Issue For February 19, 2007
Writing Question of the Week
This is usually a question submitted by an OWL user to the OWL Tutors. If you have a question you need answered quickly, ask one of our OWL Tutors or call the Writing Lab's Grammar Hotline at 765-494-3723. And remember, both services are free for everyone!
Is YouTube a professional website, or is it a collection of personal websites? Which would be the correct way to refer to it electronically.--Mary
YouTube is a professional site where individual people post personal information. If you are referring to YouTube (e.g. as a website in general), then you would refer to it as a professional site. If you are referring to a particular submission on YouTube by a person, you would refer to he individual's contribution, but also state YouTube as the sponsoring organization.
The OWL Help Nest
Each week we publish Purdue OWL News readers' requests for advice or information and the responses from other Purdue OWL News readers.
I'm confused about the following sentence: "Donna is all but thin in stature." Does this sentence suggest that she is plump? I have difficulty with the "all but" phrase used in this context. Also, I hear many learned newscasters using this phrase in what I feel is the wrong manner. Please advise. --Lotte
Consider that the writer or speaker is using "all" to mean "everything," and "but" to mean "except." Therefore, Donna is everything except thin. This phraseology often is used in in ironic sense to emphasize and show comparison to the word being used, in this case, "thin."--Marlene Clark, Middlesex Community College, Middletown, CT
Yes. You're right. Donna is not thin. When you're in doubt, you can go through this usage like this: Donna's all (she's blond, she's smart, she's witty)...but she's not....and there you go.--Kusma
I am puzzled by the correct use of phrases using "welcome" and"welcomed." For example: "All submissions are 'welcomed' prior to the end of the year", or "All submissions are 'welcome' by ...." Which is correct? It seems to me that the former is correct but I ususally see the latter in common use.--Greg Cutchin, Purdue University
The meaning is synonymous, though the adjective "welcome" seems most common in examples like the one you submitted. The verb form "are welcomed" might be followed by "by a committee standing ready to review your submission." The matter of correctness doesn't seem relevant to me. Neither is incorrect.--Robert Rosser, University of Maryland, Europe
Both are grammatically correct, but I prefer the second example.
Your first example uses "welcomed" as a verb in the passive voice; your second example uses "welcome" as an adjective, modifying the subject (submissions). Passive voice is OK if you have a reason to use it: to place emphasis on what's being done rather than who or what is doing it, or when the subject is unknown. In this case, you want to communicate something about "submissions," the subject of the sentence, so there's no reason to go with passive voice.
In fact, you could tighten the sentence further by dropping "All" and replacing "prior to" with "by": "Submissions are welcome by the end of the year."--Aaron Minnick, Columbus, OH
I have to write a dialogue, and I have never written one. Where do I begin and what exactly is a dialogue? --Elizabeth Anderson, Texas
When people speak, it's called dialogue.
"I don't feel well," said Jane.
"What's wrong?" asked Dick.
"I have the flu."
"Well, I guess I'll have to study by myself today."
Every speaker gets a new paragraph.
Generally, punctuation goes with the quote and inside the quote marks (see the question mark). And you don't have to get fancy with using words like exclaimed (a exclamation mark will tell us the speaker exclaimed). In a 2-person dialogue, after you identify the speakers, you don't have to say "he said" or "she said" every time they speak. The new paragraphs will identify the speaker.
Ideally, the dialogue will move the action or thought along. Hopefully, the above sample demonstrate these concepts.--Marlene Clark, Middlesex Community College, Middletown CT
"Good morning, Elizabeth," said the aged professor, in a voice ruined by years of lecturing in cavernous auditoriums.
"Good morning, sir," she replied.
"How can I help you today?"
Hesitating only slightly, Elizabeth responded, "I'm supposed to write dialogue, but I don't know what it is."
"We're having one now," said the professor. "Just write it down."
"Oh," she exclaimed, "Is it really that simple?"
"Well, nothing is really simple," was the retort, "but written dialogue is just a conversation with quotation marks around the words actually spoken." --Robert Rosser, University of Maryland, Europe
A dialogue is a conversational exchange between two or more people in a given situation. Dialogues can be used to resemble brief, real-life conversations. A simple, simple dialogue:
Speaker #1: "Will you have a sandwich?"
Speaker #2: "Yes, thank you."
Speaker #1: "Tuna salad or ham and cheese?"
Speaker #2: "I'd like ham and cheese, please."
I hope this helps a little.--Roy Stewart, Literacy Volunteers, Buffalo, NY
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What's Happening on the OWL at Purdue
- OWL Eye On...Professional Writing Handouts. Each week, new handouts are being moved and updated on the Purdue OWL. Check out our expanding Professional Writing and Job Search writing areas!
What's Happening in the Writing Lab
- OWL Eye On...Resume Reviews. Writing Lab tutors will be available to review student resumes at the Liberal Arts Student Council Job Fair on Tuesday, February 20th. The fair will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. outside of room 118 in the Purdue Memorial Union.
- OWL Eye On...ESL Conversation Groups. If English is not your native language and you need listening and speaking practice in English in an informal atmosphere, you are welcome to join an ESL conversation group in the Writing Lab at any or all of the scheduled times listed. There is no need to apply or register--just drop in! Conversation groups run: Monday 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; Tuesday 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.; Wednesday 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.; Thursday 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.; and Friday 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m
- OWL Eye On...Writing Lab Spring 2007 Schedule The Writing Lab is open Monday-Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. During this time, students are invited to use our computers, ask for a handout, read or study in the lab, or use any self-instruction materials that are available. Tutors are available for appointments during the following times: Monday - Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Friday 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. For most (but not all) of the times listed for tutorial appointment, there is also drop-in tutorial help available on a first-come, first-serve basis. To make an appointment or to see whether there is a wait for drop-ins, call us at 494-3723.
This week's OWL News was edited by Karl Stolley, OWL Webmaster.