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grammar and punctuation

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marse View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote marse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: grammar and punctuation
    Posted: 15 Apr 2008 at 7:14am
At the risk of starting a flame war, how can some of you with scripts turn them in without using the proper spelling, punctuation and grammar? Is the IMing and texting shortcuts so ingrained in you (those who do this) that you don't understand it makes you look uneducated when you're writing?

"Your" is possessive - it means it belongs to you; "You're" is You Are. "Dont" isn't correct: "don't" is.

Hello, <person> is correct. Hello <person> isn't. You need to put a comma in there or it's wrong.

If I was a judge I'd toss your work if you couldn't even use basic grammar and punctuation.

Mark
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dragynally Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2008 at 7:25am
So glad that you aren't a judge. Its not iming that makes my grammar bad. I never quite got it down when I was little and have been paying for it ever since. But because I know my grammar sucks I always ask someone else to look over it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Maggie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2008 at 7:31am
    Hey, Mark ~
I was surprised, too, by the grammar and punctuation errors. With so much of the content judging subjective, why not guarantee that at least your form is perfect? It doesn't make sense to me but this trend is prevalent. I don't think it will make a huge difference to the judges unless you get one that's a real stickler. Then you're in trouble. Always run spell-check and get an English major to proof read.
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marse View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote marse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2008 at 7:35am
I really don't think you need an English major - screenwriting is pretty casual grammar- and punctuation-wise. It's not a novel or a newspaper or a school paper; but just the basics - contractions, commas and such.

Mark
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote johnnyd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2008 at 7:38am
It's a very valid point, and I've heard arguments on both sides.

On the one hand, you want to do everything in your power to look professional and capable, don't want to give a reader or judge any excuse to put your script down (i.e., "I have 50 of these things on my desk, I'm not going to waste my time on one rife with misspellings), etc.

On the other hand, I've heard professional readers say that if they're reading a good story, they don't care if it's written in LOLCat on the back of a Denny's napkin. That'll all get fixed in the rewrite anyway. From personal experience, the greatest screenplay I've ever read is Abel Ferrara's The Bad Lieutenant. The copy I had was a corrupted PDF and very hard to read; random letters were either transposed or replaced by wingdings. But you could make it out and damn if I didn't read that thing in an hour cause I absolutely had to know what happened next.

Both arguments weighed, I do ultimately agree with marse. It pays to clean this stuff up. Especially in a contest where judges will want quantifiable criteria on which to score.

Just my 2 cents.






Edited by johnnyd - 15 Apr 2008 at 7:39am
"Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it." George Bernard Shaw
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote marse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2008 at 7:46am
Your point is also valid about an engaging story being hard to ignore but here's two points:

Garbled text is beyond the author's control and isn't because he/she is lazy.

I may not get into your story if I'm constantly aggravated that you're not able to distinguish between "your" and "you're" and I'm being constantly by your bad usage of it.

I take a lot of pride in my work and wouldn't want it to reflect badly on me. Everyone makes a mistake or two but come on, it's not that hard to just get the basics.

Mark

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rainy Night Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2008 at 7:50am

I would normally go through my scripts with a fine tooth comb, and I do have a degree in English (I got an A in grammar also, but I still make plenty of mistakes).  In this contest where you have a week to write the script and in the final round where there you only have 24 hours I think grammar takes second hand to story.  I'm sure the judges will consider grammar, but I don't think it's going to be in the forefront of their criteria. 

 

Reading back through mine I see errors that I missed.  I was doing my 4th rewrite at the 11th hour and didn't get the changes proofread.  I'd rather have submitted it on time with minor errors than not at all.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brightboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2008 at 7:51am
reflect poorly
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote marse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2008 at 7:54am
I'm really talking about multiple, persistent mistakes when it becomes obvious that the writer doesn't have a clue.

I agree - get it in rather than not at all.

Mark
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote marse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2008 at 7:57am
Pretty sure it's either way.

Mark
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