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    • Join Date: May 2009
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    #1

    Question suspension points for self-irony

    Hello,

    I'd like you to tell me if suspension points can be used at the end of my sentence to express self-irony:

    1.'And there I was, fighting against routine, cliches, my students' self-complacency, my own...'

    2.Second, is the "And' ok here, as long as grammars tell you not to start a sentence with 'and'?

    3.Is the comma ok after 'And there I was'?

    A BIG thank you,
    dreamer2009

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: suspension points for self-irony

    Quote Originally Posted by dreamer2009 View Post
    hello,

    i'd like you to tell me if suspension points can be used at the end of my sentence to express self-irony:

    1.'and there i was, fighting against routine, cliches, my students' self-complacency, my own...'
    yes you can. It's not really clear that you mean "my own complacency" here. But as a rule, yes you can do this. There are traditionally four periods if the ellipsis ends the sentence.


    2.second, is the "and' ok here, as long as grammars tell you not to start a sentence with 'and'?
    that's an old "rule". You can ignore it. (same for "but"). Many very good writers begin sentences with "and" and but".

    3.is the comma ok after 'and there i was'?
    yes, it's preferable, imo.

    a big thank you,
    Dreamer2009
    r.


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    #3

    Question Re: suspension points for self-irony

    Hello,

    Hi there,

    First, a BIG thank you!
    Next, I'm a bit puzzled because you said that in my sentence:
    ''And there i was, fighting against routine, cliches, my students' self-complacency, my own...'
    it is not clearly understood wheter I refer to my own self-complacency; I thought that by placing the suspension points I make this clear and, what's more, I express self-irony as to my own reluctance to whatever is new (in teaching).
    What should I do to make it clear that I refer to my self-complacency? Repeat the subject, forget the suspension points?

    Looking forward to your reply,

    simplythebest at her... worst

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: suspension points for self-irony

    First (not Post Script,but Pre Script ) a comment on your first post;
    2.second, is the "and' ok here, as long as grammars tell you not to start a sentence with 'and'?
    Raymott: that's an old "rule". You can ignore it. (same for "but"). Many very good writers begin sentences with "and" and but".
    I strongly agree with Raymott, but wonder what you mean by 'as long as'; you seem to mean 'since', or 'seeing that' (very informally 'seeing as how' - to be avoided in an exam!). 'As long as' can refer to time ('It is daytime as long as the sun is shining') or to a condition ('Oh all right, you can sleep on my floor, as long as it's just for one night.')
    Quote Originally Posted by dreamer2009 View Post
    Hello,

    Hi there,

    First, a BIG thank you!
    Next, I'm a bit puzzled because you said that in my sentence:
    ''And there i was, fighting against routine, cliches, my students' self-complacency, my own...'
    it is not clearly understood wheter I refer to my own self-complacency; I thought that by placing the suspension points I make this clear and, what's more, I express self-irony as to my own reluctance to whatever is new (in teaching).
    What should I do to make it clear that I refer to my self-complacency? Repeat the subject, forget the suspension points?

    Looking forward to your reply,

    simplythebest at her... worst
    I don't really see how the suspension points express any kind of irony. I interpreted them as expressing an incomplete list, that perhaps you weren't sure about yourself. (And I suppose, in some views of what a teacher should be, that uncertainty itself might be considered ironic.) Perhaps you could add the word 'perhaps', to signify that you were thinking about it: ''And there I was, fighting against routine, cliches, my students' self*-complacency - my own, perhaps....'

    *I don't see what this prefix adds, but it's your sentence

    b

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    #5

    Re: suspension points for self-irony

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post

    I don't really see how the suspension points express any kind of irony. I interpreted them as expressing an incomplete list, that perhaps you weren't sure about yourself. (And I suppose, in some views of what a teacher should be, that uncertainty itself might be considered ironic.)
    He wasn't talking about uncertainty, but about his complacency.
    He begins the sentence with a list of things that a young idealistic teacher is fighting against, then admits that his own complacency is one of them. The irony comes from that incongruence.
    Of course, you're right about the other problems in the sentence.


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    #6

    Question Re: suspension points for self-irony

    Hi again,

    With reference to 'self-complacency', I see that some AE online dictionaries (Merriam-Webster, among others) list both 'self-complacency' and 'complacency'.
    Oxford, Longman, Macmillan list only 'complacency'.
    In a recent Romanian-English dictionary I found only 'self-complacency' for 'the feeling you have when you are satisfied with yourself'.
    Isn't 'self-complacency' currently used in British English?

    Thank you,
    daydreamer

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: suspension points for self-irony

    Quote Originally Posted by dreamer2009 View Post
    Hi again,

    With reference to 'self-complacency', I see that some AE online dictionaries (Merriam-Webster, among others) list both 'self-complacency' and 'complacency'.
    Oxford, Longman, Macmillan list only 'complacency'.
    In a recent Romanian-English dictionary I found only 'self-complacency' for 'the feeling you have when you are satisfied with yourself'.
    Isn't 'self-complacency' currently used in British English?

    Thank you,
    daydreamer
    Not much - as I think you guessed from all those UK dictionaries; I would understand it, but I'd wonder why the speaker used the "self-". There is also (in Br English) the word 'self-satisfied' (and related words, like 'self-satisfaction').

    b

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