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My own preference would be to use a semicolon, rather than a comma in that sentence. Retains the compound nature of it, but acknowledges the beginning of a new thought.

I'll have to reclaim my copy of Strunk & White from my son to confirm, though.
If being highly technical, it should have a semicolon but I have an avowed hatred of them, partly due to how often they are improperly used. Until earlier this year there wasn’t a single instance of my having used one in all of my academic writing unless I was directly quoting someone. Thousands of pages, and not a single semicolon. I would go so far as to write things differently, usually in a more complicated manner, just to avoid using a semicolon.

On another note, there are far better guides out there than Strunk & White.
 

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Nope, no period and it isn't a run-on sentence either - it is a compound sentence. Technically a compound sentence should contain a comma and a coordinating conjunction but there are instances, such as my sentence above, where a compound sentence can be created without the coordinating conjunction.
Thanks for straightening that out for me. Been decades since I've taken any English classes.
 

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Illustrated or not, I don't recommend it:

That fellow sure got up on the wrong side of the bed! Not a particularly persuasive writing style, unless one has decided that whatever he is against, one wants to be against it as well. His examples come from writers of fiction, whereas The Elements of Style is not for that purpose at all (although I imagine some may turn to it). It is first and foremost a guide for clearer and more concise expository writing. I have found it immensely helpful for that purpose. So, as much as Prof. Pullum's bona fides are impressive, he seems to be arguing that a soupspoon is the worst-ever piece of cutlery ever invented for eating a steak dinner.
 

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That fellow sure got up on the wrong side of the bed! Not a particularly persuasive writing style, unless one has decided that whatever he is against, one wants to be against it as well. His examples come from writers of fiction, whereas The Elements of Style is not for that purpose at all (although I imagine some may turn to it). It is first and foremost a guide for clearer and more concise expository writing. I have found it immensely helpful for that purpose. So, as much as Prof. Pullum's bona fides are impressive, he seems to be arguing that a soupspoon is the worst-ever piece of cutlery ever invented for eating a steak dinner.

It is a book of English usage and is not just for expository writing. He is not its only critic, there are others.
 

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... there are far better guides out there than Strunk & White.
That book was so fucking useless. I tossed it on the fire after reading it for 5 minutes. Fuck was it boring.

I initially learned to write by reading P. G. Wodehouse, Evelyn Waugh and John Mortimer. Also got some writing style from Kurt Vonnegut but I'm not quite sure what it was. Then I figured out how to structure an academic paper by reading dissertations on file in the library. Must have worked because when I was in the second year of my undergrad they said I was writing at a graduate level and I started to get invitations from profs like Ian Green the Constitutional Law dude to attend colloquium coarses which had 5 or 6 people in them and the idea was to get something published. Only snag was that I had no interest in an academic career and was only there to get a bunch of A grades and a good LSAT. All the same though, not bad for an ignorant fuckin red neck like me .. lol
 

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It is a book of English usage and is not just for expository writing. He is not its only critic, there are others.
So he should say that it is more helpful for expository writing but much less useful or appropriate for fiction, rather than dismissing it outright, as yourself and Wardo seem to find appealing. Contempt is only persuasive for the already persuaded.

Personally, I find it useful. Its brevity also sets a good example. And this is coming from a forum member who is all too often taken to task by others for the length of his posts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #109 ·
That would be true IF it was an attack by England on France. Colchar's reasonable irritation concerns when "France" is being used as an adverb or adjective, rather than an object.

Do they even teach about adjectives and adverbs, definite and indefinite articles, and prepositions, in school anymore?
No idea. Without any kids, I’ve lost track. Last I heard, Archie and Jughead were required reading for grade 10 English Lit.
 

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Have you ever taught at the post-secondary level?
Taught at it? I doubt that dumb twat has been anywhere near a university.


"Literacy" can be defined in many ways. Able to read? Check. Comprehend what's read? More or less check. Breadth of vocabulary? Hmmm, I'll get back to you.
Exactly, but some are too simple to grasp that.
 

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Taught at it? I doubt that dumb twat has been anywhere near a university.




Exactly, but some are too simple to grasp that.
Trade school probably doesn’t count but I know what pussy feels like. If you stop busting in the real doll you have to hide from company and try a real woman you might chill a bit and make some friends.
 

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I’m no Boomer… far from it, but I challenge the sliding scale the umbrella of “literacy” carries. Yes, a higher percent of the population can read if compared to “old times”. As someone who’s kids are literally ending their public school years, they (as a collective, not just my kids) cannot read and write as well as we (me and my peers) were expected to. The bar has been lowered.
So, yay!!! The “wealth” has been better distributed, but boo, it was done with less intensity, accuracy, care, attention to detail??

I’m not an educator, I cannot share studies or hard facts, I just see it slipping. And everyone seems OK with it.
Same here, 2 finishing high school in the last 2 years. Your description matches my observations pretty well.
And new grads coming to work or on co-op terms can't write a paragraph that makes sense.

And I also find online news articles are full of bad grammar. I put it down to the fact they can fix it later and few will notice so they rush the article out, unlike newsprint which is permanent and archived.
 

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When I used to work in employment testing, one of the tests used for the post-secondary recruitment campaign, (that the federal public service uses to bring new people in) is a writing test. The test provides the test-taker with a longer bit of non-partisan text about a policy matter. The individual has to summarize it in a much shorter form, making sure to include the most important points. They are scored on what they included, how they prioritized it, but also for clarity, grammar, etc. I will say that, during the time I was involved, there were cases where applicants appealed their score, largely because they mistakenly believed they would be scored for how "creatively" they wrote. Sorry, folks. Not the objective.

The key reason why I mention it is because it is ONLY administered to those who have already passed a number of other tests. Those tests can be machine scored. The writing test is FAR more labour-intensive to score, so it is last, once the big pile of applicants has been whittled down to a smaller bunch.

And THAT may be the crux of the problem. One can pontificate about good writing 'til the cows get homesick, and high marks for those who do, but it takes far more time to evaluate, spot issues, and shape a student's writing skill in the desired direction, than it takes to try and teach them about it. Does the contemporary middle, high school, or undergrad instructor have time to do that? Often not. And at the post-secondary level, the emphasis on "access" results in large classes that make any sort of written assignment and coaching of writing a complete non-starter. If one has classes with fewer than 40 students, maybe, but as universiies and colleges scramble for money, that is less and less common until higher levels. What's true of so many things: post-hoc evaluation and adjustment often takes a lot more time and effort than simply doing the thing you started out to do, so it gets set aside.
 

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Every year I get to attend honours nights at local high schools to hand out an athletic/academic scholarship I’ve sponsored. I also have the pleasure of reading through many beautifully written applications beforehand. To me all I see is positivity, there are so many brilliant young minds with active interest in their education and advancement.

You guys paint a grim picture all the time of dumb lazy kids and how things are so much worse and I don’t see it all. I’m glad my children don’t have teachers with such a negative outlook and disdain for the minds they are SUPPOSED to be teaching and influencing.
 

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Every year I get to attend honours nights at local high schools to hand out an athletic/academic scholarship I’ve sponsored. I also have the pleasure of reading through many beautifully written applications beforehand. To me all I see is positivity, there are so many brilliant young minds with active interest in their education and advancement.

You guys paint a grim picture all the time of dumb lazy kids and how things are so much worse and I don’t see it all. I’m glad my children don’t have teachers with such a negative outlook and disdain for the minds they are SUPPOSED to be teaching and influencing.
I’m not trying to tell you that you (personally) don’t have an insight that fills you with hope. I haven’t.
We had to have correct spelling in word equations on a math test, my kids don’t get corrected on a “creative writing” assignment. They were only graded during the time dedicated to “spelling”.

We are what we experience I guess.
 

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I’m not trying to tell you that you (personally) don’t have an insight that fills you with hope. I haven’t.
We had to have correct spelling in word equations on a math test, my kids don’t get corrected on a “creative writing” assignment. They were only graded during the time dedicated to “spelling”.

We are what we experience I guess.
I understand and i don’t want to discount your experience either.

I just have a hard time buying into the whole things are so much worse than before theme that is persistent amongst older generations that want to convince us the old days were so much better and kids now are so much lazier and dumber than they used to be. I just don’t believe it to be true.
 

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I understand and i don’t want to discount your experience either.

I just have a hard time buying into the whole things are so much worse than before theme that is persistent amongst older generations that want to convince us the old days were so much better and kids now are so much lazier and dumber than they used to be. I just don’t believe it to be true.
I actually do agree with that. It's tough to generalize an entire generation as better or not. I do believe that overall everyone is better off, and the top kids are probably doing even better now than in the past. Way more opportunities for them too, and the ways to learn things on youtube or web based courses is astounding.

My issue is my kids were allowed to miss-spell words and make mistakes in grammar right up till grade 10. And even after that, the mistakes get pointed out sometimes. I think the teachers don't actually see them anymore because they dont need to correct them. Why was this introduced? I think it's political so I won't bring it up...
With math, not having to know the times table at all is just the starting point of what's wrong with that curriculum.

Then there's the errors in the text books and assignments. About 1 out 10 math or physics questions I helped my boys out with were wrong. I know this extremely well, and the books are full of errors. Some are numerical, but sometimes the errors are in the concepts.
My daughter in grade 7 or 8 physics was told wind was an invisible force just like like gravity, magnetism and electric fields. Really. I blew my top at that one and gave her a good lecture on force fields vs reactionary forces. After that I basically told my kids to question everything the teachers say to you.
 
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