I need to settle a grammar argument

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 14, 2011 11:19 PM GMT
    So I work in the library and we made a signs to post around the Silent Study Floor. A particular sign stated:

    1) No loud music, noises, socializing or rowdiness.

    ...in order for the students to know that none of the above actions are tolerated.

    Is that sign correct?

    My friend thought that it meant:

    2) No loud music, loud noises, loud socializing or loud rowdiness.

    I said, for it to mean that, it would have said:

    3) No loud: music, noises, socializing or rowdiness.

    Would the majority of students interpret it his way or my way?
    Sorry about the boring topic lol
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    Jan 14, 2011 11:29 PM GMT
    Time was they taught this stuff in elementary school. But nowadays, they don't because they don't want to hurt Timmy or Tammy's feelings!


    YOU are correct. It means exactly what you think it means and your friend is either an complete idiot, a complete troublemaker or a recent college grad.icon_wink.gif
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    Jan 14, 2011 11:33 PM GMT
    Yea, you are correct. I was an English major in college...dont they teach kids anything these days??
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    Jan 15, 2011 12:01 AM GMT
    For your friend's version to be the right one, the correct punctuation would be the forward-slash:
    No loud music/noises/socializing/rowdiness.

    But rowdiness implies loudness, so that wouldn't make sense either.
  • SwimBIkeRun94...

    Posts: 480

    Jan 15, 2011 1:15 AM GMT
    You can shut your friend up and put "loud music" as the last item in the sequence. Ta-da! icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 15, 2011 1:23 AM GMT
    Wait a minute, you allow music to play on the Silent Study Floor? icon_lol.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 15, 2011 1:27 AM GMT
    lol yes music is allowed, but only so low that the person adjacent to you can't hear it.
    Thx guys for you replies.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 15, 2011 1:51 AM GMT
    How have we come to live in a world where people need a sign to warn them to be quiet in the 'Silent Study Floor' of a library?
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    Jan 15, 2011 2:08 AM GMT
    HeartRobb saidHow have we come to live in a world where people need a sign to warn them to be quiet in the 'Silent Study Floor' of a library?


    there is something so wonderfully comforting in knowing you have made this observation, heartrobb, in spite of the fact that this is the exact world in which we live.
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    Jan 15, 2011 4:07 AM GMT
    The sign means:
    No loud music
    No noises
    No socializing
    No rowdiness
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 15, 2011 4:09 AM GMT
    It can mean both
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    Jan 15, 2011 4:13 AM GMT
    Could mean both, but anyone with a brain would understand the meaning of the sign. Everyone knows any type of rowdiness is unacceptable in a library, and only a total smart-ass would say something like "But the sign said no 'loud' rowdiness." You could put a "no" before each word on the list, but it would be unnecessary. You're right on this one.
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    Jan 15, 2011 4:22 AM GMT
    Soyfan said1) No loud music, noises, socializing nor rowdiness.
    Corrected.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 15, 2011 4:54 AM GMT
    The sign may be a mildly ambiguous -- language often is, but not incorrect grammatically -- and I like paulflexes addition of nor, or I would probably say 'any rowdiness'.

    Are you really proposing 'No loud: music, noises, socializing or rowdiness' as an alternative? I'm not sure you are, but it isn't grammatically correct -- if you that's what you would want the sign to read. You can use a colon for a list, but it needs to be preceded by a complete sentence or thought, and "No loud:..." is not a complete sentence or thought. So no dice on using the colon in this instance.
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    Jan 15, 2011 4:59 AM GMT
    paulflexes said
    Soyfan said1) No loud music, noises, socializing nor rowdiness.
    Corrected.


    paul, I may be ridiculed for suggesting a correction because i am not a native speaker. but that does not sound correct to me. "nor" only goes well when there is either "neither" or "not" in the first part of the sentence. =)
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jan 15, 2011 5:10 AM GMT
    paulflexes said
    Soyfan said1) No loud music, noises, socializing nor rowdiness.
    Corrected.


    items in a series do not take nor because the negative framework of the initial item is implied throughout, and the nor signals a break to start a new phrase or clause, which this isn't,or a refuting of the negative.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jan 15, 2011 5:41 AM GMT
    Soyfan saidSo I work in the library and we made a signs to post around the Silent Study Floor. A particular sign stated:

    1) No loud music, noises, socializing or rowdiness.

    ...in order for the students to know that none of the above actions are tolerated.

    Is that sign correct?

    My friend thought that it meant:

    2) No loud music, loud noises, loud socializing or loud rowdiness.

    I said, for it to mean that, it would have said:

    3) No loud: music, noises, socializing or rowdiness.

    Would the majority of students interpret it his way or my way?
    Sorry about the boring topic lol


    Actually, your friend is right and you are wrong. One, this sentence is a minor/nominal sentence/fragment, so that's your first problem. There is no verb in this sentence. No is acting as an adverb to loud. Thus, you are without your predicate. It would stand on its own as an imperative, but this is important for later as to why a colon won't work.... Second, as a nominal sentence, the list is working as an item in a series, not a list in which a colon is appropriate. That is why a comma is correct. Third, I hate it when people don't use serial commas, so according to that sign, I read socializing and rowdiness as one item, when in my mind I think you mean them to be separate items (place a comma after socializing).

    You can only use a colon in a list when the list itself is a completed main clause. Because the sentence at hand is only a phrase, a colon is not grammatically correct-- despite the fact that the sentence will colloquially stand as a nominal sentence.

    If your concern is whether loud is read in conjunction with the other items in the series, according to parallelism, it is because it is the first item.
  • starboard5

    Posts: 969

    Jan 15, 2011 5:49 AM GMT
    An easier solution would be to just place the "loud music" item at the end.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jan 15, 2011 6:00 AM GMT
    MattyRoland83 saidYea, you are correct. I was an English major in college...dont they teach kids anything these days??


    fallacy of authority
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jan 15, 2011 6:01 AM GMT
    StudlyScrewRite said Time was they taught this stuff in elementary school. But nowadays, they don't because they don't want to hurt Timmy or Tammy's feelings!


    YOU are correct. It means exactly what you think it means and your friend is either an complete idiot, a complete troublemaker or a recent college grad.icon_wink.gif


    umm... how do i tell you this... icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 15, 2011 6:22 AM GMT
    forget the worded sign and draw pictures in crayon.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 15, 2011 6:28 AM GMT
    How about: "Be Quiet!"
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    Jan 15, 2011 6:30 AM GMT
    paulflexes said
    Soyfan said1) No loud music, noises, socializing nor rowdiness.
    Corrected.


    corrected incorrectly.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 15, 2011 6:47 AM GMT
    I would have just put "loud music" at the end if it was such a big deal that loud only apply to the music part. To me, the adjective could apply to all of them, just like the "No" part would.

    But what do I know, I'm not an English major.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Jan 15, 2011 7:24 AM GMT
    "1) No loud music, noises, socializing or rowdiness."






    It's completely confusing.

    What's wrong with, "QUIET !"