Punctuation Marks and Etc. of the English Language

ardly: 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.

GolamMostafa: 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

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.

GolamMostafa: 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

@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.

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?

GolamMostafa:

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

Robin2: "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.

I read it as

In school, diligence is desirable, but some students do not realise that.

GolamMostafa: 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

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

Robin2: "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.

Using a semicolon indicates a lack of moral fiber.

AWOL: 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

GolamMostafa: 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

Re: Subject line.

Etcetera means "and other stuff" so you don't need the "and" before the "etc."

Henry_Best: 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".

But almost nobody says "and etc." :D

DaveEvans:
But almost nobody says “and etc.” :smiley:

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

Robin2: 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.

GolamMostafa: 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