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Welcome to my fantastic userpage, v1.2!
Let's see here... After benefitting for many years from the amazing source of knowledge that is Wikipedia, I decided to give back a little, sharing my little knowledge. Most of my edits seem to be fixing spelling and grammar, but I do also have a bit of input in Ancient History, Drama and Literature, and general Humanities-type areas. I don't pretend to be an expert in any of these, but I have enough knowledge to contribute to some of these articles.
I do, however, hold grammar in high regard. Honestly, I believe that having smooth sentence structure and syntax contributes enormously to the authority and authenticity of an article. I probably have enough knowledge of it to fix most problems, so don't hesitate to query me about anything.
Conservation Issues of Pompeii and Herculaneum — this is my first article (created 16/10/06 — that's dd/mm/yy), and it's still in progress.
Note: I need people with knowledge about Stabiae and the Villa Poppaea, because I want this article to be expanded to include all the cnoservation areas in the Vesuvius National Park. I also need more photos from Pompeii and Herculaneum! I have some of Pompeii myself, but none on Herculaneum. Leave a message on my talk page if you have any, especially if they relate to the article.
Just a helpful little guide with a few small but important rules I believe are important in creating or editing any wikipedia article.
1. It's vs. Its
- It's = It is. It is a contraction (or, if you will, it's a contraction). However, there are very few circumstances under which you would use this in a wikipedia article, since contractions generally take away from the authoritative tone of an article. Nevertheless, you may need to know.
- Its = possessive. If the 'it' in question is possessing something, then it becomes 'its'. For example, "Wikipedia and its articles are an incredible source of information".
(Note: The same rule applies for who's vs. whose, he's vs. his and she's vs. her)
2. The Oxford Comma
The Oxford comma is a comma that directly precedes the word 'and'. While some people might think that it's unnacceptable under any circumstances, the reality is that it is not a grammatical error in all cases. If the comma in question makes the sentence much clearer, then it is perfectly acceptable to leave it in. I suppose this is a kind of anti-mistake, where it may seem like an error but it isn't.
3. The Hyphen and the Dash
- A hyphen is a small line that looks like this: "-". It has only one purpose and that is to link words together to form compound words. For example, words such as "milk-white" or "post-mortem". The hyphen is the key next to 0 and =.
- a dash is completely different. In fact, there are two types of dash — the n-dash and the m-dash.
The n-dash, called so because it is the length of an 'N', is used when talking about a range of numbers. It looks like this: '–'. For example: "The apricot tree measures 8–12m in height" (I got this wrong myself). The n-dash is the dash on the top left in the both with all those interesting symbols (the shorter one).
The m-dash is a larger line with the length of an 'M' that looks like this: '—'. It is used in a sentence as a pause, in which the content after the dash helps to explain what goes before it, or reinforces its message. For example, "Lord Pheasant had always thought about punctuation as like traffic lights — they controlled the flow and guided the pace of the reader". It is also used in a similar way to parentheses, distinguishing a thought in the middle of a sentence that can be skipped without disrupting the flow of the sentence, but otherwise adds meaning to it. For example, "Hatshepsut was undoubtably an unusual candidate for the role of pharaoh, and — perhaps sensing the need to justify her rule — consequently depicted herself as in the full regalia and stature of a man in her statues and reliefs". The m-dash is situated in the box with all the symbols and characters up the top, right next to the n-dash. It's the larger of the two.
By the way, the fact that I most often put my full-stops (periods) outside speech marks isn't an error, it's just a difference between American and British grammar (I'm Australian).
Here are a few photos I've uploaded from my trip to Pompeii. Use them as much as you want.