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  Stop, using, the comma, key 
 
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Booda Man Dec 22, 2004, 11:36am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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I, as a, reader, wish you would stop, using, the comma, key.


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jmerc Dec 22, 2004, 11:49am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Stop, using, the comma, key
Why? If it's supposed to be used, why shouldn't we use it?

Don't know why I even bother replying to this post. Guess I must be bored!

Life is too short, make the best of it!
Carter Sudeith Dec 22, 2004, 11:53am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Stop, using, the comma, key
What, in your eyes, is the problem with using the comma key, especially when it's appropriate?

I see no problem, no issue, and no point in this post.

Thank you for your time, energy, and patience.

Sander Sassen Dec 22, 2004, 11:55am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Stop, using, the comma, key
I use a comma if and when I think it is needed, in order to break a sentence, or part of a sentence, up in multiple parts. Or do you want me to type up that same sentence like this? I use a comma if and when I think it is needed in order to break a sentence or a part of a sentence up in multiple parts. That last sentence reads a bit funny wouldn't you agree.

Sander Sassen
Editor in Chief - Hardware Analysis
ssassen@hardwareanalysis.com
Bob/ Paul Dec 22, 2004, 12:13pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Stop, using, the comma, key
Booda Man: Take an english class. I read through that hole thing and didn't see 1 example of an improperly used comma. Sure he used commas frequently, but that's a result of the complex sentense structuring that he was using in his writing, something you may be unfamiliar with. Clauses--dependant and/or independant--often need to be seperated with commas, depending on how they're used, of course, but any english teacher at your local elementary or middle school should be quite able to help you determine when commas are appropriate and when someone just went comma crazy.

Steven Scott Dec 22, 2004, 12:22pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Stop, using, the comma, key
do you mean you read the "whole" thing?

I was bothered by the commas too, but feel it's dumb to be a grammar nazi...until somebody else starts it.

"As I already own a, legitimate, copy of T2, that wasnít the reason I bought the two-dvd disk set, I was looking forward to playing back the hd version, which promises the very best image quality and a great way for me to enjoy the full potential of my, hd capable, home theater installation."

First off this sentence is way too long and should be more than 1.

"As I already own a, legitimate, copy of T2" too many commas

"a great way for me to enjoy the full potential of my, hd capable, home theater installation" too many commas

let's stop being grammar nazis, and let's stop telling others to take an English class when we can't even spell "whole."

It was an excellent article, and as the poster mentioned that he is not in the US or Canada, the English was handled very well.

Booda Man Dec 22, 2004, 12:25pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Stop, using, the comma, key
That's the problem. I have taken an English class. Many, as a matter of fact. I'm also the author of two books published by a major publishing house.

Here's what I mean:

"I use a comma if and when I think it is needed, in order to break a sentence, or part of a sentence, up in multiple parts. Or do you want me to type up that same sentence like this? I use a comma if and when I think it is needed in order to break a sentence or a part of a sentence up in multiple parts. That last sentence reads a bit funny wouldn't you agree."

Should read:

I use a comma if, and when, I think it is needed in order to break a sentence into multiple parts.

Think about it. I'll even take 15 minutes and edit/proof the original column if you like. Your readers who actually understand sentence structure will appreciate it.

I'm assuming that professionals and especially developers are part of your target audience. If this is true, concise sentence structure can only improve your site's content. I think this would be an advantage, but I could easily be incorrect.

Je Camp Dec 22, 2004, 12:45pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Stop, using, the comma, key
I see an even larger problem. The fact that somebody cared more about how this article was written, than for it's content. Sickening.

Booda Man Dec 22, 2004, 12:50pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Stop, using, the comma, key

OK, here's a question: if your content is important, shouldn't you strive to communicate the content as clearly as possible to the largest possible audience? Otherwise, what's the point?

If you had issues with writing, would you want someone to help you before you wrote that cover letter for your dream job? Or that letter of recommendation for a friend? Or that proposal to your boss that might get you a big promotion and a raise in salary? Or before you wrote that response to a RFQ from an advertiser?

Before you decide that writing clearly is unimportant, my advice would be to think about the bigger picture before making your decision.

Sander Sassen Dec 22, 2004, 12:53pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Stop, using, the comma, key
Point taken, I'll be more careful with the commas alright? Everybody happy now? I'm pretty anal about my spelling and grammar, as should any writer or columnist, but thought I had it covered, at least comma-wise.

Sander Sassen
Editor in Chief - Hardware Analysis
ssassen@hardwareanalysis.com
Michael A. Dec 22, 2004, 03:06pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Dec 22, 2004, 03:07pm EST

 
>> Re: Stop, using, the comma, key
Commas are an important part of proper grammar. If you omit them your presentation as a writer will be greatly diminished for this shows a rambling train of thought and poor editing.

Michael A.
Website: http://itnode.net
Franklin Tower Dec 22, 2004, 03:26pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Stop, using, the comma, key
>>"OK, here's a question: if your content is important, shouldn't you strive to communicate the content as clearly as possible to the largest possible audience? Otherwise, what's the point?"

>>"Point taken, I'll be more careful with the commas alright? Everybody happy now?"


No, I'm not happy... yet. You do not need to take his silly "point". What's the point you ask?
<rant>
The main "point" here (in this article), as I understand it, is to express the author's experiences and frustrations in regards to digital rights management. You, my friend(Booda Man), obviously missed that(the REAL point). Example: Anybody that is capable of speaking the English language and has a problem comprehending the aforementioned article has no business reading an article on DRM in the first place. I found it to be a wonderfully informative article myself and am completely confident that the author has a bright future ahead. Are you people really that jealous, bored, or unhappy with life that you can't appreciate the article for what it really was (an good article), and just enjoy it? No? If not, then why have you have wasted your time posting all these replies?

There will always be anal-retentive fundaMENTALists out there trying to quench your creative spirit. We must learn to ignore them and continue on our creative paths undisturbed by these types. If we are constantly worried with every silly rule and regulation they throw at us, we will have no time or energy left to create. They will eventually learn to shut up and follow us, for we are the ones creating everthing that they know and love...</rant>

You may now commence your criticizing of me, my grammar, my spelling, punctuation or whatever you wish. Just know that it really does NOT matter, as long as I have successfully expressed myself.

Lanny Heidbreder Dec 22, 2004, 05:41pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Stop, using, the comma, key
"There will always be anal-retentive fundaMENTALists out there trying to quench your creative spirit. We must learn to ignore them and continue on our creative paths undisturbed by these types. If we are constantly worried with every silly rule and regulation they throw at us, we will have no time or energy left to create."

You call grammar people mental, but you're seeing advice about how to make an article more readable --- read, BETTER --- and saying that we're "trying to quench your creative spirit"?! That sounds way more unstable.

"You, my friend, ... obviously missed ... the REAL point."

He's trying to help this guy make himself sound more literate, trying to make this article read better. Logical conclusion to me is that he DOES get the point, and wants to maximize the number of other people who get it too.

"If we are constantly worried with every silly rule and regulation they throw at us, we will have no time or energy left to create."

Oh please. If you would invest the trivial energy involved in (for example) writing properly, your "creations" would be way more convincing/persuasive/attractive/whatever.

Yeah, this article was okay for a random article on some random tech site. But in the grand scheme, it sounds amateurish. For folks like me and Booda Man, it translates to thinking "Amateurish." the whole time I'm reading it. For more normal folks, it translates to not understanding everything, or skipping over stuff, or annoyedly rereading sentences multiple times (I did that once or twice myself), or just clicking elsewhere.

But if folks like you want to wax poetic about you and your cadre's determination to usurp the evil Good Writers of the world, go right ahead. See how many of YOUR creations get published.

Donnie Darko Dec 22, 2004, 06:12pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Stop, using, the comma, key
Lanny,

Thank you for clearly and concisely explaining why it is not acceptable to abuse the English language. I am getting a little tired of the exceedingly poor grammar being displayed by my generation and the next. Intermediate and high school kids read an article like this and think it is ok to throw sentences together any way that they want to. Unfortunately all this does is create confusion. How much would you enjoy trying to write a compiler for a programming language that had no structure?

Sander Sassen Dec 22, 2004, 06:36pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Stop, using, the comma, key
Alright, can we stop this discussion please? I'm not trying to create something that will win me a Pulitzer here; this is just something I typed up in about half an hour, to get a point across. I think everybody got the point, we all seem to agree on that, whether I used an extra comma here and there, or used some in odd locations doesn't really matter does it? And as for the word use, or sentence structure, the same applies. Frankly I'm just happy to see that no-one picked up on the fact that I'm not a native English speaker, so I'll take that as a compliment.

Sander Sassen
Editor in Chief - Hardware Analysis
ssassen@hardwareanalysis.com
Franklin Tower Dec 22, 2004, 06:49pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Stop, using, the comma, key
Lanny: luckilly I'm not a writer, but thank you for further reinforcement of my point. Something must've really "hit home" with you so to speak, judging from the general hostility and irrationality of your reply. Just to clarify things: I didn't reply to this post to be "convincing" or "persuasive" to people who think like you, rather I replied to show support for people who think more like I do. I would like to thank you for your opinion - I can see where your coming from and respect that, but I do not feel the same way.

Donnie, I personally do not believe comparing a spoken language to a programming language is a valid analogy. You may as well compare a bicycle to a nuclear reactor. But thanks for sharing your opinoins - I knew someone would show up to correct mine.

Now everybody try to relax and have a nice day. Sorry Sander - this will be my last post - but isn't the internet great.

Richard Williams Dec 23, 2004, 06:57am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Stop, using, the comma, key
I've checked over the original article, and there's nothing wrong with the comma use. Booda Man is clearly an idiot. If he's published books, I don't want to read them.
Infact, if he's complain about TOO MUCH comma use in the article, what about the sections that required a comma but didn't have one?

"After routing my IP address through an anonymous proxy server in the US I however managed to unlock the content just as well and was presented with a license agreement I had to agree to prior to being able to play the content back."

"however" should have a comma before and after it - something simple to notice, even for a lowly English student like me.
Although, I guess, as I'm planning to go into editing when I'm older (and not writing, due to lazyness), I guess I have the upper hand when it comes to issues like this :)
There's nothing wrong with the sentance structure in the article. If I was the editor, I'd have made some changes and additions. However, I'm not, and as such I wouldn't care for it as the article is perfectly and utterly completely readable.

Sander Sassen should write exactly how he has been writing - I enjoyed reading his article, and thought it was decently written. Especially as I identify with the problems cited in the original article; I think the language used to communicate this was fine: definately nothing to complain about. Even if this was being published in a popular computer magazine, I can't see more than a few very slight alterations being done by a moderately anal editor.

Thanks a lot for your good writing, and please ignore this bum :)
Try and remember, that in any industry, over half the people working in it are probably idiots.

Thank you very much.

Joseph Jamieson Dec 23, 2004, 08:54am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Stop, using, the comma, key
I find myself using too many commas from time to time as well. Though I'm generally writing e-mails and documentation for IT systems and not news/web columns, and I proof-read everything to make sure I haven't overdone it with the commas or made any serious readability errors.

Seems to me you're not a very good writer so you're using commas to make up for it. You probably don't even realize it.

"Point taken, I'll be more careful with the commas alright? Everybody happy now? I'm pretty anal about my spelling and grammar, as should any writer or columnist, but thought I had it covered, at least comma-wise."

It's too erratic. You didn't even put two spaced between sentences. It would be more readable english if it read like this:

"Point taken; I'll be more careful with the commas, allright? Everybody happy now? I'm pretty anal about my spelling and grammar as any writer or columnist should be. I thought I at least had the commas covered."

While the content of the article was good and I enjoyed reading it, you won't be taken very seriously if you continue to make blunders like that. Maybe some people don't care about it but there's a lot of us that do; reading messy english is distracting to the purpose of the article and lends itself to a level of unprofessionalism that you're certainly not trying to bring to the table.

I'd suggest reading a few books and observing how things are written. While book authors are given some leeway to their sentence structure, the editors make countless corrections to any work of litterature and never allow the writing to stray from english standards. There's a reason for it.

You'll need to become your own editor if you have no editor on staff.

I originally thought that this was a user-contributed story.

mothow Dec 23, 2004, 09:05am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Dec 23, 2004, 09:11am EST

 
>> Re: Stop, using, the comma, key
All, this ,over,a, little,dot.

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Richard Williams Dec 23, 2004, 09:25am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Dec 23, 2004, 09:28am EST

 
>> Re: Stop, using, the comma, key
"Point taken; I'll be more careful with the commas, allright? Everybody happy now? I'm pretty anal about my spelling and grammar as any writer or columnist should be. I thought I at least had the commas covered."

Using semicolons over commas to connect up things like "point taken" is pointless - in my opinion: it just serves to look messy and over-punctuated, and doesn't serve any advantage over using a comma.
Also, "allright" has a space in it: "all right". Although, I don't consider "alright" an error, but rather the evolution of the language, so meh.
And all he's done with that sentance is write quite colloquially (somewhat like one would talk in real life). Sorry, but do you write forum posts like you do a novel? Suprised if you do - I don't.

"While book authors are given some leeway to their sentence structure, the editors make countless corrections to any work of litterature and never allow the writing to stray from english standards."

What are "English standards"?
If I was your editor, and I had complete authority over your writing, that semicolon I complained about would be gone. What? Did you think that semicolon followed "English standards"? Sorry, it doesn't follow mine. Again, there was no major "blunders" made (apart from the lack of commas around "however", and maybe one or two other instances which people have failed to specifically target). Every thing I read uses commas (or lack of them) I could disagree with. Books I've recently read wrote by authors I highly respect have had commas that just make me want to go "UGH!? How the hell am I being told to read this!?"
English standards, in my opinion, is knowing exactly what rules you follow, and knowing exactly how you follow them. Though this WAS NOT in any way a badly written article (as we ARE discussing the internet here - English must be taken in its context).
The best thing Sander Sassen could do, if he wanted to become "god" - in my opinion of course - is spend months of his life researching other "standards", then decide on whether how he's writing now is truely fine.
English is also an issue of respect. There's two types of errors in English, in my opinion:
Blaytant (London spelling :P) errors: lack of commas around "however", typos, etc, etc, etc.
Opinionated: Using oxford commas (red, white, and blue or red, white and blue), dozens upon dozens of other discussions about the use of punchuation.
Opinionated errors are, in my opinion, an issue of respect: we must say "Okay, this person has chose to write like this, and I respect that."
However, then we come to the issue of "has the writer wrote like this because he is a bad writer, or has he wrote like this because he's sat down, thought about it, and chose to?
That's my main problem with English today - at times, I find it very difficult to sit down and enjoy English, as I can never be sure on whether it's an "error", or simply the way the writer is writing.
That's why considering puntuation as any sort of full-standard form of punctuation is silly - a writer goes against your rules, you shout "error"; he didn't mean an error, he just wanted to write it that way - for ANY NUMBER of possible reasons.

And novels are frequently VERY heavy-handed in their punchuation - saying they get "leeway" is, well, confusing :/

I don't think giving Sander Sassen this much stick for what was an interesting article writing in acceptable English is really correct. If you want perfect English, go and buy a magazine. However, I don't agree with all the choices magazines make (as all editors/writers are different), so I guess that makes their English "wrong", eh?

I don't claim to be all-knowing about English. But I love punctuation - and I dislike it when someone starts throwing around the word "standards". Especially as I've thought on several rules in English punctuation, and have decided not to follow some of them, and to follow some of them to the death.
I wouldn't say a piece of writing from me would be more "right" than anyone else; but, again in my opinion, I think staying true to one's English while understanding it AND other people's English is the best thing a user of the English language can do - as long as one's English is open to new ideas :)

Just felt like ranting again, so meh.
Edit: I notice I could think for hours on how to re-word certain parts of this post to better communicate my ideas; however, as this is a forum post, I think it's received good English, thank you very much ^^

Sander Sassen Dec 23, 2004, 09:28am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Stop, using, the comma, key
Joseph,

I'm sorry? I guess you missed the post I made earlier? This is a column, meant to get a point across, not some editorial piece meant to wow you with my writing skills. Instead of posting to give your views about the points I raised in the column, you start making an issue out of my grammar. I think you really need to get your priorities sorted, as whatís important here and worth further discussion is not the grammar, as I'm sure you'll agree?

Sander Sassen
Editor in Chief - Hardware Analysis
ssassen@hardwareanalysis.com

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