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Grammar question

Switch Blayde
Updated:

I came upon the following:


Roy gave him two hundred dollar bills


Is that right? Should it be "...gave him two one hundred dollar bills"?

Replies:   maroon  REP  EzzyB
JimWar

Yes", because as stated it could be two things; 1) Two hundred one dollar bills or 2) two one hundred dollar bills. It could not be one two hundred dollar bill as there is no denomination and it is plural.

As a side note I always have to stop and think because it could be stated "Roy gave him two 'C' notes." Most older people from the US would understand that but it would be harder to say whether a larger audience would. I used to get peeved when British authors would write "so and so asked to borrow a quid", which I understand is slang for a pound but not obvious to most of us.

Ernest Bywater

@JimWar

"Roy gave him two 'C' notes."


When I first read that I thought you meant he was getting ready to sing.

maroon

@Switch Blayde

Even though grammar rules advocate spelling out numbers as words, this is a case where I don't see a problem with avoiding consecutive numbers, by using "2 $100 bills", or just "a pair of hundred dollar bills".

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

In the narration it is an acceptable practice to use numerals for amounts over one hundred, and some say amounts over ten and some say for any money figures with the dollar sign thus - Roy gave him $200 - would be acceptable and so would be - Roy gave him two $100 bills.

However, I'd have written it as - Roy gave him two one hundred dollar bills.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

I would have no hesitation in choosing "two hundred-dollar bills".

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

While I'm a big fan of using hyphenation to clarify meaning, it just postpones the ambiguity problem for people reading aloud for an audience eg audio books.

I think 'two one hundred dollar bills' is better, or 'a pair of hundred dollar bills'.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

You will not get any arguments from me about that.
I did not comment on whether there is a better choice of words SB could make.
I merely answered his 'grammar question' - I think correctly.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Crumbly Writer

@JimWar

Yes", because as stated it could be two things; 1) Two hundred one dollar bills or 2) two one hundred dollar bills. It could not be one two hundred dollar bill as there is no denomination and it is plural.

Sorry, but when I read that line, all I see is someone pissing someone off by slowly counting off two hundred single dollar bills, which nowadays, after decades of price inflation, is almost as annoying as paying the IRS in wheelbarrows of pennies!

The proper way to state that would be to include the proper punctuation, either "Two hundred-dollar bills" or "two-hundred dollar bills".

Crumbly Writer

@maroon

Even though grammar rules advocate spelling out numbers as words, this is a case where I don't see a problem with avoiding consecutive numbers, by using "2 $100 bills", or just "a pair of hundred dollar bills".

Only in dialogue, and even then, the 'rule' is qualified by complexity (i.e. two hundred single dollars bills vs two hundred dollars bills vs $200. Without the punctuation fix I suggested earlier, I'd use the straightforward dollar amount, simply because it's less confusing, grammar rules be damned! (But luckily, proper punctuation saves the day once again!) ;D

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


In the narration it is an acceptable practice to use numerals for amounts over one hundred


Sorry, but again, you're confusing narration with dialogue. The hundred rule concerns spelling out amounts in spoken dialogue. In narration, there's no problem with stating the full numeric, regardless of amount, just as 23rd is acceptable as well without spelling it out.

Note: My use of the html command < sup>< /sup> doesn't work like I was hoping it would. :(

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

If you really want to nitpick, the question isn't actually about grammar. There's nothing grammatically wrong with 'Roy gave him two hundred dollar bills'.

AJ

REP

@Switch Blayde

Is that right?


I think the intent is clear, but it should have been stated differently.

If someone wanted to push it, it could be interpreted as Roy giving someone an unspecified amount of money and the bills were valued at $200 each. Of course that would mean the bills were counterfeit.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


Sorry, but again, you're confusing narration with dialogue.


Actually, I wasn't wrong - if you go with the full sentence and not just a part of it, you'll see we agree about 23. I didn't mention the dialogue at all.

In the narration it is an acceptable practice to use numerals for amounts over one hundred, and some say amounts over ten and some say for any money figures with the dollar sign thus ...

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


Sorry, but when I read that line, all I see is someone pissing someone off by slowly counting off two hundred single dollar bills, which nowadays, after decades of price inflation, is almost as annoying as paying the IRS in wheelbarrows of pennies!


I remember reading about a case of a guy paying a divorce settlement with several semi truck loads of pennies.

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

I remember reading about a case of a guy paying a divorce settlement with several semi truck loads of pennies.

That's preferable to cutting a house in half—you can at least purchase things with enough pennies! 'D

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

That's preferable to cutting a house in half—you can at least purchase things with enough pennies! 'D


Actually, it was a very contentious issue in the divorce. The ex-wife asked the court to order a different form of payment. IIRC the court made her take the pennies.

It's not very convenient to make large purchases with pennies. $1,000,000 in pennies weighs 275 tons. This divorce case wasn't quite that large, but it was still on the order of 30 to 50 tons of pennies.

awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

That wouldn't be acceptable in the UK. There are limits to what has to be accepted by way of coins.

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

That wouldn't be acceptable in the UK. There are limits to what has to be accepted by way of coins.

"Legal tender" means it's fully acceptable for any (except otherwise criminal) payments (i.e. you can't pay your prostitute this way, even if she gave you the clap!).

awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

The law is different in the UK. Perps have been known to try to pay fines with bags of pennies. Sometimes the court officials accept them, but other times they reject them because, over a certain quantity, they're not legally obliged to accept them.

AJ

REP
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


"Legal tender" means it's fully acceptable


I have a vague recollection that in the US pennies are accepted as legal tender for amounts up to a specific amount. Over that amount the person being paid does not have to accept the pennies as legal tender.

Replies:   REP
Switch Blayde

@JimWar

1) Two hundred one dollar bills or 2) two one hundred dollar bills.


I knew it sounded wrong, but didn't know why.
Thx.

REP

@REP

I just checked. My recollection was correct prior to the Coinage Act of 1965. That act made all coins legal tender for paying debts of any amount.

http://www.snopes.com/business/money/pennies.asp

Replies:   Dominions Son
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

or "two-hundred dollar bills".


Sorry, this doesn't work for me. First, I don't think it's a proper use of a hyphen. And if it is, how many two-hundred dollar bills is he giving him?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Dominions Son

@REP

My recollection was correct prior to the Coinage Act of 1965. That act made all coins legal tender for paying debts of any amount.


Your recollection is still correct as to a retail merchant. Merchants are not obligated to do business in US currency at all. You could set up a shop that sells goods in exchange for gold bullion or chickens, that would be perfectly legal.

So a merchant can refuse pennies or hundred dollar bills.

Payments of debts (court judgements, loans, fines) are a different matter. The actual legal statement on US currency is that it is "legal tender for the payment of all debts.

If you offer payment of a debt in pennies and it is refused, the debt can be discharged in court for failure to accept a legally offered payment.

Replies:   REP
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


"Legal tender" means it's fully acceptable for any


Many countries have laws that limit was is legal tender in the way of coins and small notes, once you reach that limit they have no obligation to accept more as payment.

The wikipedia article on Legal Tender has this to say

Before the Civil War (1861 to 1865), silver coins were legal tender only up to the sum of $5.

There is no federal law stating that a private business, a person, or an organization must accept currency or coins for payment. Private businesses are free to create their own policies on whether or not they accept cash, unless there is a specific state law which says otherwise. For example, a bus line may prohibit payment of fares in cents or dollar bills. In addition, movie theaters, convenience stores, and gas stations may refuse to accept large denomination currency as a matter of policy or safety

In the UK, you have:

Coinage Act 1971 laid down that coins denominated above 10 pence became legal tender for payment not exceeding 10 pounds, non-bronze coins denominated not more than 10 pence became legal tender for payment not exceeding 5 pounds, and bronze coins became legal tender for payment not exceeding 20 pence.

Throughout the United Kingdom, coins valued 1 pound, 2 pounds, and 5 pounds Sterling are legal tender in unlimited amounts. Twenty pence pieces and fifty pence pieces are legal tender in amounts up to 10 pounds; five pence pieces and ten pence pieces are legal tender in amounts up to 5 pounds; and pennies and two pence coins are legal tender in amounts up to 20 pence


In Australia:

Australian notes are legal tender for all amounts, as established by the Reserve Bank Act 1959.[9] Under the provisions of the Currency Act 1965 Australian coins intended for general circulation, which are now produced at the Royal Australian Mint in Canberra, are also legal tender, but only for the following amounts:

not exceeding 20¢ if 1¢ and/or 2¢ coins are offered;

not exceeding $5 if any of 5¢, 10¢, 20¢ and 50¢ coins are offered;

not exceeding 10 times the face value if the coins offered are greater than 50¢ up to and including $10;

to any value for coins of other denominations above $10.[10]

The one cent and two cent coins have been withdrawn from circulation since February 1992 but remain legal tender.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
paliden

In the United States -

http://www.moneyfactory.gov/resources/faqs.html

What is legal tender?

31 USC 5103. Legal Tender United States coins and currency (including Federal Reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal Reserve Banks and National banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues. Foreign gold or silver coins are not legal tender for debts.

However, there is no federal statute which mandates that private businesses must accept cash as a form of payment. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a state law which says otherwise.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Sorry, this doesn't work for me. First, I don't think it's a proper use of a hyphen. And if it is, how many two-hundred dollar bills is he giving him?

I didn't think it was accepted by anyone—given the lack of response—but the hyphens serve as adjectives for different nouns—thus causing confusion.

In "two hundred-dollar bills", the hyphenated 'hundred-dollar' modifies bills, while in "two-hundred dollar bills", the hyphenated word modifies 'dollar bills' (the combined phrase—instead of an extra adjective). In the one case, we're discussing 2 $100 bills, and in the second we're discussion 200 $1 bills. Nowhere in here am I discussing any amount of $200 bills.

But you're right, while the two hundred-dollars bills is clear, the two-hundred dollar bills is anything but. :(

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Many countries have laws that limit was is legal tender in the way of coins and small notes, once you reach that limit they have no obligation to accept more as payment.

I think D.S. got the difference right in this regard. The 'legal tender' has nothing whatsoever to do with payments but applies strictly to debts, thus tax bills, court decisions or bank loans all require any 'legal tender', while stores, street vendors, street musicians/poets/philosophers do not.

And no one at all enforces acceptance of the lowly bit-coin—the bastard child of currencies. :(

Replies:   maroon
maroon

@Crumbly Writer

An example of not taking cash in payment would be trying to go rent a car without a credit card. They won't take cash, unless possibly accepting a huge deposit.

Ironically, the US Gov't itself is an example of not accepting cash in payment of debt. They're passed laws requiring businesses to pay payroll taxes as bank wires/ACH, and don't accept checks. And I assume you couldn't even show up at a Federal Reserve Bank with suitcases of currency.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@maroon

And I assume you couldn't even show up at a Federal Reserve Bank with suitcases of currency.

No, but I recall the days when working with the Federal Reserve (receiving truckloads of 'dated' bills) or for the commodity exchanges (Chicago and NYC) and (the few) banks which regularly accepted gold bar deliveries for commodity fulfilments. Lots of security and not many people wondering the streets—even as everyone tried to appear nonchalant.

Strangely, never witnessed anyone trying to interfere, stage protests or grab one, although I often saw physical violence on the streets of downtown Chicago (in the Loop).

REP

@Dominions Son

Your recollection is still correct as to a retail merchant. Merchants are not obligated to do business in US currency at all. You could set up a shop that sells goods in exchange for gold bullion or chickens, that would be perfectly legal.


I agree almost everything you said, although the Snope's article also said:

However, legal tender is the default method of payment assumed in contractual agreements involving debts and payments for goods or services unless otherwise specified.


As long a the merchant specifies payment in something other than legal tender.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play
If you really want to nitpick, the question isn't actually about grammar. There's nothing grammatically wrong with 'Roy gave him two hundred dollar bills'.

It was not my mistake, if it was a mistake. I put 'grammar question' in quote marks because they were SB's words, not mine. You should direct your nitpick him, not me. :-)

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Bah! Sorry. I missed those quotes.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Bah! Sorry. I missed those quotes.

Gotcha. But you will be back in the jousting contest soon enough. :-)

Zom

@Crumbly Writer

The proper way to state that would be to include the proper punctuation, either "Two hundred-dollar bills" or "two-hundred dollar bills"

Or "Two-hundred-dollar bills"?

I agree that without the hyphenation, the phrase as it stands is just ambiguous.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Zom

I agree that without the hyphenation, the phrase as it stands is just ambiguous.

How about: "I sent him an automated payment for two hundred dollars"? 'D

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


If you really want to nitpick, the question isn't actually about grammar. There's nothing grammatically wrong with 'Roy gave him two hundred dollar bills'.


If you don't use the Oxford comma when it's needed to clarify a sentence, is it a grammar problem?

Thanks to my parents, God and Mother Theresa.

Would you call that a grammar problem? If "parents" were "my coach" it would be perfectly fine. But the way it was written misinforms the reader.

So to me, when I came across "Roy gave him two hundred dollar bills" in a story, it made me stop and analyze the sentence for what the author meant. To me that's a grammar problem.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

"Roy gave him two hundred dollar bills"


On the face of the quote, I read that as possibly being an unspecified amount paid out in notes with a value of $200 each.

And yes, Switch, it's seen as a grammar problem while some may see it as a syntax problem - but since we're not supposed to tax sin any more, you can call it that.

Replies:   Dominions Son
awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

If you don't use the Oxford comma when it's needed to clarify a sentence, is it a grammar problem?


IMO no, it's a punctuation problem. Or if you don't use the Oxford Comma, it's a style problem.

Roy gave him two hundred dollar bills


What makes that a problem is cultural knowledge. If readers knew that the US didn't have hundred dollar bills, I don't think there would be any problem.

AJ

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

IMO no, it's a punctuation problem


I always assumed punctuation was part of grammar.

awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

I always assumed punctuation was part of grammar.


That's food for thought - I always assumed it wasn't.

My dictionary is no help. It says that grammar is a language's structure (suggesting it includes punctuation), but is usually interpreted to mean syntax and morphology, which, when looked up individually, do not include punctuation!

AJ

Replies:   Switch Blayde  REP
Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

I always assumed punctuation was part of grammar.

I agree it is part of grammar.
To me, grammar definitely includes analysing a sentence to determine what part of speech a word is functioning as within the sentence.
Changing a punctuation mark can change the part of speech of a word in a sentence, so punctuation is a part of grammar - although a large enough subset that references usually treat them separately.

Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

My dictionary is no help.


I googled it and the first on the list is from Kaplan University. It says:

Punctuation is Not Grammar. . .

The terms grammar and punctuation are often used interchangeably. While we use both grammar and punctuation to clearly explicate our ideas for our readers, they are not the same.

Simplified Definitions

Punctuation marks are the symbols we use to clarify meaning, question marks, exclamation points, periods, etc.

Grammar is the structure of language. You can think of it as word order and choice. How we order our language is part of what determines meaning.


and from another site:

In American academic English, punctuation is part of mechanics, which is separate from grammar. Sometimes though grammar rules include elements of mechanics. For example: A compound sentence is defined as two independent clauses joined by a comma and a coordinating conjunction.


So I stand corrected.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

So I stand corrected.

Or, to put it into the words of the immortal Captain Kirk: "No, I ... stand ... corrected!"

The man was a mediocre actor, but he never encountered a script he couldn't horribly mangle. 'D Still, he was perfect for the vehicle, because his almost comical approach allowed the series to tackle topics no other series at the time could portray.

REP

@awnlee jawking

syntax and morphology


From Wikipedia:In linguistics, syntax is the set of rules, principles, and processes that govern the structure of sentences in a given language ...

Periods are used to break a string of words into sentences. Commas, semi-colons, and other punctuation is used in a sentence to create groups of words that are related to each other in some manner. Thus punctuation is an integral part of linguistics.

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

So I stand corrected.

I don't intend to continue debating this, but I read your quote from Kaplan University as making the point punctuation and grammar are the "same" or interchangeable. That's certainly true.
I still think if both word order and punctuation can determine meaning, then both are a part of grammar.
The quote you provided does not seem to me to rule out that interpretation.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

On the face of the quote, I read that as possibly being an unspecified amount paid out in notes with a value of $200 each.


As any American and knowing that the $100 bill is the largest in current circulation and in any case, there never was a $200 bill, the only sensible reading is that Roy handed over two $100 bills.

There is no pause to analyze it at all and there is only one possible meaning.

sejintenej

@awnlee jawking

There's nothing grammatically wrong with 'Roy gave him two hundred dollar bills'.

There is another word which means two: 'Roy gave him a couple of hundred dollar bills'.

OK it is a few letters longer, is what someone would verbalise rather than write but might not be understood in some other countries (just like benjamins, dimes etc.)

awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

So I stand corrected.


You've sown more than a few seeds of doubt in my mind. Certainly grammar and punctuation are inextricably interlinked.

I currently have a book on English Grammar from my local library. It goes into far more depth on the names of eg clauses and tenses than I'll ever need to know. It includes some chapters on punctuation but, compared to the rest, coverage is very perfunctory. Some punctuation marks appear to have no coverage.

FWIW, the Dewey Decimal System considers punctuation to be a sub-category of grammar.

I don't think there's a right answer.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

As any American and knowing that the $100 bill is the largest in current circulation and in any case, there never was a $200 bill, the only sensible reading is that Roy handed over two $100 bills.


That analysis only applies if you know the maximum note size is $100.00, which few outside the US would know, it also assumes it's clear they're talking about US currency notes. Mind you, since the US also used to have $500, $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000 bank notes issued by the US Federal Reserve, anyone knowing that wouldn't be surprised at the idea of a $200 note also being issued.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

US also used to have $500, $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000 bank notes issued by the US Federal Reserve, anyone knowing that wouldn't be surprised at the idea of a $200 note also being issued.


True, if it was explicitly raised, I doubt more than a small handful of Americans would parse the sentence under discussion that way unless the story had already introduced the idea of a $200 bill.

Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

There is no pause to analyze it at all and there is only one possible meaning.


As someone pointed out, there are two meanings. The other is
2 hundred $1 bills

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

I don't think there's a right answer.

I think you just found the right answer. :-)

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

There is no pause to analyze it at all and there is only one possible meaning.

Except, my initial response on seeing it—that of someone handing over 200 one-dollar bills—which is so ridiculous it yanks me out of the story as I try to figure out what the sentence is describing. It's not that it's wrong, only that it's subject to misunderstanding.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I think you just found the right answer. :-)

The right answer is always 39, or was that 36? ')

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde


As someone pointed out, there are two meanings. The other is
2 hundred $1 bills


1. Since they come to the same total value, it makes little to no difference.
2. $200 in $1 bills would be two bank wrapped stacks of bills and each stack would be nearly half an inch thick. I rule out that meaning for shear physical impracticality. It would require that Roy was running around with a briefcase full of $1 bills. Who wouldn't go to a bank and exchange them for larger notes?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

The right answer is always 39, or was that 36? ')


THE answer is 42.

Replies:   Zom  Switch Blayde
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

which is so ridiculous it yanks me out of the story as I try to figure out what the sentence is describing.


It's so ridiculous that I struggle to comprehend how it even occurred to you.

Replies:   madnige
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

2. $200 in $1 bills would be two bank wrapped stacks of bills and each stack would be nearly half an inch thick. I rule out that meaning for shear physical impracticality. It would require that Roy was running around with a briefcase full of $1 bills. Who wouldn't go to a bank and exchange them for larger notes?

I never claimed that it was a logical assumption, merely that it was the first thing to pop into my mind, but was enough to take me out of the scene, as I tried to wrap my mind around the concept. That reaction—for whatever reason— is the last thing you want your readers to do.

However, since I'm the only one who was tripped up by that stray thought, I'll quietly withdraw and let the rest of you fight this particular battle. (Yeah, right, as if I could ever pass off a chance to voice my opinion!)

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

The right answer is always 39, or was that 36? ')

I've only seen two plausible answers for that:
- For those who like British humour, the only answer is "forty-two" (from The Hitchhiker's Guide TTG).
- For most on SoL, it can only be sixty-nine.

Zom

@Dominions Son

THE answer is 42.

Which proves that the Universe operates on base 13.

Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

THE answer is 42.


It was today. Every baseball player on every team wore 42 on their uniform today to honor Jackie Robinson.

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

It was today. Every baseball player on every team wore 42 on their uniform today to honor Jackie Robinson.


I suppose you think that makes Jackie Robinson the answer to life the universe and everything. :)

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

It was today. Every baseball player on every team wore 42 on their uniform today to honor Jackie Robinson.


never heard of him

sejintenej

@Ernest Bywater

It was today. Every baseball player on every team wore 42 on their uniform today to honor Jackie Robinson.

never heard of him

Nor had I so I looked him up.

Black (aka coloured) he was courtmarshalled for sitting next to a white woman in a military bus. He got off and started playing American Rounders (aka baseball) being the first such coloured person. His number was the first in any sport to be retired.

This just goes to show that all localised references have to be explained because this is a multicultural forum

Replies:   awnlee jawking  REP
awnlee jawking

@sejintenej

Is he the origin of the UK (at least) expression 'before you can say Jack Robinson'?

AJ

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

Is he the origin of the UK (at least) expression 'before you can say Jack Robinson'?


I'd say that was from an older person who played Association Football in the UK. Oddly enough, he also played high level baseball in the UK.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Robinson_(footballer,_born_1870)

Replies:   awnlee jawking
REP

@sejintenej

all localised references have to be explained because this is a multicultural forum


Or you could do a search of the Internet or ask if you don't understand a reference. That is what we Yanks do if we don't understand a British or Australian reference.

awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

That prompted me to do my own search. According to Wikipedia (spit), the expression dates back at least as far as the 18th century. The etymology is uncertain but there are a handful of candidates.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Robinson_(mythical_person)

AJ

Ross at Play

@REP

@sejintenej: all localised references have to be explained because this is a multicultural forum
@REP: Or you could do a search of the Internet or ask if you don't understand a reference. That is what we Yanks do if we don't understand a British or Australian reference.

I don't even see the name Jackie Robinson as an American vs non-American reference.
I think sports fans from Britain and Australia are likely to recognise the name instantly, and understand his significance, but Americans who aren't sports fans may not recognise it.
* * *
It struck me when I first read Switch Blayde's remarks that this was one of those things the American culture sometimes does that are truly endearing. Another example is the origins of Veterans Day. :-)

Replies:   awnlee_jawking
Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

never heard of him


He was the first black player to play in Major League Baseball. There were colored leagues where the blacks played. The owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers broke the color barrier by hiring him.

If you ever get the chance, see the movie "42".

Replies:   Ava G
awnlee_jawking

@Ross at Play

I think sports fans from Britain and Australia are likely to recognise the name instantly


Isn't Jack Robinson a young Liverpool defender who has been loaned out to get some game time? I was unaware the US had a rounders player named Jackie Robinson.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee_jawking

@Ross at Play: I think sports fans from Britain and Australia are likely to recognise the name instantly
@Awnlee Jawking: Isn't Jack Robinson a young Liverpool defender who has been loaned out to get some game time? I was unaware the US had a rounders player named Jackie Robinson.

You hoist yourself on your own petard, as not being a sports fan, if you think Jackie Robinson (note - not Jack Robinson) played "rounders". He played baseball.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
madnige

@Dominions Son

It's so ridiculous that I struggle to comprehend how it even occurred to you.


I'm in agreement with CW here:

My first interpretation was two-hundred one-dollar notes

My second was it was talking about notes with a denomination of $200, and since I thought that the USA did not have such notes, a further wondering about which countries with 'dollar' as currency have a denomination $200

My third thought, not having resolved the second, was that it could be 2 * [$100]

If I were to read this in a story, it would yank me right out of immersion in the story, and it's trivially easy to resolve as Switch Blayde showed; so easy that not having stated it that way implies it should be interpreted differently, or at least that the ambiguity is important to the story; it's a bit like specifying a 450-ohm resistor - a reasonable sounding value, but not something you could buy off-the-shelf (the closest standard value is 470 ohm) - or 14.5-inch tyres.

@Dominions Son
- but, what is the question?
A bit of HHGG trivia I heard on a BBC-R4 documentary was that in the second radio series, Douglas Adams was sometimes so late in preparing the scripts that on at least one occasion he was sitting in the studio finishing writing the script of the programme that was currently being broadcast from that studio - the actors had to work directly from the raw, newly written material.

Doesn't that just take the biscuit.

Replies:   REP  Crumbly Writer
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

as not being a sports fan


Are you referring to yourself or to me? ;)

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
REP

@madnige

My third thought


Just to muddy the water even more, has anyone considered that it could have been 100 two-dollar bills.

For those of you who are not aware of it, the US two-dollar bill is still in circulation, but rarely used.

Replies:   madnige
madnige

@REP

it could have been 100 two-dollar bills.


No, although that's $200 it can't be parsed from

two hundred dollar bills

Replies:   REP
Switch Blayde

I just thought of something. I thought it should be:

"two one hundred dollar bills"

but should it actually be:

"two one-hundred dollar bills"

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


"two one-hundred dollar bills"


that clearly means qty 2 of $100 notes

or it could mean two bills (i.e. power and gas bills) with a charge of $100 each.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP

@madnige

it can't be parsed from

You are right. I overlooked that, darn it.

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Are you referring to yourself or to me? ;)

I was referring to you.
I am a sports fan. I'm not particularly interested in baseball but I knew who Jackie Robinson was.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Aussies used to be good at three sports which involved hitting a ball around - cricket, golf and tennis. Since that's no longer true, I guess they look to foreign climes to get their doses of balls being hit by blunt objects ;)

A greater percentage of Brits are interested in football than Americans are in their overblown variant of rounders. Most Americans can't name the current stars in world football, let alone past heroes. It's not surprising for non-Americans to have not heard of Jackie Robinson.

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

I just thought of something. I thought it should be:
"two one hundred dollar bills"
but should it actually be:
"two one-hundred dollar bills"

These are some examples from CMOS 7.85
* a hundred-meter race
* a 250-page book
* a fifty-year project
* a three-inch-high statuette
* a one-and-a-half-inch hem
* one and a half inches

Note from the last two examples that no hyphens are used when there is just a multi-word number (one and a half) preceding a noun (inches), but you do use hyphens when there is some number of units (one-and-a-half-inch) preceding the noun (hem).
From the first example you can see that if the amount was only $100, it would be correct to use "a hundred-dollar bill". It is then correct to "two hundred-dollar bills".

It is not necessary to add the word "one", but if you do I think you must then use "two one-hundred-dollar bills".
AJ noted there is no potential for ambiguity if you use "two hundred-dollar bills" in the written form, but there is in the spoken form.
A good reader of an audio book would resolve that with a slight pause after "two" when only 2 pieces of currency were handed over, but after "two hundred" when 200 pieces of currency were handed over.
I doubt reading software used by many who are blind (about 7% of the population) could distinguish between those two. To be certain there is no ambiguity for them and be correct in the written form you should prefer "two one-hundred-dollar bills". I would not bother with that on the grounds I think almost all of those using reading software will guess what was meant correctly.

Crumbly Writer

@REP

Or you could do a search of the Internet or ask if you don't understand a reference. That is what we Yanks do if we don't understand a British or Australian reference.

I agree with others that it's important (essential?) to provide context when referencing someone, but there's also an assumption when reading a localized story. If a story is set in Australia, I don't expect the dialogue to be the same as it is in America. If it's set in England, I understand I have to refresh my memory on what grades England's "colleges" cover. Thus, if you encounter a reference you're not familiar with, you either blunder through (accepting that it's your fault if the reference doesn't make sense) or you take a few seconds to research who the reference is to understand why it's inclusion is essential to understanding the story.

There's a certain lever of 'reader responsibility' here, just as there's a certain level of 'trust in the author' to explain things properly. Trust is a two-way street, even in reading.

Replies:   REP
Crumbly Writer

@madnige

I'm in agreement with CW here:

My first interpretation was two-hundred one-dollar notes

Thanks for that, Madnige, I felt like I was arguing with myself here.

The point is, it's not enough for authors to simply assume that everyone "understands what you mean", you need to insure there's no inadvertent confusion where someone assumes something different. That applies to people who think differently in your own culture as it does to people who don't catch cultural references in another culture.

As the old saying goes: when you assume, you make an ass out of "u" and "me"! Readers don't appreciate that! :(

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

I just thought of something. I thought it should be:

"two one hundred dollar bills"

but should it actually be:

"two one-hundred dollar bills"

That was my original point, way back at the start of this thread, that including the proper punctuation helps to clarify the meaning, but my suggestion seems to have sailed over everyone's head—so I gave the suggestion up for the ghost, letting you fight amongst yourselves over which approach you each prefer, rather than one which clarifies the point (although, Switch, your solution works just as well, if not better than relying on punctuation alone, as the might be two different assumptions with the punctuation).

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


or it could mean two bills (i.e. power and gas bills) with a charge of $100 each.


I always pay for my cocaine snorts with my Cable bills!

Strangely, I don't get much in exchange. :(

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

Most Americans can't name the current stars in world football, let alone past heroes. It's not surprising for non-Americans to have not heard of Jackie Robinson.

Except, Jackie Robinson isn't remembered as a champion (American) football player, but as someone who helped change the (American) system of racial segregation in a way that reached more common-day people than all the protest marches could.

If you don't understand that, then you've completely missed the reference in the story entirely! Again, if reading a story set in America, why would you assume they're referencing an English rounders player? That just makes no sense at all! How many Americans even understand what "rounders" is?

Cultural insensitivity cuts in both directions.

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

although, Switch, your solution works just as well, if not better than relying on punctuation alone, as the might be two different assumptions with the punctuation

I'm prepared to concede that careful writers should not "rely on punctuation alone". The inclusion of an extra word ("one") to ensure there is no possibility of misinterpretation seems justified on those grounds.

Regarding what is the correct punctuation, CMOS clearly indicates that a hyphen is needed for "hundred-dollars", whatever you choose to do.
I recommend "two one-hundred-dollar bills".
If you were prepared to rely on punctuation alone (which reading software does not convey adequately to blind listeners) the correct punctuation would be "two hundred-dollar bills".

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Ross at Play


Regarding what is the correct punctuation, CMOS clearly indicates that a hyphen is needed for "hundred-dollars", whatever you choose to do.


Not exactly. You only include hyphens in multi-word adjectives describing a specific object. Thus you would say "she was twelve years old", but also say "she was a twelve-year-old girl". They're two distinct grammatical constructions, and the 'rules' for how they're punctuated are very different.

In my earlier example, Switch was correct to call me on the punctuation, because you can't hyphenate an adjective for a two-word noun (notice how I hyphenated that?). Thus "two-hundred dollar bills" would be an invalid use of the punctuation, whereas "two-hundred-dollar bills" would be correct.

Capiche?

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Jackie Robinson isn't remembered as a champion [baseball] player, but as someone who helped change the (American) system of racial segregation in a way that reached more common-day people than all the protest marches could.

There was a joke earlier on about whether 42 made Jackie Robinson the "answer to life, the universe, and everything".
Know his cultural significance I pondered on whether there was any better answer. The only name I could think of was Martin Luther King Jr.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

Know his cultural significance I pondered on whether there was any better answer. The only name I could think of was Martin Luther King Jr.

You're on the right track now, but Jackie Robinson made a distinct impression of the types of blue-collar people that the intellectuals couldn't convince that segregation was wrong. What's more, Robinson helped pave the way for Martin Luther King Jr. to succeed. Without his partially fracturing segregation (by convincing Americans that blacks could play on an integrated league without the country falling apart), MLK Jr. likely wouldn't have been as successful as he was.

THAT's why Jackie Robinson is remembered, not because he once played baseball back in the 40s (am I even close to the correct decade?).

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play: Regarding what is the correct punctuation, CMOS clearly indicates that a hyphen is needed for "hundred-dollars", whatever you choose to do.
@Crumbly Writer: Not exactly. You only include hyphens in multi-word adjectives describing a specific object. Thus you would say "she was twelve years old", but also say "she was a twelve-year-old girl". They're two distinct grammatical constructions, and the 'rules' for how they're punctuated are very different.

You are correct that there are two different constructions, but I identified that difference myself in my previous post. It began with:

These are some examples from CMOS 7.85
* a hundred-meter race
* a 250-page book
* a fifty-year project
* a three-inch-high statuette
* a one-and-a-half-inch hem
* one and a half inches

Note from the last two examples that no hyphens are used when there is just a multi-word number (one and a half) preceding a noun (inches), but you do use hyphens when there is some number of units (one-and-a-half-inch) preceding the noun (hem).

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

You are correct that there are two different constructions, but I identified that difference myself in my previous post.

Yes, but you never specified the difference, only listing examples and assuming everyone would infer the rules from that. I thought it was worth specifying the difference, so everyone here would know when to apply the rule and when not to.

I didn't mean to slight you, only to specify that there's a more precise definition than "a noun being present".

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

You're on the right track now

You misinterpreted what I wrote. I was always on the right track.
I always recognised the significance of his name was not that he played baseball, but the "cultural significance" because of his role in breaking down segregation in America.

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

I thought it was worth specifying the difference, so everyone here would know when to apply the rule and when not to.

I agree it's worth specifying, but I've grown weary of attempting to give lessons here on grammar and punctuation.
When I have tried in the past I just become a punching bag. I used to try to provide detailed descriptions on interesting point about those "rules", but then arseholes would jump up to "helpfully" point my descriptions were incomplete, as if complete descriptions are even possible for many such points. Meanwhile, other arseholes would be jumping up to "helpfully" point there are "always exceptions" to rules when writing fiction.
I've given up trying to be helpful - that was a no-win situation and was just wasting too much of my time.
Nowadays I usually only provide specific answers to specific questions when I know them.

I do recognise on this occasion you were trying to be helpful, not "helpful". :-)

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

Thus you would say "she was twelve years old", but also say "she was a twelve-year-old girl".

You're right. That's exactly what I DO.

FYI, there's an excellent, soon-to-be-published story which contains that very same mistake in chapter 1.
Just last night, I wrote something to the author suggesting a change from "Phil was 48-years-old with ..." to "Phil was forty-eight years old with ..." :-)

I'm not sure whether the author usually follows the suggestion by CMOS that numbers less than one hundred should be spelled out. I included a suggestion they change '48' to 'forty-eight' - just to be on the safe side.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I'm not sure whether the author usually follows the suggestion by CMOS that numbers less than one hundred should be spelled out. I included a suggestion they change '48' to 'forty-eight' - just to be on the safe side.

Okay, point made. I'll shut up, as you rightly decided to do earlier. My bad! :( By the way, check the dates on your files before editing, that way you don't duplicate work already done. 'D

Replies:   Ross at Play
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


you've completely missed the reference in the story entirely!


Jackie Robinson wasn't mentioned in a story. I never understood why, but people started throwing numbers around. When someone said 42 was the magically number I said it was that day because it was the day MLB honored Jackie Robinson by everyone wearing the number 42.

He did play football in college (USC I think), but he broke the color barrier in major league baseball.

And I have no idea what rounders is.

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

When someone said 42 was the magically number


42 is given as the answer to "Life, the universe, and everything" in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. Which is why I mentioned it as THE answer.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

And I have no idea what rounders is.

A British form of baseball, mainly played in school without the massive funding found in most American games. More simple pastime than potential career path.

@D.S.

42 is given as the answer to "Life, the universe, and everything" in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. Which is why I mentioned it as THE answer.

Actually, I mistakenly mentioned "42" because I couldn't remember the actual answer to the universe, everyone else merely piled on recognizing my slip-up.

There was really no excuse for lecturing those who didn't recognize the reference, since the quote had no 'American' context, and the explanation didn't specify which Jackie Robinson, and there was no story being referenced.

I need my sleep. I'm heading for bed (finally!)

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Okay, point made.

Forgive and forget.
For future reference, I do know this stuff, or at least know what I need I look up. I don't make statements here about grammar and punctuation unless I'm pretty certain I know what is correct.
May I suggest you apply a 'presumption of knowledge' when directing comments at me on those subjects.
Your only "mistake", was to word your post as if I might not already know. I would not have reacted if you'd introduced the extra point you thought would be helpful with something like, 'BTW, there are other considerations authors should be aware of."
* * *
I started by making one point about using hyphens for multi-word adjectives preceding nouns. You noted a different situation when that general rule does not apply - but the 'lesson' is still incomplete.
I will now provide others here with a pretty much complete lesson on the use of hyphens for multi-word adjectives. It is based on recommendations in CMOS. Most here loathe CMOS - intensely - but many are resigned to accepting it's the best guide to follow for some things.

* * *
The general rule is that multi-word adjectives should be hyphenated when preceding a noun, but not elsewhere. I will use the expression "multi-word adjective" in this post, although that is not the correct terminology. I think the correct term is "compound adjective".
This rule is necessary to eliminate ambiguities in many situations. An oft-cited example is "purple people eater". When written like that, the noun (actually a noun phrase here) is "people eater", and the eater of people of any colour, while it is coloured purple.
That changes when you write "purple-people eater". Now the eater may have any colour, but only eats people who people who are coloured purple. Note that you would not use a hyphen when the multi-word adjective is not before the noun. Thus, you would use "It is an eater of purple people."
There is a simple test for whether something is multi-word adjective that does need to be hyphenated when it precedes a noun. It is one, and may then need to be hyphenated, if reversing the order of words no longer makes sense (or radically alters meaning). For the eater of people who are colored purple, changing the order to "people purple eater" does not make sense, so it is what I'm calling here a 'multi-word adjective'.

* * *
There are two exceptions when hyphens are not used with multi-word adjectives, even when they precede nouns:
(a) Do not use hyphens to join any adverb ending in -ly to form a multi-word adjective. Thus, you would use "the busily munching people eater".
(b) Do not use hyphens to join a small number of common adverbs not ending in -ly to form a multi-word adjective. These exceptions are all quantifiers. I clearly recall CMOS "allows" this for only five adverbs. I tried to look them up but could not find it. I'm reasonably confident, but not sure, their list was limited to: very, more, less, most, least.
Personally, I'm not rigorous about "enforcing" their list when I edit. I'm inclined to allow through any of the most common quantifiers without suggesting a hyphen is needed.

* * *
A quite different situation is words that are used as prefixes and suffixes. There are some words that are hyphenated in all positions.
This is an incomplete list of the most common words that fall into this category:
'great-' for family relationship terms
'ex-'
'-in-law'
'self-'
'-year-old' and '-year-olds'
'-odd'
'-free'

* * *
There are other special situations when hyphens are always used, but I will not attempt to list them here. The principles I have listed above are enough to get hyphenation right for the vast majority of situations authors of fiction will need to use.

* * *
Finally, I'll add a couple of comments about writing to ensure your meaning is not ambiguous.
There is another set of "rules" about when multiple adjectives (whether they are single words of multi-word adjectives) should be separated by commas. It is very common that commas are not needed, and those rules are based on what is sometimes called the 'royal order' of adjectives. A good place to start if you want to learn about that is http://theeditorsblog.net/2014/04/08/keeping-adjectives-in-line/

My point here is that it is never wrong to add hyphens and/or commas to ensure your meaning is unambiguous. If I had several adjectives preceding a noun, especially if they include both singe- and multi-word adjectives, my inclination is to add commas and/or hyphens to provide extra visual cues and ensure readers will interpret the intended meaning easily and correctly.

* * *
DISCLAIMER. I've done my best to provide information here that I'm (almost) certain is correct. Use it or not as you wish. I don't care, but please do not attempt to drag me into discussions about whether totally accurate, and it most certainly not complete.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
sejintenej

@REP

Or you could do a search of the Internet or ask if you don't understand a reference. That is what we Yanks do if we don't understand a British or Australian reference.

Sure, but don't go to Google.

I just searched for my granddaughter. The search shows many YouTube videos of her dancing (the Americans call it a waltz), that she was born in 1795 and is buried at Bow Bow (Bo-Bo) Creek Cemetery, Burrell Creek New South Wales (with a photo of her grave marker. I never even heard of her death (but saw her "ghost" on stage two weeks ago).
I gave up the search there!

In fact she works for a respectable US company but we are absolutely prohibited from naming it!!!

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ava G

@Switch Blayde

He was the first black player to play in Major League Baseball. There were colored leagues where the blacks played. The owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers broke the color barrier by hiring him.


Technically, the first African-American since MLB started segregation in the 1880s -- Moses and Weldy Walker both played for Toledo in 1884.

As far as we know, William Edward White, who played one game for Providence in 1879, was the first African-American in MLB. This realization had been delayed simply because the Providence newspapers of the day didn't mention his race.

They had been long forgotten by 1947, when Robinson made his major league debut.

[There's also Roberto Estalella, an Afro-Cuban who played in the major leagues during the 1930s and 1940s by passing as white. This makes Robinson the first openly Black person to play major league baseball in the 1900s.]

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

I've heard of Martin Luther King. I've also heard of Rosa Parks, but that may be due to the various political correctness lobby groups tending to push token candidates to achieve quotas.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

I've heard of Martin Luther King. I've also heard of Rosa Parks, but that may be due to the various political correctness lobby groups tending to push token candidates to achieve quotas.

I'm not biting, but I am looking forward to watching what happens when those with fangs start coming after you.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

Except, Jackie Robinson isn't remembered as a champion (American) football player, but as someone who helped change the (American) system of racial segregation in a way that reached more common-day people than all the protest marches could


I think the key word is 'American'. That's not a compelling reason for non-Americans to be aware of him.

Baseball was based on rounders. According to SOL stories I've read, rounders is occasionally played in America, along with other variants such as softball.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
awnlee jawking
Updated:

@Ross at Play

I agree it's worth specifying, but I've grown weary of attempting to give lessons here on grammar and punctuation.


Are you suggesting punctuation is not part of grammar? ;)

As far as I can see, you are quoting from a style guide. Those are only 'rules' if you are obliged to follow that style guide.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
awnlee jawking

@sejintenej

I hate to think what Wikipedia (spit) says about her ;)

AJ

Replies:   sejintenej
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

I'm not stirring - it's just fact. Society was a lot more racist and misogynist than it is now (certain mediaeval cultures excluded). There was a recent promotion of the contributions of black women to science and I have to admit I didn't recognise any of the 'famous' names.

AJ

Replies:   sejintenej
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

That's not a compelling reason for non-Americans to be aware of him.

I think of one reason that seems compelling enough to me.
There are certainly many non-Americans who can name two African Americans who played pivotal roles in the breakdown of racial segregation in America.
My guess is most non-Americans who are capable of naming more than two would know who Jackie Robinson was, and his significance in the history of the country.

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

As far as I can see, you are quoting from a style guide. Those are only 'rules' if you are obliged to follow that style guide.

OKAY, SMARTYPANTS ... WHAT ALTERNATIVE DO YOU SUGGEST?

Did you read the rest of my post? Did you see this?

Meanwhile, other arseholes would be jumping up to "helpfully" point there are "always exceptions" to rules when writing fiction.
I've given up trying to be helpful - that was a no-win situation and was just wasting too much of my time.

Those "arseholes" I mentioned, that's you, when you constantly come out with shit like this.
It's only a style guide; there are no rules; there are always exceptions - so fucking what???
Do you think everyone here does not already know that???
There are those here who are interested in achieving consistency.
How is that possible without accepting something - however awful it may be?
What does that leave? ... Discussing our preferences when there are no right answers.
All you achieve with constant nagging like this is to drive away those wanting to discuss what they consider best.
Stupid comments like "obliged to follow" show you to be a Non-Grammar-Nazi far worse than those at the other end.
Please. Just piss off with this kind of shit. You're just wasting time, and you damn well know it.

WHAT ALTERNATIVE DO YOU SUGGEST?

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

WHAT ALTERNATIVE DO YOU SUGGEST?


Don't call them rules. Suggestions, perhaps? If they're good, writers will adopt them because of that, not because a style guide has imposed them on its adherents.

AJ

AJ

REP

@Crumbly Writer

it's important (essential?) to provide context

You are correct. Although when an Author writes a story they are usually telling a tale in a setting that they are familiar with. Most of the terms used are common knowledge for the Author, local area, and general region in which a story is set. Providing context for or interrupting the story to constantly explain all of the terms and situations that someone from another country might not be familiar with would be very disrupting.

Print out a portion of one of your completed stories and then highlight all of the terms and situations mentioned in the story. Then look to see what percentage of those terms and situations you explained to your readers. I suspect you believed many of those items were self explanatory and didn't need explanation, but a foreign reader might disagree.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP

@Crumbly Writer

Jackie Robinson isn't remembered as a champion (American) football player

What you said about Jackie Robinson is remember for is true. There is a second reason for why he isn't remembered as a champion football player - he played baseball, not football.

sejintenej

@awnlee jawking

I hate to think what Wikipedia (spit) says about her ;)

What do you expect? Nothing.
She is involved in live illusion principally for kids so she cannot say anything to break the illusion.

You know and I know that Wiki***** says whatever someone amongst the great unwashed chooses to write.

sejintenej
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


I'm not stirring - it's just fact. Society was a lot more racist and misogynist than it is now (certain mediaeval cultures excluded). There was a recent promotion of the contributions of black women to science and I have to admit I didn't recognise any of the 'famous' names.


There were free (as opposed to slave) black people in the UK in the 1700's. Think of Ira Aldridge, actor, in the 1800's

I'm trying to remember the name of the famous Native American girl who was also brought to England but unfortunately died of disease - at least a family descendent is on YouTube as a musician

I suspect that the problem was fear of the unknown. For a time I worked in London with a Jamaican (very pleasant man but..) who couldn't speak at less that 130 decibels and his accent/use of English was not understandable. Not his fault nor deliberate - just the society he came from.

Capt. Zapp

@sejintenej

I'm trying to remember the name of the famous Native American girl who was also brought to England but unfortunately died of disease


Perhaps you are referring to Pocahontas?

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Ross at Play


Your only "mistake", was to word your post as if I might not already know. I would not have reacted if you'd introduced the extra point you thought would be helpful with something like, 'BTW, there are other considerations authors should be aware of."


I'd thought my "Not quite" qualifier meant that I was adding additional information (i.e. more detail), not that I was correcting you.

The general rule is that multi-word adjectives should be hyphenated when preceding a noun, but not elsewhere.


Again, the position of the noun has nothing to do with it. The controlling aspect is the use of the phrase as an adjective which modifies the noun. CMOS may not state it that way, but most other sources make it clear—apparently CMOS doesn't think reporters are intelligent to know what an adjective is. 'D

This is an incomplete list of the most common words that fall into this category:

'-year-old' and '-year-olds'


No, "She was three years old" or "she was a three year old" does not get hyphenated because "Old" in not a noun being modified, or even a noun at all.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

It's only a style guide; there are no rules; there are always exceptions - so fucking what???
Do you think everyone here does not already know that???

At the risk of urging caution after the fact, can we ALL stop commenting on "Rules". I trust that everyone here realizes that fiction writers routines break style restrictions all the time—the key is, they seek to understand the guidelines before they do, and if they fall flat on their faces as a result, then the fault is all on them.

If we can all agree on that, and not state it any time someone offers something, I think we'd all be in better shape. However, two wrong don't make a right, and adding insult onto injury doesn't mend fences. Hopefully we can move beyond this now, but let's try to keep conversations civil in the future—even when you vehemently disagree with people.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

the key is, they seek to understand the guidelines before they do


Which guidelines? There are dozens of style guides, on no topic will all of them agree, and none have been written with fiction in mind.

Crumbly Writer

@REP

Print out a portion of one of your completed stories and then highlight all of the terms and situations mentioned in the story. Then look to see what percentage of those terms and situations you explained to your readers. I suspect you believed many of those items were self explanatory and didn't need explanation, but a foreign reader might disagree.

I've got better at it over the years, and now I'm aware enough to consider it while writing, rather than looking for problems after the fact.

Replies:   REP
Crumbly Writer

@sejintenej

I'm trying to remember the name of the famous Native American girl who was also brought to England but unfortunately died of disease - at least a family descendant is on YouTube as a musician

Pocahontas? Though I believe she was known by a different name in England at the time (that's her 'American' (i.e. non-native) name.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

Which guidelines? There are dozens of style guides, on no topic will all of them agree, and none have been written with fiction in mind.

Most of the published authors on the site (and those who most often comment on Styles) use a 'commonly accepted' definition, rather than basing anything on a single style guide. Thus if only one Style Guide insists on it, we'll overlook it (for the most part). On the other hand, if the majority of Style Guilds agree—even if a few central ones disagree—we once again go with the most common use. That is, when we don't rely on Grammar Girl instead.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Pocahontas? Though I believe she was known by a different name in England at the time (that's her 'American' (i.e. non-native) name.


Yes, when she converted to Christianity, she chose the Christian name Rebecca. That was a few years before she and her husband traveled to England.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocahontas

Capt. Zapp
Updated:

@Dominions Son


Which guidelines? There are dozens of style guides, on no topic will all of them agree, and none have been written with fiction in mind.


When I first saw CMOS mentioned, I wondered what a computer component had to do with writing.

I have never looked at any 'style guides' to tell me how I should write. From the discussions I've read, the 'style guides' everyone keeps referring to were implemented for journalism, not fiction. To me that is like trying to use the standards for Haiku to tell you how to write a limerick. It just doesn't work.

I try to write using plain American English and make it easy for my readers to understand. I haven't received a single comment or feedback complaining about my writing 'style'. I would venture to say that 90+% of the readers don't even worry about it as long as it flows within the formulas learned in elementary through high school.

Dominions Son

@Capt. Zapp

I have never looked at any 'style guides' to tell me how I should write. From the discussions I've read, the 'style guides' everyone keeps referring to were implemented for journalism,


No, they are split between journalism and academic writing (as in essays, term papers and journal articles.)

The most commonly quoted style guide here is CMOS (Chicago Manual of Style) which is academic in origin. The publisher is the University of Chicago Press.

REP
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


I've got better at it over the years


That comes with experience, which most amateur writers like me do not have. My point was that in many instances Authors do not realize when something needs to be explained. It takes an exercise like what I suggested to drive that point into most people.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

No, they are split between journalism and academic writing (as in essays, term papers and journal articles.)

With allowances for fiction, but fiction—which are the big money makers for the traditional publishing houses—are only a side-though, for the most part. That said, the standard guidelines are fairly well understood. Those for grammar and punctuation are even more clear cut, as that's the realm of English, rather than merely the particular styles used by each publisher.

There's nothing that requires you follow any particular style guide, but not let's abandoned hundreds of years of established practices just because you don't want to be bothered. If you're interested in using the tools, they're available, but don't belittle or insult those of us interested in improving our writing. Such reflects the general incivility common here.

If you're not interested in what the style guides say, then we won't insist you use them, but stop hijacking our conversations on the topic and insisting that they mean nothing at all. That's the height of incivility!

As it is, almost all of us take a smorgasbord approach, picking and choosing which styles guidelines we think make the most sense, so it's hardly like we consider them to be iron-clad rules written in stone. Instead, they're just common-sense ways of expressing ideas so they're more easily understood and appreciated.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@REP

That comes with experience, which most amateur writers like me do not have. My point was that in many instances Authors do not realize when something needs to be explained. It takes an exercise like what I suggest to drive that point into most people.

Again, the conversations about style guidelines aren't dictations from on high. Instead, they're there for any of us to examine when the need arise, to give each of us room to ask for advice. Belittling their value insults those of us who care about our work.

The proper punctuation won't make an unsuccessful story any more popular, but they're how most authors resolve potential conflicts.

Replies:   REP
StarFleetCarl

Just to get this back on the original topic ...

I just read today, "Phil extracted two hundred dollar bills from his wallet..."

According to everything I've seen here, this is a complete and egregious violation of everything known to humanity. Except that I completely understood the context, and didn't have any problem with it. This is casual writing, and easily understood. I wasn't concerned or confused that the character pulled out 200 $1 bills. Due to the context, I simply assumed he pulled out 2 $100 bills.

World didn't end, no so long and thanks for all the fish. I just continued reading a story by one of the best writers on this site - who I seriously wonder if he wrote that just to poke fun at people in this forum taking themselves too seriously. (There's no problem trying to hone your craft. There's a serious problem when it devolves into arguments.)

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


Those for grammar and punctuation are even more clear cut, as that's the realm of English, rather than merely the particular styles used by each publisher.


And for grammar and punctuation, you would be better served using text books as references rather than style guides.

but not let's abandoned hundreds of years of established practices just because you don't want to be bothered.


It's not that I don't want to be bothered per say.

I am not willing to take your (or anyone else's) word as to what constitutes "hundreds of years of established practices. Nor am I willing to take a style guide's word for that (unless you can find one that is hundreds of years old).

Also, if there is more than one way something can be done that are all grammatically correct, I am not going to take anyone's word about which is better unless they can talk intelligently about why it's better. "Authority X says so" or "X does it that way" is not talking about why intelligently.

I have mostly been trying to stay out of those discussions lately (thought I have been reading them) because no one has demonstrated any willingness or ability to address why.

And, I'm not trying to belittle anyone with that, that's just what I need in order to learn / remember something.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP

@Crumbly Writer

Crossed topics. It is confusing to participate in two or more conversations at the same time.

I wasn't talking about rules. The subject was initiated by sejintenej ‎4‎/‎16‎/‎2017‎ ‎5‎:‎39‎:‎12‎ post in which he said:

This just goes to show that all localised references have to be explained because this is a multicultural forum

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Capt. Zapp


I have never looked at any 'style guides' to tell me how I should write. From the discussions I've read, the 'style guides' everyone keeps referring to were implemented for journalism, not fiction. To me that is like trying to use the standards for Haiku to tell you how to write a limerick. It just doesn't work.


I can relate this confusion factor very well. By the time I started writing fiction stories for entertainment only I'd been exposed to about a dozen different style guides. Every one of those guides were specifically designed for an exact purpose, and none of those purposes were for fiction writing. They covered things from academic subjects like: assignments, IT manuals, school text books, military standard operating procedures, hardware and software instruction manuals, newspaper articles, ministerial briefs, ministerial reports, parliamentary reports, audit reports, general financial reports, accident reports, incident reports, arrest reports, court summaries, and letter home. Many of the style guides had some things that were the same as in many others, but no two were exactly alike and there was very little you couldn't find that wasn't different in another guide, somewhere.

Over the years I got fed up with all the arguments along the lines of this is what xxxx style guide says with each proponent presenting their preferred style guide as the engraved in stone guide from some literary deity. In the end I wrote my own style guide for writing fiction as an aid to encourage some recommended uniformity in fiction writing. Nothing in it is engraved in stone, and a lot of it aligns with most of the other major use style guides, but there are some differences which are intended to make writing fiction easier for the author and the reader.

However, two things I can tell you about the guide I wrote:

1. It is no more a definitive authority on writing fiction in English than any other style guide, and

2. It is no less a definitive authority on writing fiction in English than any other style guide.

Edit to add: One of the reasons I wrote the style guide was to try and help new fiction authors thread a clean path through the minefield of conflicting advice out there that's focused on formal English presentation for academic, business, or media works.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Capt. Zapp


the 'style guides' everyone keeps referring to were implemented for journalism, not fiction


Not true. Most companies (if not all but the very small ones) have style guides. Something as basic as how to format a memo (or email today). How annual reports are written. The AP Style guide is for journalists, but companies like the NY Times have their own version of it. It just so happens publishers decided to follow the CMoS. Maybe some have their own version of it, like the NYT has with the AP Style guide.

A style guide is simply to keep everything produced consistent. How can anyone argue with that?

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

And, I'm not trying to belittle anyone with that, that's just what I need in order to learn / remember something.

Like Switch, those of us who launch these discussions are trying to determine the proper way of phrasing something. Since few of us are obligated to a specific publisher, we're not tied to a specific style guide, so we go for the consensus view, although, you're correct, every organization has their own idea of how to do things.

There are reason why each favors a different approach, but by avoiding the special cases, like newspapers trying to save switching letter blocks, you get a good view over which approach works best.

A perfect example of this are em-dashes and ellipses. Since they're used differently in fiction, most style guides don't fit fiction well, since those uses were developed relatively recently (i.e. not "hundreds of years ago").

So we (the SOL authors worried about this) picked the few instances dedicated to fiction, and figured out how you handle them properly.

Again, there's no rule you even need to use them, but if you choose to, it's best knowing you can figure out which Style works best (out of the many available).

The differences don't exist because there's no agreement. Instead, they exist because there are many special instances depending on source. They key is filtering out those which don't apply to you and ignoring the rest. After all, we don't care how Newspapers save page space.

Crumbly Writer

@REP

I wasn't talking about rules. The subject was initiated by sejintenej ‎4‎/‎16‎/‎2017‎ ‎5‎:‎39‎:‎12‎ post in which he said:

This just goes to show that all localised references have to be explained because this is a multicultural forum

Blame the ever-present thread drift, since this one thread has covered several topics. However, the subject of "We don't need no damn rules here!" came up when we started discussing adding dashes for multi-word adjectives which modify nouns, and someone asked "Why bother?"

Replies:   REP
awnlee jawking
Updated:

@Dominions Son

The most commonly quoted style guide here is CMOS (Chicago Manual of Style) which is academic in origin. The publisher is the University of Chicago Press.


That's because the majority of authors here are American. Other countries no doubt have their own national favourites.

Since SOL does not mandate CMOS, authors are free to write English however they feel is right, and as long as that English is clear and unambiguous, readers should have no problems with it. An editor who changes eg 'a twenty five year old single malt Scotch whisky' by inserting hyphens is IMO a poor editor, unless the author has implicitly (by using hyphens throughout the rest of the story) or explicitly (by mandating a style guide) requested it.

AJ

Capt. Zapp

@Switch Blayde

A style guide is simply to keep everything produced consistent. How can anyone argue with that?


If the various style guides were consistent with each other, there wouldn't be the arguments that pop up every time they are mentioned.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Capt. Zapp


If the various style guides were consistent with each other, there wouldn't be the arguments that pop up every time they are mentioned.


Sorry, the styles guides are very consistent in that they only advocate specific guidelines for very specific circumstances. If you publish with them, you will do so in a consistent manner. Since those rules only apply to those circumstances, they don't apply to anyone else.

Style guides are nothing else but an attempt to promote consistency in communications for those involved with the same organization.

The problem here, with us, is that since we're not members of any of those organizations, when we look for consistent rules to follow, we're each left up to our own to devise our own style guides. Again, most of us do this by examining how others approach the issue, and taking the bits and pieces used most often which apply directly to what we're doing, abandoning all those which have no bearing on our writing.

That's not inconsistency! That's a reasoned and rational approach. If you'd rather spout off about the unfairness of others trying to improve their work, then please, ignore our ramblings. But don't turn around and ask how to handle a situation where your meaning isn't clear, or your message in inadvertently muddled. If you're uninterested in improving your writing, then stop crapping on the rest of us! NO ONE IS ASKING YOU DO FOLLOW ANY SPECIFIC STYLE GUIDE, we're only discussing which guidelines apply the most to our unique situation. If you're uninterested, then just do whatever you feel like, since you're going to do that regardless of what we say anyway!

Really, I'm not sure how many times I can say the exact same thing in a way that won't piss you off each and every time. Either let us discuss our issues in peace, or listen to us when we explain what's involved!

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Capt. Zapp


If the various style guides were consistent with each other, there wouldn't be the arguments that pop up every time they are mentioned.


They can't be the same. Each user of a style guide has their own needs.

CMOS says - xx . . . xx

AP says - xx...xx

CMOS says - twenty-year-old

AP says - 20-year-old

Why are they different? Because the AP Style guide is used by journalists and newspaper space is expensive so they want to use as little of it as possible. Notice the AP examples above are shorter than the CMOS ones.

So why doesn't CMOS do it the same way as AP? Their goals are different. That doesn't make one right and the other wrong. It simply means when you decide to follow a style guide, you should follow it throughout your writing for consistency.

Why do I follow CMOS? Because that's the one traditional publishers decided to use. And that means readers of traditionally published fiction are accustomed to those conventions. And if I ever submit a manuscript to a publisher or literary agent, they would think I know what I'm doing.

awnlee_jawking

@Capt. Zapp

If the various style guides were consistent with each other, there wouldn't be the arguments that pop up every time they are mentioned.


Who mentioned the Oxford Comma? ;)

AJ

Replies:   REP
REP

@Crumbly Writer

Blame the ever-present thread drift,


I know. Considering the mood in several of the threads, there is a tendency for opinions to bleed over.

My personal opinion is that a Grammar Rule was made for a purpose. Thus, Grammar Rules are a good thing as long as they are applied to a passages that conform to the reasons the rules were created. When the passage is different than the one the Grammar Rules were created to control, the rules provide good guidance. For fiction, the authors must feel in the dark to find rules what work for them. Thus we each end up with a Fiction Writing Rule Book that we can apply to our writing.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP

@Capt. Zapp

If the various style guides were consistent with each other


Observation:
If they were consistent with each other there would be no need for multiple style guides. Then we would be disputing whether a given rule was appropriate for Fiction. :)

REP
Updated:

@awnlee_jawking


Who mentioned the Oxford Comma


Since no one will speak up for the poor Oxford Comma, I will. He is happy with where we place him and just wants to be left out of the discussion. :)

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@REP


My personal opinion is that a Grammar Rule was made for a purpose. Thus, Grammar Rules are a good thing as long as they are applied to a passages that conform to the reasons the rules were created. When the passage is different than the one the Grammar Rules were created to control, the rules provide good guidance. For fiction, the authors must feel in the dark to find rules what work for them. Thus we each end up with a Fiction Writing Rule Book that we can apply to our writing.


I agree. As you well know, several of us have considered putting together our own SOL basic "Fiction Writer's Style Guide", which we may still need to visit, but given the general anger over the online suggestions suggest it won't be well-received by many authors.

Ernest's free book is a decent attempt at one, but I—feel it's too brief an overview—not detailing any of the reasons why certain styles are used and others aren't, or which styles might fit individual authors/instances so authors can better evaluate which to use.

As far as thread drift, the problem is discussing this seems to engender such anger from certain parties, that isolated discussions attract people who attempt to shut the entire discussion down, which bleeds over to the other discussions.

I've been a part of that, as I often raise the issues in unrelated discussions because I think it's important to be aware of the concerns, even if the authors decide not to act on it. When the same people respond with "WHY THE FUCK SHOULD WE?" I get defensive, trying to explain, once again, why consistency is beneficial. However, it's largely a pointless argument, because the people most upset are not listening to our attempts to clarify our concerns. They're merely interested in shutting down the entire conversations. :( I need to learn to not interject my concerns in conversations where people aren't concerned with the same things.

Crumbly Writer

@REP

Since no one will speak up for the poor Oxford Comma, I will. He is happy with where we place him and just wants to be left out of the discussion. :)

Even the other commas want nothing to do with the poor Oxford comma, just because of where he went to school!

Replies:   REP
REP

@Crumbly Writer

where he went to school

Do you mean Oxford or England?

Political necessities are sometime unavoidable. But, I lose a bit of respect for any country that hosts a visit from our current President. Especially when he makes it known that he expects to be driven around in their Golden Carriage.

From what we have been told, if you believe what we hear, it seems he is fixated on gold. First a Golden Shower, and now a Golden Carriage.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

It simply means when you decide to follow a style guide, you should follow it throughout your writing for consistency.
Why do I follow CMOS? Because that's the one traditional publishers decided to use. And that means readers of traditionally published fiction are accustomed to those conventions.

BRAVO!
A simple statement of this is what I choose to do, and this is why.

awnlee jawking

@REP

But, I lose a bit of respect for any country that hosts a visit from our current President. Especially when he makes it known that he expects to be driven around in their Golden Carriage.


I understand that's protocol for a state visit. Just a bit of pageant for the serfs. It doesn't really mean anything.

Anyway, the UK Prime Minister has apparently announced a snap election (after telling everyone the country didn't need the turmoil and expense at the moment), so the state visit might come to nought.

AJ

Replies:   REP
awnlee jawking
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

Why do I follow CMOS? Because that's the one traditional publishers decided to use.


That may be true in the US, but not necessarily the rest of the world. Of my writers' group, only the hard core course junkies have heard of CMOS, and it hasn't impacted upon the consciousness of several published writers who scour The Writers and Artists Yearbook to find suitable homes for their works.

US companies have been hoovering up UK publishers, but they seem to be operating them at arm's length, and not enforcing US styling on their output.

Does anyone have experience of getting published in other countries? Do they require US styling?

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP

@awnlee jawking

I understand that's protocol for a state visit


That may be, but my personal opinion is that England's Government should never have extended an offer to him to come to England on any type of visit.

The Trump supporters would be offended and the rest of us would be cheering and congratulating England's Government for the courage of their convictions.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@REP

From what we have been told, if you believe what we hear, it seems he is fixated on gold. First a Golden Shower, and now a Golden Carriage.

What's especially upsetting is when his golden showers mess up the Queen's beautiful golden carriage. It's hard to get that stink out of the silk fabric!

So wait, you mean you lose respect for any country which entertains our President, yet we're the ones who elected him and allow him to overturn everything we've worked for the last two hundred and fifty some odd years?

That's like calling the next door neighbor's house house 'sooty' when our house is burning down around us!

Replies:   REP
EzzyB

@Switch Blayde

Roy gave him two hundred dollar bills


Roy gave him two hundred-dollar bills

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

Does anyone have experience of getting published in other countries? Do they require US styling?

And why would an American author even attempt to publish someplace like India or Japan? Not only aren't they 'native speakers', who are well versed in the culture and reading interests, but they'd be selling to a more limited market.

A better question, is why Australian (or Indian) authors aren't studying CMOS in order to ensure their work can be published in the larger American market.

Crumbly Writer

@EzzyB

Roy gave him two hundred-dollar bills

Let's bury this dead horse once and for all.

Roy gave him $200. End of story!

That should satisfy all you naysayers, while the rest of us can quietly concentrate on how to properly phrase it so it's less confusing to certain readers.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

Roy gave him $200. End of story!
That should satisfy all you naysayers, while the rest of us can quietly concentrate on how to properly phrase it so it's less confusing to certain readers.


Actually, that's not the same. It might have been important that Roy had hundreds. How many people carry around hundred dollar bills?

awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

And why would an American author even attempt to publish someplace like India or Japan?


Why are you assuming that all authors are American? And India has four times the population of America - why aren't Americans studying Indian style guides in order to reach the larger Indian audience?

The whole world doesn't revolve around America.

AJ

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde


Actually, that's not the same. It might have been important that Roy had hundreds. How many people carry around hundred dollar bills?


Vastly more people carry hundred dollar bills than carry hundreds of dollars in one dollar bills.

Actually for paying $200 in cash, the most likely scenario would be 10 $20 bills.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Actually, that's not the same. It might have been important that Roy had hundreds. How many people carry around hundred dollar bills?

Geez! Switch, reread my comment. My intent was to get the "We'll NEVER consent to the mere existence of any Style Guide as long as we live and breath in a Free Country" off of our friggin' back so we could continue discussing the topic in relative piece.

I never intended to insist that you follow the same brain-dead rules those objecting they be free to flout in everyone's faces.

God, why is everyone taking exception to everything that's said in any single forum?

Is it too much to expect a single, peaceful discussion about technique, without one side declaring war on someone else for an opinion of little impact on anyone else?

I'm about to ask Laz to shut down the entire Forum, as it's becoming nothing more than an argument generator of the highest order.

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

Why are you assuming that all authors are American? And India has four times the population of America - why aren't Americans studying Indian style guides in order to reach the larger Indian audience?

The whole world doesn't revolve around America.

God Damn it. Fuck you too! Why do you insist on nit-picking every single statement anyone says, looking for a way to twist their words into something they NEVER intended, looking for any excuse to take offense at it as a personal affront.

I'm done. You've driven me from what was once a welcoming site for authors to discuss issues specific to SOL authors. Now it's nothing more than a haven for abuse by a select few who think the entire world's entire mission is to persecute them.

And you wander why people scream at you so much? You're being intentionally dense just to provoke people so you continue to look like an innocent victim.

Believe me, no one is buying you can of alt-CRAP!

Ross at Play

@REP

That may be, but my personal opinion is that England's Government should never have extended an offer to him to come to England on any type of visit.

That makes me feel a bit uneasy.
I think Americans are entitled to regard their current president with complete contempt, but foreign governments must always treat POTUS with the respect due to that office.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Bondi Beach

@Crumbly Writer

And why would an American author even attempt to publish someplace like India or Japan? Not only aren't they 'native speakers', who are well versed in the culture and reading interests, but they'd be selling to a more limited market.


Both nations have large populations of English speakers, albeit as a second language, and thus a large potential market for works in English. I have sales, a *very* few, in the form of free downloads in both countries.

You'd have to research it a bit to find out how many books are published locally in English; it may be most are imported, in which case they may or may not be edited for the Indian or Japanese market, the way British fiction is sometimes edited for the U.S. market (Harry Potter, Golden Compass, for example).

Are ebooks commonly edited for different markets?

bb

Replies:   sejintenej
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

The UK has held its nose while hosting some very unsavoury despots. Where Trump ranks on the scale is very much a matter of personal opinion, but I doubt anyone would accuse him of being the worst. For example, none of his political opponents have 'disappeared' into secret mass graves, as far as I'm aware.

AJ

Replies:   REP  Ross at Play
sejintenej
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


And why would an American author even attempt to publish someplace like India or Japan?


and why not? Authors from other countries publish/sell worldwide - we are not trying to keep Americans out. If they don't publish it could be because they are too lazy or they get enough money from Americans or because they understand they would be breaching cultural or legal norms.

Why are you assuming that all authors are American? And India has four times the population of America - why aren't Americans studying Indian style guides in order to reach the larger Indian audience?

The whole world doesn't revolve around America.


I would imagine educated Indians would have no problems understanding US author's books. The Japanese might have slightly more problems because of the phonetic changes.

I own and read books published and sold in Australia and the USA - indeed I have just discovered I have two copies of an American one written by a PhD English teacher because I found the wording so hilarious. (My wife hates me reading it because I am in a state of constant laughter).
On the" other hand one USA university text book is almost unintelligible because of the universal preponderance of umpteen-lettered words. Perhaps the export of that one should be banned :-)

REP

@Crumbly Writer

burning down around us!


I sincerely doubt that for I would be outside with a garden hose trying to control it until the fire department arrived. In the case of Trump, the fire department never arrived. Hopefully they will show up and dowse anyone who objects to his impeachment.

REP

@Switch Blayde

How many people carry around hundred dollar bills?


Almost everyone who doesn't use credit cards and checks.

sejintenej

@Bondi Beach

You'd have to research it a bit to find out how many books are published locally in English; it may be most are imported, in which case they may or may not be edited for the Indian or Japanese market, the way British fiction is sometimes edited for the U.S. market (Harry Potter, Golden Compass, for example).

For the Brazilian market you need to think about the age of readers; there was a long period when all teaching was based on Scottish English (it was fashionable) but now it is US American with a lot actually going to US universities.

REP

@awnlee jawking

The whole world doesn't revolve around America.


Despite what you seem to believe, many Americans are well aware that the US is not the center of the Universe. We find it difficult to convince the group that believe that we are, when they look around and see other countries orbiting us. Maybe the those countries are the Indians getting ready to attack the wagon train. :)

Capt. Zapp

@Crumbly Writer

Really, I'm not sure how many times I can say the exact same thing in a way that won't piss you off each and every time. Either let us discuss our issues in peace, or listen to us when we explain what's involved!


I don't know where you got the idea that I you 'piss me off each and every time'. I have never made a comment in a manner which would indicate I am pissed off. I just get tired of seeing arguments start every time someone mentions style guides.

...then stop crapping on the rest of us!

Please give me a reference to where I am "crapping on" anyone.

I write in my own style and do my best to make myself clear. If I get a complaint about readability, I will look and see if I think it is valid. If it is, I'll fix it.

Capt. Zapp

@Switch Blayde

That doesn't make one right and the other wrong. It simply means when you decide to follow a style guide, you should follow it throughout your writing for consistency.


Thank you. That is the most easily understood statement I have seen regarding this subject.

StarFleet Carl

@Switch Blayde

How many people carry around hundred dollar bills?


Uh, me. Normally somewhere around $500 or so. That way I don't have an issue with a cash table buy-in. (I also play semi-professional poker, so ...)

And since I live in a nice state here in the US, I lock my Glock in the glovebox when I go into the casino, and I conceal carry the rest of time, so please ... try to rob me. :)

StarFleet Carl

@awnlee jawking

The whole world doesn't revolve around America.


Really? Seems that reality says otherwise.

(Sorry, couldn't resist, it was just too easy a comment to make.)

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@StarFleet Carl

Really? Seems that reality says otherwise.


So true. I the world doesn't revolve around the United States, why does the rest of the world care so much about who our president is?

REP
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


The UK has held its nose while hosting some very unsavoury despots.


I always though State Visits were to honor the other person combined with private negotiations. If the despots were so bad, perhaps it would have been better to not invite them and not work with them.

edited to add: Personally, I don't think Trump is worth the effort and I certainly wouldn't trust anything he said.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

why does the rest of the world care so much about who our president is?


Is that true? I know the UK cares a lot because we'll inevitably be by America's side when they take a stance on world affairs. But I would have thought that to most of Asia, Africa and South America, Trump is just another identikit US President.

AJ

awnlee jawking

@REP

If the despots were so bad, perhaps it would have been better to not invite them and not work with them.


But who are we going to sell arms to if not the Saudis :(

According to yesterday's newspaper, last year the UK sent £4 million in aid to North Korea.

AJ

Replies:   REP
Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


The UK has held its nose while hosting some very unsavoury despots. Where Trump ranks on the scale is very much a matter of personal opinion, but I doubt anyone would accuse him of being the worst. For example, none of his political opponents have 'disappeared' into secret mass graves, as far as I'm aware.

I totally agree.

I don't see how one democratic country can treat the leader of another with disrespect and not end up disrespecting the other country and its voters - irrespective of how unsavoury the occupant of the position may be.

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

why does the rest of the world care so much about who our president is?

One reason for Australians is that since gaining our independence in 1901, NO Australian Prime Minister has ever refused a request from the American President to contribute armed forces to a conflict America is involved in.

REP

@awnlee jawking

But who are we going to sell arms to if not the Saudis


How about selling them to the revolutionaries who oppose those despots. :)

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@REP

How about selling them to the revolutionaries who oppose those despots. :)


Sometimes, the revolutionaries are even worse than the despots (ISIS).

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