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Author Topic: Annoyed with Macig Tree House
Member # 9499

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So, my son has listened to a few of these books on audio before, but we've just started reading them in print. I picked them up because so many people said they were easy first chapter books.

However, no one mentioned that they are absolutely FILLED with sentence fragments! I

What's up with that? Do they even bother to edit the things? I'm seriously considering not letting him read any more of them because I don't want him to pick up bad habits. I could understand if it was every once in a while, but they're all over the place. Grrr...

Some examples from "Mummies in the Morning":

"The one Jack had found on their dinosaur adventure."

"The one from the castle book."

"And an M on the bookmark"

"In case we want to come back here."

"Frog Creek, Pennsylvania."

"Right outside the window."

"With bright yellow eyes."

All of those were in the first chapter, and I'm only including sentences that weren't being used for dramatic effect. The chapter only had 8 pages!

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Member # 8384

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What's the matter with sentence fragments? Don't tell me you're a Strunk & White follower?
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Member # 12414

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Oh crap, in the 4th and 5th grade I read every single one of them books >: I never noticed anything, then again I am terrible at English soooooooooo....

Why listen to books on audio tape?
Many people on the forum say they listen to books on tape... why though I don't get it, I tried doing it before with Harry Potter books, but I just don't focus like it's a piece of paper...

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Member # 11834

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Books don't follow the same type of English that's proscribed for classroom grammar. They generally follow the Chicago Manual of Style. Magazines follow a different manual, and professional papers another.

A rough outline is available here:

Some of the main differences that I'm aware of include:
- Double-spaces between sentences is preferred in Chicago and considered wrong in some of the others.
- It is a little more acceptable to use 'em dashes in Chicago.
- Everybody disagrees to some extent on the Oxford Comma (who gives a $#*$ about an Oxford Comma?)
- Etc....

There's actually a lot of silly rules based on format, but there's nothing wrong with sentence fragments in a novel (as long as they make sense).

You might want to take a look at the difference between proscriptivist and descriptivist grammar. But you really don't need to know most of this unless you are an editor or are trying to get published. (See that, I just started a sentence with "but" -- thank you, Chicago Manual of Style!)

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Member # 12420

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I really enjoyed those books when I was younger, and I did fine in english all the way through school. I wouldn't worry too much because (hopefully) those won't be the only books your kids will ever read. lol in all fairness though I didn't even notice the sentence fragments when I was younger, and by the time I would've I had out grown them. Next time I'm home I'm definitly going to dig one out of the basement and re read it.
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Member # 8825

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When it comes to writing i really thing proper grammar is overrated. Some of my favorite authors break traditional writing rules. Usually it enhances the beauty of their work.
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