I'd like some help with passing the Quality Assessment Process. Will you please give feedback on my article? What can I do to improve? Thanks!
Here is my article: Handling the Mosquito Menace (must be signed in to view)
Your page is already published, so congratulations. You are good at delivering information, by the way, there are not many words wasted in that article. At the same time, if you want to write for the lucrative US market, you will need to realign the syntax of your articles to suit their tastes. For the huge Indian market, I am sure your style is fine.
A small detail: it would be worth pointing out that mosquito coils produce a smoke that is as bad for your health as any other smoke.
You should proofread the article in order to correct a few grammar errors and include sources for the photos to show that they have a suitable license for use on HubPages. I think it’s also important to include references for your data and suggestions, since you’ve written a health article.
You should consider the safety of each treatment that you recommend and discuss safety precautions in the article as well as include references. One treatment that you should research carefully if you haven’t already done so is the addition of kerosene to water to kill mosquitoes. I notice that you don't mention anything about the quantity of kerosene to use or its potential effects. Exposure to kerosene is potentially dangerous for humans. The substance can be harmful by inhalation, ingestion, and skin and eye contact. Will has also raised a good point about the safety of mosquito coil smoke.
From a standard American English perspective, is the sentence below, grammatically incorrect or is there simply a syntax issue?
"Of course, people living in the tropical climate are worst affected, but it can affect other regions as well during summers."
I am asking because I do not know, lol.
I don’t use American English very often, so I can't answer your question directly. I do have a Merriam-Webster dictionary from the United States, though. According to the dictionary, syntax is the way in which words are put together to form phrases and clauses. Grammar is the study of the classes of words, their inflections (case, gender, number, tense, person, mood, or voice), and their function and relations in a sentence. Syntax is part of grammar.
Syntax seems to have outgrown grammar a while ago, according to Wikipedia.
Apparently, while it has a lot to do with word order and the "correct" ways that words are supposed to relate to each other, syntax is more about the relationship of thought to language, or culture to language, or culture to thought, or simply the biological processes that underpin language acquisition.
Many people seem to have forgotten that language evolved naturally and thus grammar and syntax are ways of categorizing or studying the result, rather than a rule system that was devised by our forebears.
My problem these days, is that I can read and understand stuff just as quickly as I ever could, but I don't retain much. By tomorrow I will have forgotten the above, lol.
edit: the above may only apply only in a European setting. Americans have this horrible conception of the "mechanics" of language, where words are gears and cogs.
The way I see it, syntax is about how the words are put together, so it includes subtle elements like rhythm, which are difficult for non-native speakers to master. A sentence can be grammatically correct but not have the rhythm of English. Putting it another way, the word order may break no rules, but has a very awkward flow. This article is a prime example of syntax issues in my opinion.
Whether English or American, an educated adult with regular language skills would not be expected to write a sentence as awkward as:
"So, it is not just the itchiness for which you need to get rid of the mosquitoes, but also the fact that they can actually kill."
"A sentence can be grammatically correct but not have the rhythm of English"
That was my first thought, But you would need to slip "UK" or "US" in front of "English", I reckon.
But then Alicia said that Merriam-Webster sees syntax as being a part of grammar. That cannot be right. That is the tail wagging the dog.
I have been reading a fair amount of poetry recently. There is nothing like a dose of Elizabethan poetry, to dissolve any notion of grammatical correctness. I doubt a single speech from any Shakespeare play would survive a passage through Grammarly.
It all comes down to how it sounds, and the way it sounds will make a space for itself in your head.
By the time I got to the bottom of indubalar's article, it all sounded pretty natural to me. But not right for a US or UK audience.
Poetry generally, Elizabethan or modern, doesn't need to follow the standard rules of grammar. In fact, poetry is often all about stretching or breaking the rules.
As a Brit who's lived in the US for ten years, I would acknowledge that there are obviously some linguistic differences between the two countries, but those aren't anywhere near as big as the discrepancies one sees in this article.
With poetry, it is essentially about how it sounds (or scans), but HubPages articles are expected to follow regular rules and conventions. I mean it's fine to write a poem entirely in lower case, for example, but that would be wrong in this context. It's a "horses for courses" situation.
As for syntax just being "part of grammar", that's misleading. It is true that a sentence can be grammatically incorrect because of poor syntax. But syntax can be an issue, even if the grammar is not wrong.
It's great what Hemingway does in For Whom The Bell Tolls, I don't know if you've read it. Everything is written in English, but when someone is speaking Spanish, Hem switches to Spanish syntax, which the reader picks up on instinctively, because although the grammar is technically fine, it is not how an English speaker would say it.
English speaker: "I like that picture."
Spanish speaker: "That picture pleases me."
I'm not a Spanish speaker, and it's years since I read the book, but you see where I'm coming from...
This is getting more arcane by the moment, lol. But I would like to point out that Elizabethan poetry preceded even the earliest systematic study of English grammar or syntax and exists in its own right, with or without the blessing of any academic.
Modern rules of grammar in our scientific and rational age are all about making language as colourless as water, so that the information contained therein is easily seen and absorbed.
The more hidebound and unimaginative an audience is, the closer your need to adhere to their rules.
As an example, when I lived in a French village, the only person I could really talk to was a history teacher. He had the quickness of mind to translate my erratic French into a shared language. The other folk gazed at me, as if I came from Mars, lol.
Surpised they didn't beat me to death with that popular tome from the Académie Française: Le texte autorisé pour battre à mort des étrangers avec une mauvaise grammaire.
This is an interesting discussion. I just checked the online version of the Merriam-Webster dictionary to see if it gives a different definition for syntax from my print version. It says the same. It gives the definition that I quoted first as 1a and then says for 1b that syntax is "the part of grammar dealing with this".
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary clearly has a strong Anglo-American, orientation. Anglo-American philosophy focuses on practical nuts and bolts issues, especially those that relate to the natural sciences, economics and political science.
European philosophy is more existential than utilitarian, grasping at things which are very difficult to grasp at all and often sounding absurd as they try. But you know, there is lot more to life than shopping malls and muscle cars, lol.
Personally, I am appalled whenever US/UK science tries to say anything meaningful about human beings. But the effort throws out a lot of data, which might be useful one day.
I personally don't disagree with any of the main dictionary definitions of syntax, Merriam-Webster, Oxford etc. Syntax is a branch of linguistics, but has obvious implications for grammar, and therefore has a section of grammar devoted to it.
Will, I studied Philosophy of Language at university. I think it's far less important in regard to getting articles published on HubPages than you perhaps realise. You are way overthinking this. The whole Socratic Philosophy vs Eastern Philosophy is indeed interesting but not really relevant. You are attempting another one of your thread derails, in my humble opinion.
I once employed an American woman to edit my articles and she was very good at identifying my many grammatical errors. On the other hand, when I mentioned syntax she said that she had never heard of it, despite the many years of professional writing and editing under her belt.
That got put into the "mysteries" box.
Then I heard Americans talking about "mechanics" in relation to language -- something I had never heard of.
Another thing to throw in the "mysteries" box.
Given that this is a writer's forum, where UK and US writers contribute, seems a good venue to get to the bottom of what is going on. It is not something that you can look up online.
Course, if no one is interested, they are free to ignore me. The issue will just bug me for the rest of my life, lol.
As an American who has worked with many Indians, the sentence is not American English. It is the way that Indians speak English. Americans can understand what they are saying, but it sounds very stilted to us.
Hello mister Indubalar. I like your article. It is great how you are going to get rid off the mosquitos.
Thanks for all the feedback and the discussion on syntax and grammar. Will incorporate suggested changes.
Thank you Will Apse, for your message, "I got the feeling that you would not mind." That's being considerate.
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