anonymous asked:

Hello! I wondered which was grammatically correct: "There were cats, pigs and dogs in the house," or "There were cats, pigs, and dogs in the house." My girlfriend and I could not decide if a comma had to be after pigs or not, or if it was fine to use either.

Oh boy. You’ve stumbled on a dilemma in the English speaking world, and one that is hotly debated. The comma in question is known as the “Serial Comma” or “Oxford Comma,” and different people will have very different opinions on whether or not it should be used. 

My personal opinion is that the serial comma should be used, as it eliminates confusion in all lists. However, some people say you should only use the serial comma in instances where not using it would lead to confusion. 

Example: 

In the example you gave me - well, you’re both right. And you’re both wrong, depending on the style guide you’re supposed to be following. (Protip: If you’re writing academically, be sure to look up the Oxford Comma in the style guide you’re meant to be following, and ask your instructor about their preference.) 

I got an ask from one user who looked to be an OC. As I am open to OC’s, I went and checked out their blog before interacting. But they had literally nothing up on their characters OR THE MUN. Just their ask box, and their spelling and grammar were atrocious so I haven’t acted upon their ask. Is that bad? I just don’t really feel comfortable playing with someone who looks as to have not put ANY WORK into their characters. If they have, could they PLEASE put it up so we could see it?

Why are Dan and Phil so hot?

I’m here to say why I think stuff. Today I’ll say why I think people find these two very average men attractive. Well, I know I do.
Even though they’re both really good looking anyway, in my opinion, the reason people think they’re so amazing is their personality. If you saw Dan and Phil on the street without knowing that they were that amazing, you wouldn’t look twice. But if you understand them as a person, you’d fangirl the hell out of those guys.
What I want to conclude this with: Once you’ve fallen in love with someone’s personality, everything about that person becomes beautiful.

~Brodie Westwood, 27/4/15

Prettier Japanese sentence diagrams

It occurs to me that there’s probably a much more streamlined approach to generating pretty Japanese sentence diagrams, so I’m less excited now about my current approach and not enthusiastic about a detailed tutorial. 

So I’ll limit myself to saying I generated prettier diagrams using the cabochatrees (zip) LaTeX package in combination with CaboCha’s XML output (use -f3 setting). Here’s how to install CaboCha. Just reference cabochatrees.tex to see how to wrap the code around the XML output for sentences. Install whatever packages you need to get it running, including something like zxjatype and zxjafont(s), which you can find at the bottom of the list in MikTeX’s package manager (make sure to stop TeXworks [hit the stop button next to the drop-down menu area, which you must use to select XeLaTeX before hitting the button when it’s green to start processing] if you just ran it and received a package requirement notice, or you’ll likely get an error trying to install new packages).

I’ll try to make up for my undetailed explanation by making something good using this process that many learners can use… Could take a while, like not until the summer…

Now I’m thinking it might be even better to generate SVG images from the XML… CaboCha’s XML output is fairly simple: the chunk wrappings are for bunsetsu, the link # points to which chunk the chunk is dependent on.

Even simpler than this for my purposes may be a simple find/replace to use CSS to associate colors w/ bunsetsu based on their relationships to the roots of sentences (I believe the root is given an id of -1 in the XML).