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Everything You Need to Know About Grammar in Six Minutes

I left school at sixteen and entered technical college, the place where I learned to solder components, weld joints, and do calculus (go figure). Then I went to university and studied engineering so intensely that, apart from law and management, the only other non-technical subject I took was a mandatory technical writing class. In that class I learned how to explain that the sprocket must be inserted into the chamfered vestibule and then rotated ninety degrees counter-clockwise.

Sentences

As we all learned at some point in our lives, a sentence is a single complete and unambiguous thought that contains a subject, an object, and a verb. For example:

Adjectives

Adjectives color-in nouns.

Splicing Sentences with Commas

Unless you want to write like a stereotypical Ernest Hemingway, you can make your writing much more enjoyable by splicing ideas together.

Asides

You’ve seen me use commas to splice together sentences and you may have also noticed me using them to bracket asides. An aside is a peripheral statement that explicates the sentence, a statement that could appear in various places in the sentence or could be excluded entirely.

Lists

When two or more are gathered together, that is a list (not a party).

Use Commas Sparingly

I routinely extract extra commas from my compositions after realizing that I added them habitually in a way that didn’t contribute to the comprehension. Excess commas complicate the consumption of your carefully crafted creations. You shouldn’t need to add them very much beyond splicing sentences, adding asides, and enumerating lists.

Colons, Semi-Colons, and Transverse Colons

Even though I sometimes use colons and semi-colons, I’ve pretty much forgotten the rules for them. Nevertheless, the rules are pretty simple and, once you’ve played with them a bit, you’ll soon know when and how to correctly utilize them automatically; just like riding a bike.

Conclusion

That’s it. We’re done here. I no longer serve any useful purpose but to entertain and amuse. May you now go forth and bespatter the world with your newfound grammatical grandiosity.

References

  1. Poem: The Universe
  2. How I Write Stories That Go Viral
  3. Ever Wondered About Hemingway’s Longest Sentence?
  4. Revealed: The true history of the Oxford comma

An engineer-psychologist focused on machine intelligence. I write from my own experience to support others in living more fulfilling lives | duncanriach.com

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