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HELP!

I need help! I need to gather some information for the article I'm writing, so if you could take this poll for me I will love you forever. Please fill it out and pimp it! The more the merrier, and also the more accurate. Thank you so much!

*Also, I know I missed a period on the first option of the 5th question. I'm sorry... please pretend it's there.
*After you've finished the poll, I have a follow-up answer sheet and rule explanation post. Please do not look at the answers until after you have completed the poll. Thank you!

Poll #681583 Grammar Grief: Semicolon cancer...

Do you know how to properly use a semicolon?

Yes
175(78.8%)
No
47(21.2%)

Which is correct?

Man proposes: God disposes.
4(1.8%)
Man proposes, God disposes.
83(36.7%)
Man proposes; God disposes.
139(61.5%)

Which is correct?

I remember when he couldn't write his own name on a gate; now he's the president.
66(29.3%)
I remember when he couldn't write his own name on a gate; now, he's the president.
123(54.7%)
I remember when he couldnt write his own name on a gate: now he's the president.
3(1.3%)
I remember when he couldn't write his own name on a gate, now he's the president.
33(14.7%)

Assuming Tom locked himself in the shed because of the loss, which sentence is grammatically correct?

Tom locked himself in the shed; England lost to Argentina.
67(29.8%)
Tom locked himself in the shed: England lost to Argentina.
144(64.0%)
Tom locked himself in the shed, England lost to Argentina.
14(6.2%)

Which is correct?

Mary Shelley's works are engaging; they are full of interesting ideas
141(62.4%)
Mary Shelley's works are engaging: they are full of interesting ideas.
53(23.5%)
Mary Shelley's works are engaging, they are full of interesting ideas.
32(14.2%)

Which is correct?

I never met the woman, however, I think she might be a whore.
20(8.9%)
I never met the woman. However, I think she might be a whore.
100(44.4%)
I never met the woman; however, I think she might be a whore.
105(46.7%)

Which is correct?

The first topic was "How to Swing Dance"; the second was "How to Not Fall on Your Face."
53(23.7%)
The first topic was "How to Swing Dance;" the second was "How to Not Fall on Your Face."
44(19.6%)
The first topic was "How to Swing Dance"; the second was "How to Not Fall on Your Face".
25(11.2%)
The first topic was "How to Swing Dance", the second was "How to Not Fall on Your Face."
12(5.4%)
The first topic was "How to Swing Dance," the second was "How to Not Fall on Your Face."
58(25.9%)
The first topic was "How to Swing Dance", the second was "How to Not Fall on Your Face".
32(14.3%)

Which is correct?

Fares were offered to Corfu, the Greek Island, Morocco, Elba, in the Mediterranean, and Paris. Margaret thought about it. She had been to Elba once and had found it dull, to Morocco, and found it too colorful.
9(4.0%)
Fares were offered to Corfu, the Greek island; Morocco; Elba, in the Mediterranean; and Paris. Margaret thought about it, she had been to Elba once and found it dull, to Morocco and found it too colorful.
31(13.8%)
Fares were offered to Corfu - the Greek island, Morocco, Elba - in the Mediterranean, and Paris. Margaret thought about it. She had been to Elba once and had found it dull; to Morocco, and found it too colorful.
48(21.3%)
Fares were offered to Corfu, the Greek island; Morocco; Elba, in the Mediterranean; and Paris. Margaret thought about it. She had been to Elba once and had found it dull; to Morocco, and found it too colorful.
137(60.9%)

Does your head hurt?

Yes.
131(58.0%)
Nah, this is a piece of cake.
95(42.0%)

Last one, which one is correct?

I hate this; grammar is not my thing.
113(50.4%)
I hate this, grammar is not my thing.
20(8.9%)
I hate this: grammar is not my thing.
24(10.7%)
Fuck you, Shelby.
67(29.9%)

For the sake of data... how old are you?

Under 18
40(17.7%)
18-25
137(60.6%)
25-30
28(12.4%)
30-35
12(5.3%)
Over 35
9(4.0%)



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Comments

( 41 comments — Leave a comment )
orangedust
Feb. 28th, 2006 12:14 pm (UTC)
Sorry muffins
I know I'd usually try to help with grammatical needs and that kinda thang
But my use of the award winning semicolon is kinda bleak at best

Terribly sorry, all the best, miss

- cal
virtuistic
Feb. 28th, 2006 06:42 pm (UTC)
Oh it's all good. Thank you, doll!
urkadur
Feb. 28th, 2006 02:19 pm (UTC)
Dear, your first question splits an infinitive.
lightofmine
Feb. 28th, 2006 05:41 pm (UTC)
ha! i like you.
(no subject) - virtuistic - Feb. 28th, 2006 06:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - potatofishy - Feb. 28th, 2006 09:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - virtuistic - Mar. 1st, 2006 03:19 am (UTC) - Expand
blyssfulchaos
Feb. 28th, 2006 04:17 pm (UTC)
that was an awful lot of shooting in the dark for me. thanks for reminding me that i was smart to avoid an english major.
virtuistic
Feb. 28th, 2006 06:35 pm (UTC)
It's a hard little quiz. If I hadn't been staring at the rules for semicolon and colon usage for an hour beforehand (and it also helps that I put the quiz together...) I don't think I would've done well either.
sixteenthnote
Feb. 28th, 2006 09:14 pm (UTC)
I'm... pretty sure I didn't do very well on this poll. Lmao ^_^;;;
newbia
Feb. 28th, 2006 10:45 pm (UTC)
Ooooh, cool! I'm totally puncuation-crazy; for me, adding a comma or a dash COMPLETELY changes the meaning and tone of the sentence. I'm really sensitive about it.

"I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again." -- Oscar Wilde
virtuistic
Mar. 1st, 2006 03:20 am (UTC)
I agree. I like the sense of rhythm different punctuation marks carry with them.
guinevere33
Mar. 1st, 2006 12:18 am (UTC)
I never met the woman. However, I think she might be a whore.

If you really want to nitpick, "however" should not be used to start an independent clause. It's a silly and archaic rule, but I had a Greek mythology professor who was DEATH on anyone who violated it. (It was so hard to remember that after finishing each of my essays, I had to do a global search for the word "however" just to double-check each instance.) According to him, the sentiment should be expressed thusly, with or without semicolon:

I never met the woman. I think, however, that she might be a whore.

Hopefully, the OED has struck down this nonsense, much as they have the bans on split infinitives and starting sentences with "hopefully" ;)
guinevere33
Mar. 1st, 2006 12:26 am (UTC)
*edited because I forgot a >*
I'm also really curious about the right answer to this one:

The first topic was "How to Swing Dance"; the second was "How to Not Fall on Your Face."

That's the option I picked, just because I can't *stand* to put anything other than a comma or a period inside quotation marks, but hate to sit either of those outside of them. I can't tell if this is a random preference or if it was drilled into me by some long-ago English teaher. Also, I'm pretty sure the rules for British and American English differ on the inside/outside stuff, and I can't remember which is which.
Re: *edited because I forgot a >* - anne_jumps - Mar. 1st, 2006 01:24 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: *edited because I forgot a >* - virtuistic - Mar. 1st, 2006 03:47 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: *edited because I forgot a >* - guinevere33 - Mar. 1st, 2006 03:59 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: *edited because I forgot a >* - virtuistic - Mar. 1st, 2006 06:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - virtuistic - Mar. 1st, 2006 03:27 am (UTC) - Expand
particle_person
Mar. 1st, 2006 12:18 am (UTC)
Would you do a followup entry on the rules and your application of them to the questions? Pretty please?
virtuistic
Mar. 1st, 2006 03:28 am (UTC)
Sure. I'll also include where I got the examples from. I think it's obvious that I edited the wording a bit though, hah.
(no subject) - virtuistic - Mar. 1st, 2006 07:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
bohemian1
Mar. 1st, 2006 12:37 am (UTC)
Let's give a big hand to the California Public School System's failure to give an understanding of grammar to its students. Thanks for making this poll, though. It's going to prompt me to read my copy of Strunk and White again.
virtuistic
Mar. 1st, 2006 03:31 am (UTC)
I haven't even read mine, but in creating this poll I found out that I really need to again. I got a lot of the examples from my copyediting book and from Eats, Shoots, & Leaves. In fact, the first question and the list one is straight out of the latter.
theweaselking
Mar. 1st, 2006 01:25 am (UTC)
It helps a little if you aren't taking most of your examples right out of Strunk and White.

(You've also got multiple correct possibilities in some of those; I assumed you knew that, and simply chose the way I would be most likely to write it.)
virtuistic
Mar. 1st, 2006 03:34 am (UTC)
I actually took three of them out of Eats, Shoots, & Leaves and two others out of my copyediting book. Only one is out of Strunk & White.
(no subject) - theweaselking - Mar. 1st, 2006 04:11 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - virtuistic - Mar. 1st, 2006 06:43 am (UTC) - Expand
bunnymonkey
Mar. 1st, 2006 02:16 am (UTC)
Agreeing with what a couple of others have pointed out -- you have multiple correct answers going on. Any particular reason why?
virtuistic
Mar. 1st, 2006 03:36 am (UTC)
I really just edited some examples, because I didn't trust myself to not screw up the "right" answer.

Which ones specifically do you have questions on, because the reasons are different.

I'll be making a follow-up post explaining where I got the example from, why I chose them, and what rule applies.
(no subject) - virtuistic - Mar. 1st, 2006 07:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
greyduck
Mar. 1st, 2006 03:39 am (UTC)
Er, wow.

Looking back, I'm sure I already screwed up one of them, and maybe one or two others. Oh well. (I went with the comma inside the quotation marks, but it was a title instead of dialogue, and... damn me, I'm not enough of a grammar geek to know for certain if that's a no-no or not.) The Morocco one, though? That one alone made my head hurt. I'm curious to know the "correct" answers, indeed.
virtuistic
Mar. 1st, 2006 07:34 pm (UTC)
I made the requested answer sheet. :)
elbales
Mar. 1st, 2006 07:44 am (UTC)
Directed here by <lj user="cleolinda">
You know, I answered the last one correctly, but I don't hate grammar. I just couldn't bring myself to swear at you... so I lied. Currrrrses. *weeps*

This was fun. Good luck with your article.
virtuistic
Mar. 1st, 2006 09:25 am (UTC)
Re: Directed here by <lj user="cleolinda">
Awww, thank you!

I don't hate grammar either, I just figured that most people would like a good outlet for frustration, and I was willing to bear the brunt of it.

I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thanks loads!
(Deleted comment)
virtuistic
Mar. 1st, 2006 07:33 pm (UTC)
eruvadhril
Mar. 1st, 2006 12:44 pm (UTC)
Eats, Shoots and Leaves is a brilliant book :D
virtuistic
Mar. 1st, 2006 07:31 pm (UTC)
Agreed! I want to marry Lynne Truss.

Have you read her new book? I picked it up but haven't gotten to it yet.
(no subject) - eruvadhril - Mar. 5th, 2006 02:14 am (UTC) - Expand
meamcat
Mar. 6th, 2006 05:12 am (UTC)
I was directed here from Cleo, if you're curious.

Ack, I'm absolutely terrible(and I love Strunk and White!).
*shrug* At least I've learned something. Also, now I can irritate all of my grammar-loving friends.
( 41 comments — Leave a comment )

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