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It amuses me that people think I love the sound of my own voice.. I far prefer the look of what I write to the sound of my voice - with a few seconds more to think about things, I can phrase them exactly as I want..

For starters, it's important to me that I include an apostrophe when I talk about "getting 'round to doing something", because I'm talking about getting around to it. Circles are not relevant.

For some reason, rather than saying "For example take yesterday" or "Take yesterday for example", I seem to write "Take, for example, yesterday". I can't explain why I think my way is better, or quite why I insist upon so many commas, but there you have it..

Also, if I want a something (say a list of documents) from Joe, then rather than writing "I have tried to get a list from Joe" I tend to write "I have tried to get from Joe a list". The main reason is that the latter structure is far more scaleable. If what I've tried to get is actually complicated and needs explanation, then I've already used the words "Get" and "Joe" before I go into an in-depth explanation. So in the following example, I think my way is better:

"I have tried to get a list of all customers who come from either Scotland or Northern Ireland from Joe"
"I have tried to get from Joe a list of all customers who come from either Scotland or Northern Ireland"

One could equally say "I have tried to get a list from Joe of all.." but then you're breaking up the description of what you want, which doesn't read well.

And finally, writing gives me the chance to put back in all those little words that spoken English takes out..

"The way we do X"
"The way in which we do X"

I can't help but think that people would do better with their language skills if they were just aware of what they were really saying, including the words that drop out. And thus, my intellectual snobbery manifests itself through literacy rather than numeracy, which is kind of odd.. I guess it's because I don't have a problem with people who can't do maths, whereas people who butcher the language really piss me off - there's simply no excuse for it (he said, using a good dozen more commas than necessary)..

In my defence, the comma thing is a force of habit.. I know I'm in error, but I just can't stop myself.. :o)

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I know I'm in error

You're not.

You're not honestly trying to tell me that I don't use too many commas, are you? Because I'm sure I do.. I misuse them as places where I would take a break when talking, rather than correctly where the sentence structure calls for them.

"Too many commas" is a funny one. Judging by the last paragraph of your post, you use them to separate subordinate clauses from the main clauses, which is fine. It's not always necessary to do so, but there's nothing wrong with doing it instinctively. I've probably written essays that contain fewer words than commas and I've never had any complaints.

It certainly amuses *me* to think that you could love the sound of your own voice...

I'd have to agree generally though, as the misuse of the English language is one of my pet hates - for example the all-too-common 'your' instead of 'you're' or ending sentences with a preposition, amongst other niggles, which become especially irritating when they're from people who should know better (read: University graduates)

It's one of the many ways in which I look down on people from my high horse, somewhat hypocritically because my own writing proficiency seems to have reduced since I stopped bothering to actually write anything, be it on Usenet or IRC. Even my job requires precious little writing save for procedure documentation which I usually semi-plagiarise anyway.

It can be very frustrating to be a grammar snob on the internet.

I don't think it's actually "too many commas" unless the commas are actually disrupting the flow of the sentence. After all, a phrase like "mice cats chase eat cheese" is technically correct as-is, but punctuation can make a vast improvement in readability.

Then again I'm probably biased since "using too many commas" is one of my interests here.

One more thing: As far as I'm concerned, math is just another language.

That's funny, as far as I'm concerned language is just another science :o)

PS, No! Cheese can't dial a phone!

Gold star for getting the obscure icon. The fact that all the episodes of The State are now available on iTunes makes me both happy (because they are finally available somewhere other than sporadically on youtube) and sad (because I don't like iTunes).

All of the above refers to style. All good writers have one, and you're a good writer. 'Nough said.

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