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Thread: Proper english

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    jmur5074's Avatar
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    Proper english

    I opted to put this in "ask the public" rather than "ask a cop" because I think non-LEO's may be able to give me some valuable information, and I wanted your/their input.


    A co-worker of mine frequently puts "shortly later" in his reports.

    ex: "shortly later, he came back to the scene and turned himself in."


    I have told him several times I don't think that's "right." Whether it's improper english or not, I have no idea...it just seems like a clumsy sentence structure. He's adamant that it's proper.

    I told him he should say "a short time later" or "shortly thereafter" but he insists that phrase is correct.

    Can anyone give me some sort of grammatical proof that it's incorrect? Or, if it is correct, do you think it makes for a clumsy or mouthy sentence?
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    On a side note, I HATE it when people say "XXX in color."

    ex: "He was driving a blue in color Toyota Corolla."

    When describing a vehicle, or any other object as "blue", what is it, but a color? Is the car blue because it's depressed? No, it's blue because it's painted BLUE.

    Is it orange because it's a Toyota citrus fruit? Purple because it's choking? Green because it's jealous? No....it's a car that's painted that color.

    We don't say "the suspect is white in color" do we? No, we dont. "The suspect is white."

    Drives me up a wall, and everyone I work with does it.
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

    "The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".

    We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~
    The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.

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    Jenna's Avatar
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    "Shortly later" isn't idiomatic, but it doesn't violate any grammatical rules either:

    Shortly later, alligator | The Grammarphobia Blog

    An argument against using the phrase is that if enough people use it, it will become idiomatic, and shortly later you'll be seeing it everywhere.....

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    It is confusing for a police report. Nuff said.

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkzV5AIK8iM
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it." -- Frederic Bastiat

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna View Post
    An argument against using the phrase is that if enough people use it, it will become idiomatic, and shortly later you'll be seeing it everywhere.....



    I just cringed Jenna.
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

    "The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".

    We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~
    The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmur5074 View Post


    I just cringed Jenna.

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    It's a clumsy phrase, and redundant. Why not just say "soon" or "later"? If the time span matters, it should be specified.

    Personally, I'm not a fan of redundant phrasing, like "it should be noted." That one really bugs me, because if it shouldn't be noted, why are you telling me? My usual grammar advice is Strunk & White's The Elements of Style.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jks9199 View Post
    My usual grammar advice is Strunk & White's The Elements of Style.

    It should be noted, that I used that in college.

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkzV5AIK8iM
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it." -- Frederic Bastiat

    "Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter." Ernest Hemingway

    The opinions given in my signatures & threads DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Five-0" on Officerresource.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmur5074 View Post
    On a side note, I HATE it when people say "XXX in color."

    ex: "He was driving a blue in color Toyota Corolla."

    When describing a vehicle, or any other object as "blue", what is it, but a color? Is the car blue because it's depressed? No, it's blue because it's painted BLUE.

    Is it orange because it's a Toyota citrus fruit? Purple because it's choking? Green because it's jealous? No....it's a car that's painted that color.

    We don't say "the suspect is white in color" do we? No, we dont. "The suspect is white."

    Drives me up a wall, and everyone I work with does it.
    I was always taught to put "In color" on evidence tags to prevent someone from claiming they were owed a solid gold or solid silver item because the evidence tag said "gold item a". I don't particularly like the phrase "in color" so I always wrote to the effect of "gold colored"
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    I really hate the "this officer did" reports. Example, "On 10/08/11, This officer did read the accused his rights."
    For the morning will come. Brightly will it shine on the brave and true, kindly upon all who suffer for the cause, glorious upon the tombs of heroes. Thus will shine the dawn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 213th View Post
    I was always taught to put "In color" on evidence tags to prevent someone from claiming they were owed a solid gold or solid silver item because the evidence tag said "gold item a". I don't particularly like the phrase "in color" so I always wrote to the effect of "gold colored"
    Yeah, I do agree with that.

    I say a "gold colored watch" or "silver colored necklace" though.
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

    "The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".

    We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~
    The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.

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    I can't say I've ever heard or seen that one used before, but it would annoy me if I was checking those reports.

    It drives me nuts to see the "This officer, this unit, etc" type of reports. Write it in first person, we already know who you are if we're reading the report.



    One of my personal favorites that come from the public that I love to mess with is when that overly confident or cocky person rattles off with "Can I ask why you stopped me??" in a defiant tone. I always reply with "Yep" and stare blankly at them while they try to figure out what to say next since I only answered that they could ask.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pudge View Post


    One of my personal favorites that come from the public that I love to mess with is when that overly confident or cocky person rattles off with "Can I ask why you stopped me??" in a defiant tone. I always reply with "Yep" and stare blankly at them while they try to figure out what to say next since I only answered that they could ask.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Jks9199 View Post
    I My usual grammar advice is Strunk & White's The Elements of Style.
    Quote Originally Posted by Five-0 View Post
    It should be noted, that I used that in college.
    Mine is white in color.
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    While not technically grammatically incorrect, it just sounds stupid. It would make more sense to me to say "a short time later" or "shortly thereafter" like you suggested. Hell, even "he returned later" as vague as it is sounds better. And I *am* a grammatical/spelling nazi.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jks9199 View Post
    My usual grammar advice is Strunk & White's The Elements of Style.
    I've also used this. Great book.
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    I love it. You colonials discussing English, and you still can't spell colour properly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trojan 42 View Post
    I love it. You colonials discussing English, and you still can't spell colour properly.
    I knew it wouldn't be long before one of defeated would chime in! We won, so we'll spell COLOR any damn way we please!
    For the morning will come. Brightly will it shine on the brave and true, kindly upon all who suffer for the cause, glorious upon the tombs of heroes. Thus will shine the dawn.

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    By the way jmur, English should be capitalized in your title.


    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkzV5AIK8iM
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it." -- Frederic Bastiat

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    The opinions given in my signatures & threads DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Five-0" on Officerresource.com

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by keith720 View Post
    I knew it wouldn't be long before one of defeated would chime in! We won, so we'll spell COLOR any damn way we please!

    +1

    And to add, Paul Revere didn't shout "The red in color coats are coming"...
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