Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What's Wrong with These Sentences?

Here's a short paragraph containing three sentences from my textbook (page 584). Is there anything wrong with any of these sentences?
Under physiological conditions, double-stranded DNA is thermodynamically much more stable than the separated strands and that explains why the double-stranded form predominates in vivo. However, the structure of localized regions of the double helix can sometimes be disrupted by unwinding. Such disruption occurs during DNA replication, repair, recombination, and transcription.
Having trouble seeing where I went wrong, according to some people? Check out this and this.

Oh, and don't forget this.


  1. Here's three sentences from my textbook (page 584).

    Here are three sentences ... :0)

    1. I changed it in order to avoid distractions but I deliberately used "here's" in a colloquial sense and I don't think it's wrong.

    2. Just tickled me in a piece about grammar. I don't normally, but ...

  2. Here are, but here's. There are, but there's. Once the verb is cliticized, it's generally reduced to the third person singular - and not just in English. It's more formal to say there are, but there're or here're? Who says that?

    Re the Oxford comma: use it when you need to, don't when you need not to, and otherwise flip a coin.

    1. there're or here're? Who says that?

      Well, everyone. They just don't write it.

      It's too much trouble to separately articulate or run 'here are' together in speech, so you gotta change the agreement with a plural subject/object to allow you an unnecessary and artificial contraction? Hogwash, I say, and more hogwash. "Here's" is a contraction of 'here is'. "Here are" doesn't have a natural equivalent; that doesn't oblige you to borrow one that does. People say 'you done good' too. Don't make it right.

  3. Thank you for the article “Space Invaders: Why you should never, ever use two spaces after a period.” I have been criticized for using two spaces and am trying to break the habit. Now I know why one space after the period is correct.

    I have no opinion on the Oxford comma, but the rule I follow is always use a comma before the word "and" when "and" is a coordinating conjunction joining two complete sentences.

    "Under physiological conditions . . . strands, and that explains why the double-stranded form predominates in vivo.

    The site discusses both the coordinating conjunction and the Oxford comma.

  4. I promote the Oxford comma (or as I call it, "the comma") because it's simple. If you have a list of more than two, everything gets separated by a comma. If things become unclear they can be made clearer consistent with this rule.

    You can't tell, because the spaces are being trimmed, but I also support the two-spaces between sentences rule. It simply looks cleaner and is easier to read, particularly if you're in a rush or have poor vision. The opinions of typesetters don't amount to a hill of beans. This is a visual thing, and all I need are my eyes to know that I'm right. But if that isn't enough, the fact is that online, one never actually knows whether what one types is going to be displayed in proportional or monospace. Amd if it gets copied into a monospace environment, it should look good. That only happens if you've got two spaces.

  5. I thaught you were referring to the quadruplex DNA in vivo fuss that came up in thee news recently.

    As non-native speakers we've been taught the Oxford comma in school. Teachers got mad about it and my impression was that this was the only real rule regarding commata in English. You should be happy if you didn't have to learn German grammer. We have commata everywhere and the rules or actually standards for using them have been officially changed by law in Austria, Switzerland and Germany 1996 with additional modifications in 2004 and 2006