Friday, May 9, 2014

ANNOTATING The House on Mango Street: Characters, Themes, Figurative Language, Etc.

Please read past posts and review your punctuation and grammar this weekend.

Who's Who in The House on Mango Street?
Character Map for The House on Mango Street

As you read The House on Mango Street, ANNOTATE the following: 
  • characters
  • themes
  • poetic elements - imagery (GOATVOK), figurative language, alliteration, etc. 
  • quotation marks for dialogue
  • vernacular - that is grammatically incorrect - pronouns, double negatives, etc. 
YES, I will check your annotations next week!

More Grammar Questions and Resources:

How do you punctuate when using "etc."? 


Question Description
Is it correct to use comma after etc., at the end of the sentence in American style of English? Example: Various technologies like Java, Microsoft, Unix, etc.?


"Etc." is used to indicate that only some of the items on a list have been used. Generally, in American English, if "etc." is used in the middle of a sentence, then it is followed by a comma. (Tennis, soccer, baseball, etc., are outdoor games.) However, if this word appears at the end of a sentence, then the period (which is part of "etc.") serves as the final punctuation mark. It should not be followed by a comma. (Being outdoors, we played tennis, soccer, baseball, etc.).

What is the Oxford Comma?

Using a comma before the last item in a list is known as the Oxford Comma, sometimes the Serial Comma. It is used before conjunctions in a list like this with three or more items. Its use is purely written style and optional. It is more common in America outside journalism, and much less common in other English speaking areas of the world. There are arguments for and against which usually come down to comprehension. Wikipedia quotes these ambiguities:
To my parents, Ayn Rand and God.
To my mother, Ayn Rand, and God.
Also on that wiki page you can find lots of links to certain style guides. Comma use is something of a grey area though, and everyone has his own style. Pick what reduces ambiguity.
Language log has an interesting article on how reading comprehension can be improved with comma use, including this type.

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