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Greg Newton 12-12-2009 09:23 AM

A little editting please!
Hey Guys,

We have some fantastic writers on this forum. But, I want to chicken choke your grade school and high school English teachers for how they taught some of you to use punctuation and to spell, or to be better put, how they didn't teach you! Don't feel out there. I used to have to review police reports and we have a whole generation who were taught to spell phonetically. Occassionally I will edit a superb post to make it more readable. However, I would prefer to not have to edit. Here are some tips:

1. Break your sentences into clumps of no more than three or four sentences. I realize this might not dovetail with commonly taught paragraph construction, but this makes your points easier to read in an internet forum format.

2. After punctuation such as commas, semi colons etc. leave a space. After the period at the end of sentences, leave two spaces.

3. Take the time to write your post, especially if it is a lengthy post, in Microsoft Word or another word processing format that has a spell and grammar check. Then cut and paste to put into your forum reply or thread.

Please don't be offended if I edit something you've written. That means it is quite good in the things you are expressing. I have to do it for my wife when she posts and she likes me to check behind her. I also did it for my daughter in college the one time she posted, and she had a cow when she found out I editted her post! I hate it for her. They aren't teaching her in college what they should have taught her in high school!

Big Bear 12-12-2009 09:30 AM


I am probably the greatest offender Greg-sorry!

Part of what I do is conscious.Some of my poetry and stuff has no punctuation at all-some of which has been published before.

Will try to be better.Sometimes I like the freedom of vast white spaces and then don't look back.Good thread my Bro! Again sorry!


MikeNY 12-12-2009 10:24 AM

Jason you are one of the clearer writer's; while I am one of the worst, but I try. Greg good idea's! I expect that it is the passion that drives many of us, not mechanics of writing.

Greg Newton 12-12-2009 11:11 AM

Hey men - I concur with the passion part. I just want the jewels to shine for others to see. There are some extremely talented people who post here.

Johnny 12-12-2009 11:47 AM

Great post Greg...thanks on behalf of everyone. :good:

tom 12-12-2009 12:22 PM

Nice reminder, Greg.

I would also like to invite people to use their critical-thinking abilities as much as possible before writing. My use of "critical" is not related to "criticize." Thanks.

And Greg, sorry to say, the rule for computer writing now taught is to only have a single space after a period. Being old like you, it surprised me when I recently learned it. That was sacrilege. When I asked about it (critically pondering), I was told that typewriters have uh something and computers I forgot hey there's a bird in the window!


On a personal note (your daughter's reaction reminded me), I have decided to never edit or suggest an edit to anyone unless specifically asked. Twice. To me it's one of those lose lose situations like:

Telling a band member to turn down
Answering, "What do you think of this dress?"
The question, "Do I look fat?"

Land mines. All of them. I'm not perfect in my avoidance, but I'm trying.

Kristian 12-12-2009 02:08 PM


Sorry! I am the biggest one at fault. After learning another language it has been very difficult to spell and use punctuation. My wife is a high school English teacher and corrects me in both English and Italian all the time! (Infact she helped me with a few things here :) )


Greg Newton 12-12-2009 03:25 PM

Hi Tom,

That was interesting about the single space on computer generated documents. The two spaces makes it a little more readable for those like myself who have middle-aged eyes. I want to remind everyone that these are just general recommendations and not directed at anyone in particular.

I was on another forum where they made a point to ask everyone to use punctuation, capitalizations where necessary, and to write readable sentences. It made sense that posts should be readable and not like a text message. The instructions went on to say that more people would read the posts if they were done in a more structured way.

The advice to structure paragraphs in no more than three to four sentences was my own. On a computer screen it is easier to read someone's thoughts and feelings if done in short sections like that.

As to my middle daughter Jennifer, of the "crush the apple and I am a beast fame," I was aghast at her grammar and sentence construction. It has been sort of an inside battle between us. She prided herself on going to a high school where they emphasized academics and looked down on Career and Technology Education. She wrote no better or no worse than some of the students I teach from the other high schools in the county they felt superior to.

tom 12-12-2009 03:52 PM

I was lucky to be raised by a father who gently taught us not only the may/can who/whom thing, but also the:

I/me (many over correct 360 on that one and end up wrong),
and whence/whither (Ha! You thought you were keeping up with me, didn't you).

It's funny, in the last couple of months I've noticed many more sloppiness much before I press Submit. I must be getting soft.

I have decided, though, that this may/can stuff should just be thrown out. I encourage any kid that is silly enough to listen to me to, when their parent corrects them on may/can, just say, "Oh Jeesh. You know what I mean, now just answer the question!" and then to walk quickly into their room before they get sent there. Yeah, I'm getting tired in my old age.

Besides, more grounded kids mean fewer on the road.


Spid_Amerzon 12-13-2009 04:28 AM


Originally Posted by Greg Newton (Post 33423)
Hi Tom,
The two spaces makes it a little more readable for those like myself who have middle-aged eyes.

Some might not know, but you can enlarge the Text in your browser. You can hold the "Ctrl" key and scroll up or down with your mouse. Alternatively you can use the menus:
in Internet Explorer: View > Text Size
in Firefox: View > Zoom
I use this feature very often. (This additionally shortens the lenght of a text line as well.)

BTW: I always try to write my text error free. If I don't I might someday not even know anymore which is right or wrong. For that matter I also don't like to read slang or simplified words like "blu" instead of "blue"...
Oh and another thing. In my country english is a foreign language. Punctuation rules (for english) weren't taught on the lower school levels and on the higher ones - well I only rememeber that there are less comma than in German...

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