Poll: Yo grammer nazis, help you're boy out.

Pimppeter2

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I'm writing an essay, strugglebussing a bit, and figured I could use some help. What better place to get grammar advice than from those who badly want to commit genocide against all sentence fragments, run ons, and incorrect punctuations?


So, tell a brother. Which form of this sentence is correctly punctuated. (And why would help, if possible)

1) One of the oldest philosophical debates known to man is the question of which has greater influence upon an individual; nature or nurture.

2)One of the oldest philosophical debates known to man is the question of which has greater influence upon an individual: nature or nurture.

3)One of the oldest philosophical debates known to man is the question of which has greater influence upon an individual, nature or nurture.

Or is it none of them and I need a question mark at the end of one of them? If so which one?


First person to help me out can have the soul of my second born child. I'd give you the first one, but I have to repay my student loans somehow.

Also, I'll make your E-penis bigger by being your best friend for the day. What more could you ask for?

And yeah, the title errors were intended.
 

Colour Scientist

Troll the Respawn, Jeremy!
Jul 15, 2009
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You've just made me feel really stupid, thank you for that.
It's definitely not number 2.
Do I qualify for the soul of your second born child?


I'm leaning towards Door Number One.
 

AWAR

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Nov 15, 2009
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If I was writing the essay I would definitely lean towards number 3, but that's just me.
And don't use question marks because they are more suited for journalistic articles rather than essays.
 

Evil Top Hat

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May 21, 2011
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"One of the oldest philosophical debates known to man: which has the greater influence upon us, nature or nurture?"

That's how I'd word it at least.

[small] You should also seriously put a space after a closed bracket. [/small]
 

Albino Boo

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Jun 14, 2010
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Its not 2, colons are for use in lists. You can make an argument for the use of a semicolon but to me, nature or nurture isn't really a sentence in its itself. On those grounds alone, I went with the humble common. Nature or nurture, to me, works better as a clause.
 

Daft Time

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Apr 15, 2013
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I'll be honest, I probably wouldn't use any of them for use in an essay. Number two is incorrect and I'd choose between one or three with the toss of a coin. The sentence in all of it's forms feels particularly clumsy, and I doubt would be much greater with context. Here's a rephrasing that doesn't change the actual content significantly:

* "Nature or nurture?" The debate over which has a greater effect on an individual is one of the oldest known to man.

This sentence 'flows' better, though I believe with context you could create a more elegant phrasing. I'm not sure how relevant, or accurate, "one of the oldest known to man" is either. It feels like unnecessary word count padding.

EDIT: Derped an article or three.
 

Lionsfan

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Jan 29, 2010
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Evil Top Hat said:
"One of the oldest philosophical debates known to man: which has the greater influence upon us, nature or nurture?"

That's how I'd word it at least.

[small] You should also seriously put a space after a closed bracket. [/small]
You would need a semi colon, not a colon in your phrase.

OT, I dunno about 1. I may be wrong, but I always wrote with the thinking that semicolons separated two independent clauses without using a conjunction. So 1 isn't correct. But then, is nature or nurture an independent clause? I don't think so, so 3 would be the correct one to use



To be honest though, I would just rewrite it. It's too clunky in my opinion
 

StBishop

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Sep 22, 2009
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albino boo said:
Its not 2, [/b]colons are for use in lists. You can make an argument for the use of a semicolon but to me, nature or nurture isn't really a sentence in its itself. On those grounds alone, I went with the humble common. Nature or nurture, to me, works better as a clause.


They can also be for elaboration, although they are commonly only used for lists.

That said, go with the comma. Unless you have a punctuation-mad person marking it you could possibly get away with the semicolon and appear more educated, as most people are afraid of them; I'm a fan though of them personally.
 

kurupt87

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Mar 17, 2010
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Evil Top Hat's sentence, but with a semi colon instead. If not that then 3 is fine.
 

BeeGeenie

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May 30, 2012
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How about option 4) One of the oldest philosophical debates known to man is the question of whether nature or nurture has greater influence upon an individual.

It's an essay. It's flexible like that. I don't like any of those other three.
 

dscross

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I'd restructure the sentence if I were you bro...

The question of whether nature or nurture has the greatest influence on an individual is one of the oldest philosophical debates known to man.

Hope that helps.
 

frobalt

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Jan 2, 2012
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albino boo said:
Its not 2, colons are for use in lists. You can make an argument for the use of a semicolon but to me, nature or nurture isn't really a sentence in its itself. On those grounds alone, I went with the humble common. Nature or nurture, to me, works better as a clause.
The colon in 2 is followed by a list. It only has 2 items in it, but it's still a list.
 

dscross

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Is that statement true by the way? I'm interested. I thought the phrase 'nature vs nurture' only started in the 19th century when the discipline of psychology first emerged. Actually...now I think about it, did plato talk about it? Is that what you mean? :)
 

Andy Shandy

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Jun 7, 2010
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I believe you need a question mark at "nature or nurture?" because that is that question that is being asked.

And 1 and 3 are both correct I believe (well, question mark aside) and personally I'd pick 1 over 3.

That is, of course, if you're set on using one of those 3, some others have suggested other ways you could arrange the sentence
 

Longstreet

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Jun 16, 2012
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Line one, but with an added bonus

One of the oldest philosophical debates known to man,(added a comma) is the question of which has greater influence upon an individual; nature or nurture.

PS; since you asked for a grammar nazi, you are gonna get a grammar nazi.

YOUR not you're. (in the title)
 

Troublesome Lagomorph

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May 26, 2009
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Sure as hell isn't two. One and three could work, but I feel like you need a comma in there.
Then again, grammar was always my weaker part of English class.
SaneAmongInsane said:
....I really hope the improper use of your in the topic title was intentional.
Read the OP. He says it was right there.
 

Sunrider

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Nov 16, 2009
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I'm terribly sorry, but I have to ask anyway.
Are the two errors in the title intentional or not? I feel that if I correct you here, I'd be falling into an elaborate trap.