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 Post subject: Proper English
PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:41 pm 
Coppermine
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First of all, if this is the incorrect forum I am sorry. It deals with education though.

I feel I am losing my touch in the English language. I want to correct my grammar, syntax and everything else. Is there an easy way to do that? Any resources? Or do I just fix them as I go along.

Somewhat silly but it is a question, so.....


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:43 pm 
Northwood
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Just post comments on digg, if you don't get instantly flamed, then your English is fine.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 1:21 am 
TravBv2.0
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If you're an avid reader, it really helps to bring you up with proper use of your given language. Not sure if you're a reader, or whether you've been reading English material.

If you're in school, reading your English text book will do wonders. Check your local book stores for what you're looking for, as I'm sure you'll find something on the topic.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 3:18 pm 
Klamath
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read alot of magazines and news paper. the writers and editors would use perfect english and reading magazines and newspaper is always beter than reading a book, why? colored pictures lol just in case you dont understand you have picture reference.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:54 pm 
Willamette
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Pretty much it's fix as you go along. When I was young, my parents would give me grammar rules for the day, and I would have to come up with sentences utilizing those rules throughout the day on cue. Same thing with spelling and word vocabulary. At some point it'll become ingrained.

Other than that. Read books, scientific magazines. Don't use limited character systems like SMS or Twitter. When sending e-mails, make a physical effort to not abbreviate or take shortcuts and spell everything out when applicable.

For me at least, a lot of spelling is internalized based off rote utilization. You spell things the way you use them. If you always use them incorrectly as a shortcut for unimportant things, you'll be more likely to use them incorrectly for important things as well. I've seen some of the younger generation using their SMS text spelling in regular work as well. Doesn't look too professional when they always spell "You" as "U" or "Your" as "UR".


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:23 pm 
8086
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Take a look at the Common English Mistakes website. It's actually pretty interesting to read. I run across mistakes I make all the time. If something doesn't look quite right, check here.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:53 pm 
8086
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Hit up the local library for some English resources.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:01 am 
8086
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Read, read, read and..read some more.

I was in school when the great dumbing down in the education system was still in its infancy and paid dearly for it.

I had a rough time with English and failed miserably. When I retook English in college I had a new teacher who was sublime. She worked hard on me and I did much, much better.

She recommended books to not only get used to absorbing reams of English but also to develop critical thought. I read the following several times: 1984, Animal Farm, Fahrenheit 451, The Crying of Lot 49, Catch 22, Slaughter House 5 and Catcher in the Rye.

After college I spent years reading any book that tickled my fancy and would often reread them.

I found beauty in words and sampled a newly discovered one like I would a delicious morsel. They became my food for the brain.

For the novice reader it is a chore and sometimes you can read a paragraph and not comprehend it. Don't be put off because in time, you will marvel at the depth of your vocabulary.

Don't be embarrassed but you might want to start with childrens books. Larger text and the simplified structure makes a good introduction to fine English.

E.B. White's Charlotte's Web and The Trumpet of the Swan are excellent. They are aimed at the very young but the quality of the writing is wonderful.

Don't forget that the more you read the easier it gets and it opens up vast worlds (wow i sound like a book publisher now, sheesh) for you to explore.

Good luck.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:10 am 
Super Mario Banhammer
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UltraTron wrote:
Read, read, read and..read some more.

I was in school when the great dumbing down in the education system was still in its infancy and paid dearly for it.

I had a rough time with English and failed miserably. When I retook English in college I had a new teacher who was sublime. She worked hard on me and I did much, much better.

She recommended books to not only get used to absorbing reams of English but also to develop critical thought. I read the following several times: 1984, Animal Farm, Fahrenheit 451, The Crying of Lot 49, Catch 22, Slaughter House 5 and Catcher in the Rye.

After college I spent years reading any book that tickled my fancy and would often reread them.

I found beauty in words and sampled a newly discovered one like I would a delicious morsel. They became my food for the brain.

For the novice reader it is a chore and sometimes you can read a paragraph and not comprehend it. Don't be put off because in time, you will marvel at the depth of your vocabulary.

Don't be embarrassed but you might want to start with childrens books. Larger text and the simplified structure makes a good introduction to fine English.

E.B. White's Charlotte's Web and The Trumpet of the Swan are excellent. They are aimed at the very young but the quality of the writing is wonderful.

Don't forget that the more you read the easier it gets and it opens up vast worlds (wow i sound like a book publisher now, sheesh) for you to explore.

Good luck.


THIS!!!!!

Absolutely this! Reading is absolutely important. Someone else said read magazine articles and newspapers because the writers and editors would use perfect English. Yes read the newspapers and the magazines but they do not use perfect English. Read them to see if you can spot the mistakes. writers reporters copy editors and so forth are human just like you are however they have a system of squashing grammatical errors whereby the reporter does a write up then proof reads his copy. This is then sent to the copy editor for conditional proofing, and the copy may be read two or more times to make sure that grammatical structure is correct and to shorten if possible the work to fit into the space alotted. The copy editor then sends the proofed work to the editor who does a final once over and either rejects or approves the copy or requests changes be made and then the process is repeated until the editor approves it, then it goes to print and it STILL will have errors in it. Read books by everyone. Read it for the English but also read it for critical thinking. Expand your social conciousness with Elmer Gantry, or read Robert Heinlein to find out about a rocket gantry. Read Kurt Vonnegut. Read Anne Rand. Read Stephen King. Read as many authors as you can. Then write. Write everything you experience then read what you have written and see if it holds to the rules. If it does job well done. If it does not, still job well done as not every author follows the rules. :D Have fun and enjoy!


Boring as it may sound one of the most useful grammatical tools for sentence structure in English (and in many other languages as well) is the plain old Sentence Diagram. Subject/Predicate Noun/adjective/verb/adverb punctuation voice and so on.

Word of the Day calendars, and websites are good to get a grasp on multisyllabic words and then Wikipedia and Wictionary are your friends for finding out how to pronounce a word and what the word means in context of other words or as a way to gain general knowledge about your world through differentiated subject matter.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:27 am 
Northwood
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I'll add a third vote to the read, read, read recommendation. Parsing and diagramming sentences may be a good tool but reading will get you used to seeing what proper writing looks like. Read enough and you will soon notice when a mistake is made because it simply won't look right. When it comes time to write something, be it a short story or a memo to the boss, you will write it the way you are used to seeing others write. Novels are a great way to become accustomed to seeing properly written English. Much as Shakespere is admired, I would not recommend him for actually learning contemporary English. Nor would I recommend newspapers as a learning tool. If you read the local papers in Hawaii you may want to cry when you see what the "editors" leave in.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:35 am 
Super Mario Banhammer
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TheSimulatorGuy wrote:
I'll add a third vote to the read, read, read recommendation. Parsing and diagramming sentences may be a good tool but reading will get you used to seeing what proper writing looks like. Read enough and you will soon notice when a mistake is made because it simply won't look right. When it comes time to write something, be it a short story or a memo to the boss, you will write it the way you are used to seeing others write. Novels are a great way to become accustomed to seeing properly written English. Much as Shakespere is admired, I would not recommend him for actually learning contemporary English. Nor would I recommend newspapers as a learning tool. If you read the local papers in Hawaii you may want to cry when you see what the "editors" leave in.


Yes on the novels. Read as many novels as you can. Do not limit yourself to one type of novel however, read a wide variety of authors because the all have their own style of writing and they all use different editors. You will find a huge difference between say Joseph Heller and Kurt Vonnegut even though they both tell humanist centric stories and are considered stream of conciousness authors.

Also read non fiction The style of prose varies as greatly here as it does in the novel or short story. Scholarly works tend to show the precision of the English language, most especially those scholarly works of the "hard sciences" such as math or physics.

Read Biographies as well stylistic and linguistic nuances can be seen here as well and will give insight into the use of English as a tool to describe another human being and his or her life's work, either in a favorable or unfavorable light depending on the authors motivation for the biography.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 3:32 am 
Spam Overload
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For grammar and syntax you can try various online tutorials available on internet. Also you should read newspapers, magazines, or even textbooks of lower classes. It will help you in improving further.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 12:58 pm 
Willamette
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Don't take this the wrong way:

http://www.amazon.com/English-Grammar-D ... 644&sr=1-4


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 3:27 pm 
Java Junkie
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It has been over two months since this thread received a post.

Please don't necro-post.


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