. mete: When using the (slightly archaic) adjective that means suitable, fitting, or proper, the spelling is "meet" (disclaimer: unless you are writing dialog in Middle English). "Mete" means to distribute or apportion by measure; allot; dole.

Examples:

Mete is mostly used in the phrase "to mete out punishment".

That specific meaning of meet was used by Tolkien's Éomer in a moving passage from RoTK:

Quote:
Mourn not overmuch! Mighty was the fallen,
meet was his ending. When his mound is raised,
women then shall weep. War now calls us!


Anyway, thank you so much for letting me get that off my chest!

- Barbara
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Robbie
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Joined: 22 Jun 2003
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Location: Sydney, Australia.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ElenaTiriel wrote:
And I also learned that, for professional writing, different organizations follow different style guides; even within the same dialect, there is more than one set of rules.


My cousin trained as a secretary. Each time I met here, there were new rules for typing. Right down to addresses indented on the right, not indented, double space after full stops (aka periods) and then single, do you put a space around a slash (and in green/red) or not etc....

You'll never win. So you might as well give up now and go play soccer Smile

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NancyBrooke
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Joined: 11 May 2003
Posts: 162
Location: In a motel 6 by the airport

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ElenaTiriel wrote:
Discreet vs. discrete: I've read so many stories in which "discreet" (meaning judicious, prudent, circumspect...) is spelled as "discrete" (which means separate or distinct). Confused

I don't think I knew there was a difference! Embarassed Very Happy
Memo to self: learn something new today. CHECK!

ElenaTiriel wrote:
Meet vs. mete

You know, I think you caught this in one of mine, and I was/am grateful!

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vladazhael



Joined: 15 Dec 2005
Posts: 169
Location: Gone mad, back later

PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NancyBrooke wrote:
ElenaTiriel wrote:
Discreet vs. discrete: I've read so many stories in which "discreet" (meaning judicious, prudent, circumspect...) is spelled as "discrete" (which means separate or distinct). Confused

I don't think I knew there was a difference! Embarassed Very Happy
Memo to self: learn something new today. CHECK!


Me too! All this time I thought my boyfriend was going on about "discreet math" and it was some sort of secret... Rolling Eyes

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ElenaTiriel



Joined: 17 Mar 2004
Posts: 22
Location: The Grey Havens

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robbie wrote:
Each time I met here, there were new rules for typing.


Oh, interesting!

I wonder if that has to do with the advent of the internet? Some of the typing rules I learned in the Dark Ages of manual typewriters (e.g. putting spaces between the three periods of an ellipse) don't make sense in documents that will be posted online, because the text wraps in odd ways....

Robbie wrote:
You'll never win. So you might as well give up now and go play soccer Smile


LOL sign Great idea! Only, in my case, I'd substitute writing Tolkien fanfic.... Laughing

- Barbara
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ElenaTiriel



Joined: 17 Mar 2004
Posts: 22
Location: The Grey Havens

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NancyBrooke wrote:
ElenaTiriel wrote:
Discreet vs. discrete....

I don't think I knew there was a difference! Embarassed Very Happy
Memo to self: learn something new today. CHECK!

Broccoli My work here is done! *Barbara does a happy dance!*

NancyBrooke wrote:
ElenaTiriel wrote:
Meet vs. mete

You know, I think you caught this in one of mine, and I was/am grateful!

You rock Yes, seeing it used by a fellow drabblist was simply not to be borne! Wink

*(Hmmm, did I spell that right???)*

But if I had realized at the time that you were the person who has "WHY TF Cant'chu Punctuate, First Duchess of F*&(ing &*ll yur comma placement sux!" in your sig line, I wouldn't have hesitated about whether you were an author who welcomes such feedback or not.... Beer

BTW, has anyone said that this site has the coolest smilies? Wave

- Barbara
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ElenaTiriel



Joined: 17 Mar 2004
Posts: 22
Location: The Grey Havens

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vladazhael wrote:
ElenaTiriel wrote:
Discreet vs. discrete


Me too! All this time I thought my boyfriend was going on about "discreet math" and it was some sort of secret... Rolling Eyes


LOL sign Now, *that* deserved a spew alert, Vlad!

- Barbara
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lissaselves



Joined: 28 Dec 2007
Posts: 31
Location: Right here!

PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vladazhael wrote:
All this time I thought my boyfriend was going on about "discreet math" and it was some sort of secret... Rolling Eyes

ROFL

Well, as long as we learn something new every day - I didn't know there were two words, either. Embarassed

See, this thread clearly demonstrates why people like me are desperate to get help from a beta; I'm sure there's a gazillion errors like that in my writing. Rolling Eyes

Please keep expanding the list - it's most useful.

*goes to check for discrete errors*


PS:
Elena, I love NB's sig, too. It's just the bestest! *takes cover*
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NancyBrooke
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Joined: 11 May 2003
Posts: 162
Location: In a motel 6 by the airport

PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lissaselves wrote:
PS:
Elena, I love NB's sig, too. It's just the bestest! *takes cover*

You can thank GhettoElleth for that. I certainly did! Twisted Evil

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NB Duchess of WHY TF Cant'chu Punctuate, First Duchess of F*&(ing &*ll yur comma placement sux!
Nazgul #3 in charge of ducking & sniggering

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