Teach me English
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Old 03-02-2007   #1
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Default Teach me English

My English is fairly OK I think, but there are some little things I don't know and wish to learn about. Won't ask the general ones like when to use/not use "The" for example, although I struggle with it.

Two questions for now:
- Where would you place the period if the sentence ends with a bracket/parenthesis. Inside or outside the bracket.

- This one is a net question. After a smilie, do you capitalize or not capitalize.

I'm serious about these questions, I love languages.

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Old 03-02-2007   #2
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Default Re: Teach me English

Put the period after a bracket or parenthesis is closed. However, if you have a quote, put the period inside, for example, you said, "My English is fairly OK." This was tough to get people do do consistently when I taught English.

I'd say to treat a smiley like any punctuation, so capitalize whatever comes after it.

Bob
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Old 03-02-2007   #3
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Thank you very much, Bob. Appreciate the advice

Hope you can check this thread from time to time as myself, and hopefully others, will have some questions too.

Thanks again.

(FWIW, English is not my first language, so any advice is appreciated).
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Old 03-02-2007   #4
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I'll check it again for sure, so feel free to ask. I've taught remedial English at the college level, and these are good points to know and ask.

Bob
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Old 03-02-2007   #5
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Default Re: Teach me English

In technical writing, when using a single quote or double quote to demarcate some code, it is common practice to put the punctuation outside of the quote. This often because there is punctuation required in the code. For instance, go to the code editor and type, "select * from users,". I am guilty of doing this in my regular writing . latinbob is on the money, and some semblence of grammar can help in a forum, but isn't necessary if the message comes across.
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Old 03-02-2007   #6
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Breaking paragraphs. Wink wink John, we talked about that before

It helps if one breaks what's he/she is writing into separate sentences/paragraphs. Each with an independent thought/idea. Otherwise the reader will be lost, I think.

What do you think Bob.
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Old 03-02-2007   #7
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Well, all of those five sentences are part of one paragraph. Surely you've read some books with longer paragraphs?
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Old 03-02-2007   #8
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Unfortunately I did
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Old 03-02-2007   #9
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John's right about not being too picky in a forum setting. Yes, good paragraph structure is helpful, and we should try to write like that, but online we are more casual. It's more like a spoken conversation, where ideas flow freely.

If someone was writing an online tutorial, then yes, good paragraph structure is necessary. Otherwise, casual is ok.

You mentioned that English isn't your first language, AAM. What was your first language, and how long have you been studying English? Your English is quite good, and I wouldn't have known you weren't a native speaker.

Bob
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Old 03-02-2007   #10
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You are right Bob. John's sentence structure above is quite alright and clear, because he is talking about the same idea.

But others talk & talk in big blokes and include many thoughts in the same bloke. The reader gets confused.

Took a few English Lit. classes and from what I got is...writing ought to resemble talking, in terms of breathing and normal flow of human interaction (e.g conversation).


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