Lecture 4 Grammar I

Lecture 4 Grammar I - Physics 596 Dr Herbst GRAMMAR I Is...

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Physics 596 Dr. Herbst GRAMMAR I Is grammar important? If taken to an extreme, it can be self-defeating. One worries so much about every sentence that the document can never be written. But, some grammar is really necessary for clarity, and some people can be offended by really rank constructions. What follows is mainly a list of misused words, expressions, and constructions. These problems are to be avoided in your papers. 1. Incomplete Sentences a) Because physics is interesting! b) The right stuff! a) is just a fragment (technically a dependent clause), while b) has no verb at all. Such constructions have become common in advertising and journalism, but should be avoided if you wish to pass the course. 2. Run-on Sentences/Comma Splices a) My professor is boring he is cute (run-on sentence) b) My professor is boring, he is cure (comma splice) Correct constructions: My professor is boring. He is cute. (choppy) Although my professor is cute, he is boring. My professor is cute but boring. My professor is boring; he is cute. (The use a semi-colon is technically correct, but the sentences are unrelated.) The stratosphere consists mainly of neutral molecules; the ionic abundance is very low. (Here the semi-colon works since the sentences are related.) 3. Unclear References a) The word “this” without a following noun leads to a lot of confusion in scientific writing. Example: This proves that. b) Because they are very messy, students don’t use fountain pens. (“messy” describes the nearest noun to it, which is “students.”) c) Loaded with gravy, the waiter brought the turkey. (known as a dangling participle because the clause with the participle describes the near noun, which is “waiter.”) d) Eight children were taken from an abused home. (A treasure from the Columbus
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This note was uploaded on 06/13/2011 for the course PHYSICS 596 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Ohio State.

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Lecture 4 Grammar I - Physics 596 Dr Herbst GRAMMAR I Is...

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