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Story comments critique grammar

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Rusty Shackleford, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Active Member

    I just found the first four comments on this story to be hilarious. And no, I did not write the story.


    Travisty said on: November 11, 2010, 8:06 am
    They had married at some point, and when she died of cancer in the 1940s, relatives said, Zernicke married her caretaker, who would also die before him. - If, you feel you need four commas in one, sentence, maybe you should write two, sentences.
    I can't go on. I understand now why there is no proper editing being done at the Post. It would take a person with patience and dedication the likes of which I have never seen. If you are going to write this poorly, just text it in.
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    Travisty said on: November 11, 2010, 8:01 am
    He engaged with "bandit forces" in Nicaragua - are the quotes meant to imply that these were not bandit forces? Otherwise, they are not needed.
    He was based in San Diego in 1927 when a woman named Maria Barry wrote Marine Corps headquarters in Washington, pleading that Zernicke be discharged, not sent to China next. - not sent to China next? You use conjunctions to start a sentence but not when they are needed in the sentence?
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    Travisty said on: November 11, 2010, 7:56 am
    The canisters were bundled in a basement closet, near the furnace, as if the soldiers patiently waited together for one final mission.
    Unnecessary comma again. Were they on sale?
    “But Zernicke was not the hero who came home from the front, got married and raised a tightknit family on a sliver of a Norman Rockwell canvas.” A writer should not start a sentence with a conjunction if it can be avoided. Tightknit is not a word. “Sliver of a Norman Rockwell canvass” is nonsensical.
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    Travisty said on: November 11, 2010, 7:55 am
    “Their families either passed away, forgot, didn't care or misplaced them. Or they didn't have anybody.”
    Their families are the subject of the previous sentence. Not the soldiers.
    “one drop in a sea of Marine green and, later, Navy blue.” Unnecessary comma and, also, poor imagery.
    When he was an infant, Edgar Zernicke's family moved from rural Missouri to Wellston, on the outskirts of St. Louis. Two unnecessary commas.
  2. Journo13

    Journo13 Member

    Those commenters should be paid editor salaries.
  3. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    It looks to be one guy with a lot of time on his hands.

    Those are like the people who comment on stories at my shop and post nothing but "Typical B.S. from this rag! You're irrelevant now! Don't know why you guys try anymore!" etc. I always get a laugh about it, trying to figure out how people can care that much about it if we're irrelevant.
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I only agree with about, say half, his comments, anyway.

    I like commas, though.
  5. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    I like a couple of commas he said were unnecessary; the one after infant, for example. It took me a long time to figure out that while there are some rules (more guidelines), the use of commas is a pretty discretionary part of the language; if the writer feels a pause is necessary (or not), sometimes the rules then don't apply. And I think even the "rules" would put one after infant.

    He's right about "The families" passage...
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