5/21/2007

Well, hello there.

Today we watched a grammar video and prepared for the CRT test tomorrow by reviewing rules for commas. This may not sound like much to you, but that’s just because you’re an ignorant jerk. Grammar is deep, man. Really deep.

If you missed class today, go to the Pioneer Online library and log in, using the username pioneer and the password cake. (I assume it’s okay to say that here since they publish it on their webpage.) Click on the link to eMedia. (How do you like that capitalization? I told you guys that modern proper nouns would drive you crazy!) In the Quicksearch field , type “punctuation” and then select the first video on the list, which is called “GED Connection. Episode 109.” Watch this video, paying special attention to the word “bubblebath,” which plays a key role in the capitalization part of the film.

After we watched and discussed the movie clip, we practiced using commas. If you want to see the practice examples, you can look at these slides: Comma fun with Shakespeare.

Now, there’s something funny about me and commas. Well, I mean, it’s not just me. It’s everybody. See, on the video, they give these nice, simple-sounding rules for comma use. And if you know those rules you’ll have everything you need to pass the tests they keep giving you. But the thing is, comma use in the real world is a lot more complicated. So different people may see different places I should use or remove commas in the sentences on those slides (some of which, by the by, are very poor sentences indeed, having been invented by me a few minutes before class…ah, the first year of teaching, what a joy…). So, what I’m saying is, if you don’t like my comma choices, you probably have a good reason. But I have reasons for what I do, too. Comma use isn’t what it used to be. We modern people have less patience for the kind of writing that was popular 50 or 100 years ago when they used as many commas as the rules could possibly allow. The general idea now is to use as few commas as style and clarity will allow, and that is very few, indeed. Or, that is very few indeed. Depending on how you want it to be read. (frag)

So, that was today. Tomorrow, CRT’s and monologue work.

MT

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