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Five fatal mistakes in English usage
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Five fatal mistakes in English usage


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Including spelling, capitalization, abbreviations, fragments, and run-ons.

Including spelling, capitalization, abbreviations, fragments, and run-ons.

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  • 1. The 5 fatal mistakes in English usage Papers (or journal or blog entries with these errors will not receive a grade)
  • 2.
    • Misspelling words jump
    • Beginning a sentence without a capital jump
    • Using text-messaging abbreviations
    • Jump
    • 4. Writing sentence fragments jump
    • 5. Writing run-on sentences (and comma splices) jump
  • 3. Misspelled Words
  • 4. We live in the spell check era. Use it.
  • 5. To a large extent, the worlds of education, business, and government are closed to you if you cannot turn in text without misspellings.
  • 6. The habit of checking, and re-checking, the spelling of documents you create is vital.
  • 7. No school assignment should be handed in with words misspelled.
  • 8. Beginning a sentence without a capital (or failing to capitalize “I”)
  • 9. Not capitalizing the first word of each sentence is the quickest and easiest way to:
  • 10. 1. Not get that job you want. Few employers will bother with someone who can’t or doesn’t write standard English.
  • 11. 2. Not be taken seriously by other people. People will assume you’re dumb if your writing is sloppy. In fact, not taking the time to fix simple problems is dumb.
  • 12. 3. Not to pass this class.
  • 13. It’s true that some online communities Have relaxed rules about capitalization. Sometimes, no capitalization is used.
  • 14. This is okay, in those places, just as it’s okay to lounge around the house in slippers and a ragged t-shirt.
  • 15. But it’s not okay at school or at work.
  • 16. Using text-messaging abbreviations
  • 17. If u wan2tlk to tptb u need 2tlk in English 
  • 18. Translation: If you want to talk to the powers that be, you need to speak in English. tkmwfi (take my word for it)
  • 19. Sentence fragments A complete sentence expresses a complete thought
  • 20. Are these groups of words sentences?
  • 21. Although Rachel worked hard on her paper My student editor Derrick A freshly watered houseplant Because I couldn’t find the right program
  • 22. They aren’t sentences because they aren’t complete thoughts.
  • 23.
    • What happened although Rachel worked hard?
    • What about my student editor Derrick?
    • What about that freshly watered house plant?
    • What happened because you couldn’t find the program?
  • 24. What’s wrong with the following “sentence”?
  • 25.
    • Jesse loves to write poetry he’s a talented writer.
  • 26.
    • The sentence is wrong because “Jesse likes to write poetry” and “He’s a talented writer” can both stand as complete sentences. Therefore, we can’t merge them into a single sentence without separating them in some way.
  • 27.
    • It’s a “run-on sentence.” It’s not good enough to join the two thoughts with a comma. That’s called a “comma splice”:
    • Jesse stopped at the grocery store, he needed a lunch for the field trip tomorrow.
  • 28. If you have two independent clauses, they need to be separated by something more powerful than a comma.
  • 29.
    • A clause is a group of words that contains both a subject and a predicate.
  • 30.
    • Dependent clauses cannot stand alone as sentences:
      • Although I was on time for work
      • Because Alice was the first one in line
    • Independent clauses can stand alone as sentences:
      • Gary did want the sandwich
      • My brother, Greg, was late for the meeting
  • 31. There are 5 ways to fix run-on sentences
  • 32.
    • Make the two clauses into two sentences:
    Brandon played drums in the band. It was a hard rock band. Brandon played drums in the band it was a hard rock band. Right Wrong
  • 33.
    • Use a semi-colon
    Craig accepted Lisa’s gift; it was nice. Craig accepted Lisa’s gift it was nice. Right Wrong
  • 34.
    • Use a comma and a coordinating conjuction ( and, but, or, for, yet, nor , or so) :
    It was snowing , but we forgot to bring our coats. It was snowing we forgot to bring our coats. Right Wrong
  • 35.
    • Use a comma and a subordinating conjunction (after, although, before, unless, as, because, even though, if, since, until, when, while, etc.)
    Though Jessica and Waylon like pizza , Allison doesn’t. Jessica and Waylon like pizza Allison doesn’t. Right Wrong
  • 36.
    • Use a semi-colon and a transition (however, moreover, on the other hand, nevertheless, instead, also, consquently, otherwise, as a result, etc.)
    I thought the colors would go together well ; however, I was mistaken. I thought the colors would go together well I was mistaken. Right Wrong
  • 37. Getting these things right isn’t hard. They have more to do with habits of carefulness than with any great knowledge of writing.
  • 38. Habit, if not resisted, soon becomes necessity. St . Augustine
  • 39. We first make our habits, and then our habits make us. John Dryden
  • 40. Laziness grows on people; it begins in cobwebs and ends in iron chains. Thomas Buxton
  • 41. Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired . Mortimer Caplan