20 Images That Prove Grammar and Punctuation Are Important



















the oatmeal


52 responses to 20 Images That Prove Grammar and Punctuation Are Important

  1. Spelling is not grammar and complaining about correct punctuation when one uses a grave accent instead of an apostrophe makes the argument invalid.

  2. Of course the Oxford comma is redundant if you correctly introduce the list (as in the “incorrect” instance) with a colon.

    We invited the strippers: JFK and Stalin.

    1. The so-called “Oxford” comma is not a serial comma in the example. Rather, it is to introduce an appositive.

      In addition, a so-called “list” consisting only of two items does not need a comma.

      Jane, my mother in law, likes food, love and or entertainment a.k.a. distractions, diversions and deviations: perversions, abnormalities, eccentricities, et cetera.

    2. According to the Associated Press, when writing a scholastic journalistic piece, we (journalists), are not supposed to use the “Oxford comma” when writing items in a series. Otherwise: “I went to the store to buy milk, bread and eggs.”

      1. Aren’t these the same folks who also, in their style book, say not to use the term illegal immigrants to describe illegal immigrants? Well, there you go.

  3. The fifth one down, about the average American, is just a badly worded sentence. There is no way any sort of Punctuation would make that sentence any better without adding words.

      1. You’ve only added incorrect punctuation to a badly worded sentence. Now it’s poorly worded AND grammatically incorrect. Congratulations.

      2. You’ve only added incorrect punctuation to a badly worded sentence. Now it’s poorly worded AND grammatically incorrect. Congratulations.

          1. But it might not only refer to food (energy, land, etc. …) so:

            ‘An average American consumes more than 400 Africans do.’

        1. ‘The average American, consumes more, than 400 Africans.’ ‘The average American consumes more, than 400 Africans.’

  4. Today, 3/11/13 I took a NYS DEC exam , the misspelling , grammar and punctuation was so horrific that I failed the exam costing me hundreds of dollars and my pride. I quickly made the test proctor aware of the situation . But nothing can be done now.

    1. Did you mean…

      Today, 3/11/13, I took a NYS DEC exam. The spelling, grammar and punctuation were so horrific that I failed the exam and lost hundreds of dollars and my pride. I quickly made the test proctor aware of the situation. Nothing, however, can be done now.

      If you can’t get the “spelling, grammar and punctuation” right, how can you judge others’ as “horrific”?

  5. In the ‘Than’ example, is it sepposed to be a lesson? or another joke. The example actually means “I’m much better at holding my liquor than holding a panda bear”.
    The correct sentence for the desired meaning should be “I’m much better at holding my liquor than a panda bear is.”

    1. No. In my dialect, the default assumption for sentences of construction “Adjectiver at Verbing Noun1 than Noun2” is that when Noun2 refers to a person as opposed to a place or a thing, then it refers to a subject to which a comparison is being made. The previous sentence already established that the panda is a subject capable of drinking liquor, so I would actually have to put Verbing on both sides of the “than” in order to say what you claim this sentence already does.

      (Also, I’m totally making this up; which is fine, because you’re denying the legitimacy of pre-assumed resolutions to common forms of syntactic ambiguity.)

      If you strongly prefer the complete absence of all forms of syntactic shorthand, might I recommend a lovely little language labelled Lojban?

      1. You never end a sentence with a preposition. Sometimes that can be a very tricky thing. Try writing a paper without the use of the words would, could and should; as those are really meaningless filler words according to my literature professor, he made us rewrite any paper that contained those words. (Prior to taking his class, that last sentence might have read: he would have made us rewrite any paper that contained those words. ) when I say they are filler words, note that the word “would” added no actual meat to the sentence other than an add 2 extra words to that sentence). Take an average of 5 sentences in a paragraph, and one filler word assuming 2-4 prepositional phrases/words or adjectives required to go with that word unnecessarily. A 200 count essay can easily amount to a minimum of two paragraphs of filler text.

        Eliminating those three little words, makes writing an essay insane; it definitely made me a better writer -I guarantee nothing from a mobile phone after I’ve taken my sleepy night night medicinel

        1. would is a perfectly fine word in the correct context. In English it’s used as part of the conditional tense.
          If he had had ten dollars, he would have been able to buy dinner.

          Could indicates past potential . I could lift 200 lbs when I was twenty.

          I assume you mean when its misused.

          And as far as dangling prepositions:

          “Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.”

    1. I’m pretty sure understanding your language well enough to write it down properly will matter down the road. If it doesn’t matter down the road, I would like fries with that and be quick about it.

    2. Why are you laughing about time? Oh, your intended message was misunderstood due to your lake of punctuation. I guess getting your point across accurately using written communication doesn’t really matter, does it?

      1. Lake of punctuation? As opposed to a river of grammar, or a sea of syntax? How about an ocean of onomatopoeia?

    3. lol omg when you try to get a job down the line and you start every sentence with lol omg no punctuation and text speak…
      I’ve never yet met anyone with a worthwhile job who can’t string a correct sentence together.

  6. In olden times, when I was a copy editor, there was no such thing as an “Oxford comma.” Editing took a lot longer, and you didn’t have second chances because corrections in proof were expensive. Yes, boys and girls, I was a child of the waning hot- lead era. Almost all newspapers used the AP stylebook. A rule of thumb was to use a comma where you would pause when speaking, or where necessary for clarity. Better to leave in an unnecessary one than to leave out a necessary one. We didn’t lose any sleep over it and I don’t remember any arguments. Writers would write, I would edit, end of story.

    1. I respect you, printing is such a dying art form). I can read backwards and upside down thanks to setting type. Running an old letterpress was fun back in my younger years. We even had an old windmill.

      Course typesetting and design is what I got into, though my degree had to be mass comm /journalism.

      People used to say printing was altogether going to disappear thanks to the Internet, but I can’t see that, product packaging will always exist, and there are some that will never give up the feel, smell or security of physically holding a book

  7. Without the Oxford comma, the strippers would be JFK and Stalin. But, you could write it thus, if JFK and Stalin where guests; “we invited jfk, Stalin and the strippers.”

    1. No, Uncle Jack is his name (hence the uppercase for uncle; not normally a proper noun), so it would be
      “Jimmy helped his Uncle Jack off the horse.” Otherwise it should be “Jimmy helped his uncle, Jack, off the horse.”

  8. Punctuation gives me extra marks in tp s nd reduces my marks in exams…. Well thanks 4 helping me 2 prepare my exams

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You May Also Like: