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Let me make it easier for you: If an opinion without a reason is useless, then your opinion, that an ... is not true that an opinion without a reason is useless. Usefully, that also works in my defence too. OK?

Might be easier for him, but me me - I'm still trying to understand this reply! :-(

Paulo - who thinks that maybe it would have been better to specialize in KFL - Klingon as a Foreign Language!
That said, the sentence remains potentially perplexing. Why not "One flag was red, white, and blue, and the other was green and yellow"?

That's exactly what I said to them!
But the predictable reply was, "Yes alright, but what if...?"

Paulo
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paulo (Email Removed) filted:
Let me make it easier for you: If an opinion ... useless. Usefully, that also works in my defence too. OK?

Might be easier for him, but me me - I'm still trying to understand this reply! :-(

In the original instance, an opinion without a reason *is* useless, and that's my opinion..
And here's my reason: without knowing what the reason for the opinion are, the students can't learn to generalize the rule so it can be applied to similar cases...if you say that "red, white and blue, and green and yellow" is invalid, then what about "red, white and blue, and yellow, black and green"?...or "red and white, green and yellow, and white and blue"?...

Come up with a reason in the form of a rule and we'll see if it floats..r
Let me make it easier for you: If an opinion ... useless. Usefully, that also works in my defence too. OK?

Might be easier for him, but me me - I'm still trying to understand this reply! :-(

Don't try! It's meant as a joke.

Paul
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POSTED FRIDAY - REPOSTING AS IT WAS NOT PROPAGATED - APPEARS TO HAVE GOT LOST Calling all sympathetic fellow-educators: God ... that all the other students would have the chance to benefit from the discussion. :-P Help! Was I right? Why?

#2 is correct. Some of the replies you've received seem to value theory over common sense.
Groups of adjectives do not have a comma before the "and". Wrong:
green, and yellow
red, white, and blue
Right:
green and yellow
red, white and blue
A comma is necessary before an "and" separating two such groups, because we pause or change tone at that point in order not to confuse the listener, and because we don't want to confuse the reader.
Right:
red, white and blue, and green and yellow
Notice that since convention doesn't allow "red white and blue" there is still ambiguity here until we know whether two or three (flags) are under discussion.
Adrian
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That said, the sentence remains potentially perplexing. Why not "One flag was red, white, and blue, and the other was green and yellow"?

That's exactly what I said to them! But the predictable reply was, "Yes alright, but what if...?"

So then, the predictable reply from you, as teacher, is "People can make up bad sentences all day long and demand to know how to punctuate them, but that doesn't mean I have to fall into that trap. My job is to help you form good sentences that will communicate clearly," blah, blah, blah.
They can demand all they want that you make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, but you're entitled to refuse and expect some real silk, instead. As teacher, that's exactly the authority that you have.

Best Donna Richoux
Right: red, white and blue, and green and yellow Notice that since convention doesn't allow "red white and blue" there is still ambiguity here until we know whether two or three (flags) are under discussion.

Wouldn't you have used a comma after "green" for the three-flag case?

But I still prefer my ampersands.
Matti
POSTED FRIDAY - REPOSTING AS IT WAS NOT PROPAGATED - ... benefit from the discussion. :-P Help! Was I right? Why?

#2 is correct. Some of the replies you've received seem to value theory over common sense. Groups of adjectives do not have a comma before the "and". Wrong: green, and yellow red, white, and blue Right: green and yellow red, white and blue

Piffle! There are two conventions, and the one you deny is the better one. Read up on the serial comma in the FAQ.
Also, see http://ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/commas.htm#1, where you'll read the following:Use a comma to separate the elements in a series (three or more things), including the last two. "He hit the ball, dropped the bat, and ran to first base." You may have learned that the comma before the "and" is unnecessary, which is fine if you're in control of things. However, there are situations in which, if you don't use this comma (especially when the list is complex or lengthy), these last two items in the list will try to glom together (like macaroni and cheese).

Using a comma between all the items in a series, including the last two, avoids this problem. This last comma-the one between the word "and" and the preceding word-is often called the serial comma or the Oxford comma. In newspaper writing, incidentally, you will seldom find a serial comma, but that is not necessarily a sign that it should be omitted in academic prose.
A comma is necessary before an "and" separating two such groups, because we pause or change tone at that point in order not to confuse the listener, and because we don't want to confuse the reader. Right: red, white and blue, and green and yellow

See my above comment.
Notice that since convention doesn't allow "red white and blue" there is still ambiguity here until we know whether two or three (flags) are under discussion.

The sentences, as given, are clumsy and should never be written, but I said that before in another post.

Skitt (in Hayward, California)
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So then, the predictable reply from you, as teacher, is "People can make up bad sentences all day long and ... but you're entitled to refuse and expect some real silk, instead. As teacher, that's exactly the authority that you have.

Sigh! It's a latin culture thing.
For example, the fact that one of our teachers is planning on taking a four-week "advancement" course in English in January has to be hidden from the students (and their parents).
If not, the reaction will be, "Can't be a very good teacher if he/she is having lessons on the subject".
I know the all arguments that you can present against this stupid philosophy but it is of no avail.
We've actually had parents WITHDRAW their offspring from courses because of similar situations - small-mindedness, but what can you do?

So, in the next class I will explain the problem with the flag construction and how to rephrase it to get around it - but I'll still have to come up with an answer for the original question or it'll be, "Ya-Ya, we caught him out on the second week of the course - he's useless!"
The world, alas, is not a perfect place. :-(
When's the next ship to Qo'nos?

Paulo
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