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Topic: Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language  (Read 5178 times) previous topic - next topic

Robin2

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
Two or three hours spent thinking and reading documentation solves most programming problems.

Paul_KD7HB

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

Robin2

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
Two or three hours spent thinking and reading documentation solves most programming problems.

Paul_KD7HB

That suggests that you are a Sassanach.

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

Paul

ChrisTenone

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.
What, I need to say something else too?

GolamMostafa

#20
Oct 30, 2018, 06:02 am Last Edit: Oct 30, 2018, 06:54 pm by GolamMostafa
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.  

Robin2

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
Two or three hours spent thinking and reading documentation solves most programming problems.

GolamMostafa

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.   

Robin2

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
Two or three hours spent thinking and reading documentation solves most programming problems.

GolamMostafa

@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?     

Robin2

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
Two or three hours spent thinking and reading documentation solves most programming problems.

GolamMostafa

#26
Nov 01, 2018, 01:49 pm Last Edit: Nov 01, 2018, 01:54 pm by GolamMostafa
"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.

AWOL

I read it as
Quote
In school, diligence is desirable, but some students do not realise that.
"Pete, it's a fool (who) looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart." Ulysses Everett McGill.
Do not send technical questions via personal messaging - they will be ignored.
I speak for myself, not Arduino.

Robin2

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
Two or three hours spent thinking and reading documentation solves most programming problems.

AWOL

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
"Pete, it's a fool (who) looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart." Ulysses Everett McGill.
Do not send technical questions via personal messaging - they will be ignored.
I speak for myself, not Arduino.

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