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Old 01-24-2011, 09:12 PM   #1
Big Daddy Big Daddy is offline
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Default A Guide to Spelling and Punctuation (English 101)

Please pay attention to spelling, correct grammar, and punctuation in your posts. In the following, I have listed some common mistakes.

A Guide to Spelling and Punctuation (English 101)
  • Accept: To receive willingly. The school is accepting new applicants.
  • Except: To exclude or leave out. We saw every landmark except The Statue of Liberty.


  • Access: The act of approaching or entering. The condition of allowing entry. The right or privilege to approach, reach, enter, or make use of something. A store with easy access. She fights for free access to her children.
  • Excess: The amount or degree by which one quantity exceeds another. Overindulgence. Profit is the excess of sales over costs. He drank to excess.


  • Advice: He refused to take my advice.
  • Advise: I advise the members regularly.


  • Affect: Room treatment affects frequency response. Infection can affect the heart. Living in England has affected his accent. Inflation affects the buying power of the dollar.
  • Effect: The effect of room treatment on frequency response is fully understood. Drinking has an effect on your judgment. A new law goes into effect next week. He is suffering from the effects of over-eating; His discovery had little effect at first. He tried to effect a reconciliation between his parents.
    It is quite common for the verb effect to be mistakenly used where affect is intended. Effect is relatively uncommon and rather formal, and is a synonym of `bring about'. Conversely, the noun effect is quite often mistakenly written with an initial a. The following are correct: the group is still recovering from the effects of the recession; they really are powerless to effect any change. The next two examples are incorrect: the full affects of the shutdown won't be felt for several more days; men whose lack of hair doesn't effect their self-esteem.


  • Attain: To gain or achieve an objective. To acomplish a task or goal. Attain success or reach a desired goal. Attain a diploma by hard work. To attain glory. He's halfway to attaining his pilot's license.
  • Obtain: To gain possession of. Acquire. How did you obtain the visa? He obtained a large sum of money by buying and selling old houses.


  • Base: The lowest or bottom part. The base of the plant has turned yellow. The base of natural logarithm is 2.718281828. The nation’s industrial base. The base of the cliff. The base of the lamp is broken.
  • Bass: The lowest frequencies of sound waves. A type of fish. The bass performance of the front speakers are very good. I bought a bass guitar. I love bass fishing.


  • Bi: Two. Twice. Biweekly. Bisexual. Bicycle.
  • By: The window by the door. We drove by the house. I will be there by six o'clock.
  • Bye: Short for goodbye.
  • Buy: To purchase something. Buy and sell.


  • Capital: A town or city that is the official seat of government in a political entity. Wealth in the form of money or property. Capital letters. Primary, chief, or principal. How much capital do you need? This project is of capital importance. The capital of Canada is Ottawa.
  • Capitol: A government building occupied by the legislature. The building in Washington, D.C., where the Congress of the United States meets.


  • Chord: A group of three or more notes sounded together in harmony. In music, a number of notes played together. An emotional response. For example, her words struck a sympathetic chord in her audience.
  • Cord: A long thin string or rope made from several twisted strands. A length of cord. A spinal cord. The bundle was tied with a cord.


  • Complement: Something that completes, makes up a whole, or brings to perfection. As far as taste is concerned, salt and pepper complement each other. Bread and butter are complementary products.
  • Compliment: An expression of praise, admiration, or congratulation. Thank you for your compliments.


  • Component: Correct spelling.
  • Componant: Incorrect spelling.


  • Definite: Correct spelling.
  • Definate: Incorrect spelling.


  • Desert: A barren or desolate area. A desert island. Lawrence of Arabia was shot in the Jordanian desert.
  • Dessert: A usually sweet course or dish, as of fruit, ice cream, or pastry, served at the end of a meal.


  • Discrete: Constituting a separate thing. Consisting of unconnected distinct parts. In mathematics Defined for a finite or countable set of values; not continuous.
  • Discreet: Showing prudence and wise self-restraint in speech and behavior. Free from pretension; modest. Careful to avoid social embarrassment or distress, especially by keeping confidences secret; tactful.
  • Discretion: The quality of being discreet. Ability or power to decide responsibly. The quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid social embarrassment or distress. Freedom or authority to make judgments and to act as one sees fit. Please show more discretion in your posts. All the decisions were left to our discretion.


  • Doe: The female of various mammals, such as deer, rabbit, goat, or kangaroo. In Law: Fictious name. John Doe.
  • Dough: A thick mixture of flour, water or milk, used for making bread, pastry, pizza, etc. Slang: Money.
  • Doughnut: Correct way of spelling.
  • Donut: Lazy way of spelling.


  • Ensure: To make certain or to make sure. To make safe or secure; protect guarantee. This nest egg will ensure a nice retirement for us. This victory will ensure his happiness.
  • Insure: To guarantee or protect against risk, loss, etc. To arrange for the payment of a sum of money in the event of the loss of (something) or accident or injury. Is your car insured?


  • Every Day: Every day is a phrase that combines the adjective every with the noun day. I walk my dog every day at 8 a.m.
  • Everyday: Everyday is an adjective that means “daily.” Walking my dog is an everyday activity.


  • For: For movie applications, bipole/dipole surround speakers are preferred. I put the house for sale. She was for the proposal.
  • Four: Two or four subwoofers are better than one.


  • Farther: To or at a more distant or remote point. I ran farther than the others. I went no farther that day. He carried the idea farther.
  • Further: More distant in degree, time, or space. Additional. To a greater extent; more. A result that was further from our expectations than last time. A further example. A further delay. He stated further that he would not cooperate with the committee. We went only three miles further. I will be reading five pages further tonight.
    Since the Middle English period many writers have used farther and further interchangeably. According to a relatively recent rule, however, farther should be reserved for physical distance and further for nonphysical, metaphorical advancement. Thus 74 percent of the Usage Panel prefers farther in the sentence If you are planning to drive any farther than New York, you'd better carry chains, and 64 percent prefers further in the sentence We won't be able to answer these questions until we are further along in our research. In many cases, however, the distinction is not easy to draw. If we speak of a statement that is far from the truth, for example, we should also allow the use of farther in a sentence such as Nothing could be farther from the truth. But Nothing could be further from the truth is so well established as to seem a fixed expression.


  • Feel: I don't feel well today. I can feel the vibrations.
  • Fill: Fill the gas tank. Fill a prescription. You must fill the requirements.


  • Gray: The color gray (between black and white).
  • Grey: Name of a person. Charles Grey. A variant of gray.


  • Hair: I am losing my hair. He won by a hair.
  • Hare: Any of various mammals similar to rabbits but having longer ears and legs.


  • He’s: Contraction of he is. He’s going to school today.
  • His: The possessive form of he. His speakers are great. It is his own fault. If you can’t find yours, take his.


  • Here: Come here, please. We come here every summer.
  • Hear: Can you hear any sound from the subwoofer? Hear what I have to tell you.


  • Hole: An opening. I dug a hole in the ground. There is a hole in your argument. I am in a hole.
  • Whole: Containing all components. Complete. Constituting the full amount, extent, or duration. I want the whole thing. The baby cried the whole trip. Your whole idea is wrong.


  • Horse: A large hoofed animal having a short-haired coat and a long tail used for riding or carrying loads. Informal: To indulge in horseplay or frivolous activity. Stop horsing around and get to work.
  • Hoarse: Having or characterized by a husky, grating voice. Rough or harsh in sound. We shouted ourselves hoarse. You sound hoarse – do you have a cold?


  • It’s: Contraction of It Is. It’s 5 o’clock in the morning.
  • Its: The possessive form of it. The performance of its driver is impressive. The airline canceled its early flight.


  • Loose: Loose is an adjective, the opposite of tight or contained. My shoes are loose. I have a loose tooth. There's a dog running loose in the street.
  • Lose: Lose is a verb that means to suffer the loss of, to miss. I win! You lose! Don't lose your keys. I never lose bets.


  • Licence: British spelling.
  • License: American spelling.


  • Lot: A tract or parcel of land. Land lot. Parking lot.
  • A lot: To a very great degree or extent. I feel a lot better. A lot of things are different now.
  • Allotment: In gardening: a small area of land for individuals to grow their own food. In travel industry: a block of pre-negotiated airline seats or hotel rooms held by a travel organizer till a certain period of time.


  • Passed: Past tense of the verb to pass. The car passed the train.
  • Past: Used as an adverb of place, or as a preposition. The past few days have been very tiring.


  • Potato: Correct spelling.
  • Potatoes: Correct spelling.
  • Tomato: Correct spelling.
  • Tomatoes: Correct spelling.


  • Quiet: Making little or no noise. I prefer to watch movies at night when it is quiet. I took a quiet afternoon nap. The child wouldn’t quiet down. I prefer to live in a quiet neighborhood.
  • Quite: To the greatest extent; completely; to a degree. I am not quite finished. This food is quite tasty. The speakers are quite attractive. That is quite impossible.


  • Sale: The exchange of goods or services for money. Activities involved in selling goods or services. The sale of a house. Temporary reduction of prices to increase sales. Clearance sale. Inventory sale. I bought my BD player in a sale.
  • Sell: Verb. To dispose of or transfer of goods or services to a purchaser in exchange for money or other considerations. He sells used cars. To sell an idea. Hard sell. Soft sell.


  • Stationary: Not moving. Fixed. Standing still. The car remained stationary with the engine running.
  • Stationery: Writing materials and office supplies. Writing paper and envelopes.


  • Than: She is older than I. Separate amplifiers are better than receivers. The manual was easier than I thought. I sing better than he does. I prefer to own separate components rather than wasting my money on a cheap HTIB.
  • Then: I was still in school then. He watched the late movie and then went to bed. The bus leaves at four; until then let's walk. The then chairman of the board was Big Daddy. It costs $20, and then there's the sales tax to pay. I need a vacation. Then again, so do my coworkers.


  • Their: The possessive form of they. Many members prefer to have external amplifiers in their HT setup. Everyone should bring their own lunch.
  • There: There are many speaker companies. Sit over there.
  • They’re: Contraction of They Are.


  • Thorn: A stiff, sharp-pointed woody projection on the stem or other part of a plant. A rose plant has many thorns. He is a thorn in my side.
  • Torn: Past participle of tear. Divided or undecided, as in preference. My shirt is torn. He was torn between staying and leaving. Torn between love and hate.


  • Through: Went through the tunnel. A walk through the flowers. Climbed in through the window. Bought the antique vase through a dealer. Her application went through our office. Run the figures through the computer. A tour through France. Stayed up through the night. We are through the initial testing period. A play that runs through December; a volume that covers A through D. Drove through a red light. She succeeded through hard work. He declined the honor through modesty.
  • Thru: Informal spelling of through.
  • Threw: Past tense of throw.
  • True: Not false or erroneous. Reliable; accurate.


  • To: In a direction; towards. The ocean water was clear all the way to the bottom. I am going to send the amplifier to you. I am waiting for an answer to my question.
  • Too: I like the speakers too. She worries too much. He's only too willing to be of service. Can I come too?
  • Two: Two subwoofers are better than one.


  • Toe: The forepart of a foot or hoof. The part of the leg of a human being below the ankle joint. The part of the head of a golf club farthest from the shaft. Step on someone's toes.
  • Tow: To pull or drag (a vehicle, boat, etc.), by means of a rope or cable. He was using the vehicle to tow his trailer.


  • Vary: To make or cause changes. To be different or cause to be different The subwoofers vary in price and performance. The temperature varied throughout the day. These apples vary in size from small to medium.
  • Very: In a high degree; extremely; mere. Thank you very much. I am very happy. The very thought of four subwoofers is frightening.


  • Were: I wish you were here. If I were a carpenter.
  • Where: Where is your subwoofer? He lives where the climate is mild.
  • We’re: Contraction of We Are.


  • Who’s: Contraction of Who Is. Who’s your daddy?
  • Whose: Possessive adjective form of who. Whose car are you driving?


  • Which: The movie which was shown later was better. Which of these is yours?
  • Witch: A woman claiming or popularly believed to possess magical powers and practice sorcery.


  • You’re: Contraction of You Are. You’re a knowledgeable person.
  • Your: The possessive form of you. Your blu-ray collection is impressive. The switch is on your right. I like your system. I need your help.



*******************************************



PUNCTUATION IS POWERFUL ! ! !

An English professor wrote the words:
A woman without her man is nothing
on the board and asked his students to punctuate it correctly.

All of the males in the class wrote:
A woman, without her man, is nothing.

All the females in the class wrote:
“A woman: without her, man is nothing.”


Punctuation is powerful ! ! !




*******************************************



USING "A" AND "AN" BEFORE WORDS


http://www.dailywritingtips.com/usin...-before-words/
Quote:
The Rule
The rule states that “a” should be used before words that begin with consonants (e.g., b, c ,d) while “an” should be used before words that begin with vowels (e.g., a,e,i). Notice, however, that the usage is determined by the pronunciation and not by the spelling, as many people wrongly assume.

You should say, therefore, “an hour” (because hour begins with a vowel sound) and “a history” (because history begins with a consonant sound).

Similarly you should say “a union” even if union begins with a “u.” That is because the pronunciation begins with “yu”, which is a consonant sound.

Abbreviations
Deciding which version you should use with abbreviations is the tricky part. First of all you need to understand if the abbreviation is pronounced as a single word or letter by letter.

While we say “a light-water reactor,” the abbreviation is “an LWR.”

Similarly, you should use “an NBC reporter” (because “NBC” is pronounced “enbisi”) and “a NATO authority” (because “NATO” begins with a “ne” sound).


*******************************************



WHEN TO USE COMMA

Quote:
  1. Use a comma to separate the elements in a series (three or more things), including the last two. "He hit the ball, dropped the bat, and ran to first base." You may have learned that the comma before the "and" is unnecessary, which is fine if you're in control of things. However, there are situations in which, if you don't use this comma (especially when the list is complex or lengthy), these last two items in the list will try to glom together (like macaroni and cheese). Using a comma between all the items in a series, including the last two, avoids this problem. This last comma—the one between the word "and" and the preceding word—is often called the serial comma or the Oxford comma. In newspaper writing, incidentally, you will seldom find a serial comma, but that is not necessarily a sign that it should be omitted in academic prose.

  2. Use a comma + a little conjunction (and, but, for, nor, yet, or, so) to connect two independent clauses, as in "He hit the ball well, but he ran toward third base."

    Contending that the coordinating conjunction is adequate separation, some writers will leave out the comma in a sentence with short, balanced independent clauses (such as we see in the example just given). If there is ever any doubt, however, use the comma, as it is always correct in this situation.

  3. Use a comma to set off introductory elements, as in "Running toward third base, he suddenly realized how stupid he looked."

    It is permissible to omit the comma after a brief introductory element if the omission does not result in confusion or hesitancy in reading. If there is ever any doubt, use the comma, as it is always correct. If you would like some additional guidelines on using a comma after introductory elements, click HERE.

  4. Use a comma to set off parenthetical elements, as in "The Founders Bridge, which spans the Connecticut River, is falling down." By "parenthetical element," we mean a part of a sentence that can be removed without changing the essential meaning of that sentence. The parenthetical element is sometimes called "added information." This is the most difficult rule in punctuation because it is sometimes unclear what is "added" or "parenthetical" and what is essential to the meaning of a sentence.
Another good reference:

http://grammar.about.com/od/punctuat...commaguide.htm

Last edited by Big Daddy; 07-15-2011 at 01:54 AM.
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:12 PM   #2
Big Daddy Big Daddy is offline
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APOSTROPHE RULES
  • Rule 1: Use the apostrophe with contractions.

    Don't: do not
    Didn't: did not
    You're: you are
    They're (NEVER their, or there): they are
    He's: he is
    Isn't: Is not
    We'll: We will
    I'm: I am
    He'll: he will
    Who's: who is
    Shouldn't: should not
    Could've: could have (NOT "could of"!)
    We'd: we had or we would

  • Rule 2: The apostrophe can be used to indicate possession. For singular possession, the apostrophe is placed before the "s".

    The dog's ball
    Peter's shoes
    Mr. Smith's tie

    However, when it comes to proper nouns that end in an "s" or a "z" sound, it is preferred, although not required, to have the second "s" added in possessive form.

    Mr. Jones's car
    Kansas's weather

  • Rule 3: In cases of plural possession, the apostrophe follows immediately after the "s ".

    Two boys' cars
    Two actresses' awards

    Once again, be careful when dealing with plural possession and proper nouns, especially those ending in an "s" or a "z" sound. The difference is shown below.

    The Smiths' house: The house where Mr. and Mrs. Smith live.
    but
    The Joneses' house: The house where Mr and Mrs Jones live.

    Use an apostrophe before the "s" when the word is plural and possessive but its plural form is irregular.

    The children's recess is about to start.
    The women's voices were heard.

  • Rule 4: Use the apostrophe where the noun that should follow is implied. In this case, the apostrophe will not only indicate possession, but also the implied noun, which has been removed.

    This was his father's, not his, book.
    Used instead of saying "This was his father's book, not his book.

  • Rule 5: Apostrophes are not to be used for the plural of a proper noun.

    We visited the Smiths while on holiday. (Not Smith's or Smiths')
    The Joneses own a cat and a dog. (Not Jones' or Joneses')

  • Rule 6: With a singular compound noun, possession is shown by adding 's at the end of the word.

    My mother-in-law's cat.

    When confronted with a plural compound noun, first form the plural and then use the apostrophe.

    My brothers-in-law's golf clubs.

  • Rule 7: When more than one person is being discussed, only use the apostrophe and s after the second name, if the people possess the same item.


    Peter and Lucy's house is next door.
    however
    Peter's and Lucy's job applications were unsuccessful.

  • Rule 8: Never use an apostrophe with the possessive pronouns: his, hers, its, theirs, ours, yours, whose, etc., as these already indicate possession.

    This book is his, not hers.
    The car is theirs.
    Yours faithfully

  • Rule 9: The plurals for capital letters and numbers which are used as nouns are not formed with apostrophes.

    Alice learned her ABCs.
    She spoke to two Ph.D.s
    She went to two Ph.D.'s offices. (In this case it is a plural possessive - the offices of the two Ph.D.s).

    Dates are always written as the 2000s and not the 2000's. Likewise, the century can be dropped (and replaced with an apostrophe), but are still written as the '80s or the mid-'90s and not as the '90's or the mid-'70's. The exception to the rule is where the meaning would become unclear if apostrophes were not used.

    Ted couldn't distinguish between his 6's and 0's.
    Remember to cross your T's and dot your I's.
    Without the apostrophe, "I's" could be read as "Is" and the sentence loses its meaning.

Some Examples:

wrong: a friend of yours'
correct: a friend of yours

wrong: his' book
correct: his book
correct: one's book
correct: anybody's book

wrong: Who's dog is this?
correct: Whose dog is this?

wrong: The group made it's decision.
correct: The group made its decision.

wrong: She waited for three hours' to get her ticket.
correct: She waited for three hours to get her ticket.


REFERENCES

http://www.conservapedia.com/Apostrophe
http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/apostro.asp
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/621/01/
http://www.tutorvista.com/answers/ap...-example/61713
http://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/apostrophe/
http://clccharter.org/donna/writersw...tion/apost.htm

Last edited by Big Daddy; 01-26-2011 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:01 PM   #3
jakeneff jakeneff is offline
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Misuse of apostrophe. An apostrophe does NOT make a word plural. It ONLY denotes possession (except its) or missing letter(s).

WRONG: I love his movie's.
RIGHT: I love his movies' plots.
RIGHT: I love that movie's plot.
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:15 PM   #4
Psybits Psybits is offline
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we had this thread a while back

https://forum.blu-ray.com/general-ch...ar-you-10.html

and I posted this there

Quote:
Loose

Loose is an adjective, the opposite of tight or contained.

My shoes are loose

I have a loose tooth

There's a dog running loose in the street


Lose

Lose is a verb that means to suffer the loss of, to miss.

I win! You lose!

Don't lose your keys

I never lose bets


The Bottom Line

Simple carelessness leads people to write loose when they mean lose. Just remember that lose has one o, and loose has two. Start with loose, lose an o, and what do you get? Lose!
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:15 PM   #5
ManUtd ManUtd is offline
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I see the phrase "should of" often misused. For example, "I should of bought another brand of TV." The correct way is "I should have bought another brand of TV."
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:22 PM   #6
Big Daddy Big Daddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psybits View Post
we had this thread a while back

https://forum.blu-ray.com/general-ch...ar-you-10.html

and I posted this there
Thank you. I will add "lose" and "loose" to the list.
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:35 PM   #7
Icecoldblue Icecoldblue is offline
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If you don't live in the United States, grey is a colour.
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:40 PM   #8
Big Daddy Big Daddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icecoldblue View Post
If you don't live in the United States, grey is a colour.
That is why I added " A variant of Gray" at the end of its definition in post #1.
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:42 PM   #9
Psybits Psybits is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icecoldblue View Post
If you don't live in the United States, grey is a colour.
I believe it's like how some words like center can be spelled centre and still be correct
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:48 PM   #10
Clark Kent Clark Kent is offline
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The Internet has caused a bit of confusion because American English has some variation from British English, but it is very tough to figure out if you do not know the background of the writer. That is often the case on forums where location is not clearly identified.

The one that I see more and more on the Internet is the confusion between discrete and discreet. Many people have apparently never known the differences between them.
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:16 PM   #11
Big Daddy Big Daddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark Kent View Post
The Internet has caused a bit of confusion because American English has some variation from British English, but it is very tough to figure out if you do not know the background of the writer. That is often the case on forums where location is not clearly identified.

The one that I see more and more on the Internet is the confusion between discrete and discreet. Many people have apparently never known the differences between them.
I added Dicrete and Discreet to post #1. Thank you.
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:27 PM   #12
master_8ball master_8ball is offline
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Bass: A name shared by many different species of popular gamefish.

But now that would just be confusing

Opps, I started a sentence with but.
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:30 PM   #13
Big Daddy Big Daddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by master_8ball View Post
Bass: A name shared by many different species of popular gamefish.

But now that would just be confusing
A fish must be able to generate the lower frequencies to be called Bass.
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:31 PM   #14
Beta Man Beta Man is offline
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Grate Job Big-Daddy!
[Show spoiler]
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:36 PM   #15
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You’re: Contraction of You Are. You’re a knowledgeable person.
Your: The possessive form of you. Your blu-ray collection is impressive. The switch is on your right. I like your system. I need your help.


Those two, along with how people use "too" and "to" never cease TO amaze me..other than that, I'm not TOO much of a grammar cop

Last edited by 720pDude; 01-24-2011 at 11:38 PM.
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:37 PM   #16
Big Daddy Big Daddy is offline
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Originally Posted by Beta Man View Post
Grate Job Big-Daddy!
[Show spoiler]
tank you're vary mooch.
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:55 PM   #17
crazyBLUE crazyBLUE is offline
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This thread definitely needs to be made a Sticky

jw ~ Jason ~ Blu Titan -- Can we make this a Sticky please
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:59 PM   #18
MaCruz MaCruz is offline
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Ur guys rocks!!!

Yeah it doesn't irk me much, but eventually it will sooner or later.
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Old 01-25-2011, 12:34 AM   #19
Beta Man Beta Man is offline
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I just posted in a thread, and after posting posting I thought of something I do DAILY that I'm not sure is right, but may be.... (I've done it this way FOREVER)

for "A" and "AN" I've always known it's "A" Dog.... or "An" Apple for A/An before a vowel or consonant..... what I'm not sure of, is before acronyms.....


I was typing a reply, and without thought, I put "An HDTV" much like I would say "An FM station" or "An SUV" etc...... should it be "A SUV" or "A HDTV" "An" just sounds right to me.... (I might be going "A" little OCD )

EDIT:

Uh Oh.... found this.... but it's from "A" UK site.... http://www.gpuss.co.uk/english_usage/a_or_an.htm

Last edited by Beta Man; 01-25-2011 at 12:48 AM.
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Old 01-25-2011, 12:49 AM   #20
Big Daddy Big Daddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beta Man View Post
I just posted in a thread, and after posting posting I thought of something I do DAILY that I'm not sure is right, but may be.... (I've done it this way FOREVER)

for "A" and "AN" I've always known it's "A" Dog.... or "An" Apple for A/An before a vowel or consonant..... what I'm not sure of, is before acronyms.....


I was typing a reply, and without thought, I put "An HDTV" much like I would say "An FM station" or "An SUV" etc...... should it be "A SUV" or "A HDTV" "An" just sounds right to me.... (I might be going "A" little OCD )
It is ruled by how you pronounce the word. For examle, you should say An SPL Meter instead of A SPL Meter even though S is a consonant.

http://www.dailywritingtips.com/usin...-before-words/
Quote:
The Rule
The rule states that “a” should be used before words that begin with consonants (e.g., b, c ,d) while “an” should be used before words that begin with vowels (e.g., a,e,i). Notice, however, that the usage is determined by the pronunciation and not by the spelling, as many people wrongly assume.

You should say, therefore, “an hour” (because hour begins with a vowel sound) and “a history” (because history begins with a consonant sound).

Similarly you should say “a union” even if union begins with a “u.” That is because the pronunciation begins with “yu”, which is a consonant sound.

Abbreviations
Deciding which version you should use with abbreviations is the tricky part. First of all you need to understand if the abbreviation is pronounced as a single word or letter by letter.

While we say “a light-water reactor,” the abbreviation is “an LWR.”

Similarly, you should use “an NBC reporter” (because “NBC” is pronounced “enbisi”) and “a NATO authority” (because “NATO” begins with a “ne” sound).
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