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54

There's no rule about the order of listed elements, so this is not a question of grammar, but of style. There are a few different approaches you could take: An alphabetical order might make it easier for readers to remember the elements. (However, if it's about ease of memorisation, a better approach might be to see if one particular order creates a ...


24

There's not an exact right or wrong here, it's a matter of stylistic choices. Your beta readers disagree with yours --that's part of why you have beta readers, but ultimately you're still the writer and the final arbiter. The force with which she slammed the door made the windows rattle. Gosh, that woman has a temper. The lack of any visual cuing to ...


20

You do, you do understand tenses. Direct thought follows the same rules as direct speech, except that it is italicized rather than quoted. The same Wikipedia article describes both. This means it is rendered in the present tense, unless the character is speaking or thinking of the events of the past or future. Free Indirect Thought follows the same rules as ...


13

No. And particularly not in your example of a list of historical periods, in which the obvious listing would be in chronological order. Alphabetical order would be perverse! In most other cases, it would be merely unnecessary. Also, you misunderstand what the 'Oxford comma' is. In 'The late Jurassic periods are Kimmeridgian, Oxfordian, and Tithonian.' ...


7

There's nothing right or wrong with alphabetical order for nouns. Like a lot of English, there's no explicit rule but there's a way that sounds best. It often depends on what the items are. If history is involved, chronological order makes sense. If they're items you'd find on the shelf at an auto parts store, sorting by function helps the reader find them. ...


6

"OK" is definitely not used in professional writing, with the obvious exception being for character dialogue in fiction when it might make sense in the moment. Usually, though, it comes across like a texting phrase, similar to LOL or ROFL, which is a tone that you don't generally want in a novel. "OK," she said, and put the phone down. &...


5

The not-so-simple answer is both. The key to answering this completely is to identify the audience to which the material is directed. If your target audience consists of hyper-vigilant grammar police, then a misplaced comma will, at best, give them something to complain about, and, at worst, cause them to abandon the material altogether. If, on the other ...


4

Some readers won't be particularly bothered but others will be seriously put off. You may well slide a substantial number of mistakes past the average reader without them even noticing. But it's doubtful that you've gained anything in the process, and if for every ten readers who doesn't notice there's one who bad mouths your work to others because they did ...


4

There are two general conventions, following from how dialog is handled. Like Direct Speech, dialog spoken by the character, Direct Thought in the present tense, regardless of the tense of the story, but the text is italicized and not quoted. Gandalf said, "You shall not pass!" Bobby, the Balrog, chuckled to himself. Ok, Boomer Indirect thought ...


4

Although this is an older post, I thought I'd add information in case others are still looking for answers to this question. I work as an editor on different journals published by different publishers, and the answer varies according to house style, often based on which style manual they prefer, but house style may also vary from the preferred style manual. ...


4

"Somehow" is an adverb. It is usually placed close to the verb it is describing and can be used without commas as a regular adverb. Your sentence above doesn't require commas. Entering the house, she realized that somehow inside was worse. This isn't a "rule," but it's fairly common to see "somehow" used at the beginning or ...


4

As you suspected, in the first sentence it's ambiguous who is eating the oranges - is it the men or is it the deer? The comma in the second sentence makes it clear that it's not the deer and, therefore, must be the men. I'm not sure about "greatly" altering the meaning of the sentence, but it definitely does clarify the meaning of the sentence. I ...


3

Undoubtedly, no structures are banned, so to speak, from the English lanuage. It is all a matter of convenience and desired outcome. Sure, as a general rule, to quote @Zan700 from the comments, one tends to avoid repeating words with similar roots within a paragraph, let alone one sentence. This is to avoid sounding monotonous, of course, and unintelligible -...


3

The simplest way to reconstruct this for clarity, without changing any of the words, is to move the location of the dependent clause: B, C and D, along with A, have been shown to influence the production of E.


3

American English convention is double quotes for dialog, with single quotes reserved for nested dialog, so we can rule single quotes out. The other three are all legitimate choices, with differing impact. O'Malley remembered the witness's directions precisely: "Take the first left on Pine, then the second right on Maple." This is being reported ...


3

You could omit the "turn" action and talk about the result directly: Suddenly everyone was looking at me. What might also make this "seem off" to you is that you are using the adverb "now" in a sentence in the past tense. That's wrong. You should instead use an adverb referring to the past moment, such as "in that moment&...


2

You want something that sounds authentic, not is authentic. You are trying to create and impression, not a record or documentary. You need something readers can understand. 'Huckleberry Finn' uses a number of slang terms but it is easy enough to work out what they mean. They create the character and the place without getting in the way of meaning. Overdoing ...


2

The way your sentence is currently worded isn't wrong, but it may cause some grammatical confusion. You could read it as you intended: "Along with A, B, C and D have been shown to influence the production of E." Or you could read it as: "Along with A, B, C and D have been shown to influence the production of E." Which is somewhat ...


2

In the vast majority of cases, you will never hyphenate an adverb-adjective phrase in the way you're describing. In modern writing, it would be considered clunky and displeasing, and give your writing an archaic look. The practice of hyphenating adverb phrases likely originates from phrases like "two-word" or "one-note" or "close-...


2

Both the simple present and the present continuous sound a bit off combined with simple past in that way. Also, keep may not be the best verb to use, holding, clinging to, grabbing, riding, surfing etc. may be better. Difficult to say what would sound better without knowing the preceding paragraph, but maybe use past continuous: "They were holding the ...


2

I think it is quite clear the way you have phrased it, but if you want to skip the two items in one parenthesis, you can simply reword it as ... such as the maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) or the paternally inherited non-recombining regions of Y-chromosomal DNA, ... maybe making its own parenthetical blocks with em dashes ... such as the —...


2

English IS confusing... ... but it also has a hundred ways to do everything, at least half of which are technically correct. I'd state this completely differently, but maybe that won't fit your needs. I'd likely go with something more like: Today, my parents have bachelor's degrees and stable employment. When I was growing up, however, it was a very ...


2

Writing thought, or, as it's often called, internal emotion, depends on the POV and how deep it is. I'm most familiar with pretty deep POV (one person per scene where the narrator and the POV person is the same), but using an omnipotent third-person POV (the narrator sees all including people's thoughts, even several in the same scene) I think using italics ...


2

Periods and other punctuation marks being placed inside of quotation marks is a typographical convention. "Full stop." If you do it differently, it will stand out, and not in a good way. If you want your writing to be published, follow the conventions and style rules of the publisher, institution or organization. This is not about programming ...


2

Can't comment due to rep, apologies. It's all written quite well, except that there's no visual cue. The tense changes seem random without something to help contextualize it. If you use italics then everything in your examples would be a familiar approach for most readers. If they have to learn and adjust to your approach, they'll struggle to be engaged &...


2

I have found that when I’ve written a complicated sentence, the kind that doesn’t work well, that it is usually because I’m not communicating the events in my scene very well. For instance, ‘Everyone who hadn’t turned to me already did so now.’ might be better related as “Why is everybody looking me?” if I wanted the narrator to communicate surprise or worry ...


2

In Canada, the "City of" formulation usually refers to the municipal government specifically. So a lawn mower or other park maintenance equipment doesn't belong to Toronto, but to the City of Toronto, often just called "the city" by people who live there. It isn't the name of the city, but of the city government. The main purpose for ...


1

Assuming you are talking about prose and not actually speaking, as long as the meaning of the sentence is absolutely clear, then grammar and syntax are less important. But, grammar rules around tense and pronouns exists to make communication clear. So, specifically tensing, it is pretty important to get it right when writing, because there are patterns of ...


1

Grammatically? Yes, it's fine. Wikipedia says: In poetry, enjambment (/ɛnˈdʒæmbmənt/ or /ɛnˈdʒæmmənt/; from the French enjambement) is incomplete syntax at the end of a line; the meaning runs over from one poetic line to the next, without terminal punctuation. Lines without enjambment are end-stopped. Basically, enjambment means to end the line with no or ...


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