Featuring: Lots of nerdery! Flame chats with S about the “finding” empire of findingstony, findingwinteriron, and findingstuckony, before Flerret chat about the history and mechanics of archiving. Then everyone’s favorite Grammar Mustelid is back with explanations of clauses, we hear about the Trope-Off final (!!), check in on Stuckony Summer Stockings, and get your events forecast.
Interview: S, Let’s Talk: History of Archiving, Fandom Corner: Mechanics of Archiving, Grammar Mustelid: Phrases and Clauses, Trope-Off, Life of an Event, Events Forecast
(Scroll down for individual segments)
Thanks to the-casual-cheesecake, S, and the PotsCast staff.
- Fics Mentioned in This Episode:
- Ao3 Bookmark Viewer
- The Ao3 Anonymous Collection
- Personal Archiving Options
- Trope-Off Final Report
- Stuckony Summer Stocking Event
- Marvel Events Central (Marie’s Blog)
- How To Get A Hold of Us:
Coming up on this episode…
Fandom origin story, Frustrations of Losing a Fic, Accidentally Starting an Empire, The Copperbadge Blessing, Teamwork
Let’s Talk: History of Archiving
Days of Yore, Pre-Internet, Early Internet, Current Internet, No One Misses FFN, Some People Miss LJ, Flerret Hearts Ao3
Fandom Corner: Methods of Archiving
Bookmarks, Collections, Series, Organization, Orphaning Fic, Hashtag Goldfish Brain, Flame’s System
Community Talks, Grammar Mustelid Time, Life of an Event: Stuckony Summer Stocking, Events Forecast, Trope-Off Update!
Transcript of Ferret’s explanations for anyone like Flame who needs to read and listen to stuff this detailed:
- So we talked about parts of speech last time. Those are like the small lego blocks of grammar. When we stick them together, we create phrases and clauses, which then stick together again to form sentences.
- Today, we’re going to talk about SVO, phrases, and clauses. I know y’all really want to know how this stuff applies directly to what you’re writing when it comes to punctuation and stuff, and I really want to get there, but these foundations are super important.
- First we’re going to quickly review the idea of the Subject, Verb Object. English is considered an SVO language. This means that we order the parts of our sentences as the subject first, the verb next, and the object last. There are other classifications, but SVO combined with SOV make up 75% of Earth’s studied languages, so even if English is not your first language, there’s a good chance one of your other languages is either SVO or SOV. SVO is the second most common order so you’re most likely to have a language that is SOV.
- So the subject of the sentence is the noun phrase that the sentence is about. The verb is the phrase that adds action. The object is sometimes optional and is what the action is being done too.
- So what do I mean by phrases? Phrases are clumps of words that form a more complex concept than a single word, but do not express a complete idea and do not contain a subject and a verb. We can form phrases that act as if they are one of the single parts of speech we discussed last week. So for example, we can stick together a determiner (the), two adjectives (sweet and fluffy), and a noun (ferret) and get the noun phrase “the sweet, fluffy ferret.” This phrase has no verb, the ferret isn’t doing anything, and it doesn’t complete a whole idea. But it can be dropped into a sentence wherever you might use a noun.
- Steve steals all my hair ties – this sentence has a proper noun, “Steve” in the subject position
- The sweet, fluffy ferret steals all my hair ties – this sentence has the noun phrase “the sweet fluffy ferret” as the subject of the sentence.
- So in “The sweet, fluffy ferret steals all my hair ties” the subject is “the sweet fluffy ferret” the verb is “steals” and the object is “all my hair ties.” If we add an adverb, that becomes part of the verb phrase. “The sweet, fluffy ferret cruelly steals all my hair ties.” This breaks down into subject – the sweet fluffy ferret, verb – cruelly steals, and object – all my hair ties.
- We can also swap things around. “Steve loves my sweet, fluffy ferret.” Now Steve is back in the subject position, but “my sweet, fluffy ferret” has become the object. In order to determine which is the subject and which is the object, ask yourself, who or what is doing the verb? And who or what is having the verb done to them?
- So there can also be many other bits and pieces in the sentence besides adding an adverb, that tack on to various parts to add more description or make the sentence more complex, and a sentence can also be made up of more than one clause, which is what we’re going to get to now!
- Clauses woooo! So what’s a clause? A clause is a group of words that contain a subject and a verb. They can be whole sentences on their own, or partial sentences that still need more to stand on their own. This makes them more complex than phrases.
- There are a few different kinds of clauses, but we can separate them generally into independent clauses and dependent clauses (sometimes called main clauses and subordinate clauses). This is the part that’s most important when it comes to punctuation.
- Independent clauses are self-sufficient clauses that don’t need no scrub nor do they need any other phrases or clauses to classify as a complete sentence, though, if they’re feeling lonely, they can still take them. An example of an very simple independent clause is “Dogs bark.” It has a subject and a verb, and since the verb is intransitive (which means it does not take an object), it’s not missing any pieces to be a full sentence.
- But if I say “Flame brings” your response is “what does flame bring?” and that’s because while this clause has a subject (flame) and a verb (brings) the verb is transitive (or monotransitive if that helps) which means it needs an object to feel complete as a person. If I say “Flame brings all the boys to the yard” we have “all the boys” as the object, which completes the verb, and “to the yard” as a prepositional phrase as well. This, in its entirety, forms an independent clause.
- If you’re trying to figure out if a clause is independent, the best way to do it is to remove all clauses attached to it or embedded into it, and see if it’s grammatically whole on its own by asking where is the subject? Where is the verb? Does the verb have the appropriate number of objects for its transivity? And does it complete a whole idea?
- So what are dependent clauses? Dependent clauses still have a subject and a verb that is carrying the right number of objects with it, BUT they still need more. Why? Usually because they’re inherently asking a question that isn’t being answered within the clauses and therefore they’re not COMPLETE IDEAS
- There are three common types of dependent clauses: adjective (called relative), noun, and adverbial.
- Adjective clauses modify a noun, just like single adjectives do. So in the sentence “The man who wields the shield, is Captain America” “who wields the shield” has a subject “who” and a verb “wields” which is taking the object “the shield” but it’s not a sentence on its own because it doesn’t complete a thought. So instead, the adjectival clause is attached to the main clause “the man is captain america” to distinguish which man we’re talking about
- Noun clauses act like a noun in a sentence, so instead of modifying a noun like “the man” in our last example, they are the whole ass noun. So we could say “Whoever wields the shield… is captain america” and “whoever wields the shield” is a noun clause just like we dropped in “the sweet fluffy ferret”.
- Lastly we have adverbial phrases which, you guessed it! Modify a verb.
- “Sam Wilson is Captain America, until he hands the shield off.” “until he hands the shield off modifies the “is” verb and is the adverbial clause. We also use adverbial clauses for comparison. “The shield is as awesome as it is heavy.” the “as awesome as it is heavy” is an adverbial clause. These are usually the ones people find hardest.
- Since A LOT of this stuff is intuitive for languages you speak at all, it’s usually easier to think of this more as a way to take sentences you already have and break them down to understand how they were built, instead of to try and think of your sentences this way as you’re building them. These are tools to check and see if your sentences are complete.
- So how can this go wrong?
- There are two different mistakes we’re going to talk about and how to fix them: sentence fragments and run on sentences
- Sentence fragments are missing something crucial, be it a subject or verb, or be it the rest of the complete thought.
- “Steals all my hair ties.” is missing a subject, “the sweet fluffy ferret with a hat” is missing a verb.
- But honestly, these are hardest to spot when you’ve got complex sentences, not short ones.
- What about “A loud bang and Steve turned sharply towards the now open door.” It kinda sounds like a full sentence, doesn’t it? But it’s not! It’s missing a verb. But, you say, there is a verb, “turned” is a verb BUT let’s break down the construction of the sentence. “A loud bang AND Steve turned” this tells us that the conjunction, and, is attempting to join two independent clauses. So we remove everything after the and and we should still be left with an independent clause. But we’re not. “A loud bang” is just a noun phrase. It needs a verb. So the complexity of the sentence can mask the fact that there is a piece missing for it to be grammatically correct.
- To fix it, we can make it “A loud bang rang out, and Steve turned sharply towards the now open door.” You could also make it one independent clause and say “A loud bang caused Steve to turn sharply towards the door.”
- What about run on sentences? There are three kinds of run on sentences. You might know the kind that has too many clauses joined with conjunctions. “Tony loves Bucky and he wants to spar with Steve and Rhodey is his best friend and he’s married to Pepper.” It’s technically grammatically correct, but it’s not pretty and we call that a polysyndeton run on which just means LOTS OF CONJUNCTIONS.
- You can fix this type by splitting up into separate sentences
- The next two types sound the same out loud unless I do the punctuation. We’ve got a comma splice which is when two complete independent clauses or entire sentences are stuck together with a comma and no conjunction. So “Morgan wants chicken nuggets for lunch COMMA nuggets are her favourite.” It’s called a comma splice because you’re splicing or sticking two sentences together with a comma when they need to stand on their own.
- Same with a fused sentence where we stick two together without a comma or any punctuation at all “Peter Parker is spider man he’s the best webslinger”
- You can fix both of these kinds of run ons with periods or semi colons, or by using a conjunction to join them instead.
- We’ll talk more about how to use semi colons in a later talk.
On My Way by Kevin MacLeod