It is said that back in the 1940's, the following
message was prominently displayed at the front of the main chemistry lecture
hall at a major university:
"The English language is your
most versatile scientific instrument.
In the intervening years, the teaching of
proper grammar in the public elementary and high schools fell into disfavor.
The inevitable result is that manuscripts submitted to us are often full
of grammatical errors, which their authors probably do not even recognize
(and often would not care about if they did).
Learn to use it with precision."
We regard this state of affairs as deplorable,
and we want to do something about it. For many years we have tried to correct
the grammar of papers that we publish. This is toilsome at best, and sometimes
entails rather substantial rephrasing. It would obviously be preferable
to have authors use correct grammar in the first place. The problem is
how to get them to do it.
One fairly effective way is to provide
examples of what not to do; it is particularly helpful if the examples
are humorous. We have recently seen several lists of grammatical examples
of this type. A few weeks ago we found taped to a colleague's office door
the most complete one we have seen. (He tells us it was passed out in a
class of Darthmouth - not in English - at the time a term paper was assigned).
We reproduce it here in the hope that it will have some effect.
Това е статия в научно списание с автор Джордж
Триг: George L. Trigg; GRAMMAR. Phys. Rev. Lett.
747 - 748 (1979) http://prola.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v42/i12/p747_1.
Текстът е даден в списание "Коснос" без разрешение на редакцията на списанието,
понеже се намира в Интернет на поне 20 сайта.
Make sure each pronoun agrees with their antecedent.
Just between you and I, the case of pronoun
Watch out for irregular verbs which have crope
Verbs has to agree in number with their subjects.
Don't use no double negatives.
Being bad grammar, a writer should not use
Join clauses good like a conjunction should.
A writer must be not shift your point of view.
About sentence fragments.
Don't use run-on sentences you got to punctuate
In letters essays and reports use commas to
separate items in series.
Don't use commas, which are not necessary.
Parenthetical words however should be enclosed
Its important to use apostrophes right in
Check to see if you any words out.
In the case of a report, check to see that
jargonwise, it's A-OK.
As far as incomplete constructions, they are
About repetition, the repetition of a word
might be real effective repetition - take, for instance the repetition
of Abraham Lincoln.
In my opinion, I think that an author when
he is writing should definitely not get into the habit of making use of
too many unnecessary words that he does not really need in order to put
his message across.
Use parallel construction not only to be concise
but also clarify.
It behooves us all to avoid archaic expressions.
Mixed metaphors are a pain in the neck and
ought to be weeded out.
Consult the dictionery to avoid mispelings.
To ignorantly split an infinitive is a practice
to religiously avoid.
Last but not least, lay off cliches.
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