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 Grammar and Writing Class; how to learn the proper usage of grammar, and more.

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PostSubject: Grammar and Writing Class; how to learn the proper usage of grammar, and more.   Wed May 12, 2010 6:57 pm

Part one of Sanaka's grammar classes. All things written within are copy-righted to him, and therefore, are not to be copied or quoted without the creator's, Sanaka Surumura's, express permission. These texts are covered under the laws of copy-right. Today, we cover some of the more common mistakes seen in grammar. Later on, I will give tips and hints on how to role-play better, and how to write. I believe in learning by study and doing, and teaching by example. So, of course, I'll give example to give you all an easier time of learning what I am trying to teach. This will be updated regularly, I hope. If not, then that just makes I am too busy to post a new course, but will soon.

-

A big part of good writing, in my opinion, is grammar, and so, I believe that sentences flow more smoothly and are a lot more lively when proper grammar is applied. So... I am going to be giving out a few tips and classes on grammar, starting with some of the most common mistakes. Today, we learn about how to use the words they're, their, and there. Remember, I am not a professional, nor am I, myself, perfect in the usage of grammar. I am merely an interested learner who would like to share what he has learned with everyone else, to try to help them become better writers.
-----

You use "there" when referring to a place, no matter what the usage, such as in the following sentences.

“Over there, that man, kill him!”

"Where's James, Terry? He's over there, by that wall, Steve."

“It must be hard to live there with that bumbling moron of a roommate.”

“There is a man of darkness and chaos who lives within that Candy Store…“

“The sword of a thousand destructions is over there on that table.”

“There are many ways in which a fork can be used to kill someone in an assassination.”

On the other hand, we use "their" when indicating possession. "Their" is a possessive adjective, and it indicates that a particular noun belongs to "them". As seen in the following sentences, are ways in which "their" is used.

“My people have lost both their will and their resolve to fight, forfeiting the kingdom to the Spartans.”

“My brother and sister have lost their luggage.”

“Their arms were twisted in an unusual fashion; such was the brutal nature of the crime.”

“Their careless way of doing things made the Stevens Private Detective Agency infamous for having loose cannon employees.”

"They’re" is a contraction of the words 'they' and 'are'. It cannot be used as a modifier. It can only be used as a subject and verb. In other words, who or what does the action.

“Get the hell in here, moron! They’re closing the doors!”

“They’re going to Japan this spring for vacation.”

“I’m sure they’re coming soon; just wait for a bit longer.”

“I am glad that they’re kind people. We’d have a problem getting in and out of their house if they weren’t.”

"They're asshats for pulling that crap on us!"

Now, it will not always work in every single case. However, when I was first learning how to use any of these three words, I used a certain method to tell if I was using the proper one. I asked myself some questions. When I wrote "there", I asked myself if the sentence would still make sense to me if I replaced it with the word "here". If such was the case, then I was using it properly. If I used the word "they’re", I asked myself if the sentence would still make sense to me if I replaced "they’re" with "they are". If such was the case, then I was doing it right. And when I chose the word "their", I asked myself if the sentence would make sense if I replaced "their" with "our". And if that were so, then I was right.

Practice these words by correcting your own mistakes, writing random sentences with them, and looking over other people’s writing to see how they use them along with correcting their mistakes, should they make them, as well. After a while, it will become second nature to choose the correct word, and you will do so without even thinking about it! Work hard! You can make anything happen if you keep at it!

Remember, there is no way that they’re going to leave their home alone while they’re there at their grandparents’ cottage. ^_^


Last edited by Sanaka Surumura on Thu May 20, 2010 11:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Grammar and Writing Class; how to learn the proper usage of grammar, and more.   Thu May 20, 2010 10:57 pm

In writing, being extremely descriptive with your sentences is a good habit to pick up. Despite that, there are times when you can overdo it or be far too descriptive than you ought to be. Words are like a good seasoning, tasty and excellent when used in the correct proportion, but nasty when overused. You have to have a happy medium, using just the right amount of description to spice up your writing. Certain areas call for more description than others do, while some require very little at all, explaining themselves. While it is good to elaborate on what is happening within your story, you do not want to derail from the main point of what you are writing with something that hardly matters, little details about what James or Jill did when they went to the bathroom in the middle of that important poker game. Sometimes explaining every minuscule detail is a bad thing. Being vague can be advantageous at times, putting in such details you left out before later on for a much more powerful effect, at a later point in the story, resulting in the possible surprise on your reader’s part. No one wants to know about James sitting on the toilet, doing number two for five minutes, wiping his bottom, and then staring at the mirror for a good minute while he washes his hands. It just serves to derail and bore your reader, making it a pain for them actually to want to continue reading any further.

Before I continue on with what probably has bored you all, I’ll explain by example what I am talking about, as much as I can at the moment. On that note, I think I, unintentionally, proved my point up there when I went on and on about how excessive detail can be a bad and boring thing. When used right, it brings the words to life on the page. But when used in excess… well, you get the point.
Using something, I wrote just now, I demonstrate how excessive detail can reduce the power of writing.

Code:
The Moonshine Pub was filled to its brim with patrons tonight, with men and woman of all ages under the sun relaxing in chairs and booths and at the bar, drinking their favorite beverage, perhaps eating a buffalo wing or two. Despite the Pub’s popularity and the usual hustle and bustle seen within its walls, tonight was especially busy, thanks to the National Poker Tournament being held right there in the Pub Itself.

Steve had fought long in hard in battles of wit and skills in previous elimination tournaments, all in order to secure his seat in the final event, his place at the Nationals. Undoubtedly, he has been the underdog since the beginning of this long, hard road he has walked, but that would all change tonight. Tonight, having gained his fair share of insight and experience through past tournaments and practice, Steve would try his best to bring home the win and gain the recognition he so desired. It would not be easy. It would not be the hardest thing he has ever done, but he is resolute and determined, having steeled his will long before the first card was dealt. A drip of sweet wiggles its way down Steve’s temple and onto his cheek, as he holds his cards up, away from the view of the other players sitting around the long Poker Table. Holding his left hand above his head, Steve requested for a five-minute break, so that he may used the restroom. The request was granted, and off he went, after folding his cards face down on the table, hiding them from prying eyes.

Sitting down on the cold, white pot of porcelain, Steve made number two grunts could be heard at the apparent struggle to pass the waste through his rectum. The water within the porcelain pot plopped and popped with a resonating sound, as the brown rocks of waste slid down the its sides, falling deeper and deeper into the bottom. With a flush of the handle attached to the pot, Steve rummaged for some toilet paper, securing himself a handful before wiping any excess waste from his read. Standing to his feet, he pulled up his blue jeans, buckling the button and zipping the zipper, before fastening his belt and walking over to the sink. There, he obtained two handfuls of soap from the dispenser sitting on top of the restroom counter. As he gripped the knobs on the sink, turning them counterclockwise, he began wiping his hands together, depositing the soap to every corner of his hands. The water, not scolding but just right, warm, leaked out of the facet in a straight stream, cleansing the soap from Steve’s hands, and completely the process of washing him up.

With that, he returned to the Poker Table.

Sigh. That did not turn out how I thought it would. As a rather extreme example, it ended up rather silly and possible ignorant. Even so, I have described my point. The entire second paragraph was unneeded, was far too descriptive, and only served to turn-off the reader. As much as you all are probably laughing right now, possibly even staring in disgust or shock or awe even at how… unusual and pointless that paragraph was, in some way or other, it describes what we all do sometimes. Going off on a wind tangent that bores our readers, destroys our credibility, (probably?) and makes them want to not read what comes next, or anything else we write for that matter, much less any future books… in short, nonsense.

Now I will described what we could have done there, in far less words, in what makes more sense, by keeping us on track with what we were writing about, the Poker Game, the Pub.

Code:
The Moonshine Pub was filled to its brim with patrons tonight, with men and woman of all ages under the sun relaxing in chairs and booths and at the bar, drinking their favorite beverage, perhaps eating a buffalo wing or two. Despite the Pub’s popularity and the usual hustle and bustle seen within its walls, tonight was especially busy, thanks to the National Poker Tournament being held right there in the Pub Itself.

Steve had fought long in hard in battles of wit and skills in previous elimination tournaments, all in order to secure his seat in the final event, his place at the Nationals. Undoubtedly, he has been the underdog since the beginning of this long, hard road he has walked, but that would all change tonight. Tonight, having gained his fair share of insight and experience through past tournaments and practice, Steve would try his best to bring home the win and gain the recognition he so desired. It would not be easy. It would not be the hardest thing he has ever done, but he is resolute and determined, having steeled his will long before the first card was dealt. A drip of sweet wiggles its way down Steve’s temple and onto his cheek, as he holds his cards up, away from the view of the other players sitting around the long Poker Table. Holding his left hand above his head, Steve requested for a five-minute break, so that he may used the restroom. The request was granted, and off he went, after folding his cards face down on the table, hiding them from prying eyes.

As he entered the restroom, Steve quickly finished his business in there in less than four minutes, and, after washing his hands clean, returned to Table to finish the Game.

Simple, yes? Less lengthy, yes? As descriptive, no. Nevertheless, it kept the reader on track, where the story really was, what it really was about, the Game. Steve finished his business in there, cleaned up, and then came back, without us having to hear all the gritty details about how he took a crap, about how the excrement entered the toilet. Our reader is concentrated on what matters, as he and she aren’t being forcefully distracted, wondering why there is such detail about such a thing.

I know I have an odd mind, an odd way of describing and teaching things. This just came to mind a few minutes ago, so I went with it. Use what comes you, I say. Anyway, tune in next time for my next lesson. And remember, being descriptive is a wonderful thing. It can bring life to the lifeless words on the page, but you must also have the knowledge, wisdom, and common sense to know where to best put it, and where it leave it outside the door….
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