Saturday, November 24, 2007

Despite the gratification which comes with receiving a "No misspellings found" message from the spell-checker two posts in a row, I have no confidence in my writing. This primarily comes from my lack of confidence in my ability to properly use commas, semicolons, colons, parentheses, "i.e."s, "ex."s, dashes, hyphens, ellipses, et ceteras, etc.

Oh, and I am humbled after the spellcheck catches my misspelling "primarily" as "primarilly". When will I learn? I routinely make that mistake.

I have made attempts at reducing the usage of contractions from my writing, albeit unnecessary. I'm not a purist of any sort. Also, I have been paying close attention to how I use the words "this" and "that" - mostly the latter. In many instances "that" can be removed without affecting the grammar of a sentence, and in many other instances can be replaced for clarity.

Examples:
"Did I tell you that I went to the store with Nick?"
"Did I tell you I went to the store with Nick?"

"I like the one that has the red stripes."
"I like the one which has the red stripes."

"I believe that this is the only way to live." (Oh God, save us from this grammar!)
"I believe that/this is the only way to live." (Depends upon where/when the description of "the only way to live" occurred.)

I don't think there is anything wrong with the first two examples, but the alternatives are far more pleasing to the eyes & ears. The third is simply disgusting, and I am guilty of using that (proper usage!) construct in conversation.

Forgive me. I have hit the point at which I can no longer think straight. At this (proper usage!) point I should really go to bed. Goodnight.

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