What I learned from grammar girl.

January 25, 2011 at 10:22 pm (Comm 4333 Topics of the week)

I listened to the podcast concerning what was going on with spacing before a period. This is a grammar mistake that has been found in many blogs recently. I learned that the french don’t use quotation marks. That is quite interesting considering the U.S. uses them like they are going out of style. The french also put a space between the end of a word before they use a question mark or an exclamation mark. This is the reason why we might be following this trend.

I happen to be guilty of overusing the comma. Grammar girl would label me as a serial comma user. Serial commas can also be known as Oxford commas or Harvard commas. This is because these commas are not always necessary and the reader may understand the message without the need of a comma. I try to limit my comma usage however, I often write as I would speak and as I speak, commas are necessary. This is not always a bad thing. Commas create clarity. Whenever I feel that a comma would be needed to understand my point, I use a comma and I don’t need to fret.

Another podcast that I listened to was on plagiarism. Everyone knows that plagiarism is basically stealing someone else’s words and passing them off as their own, but what I didn’t know was that plagiarism can also be rewording someone else’s idea to make your own. Also, if you write a paper or essay for a class prior to the assignment you are currently working on, it is self plagiarism if you choose to reuse parts or the whole document as if the ideas are brand new for your current class. I feel that this is unfair because this is how everyone gets through higher education classes. We are so busy and overloaded with work that we need to reuse and recycle our past papers. A punishment for this offense can be expulsion? This is just crazy to me. I cannot imagine getting expended from school for reusing my own ideas that were properly cited and documented. Either way, plagiarism is very wrong and should be frowned upon.

For more information on any of these grammar tips, visit Grammar Girl’s website.

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1 Comment

  1. msweaver28 said,

    That is a very interesting point you bring up on self plagiarism. I too have always thought that as long as you are the person that wrote it, you can use it as many times as you want – in whatever class you want. I tend to agree with you, that does seem a little harsh. Hopefully not all professors are that up tight about it. Thanks for the advice, Matt.

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