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Topics - Miss Mae

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Use and Misuse / K.I.S.S. vs. poetic license
« on: December 08, 2010, 01:24:27 PM »
I’ve always read: In writing, k.i.s.s. (Keep It Short and Simple). How can writers know when it is better to write complex sentences?

Use and Misuse / Confusion on the usage of ‘so’ and ‘so that’
« on: December 08, 2010, 01:22:37 PM »
My English professor in college warned me in using the connector ‘so.’ “It should be ‘so that’,” I remember her saying. Though I heeded her at once, there would come a time since then that I would get confused. For instance, should I write "The old spiced it with terror so the rest of humanity would observe superstitions" or "The old spiced it with terror so that the rest of humanity would observe superstitions"?

Use and Misuse / The use of 'and'
« on: December 08, 2010, 01:16:08 PM »
Sir, should the word ‘and’ when use to enumerate be preceded by a comma (as in He has already inspired some Filipinos to get up to their feet, and believe in an administration once more) or should it always be just restricted when 'and' is used as a coordinating conjunction (as in Filipinos now can tell an act from an act, and political leaders have the social responsibility to be honest to their constituents)?

Use and Misuse / Which is which: the American or the British standard?
« on: December 05, 2010, 08:05:58 PM »
A month ago, I had only one question in mind to ask you. And that is about apostraphes and quotation marks. Then I came across this website that explained that its usage depends ultimately on where the material was written or published. What about in the Philippines? And what about if the material is an online journal?

You Asked Me This Question / How to attribute
« on: October 12, 2010, 03:24:59 PM »
I'm currently keeping a blog about soap operas in the Philippines. In one of my entries, however, I caught myself confused how to attribute properly. How should it be done when there's an apostrophe? Here's my sentence: During Jhun Dimaano’s burial (Kier Legaspi), the mother of Aries Abad (Matt Evans) prohibited Rosa (Empress Schuck) to accompany her mother, Cecille Dimaano (Mickey Ferriols), outside. Is there any other way to go about it or should I just paraphrase?

You Asked Me This Question / Constructing paragraphs
« on: October 05, 2010, 06:22:27 PM »
I learned sometime ago that lead sentences of succeeding paragraphs must vary. That is, if Paragraph 1 started straightforwardly, the lead sentence of Paragraph 2 must begin or end with a modifier. Should that be followed strictly?

Thank you.

One writing quirk I had was that I cannot write without writing down first. That is, literally penning my thoughts on paper before producing a final copy. It was laborious, all right, but what can I do? It was what worked for me in my high school and college years.

I have to adjust on that though when I began working. I was able to, but I developed another problem. Mindful of my grammar incompetency, I can't help fussing over what I've just written. I learned somewhere that that should not be the case. Writers must finish their compositions before editing. Is that always true?

Use and Misuse / When and if the action is done
« on: August 25, 2010, 05:28:56 PM »
If all else fail, would you be there to love me?
When all else fail, would you be brave to see right through me?

About six years ago, a song with these lyrics has been my favorite. I think it was the best definition of love so far: It should be beyond failures. It should be beyond expectations.

Recent events in my life led me to rethink if I had interpreted those lines right. Just what is the great semantic difference of if and when that the composer of this song chose to end it with those verses?

Use and Misuse / A question on the form "I have had..."
« on: August 18, 2010, 05:00:50 PM »
Just as I am still confused about the usage of has, have and had, I would at times come across books and articles that pepper their content this way: "I have had..." Could you please give a clear Rx on this?

Badly Written, Badly Spoken / How to correct
« on: August 10, 2010, 06:54:55 PM »
I somehow can't believe Prof. Lagman's list of 70 commonly mishandled English idiomatic expressions until I heard my physiotherapist said ‘irregardlesss’ the other day. I was tempted to correct him right then and there, but I realized that I myself commit grammatical mistakes from time to time. I consoled myself thinking that he is a healthcare worker anyway, but he mentioned the word again the next day. How could I correct him without hurting his ego?

Use and Misuse / I was wondering what I were to do
« on: July 27, 2010, 04:38:00 PM »
Elementary English taught me that the first-person personal pronoun I should be succeeded by the past form of the verb "to be", which is were, to make sense. But till now, I find it more 'comfortable' to follow it with was. Movie director Gene Fowler, Jr. did so too in his 1957 film, I Was a Teenage Werewolf, as well as baseball player Chris Malec of the Camden Rivershark in a recent interview with The New York Times. Frank Lloyd thought otherwise though in his 14th film, If I Were King, as well as Robert Mackey, a reporter in the same American daily newspaper. Which indeed is correct? Can I get away with using I was?

Students’ Sounding Board / Sexist jargons
« on: June 22, 2010, 07:24:42 PM »
Good day! I just would like to know your opinion in using both 'he' and 'she' as pronoun for a third-person subject. Some media outfits are still only affixing 'he' when the third-person subject is unknown and I'm still getting you-must-be-a-feminist-stare whenever I decide to just use 'she' in some of my writings. What should I keep in mind?

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