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Community => Bar Sport => Topic started by: GolamMostafa on Oct 24, 2018, 07:39 pm

Title: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: GolamMostafa on Oct 24, 2018, 07:39 pm
Usually efficiency is greater when input and output voltages are close to each other, so daisy-chaining
is likely to mean each converter is being more efficient than with independent converters, but that won't translate to overall efficiency unless the lower voltages are using much less power that the higher voltages.
In our non-native schools, we were asked to sit for English Language punctuation tests. If the quoted sentence would be my test, I would do the following. My query is: Should the punctuation test be different for natives and non-natives?

Usually efficiency is greater when input and output voltages are close to each other; so, daisy-chaining
is likely to mean each converter is being more efficient than with independent converters; but, that won't translate to overall efficiency unless the lower voltages are using much less power that the higher voltages.

(I have applied the rules of independent clause and the transitional adverb.)
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Robin2 on Oct 24, 2018, 10:21 pm
No

...R
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: AWOL on Oct 25, 2018, 10:40 am
PARK LIFE!
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Qdeathstar on Oct 27, 2018, 05:44 am
Hi.

If you was born here is your god given right to language how yous want if ya ain't you got to earn it. I don't go round correcting mexicans on the correct pronounsation of taco bell, now, do i? #MAGA
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Robin2 on Oct 27, 2018, 10:24 am
Punctuation has two separate purposes

1. To make it easier to understand written text

2. To create employment for language teachers.

...R
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: larryd on Oct 27, 2018, 05:09 pm
ifyoudonthavesomekindofrulesthenthingscanbeabitdifficulttofollowanditbecomeshardertocommunicate
alsoihavealwaysthoughtheenglishinenglandwasabithardtounderstand




Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Patrick_M on Oct 27, 2018, 06:07 pm
 :smiley-mr-green:  :smiley-mr-green:
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: GolamMostafa on Oct 28, 2018, 07:29 am
ifyoudonthavesomekindofrulesthenthingscanbeabitdifficulttofollowanditbecomeshardertocommunicate
alsoihavealwaysthoughtheenglishinenglandwasabithardtounderstand
If you don't have some kind of rules, then things can be a bit difficult to follow; and, it becomes harder to communicate; also, I have always thought (that) the English in England was a bit hard to understand.
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Robin2 on Oct 29, 2018, 09:17 am
I have always thought (that) the English in England was a bit hard to understand.
Presumably you are now referring to spoken English rather than written English.

One needs to attune one's ears to the local accent. I'm Irish and I was at a business meeting in Texas  when one of the experts that we were visiting arrived late due to a delayed flight. Having got used to US accents I could not understand the newcomer for about 20 minutes until I realized he was speaking with a Scots accent. Then there was no problem understanding him.

...R
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Budvar10 on Oct 29, 2018, 10:19 am
If you don't have some kind of rules, then things can be a bit difficult to follow; and, it becomes harder to communicate; also, I have always thought (that) the English in England was a bit hard to understand.

In my opinion this is too much of punctuation. Or am I wrong and it is correct? Can somebody with native English and good knowledge of grammar, write it correctly?
P.S.: I'm native Slovak. Our language has very complicated grammar rules, much more than English. We are using comma frequently, semicolon less. The sentence above uses both in rate, which would be in Slovak language criteria simply "too much". I am suspicious that it is not correct.
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Robin2 on Oct 29, 2018, 11:13 am
In my opinion this is too much of punctuation. Or am I wrong and it is correct? Can somebody with native English and good knowledge of grammar, write it correctly?
I am a native English speaker but I won't pretend to be a grammar expert. I would write that sentence like this as two separate sentences. In general shorter is better.
Quote
If you don't have some kind of rules then things can be a bit difficult to follow and it becomes harder to communicate. Also, I have always thought (that) the English in England was a bit hard to understand.
...R
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Budvar10 on Oct 29, 2018, 11:44 am
Thank you Robin. I've expected 2 sentences.
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: ardly on Oct 29, 2018, 04:09 pm
Here is text from an autocue that missed some commas;
"This is BBC World News, I am Jonathan Charles kept hidden for almost two decades and forced to bear children...."
https://youtu.be/a5108erygkM

Both native and non-native speakers should have the same test for punctuation as the meaning of sentences can change completely different with different punctuation.

Having said that non-native speakers can often simplify the grammer of spoken English in non-standard ways that are are perfectly understandable and unambiguous. No doubt, over time, these simplifications will become "standard" English.
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: GolamMostafa on Oct 29, 2018, 04:41 pm
If you don't have some kind of rules then things can be a bit difficult to follow and it becomes harder to communicate.
As a non-native, I need to re-write the above sentence as follows just to get pass of the English as a second language.

If you don't have some kind of rules, things can be a bit difficult to follow; and, it becomes harder to communicate.

I must honor the rules of combining together the dependent clause, independent clause and transitional adverb through correct use of the punctuation marks.
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: ardly on Oct 29, 2018, 04:55 pm
As a non-native, I need to re-write the above sentence as follows just to get pass of the English as a second language.

If you don't have some kind of rules, things can be a bit difficult to follow; and, it becomes harder to communicate.

....
I see what you mean you are actually having to be more dilligent than the native speaker.

....
I must honor the rules of combining together the dependent clause, independent clause and transitional adverb through correct use of the punctuation marks.
I only speak one language and I don't have a formal understanding of it's grammatical rules. I am sure that is a bad thing. I suppose though as a non-native a lot depends on what level of study you are undertaking. If you are studying at University level being tested on a formal understanding of the rules probably makes sense.
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Robin2 on Oct 29, 2018, 06:58 pm
As a non-native, I need to re-write the above sentence as follows just to get pass of the English as a second language.
See the second point in Reply #4  :)

...R
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Paul_KD7HB on Oct 29, 2018, 07:40 pm
Presumably you are now referring to spoken English rather than written English.

One needs to attune one's ears to the local accent. I'm Irish and I was at a business meeting in Texas  when one of the experts that we were visiting arrived late due to a delayed flight. Having got used to US accents I could not understand the newcomer for about 20 minutes until I realized he was speaking with a Scots accent. Then there was no problem understanding him.

...R
Years ago we hired a Scots programmer. The biggest problem was not understanding him, it was his use of the middle finger to point to things. Usually in a meeting.

Paul
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Robin2 on Oct 29, 2018, 11:13 pm
The biggest problem was not understanding him, it was his use of the middle finger to point to things. Usually in a meeting.
That suggests that you are a Sassanach.

...R
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Paul_KD7HB on Oct 30, 2018, 12:01 am
That suggests that you are a Sassanach.

...R
Probably. I had to search the word.

Paul
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language among Natives and non-Natives
Post by: ChrisTenone on Oct 30, 2018, 05:33 am
Years ago we hired a Scots programmer. The biggest problem was not understanding him, it was his use of the middle finger to point to things. Usually in a meeting.

Paul
No, that's a thing in meetings. My corporate lawyer gf taught me the art of pushing one's glasses up, while looking straight at a rival coworker.
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: GolamMostafa on Oct 30, 2018, 06:02 am
I only speak one language and I don't have a formal understanding of it's grammatical rules. I am sure that is a bad thing. I suppose though as a non-native a lot depends on what level of study you are undertaking. If you are studying at University level being tested on a formal understanding of the rules probably makes sense.
It is the language that dictates the grammar and not the other way. A native is not (necessarily) required to learn the 'inherent rules' that are embedded within the language as it (the Language) is his mother tongue. On the other hand, a non-native (like me and others) acquires the 'writing style' of the Foreign Language through hard exercise of the 'syntax and semantic' rules of the language. A native can have much better control over the writing/speaking style of his mother tongue having known the mechanics of the working principles of the grammatical rules/conventions of the language.  
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Robin2 on Oct 30, 2018, 10:39 am
A native can have much better control over the writing/speaking style of his mother tongue
There is no shortage of evidence on this Forum that many don't.

...R
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: GolamMostafa on Oct 31, 2018, 08:55 am
Quote
In a beginner/teaching environment, portability is desirable. In a production/commercial environment it is a non-sequitur as the code you work with is always going to be optimized for the destination platform. Often in the latter, portability carries overhead at too great a cost.
The above quote is a post belongs to an anonymous Forum Member in some other Section.

I am particularly impressed with the beauty of the construction style of the sentences and their coherence. However, I am at a loss to discover how the writer could miss a comma (,) after the introductory phrase of the second sentence when the required commas have been correctly placed after the introductory phrases of the first and third sentences.   
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Robin2 on Oct 31, 2018, 02:06 pm
However, I am at a loss to discover how the writer could miss a comma 
IMHO both commas should have been omitted - and for the same reason. Taking the first sentence as an example ...
In a beginner/teaching environment, portability is desirable.
Presented that way it implies some disconnect between the first and second parts when, in fact, the author did not intend any. Perhaps a better way of writing would have been
portability is desirable in a beginner/teaching environment
and then you can see that there is no place for a comma.

The same logic can be applied to the other sentence that has a comma.

I would not see an objection to a comma after the word sequitur although I think the meaning is perfectly clear without one.

I have a bigger problem with the middle sentence - I suspect the author did not understand the meaning and usage of "non sequitur". IMHO the last two sentences should have been written
But in a production/commercial environment the overhead associated with portability may come at a too great cost  as the code is always going to be optimized for the destination platform

...R
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: GolamMostafa on Oct 31, 2018, 04:20 pm
@Robin2

English is your mother tongue which you have acquired in a very natural way; later on, you cultured the language and have possessed a good control on the flow of the language.

I am a non-native, and I have learnt the English Language through hard practice of the syntax and semantics rules of the language. Therefore, it is totally forbidden for me to enter into any kind debate on the English Language structure with a native.

However, I (we) as a non-native(s) always apply the rules/conventions of the English language in the analysis of a sentence. The rules/conventions are the products of the English Linguists. 

Quote
In a beginner/teaching environment, portability is desirable.
Analysis: 
(1)  The sentence has two parts: an introductory phrase and the independent clause.
(2)  When a sentence begins with an introductory phrase, the phrase is to be punctuated by a comma (,).

Now the question: Is 'In a beginner/teaching environment' a phrase? The typical definition of a phrase is: a small group of words standing together as a conceptual unit, typically forming a component of a clause.  Does this definition of phrase stand in favor of saying that 'In a beginner/teaching environment' is a phrase?     
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Robin2 on Oct 31, 2018, 06:26 pm
Quote
In a beginner/teaching environment, portability is desirable.
(1)  The sentence has two parts: an introductory phrase and the independent clause.
IMHO it does not have two parts and, in particular, the second part is not independent.

Structurally it is the same as "in school diligence is desirable"

And, as I said in Reply #23 the sentence is awkwardly conceived in the first place.


IMHO an example of a sentence with an independent clause would be
"In school diligence is desirable, some students do not realise that"

Grammar MUST be subservient to meaning and content - in other words, first figure out the simplest and clearest way to say what you want.

...R
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: GolamMostafa on Nov 01, 2018, 01:49 pm
"In school diligence is desirable, some students do not realise that"
In punctuation test class, my non-native tutor would expect that I paraphrase the above quoted sentence as:

In school, diligence is desirable; but, some students do not realise that.
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: AWOL on Nov 01, 2018, 01:51 pm
I read it as
Quote
In school, diligence is desirable, but some students do not realise that.
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Robin2 on Nov 01, 2018, 03:29 pm
In punctuation test class, my non-native tutor would expect that I paraphrase the above quoted sentence as:

In school, diligence is desirable; but, some students do not realise that.
I don't like the comma after school because it suggests a disconnect between school and diligence and it would certainly not be appropriate if the sentence was better formed as in "diligence is desirable in school"

I have no problem with the "but" but I would not put a comma after it, and maybe not before it either. There is a sense in which the word "but" acts as a comma.

And I think you mean "rephrase" rather than "paraphrase" - or, even better still, "punctuate".


I remember a quotation "I am writing you a long letter because I don't have time to write a short one" (though I cannot remember the source). In my experience most writing can be usefully shortened (and made clearer) if the author takes some time to do so. (Including mine, no doubt)

Legal documents often have no punctuation other than full-stops in case the punctuation causes confusion. The "Oxford comma" is an example.

... R
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: AWOL on Nov 01, 2018, 04:11 pm
Quote
I don't like the comma after school because it suggests a disconnect between school and diligence
Consider then, perhaps, a hyphen; "In-school diligence is desirable". :D
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: GolamMostafa on Nov 01, 2018, 04:35 pm
"I am writing you a long letter because I don't have time to write a short one"
Again: If I am asked to analyse the above quoted sentence, I would do --

The writer is making a transition from one sentence (I am writing you a long letter) to another sentence (I don't have time to write a short one). In order to make a smooth transition, the grammar helps with a transitional adverb which is because. According to syntax rules, the transitional adverb needs to be punctuated and accordingly the sentence becomes as:

I am writing you a long letter; because, I don't have time to write a short one.
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: ChrisTenone on Nov 01, 2018, 05:17 pm
Using a semicolon indicates a lack of moral fiber.
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Robin2 on Nov 01, 2018, 07:05 pm
Consider then, perhaps, a hyphen; "In-school diligence is desirable". :D
IMHO that has a somewhat different meaning. I am not good at this but I think "in-school" is an adjective. I am thinking of it as being similar to "in-flight meal".

...R
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Robin2 on Nov 01, 2018, 07:09 pm
I am writing you a long letter; because, I don't have time to write a short one.
I think you are just trying to use up some spare punctuation marks that are cluttering your in-tray.

Time to stop. Throw everything except the full-stops in the trash.


...R
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Henry_Best on Nov 01, 2018, 09:19 pm
Re: Subject line.

Etcetera means "and other stuff" so you don't need the "and" before the "etc."
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: GolamMostafa on Nov 02, 2018, 09:25 am
Re: Subject line.

Etcetera means "and other stuff" so you don't need the "and" before the "etc."
In electrical technology, AC means "Alternating Current"; so, there is no need to say "AC Current"; but, almost everybody says "AC Current".
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: DaveEvans on Nov 02, 2018, 06:49 pm
But almost nobody says "and etc."   :D
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Robin2 on Nov 02, 2018, 07:06 pm
But almost nobody says "and etc."   :D
I had not given it a lot of thought but I assumed the title meant that the OP wished to discuss the use of "Etc" and the use of punctuation.

In other words I subconsciously interpreted the title as
"Etc" and Punctuation Marks of the English Language

...R
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: GolamMostafa on Nov 03, 2018, 03:32 am
I had not given it a lot of thought but I assumed the title meant that the OP wished to discuss the use of "Etc" and the use of punctuation.

In other words I subconsciously interpreted the title as
"Etc" and Punctuation Marks of the English Language
I have two items in the Title, which are Punctuation Marks and Etc.. What else is there except the coordinating conjunction and that can help me to glue these two items?

I did not like to put Etc. at the beginning of the Title as my priority was to discuss the usage of Punctuation Marks.

Moreover, I have followed the guide lines of the IEEE Standard in the formation of the Title. In this standard, a full stop (.) is not allowed anywhere in the Title; but, in my case Etc. is itself a word with an embedded full stop.
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Robin2 on Nov 03, 2018, 10:34 am
I have two items in the Title, which are Punctuation Marks and Etc.. What else is there except the coordinating conjunction and that can help me to glue these two items?
This is a situation where standard English usage does NOT use an "and". The correct usage is
Punctuation Marks etc. of the English Language
The reason is quite simple "etc is short for "et cetera" which literally means (according to my dictionary)  "and the rest" and colloquially means "and other similar things"

The addition of the "and" changes the meaning of the sentence.

...R
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: ardly on Nov 05, 2018, 12:09 pm
I read it as;
In school, diligence is desirable, but some students do not realise that.
I don't like that. In my limited understanding of grammer a comma serves three uses


In the above there is no list, the commas are not for breath and the sentence "In school but some students do not realise that" does not make sense.

I am happy with a single comma or even better none.
I like the idea that colon and semi-colon use shows a lack of moral fibre.
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: AWOL on Nov 05, 2018, 12:47 pm
Quote
In my limited understanding of grammer
Oh!The irony :D
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: ardly on Nov 05, 2018, 02:45 pm
Oh!The irony :D
Can't spell either :D
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: msssltd on Nov 06, 2018, 01:21 am
  • To separate items in a list.
  • To provide pause for breath and perhaps emphasis.
  • To bracket optional additional information that can be omitted.

All three examples are pauses of lesser or greater extent.

Quote
"In the above there is no list, the commas are not for breath and the sentence "In school but some students do not realise that" does not make sense."
I beg to differ(!)

"In school diligence is desirable but some students do not realise that. (sic.)"

'School' and 'diligence' are both nouns

Two nouns may be conjoined with a hyphen...
"In school-diligence is desirable (!)"

...Or they may be separated, as a list.
"In school, diligence is desirable but some students do not realise it."

Quote
I am happy with a single comma or even better none.
Technical English is written using open form punctuation, omitting all that is not essential.  English language students are taught the more expressive and pedantic, closed form, punctuation.

Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: GolamMostafa on Nov 06, 2018, 05:36 am
Technical English is written using open form punctuation, omitting all that is not essential.  English language students are taught the more expressive and pedantic, closed form, punctuation.
Then why are the Technical School going students burdened with so many years of English Language Course (in my country, it is for 13 years for non-natives) if they are not required to practice strictly the punctuation rules of the language?

The following excerpt is taken from a recent post of an anonymous poster of some other section of this Forum. Is the line well punctuated in respect of the use of the transitional adverb -- otherwise?

I'm assuming that 'distance' and 'maxDistance' are 'int', otherwise there would be no need to promote them to 'long'.  

In the punctuation class, we have learnt that the smooth transition from one clause to another clause in a sentence should be made through the use of a punctuated 'transitional adverb.' In this case, the punctuation marks are the semi-colon and comma which are to be placed before and after the transitional adverb (the otherwise). The rule is more than 100 years old, and it is still found in the 'Text Book of English Grammar.'

I am sure that the reviewer of my Technical Journal/Conference paper would alert me to punctuate the above-quoted sentence and in response, I would re-write this way:

I'm assuming that 'distance' and 'maxDistance' are 'int'; otherwise, there would be no need to promote them to 'long'.
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: ardly on Nov 06, 2018, 10:34 am
In electrical technology, AC means "Alternating Current"; so, there is no need to say "AC Current"; but, almost everybody says "AC Current".
I think you are falling into a trap. AC is an initialism and they, like acronyms, can be expanded into words. Etcetera cannot be expanded, it is a word. Instead the reader is supposed to replace the word with a continuation of what preceeded it for example;


Etcetera can also be used in a wooly way for example if somebody says "Punctation etcetera", they probably mean punctuation, grammar and things like that, but the meaning is a bit vague.

There is another use that people accept but which is rather recursive and redundant. For example; "Cats, dogs, etcetera are examples of domestic animals" means "Cats, dogs and domestic animals are examples of domestic animals".
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Robin2 on Nov 06, 2018, 11:18 am
Two nouns may be conjoined with a hyphen...
"In school-diligence is desirable (!)"

...Or they may be separated, as a list.
"In school, diligence is desirable but some students do not realise it."
I can't make any sense of those sentences if I read them literally. If I read them loosely (mentally omitting the hyphen and the comma) they do make sense.

I know what a school-meal is but school-diligence is strange and you could not write
In school-meal is xxxx (I have omitted the word "desirable" as I had more than enough of them in my youth.)

I might concede the value of the comma if the sentence was a follow-on to another - something like
In the playground you can have fun, However, in school, diligence is desirable
where the purpose is to emphasize the difference between play and school. But that was not the context in which I introduced the sentence.

...R
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Robin2 on Nov 06, 2018, 11:26 am
Then why are the Technical School going students burdened with so many years of English Language Course (in my country, it is for 13 years for non-natives) if they are not required to practice strictly the punctuation rules of the language?
I know I wrote the second point in Reply #4 with humour in mind. But there is still a germ of truth in it.

Quote
The following excerpt is taken from a recent post of an anonymous poster of some other section of this Forum. Is the line well punctuated in respect of the use of the transitional adverb -- otherwise?

I'm assuming that 'distance' and 'maxDistance' are 'int', otherwise there would be no need to promote them to 'long'.  

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

I'm assuming that 'distance' and 'maxDistance' are 'int'; otherwise, there would be no need to promote them to 'long'.
IMHO the original version is easier to understand than your more complex punctuation and in fact the sentence would be completely understandable without any comma or semi-colon.

When I read your punctuated version my reading is interrupted when I reach the comma after "otherwise" - it is only at that point that I become conscious of the semi-colon and then I have to re-read the whole thing in case I have missed something.

A very good test of writing and punctuation is to read the text out loud (obviously this works better for a longer passage where the need to draw breath becomes relevant). If the clauses and sub-clauses (if any) are too complex or if the punctuation is wrong it will be difficult to read through the text with the proper emphasis to convey the meaning clearly to the listener. (But I have no idea whether this is relevant to someone who is not writing in their native language)

...R
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Budvar10 on Nov 07, 2018, 07:55 am
Original version with single comma is easier to understand for me also. It is similar to my mother tongue. However, after little googling, I found that it "should" be written exactly as Golam wrote or in two separate sentences (...are 'int'. Otherwise, there...). The word "should" is written intentionally in quotes because it doesn't seem like strict rule. All versions are correct? I'm little bit confused.

Quote
...and in fact the sentence would be completely understandable without any comma or semi-colon.
What the rules of grammar say?
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Robin2 on Nov 07, 2018, 09:37 am
Quote
..and in fact the sentence would be completely understandable without any comma or semi-colon.
What the rules of grammar say?
If the "rules of grammar" do not reflect how language is used then it is the rules that are wrong. In the exact same way that the rules of physics and chemistry must match what happens in an internal combustion engine or else those rules would be wrong.

In any case this Thread is about punctuation rather than grammar. In school the word "grammar" is often used when trying to teach punctuation.

The purpose of grammar is to explain how language works - sophisticated language existed long before any experts started to try to understand it or to compare different languages. Understanding how language works can be especially useful when helping people with language problems.

Punctuation, on the other hand, is just a series of marks intended to make the written word easier to understand.

The more this Thread continues the more convinced I become of the validity of my second point in Reply #4.


...R
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Budvar10 on Nov 07, 2018, 04:31 pm
If the "rules of grammar" do not reflect how language is used then it is the rules that are wrong...
This one is good for Bart chalkboard quote. I used to use similar when I was a schoolboy. :)
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: GolamMostafa on Nov 08, 2018, 04:20 pm
Given below a sentence which has just been taken from an anonymous poster of some other section.

If you describe the project you want to create so that we understand the context of your question it will be much easier to help.

My question/query is: Do we need to put the comma (,) punctuation mark 'at the appropriate place' in order to show the dependent relationship between the two clauses (dependent and independent) of the sentence?      
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Robin2 on Nov 08, 2018, 05:16 pm
Given below a sentence which has just been taken from an anonymous poster of some other section.

If you describe the project you want to create so that we understand the context of your question it will be much easier to help.

My question/query is: Do we need to put the comma (,) punctuation mark 'at the appropriate place' in order to show the dependent relationship between the two clauses (dependent and independent) of the sentence?      
Now that you have drawn it to my attention, I think it may be a little better like this
If you describe the project you want to create (so that we understand the context of your question) it will be much easier to help.

Humble apologies for my slackness - however I doubt if there is any confusion as written. If you think it can reasonably be interpreted in a different way to what I intended please let me know.

...R
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: msssltd on Nov 11, 2018, 02:24 pm
Then why are the Technical School going students burdened with so many years of English Language Course (in my country, it is for 13 years for non-natives) if they are not required to practice strictly the punctuation rules of the language?
Two things that shocked me during my teenage years. i) On leaving secondary education I received extremely good English Language and English Literature exam grades.  ii) The following week, on my first day at work, I was told to unlearn the punctuation skills I had put so much effort into learning.  The explanation was when writing business and technical English one may presume the reader has a grasp of spoken English so is able to infer the punctuation for themselves. 

I still struggle with the distinction 37 years on.  It reminds me of the years I worked abroad, conversing in English with non-native English speakers.  When I got back to the UK I found my vocabulary had collapsed.  Took a good five years to recover.

I would like to add that I think your English is excellent Golam.
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: msssltd on Nov 11, 2018, 03:02 pm
What the rules of grammar say?

If the "rules of grammar" do not reflect how language is used then it is the rules that are wrong.
Grammar attempts to describe the consensus for how a language is spoken.  English grammar is rather ambiguous, due to the mixed heritage. The language developed from competing occupations, before being exported around the globe.  Despite the ancient roots English remains one of the fastest evolving languages, as far as I know.

Quote
Punctuation, on the other hand, is just a series of marks intended to make the written word easier to understand.
[Shudder(!)]
Open punctuation whereby the reader is left to infer their own punctuation reduces English (a remarkably flexible and expressive language) to the lowest common denominator.

Imagine speaking the following words to the mechanical beat of a metronome.

And now the end is near and so I face the final curtain my friend I will say it clear I will state my case of which I am certain I have lived a life that is full I have traveled each and every highway and more much more than this I did it my way.

In fact I doubt that there are many native and adult English speakers who could say or read those words without subconsciously adding punctuation to them.

Quote
The more this Thread continues the more convinced I become of the validity of my second point in Reply #4.
Punctuation is vital, to convey the cadence of English speech and thought.  Meaning does not depend merely on the arrangement of words but also the formation of phrases.  I hope the lyrics I quoted above demonstrate just how powerful punctuation can be.
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Robin2 on Nov 11, 2018, 07:03 pm
could say or read those words without subconsciously adding punctuation to them.
I don't think that contradicts my assertion that punctuation is "just a series of marks intended to make the written word easier to understand" - given that I was writing about written language and I was drawing a distinction between grammar and punctuation.

...R
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: GolamMostafa on Feb 09, 2019, 05:25 pm
I have taken the following sentence from a post of some other Section. I am (being a non-native) facing hard time to bring tense/punctuation correction (if needed) in this beautifully constructed sentence. I would highly appreciate if someone (native or non-native) paraphrases the sentence.

Quote
The side by side screenshot you posted makes no sense compared with the Zround scoreboards page but looking at your screenshot of the Zround message setup page I suspect that you can use whatever you like as the command string at the start of the message rather than them being fixed as I had assumed
I would like to see the sentence written as: (please, comment)
The side by side screenshot you have posted makes no sense compared with the Zround scoreboards page; but looking at your screenshot of the Zround message setup page, I suspect that you can use whatever you like as the command string at the start of the message rather than them being fixed as I had have assumed.
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: AWOL on Feb 09, 2019, 05:26 pm
sp. "side-by-side"
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: GolamMostafa on Feb 09, 2019, 05:49 pm
Quote
sp. "side-by-side"
1.  According to THE OXFORD PAPERBACK DICTIONARY, the 'side by side' (standing close together) is a valid construct.

2. According to this link (https://www.yourdictionary.com/side-by-side), side-by-side is the alternate spelling of side by side.

3.  According to this link (https://www.yourdictionary.com/side-by-side), 'This hyphenated spelling is usually used before a noun it modifies, whereas the unhyphenated spelling is used after a noun it modifies.' (There are no examples.)

Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: AWOL on Feb 09, 2019, 07:03 pm
Quote
This hyphenated spelling is usually used before a noun it modifies
"screenshot" being the noun.

Quote
According to THE OXFORD PAPERBACK DICTIONARY
But Oxford is weird about 's' and 'z'.
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Robin2 on Feb 09, 2019, 10:20 pm
I would like to see the sentence written as: (please, comment)
The side by side screenshot you have posted makes no sense compared with the Zround scoreboards page; but looking at your screenshot of the Zround message setup page, I suspect that you can use whatever you like as the command string at the start of the message rather than them being fixed as I had have assumed.
I don't know the grammatically technical difference between "posted" and "have posted" but in this case I think the plain "posted" is more correct. It is a simple statement of something done in the past. However "have posted" is certainly not seriously incorrect or confusing.

The other change from "had" to "have" changes the meaning - it is not simply a grammatical change. "Had assumed" describes a situation at a time in the past (without stating whether or not the situation is continuing). "Have assumed" describes a continuing situation.

...R
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Qdeathstar on Feb 10, 2019, 03:50 am
Why is they're an grammar topic in are arduino forum I ain't too big on book reeding i just want the arduino too make blinky lights butt not sparky ones... because if you're arduino is sparking your probably letting the smoke out



^an exercise for grammatical hobbyists.
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: GolamMostafa on Feb 10, 2019, 09:55 am
I don't know the grammatically technical difference between "posted" and "have posted" but in this case I think the plain "posted" is more correct. It is a simple statement of something done in the past. However "have posted" is certainly not seriously incorrect or confusing.

The other change from "had" to "have" changes the meaning - it is not simply a grammatical change. "Had assumed" describes a situation at a time in the past (without stating whether or not the situation is continuing). "Have assumed" describes a continuing situation.

...R
Thanks @Robin2 for critical analysis which will help me to understand the syntax and semantic structure of the given sentence in much broader context.


 
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: AWOL on Feb 10, 2019, 11:36 am
Quote
I ain't too big on book reeding
sp. " i aint two big on buck reeding"
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: ardly on Feb 11, 2019, 03:24 pm
Let's eat kids.

Use a comma, save lives.
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: GolamMostafa on Mar 05, 2019, 06:43 pm
Quote
But it works very well because I can print the actual data that I am going to send and print the data that is received and understand both of them without any need to "interpret" anything.
I would like to paraphrase the above quoted sentence (taken from some other section of this Forum) as follows because I am really serious to apply the rules of the transitional verb, parallelism, and co-coordinating conjunction. Please, put your comments. I am a non-native, and I have learnt the English Language in 12 years of schooling.

But, it works very well because I can print the actual data that I am going to send and print the data that I am going to receive is received. and I understand both of them without any need to "interpret" anything.
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Robin2 on Mar 05, 2019, 08:33 pm
You physically cannot print data that you are "going to receive". You can only print it after you have received it.


I thought I had seen a minor improvement to my sentence, but on second thoughts I think it is fine the way it is.

If there is some part of it that you think could be misinterpreted please let me know.


...R
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: ardly on Mar 05, 2019, 09:53 pm

 (http://"http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?msg=4084379")
Quote
Quote
But it works very well because I can print the actual data that I am going to send and print the data that is received and understand both of them without any need to "interpret" anything.
I would like to paraphrase the above quoted sentence (taken from some other section of this Forum) as follows because I am really serious to apply the rules of the transitional verb, parallelism, and co-coordinating conjunction. Please, put your comments. I am a non-native, and I have learnt the English Language in 12 years of schooling.

But, it works very well because I can print the actual data that I am going to send and print the data that I am going to receive is received. and I understand both of them without any need to "interpret" anything.
Here is my go;
"But it works very well because I can print both the transmitted and received data, and understand both of them, without any need to 'interpret' anything".
Without the context it is difficult. However I think the fact that the original author talked about doing something in the future is irrelevant to what he he was trying to convey. Hence I have simplified things, and changed the wording a bit, which is what paraphrasing is about.
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Robin2 on Mar 05, 2019, 11:16 pm
Here is my go;
"But it works very well because I can print both the transmitted and received data, and understand both of them, without any need to 'interpret' anything".
I think the second comma is inappropriate  :)

...R
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: ardly on Mar 05, 2019, 11:29 pm
I think the second comma is inappropriate  :)

...R
The part of the sentence between the two commas contains supplemental information and can be removed e.g. ;
"But it works very well because I can print both the transmitted and received data without any need to 'interpret' anything".
I am sure there is some grammatical term for this. I wish I had a more formal understanding of grammer.
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: GolamMostafa on Mar 06, 2019, 05:28 am
The part of the sentence between the two commas contains supplemental information and can be removed e.g. ;
"But it works very well because I can print both the transmitted and received data without any need to 'interpret' anything".
I am sure there is some grammatical term for this. I wish I had a more formal understanding of grammer.
A 'supplemental information' has been defined as a piece of 'additional clarifying information' which when removed from the sentence, the intended meaning of the sentence does not change. The following rules are there in the English Language Grammar to include 'supplemental information' in a sentence; however, it is the author and context that dictate which one to use.

1. Use a pair of parentheses -- () across the supplemental information :
(and understand both of them)

2.  Use opening comma (,) and closing comma (,) across the supplemental information :  
,and understand both of them,

3.  Use opening en-dash (-) and closing en-dash (-) across the supplemental information :  
- and understand both of them -  

I personally use the Option-1 as too many commas in a sentence get me lost to align the pronouns with their respective antecedents.

If the poster/author really wants that the 'supplemental information' may stay in his sentence for good reason, the sentence could be presented as:
"But it works very well because I can print both the transmitted and received data (and understand both of them) without any need to 'interpret' anything". This is an elegant form up to now owing to @ardly (K+) .
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Robin2 on Mar 06, 2019, 09:49 am
The part of the sentence between the two commas contains supplemental information and can be removed e.g. ;
"But it works very well because I can print both the transmitted and received data without any need to 'interpret' anything".
That version of the sentence has a different meaning from my original. In your version I find it it is unclear where, or by what, the "interpret" action is done. It raises the question why would there be a need to "interpret".

My version makes it clear (I hope) that I am the interpreter.


I have the same problem with this version
Quote
"But it works very well because I can print both the transmitted and received data (and understand both of them) without any need to 'interpret' anything".
The words "understand" and "interpret" work together in this statement and should not be separated.

...R
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: GolamMostafa on Mar 13, 2019, 08:05 pm
Quote
The best projects often use a microcontroller with external chips to enhance and complement it's capabilities.
The above sentence is taken from some other Section of this Forum. I am looking for some kinds of improvements that could be contributed in this sentence in respect of subject-verb and antecedent-pronoun agreements. I would like to propose the following form of the above sentence.  

"The best projects often use a microcontrollers with external chips to enhance and complement their it's capabilities."

My query/question: Is there any chance that a reader might associate the pronoun (their) with projects or chips and not with microcontrollers? Is there a way to paraphrase the sentence so that the said ambiguity (if any) could be avoided/minimized in respect of antecedent-pronoun agreement?

Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Robin2 on Mar 13, 2019, 09:25 pm
I'm not convinced that your version provides any improvement in clarity - though I would say it is equally acceptable.

It's a moot technical point whether the microcontroller enhances the external chips or vice versa.


Another option might be
External chips can enhance a microcontroller's capability

That's less than half as many words as the original.


Mark Twain is supposed to have said "If I Had More Time I Would Write a Shorter Letter"

...R
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: larryd on Mar 13, 2019, 10:45 pm
Chips enhance micro-controllers.


(https://imageresizer.static9.net.au/GbJWTso8p39O_4JnF5uXU0rLXkI=/600x338/smart/http%3A%2F%2Fprod.static9.net.au%2F_%2Fmedia%2FNetwork%2FImages%2F2018%2F06%2F15%2F10%2F17%2F180615_coach_fchips.jpg)




Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Robin2 on Mar 14, 2019, 12:31 am
Not like that
(https://imageresizer.static9.net.au/GbJWTso8p39O_4JnF5uXU0rLXkI=/600x338/smart/http%3A%2F%2Fprod.static9.net.au%2F_%2Fmedia%2FNetwork%2FImages%2F2018%2F06%2F15%2F10%2F17%2F180615_coach_fchips.jpg)

Like this
(https://www.honestburgers.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/ChipsBanner.jpg)

...R
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: ardly on Mar 14, 2019, 10:19 am
The above sentence is taken from some other Section of this Forum. I am looking for some kinds of improvements that could be contributed in this sentence in respect of subject-verb and antecedent-pronoun agreements. I would like to propose the following form of the above sentence.  

"The best projects often use a microcontrollers with external chips to enhance and complement their it's capabilities."

My query/question: Is there any chance that a reader might associate the pronoun (their) with projects or chips and not with microcontrollers? Is there a way to paraphrase the sentence so that the said ambiguity (if any) could be avoided/minimized in respect of antecedent-pronoun agreement?


In your solution the fact that the 'projects' and the 'microcontrollers' are now both plural does make the meaning of 'their' ambiguous. It could also be taken as meaning that the best projects use multiple micropocessors.
I thought the the original was clear. The best projects use a single microprocessor and it's (the microprocessor) capabilities are enhanced by external chips.
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: AWOL on Mar 14, 2019, 10:33 am
The best projects use a single microprocessor and it's (the microprocessor) capabilities are enhanced by external chips.
sp. "its capabilities"
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: ardly on Mar 15, 2019, 10:43 am
sp. "its capabilities"
I always get confused by its v it's , you are correct;
     The word it's is always short for 'it is' (as in it's raining), or in informal speech, for 'it has' (as in it's got six legs).
     The word its means 'belonging to it' (as in hold its head still while I jump on its back). It is a possessive pronoun (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/explore/pronouns) like his.
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: GolamMostafa on Mar 15, 2019, 10:53 am
I thought the the original was clear. The best projects use a single microprocessor and it's (the microprocessor) capabilities are enhanced by external chips.
sp. "its capabilities"
Knowing that it's is a contraction for 'it is or it has' and its is a 'possessive case', the original sentence may take the following form

"The best projects often use a microcontroller with external chips to enhance and complement its (microcontroller) capabilities."

Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Robin2 on Mar 15, 2019, 12:15 pm
I always get confused by its v it's , you are correct;
In typical English fashion it behaves exactly opposite to the usual way to create possessive nouns which are normally denoted by a single quote as in the man's shoes

...R
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: ardly on Mar 15, 2019, 05:03 pm
Knowing that it's is a contraction for 'it is or it has' and its is a 'possessive case', the original sentence may take the following form

"The best projects often use a microcontroller with external chips to enhance and complement its (microcontroller) capabilities."


Yes, that is the way I understood the original.
Because 'projects' is plural and 'micronctroller' is singular there is no ambiguity that "its capabilities" means the microcontrollers capapbilities.
If both are plural you get;
"The best projects often use microcontrollers with external chips to enhance and complement their capabilities."
Which could be read as
"The best projects often use microcontrollers (with external chips) to enhance and complement their capabilities." or
"The best projects often use microcontrollers (with external chips to enhance and complement their capabilities)."
if that makes sense.
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Robin2 on Mar 15, 2019, 06:52 pm
Which could be read as
"The best projects often use microcontrollers (with external chips) to enhance and complement their capabilities." or
"The best projects often use microcontrollers (with external chips to enhance and complement their capabilities)."
Both of those versions are technically correct   :)

...R
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: ChrisTenone on Mar 16, 2019, 05:10 am
Chips enhance micro-controllers.


(https://imageresizer.static9.net.au/GbJWTso8p39O_4JnF5uXU0rLXkI=/600x338/smart/http%3A%2F%2Fprod.static9.net.au%2F_%2Fmedia%2FNetwork%2FImages%2F2018%2F06%2F15%2F10%2F17%2F180615_coach_fchips.jpg)
Not like that
(https://imageresizer.static9.net.au/GbJWTso8p39O_4JnF5uXU0rLXkI=/600x338/smart/http%3A%2F%2Fprod.static9.net.au%2F_%2Fmedia%2FNetwork%2FImages%2F2018%2F06%2F15%2F10%2F17%2F180615_coach_fchips.jpg)

Like this
(https://www.honestburgers.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/ChipsBanner.jpg)

...R
We call those fries. If it's to enhance micros, it's called ... fries electronics.
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: dougp on Mar 17, 2019, 01:33 am
If you're into this sort of thing - Eats, Shoots & Leaves (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eats,_Shoots_%26_Leaves)
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: ardly on Mar 20, 2019, 12:40 pm
In typical English fashion it behaves exactly opposite to the usual way to create possessive nouns which are normally denoted by a single quote as in the man's shoes

...R
There are lots of rules like 'i' before 'e' except after 'c' , but not much science.
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: AWOL on Mar 20, 2019, 12:47 pm
There are lots of rules like 'i' before 'e' except after 'c' , but not much science.
Fiesty!
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: neiklot on Mar 20, 2019, 01:07 pm
English spelling rules are weird..

Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Robin2 on Mar 20, 2019, 02:45 pm
There are lots of rules like 'i' before 'e' except after 'c' , but not much science.
Neat.

I think you will discover that the I before E rule only applies when the sound is an eee

...R
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: GolamMostafa on Mar 20, 2019, 04:11 pm
There are lots of rules like 'i' before 'e' except after 'c' , but not much science.
Was the word 'science' formed based on the stated rules?  If not, why are we so aware about the syntactical and semantic rules (the rules that we have deduced from the language itself) of the Language?
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Robin2 on Mar 20, 2019, 05:20 pm
Was the word 'science' formed based on the stated rules?
I doubt if any word was formed based on rules - the rules came after.

Quote
If not, why are we so aware about the syntactical and semantic rules
I suspect the vast majority of the population is not so aware.

...R
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: larryd on Mar 20, 2019, 06:39 pm
"There are lots of rules like 'i' before 'e' except after 'c' , but not much science."

or words that have gh

Oh there are so many rules. :(



Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: AWOL on Mar 20, 2019, 06:41 pm
or words that have gh
Give a man a ghoti . . .
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: ardly on Mar 21, 2019, 03:37 pm
Neat.

I think you will discover that the I before E rule only applies when the sound is an eee

...R
Ah, that is another layer to the rule (it is a bit like the rule for leap years).
The basic rule is "i before e" so "Science" should be spelled "Science".
However; the "except after c" part means it should be spelled "Sceince".
However; because the sound is not "eee" it should be spelled "Science"!
Of course it is not that simple :)

There are words like "height" and "weight" where there is no 'c' but 'i' does not come before 'e'.


I had a go at some pseudo code, but I think the rule is that there is no rule;

Code: [Select]
if following 'c'
{
if sound is not 'eee'
{
"i before e"  // e.g. science - shot down by ?
}
else
{
"e before i" // e.g. fluorescein - but shot down by specie
}
}
else
{
if sound is not 'eee'
{
"e before i" // e.g. height - but shot down by identifier
}
else
{
"i before e" // e.g. field - but shot down by seize
}
}









Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: GolamMostafa on Jun 02, 2019, 01:56 am
Quote
The next time that someone makes such a claim politely ask them to provide mathematical proof that the source is very inefficient then sit back and enjoy the show as they trip over their own tongue from their linguistic gymnastics.
The above sentence is found in some other Section of this Forum. In this sentence, 'someone' is singular noun; but, the corresponding pronoun 'them (they/their)' is plural which has apparently (to me as a non-native) broken the noun-pronoun agreement rule. Is it acceptable in the English Language? If so, how/why?      
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: dougp on Jun 02, 2019, 04:23 am
Is it acceptable in the English Language? If so, how/why?      
For me, not a grammarian, yes, it is acceptable.  Someone may be singular but it's still vague, as in you aren't given a gender.  If the only possible respondents were male you could say, "If someone calls tell him I'm out."  However the gender isn't known so, what is left?  You could say "Tell that person..." or "Tell whomever calls..." but those are awkward.  A nice example or two. (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/they)
Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: Coding Badly on Jun 02, 2019, 06:49 am
Is it acceptable in the English Language?
From the online Oxford dictionary...

Quote from: them (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/them)
1.2 {singular} Referring to a person of unspecified sex.
...which fits perfectly with the usage.


I do, however, tend to write grammatically challenging prose so your confusion is certainly justified.

Title: Re: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language
Post by: TomGeorge on Jun 02, 2019, 03:19 pm
Hi,
The rule plus ALL the exceptions..
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00csy6m (https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00csy6m)

Tom... :)