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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just read this poignant piece by Russell Brand on Amy Winehouse. It has a few glaring punctuation errors. The thing is, it's still pretty moving. Would it be better if it didn't have any punctuation errors? I don't know. I'd like to think so, but does it matter?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/jul/24/russell-brand-amy-winehouse-woman

Of course, maybe the real problem is that I'm thinking about punctuation in light of this Winehouse tragedy. The writer/editor in me, I guess.
 

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which errors, specifically?
the article appears in the Guardian, a top-flight UK newspaper. are you sure it's not simply a matter of British style punctuation vs., say, AP style or Chicago Manual?
 

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isaacsweeney said:
I just read this poignant piece by Russell Brand on Amy Winehouse. It has a few glaring punctuation errors. The thing is, it's still pretty moving. Would it be better if it didn't have any punctuation errors? I don't know. I'd like to think so, but does it matter?
I read both of Brand's books -- which he wrote himself -- and he's a darn good writer. Maybe he needed an editor for this but the poignancy of his words trumped that for me.
 

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Mike McIntyre said:
which errors, specifically?
the article appears in the Guardian, a top-flight UK newspaper. are you sure it's not simply a matter of British style punctuation vs., say, AP style or Chicago Manual?
LOL. You should read the Daily Telegraph online. It's a good laugh for errors. It has nothing to do with the different punctuation in the UK although you do have to take that in to account. My brother law was a proof reader for a newspaper in the UK and his hobby for the past 20 years has been to buy and proof the daily paper Telegraph in the same way as you would buy a newspaper for the crossword.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Mike McIntyre said:
which errors, specifically?
Here are a couple, since you asked (again, I'm not sure it matters).

"Frustratingly it's not a call you can ever make it must be received." -- a run-on
"From time to time I'd bump into Amy she had good banter so we could chat a bit and have a laugh ...." -- comma splice (needs a period or semi-colon)
 

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isaacsweeney said:
Here are a couple, since you asked (again, I'm not sure it matters).

"Frustratingly it's not a call you can ever make it must be received." -- a run-on
"From time to time I'd bump into Amy she had good banter so we could chat a bit and have a laugh ...." -- comma splice (needs a period or semi-colon)
yeah, i see your point now. clearly not a style issue. on the other hand, i can follow what he's saying. language is forever evolving, but perhaps russell is rushing it a bit.
 

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isaacsweeney said:
Here are a couple, since you asked (again, I'm not sure it matters).

"Frustratingly it's not a call you can ever make it must be received." -- a run-on
"From time to time I'd bump into Amy she had good banter so we could chat a bit and have a laugh ...." -- comma splice (needs a period or semi-colon)
Does it really matter, especially to Brand who is known for his stage act more than his writing. Jamie Oliver, the UK chef is dyslexic and admits to never reading books, but his cook books are second only to JK Rowling in terms of sales. Of course Jamie has editors. Russel hasn't had that luxury for what is a personal out pouring of "there but for the grace of God," and a tribute to the talent of Whinehouse. The importance, is that it is a piece from the heart in the same way as the messages left outside her home. I think it is a fantastic tribute.
 

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isaacsweeney said:
Here are a couple, since you asked (again, I'm not sure it matters).

"Frustratingly it's not a call you can ever make it must be received." -- a run-on
"From time to time I'd bump into Amy she had good banter so we could chat a bit and have a laugh ...." -- comma splice (needs a period or semi-colon)
The examples you cite are both quite readable to me. Understandable. It seems more like the way Brand talks. Language keeps evolving and it's great importance is in effective communication to the reader. Maybe in the near future textspeak will be the new English with it's own rules of grammar. ;D
 

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Which of these is correct?

What in god's name is wrong with people.  Someone young has died tragically and they are thinking of punctuation.

  OR

What in God's name is wrong with people?  Someone young has died tragically and they are thinking about punctuation.
 

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I see what you mean. But I think these are less "errors" than a stylistic choice that matches the tone of the rest of the piece. This is a eulogy for a fractured woman and the writing reflects that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
JeanneM said:
Which of these is correct?

What in god's name is wrong with people. Someone young has died tragically and they are thinking of punctuation.

OR

What in God's name is wrong with people? Someone young has died tragically and they are thinking about punctuation.
The second. ;)

It is a moving piece, that's for sure. I especially like how it ends with the "big picture" and his thoughts on addiction.
 
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