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1

As a writer, I use "And" at the beginning of sentences in novels. I take (what I consider) this poetic license typically to emphasize a thought in a narrative or to more closely mimic informal speech. As we audibly converse, we often pause and continue our thoughts with "and." The more authentically natural speech is, whether grammatically correct or not, ...


2

Yes: when you use though to qualify the preceding sentence or clause as "contrary to expectation", though is parenthetical, and so it needs to be separated from the sentence by commas. If after though you were to continue the sentence, you would need a comma after though, too, because parenthesis is marked by stops at both ends. However, in your sentence, ...


2

It's a style issue, so there is no absolute rule to appeal to. But I agree with you that the commas are helpful additions. Here, rather than emphasizing natural pauses in speech, as they often do, the commas chiefly serve to help the reader's eye visually organize the numerical measurements into meaningful blocks, instead of appearing as an unrestrained (and ...


1

I would distinguish between "words whose meaning a literate English speaker of normal competence can understand with a reasonable amount of effort" and "words that a literate English speaker will recognize at once as standard-form words." Such a person, presented with a phrase such as "the fire-surrounded house" or "the house, fire surrounded" will ...


1

The only authority I've been able to find on this particular question is The Oxford Style Manual (2003), which provides this summary: 12.1.6 Eponymic designations Names identified with specific individuals may be treated in several ways. Traditionally a disease, equation, formula, hypothesis, law, principle, rule, syndrome, theorem, or theory named ...


0

The second example is correct. txteclipse provided a worthy explanation. Beyond it, it's worth noting that, as the second question is dependent on the first, it can also be punctuated thusly: What are you laughing at? my silly hat? ...though this seems to be less common in modern usage.


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The second example is correct: the first is ambiguous. It seems as though the speaker is asking his or her hat what it's laughing at. The two elements before and after the comma in the first example are self-contained questions (despite the second question being dependent on the first), and therefore should be split apart as in the second example.


2

This is a style question. Some style guides specifically recommend lowercasing the plural form rivers in exactly the situation that the OP raises. For example, Chicago Manual of Style, Fifteenth Edition (2003) has this: 8.57 Mountains, rivers, and the like. Names of mountains, rivers, oceans, islands, and so forth are capitalized. The generic term ...


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It should be capitalized because "River" is part of the name of that particular body of water. There are two reasons why this is so- first, naming the type of a water feature can be arbitrary, e.g. creek or river, so calling that feature by a certain name is part of the naming process. Also, different bodies of water can share the same "first name", e.g. ...



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