1

I need some basic grammar guidelines to follow regarding how to punctuate dialogues where people go on forever, like in the example below:

Now I've edited the whole series all five books which means I have seen every single page I have read every single question and recent hundreds, thousands-hundreds of tips to help students use these questions effectively now some of these questions are so good that I am jealous that I didn't write the questions which I know seems, maybe a bit silly but I do love writing really good exam questions and I know I'm biased but these are really really good practice exam questions and then all my helpful little hints and tips it's like having me sitting next to the student going, have you remember to convert from non-standard units in standard units or have you taken notice of the command word, so I know I am biased because I spend a lot of time working on these books, but they are brilliant, and they are designed to really really help you as a department help you as a classroom teacher to make your lives easier and to help your students get better results.

Update:

Thanks everyone for contributing. I've added full stop to break as many of them as possible and put commas where I thought they could go so it looks something like this now:

Now I've edited the whole series all five books which means I have seen every single page. I have read every single question and recent hundreds, thousands-hundreds of tips to help students use these questions effectively. Now some of these questions are so good that I am jealous that I didn't write the questions which I know seems, maybe a bit silly but I do love writing really good exam questions and I know I'm biased but these are really really good practice exam questions and then all my helpful little hints and tips it's like having me sitting next to the student going, have you remember to convert from non-standard units in standard units or have you taken notice of the command word? So I know I am biased because I spend a lot of time working on these books, but they are brilliant, and they are designed to really really help you, as a department help you, as a classroom teacher to make your lives easier and to help your students get better results.

This is literally the best I could do. Criticism and advice welcome, thanks. My biggest issue when trying to punctuate a transcription is when the speaker goes on forever connecting sentences with words like 'and' and 'so' without taking any proper pauses at all. So any advice on how to handle that would also be treasured immensely!

3
  • 1
    I can't change any of the sentence structure or wordings per say as it's a word-for-word video transcription but I would appreciate it if anyone could even just let me know how bad the whole thing looks punctuation wise, would appreciate it!
    – user47346
    Oct 22 '20 at 16:25
  • What's stopping you from separating this stream of words into sentences where one logical thought ends and another begins?
    – Llewellyn
    Oct 22 '20 at 18:28
  • Ouch. Be sure to add that to your question. Otherwise I was going to give a similar answer.
    – DWKraus
    Oct 22 '20 at 20:48
1

Ah well. This serves as a lesson in reading the question thoroughly. :(

This answer may have a bit to do with transcribing. There are a few places where you can put periods even if the person talking may not pause that long.

But the fictional part is of course not useful for transcribing.

Sorry about that! (I'll let it sit if someone ends up here with a question about fictional dialog...)

I know literally nothing about transcribing, so I should probably not answer this question at all.. but here we are...

I think you can replace and, so, etc with periods and new sentences. They are usually things people say to catch their breath and jump to the next thought.

Perhaps you can even add and remove like I'm doing below, but that depends on how transcribing has to adhere to what was actually said (perhaps you just get it all down and the receiver can do more thorough edits, I don't know...)


For pure grammar. You break it into smaller sentences. Here's what I'd do with the beginning of your dialog (i.e. replace sentence glue - and, so, etc with a new sentence):

Now I've edited the whole series all five books. I have seen every single page. I have read every single question and the most recent hundreds, perhaps hundreds of thousands of tips. All to help students use these questions effectively. Now some of these questions are so good that I am jealous that I didn't write them myself. I know it seems, maybe a bit silly but I do love writing really good exam questions. I know I'm biased but these are really, really good practice exam questions...


Fictional, off-topic following:

However, for fiction dialog, you need to do more. Put actions, internal dialog, etc in there to center the dialog in the room and how it's said, and received by the listeners.

"Now I've edited the whole series all five books," said Professor D. The students stared blankly at him. He sighed. "Which means I have seen every single page. I have read every single question," he started pacing back and forth along the blackboard, rolling the chalk between his fingers, "and the most recent hundreds, perhaps hundreds of thousands of tips..." He stopped to consider the students. Maybe the joker who had posted 28 576 internet quotes to the tip line would reveal themselves?

Who is talking? If it's not the POV character, can they keep focus on the whole thing? If you do the long dialog to make a point about the character talking, you might get away with much less:

"Now I've edited the whole series all five books," said Professor D.

John stared out the window, it was a sunny day with a clear blue sky and there he was, listening to the old gasbag again.

"I know," professor D. said.

John flinched and glanced at him. He was not even looking in John's direction.

"...it seems," the Professor continued, "maybe a bit silly but I do love writing..."

Not as much as he loved to talk about it, John was willing to bet. He drew a slow breath. The room felt like it was quickly running out of air. All the while Professor D. was going on about helping his students get better results. Ironic!

0

You break them up into shorter stand alone sentences.

I recall that I once wrote a sentence that was one page long. Did not notice it but the editor did and pointed it out in a nice way.

1
  • 1
    assuming it was a "correctly" punctuated sentence (semicolons, maybe?) that's one impressive talent haha
    – MarielS
    Oct 22 '20 at 20:29
-1

Writing like this looks bullet proof on the page, meaning that readers will likely skip over it. Rather than have your dialog in a stream of words, why not break it up into a conversation? Can't do that, okay. So include something like "Then he stopped for a breath and continued."

Or include a stop like the speaker takes a sip of coffee? Looks out the window, anything to introduce a break to give the reader a break.

You say this is on a video. Can you expound on that? Do you mean its transcribed from a video? Be that as it may, I don't recommend writing this way. Please tell me more.

-2

Right now it looks pretty bad. If you break it up into smaller sentences and edit those separately, then it might be better.

1
  • 1
    @The-Huntress Welcome to Writing SE! As it stands your answer doesn't really address how the asker should break the sentences up, could you provide more details? Oct 23 '20 at 9:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy