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    #1

    need help with punctuation

    Hello,
    Could someone help me with punctuation in the sentence :

    But what do you do if you are confronted by a society the inhabitants of which appear to be behaving in ways, whether or not we are talking about female genital mutilation or whatever it is we are talking about or widow burning or any of the other examples we're talking about.

    Cheers.

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    #2

    Re: need help with punctuation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaskin View Post
    Hello,
    Could someone help me with punctuation in the sentence :


    But what do you do if you are confronted by a society the inhabitants of which appear to be behaving in ways, whether or not we are talking about female genital mutilation or whatever it is we are talking about or widow burning or any of the other examples we're talking about.


    Cheers.
    You text doesn't make sense hence I rephrased and modified the text:

    But what do you do if you are confronted by a society the inhabitants of which appear to be behaving in ways that include female genital mutilation, widow burning or any other examples?

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    #3

    Re: need help with punctuation

    Hello jirikoo;

    Thank you for your prompt reply; but the text makes sense in a wider context;
    I'm practising my listening and I make a transcription from a radio program.
    I stuck with punctuation in that part. The text doesn't need rephrasing.

    Thank you for your effort but I'm still waiting for help.

    Cheers;

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    #4

    Re: need help with punctuation

    up

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    #5

    Re: need help with punctuation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaskin View Post
    Hello,
    Could someone help me with punctuation in the sentence :


    But what do you do if you are confronted by a society the inhabitants of which appear to be behaving in ways, whether or not we are talking about female genital mutilation or whatever it is we are talking about or widow burning or any of the other examples we're talking about.


    Cheers.

    Sorry, I started to do as you ask, but the whole sentence does not make sense. I agree with jirikoo It needs to be re-written in order to have the punctuation corrected.

    I am not a teacher.


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    #6

    Re: need help with punctuation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaskin View Post
    But what do you do if you are confronted by a society, the inhabitants of which appear to be behaving in ways, whether or not we are talking about female genital mutilation or whatever it is we are talking about or widow burning or any of the other examples we're talking about.
    There is more after your final full stop, if I recall this debate correctly, in which the participants discuss what are the ways that can be regarded as unacceptable, and how what is acceptable in one society may be completely unacceptable in another.

  1. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: need help with punctuation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaskin View Post
    Hello,
    Could someone help me with punctuation in the sentence :

    But what do you do if you are confronted by a society the inhabitants of which appear to be behaving in ways, whether or not we are talking about female genital mutilation or whatever it is we are talking about or widow burning or any of the other examples we're talking about.

    Cheers.
    Nope. The sentence doesn't make sense. You've already punctuated it as well as anyone could, except that questions end with question marks.

    The problem is: "behaving in ways"...that what? The sentence is incomplete.

    [I edit copy and have tutored university writing in the U.S.]
    Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 02-Feb-2009 at 00:13.

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    #8

    Re: need help with punctuation

    Hello,
    I do understand that the sentence can be recast; but it really is spoken English;
    That how the question was asked by the host of the program.

    But what do you do if you are confronted by a society the inhabitants of which appear to be behaving in ways, whether or not we are talking about female genital mutilation or whatever it is we are talking about or widow burning or any of the other examples we're talking about.

    What do you say, when you're confronted by practices like that. Do you say all this practices are really only being carried out because these people haven't had proper access to strong ethical principles or they are being carried out because of the necessity or because the special circumstances?

    PS Please ignore the yellowed words; I just marked where I have problem with spelling.

    Cheers

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    #9

    Re: need help with punctuation

    I do understand that the sentence can be recast; but it really is spoken English;
    That how the question was asked by the host of the program.

    Just because something is spoken in English doesn't always mean that it makes sense.


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    #10

    Re: need help with punctuation

    Jaskin's last post, giving the fuller text of the debate, seems a fair transcript of what I remember being said at the time. It underlines how important it is not to take a sentence out of context.

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